I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Eric.
Yes, I do know that Eric is a donkey. In fact he’s a Greek donkey. And it’s not his real name, but he looked like an Eric to me and the name kinda stuck.
Eric lives in a field behind the apartment we rented in Ithaca. He’s very friendly and he gets upset if you don’t talk to him. A bit like Mrs D except she lives in a house…
Anyway, the point of this is that there is a donkey crisis in Greece. Apparently, there is a shortage. Partly this is due to the number of brides demanding that they ride to church on a donkey just like the girl in Mammi Mia. Honestly.
The other side to the problem is that Greek donkey milk is highly prized. Remember, Cleopatra used to bathe in it. Its milk has been used since antiquity as a cure of ailments, a substitute for breast milk and as an anti-ageing skin salve.
So the Greek government has hatched a plan. For every donkey you keep, they will pay you €10,000 a year. That’s a lot of carrots in any currency. So Eric’s owners get a big fat fee for him to stand in his field and beg off the passers by.
As benefits go, even Gordon never thought of this one…