Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Music: the Hammond Organ, by Wiggia

The one thing that can be said about the Hammond Organ is its fall from grace was as quick as its rise. During the sixties several musicians formed groups including this keyboard instrument and Jimmy Smith in particular sold an awful lot of albums for Blue Note during that period.

He wasn’t the first and he wasn’t the only one to front a group using it, but he was the biggest star and the one name that endured in the time since. In modern parlance the Hammond Organ is a Marmite instrument, you like it or don’t and there are few people in between. On a purely personal basis I found it to be wearing for an album of it, but certain numbers can and do come across well, and of course it is out of the mainstream of jazz whilst a mainstay of prog rock, gospel, R&B etc.

Hammond organs were first manufactured in 1935 and the company went out of business in ‘85, so its reign was relatively short though Suzuki Musical Instruments took over the name and are still supplying to various groups in rock and blues and for churches. In jazz it appears infrequently as a backing instrument but rarely now as a lead. And of course the Hammond was an electronic forerunner to the plethora of electronic keyboards used today mainly in rock, though even there digitally produced sounds are taking over.

Jimmy Smith started playing the Hammond in the fifties though the first to start playing jazz on the instrument was one Ethel Smith, but Fats Waller was the prime mover and Count Basie also used it for a period.

If you Google jazz organists quite a list appears but few specialised and few became famous. Besides Smith the obvious candidates were Wild Bill Davis, Shirley Scott, Jack McDuff, Johnny “Hammond” Smith, and Richard “Groove” Holmes, Larry Young and some minor players or occasional ones.

Its jazz base has always been a black one; the black churches did and still do use the instrument, hence the sales of organ jazz have historically been to the black population. It never really took hold with white jazz lovers.

This is Fats in ‘42 playing the Jitterbug Waltz. He had played an earlier pre Hammond organ as far back as the mid twenties but this is an early Hammond recording.

One of Richard “Groove” Holmes' efforts from ‘66 “Living Soul”:

Of the top protagonists Shirley Scott outlasted them all. This, The Blues Ain’t Nothin But Some Pain from her ‘64 Great Scott album was the first time she had sung on record and she wrote this number and words the day before the recording date. For me she is up there with the best, in fact I prefer most of her music even over Jimmy Smith, somehow she makes the organ sit well with other instruments, few do. She was an admirer of Jimmy Smith but in many ways she surpassed him. She died in 2002 having recorded and performed till ‘92 .

Her health began to fail after using the now banned diet drug combination "Fen-phen", which she began taking in 1995. By 1997 she had developed primary pulmonary hypertension as a result of the drugs, and was permanently bed-ridden. She sued the manufacturer and the prescribing doctor, and was awarded a settlement of 8 million dollars in 2000.

This ‘61 rendition of “It Don’t Mean a Thing” from the album Satin Doll recorded by Rudy Van Gelder is as good as it gets from Shirley:

This live number from the Antibes Jazz Festival in ‘64 has “Brother” Jack McDuff leading his own group and the film shows in part the dexterity required to play any organ with its multiple keyboards. McDuff is in the Jimmy Smith mould as you will hear later.

Larry Young has featured with me before and this is from the same ‘65 album Unity. He probably gets his organ nearer to modern jazz than anyone else and this album was voted one of the best in its period. The stellar lineup with Young was Woody Shaw trumpet Joe Henderson tenor and Elvin Jones drums; to me this is the best Hammond album full stop and the about the only one I keep playing after all these years.


Jimmy Smith has to be here, such a big star for Blue Note in the sixties with those tremendous album covers they did then. He was in all ways very distinctive and very much the showman live.

The Sermon, the title track from the album of the same name is one of his big hits. In ‘64 Jimmy was a big star and for this reason there is some live footage of him in action:

Born in 1925 or 28, there is some dispute over this for reasons I have yet to fathom. He like so many when it came to putting bread on the table joined his father in a song and dance routine in clubs at the age of six, then self taught to play the piano, and at nine won a boogie-woogie contest on that instrument. In ‘48 - ‘49 he went to musical colleges, he began to play the organ then and joined some R&B bands playing piano. He never really left R&B as later in his career he went from hard bop to mainstream jazz funk and jazz fusion.

Smith's popularity dipped along with many others in the jazz fraternity in the 70s but he had a big revival starting in the eighties and toured to much popular acclaim. He then moved with his wife Lola to Arizona in 2004 where soon after she died of cancer. He was found dead of natural causes not long after in 2005 shortly after agreeing to go on tour again.

His pure jazz days (?) were in the 50s and 60s in those Blue Note years; in the 70s Smith opened a supper club in North Hollywood and here he recorded “The 1972 album Root Down, considered a seminal influence on later generations of funk and hip-hop musicians, was recorded live at the club.”

and finish with this from ‘97, Stormy Monday with Kenny Burrel on guitar:

Marmite ?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Night Music: Will Shade's Memphis Jug Band, by JD

Will Shade's Memphis Jug Band

That is a really remarkable story and in a way they were the hip-hop or rap stars of the twenties singing about the same things - drugs, cheating spouse, violence, going to jail, brutal cops etc etc

They were also way ahead of their time! Remember Lonnie Donegan and his song "Have a drink on me"? That was adapted from "Cocaine Habit Blues" which I have included here.

Also included here is "Kansas City" which was eventually recorded by just about every blues singer in the US as well as by the future luminaries of the British R&B music scene.

Will Shade helped bring a lot of artists to the mobile recording equipment that was being used by Victor records. One of them was Gus Cannon with a song called "Walk right in!" which, if you recall, was an inescapable record in the early sixties. Shade played on the record also.

It was a very interesting time in the history of American music!

Something different, I'm sure you will agree!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When old is new and new is old


An interesting post from Aeon by Nick Romeo draws parallels between Plato's ideas and modern behavioural psychology and economics.

In his essay ‘On Being Modern-Minded’ (1950), Bertrand Russell describes a particularly seductive illusion about history and intellectual progress. Because every age tends to exaggerate its uniqueness and imagine itself as a culmination of progress, continuities with previous historical periods are easily overlooked: ‘new catchwords hide from us the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors, even when they differed little from our own.’

Behavioural economics is one of the major intellectual developments of the past 50 years. The work of the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in particular is justly celebrated for identifying and analysing many of the core biases in human cognition. Russell’s insight, in fact, bears a strong resemblance to what Kahneman calls the availability bias. Because the catchwords and achievements of contemporary culture are most readily called to mind – most available – they tend to dominate our assessments. The fact that Russell’s articulation of this idea is much less familiar than Kahneman’s is itself a confirmation of Russell’s point.

Changes in language and social emphasis tend to obscure the lessons of history, so much so that even common sense has to be relearned under the endless pressure of events. If it ever is relearned of course. There are reasons to doubt that. Romeo continues -

But the richest precedent for behavioural economics is in the works of ancient Greek philosophers. Almost 2,500 years before the current vogue for behavioural economics, Plato was identifying and seeking to understand the predictable irrationalities of the human mind. He did not verify them with the techniques of modern experimental psychology, but many of his insights are remarkably similar to the descriptions of the cognitive biases found by Kahneman and Tversky. Seminal papers in behavioural economics are highly cited everywhere from business and medical schools to the social sciences and the corporate world. But the earlier explorations of the same phenomenon by Greek philosophy are rarely appreciated. Noticing this continuity is both an interesting point of intellectual history and a potentially useful resource: Plato not only identified various specific weaknesses in human cognition, he also offered powerful proposals for how to overcome these biases and improve our reasoning and behaviour.

The whole essay is well worth reading. For example, the paragraph below impinges on a particularly corrosive modern problem where we seem to be losing sight of the personal element in ethical behaviour, where we pay attention to what our minds are doing or not doing when we go with the flow.

It’s rare that contemporary discussions of cognitive biases flow directly into conversations on ethics, pleasure and pain, and the best way to live one’s life. But ancient philosophy did not compartmentalise what are now cloistered academic fields. Plato understood that susceptibility to distorted reasoning was a matter of ethics as well as psychology. This does not mean anything as simple as ‘bad people are more vulnerable to cognitive biases’. But consider his diagnosis of misanthropy and other sampling errors, which stem from ‘the too great confidence of inexperience’. In the Apology, Socrates claims to be wiser than other men only because he knows that which he does not know. When Kahneman writes that we are ‘blind to our blindness’, he is reviving the Socratic idea that wisdom consists in seeing one’s blindness: knowing what you do not know.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Music: Oliver Nelson, by Wiggia

Although Oliver Nelson had a short life and his pure jazz period - or at least his most productive - was equally short, he left a very impressive legacy to the world of jazz during that time.

Born June 4, 1932 in St. Louis, Oliver Nelson came from a musical family: His brother played saxophone with Cootie Williams in the Forties, and his sister was a singer-pianist. Nelson himself began piano studies at age six and saxophone at eleven. In the late ‘40’s he played in various territory bands and then spent 1950-51 with Louis Jordan’s big band. After two years in a Marine Corps ensemble, he returned to St. Louis to study composition and theory at both Washington and Lincoln universities.

After university he moved in ‘58 to NY and it was here he made a name for himself. After a couple of stints playing in bands he started recording in his own name, but it was the recording in ‘61 that pushed him to the top of the jazz tree with the release of on Impulse of “The Blues and the Abstract Truth”. Not only was the album a big success with its all-star line-up of Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes, Paul Chambers and Freddie Hubbard and himself (and was the only time Evans played with him) but it also had the Rudi Van Gelder studio behind it. It was a breakthrough for Nelson and he never looked back.

As an arranger who wrote, conducted and scored for numerous bands and artists he also managed to play brilliantly on alto and tenor sax. During this period to ‘67 he recorded several albums in his own name and under the umbrella of big ensembles. ‘67 saw him move to LA where he was in big demand in the film and TV business and scored wrote arranged for endless films and TV series including Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo and others, plus in the film genre Death of a Gunfighter, Zig Zag being among them and arranged for the music in Alfie and Last Tango in Paris. He also arranged and produced albums for pop stars such as Nancy Wilson, James Brown, the Temptations, and Diana Ross.

During this later period he still found time to appear with his big band and smaller groups, wrote some symphonic pieces and was very engaged in jazz education. All of this led to a very hectic lifestyle and he died suddenly in 1978 of a heart attack aged just 43. It was suggested by some at the time that stress and work load contributed to his demise; a sad loss for a very talented man and musician.

That early period was quite something as the year before Blues and the Abstract Truth album, he had recorded with Eric Dolphy “Screaming the Blues” on Prestige and that was the first of his albums I purchased. Also in ‘61 Eric Dolphy was launched as a solo artist on “Straight Ahead”, another Nelson classic.

Up until his ‘67 move to LA he recorded regularly but after the move much less so as the other side in films and TV took most of his time though a few interesting works emerged.

Here is the title track from Screaming the Blues.

Oliver Nelson: tenor and alto saxophones; Richard Williams: trumpet; Eric Dolphy: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Richard Wyands: piano; George Duvivier: bass; Roy Haynes: drums:

Stolen Moments from the Blues and the Abstract Truth album is a jazz standard and this album is one of the standout ones alongside Kind of Blue from that period. Everybody who likes modern jazz should have this.

In 1970 he was in Berlin with a big band playing this, Black Brown and Beautiful and soloing on alto, probably his most distinctive instrument.

This is from the Sound Pieces album of ‘66. The album has a variety of group set ups and is to all intents a compilation, but this track has Nelson playing soprano sax - I know JD likes this instrument ! The sound Nelson gets here is extremely pure, a sort of strained sound without that nerve-screeching that can be too much, a unique sound on this instrument and up there with Coltrane as one of the finest proponents of the soprano.


As I said earlier Eric Dolphy was launched to a wider public with this Nelson album Straight Ahead. What the album also shows is that Nelson was never afraid to use different combinations of instruments on the same track, similar in a way to Roland Kirk, Oliver Nelson (alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute); Richard Wyands (piano); George Duvivier (bass); Roy Haynes (drums), all recorded inevitably at the Rudi Van Gelder studio in 1961.

Straight Ahead, the title track:

This track is from that so fruitful early sixties period, a superb big band in which plays arranges and everything else. The track is “Message” from the album Afro / American Sketches ‘61. It is remarkable that a musician so young, only 29 when this was recorded, should have such a varied body of work already behind him; difficult to think of anyone else who had the same at that age.

And finally from his album Full Nelson ‘63, a big band ensemble containing the likes of Clark Terry, Joe Newman trumpet, Phil Woods and Al Cohn among the saxes and Jim Hall guitar, all arranged and conducted by Nelson and also playing tenor and alto.

You Love but Once:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Assange: balanced reporting, from the Daily Mail

Composition challenge

Read the first article, by "Julian Robinson" here, and complete either of the following tasks:

(a) rewrite it in the style and mindset of the "Daily Mail Reporter" who covered Aung's release here
(b) report Aung's release, with the style and mindset of "Julian Robinson"'s piece about Assange

Allegedly, "Julian Robinson" is a real person, as evidenced here, and not simply a cover for a CIA black propaganda unit.


Local Government - incompetent or simply mendacious? By Wiggia

Wiggia describes the frustrations of getting even the simplest things done, in what is supposed to be a democracy:

In line with the rubbish we are all being harangued with from the political parties pre-election, I have been doing a bit of haranguing myself with the local and now it seems the City Council.

I am not alone in this but in the beginning, before the local elections two years ago, I was a lone voice either because of voter apathy, something in a vocal sense that is more prevalent here than in countries the other side of the channel or I had been the only one to spot an announcement in the Lib Dem election leaflet that was not quite right - this is amazingly. at the moment, Lib Dem country.

As with all local election leaflets there is normally a picture of the incumbent councillor standing and pointing at various achievements he has made for the area, usually a covered bus shelter, a resurfaced woodland walk for all and similar.

But what caught my eye was the fact that a traffic calming measure was to be put in place on our road.

Our road has become a bit of a rat run during rush hour and holiday traffic times. It is nearly a mile long and the current traffic calming (put in by people with a total lack of brain) does not work; and as it is never policed, an increasing minority totally ignores it.

The road that was through what was originally a village is very narrow in parts, with some houses on the road and no pavements one side for stretches. This causes several problems whether motoring or on foot.

Back to the leaflet: what was strange about this welcome announcement was the fact that nobody knew anything about what was planned and there had been no consultation at all with the residents, plus the leaflet gave no details as to what the traffic calming would consist of.

As I am at a time in life when you have the time and inclination to want to know more about such things I emailed the local councillor who returned the favour, saying perhaps it would be better if we spoke face to face, I agreed and a pleasant lady came round and described the state of play She would not be standing here as she had moved to another ward - that word became more relevant as the story unfolded.

What she explained was that they had indeed had council meetings and that average speed cameras were the preferred solution. All well and good, I said, as long as they are sited correctly, for reasons I explained. This point was not something that had been discussed in detail but I was assured it would be. It was also revealed where the money had come for this project in these austere times: not from the council but a store project up the road that had offered money for this and another project in what can only be described as a sweetener for planning. My, and I thought only Italian councils asked for money in these situations!

Still, the money was in the bank, or rather the council’s coffers, and sort of ring-fenced for this project, we were told. I say we, as by this time some interest had stirred in the road and it was full throttle into consultations and the arrival of these cameras in that September. Things were not obviously going to plan as nothing was heard in any shape or form after that meeting and by September the cameras were a distant figment of the imagination. Undeterred I got back in the swing of things and fired off emails to my local councillor, the newly elected one, whose first reply was that she knew little or nothing about the matter. Another email reminding her it was a highlight of the leaflet that got her elected changed the tone somewhat and waffle followed.

I changed tack and went for the chief councillor or whatever they call themselves. I was by then at peak peeve and his anodyne reply got short thrift: I accused him and his party of lying to the electorate as what was said in the party leaflet was not an aspiration a la manifesto but a done deal. I copied in the local MP.

My email must have touched a nerve, as it was relayed to all and sundry at all levels and departments and received replies from all, showing how disjointed local government is, as all had different versions as to why nothing had happened, but I was assured it would! I kept all the emails for future reference and it was as well I did, as despite prodding with a sharp stick still nothing happened or was discussed.

Certain rumours emerged that did nothing to dispel that sinking feeling that all my efforts were in vain. I gave up as other events more important to me came and went; until a couple of months ago, when a manager on the highways division of the council who lives a few doors away said it was all going to happen in a few months. “False dawn, false dawn!” should have been the cry, as still not peep was heard.

Then the city council elections were held and the, you guessed it, LibDems sent out another detailed leaflet that had the usual “We did this and we have got the traffic calming going in soon” story again. Again this was worded as a done deal. At last the cry went up, and again hopes were dashed as others questioned what was going on and the same councillor who had been championing his cause pre-election backpedaled, blaming everyone else for the delay and the fact that various people in City Hall were not in favour of the scheme and the PCC was to have a meeting with the town council about it as the traffic people were in favour of putting new versions of the failed system back.

I queried both the lie that the Lib Dems had again printed and what on earth the PCC was to do with the scheme and what would he know about it anyway, having been in the job five minutes and not being vaguely local (he comes originally from Canada)! He sits on a fat salary and has been totally invisible since day one in the job. Of course in true political fashion none of my points were answered and more BS was proffered up. I have, and it’s unusual for me, lost interest to a degree.

All this has shown is that all the multi layers we have for government at all levels are way over the top as regards satisfying needs. Most could be swept away and yet they are added to with PCCs and Mayors, all with attendant offices paid for by the taxpayer. The vast majority really couldn’t run a whelk stall and like the NHS the waste has to be seen to be believed.

My only hope is the council meeting (date yet to be announced) is one I can attend to give vent to my anger and distaste for all of them who waste and lie and thieve from the public purse. If the Lib Dems were a private company you could sue for the lies they printed yet somehow it is all OK. I have seen several similar cases like this with different councils where I have lived over the years but never got directly involved.

“Angry of Tunbridge Wells” doesn’t even start to cover it.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Night Is Music Night: Herschel Bars, by JD

He wasn't just a man of science you know!

 William Herschel - Music(ian) of the spheres

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Granny farms" - A Modest Proposal, by JD

Reading Wiggia's excellent post - - he has highlighted the fact that the current system of care for the elderly is far from satisfactory. It is an important subject not least because we are all going to need looking after at some stage.

It is difficult to find how we have arrived at having approximately 11,000 care homes in the UK.. The Wiki entry is a bit vague on the origins of what is now the care home 'business' But it seems to have expanded very rapidly during the 1980s:

That boom in the number of care homes during the eighties attracted some of the more dubious 'entrpreneurs' who saw a money-making opportunity. I can say that with some confidence by retelling the tale I told Wiggia and which he refers to in his text:

About 30 years ago (or more) I knew an Englishman running a bar in Spain and he used to talk occasionally about selling up and moving back to England to invest in what he called Granny Farms: the care home business. He disappeared and when I asked where he was I was told he had done just that; gone home to open a care home. But it was the term Granny Farm that gave a clue to his thinking. There was no charitable or other noble ideal involved, it was a business opportunity. It was just at the beginning of that point in history which saw the emergence of the 'yuppies' and 'greed is good' culture so it is hardly surprising that many care homes are less than ideal.

There are maybe half a dozen care homes in my local area; I haven't been in any of them (yet!) and I don't like the idea of having to move into one. 'Death by bingo' is not my idea of a healthy retirement. From what I have heard it seems that at least two of the homes are rather unpleasant places run with that 'granny farm' mentality. One of them is run by people who seem motivated simply by profit. Another one is currently building an extension. And from the outside it looks as though they are just more poky bedsits.

There is also a care home opposite the Working Men's Club and that one would have been my choice if necessary. Maybe not now, because one of the carers there died a few years ago. I knew her reasonably well and she was good at her job and actually did care about the people she looked after. And here we come to another important factor. It all depends on the people who work in these places. If it is 'just a job' then it is not going to be a nice place to live.

That is something which is not even mentioned when politicians start devising 'solutions' to the problems of old age and care. They look at it as a financial or management problem that can be 'solved' given sufficient money. An earlier post on Broad Oak about throwing money at a problem applies also to the problems of looking after the Oldies:

After reading that post it is even more obvious that a radical solution is needed to help improve life for the elderly but radical thinking, or indeed any kind of thinking, is not a skill one finds among politicians or bureaucrats.

In fact this problem has been a long time coming in that there has been such a fragmentation in our society including the dissolution of families. Fifty or sixty years ago such a crisis was unthinkable.

From what I know this is not a crisis in other countries, certainly not in Italy or France or Spain. They still regard family as the focal point of life.

Wiggia sent me some links to how the Italians deal with things. What comes out of those links is that the family side is in trouble because of the low birth rate so the state is having to step in but in a different way to here.

The other thing that was interesting was that Italian care homes are in the centres of towns or cities rather than on the fringes. So with the Mediterranean style of living, sitting outdoors at cafe tables, there is much less chance of Oldies feeling isolated. Among other things, the weather in the UK is against us for a similar idea to work here.

Meanwhile in Spain there are some who just refuse to grow old! -

"Francisco Nunez, 112, is from Bienvenida, Badajoz, southern Spain. Nunez lives with his octogenarian daughter. He says he doesn't like the pensioners' daycare center because it's full of old people."

But what underlies the stories from Italy and Spain is that both countries still have strong family bonds and communities. That is still the case to a large extent where I live but I don't know about the rest of the country.

I propose my own radical solution which you can dismiss as silly if you wish but........

Many years ago my mother would watch people passing the window and she knew which of them were on their way to the local British Legion for their Sunday 'liquid lunch' and, at closing time, they would make the weary journey homewards. (This was in the days of restricted opening hours.) And then in the evening the same faces would again pass the window for their second visit to the Legion.

My mother would often say "The Legion should build some bedrooms for them so they can sleep it off and save all that walking back and forth!"

Now that is more than just a throwaway joke because there is a precedent of sorts. The famous and exclusive Gentlemen's Clubs in London such as the Carlton Club, the Army & Navy Club, the Royal Automobile Club and others do in fact have bedrooms for their members who may wish to stay overnight. If it is good enough for the upper echelons of society, surely it is an idea to be copied by the 'lower orders'.

There are three Clubs close to where I live: the Working Men's Club, the British Legion and the Conservative Club. All three are thriving whereas the pubs are dying on their feet like pubs up and down the country. One of the reasons is that the Clubs belong to the members and are non-profit organisations. Any profits accrue to and are spent for the benefit of the members.

It is a logical step for the Clubs, as existing 'hubs' of communal life, to follow the example of those London clubs and offer the same facilities. It is a further logical and small step to provide for the elderly members a permanent residence within their premises. And it would be another logical and small step to develop that into a combination of care home and Club.

Most of the facilities are in place already in the form of a concert room (now called grandly the 'functions room') and quieter lounges away from the bar area. Many of these clubs already provide food so it would not be too much of a stretch to expand the kitchens. And the Clubs already provide things which would be appreciated by oldies: our Conservative Club currently organises coach trips to the races, the Working Men's Club currently has dancing most nights of the week (how times change!) - that's proper dancing by the way, not the nightclub style of jiving and twisting the night away - the Legion already hosts an Over 60s club and has done for many years. I fact my granny was chairman of that club for the last 20 years of her life.

Most, if not all, of the current residents in care homes will be members of one or other of the Clubs anyway and I feel sure they would be very keen on such an idea. And there is the joke among local gossips - "Oh So-And-So, you would think he lived in the Club!"

It could become a reality.

Feel free to tell me why it wouldn't or couldn't or shouldn't work.

P.S. There is a long tradition of self-help and self-improvement in this country from the Rochdale Pioneers through the Yorkshire brass bands to Northumberland's Pitmen Painters. The problems of care of the elderly will not be solved by the 'higher busibodies' in Whitehall and Westminster, 'top down' solutions rarely work. It has to come from the people who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of any new ideas.

Some links to give an idea of how the Oldies fare elsewhere -

More NHS abuse

Having seen what happens when the healthcare and insurance rackets are given a free hand (see Paddington's overview here), I remain in favour of a system where medical treatment is free (or at least, affordable by everyone) at the point of delivery.

But there needs to be some way of getting people to treat the National Health Service  responsibly.

My dentist in the Seventies was an old hand who remembered the introduction of the NHS in 1948. At last common people could have free expert help with their dental and optical (anybody else remember the tell-tale NHS blue plastic spectacle frames?) problems.

One man came to him requiring dentures. The dentist took casts and sent them to the manufacturing lab. Then came the second appointment, to check with the patient that the plates fitted well.

The man was delighted: "These are the best of the lot!"

"What do you mean?"

The man held up a bag of "choppers", garnered from visiting every dentist in the area.

After all, it was a free service.

What rules should we have? What should be included in the offer, as of right, and what not?