For regulars here not also regulars at Norm’s place: the Prof is currently in Upsidedownland watching the cricket between Australia and England. Yesterday he linked to an article from The Australian about England bowler Monty Panesar. Reading it, this passage, er, struck me:

[T]he safest way to dive into the water is to keep your head low and your heels high.

But this is counter-intuitive. Learning divers often fail to summon up the required boldness, half pull out of the dive at the last minute and perform a horrible, painful belly flop. Boldness, then, is frequently the safe option.

The only time I have ever been in Australia I chose to end my visit with a “bold” dive into a swimming pool. Unfortunately the pool in question had, like quite a few in Oz, no deep end. The result of my keeping my head low and my heels high was horrible and painful. Immediately after it had happened I think I was too concussed to realise the extent of the damage, but I’m lucky that it was as minor as it was and that I’m not typing this from a wheelchair with a pointer attached to my head.

As I emerged from the water wearing only my swimming trunks people were pointing at me and screaming. “Nothing new there then,” I thought as I reached up to wipe away the surprisingly red fluid that was pouring out of my nostrils and down my chest.

Fortunately, some time later, when the resulting unintended rearrangement of my face was corrected by the NHS, I had no say in how I was going to look after the repairs. Indeed, the surgeon’s words to me as he elegantly traced out his plan for my new profile with a fountain pen in advance of the operation were: “Don’t worry; I’m not going to give you a Michael Jackson.”

Watching Mission: Impossible III the other day—like smashing your head against concrete that’s not a leisure activity I recommend—I wondered what Michelle Monaghan’s plastic surgeon said to her before he rearranged her face.

Michelle Monaghan demonstrates the dangers of patient choice

Sometimes it’s better to get a job done on the cheap. I’m no Tyson Beckford, but, since the op at least, no one’s pointed at me and screamed.