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That's what I call putting your foot in it ...

I've no strong feelings on the matter of having my feet cleaned by fish. You may have witnessed the phenomenon in the public malls of Britainshire and Ireland.

Citizens place their pegs into basins of water, where tiddly fish nibble their dead skin.

I'm sure it's pleasant, if not necessarily for the fish who, typical of the species, are complete idiots. Imagine getting conned into doing that.

However, now a top report by the Government says the fish could be giving you HIV, hepatitis C and, if I remember correctly, syphilis.

They added that there wasn't much chance of this, right enough, but as you might imagine, headlines stoked the fear. I'm not bothered, as I've a policy of remaining properly shod in public at all times. Indeed, I don't understand why folk go in for public treatment like this.

The other day, in a busy mall, I saw a woman lying flat on her back and looking bewildered. "May I be of assistance to you, madam?" I asked, as you do. "I'm having my eyebrows done," she announced imperiously. And, sure enough this other bird appeared wielding an implement and told me to sod off. Outrageous.

Citizens criticise the Press for invading privacy. But clearly they're quite capable of invading their own.

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