Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How did you find me??

I've been getting suspicious of the Referrers' List I display so proudly on my menu bar for a while now, at the moment it is adamant that in the past 24 hours 189 visitors have found their way here via JonnyB's site (where I nicked the List from), and just a dozen or so have come from elsewhere.

Much as I'd like to believe that Jonny's readers are flocking my way en masse, they've been conspicuous in their absence from my comments boxes and my email inbox, so I've been forced to adopt a more reliable method of keeping track of what you lot are up to.

For the last week I've been using sitemeter's free service, because I'm not payin' for nuffink (what? you think I'd cough up some of my hard-earned for your sake? forget it) and it's great. Lots of detailed statistics about where you're all from, when you come here, what browser you use, what screen resolution, what your bank details are, how your mother is, whether those genital warts have cleared up yet, etc.

By far the most interesting section is the referrals screen, not just because it doesn't lie to my face like the other one, but also because I get to see in detail all the interesting things people were searching for when they stumbled upon this pile-of-bullshit-organized-by-date.

I'm sure you other bloggers have enjoyed this kind of power for many a year, but it's all exciting and shiny and new to me, so I thought I'd share some them with you...
  • Lots of people, probably lazy googling journalists and/or terrorists, came here looking for more information about super hot Italian lawyer Antonietta Sonnessa, mentioned previously (in-linking, how perverse...) , only to be disappointed, serves them right for being so lazy/terroristy.
  • Under MSN search (yes, some people use it! I was as surprised as you), this site is placed quite highly when folk have been searching for 'Truth Whole Truth Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God' which is a testament to what an exceptional job they've done with revamping that search engine; even when searching for something so general, it still gets you the answers you're looking for.
  • Again, MSN search plays a blinder, as a large number of disappointed people have found when searching for 'Truth about God'. I'm right up there on the first page of results! Now, while I haven't yet posted about what the 'Truth About God' is, rest assured my e-pilgrims, I've made a mental note to knock that one out one of these days. Patience is next to Godliness, or something... <-- that wasn't it, by the way.
  • Google however, shows nothing but it's shortcomings when I am shocked to report that someone found their way here by searching it with the words 'Dozy twat', and, I think you'll agree, most certainly did not find what they were looking for. Even if it did take them more than ten minutes to work that out.
Now excuse me while I change my start page. Hmph.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lost in Lost

I haven't been posting much lately, but not without good reason. I've become a bit crazy over channel 4's latest purchase from the other side of the pond... 'Lost'. I watched the first few episodes and promptly 'acquired' the rest of the series - which may or may not mean 'illegally downloaded'.

If you're not aware of it, the premise is simple, a plane load of models and the bloke out of Lord of the Rings crashes on a desert island and they're trying to survive an' shit. - I like to think of it as a Hetty Wainthropp Investigates for the new millenium, only with fewer Murray Mints and more inexplicable Polar Bears.

I've been watching it pretty much non-stop and have now completed the series. Yes, I know I need more friends.

It's great, it really is, a ray of light in the sea of cheap reality shows about badly behaved children, bickering wives and wife beaters that is British television.

My question about it is, since when did they decide that they were on a deserted island? Nobody seems to have thought to check, they might have crashed on the 'cultured' end of Ibiza for all they know.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Google Fun!

As I've previously mentioned, the only reason I started this website was so it could act as a kind of moral-support-blog for Ed's Secret Diary of Interactions, the weblog of my good friend Ed.

Perhaps inevitably, it quickly turned into a blogging competition, who could get more comments, who could get more visitors, but mostly who would stick at it longest. And as you can see, since his last post was on July 26th, I think we can all agree that this is a rare occasion where I have won one of our little contests.

So Ed, without appearing smug, todays dinner is a microwaved can of whoop-ass served with mashed potato and gravy. - I know you love my mash.

I should be allowed to rub this one in because I don't usually win this stuff, it just so happens that I really love waffling on about inane crap.

Take this game he introduced me to a few months ago, the Google Image Search game. It's wonderful, it's the new chess, only it's more about the pawn.
In the Google Image Search game you must go to, yes you guessed it, Google and select the image search (if you couldn't work that bit out, you're not likely to turn out to be a world champion Google Image Search player, try Junior Trivial Pursuit), now, the next part is very important, you must go to 'Advanced Image Search' and change the 'SafeSearch' option to 'No Filtering'.
Once this is done, the game can begin.

The objective of the game is to enter the most seemingly innocent searchword and still return pornographic pictures high on the search results, preferably on the first page.
It's important that the word has absolutely NO CONCEIVABLE LINKS TO PORN. Otherwise you lose.
For example, the word 'Shoes' (although it doesn't return any dirty pics - damn!) is a good word because you wouldn't expect it to have anything to do with porn, however the word 'Nun' is not a good word, because although it technically has nothing to do with porn, it's bound to bring up million and one pictures of busty plastic blondies in habits. And it does.
And using words like slut, cleavage, Paris or Hilton will have you disqualified for wasting time and Google bandwidth.

I have never been able to get anywhere with this game, and he came up with a load of better ones than me before I even started, so I resided with the fact that I'd lost.
But that is until last Thursday when looking for an image to brighten up my post ranting about charity twats...

I am so impressed with it, Ladies and Gentlemen, I challenge you all to beat it. The word is:

'Clipboard' - see image result number three.

I'm not entirely sure what the picture's relevance is, but it matters not...

The gaunlet is down, lets see what you've got, readers...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Take your clipboard and shove it

Maybe it's a symptom of my closet geekiness, but I really hate having to go into the city centre; so much so that before I go I make a list of what I need (in my head - I'm secretly lazy aswell as geeky) and then I plan the shortest possible route to each shop and then home again, hopefully in a neat loop.

A good trip is one where I manage to go to each place, with my earphones in, without having to stop, talk to anyone or make any diversions to the planned route whatsoever, for this, the new self-checkouts at Tesco are a godsend. Mind you, an even better trip is one where I realise I can get what I need on the internet, and I get to spend the day in a darkened room playing Playstation, eating cereal and watching daytime TV.

So, I find it understandably irritating when walking my route from shop to shop only to be confronted with a team of spotty, clipboard carrying, dreadlocked cocky students, desperate to ease their guilty conscience for never having done a day's work but living a life of luxury courtesy of Daddy's credit card by hassling me for the details of mine.
Normally you'll find them covering a wide pedestrianised shopping street in a classic 3-2-3 formation, all grinning sickeningly, knowing without question that they are better people than everyone around them, wondering if perhaps the starving indigenous people of who-knows-where might initiate them into the tribe if they knew what they doing for them.

Their eyes lock in on me, all at once, I don't what it is about me that makes them think I am such an easy target, perhaps I look like the sort of young, naive, idealistic guy who steps out the house thinking he can change the world in one fell swoop, or at least someone who has guilt issues; but more likely it is that I definitely don't look like a dirty urine-soaked old man, swearing under my cider-breath, ready to bite the next person who speaks to me, of which there are a lot in Norfolk.

When they start closing in it's time to come up with your excuse for keeping your cards in your pocket. It's not as easy as you'd think, they've been well versed in how to deal with any excuse, and add to this an arrogant inflated sense of self-importance and they'll have you paying them to leave you alone.

It must not come to that, you need to arm yourself with excuses they're not prepared for, here are a few of my favourites:
  • A technique that worked for me for a long time was saying "I've already got ties to another charity" and this always had them stumped. They can't play the guilt angle because you're clearly a giver, and this is not one they learn in charity collector training, so they might suspect it could be true. This was great until one day one particularly smug son-of-a-bitch with a nose piercing replied: "So?", and he had me stumped.
  • A popular line to try that really sticks it to them is "I'm sorry but I don't agree with being hassled for money in the street." which is great, they never expect it, and it shows you can be cocky and self-righteous too. Most will realise that it will be a better use of their time just to move on to someone else, and it's never failed me, yet. However, I think it has the potential to lead to further discussion which I'm not prepared for, and that would inevitably lead to me reaching for my wallet.
The real problem with both of the previous two techniques is you're opening a dialogue with them, and that's playing right into their hands, these guys were hired because they love to talk, and they're very good at it.
The best methods are the ones that avoid a discussion of any kind, if you let them stop you in your tracks you've already made your first mistake, these two approaches are a little more preventative...
  • If you've got earphones in, just pretending you don't know they're there is a classic and is almost foolproof, but I have had one of them pull my earphone out of my ear, which is the daytime equivalent of slapping a sleeping person round the face. It didn't work, I didn't give him anything, but I think he could see it was taking all of my strength not to throttle him by that point
Far and away the best method requires an accomplice, Mrs Andrew in my case. Mrs Andrew and I are often targeted because they think that I will not want to appear an unfeeling unsympathetic scrooge in front of her, but that's where they're wrong. She knew from the start that I'm a tight miserable bastard and she's learned to lump it.
You and your accomplice need to be briefed in this approach:
  • When walking into a clipboard zone, immediately start having a loud, otherwise embarrassing fake argument; using choice phrases like "YOU ALWAYS DO THIS!", "YOU SICK BITCH, HE'S MY BEST FRIEND!!" and my favourite, "VIOLENCE, THAT'S YOUR SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING!!". It's a lot of fun and we're getting really good at it, I'm considering an acting career. Plus, what clipboarder in his right mind is going to step in front of us and say, "Spare a few moments for Africa?"? If it was a real argument Mrs Andrew would have him running faster than his sandals could carry him, it's more than his job's worth. I suggest you try it if you can, it's never let us down.
Oh, I know it's just charities trying to do their bit and I don't have a problem with that, I just hate being talked down to by an arrogant tosser with a goatee who treats me like someone who's standing there slapping the starving children round the face with wads of fifty pound notes while quaffing champagne and cackling, when actually I'm struggling to work out how to pay my council tax bill each month.

Oh, I feel thoroughly ashamed of myself most of the time already bandana boy, your work here is done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How to deal with a difficult situation

If one day you’re chatting to a friend or colleague and it happens to come up in conversation that they have NEVER had an all-night Bill Murray-a-thon, it’s important to deal with it in the correct and proper manner.

Yes, crying and screaming “Oh, the humanity!” is the natural response but you must remember that it is neither productive nor polite, and is better said under your breath, without the tears.

You must stop, take a deep breath and take stock of the situation, after all, it’s a big step that your friend or colleague has ventured to volunteer this information to you and it clearly says a lot about the bond that is developing between you. Kicking or yelling profanity would be bad for your friend or colleague’s self esteem and worse for your relationship with them. A plan of action must be formed.

Once you have finished slapping some sense into your friend or colleague (this is acceptable), check your diary for the next available date when a Bill Murray-a-thon could take place. It may be necessary to book time off work or cancel a forthcoming holiday to a Spanish Costa. Be sure to do this immediately as it will increase the chances of you getting your deposit back.

Approach the situation in much the same way as might go about arranging a swinger’s party in a monastery: with some caution.
It is terribly important to lay the seeds first; perhaps whispering a few choice classic Murray lines into your friend or colleague’s ear while they sleep or putting some delightful Bill Murray wallpaper on their Windows desktop or living room wall. Soon they will be asking you what all the furore is surrounding a comic actor named 'Bill Murray' that they’ve been hearing about, and probably dreaming about too.

It is at this moment that you go in for the kill, tell them that if they wish to learn, you will teach them, but they must prove to you that they are committed. You may wish to ask them to prove this to you by doing some of your long-awaited household maintenance work, such as painting your garden fence, unblocking your toilet or exterminating some of the rats, thus killing two birds with one stone. If not, the ability to dig a very deep hole will suffice.

For your Bill Murray-a-thon, I suggest taking a few choice hits from Bill Murray collection to your friend or colleague’s house, be sure to accompany the films at all times as your friend or colleague may be the sort of person that leaves their DVDs lying around outside of their protective casing, and until they understand the importance of Murray, they are likely to make the deadly mistake of doing this with your treasured collection too.

My recommended choice of movies:

  • Start with Little Shop of Horrors (1986 version, of course), although only featuring a small part by Murray, it is an excellent choice to ease your friend or colleague into what must be a very frightening new situation, and Bill’s perverted patient to Steve Martin’s psychotic dentist is pure, distilled comedy gold. Plus, a good old sing-along *in your head* to ‘Grow For Me’ will be a lot of fun for you too.
  • Next, we must move on to a starring-role Bill Murray vehicle, and for this we choose Caddyshack. Its fun, golf 'n' gopher based, comic capers should really get you both into full Murray-enjoying stride without having to think too much.
  • As you plunge into the twilight hours, what better film to watch than Ghostbusters, it's got some of Bill's best ever lines in it and the bit at the start with the ghost in the library is so scary it still makes me poop a little. (Although not, admittedly, as scary as the bit in Ghostbusters II when the translucent old lady with the pram flies up and grabs the baby, which, coupled with Ghostwatch in 1992 , had me thoroughly messed up in the head well into my teens).
  • If you are hoping for your bond with your friend or colleague to grow even more, it's time to start heading from comedic joy to romantic lovin' via Groundhog Day. In this, Murray does both. A delicious casserole of classic Bill Murray deadpan humour, heart-warming stop-start romance (feat. Andie Mcdowell) all marinated in a wonderfully surreal premise. You might call it a Supernatural Thriller, but more likely an off-beat romantic comedy.
  • Finally, round off the night with real lurrrve story - the more recent Lost in Translation. The tale of an unlikely love blossoming between Murray's embittered aging movie star and an adorable Scarlett Johannson as they struggling to cope as strangers in a foreign country. It's not about the laughs, this one... the ending made me blubb more than seeing Parky possessed.
If a night of Murray classics doesn't bring you closer and make you both grow as people, not to mention making your friend or colleague indebted to you for all eternity, I'll eat my Kingpin DVD.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Man has Needs...

I'm not an obsessive person by nature, in fact, I'm too non-chalant for my own good most of the time, but for the last year or so I've gotten myself a fixation that I can't seem to shake. A fixation with, of all things, a cereal.

I've eaten it in the past and not been all that bothered by it, I'd have it for a few boxes and move on to the next type of cereal in my eternal cereal rotation. But about a year ago I started eating it and I've not stopped since. I need it like I need air and water. I NEED Sultana Bran.

Sultana Bran's brilliance is in it's simplicity. It's just bran flakes, bran flakes with sultanas in. Not infused with glucose, no little honey jackets, it doesn't even snap crackle or pop. Just some bran flakes and some sultanas. In a box.
It doesn't have to be Kellogg's, I'm happy with the own brands, my rule on own brands is unless there's some discernable secret recipe involved, go for the own brand, and in the case of Sultana Bran, the secret ingredient is quite obvious, it's sultanas. The supermarkets seem to have picked up on this.

The sultana bran, of course, has to be prepared properly, a generous serving of the cereal in a bowl, plenty of milk, then cook in the microwave for one minute on full power (timings based on an 800 watt oven), cover with a light dusting of sweetener and serve immediately. As if it were possible to wait.

If you can manage that, it's absolute heaven. I love it so much that it helps me get up for a 6am start, simply because I'm excited that I will be eating it soon.
Before I go to sleep I think
"When I open my eyes, in what I will perceive to be less than a second, it will be Sultana Bran time." Oh, bliss.

There's a downside of course, there are occasions when I go to pick up the cereal packet and I know it's not heavy enough to contain that day's serving, and it ruins my whole day, I have to have toast. Until the next morning, when hopefully the grave situation will have been resolved, I'm grouchy, irritable, I break out in cold sweats and I can't concentrate. I just sit there, shivering.

And the terrible sense of melancholy shortly after polishing off my morning bowl, for I know that at that moment, it is the longest possible time before my next serving.

I think that's a bad sign. Very bad. I've heard smokers describe their cigarette before work in the same way. However I don't think there are any helplines or support groups for sultana bran addiction. I'll just have to get enough people addicted that they'll set one up. I'll get them while they're young, walking the streets, cold and vulnerable,
"Hey, I've got something that will warm you up! Here, have a spoonful..." and they'll be hooked.

You'll know them when you see them in the streets, standing outside supermarkets pestering people for money to feed their addiction, their chins pale with dried milk, acting suspiciously in public toilets - a side effect of the sheer quantity of fibre they consume. I'll drive by, dropping them off and picking them up as I go about my business in my convertible shaped like a sultana.

"Cereal pimps." you'll scoff.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Frank's mate Nige.

Here's something I thought was a little odd, but completely true, and not in a chain-email-you'll-die-in-a-messy-way-if-you-don't-send-this-to-twenty-people sort of way either. Real life.

A few nights ago I went to the local wine shop to buy, well, some wine. I was browsing their selection looking as always, for something Red and cheap that doesn't look cheap, which in this particular wine shop is an absolute nightmare since they don't go in for the modern trend in alcohol dispensaries to put their stock in some sort of logical order.
Not alphabetised, not sorted into regions, not even red and white. It's just laziness.

The guy behind the counter (we'll call him Frank) was chatting to another guy leaning on the counter (we'll call him Nige), they seemed to be friends and judging by their age, rebelious dress sense (well, black hoodies), the area we were in and Frank's crappy job, I'd guess that they were students.

Two student buddies having a nice leisurely chat, Nige perhaps popped in to see how Frank was doing, having to work on a Saturday night and all, thought it might break up the shift a bit, I got no beef with that, even if I did find their choice of clothing offensive.

As I pulled out red bottle after red bottle from the rack by the counter, all the time trying to look like I was putting them back not because of the price, but because of the grape or region or something, they natter away about albums by bands with names that would suggest they might shout a lot. They break their chatter as Frank serves an elderly Glenfiddich drinker, then once he has gone Nige says to Frank:

"So I was playing Table Tennis with Nick the other day...", Frank nods and adjusts the Pringles tubs stacked on the counter, perfectionist that he clearly is, "...we had a rally going and I went to hit the ping-pong back to him and when I did, I got transported to this other dimension.", said without a hint of jest, "I was in these woods and it was really cold and I could see my breath, and there was all this mist on the ground, it was morning time I think... anyway, all of a sudden Nick's hitting the ball back to me and I just carried on playing. It was weird.",
I halted my search for a moment to see how a person might reply to such a statement; Frank pauses mid-pringle-tub-alignment and frowns at Nige, who is perfectly serious, straight-faced and doesn't appear to be intoxicated to any degree,
"Huh." he says, and goes back to working on his snack display.
"Yeah." said Nige.

Now, there are a lot of ways to respond to a person recounting events like those of Nige, but I don't think a dismissive "Huh." would be high on that list, I don't care how open-minded you are. It comes some way below screaming and running, and even further below grabbing the bottle of Teachers, smashing it on the counter and holding the jagged glass remains up to his face in self-defence.

Frank may have dismissed the remark with a "Huh." but I wasn't about to, I grabbed the nearest dark-coloured bottle took it to the end of the counter furthest from where Nige was leaning, paid for my goods and made a bee-line for the exit, bottle of wine in one hand and tub of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles in the other, trying to recall one the few Tae Kwon Do lessons I attended ten years ago.

As I left their conversation continued, "Still won though." said Nige,

"Nice." said Frank.

To recap...


It seems Frank and Nige are not easily spooked, it's Nick I feel sorry for.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mind that cyclist!

Today, the British government officially certified that I can, in theory, drive safely on the road. I stress 'in theory' because it's just my theory and hazard perception tests that I have passed.
Yes, I can officially, conceivably, pass my driving test.

The theory section, I wasn't too worried about, it's all common sense, even if you don't know the answer, you can pretty much work it out, for example:

You wish to turn left into a side road but a cyclist is approaching from the left hand side, what should you do?

a) Give him a 'bumper-nudge'

b) Call him a "whiny eco-warrior twat"

c) Plant cocaine in his water bottle and alert the authorities

d) Slow down, keeping your distance and wait patiently for him to pass before turning, then cuddle some kittens and adopt an orphan.

so if you do manage to fail that part, they really should ban you from ever handling heavy machinery of any kind, and also from having children.

The hazard perception test is another story. You are shown a video clip of some driving from the driver's point of view, usually in a delightful Buckinghamshire village, and you must click the mouse whenever you see what you think might be a hazard developing.

In each clip there's one major hazard, like some arsehole in an old Jaguar pulling out in front of you - he appears to be not looking where he's going (there are a lot of these in Buckinghamshire) - that deserves a click (I did two - just for luck) and a whole load of minor hazards which are much more easy to miss, like an old woman driving mobility scooter along the pavement - the scooter may have a sophisticated computer chip in it which may become self-aware and resent it's life of servitude at the beck and call of one senile old bat, it may then attempt to despatch the old bat in front of your vehicle in a desperate bid for freedom. - That deserves a click.

In the end the computer takes all your clicks and applies to them some mysterious mathematical formula which only Stephen Hawking understands, and this gives you your score. Your score must be between 45 and 75 to pass.
If you score less than 45, you have either been facing the wrong direction and are waiting for hazards to develop in the scalp of your invigilator, or you are in fact the living dead and are waiting to eat the scalp of your invigilator. Either way, you probably aren't ready to be out on the road, and the frightened-looking invigilator will inform you of this.
If you score more than 75 you appear to be psychic, and the computer will automatically alert the necessary authorities who will escort you to a top secret government research laboratory, make you guess at playing cards and take swabs from your anus.

Coming from someone who has passed it, if any of you will be taking the hazard perception any time soon, take my advice:
We both know you won't spot that indicating pizza boy 3 miles down the road until you're picking pepperoni from your engine grill, so the best hope you have is to hit that mouse button like you're going for gold on Daley Thompson's Decathlon.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Little Mug Adventure

Yesterday Mrs. Andrew charged me with the difficult task of going into town to buy some new mugs to replenish our ailing collection. - Unsupervised! A simple task, you might think, but having never gone on a 'mug run' before, I was suitably terrified and failed to think of a single shop where I might buy an appropriate set of mugs - and by appropriate I mean not inscribed with the name of a band, film, computer game or novelty map of Norfolk.

After several short and productive hours of wandering round, eliminating HMV, Virgin Megastores, Game and the Hifi section of Dixons as potential stockists, I hit upon the answer - the department stores!

With some trepidation, I made my way through the nearest, Jarrolds, which as far as I can tell, is pan-dimensional. It has no end. Finding a mug in that place is like hunting the Blair Witch; similar-looking-department after similar-looking-department, if you were going round in circles, you wouldn't know it. You soon become aware that it's not really you in control at all and the feeling that something terrible is about to happen follows you everywhere. It just grows and grows... until it happens!
GRANNIES BUYING LINGERIE!!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGH!!!! I ran and ran, I don't know how long I'd been running, it could've minutes, hours, even days. I stopped for breath and found myself standing in front exactly what I needed; no, not the terrified pensioner pleadingly offering me her purse; it was the mug

I started looking through, most were hideously floral, designed to go with a Scottish terrier in a
tartan body warmer and those that were mildly agreeable I could envisage Mrs. Andrew telling me off for buying because they didn’t go with the kettle. All very stressful.
What’s worse is I couldn’t find one that cost less than five pounds. I don’t care how long I’d been in there, I'm not paying a fiver for a sodding mug, I'd sooner drink scolding hot tea from my cupped palms.

Debenhams and John Lewis followed to no avail, by the time I got to Marks and Spencer my patience and
optimism were waining, but fortunately I was, by then, a mug-hunting pro. Straight to the store directory, homewares – basement, straight down the stairs, deftly avoiding the leak-absorbent lingerie department.

My militant focus and efficiency and, who knows, possibly my age, caught the attention of a 70 year old shop assistant, suspicious of my activities. She followed me down to homewares.

When I was a student and I had long hair and scruffy attire, I accepted that I looked not unlike a bespeckled Fagin without the singing voice and I would probably have followed me round Morrisons too.
But these days, with my ill-chosen Next wardrobe, side-parted short hair and Pret a Manger coffee cup in hand, it’s a yuppie Richie Cunningham I see when I brush my teeth in the morning. Certainly not the sort of young nerd you’d expect to be lightening his fingers in M&S.
Doris (or possibly Enid) thought differently. As I perused the mug selection, she kept doing the old “I’m adjusting the position of items on the shelves near you, so please leave you dirty crook.” to which I’d become so accustomed years before. Very intimidating.

It’s no wonder Marks and Spencer are struggling, here they are, the latest craze sweeping their ever-faithful customer base – death – costing them dearly, you’d think the 20-35 year old young professional demographic would be just the sort of people they’d want to attract, but no, as far as they’re concerned, the young folk of today have no respect and are out to pocket whatever they can. If they come here, stare at them until they explode.

The worst thing is, I had to buy some mugs then, because otherwise Doris would assume that I was in fact a filthy shoplifter and she’d foiled my plot, perpetuating the stereotype that all people who look like characters from Happy Days are criminals.

Fortunately I found some plain ones for a pound each that Mrs. Andrew couldn’t tell me off for buying because they are plain, and thus inoffensive.

Ha! That showed the both of them.

I win.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Helloooooooooo justice...

It was all going wrong for aforementioned crap-terrorist Osman Hussain (AKA Hamdi Isaac or Mickey Mouse or whatever he's calling himself today), his dreams of reaching paradise by way of a huge, terrifying explosion that would bring Shepherd's Bush and the western world to a horrified standstill turned out to be little more than a poor embarrasing indoor fireworks display in a rucksack.
Then, he went on the run, and in spite of being lucky enough to evade recognition by the public and by the border patrols, he didn't think to get a new sim card for his phone, so the police followed him at the click of a mouse all the way down to Italy.
He got caught shacked up with his brother in Rome, probably in his pants like the others, and they wanted nothing more to send him back to his angry intended victims where they would slatheringly decide whether he was guilty or not. And all told, his behaviour had been nothing if not suspicious.

It's no surprise that, demoralised and clearly not in paradise, he didn't even bother to appoint a lawyer to fight his extradition, and the Italian legal system was forced to appoint one for him.

But that's where his luck turned around because he was appointed none other than the ultra-sexy legal mind of one Antonietta Sonnessa! She must be just about the hottest Italian lawyer I've ever seen. Who said Osman hadn't reached paradise?
The Sunday Telegraph were quick to take advantage of this by making sure her attention-grabbing picture was plastered across half of their front page along with the significantly less attention-grabbing headline "Suspect's lawyer in court.". I bet they shifted a few more copies that day, and without compromising their broadsheet-values.

It's almost as if the crap terrorist has stumbled into an Italian CSI-style legal drama featuring Antonietta, the sexy but naive rookie who aced her way through school and university but, as the rest of the team know, she still has the real lessons to learn, the sort of lessons you can only learn out there on the street.
This might be her toughest assignment yet, a psychotic, fanatical attempted mass murderer to defend, the sort of scum she got into the legal profession to put away, but as her middle-class-
white-male-mid-forties-but-still-slim-and-not-unattractive boss will tell her:
"Sometimes in the legal game you've got to make tough choices, and do things that on the outside, you wouldn't even contemplate doing. You could be representing Mussolini himself, but you've got to do your best, because even Mussolini deserves a fair trial. Ciao."
And, even though it goes against all of her moral principles, and sickens her to her stomach, she goes on to mount the best legal defence she can (
in the circumstances).
She turns to that judge with all the demure and professionalism of any case that she worked on before,
takes a deep breath, looks him in the eye and says

"Don't extradite him, and I'll flash you."

I don't think any of us could fail to be moved be her staunched commitment to the Italian legal process.