Richard Ord: ‘Curse you, tinkling bell!’

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ALWAYS on the lookout for a bargain, I am indebted to reader Mrs Scott for directing me to a new product on the market... the electric earwax remover.

As you can see the CE approved Suction Ear Cleaner is a discreet device for scraping out grubby ears and retailing at only £14.99 from the website (it has been approved by CE, though it not clear who or what the initials CE stand for. Church of England or Carlos Edwards … you decide).

The company is running a buy one, get one free offer at the moment … a perfect his and her’s gift set you would think.

I kept both of them for myself. I find them ideal for cleaning out both ears at once while on a long bus or Metro journeys, and it saves me having to engage in conversation with people (I tend to be given a wide berth when performing a double ear evacuation).

While £14.99 may seem a touch expensive, I have managed to offset the cost by using the collected earwax to fashion scented candles.

Admittedly the scent of an earwax candle is an acquired taste, but at £1 a pop they’re good value.

Anyone interested do drop a line, I’ve got plenty left. Only available in brown.

THERE is something very quaint about the police’s new strategy to defeat handbag thieves.

After a spate of handbag snatches and thefts in Sunderland, officers are calling on women to attach cat bells to their bags.

Fat chance of that with my wife. Unless, of course, Gucci bring out their own range of designer cat bells (you read it here first).

As an article in the Echo stated: “thieves trying to snatch a bag, will trigger the bell”. Brilliant.

You can almost see the thief now, running through the streets, the handbag bell tinkling away.

No doubt the thief will have a hooped top, black cap and mask across his eyes too. I can see him being pulled out his hiding place in a bush by a burly policeman. “Curse you, tinkling bell,” he says, shaking his fist.

I’m taking the police advice further. Instead of forking out on expensive door locks and house alarms, I am going to attach cat bells to all the items I own. As extra security I will be attaching a cow bell to my car.

I also own an antique gold cat bell handed down from generation to generation. But I’m not sure how to protect that one.

Do you have a top tip for beating crime? Send your ideas to

Or better still, Tweet me @DickyO on

If you still remember how to do it, you can also write to me at Echo House, Pennywell, Sunderland, SR4 9ER. Please address your letters to Mister Ord, in green crayon.

THE teeth-whitening experiment is entering its final phase, you’ll be pleased to hear.

For the last few days I have been sleeping with a plastic gumshield round my gnashers coated in mystery green goo injected from a syringe.

Evenings are like a scene from the 1985 horror movie Re-Animator, minus the walking dead and screaming disembodied heads (though the wife and kids can do a good impression of both).

With my teeth-colour moving from shades of smoker’s finger to Armitage Shanks white, I asked readers to come up with some advantages and disadvantages of whiter teeth. You didn’t disappoint.

Here are some of your pros and cons that came through on Twitter and beyond.

l “If there’s a power cut, you will still be able to see them in the dark.”– Danny Boyle (@danny3oyle)

l “You get to look like Ross of Friends” – Marie Gardiner (@MarieGardiner). I’m assuming that’s a disadvantage.

l “Being seen in the dark, not good if you’re committing a murder” – Matthew Briggs (@mtthwbrggs)

l “Someone mistakes you for a toilet bowl” – Ian Johnston (@ianj30)

l “You could be mistaken for an American. Bad news” – via email.

l “Reason to avoid teeth whitening. Being able to pull a toothy smile without blinding a passing cyclist” – Jamie Hurst (@JamieFDHurst.)

Others weren’t printable in a family newspaper, but thanks anyway. And please keep them coming