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Conkering Kings Their Titles Take

Great news from my natal county: The World Conker Championship is to go ahead in Ashton, Northamptonshire (hang a left at Stoke Bruerne). There had been fears that the kid-safety fascists might shut the championship down, or force competitors to wear full body armor.

After years of zealously clamping down on anything more bracing than a game of ludo, the ... Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has decided to sponsor the annual world conker championships ... "When it comes to conkers, let's have an outbreak of common sense," one of the men from the institute has said.

If the welfare state busybodies could take away an Englishman's conkers, what would be left of England? I used to steep mine in rubbing alcohol—much more efficacious than the traditional vinegar.