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'Book of Lists' on Xmas wish list?

2013-11-26 09:03


AMG OR OMG? Apparently males love to make lists. Little wonder then that a car such as the Mercedes-Benz SLS features so highly on male wish-lists. Image: DAVE FALL

Christmas isn’t so far away, in case you hadn’t noticed, so why not hint at a gift this year that’s really useful – such as Russell Ash’s Book of 1001 Lists.

According to some people – my wife included – we men are always making lists. I’m not talking about shopping types, or writing down the various pizzas that the family wants before getting on the phone to the parlour.

No, rather the really important lists that inform us to the most expensive car sold at car auction; what’s the most dangerous tool in the toolbox, that kind of thing.


Author Russell Ash’s book (published by Hamlyn) tells us about the really important stuff of life through lists, while the wife is left to make those lesser decisions… such as which school the kids ought to go to, that kind of thing.

OK, let’s start the ball rolling: the No.1 most expensive car yet sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari GTO: It sold for the princely sum of R96-million. Indeed various Ferraris account for five sales records in the top 10, closely followed by three different Mercedes models – and a couple of Bugattis thrown in for good measure.

Where’s the largest sport stadium in the world? Ah, that can be found in North Korea, Rungnado May Day Stadium, to give it its full title. Tenth spot goes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia that’s capable of holding 100 000 fans – that’ll be when they play the South Africans, then.

Are you the do-it-yourself type? Then you need to be very, very afraid because the tools most often involved in home accidents are (in descending order) knife, saw (excluding circular and straight-blade), hacksaw, hammer, scalpel, chisel, angle-grinder, electric drill and an ordinary screwdriver.


Are you perhaps pretending to be a film buff while obviously just an expert in motoring matters? Well, the most expensive film memorabilia yet auctioned was Marilyn Monroe’s beaded dress that she wore on May 19, 1962 at John F. Kennedy’s birthday party. It sold for the equivalent of more than R1-billion; James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 seen in the movie 'Goldfinger' fetched only a measly R3-million.

If you want to live for ever, it seems you are going to have to emigrate to Andorra Were’s that? It’s somewhere between Spain and France, apparently. In that country blokes live on average to 81. Further down the list I see Iceland takes joint fifth spot … that’s amazing because the island has a population of only 300 000 – but more importantly the island has 15 active volcanoes. South Africa didn’t make the top 10 for some reason, while the UK managed to hold on to 11th spot.

The chapter on “Famous people who died while performing” had me more than a little curious: Oh, I see . . . in No.1 spot was British comedian Tommy Cooper who passed away in front of the TV cameras back in 1984. Everybody thought he was just mucking about.

Steve Irwin, the ex-Australian naturalist, can be found at No.3 and Durban-born actor Sid James — often mistaken for a real Londoner — collapsed and died in a show called 'The Mating Season' in 1976.

Curious to know which is the most-rented DVD? Well, again that’s easy to namedrop because Ash obviously had lots of leisure time to research this book. 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' filled top spot, followed closely by 'Dirty Dancing'. Interestingly, 'Crocodile Dundee' comes in at four and one of my favourites, 'Forrest Gump', only managing No.7.


If money were no object – alas, one would have to win the European Lottery to pay for it, I fear – a 1904 Rolls-Royce two-seater that was sold recently for R15-million gets my vote. I was a little taken aback to actually find a car movie featured in the Top-rated X-film chapter … that would be 'Mad Max', then.

Food remains closest to my heart through all this, says my wife, Sue. So it was great to see the list of the most popular Pizza Express toppings: at the top was a Margherita (mozzarella and tomato), followed by American Pollo and Astra (chicken breast and peppers), La Reine (ham, olive and mushrooms) followed by Fiorentina (spinach and egg).

Please guys, keep buying those gaming tickets so we can continue the dream, but be extra careful when doing those really fiddly jobs around the house such as changing that tap washer – before entering the garage and polishing up the cab – your life might depend on it!

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