THE LAST WORD

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Inside Back - ROBERT CRAMPTON

How cool is Franky Za­p­ata, the French guy who last year made the first cross­ing of the English Chan­nel on a fly­board? A fly­board be­ing a large skate­board you stand on, pre­sum­ably strapped in as with a pair of skis, given the im­prob­a­bly Jacko-es­que an­gles Franky achieves in the footage you can find on YouTube. You’ve got a bar­rel of paraf­fin strapped to your back and you reach speeds of more than 110mph (177km/h). What could pos­si­bly go wrong?

You’ve got to ad­mire any­one will­ing to push the en­ve­lope that far. Will Franky get that ad­mi­ra­tion, though, I won­der. Pos­si­bly not from young­sters, I pre­dict, not once they for­get the glam­our and start think­ing about those kerosene fumes belch­ing into the sky. A few years from now, if his con­trap­tion has achieved masspro­duc­tion, Franky could be about as pop­u­lar as a plas­tic mag­nate with a pri­vate jet and a pen­chant for biggame hunt­ing.

Speak­ing of un­pop­u­lar … Prince Harry is get­ting stick from his old army mates af­ter the rev­e­la­tion that he en­joys a pedi­cure. They reckon he has gone soft on civvy street. Well, his feet cer­tainly have, at any rate!

I don’t have an is­sue with Harry en­joy­ing a bit of foot love. I had a pedi­cure once my­self, al­beit in a room above a hair­dresser’s rather than a posh ho­tel in As­cot. I had to sit with my feet in a fish tank. The fish seemed to en­joy it.

My prob­lem with pedi­cures is twofold. One, they get rid of hard skin, and hard skin can be quite use­ful in cer­tain bare­foot sce­nar­ios. Two, I can’t spot the dif­fer­ence be­tween a well­groomed foot and one that is merely de­cently main­tained, that is to say not fall­ing to bits. It’s like when a critic says so-and-so is a great drum­mer — or gui­tarist, or ac­tor, or fash­ion de­signer — as op­posed to a good one. I sim­ply do not have the where­withal to make a judg­ment. So why spend the money?

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