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British Expat Newsletter:
29 July 2003

Hello again, and welcome to those who’ve just signed up. Here’s what’s been happening.

This week

Bob Hope RIP

Bob Hope, comedian, film star, king of the one-liner, entertainer of troops and presidents, and one of the world’s real funny men, died this week just two months after turning 100. Originally born Leslie Hope in Eltham in darkest suburban London, he left the UK aged four in 1907 (“when I found out I couldn’t be King,” he later joked) and became a US citizen when his father became naturalised in 1920. He is survived by Dolores, his wife of almost 70 years, and their four adopted children.

Such a long marriage is a great achievement in anyone’s books and particularly so these days. Coincidentally, the wife in the world’s longest marriage on record – Liu Yang-wan, aged 103 – died on 21 July. She’d been married to Liu Yung-Yang since 1917 – 85 years and 7 months.

But is modern society really all that different? Apparently in some ways it is. The US and UK appear to be particularly prone to divorce, with over 40% of marriages in both the US and the UK ending in the courts rather than the death of a spouse. But even that was surpassed recently when an Islamic court in Malaysia held that a text message from a husband to his wife’s mobile phone was a valid way to serve a divorce on her. Based on Muslim custom (a person may divorce their spouse by repeating the Arabic word “Talaq”, or “I divorce thee”, three times) the court decided that the ultimatum in the husband’s message – “If you don’t leave your parents’ home, I will divorce you” was sufficient notice.

If you think that’s bizarre, have a look at the article below. Simon Jeffery of the Guardian reviews some of the strangest – and cruellest – ways to get shot of that special someone. read on: Guardian story

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotations & Jokes

We usually have a joke and a quote at the end of the update. Instead, this week here are some classic Bob Hope lines.
(Thanks to Squiffy again for providing them.)

“I consider myself very fortunate. I owe everything to my family and my make-up man. My wonderful family keeps me going and my wonderful make-up man keeps me from looking like I already went.”

“Where else but in America could the Women’s Liberation Movement take off their bras, then go on TV to complain about their lack of support?” (1970)

“I have it on good authority that [Senator Joseph] McCarthy is going to disclose the names of 2 million communists. He has just got his hands on the Moscow telephone directory.” (1954)

“I guess I have my critics everywhere.” (In Saigon where a bomb blast went off at his hotel just before checking in.)

In a 1947 radio sketch with Dorothy Lamour: Lamour: “I’ll meet you in front of the pawn shop.”
Hope: “Okay Dottie, and then you can kiss me under the balls.”

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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