Friday, April 12, 2024

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The greatest presents ever? Being given names inspired by medications and engaging in conflict with the French.


Greetings to Declassified, a comedic column released every week.

What is the most valuable present that you can give someone? Maybe it’s giving your child a unique and trendy name, but not too strange or common like “Methamphetamine Rules!”

What? Yes, an Australian journalist has called her son Methamphetamine Rules (Meth for short?). What were the parents thinking? Methamphetamine is obviously a girl’s name!

Kirsten Drysdale conducted an experiment to determine if the government has the authority to modify a baby’s name if the one chosen by the parents is considered inappropriate. Drysdale considered using either “Methamphetamine Rules” or “Nangs Rule”, the latter being a colloquial term in Australia for nitrous oxide canisters commonly used for recreational purposes. Fortunately, the parents did not choose the latter option, as it would have likely resulted in severe bullying for the child.

When politicians visit their counterparts, they are not required to choose a name for a child. However, they are expected to bring a gift. The European Parliament has a storage area for diplomatic gifts, which holds various items such as French mustard and a Huawei smartphone given to European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber in 2013. This phone is believed to be recording important events at the Parliament, although nothing significant has occurred yet as it has only been ten years.

This week, Keir Starmer, the leader of the U.K. Labour Party and potential future British prime minister, met with Emmanuel Macron and slyly made a dig at the French president by selecting a particular gift to give him.

Starmer gave Macron a gift of an Arsenal football shirt, which features the club’s crest depicting a cannon aimed towards France (when viewed with the left arm facing France). The shirt also had the number “25” and was a nod to the Battle of Sandwich, where the English defeated the French on August 24, 1217. As it is well known, the English celebrated their victory by eating sandwiches on the following day, August 25 (presumably). Starmer sure knows how to make a statement!

Macron is a fan of football and supports Olympique de Marseille. However, he quickly disposed of the Arsenal shirt within 10 minutes of Starmer’s departure.

The day after Starmer was granted access to the Elysée through the tradesman’s entrance, King Charles was greeted with a grand reception, complete with a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe and a lavish dinner at the Palace of Versailles (a favorite destination for royalty). It seems that the decision on where to have dinner was a tough one, with Versailles narrowly winning out over a Flunch location.

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Paul Dallison is POLITICO

I am a slot news editor.