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Open to misinterpretation

From Hansard:

"the department uses Zanzibar to handle stationery, IT consumables and temporary agency staff".

Sounds like some fairly bleeding edge outsourcing, does it not? Turns out that Zanzibar, in this context, is not an island off the coast of Tanganyika, but an eProcurement service.

Doubtless someone thought the name was pretty, and did little further digging. Wiki suggests that the name means 'Coast of the Blacks'.

However, it gets better. Our shortest war was fought with Zanzibar in 1896 and lasted all of 45 minutes. If memory serves, we billed them for the bullets.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:24 am

Pointless Fact Of The NanoSecond...

The ex-Sultan of Zanzibar used to live a few doors down from me in a nondescript Victorian-era house in Southsea.

Two other pointless facts...the war was 38 mins long and Freddie Mercury was born there, but the more important info is that the St John's College Debating Society wanted him to become its Hon Pres simply on the basis of having a cool-sounding ex-title.

It didn't happen.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:35 am

I think you should be dining out on that one Geoff. One of my mates continues to bathe in the glory of his father having shook the hand of (clears throat) the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Lord of Lords, King of Kings of Ethiopia and Elect of God, Haile Selassie.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:44 am

I don't tell that story much because there is a rather embarrassing punchline which I omitted.

The then-Chairman of the Debating Society who was given the task of organising this by his Committee was .... well, I'll give you one guess.

'nuff said, squire. Move along, nothing to see 'ere.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:23 am

I'm sure you gave it your best shot.  

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