The column whose terms apply but not its conditions


READER: Curling’s coming home!
MYSELF: I assume you’re referring to plucky little Team UK’s sweeping performance in the Winter Olympics.
READER: Yes! Have you been watching it?
MYSELF: Unfortunately, not. Normally I would, but there was some drying paint I had to keep an eye on for a friend.
READER: Don't worry, the good news is you can still watch it on iPlayer!
MYSELF: That is good news, thanks for the tip. I may have a window next Thursday when I could...

READER: Excellent! You’re going to absolutely adore it. Snowballing, Sledging, Downhill Speed-Dating…

MYSELF: Downhill what?

READER: Don’t worry, the rules are irrelevant. Wait until you see the Curling though. Amazing sport. An absolute revelation. How would one even begin to describe it?

MYSELF: Curling. Let me see… members of the local bowls club performing an ice-ballet assisted by some enthusiastic school caretakers?

READER: Exquisite. I couldn't have put it more eloquenter myself.


New series


No.1 The Silence of the Lamb

Saturday 4-27am:
By the time Inspector Dick’s car arrived at the Shashliki, an upmarket Turkish joint in the smart area of town, it was surrounded by scene-of-crime tape and lit by the harsh glare of unflattering spotlights. Vital clues had been gathered by detectives and the evidence was already beginning to mount.
The previous night, Karl Glock, wealthy owner of nearby Glock’s Launderama had left his fiancée Diana Schtumm waiting in the car whilst he called in to the Shashliki to pick up some Lamb Kofta for supper. Security cameras confirmed that he had entered the front door at 6-15pm, but never came out. Diana waited patiently, but when the restaurant closed at 1-30am and Karl had still not shown up, his fiancée began to lose hope. She decided to drive home with Lars Vøndervønder, a Norwegian submarine engineer who just happened to be passing by, promising him she would call off her engagement to Karl in the morning. At 3am she reported Karl’s disappearance to the police.

Whilst Inspector Dick’s trained eye surveyed the area, Raoul Pirez, detective in charge of the case filled him in with some detail. Pirez told him he suspected Mr. Glock was now dead, murdered, and that all the evidence pointed to a connection with Kebab Krazy, a rival Turkish outfit across town. Six men in black suits, carrying an assortment of weapons, had been seen leaving there at 6-20pm and eyewitnesses saw them running into Shashliki 10 minutes after Karl had entered. Shortly afterwards, neighbours said they heard gunshots and screams. CCTV footage revealed the men driving at speed out of the Shashliki’s back gates at 6-35pm in a stretch hearse with darkened windows.

Inspector Dick said nothing. Pushing open the Shashliki’s plush swing doors, he briefly surveyed the deserted dining room, then made a bee-line for the kitchen.

Fifteen minutes later he emerged and looking detective Pirez directly in the eye told him; “You must issue a warrant for the arrest of Dur Tea-Li, the Shashliki’s Chinese laundry supervisor, on suspicion of the first degree murder of Karl Glock.”

The announcement drew gasps from the assembled cops.

“It was Tea-Li who carried out the premeditated crime and this is why: he was not only jealous of Glock’s success in the laundromat business but had also become convinced that he was stealing his mail-order dry cleaning ideas. Here’s what happened next; Tea-Li, a trained pork butcher, lured Glock into the kitchen on the pretext of discussing starching. There, after bludgeoning him to death with a steam iron, he expertly dismembered his body and had the kitchen staff serve it up as doner kebab. It was a busy Friday night. No-one noticed. It was only a matter of hours before the corpse was disposed of without a trace”.

Pirez smiled and shook his head. “How in hell did you figure it all out boss”?

“It was staring you in the face the whole time,” replied Inspector Dick, “The fiancée and the submarine guy were in cahoots with the Chinaman. Together they planned to take over the business once Karl Glock was declared dead.”

“OK, but what about the Kebab Krazy connection?” asked Pirez, puzzled.
Dick climbed into his car, gunned the engine and wound down the window. “A red herring. The six men from Kebab Krazy are entirely innocent,” explained the inspector, “They were operating an illegal undertaker’s business from a spare bedroom in the back of the Shashlik and they were in a hurry because they were late for a funeral. The reason they were armed was because they were officiating at the cremation of a gangland crime boss who had insisted on fancy-dress.”

The detective clicked his tongue in silent admiration as Inspector Dick’s ‘57 Cadillac El Dorado roared off into the night. Pirez turned to his fellow officers: “I guess we’ve all learned something today,” he said humbly.


Custody (n) the warm feeling experienced by the victim of a trifle-thrower.


Selfie enthusiasts queued for hours to get tickets for the opening of the new Brahma-Dahza Exhibitionist Yoga Ashram in Herstmonceaux’s Wellfulness Centre. Those lucky enough to attend were offered a month’s trial membership, which included free sessions with the tantric mirror and during group exercises in the brightly lit, glass-fronted Narcissus room, the use of a professional body double. Exhibitionist Yoga is thought to promote empathy-cleansing, social detachment and elitism, as well as encouraging ego nourishment and self-satisfaction. Membership applications are now closed.


READER: Shame. That sounds right up my street.

MYSELF: Yes it does. Have you tried the Ku Klux Klan?

READER:  Is that similar?

MYSELF:  Broadly.





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