We can all relax now. The Queen's Birthday Honours List is out, and despite the recent political upheavals and an almost American-style (horrors) election, England is still England. Maybe even more so.
I'm sure that we're all relieved to know that Catherine Zeta-Jones can now write "CBE" after her name and that Graham Nash, after years of labouring in obscurity, has finally gotten his name in the papers. But the real awards, the ones that reassure us that some things are truly permanent, come a bit farther down the list.
Women with sore feet everywhere, and perhaps most especially the cast of "Sex and the City," are rejoicing in the long-overdue recognition of Tamara Mellon, who employed her ex-husband's Mellon millions to turn the work of an East End cobbler named Jimmy Choo into the highest of high heels. Mr. Choo himself was not honoured, but that's what PR firms are for.
The two honours that most delighted me were one to Susan Gibbs, a public-address announcer at the Fenchurch Street Railway Station who was singled out for . . . for . . . for never announcing the wrong train? For getting the platforms right? For knowing what time it was? And, of course, to statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, devisers of the aptly named Duckworth-Lewis Method for -- let me make sure I'm reading this right -- for calculating scores in cricket matches interrupted by rain. In other words, they came up with a mathematical model for calculating, um, scores in cricket matches interrupted by rain. Wow. There are no other words.
Unfathomably left off the List yet again was Edwin Upbridge-Welles, the creator of the Q-Free Modular U Generator, which allows the creation of infinite "u"s without having to use up a relatively scarce "q" each time, thereby allowing the Brits to continue such extravagant spellings as honour and favour. I am personally refusing to attend any honours presentations at the Palace until Upbridge-Welles is a CBE at the least. Or maybe they could give him another hyphen. Something, anyway.