According to Mae West, 'Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.'
But is anyone easily shocked in these times when attempts to provoke a reaction happen daily. I've had a week of testing my personal shock threshold. The verdict? What's intended to shock rarely does, it's the unexpected by-product that can startle.
Take The Vagina Monologues at the New Theatre. Was I fazed by 90 minutes of nether regions anecdotes? Of course not. The real surprise came when a glance at the few brave men in the audience revealed Rhodri Morgan was among their number.
You don't expect to see the First Minister at a show devoted to humorous discussion of lady bits. But rest assured he was accompanying his wife. And we all agreed that such a liberal-minded choice of a Saturday night out for a male Labour politician was something of a vote-winner.
Moving from sexual to religious taboos, or indeed mixing the two, Madonna is at it again, suspending herself from a disco cross in her gym kit. Blasphemy in pop concerts is so last century. In fact, the queen of reinvention seems to have forgotten she's rehashing her own material - she kissed a black Jesus in the video for Like A Prayer.
When is Madge going to get over her Catholic upbringing? She could have channelled it far more productively by penning a few series of Father Ted. It's obviously left her with a few hang-ups - quite literally given the latest pose. But it fails to shock. It's just a bit embarrassing for a 47-year-old mum-of-two who spends the rest of her time in tweed falling off horses.
Unintentional humour has also negated the potential religious upset of The Da Vinci Code. Put down your placards, protesters, and ponder the fact that the most shocking aspect of this film is the state of Tom Hanks's mullet. Then there's the preposterous dialogue between Hanks and co-star Audrey Tatou, which resembles a slightly more intense version of the 'Papa? Nicole?' Renault Clio ads.
Paul Bettany's psychopathic albino monk may do a disturbing line in self-flagellation but his habit of talking in Latin on the flashest mobile phone you've ever seen detracts somewhat from his Medieval masochism. Is it on charge while he's whipping himself into a frenzy in his candlelit cell? And by the time Hanks utters the truly hilarious line 'I need to get to a library - fast' during the climactic chase, the Da Vinci controversy is well and truly decoded.
It was left to a 55-year-old nurse from Llandyfriog to provide the final debacle of the week with the full frontal sunbathing that landed Lynett Burgess in court. But the really disturbing aspect of this case was that her complaining neighbour took the trouble to video her at it. That is far weirder behaviour than naturism in the garden. Even Mae West would have been shocked.
Who's the Princess of Hay?
Booking tickets for the Hay Festival this year has proved an appropriately refined experience.
It is, after all, the event that transplants some of the world's poshest linen-clad literati to a field on the Welsh border.
As I filled in the online form to purchase tickets for thinking woman's totty Sebastian Faulkes and Joan Bakewell talking to Sheila Hancock about John Thaw, there was a surprise in the tick boxes.
In the name and address section, the drop-down menu to choose your preferred title included Mr, Miss, Ms, Prof, Dr, Lord, Lady and... Princess.
Princess? Eh? While a few of us could claim to be Mammy's Little Princess, it's not the sort of title you usually come across when typing in your debit card number.
Further perusal of the Hay Festival brochure revealed why this right royal prefix may be included this year.
Princess Michael of Kent is plugging her tome Cupid and the King - an account of royal bits on the side from 'the elegant Madame de Pompadour to the outrageous Lola Montez' - on Friday, June 2.
But surely old Pushy, queen of grace and favour freebies, won't be buying her own tickets?
Will Leah knock out our Glyn?
Having survived the first eviction vote, 18-year-old Glyn - the self-proclaimed Sexiest Lifeguard in North Wales - has begun to thrive in the Big Brother house.
He's also survived the removal of his hair, his suitcase and the attempted removal of his first language.
Just as BB was in danger of standing for Blue Books, Channel 4 backed down on banning Glyn and his Welsh housemate Imogen from conversing in their native tongue. 'It's not English, and could be considered to be talking in code,' the teenager was told. Given that Glyn's from Blaenau Festiniog and Imogen's from Llanelli, they would have to break each other's codes first.
After furious protests from the Welsh Language Society, Big Brother relented on its outrageous ban.
So Glyn had won his first patriotic battle. There was another to be fought. While other housemates whined that suitcase deprivation left them minus their favourite pink hoodie, Glyn demanded his wardrobe back for the good of Wales.
'I want my suitcase because I've got all my Welsh clothes in it,' he said. 'That's why I wanted to come in here - to promote Wales and the Welsh language.' Sure enough, the first returned T-shirt proclaimed 'Cymru'.
But there is a more insidious threat to Glyn's one-man Wales promotion campaign in Leah from Nottingham.
The 'model', who claims to have the largest breast implants in the UK, inflicted a lap dance on the poor boy. He was in lad mag heaven. 'It was brilliant, like a dream,' he chortled.
But Glyn, your country needs you. You're not going to be able to breathe, let alone speak Welsh, if you're smothered by that terrifying pair of silicone zeppelins.