Today I received an e-mail from an EU official (somebody I do not know) with the subject heading ‘permission to poke fun at you, sir?’. The e-mail went as follows: ‘I have been asked to contribute to a not-as-yet online satirical magazine and attached you will find one of the posts I have prepared. The project aims to provide light relief to those who occasionally find the Brussels bubble claustrophobic, while steering clear of anything scurrilous or nasty. In keeping with this ethos, I wanted to solicit your approval before publication of this item that concerns you directly. Hoping it appeals to your sense of humour – at least it gives a plug to your blog!’ Now, in my book you don’t need to ask somebody’s permission to poke fun at them, especially if you don’t know them, but let’s leave that to one side. The gist of the draft item in question is that I was hospitalised for shock because a Google search had given more than ten hits for the EESC. I had previously given up hope after several hundred blog postings ‘in a desperate attempt to drum up interest in the little known and consistently overlooked advisory body.’ Très drôle. Don’t worry, this is not a sense of humour failure but I would like to make something clear. This is my blog. I pay for it and maintain it. I decided to keep it as a way of providing illustrations as to what an EU institution and a Secretary General do. I wanted to humanise the EESC and the role of SG (and I am proud to point out that I am the only SG who keeps a blog). But, as readers of this blog know, I also write about a lot of other things. If you want to know about the EESC, you have to go to its website here. In due course, I’ll provide a link for the satirical website when it’s up and running. After all, one good plug deserves another. And here (posted 12 April) is the site of ‘the Brussels Jungle’ as promised.