Paper round

We all know that closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is a fool's errand.

But bolting, it seems, is no longer an option for four out of five British nags - so even if you're tardy with your hinge-work, your errant equine won't have got far.

The charity World Horse Welfare, formerly called the International League for the Protection of Horses, weighed 230 horses and found 81 per cent were obese, according to the BBC website. Excessive sugar lump habits and owners who are too lazy to exercise them are to blame, and many of the big-boned beasts have to be put down (and the less said about flogging dead horses the better).

Teenage female tearaways are not generally noted for their svelte figures. But the muffin tops could soon be gobbled up, thanks to a qualification in hip-hop dancing developed by a Scottish college and the charity Showcase the Street.

According to The Herald, the aim is to encourage "troubled" girls to stay on at school. The course teaches basic hip-hop moves such as 'body ripples' and 'butt spins'. But isn't corporal punishment banned nowadays?

Pensioners doing butt-spins could well turn up on a road sign near you. The Daily Telegraph reports that Age Concern wants the traditional 'pensioners crossing' sign - also known as Still Life with Hunched Old Dears and Walking Stick - to be mown down. The charity says the image, which was the winning entry in a 1981 children's competition, is insulting to today's healthy octogenarians.

It says the signs should be replaced by lower speed limits in areas where there are residential care homes. It strikes Paper Round that it may be as well to do the same for areas where there are stables. Then again, a kids' competition to design a 'caution: obese horses' road sign could be an excellent solution to the problem.

HE SAID IT

'When they find out it's real and it takes one bear to make a hat, most people are appalled' - Robbie LeBlanc, director of Peta in Europe, on Buckingham Palace guards' bearskin hats.

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