Mrs Boyo and I start the day with target practice and Radio 4's Today Programme Bingo - combining the two if possible. As respectively a Marxian Spenglerist and a Welsh de Maistrean of reptilian sang froid, we find the consequent rise in blood pressure helps us blend in with the neighbours, while the kitchen-table cries of "House!" remind us of what we're meant to be living in.
Today runs three types of story:
I. Things Today thinks we need to know (global warming, Gaza, what Bono's up to).
II. People doing things that aren't illegal, but which Today thinks ought to be (drinking, smoking).
III. People doing things that are illegal, but which Today thinks have "root causes" (recreational drugs, bombing).
The aim of Today Bingo is to find a story that combines at least two, and ideally all three of these elements. If it then interviews a BBC correspondent to reinforce its point with exquisite solipsism, you've got a full house.
The other morning I was quick to bag a story that sounded promising. The gist was "Naturists are taking teens to their nudy camps, but what if there are paedos about?" It had a strong strain of Element II - naturists are not illegal, but their suburban vulgarity puts them firmly on the Today list of undesirables. I could also stake a claim to Element I, as Today was running stories on "The Kids" all week.
No chance of Element III, I'm glad to say, unless the London media were even more depraved than I'd thought, but two out of three put me well ahead of Mrs Boyo and her Element II bid on the weather forecast (it was snippy about the Home Counties, where Todaythink maintains people ought to be guilty about residing).
But then I realised, with almost toast-crunching horror, that I agreed with an aspect of the item. Naturists - or nudists, to use the technical term - were alright in Carry On films and Sunday Express cartoons, but there remains something suspiciously German and 1920s about them in real life.
I have a list of types who, while not criminal or inherently evil, I would not allow near "The Kids". These are Quakers, vegetarians and Esperantists. Quakers are worthy in a wheaten way, but are Wrong About Everything. Vegetarians deny God's meaty bounty, and dare to be smug about it. Esperantists are usually an intersection of the last two, like in a Venn diagram *.
To that number I now add nudists. The Lord filled Britain with brambles and damp weather, and made our kinfolk lumpy and uneven of tooth. He also granted us the bounty of Scotswomen to weave sturdy tweeds and the colony of Malaya to provide sap for our gumboots, so that we might adapt to the tepid discomforts of these islands.
Not good enough for nudists, apparently. Like Quakers, they think they know better than God. As this is a free country, nudists are free to frolic on the sunkissed beaches of Llanbedr and get bullied on the Today programme like the rest of us, but they set an example of poor taste, self-absorption and blasphemy to our youth.
Mrs Boyo pointed out that Stalin locked up as many Quakers, vegetarians and Esperantists as he could lay his iron fists on, when not distracted by trying to destroy the few clever, well-born and good-looking people who'd survived his mate Lenin. I replied frostily that this argument of guilt by association didn't intimidate me.
Until I understood that she wasn't trying to contradict me at all.
(* Thanks to Scaryduck, for explaining a Venn diagram in response to my gesticulations.)