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Authors: Jeremy Clarkson

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And another thing--: the world according to Clarkson

BOOK: And another thing--: the world according to Clarkson
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And Another Thing
Book Jacket



Jeremy Clarkson began his writing career on the
Rotherham Advertiser
. Since then he has written for the
, the
Sunday Times
, the
Rochdale Observer
, the
Wolverhampton Express and Star
, all of the Associated Kent Newspapers, and
Lincolnshire Life
. Today he is the tallest person working in British television.

Jeremy Clarkson’s other books are
Clarkson’s Hot 100, Clarkson on Cars, Motorworld, Planet Dagenham, The World According to Clarkson
I Know You Got Soul

And Another Thing…

The World According to Clarkson
Volume Two




Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London
, England

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 2Y3

(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand

(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London
, England

First published by Michael Joseph 2006

Published in Penguin Books 2007

Copyright © Jeremy Clarkson, 2006

All rights reserved.

The moral right of the author has been asserted

The contents of this book previously appeared in Jeremy Clarkson’s
Sunday Times

Except in the United States ofAmerica, this book is sold subject
to the condition that it shall not, by way oftrade or otherwise, be lent,
re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s
prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in
which it is published and without a similar condition including this
condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

To Andy Wilman

The contents of this book first appeared in Jeremy
Sunday Times
column. Read more
about the world according to Clarkson every week
in the
Sunday Times


I’m a nobody, my jet-set credit card tells me so

Oops: how I dropped the US air force right in it

Sorry, Hans, brassy Brits rule the beaches now

Learn to kill a chicken, or you’ll get no supper

To win a war, first you need a location scout

Fear of fat can seriously damage your health

Scotch – stop skiing and return to your sheds

My son thinks I’m gay, and it can only get worse

Sorry, but the public apology is a Big Lie

Calling your kid Noah or Coke – how wet is that?

Put Piers on a plinth, he deserves immortality

Hurricane Hank pulls a fast one on the scramjet

Health and safety and the death of television

Getting totally wrecked at sea isn’t a crime

We used to work to live, then we gave up living

You’re all on probation, this is the British nation

Comrade Clipboard won’t let me crash the car

Noises off can turn a man into a murderer

The lusty lads have left me feeling exposed

Mobile phones that do everything – except work

We really have to draw a line under tattoos

Life itself is offensive, so stop complaining

Put the panic button down now and walk away quietly

Yes, it used to be grim up north – now it’s grimmer

Stars staying alive is really killing rock’n’roll

Hoon’s thinned red line is facing the wrong way

Whee, there’s a golden apple in my family tree

Blame your airport wait on dim Darren and Julie

Proper writing is like so overr8ed, innit kids

I have now discovered the highest form of life: wasps

The doctors are out to get me

Let’s brand our man’s army

Go to school, see the world

Space virgins need chutes

Call that a list of best films?

Two fingers to the pension

This is how the world ends…

Fight terror and look good, too

The Cheshire charity rip-off

Now I’m an artificial hipster

Bullies were the making of me

100 things not to do before you die

Let’s break all Tony’s laws

Sharks, you’re dead meat

The ghost of wife’s present

Who’s afraid of the nice wolf?

Bowling for the beautiful people

Wild weather warnings

Jumbo, a brilliant white elephant

Jackboots rule the countryside

Found: a cure for binge drinking

Custard, my wife’s worst swearword

Go ahead, lad, be a gay astronaut

Sticking one on the gum summit

It’s freezing, so go get your sun cream

Good riddance to green rubbish

Bury me with my anecdotes on

A screen queen ate my pork pie

Save me from my mobile phone

Ecologists can kill a landscape

What we need is a parliament of 12

Why won’t shops sell me anything?

Fun: the true sign of a good school

Nuts and dolts of an eco-boycott

Small BBC strike, not many stirred

Twin your town to save Africa

Rock is dead, long live rock’n’roll

You are about to be devoured

Death by 1,000 autographs

Oops, £25,000 went overboard

Annoying: I like David Beckham

My burning hate for patio heaters

Multicultural? I just don’t see it

Children really don’t want toys

The Catch 22 of taking exercise

A shady person’s holiday guide

It’s a very fishy world, angling

The message in a litter lout’s bottle

Great no-shows of our time

I’ve been seduced by Beardy Airways

We are a nation in rude health

Four eyes aren’t better than two

Naughty nights in heartbreak hotel

When the fame game goes funny

Cornered by the green lynch mob

What happened? I’m not grumpy

I’m a nobody, my jet-set credit card tells me so

I suppose all of us were out and about before Christmas, pummelling our credit cards to within an inch of their lives. So, some time in the next week or so, we can expect a sour-faced government minister to come on television to explain that we are now borrowing more than we’re saving and that it has all got to stop.

In the mid-1970s, shortly after credit cards first emerged, we owed £32 million.

Now we’ve managed to get ourselves into debt to the tune of £50 billion, which works out at about £1,140 for every adult in the land.

As a result, the economy is teetering on the brink of collapse and little old ladies are having to sell their cats for medical experiments. And children are being lured into prostitution and up chimneys. It’s all too awful for words.

But there’s a darker side to credit cards. A sinister underbelly that is rarely talked about. I’m talking about the misery of not having the right one.

We’ve all been there. Dinner is over, the bill has arrived and everyone is chucking their plastic on to the saucer. It’s a sea of platinum and gold. One chap has produced something with a Wells Fargo stagecoach on the front. Another has come up with an HM Government procurement card, just like James Bond would have.

And then it’s your turn. And all you’ve got is your green NatWest Switch card.

Socially speaking, you are about to die. Or are you?

A couple of years ago I read an interview with some chap who’d got a fistful of cards in his pocket and claimed that the more shiny examples, specifically the much-coveted black American Express, gave him ‘certain privileges’.

Obviously, I had to have one. So I lied about my salary, handed over 650 bleeding quid, and there it was, in a leatherette box, presented like a fine Tiffany earring. My very own passport to the high life.

A few weeks later I was flying economy class to some godforsaken hell hole – I forget where – and found myself sitting in one of those oyster bars at Heathrow, fielding questions from men in nylon trousers about Volkswagen diesels. After a while I remembered the black ‘key’ in my wallet and recalled a bit in the booklet that said it opened the door to airline lounges around the world.

So, I plodded over to the club class lounge with my cattle class boarding ticket.

‘I’m afraid not,’ said the woman cheerfully.

‘Aha,’ I countered, ‘but I have a black American Express card which affords me certain privileges.’

It didn’t. So I went back to the diesel men at the oyster bar.

A month after that I was checking in at Blakes Hotel in Amsterdam when, again, I remembered the card and thought: ‘I wonder if this will get me a room upgrade.’

Joy of joys, it did. All I had to do was check into one of the emperor suites at £1 trillion a night and I would
be automatically upgraded to a maharajah suite, with the enlarged minibar, at no extra cost. So, off to the economy broom cupboard I went.

As the months went by, I kept producing the jet-set, jet-black Amex and the result was pretty much always the same. ‘Non.’… ‘Nein.’ And in provincial Britain: ‘What the f***’s that?’

Actually, I’m being unfair. It wasn’t only provincial Britain that was mystified.

Pretty well everywhere east of New York and west of Los Angeles doesn’t take Amex, no matter what colour the card is. Some say this is because Amex charges too much.

Others because the Americans are infidel dogs.

Eventually, I found a fellow customer and asked what she saw in it. ‘Oh,’ she said, tossing a mane of pricey hair backwards, ‘it’s marvellous. Only the other day I needed 24 variegates and my local florist didn’t have them in stock. So I called the Amex helpline number and they got them for me.’

Great. But I have never ever felt a need to fill the house with variegates. More worryingly, I seldom have the courage to produce the black plastic on those rare occasions when I find myself dining in a restaurant that accepts it. Because what message would I be giving out?

When you produce a black Amex, what you are saying is that you earn £1 million a year. Is the waiter really going to be impressed? And what about your friends? They either earn a million too, in which case so what, or they don’t, in which case they won’t be your friends for much longer.

Having a black Amex is not like having a big house. That’s useful. And it’s not like having a big car. That’s more comfortable than a smaller one. The card exists, solely, to impress. It has no other function.

If I were the sort of person who had clients, then maybe this would be useful. But a word of warning on that front. I lied about my salary to get one, so who’s to say that the sweating golfer who whipped one out over dinner last night didn’t lie, too. A. A. Gill has one, for God’s sake.

As a result, I shall be getting rid of it. This will help Britain’s economy in a small way. But more importantly, it will do wonders for my self-esteem.

Sunday 11 January 2004

Oops: how I dropped the US air force right in it

Given the American military’s dreadful reputation for so-called friendly fire incidents, many people will not have been surprised last week when it was revealed that one of its F-15 jets had dropped a bomb on Yorkshire.

I wasn’t surprised either, but for a different reason. You see, a few years ago, when I was flying an F-15, I inadvertently dropped a bomb on North Carolina.

I was making one of those
Killer Death Extreme Machine
programmes which called for me to go very fast in a selection of different vehicles. So it was obvious I should hitch a ride in the fastest and toughest of America’s airborne armoury. The Strike Eagle. The unshootdownable F-15E.

BOOK: And another thing--: the world according to Clarkson
13.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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