Americans! Still coming to terms with rich white men in suits using cutting edge touch-screen technology to steal your election? Sick to death of the fact that there is no audit trail for many of the votes that got Chimpy back in the White House? Dismayed that the Nationalist Socialist White Peoples' Party managed to get more votes in some districts than there are registered voters?
Then perhaps you might like to learn how it's done properly, and you will be amazed to learn that you don't actually have to say which party you intend to vote for when you register . That's. Just. Stupid.
Funnily enough, registering to vote is more-or-less compulsory over here, as the electoral roll is used for other purposes other than voting. Tax-raising, for example, and we all know what you Americans think of actually having to pay to run your country. It must be a novel idea, actually encouraging people to register to vote, rather than thinking of news ways of disqualifying them.
You know, in the stone age United Kingdom, we still vote by turning up at some damp church hall and draw a cross on a piece of paper with a pencil. The pencil is tied to the voting booth with a piece of hairy string so you can't steal it, which is about as deep as voter fraud gets around here.
Then, when the polls close, people sit at a long line of tables and count the votes by hand in front of auditors.
Funnily enough, this primitive system seems to work.
We may have shonky teeth and sip tea, but we laugh at your voting machines.
And if this is the kind of person
who gets to elect your president, we might as well just pack up and go home right now. He forgot to write "I am not mad" at the end.
My advice to you, if you really are guided by lights is this: let people shag around, enjoy the gayness and marry their dogs. If you were a real Christian instead of some sheep dragged along by a convincing facsimile, you'd keep your trap shut and forgive them
The Diary of RSM Albert O'Balsam, DSC and Bar
Having just emerged from up some mountain where he claims to have been fighting some unnamed foe, this last bastion of the British Empire, Regimental Sergeant Major to Her Majesty's 13th Goat Brigade Albert O'Balsam DSC and Bar, is now able to reveal his unique experiences of great savagery, his conversion to an obscure branch of Christianity, the secrets of the "Craft" and nubile Swedish former virgins via these very pages. We are, indeed, not worthy:
"I arrive here, exhausted, after a long trek over the mountains of the Hindu Kush and the north-west face of Konnie Huq. Through ice, snow and gale have I travelled merely because the bus services up there insist on a concept these foreign johnnies refer to as 'exact fare only please'.
It has taken me thirty-seven years to cover a mere three hundred yards, thanks, mainly to the virgins who have thrown their nubile young bodies at me in order to attain salvation in the eyes of the Lord. Salvation, that can only be achieved through what what we, the initiates to the secret ways of the "Craft" refer to as 'The Sacred Ceremony of Three-Up.'
I gather other, less enlightened branches of the church, know this most saintly of practices as 'a damn good spit-roasting', and it is lucky that I pilfered the One, True Strap-on of Thimppu from the body of a recently expired, and extremely happy Man of God, what with me being the only male in those remote mountain parts.
Some may say that I have dallied on my trek, enjoying the company of sixteen and seventeen year old Swedish ladies in expensive lingerie, but nothing can be further from the truth. It has been Hell, HELL, I tell you, and I arrive a man broken in both spirit and body.
And now we turn to today's scripture from the Book of Razzle, chapter XXVII, verses 1 to 69: 'Dear Fiesta, you won't believe the most amazing thing that happened to me the other day...'"
"Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I am amongst friends at last. Pull up a chair and we can discuss our adventures over a forty year old Glenhoddle I have stashed in me bedroll.
I am reminded of that unfortunate business with the flamethrower in the Mimh-Si wharf Maison d'amitee
, that I am now able to tell you about on account of the statue of limitations. And what a night that was, thanking the good Lord that Mme LaBelle and Madame Hung-Lo were still able to pose for the camera desite their rather singed appearance.
I do indeed still posses said Modern Art photographs, though they are somewhat "foxed" - and some would also say "badgered" and "ottered" - thanks to their frequent public display by way of raising funds on my trek.
You will be pleased to hear, old man, that my collection has somewhat grown, thanks to the patient recording of every Scandinavian nubile that has crossed my path, the words of St Bidulph the Perverted ("Drop 'em darlin' I'm gonna make you a star") having the desired effect every time.
My mind has been at rest over the Mimh-Si brouhaha for some time, for which I have certain photographs of Madame "Crusher" Hung-Lo with the minister of justice to thank. Not only have these images saved my bacon, but they have filled my loins with warmth on many a cold Himalayan night in times when there haven't been two Nordic beauties to rub together."
"As fer your questions, memsahib, I'm afraid there is no truth in the rumour that I was involved in that unfortunate affair with the Nepalese mountain goat and the Crown Prince of Jutland. I am afraid you may have me confused with the other RSM Sergeant Albert O'Balsam DSC and Bar who has also served under the command of Colonel Greebling.
You'll be amazed how many times this has happened. Twice, in fact.
It is, however, fairly easy to tell us apart. I am in possession of a full set of limbs, and as far as I know the other O'Balsam has no grasp of the Welsh language. And neither have I, come to mention it. "
"To answer any doubts that I may be "saved", I feel it is my duty to tell you all that my salvation came at the hands of one of the finest men this church has ever produced.
I remember it well - I was woken from my slumber to the brightest of lights. It was then I realised that I'd left the light on in the lav, but standing there, heaven sent, was the man himself, my saviour Roger de Courcey.
I shall never forget those words he said unto me that night, as angels danced around my head: "Nookie noookie nookie!", which I saw to be the most potent sign.
And I'd hardly touched a drop that night.
I have dedicated my life to educating young ladies in the work of my master, leaving me the broken wreck that I am today. I trust I can find succour in your arms. No tongues, mind."
With thanks to Col Horace Streeb Greebling, DSO (no relation)
On Anti-Semitism - A Scaryduck murder mystery
Heard it again. Middle-aged woman on the train, silver hair, silver crucifix.
"Why's that then?"
Christ on a bike - talk about holding a grudge. Now, your author is at least 12% Jewish (or to you, eleven), and can trace at least one Cockney Rabbi in his ancestry (it's like Steve Harley's Cockney Rebel, except on Saturdays). I'm not a huge fan of the current Israeli state by any means, and that's one issue I can witter on about for pages before eventually coming to blows, accused of being a PLO-apologist. And that was with my wife. Another issue entirely.
So... this Jesus bloke whose death I'm at least 12% involved in. My kind of Messiah, and I should know having followed a few in my time. Let's put the whole thing into context. Here he is, turning up in Jerusalem, just before Passover with a cheering crowd following his triumphant tour of Canaan and Galilee. He preaches a popular message of peace and brotherly love in times of military occupation and has a reputation for handing out free booze at wedding parties.
If I was the local military governor, I'd be a bit nervous in case this guy started mouthing off and starting some sort of uprising that wouldn't look too good back in Rome. But as long as he's preaching peace, blessing cheesemakers and not breaking any actual laws by joining up with the Campaign for Free Galilee, everything's fine and dandy. In the name of Bacchus, he's even handing out free booze at weddings... wash your hands of this man, he's no threat to the Empire.
Now, for you local clergy, it's a completely different barrel of fish. They've got this handy little racket going, a hugely impressive temple, as much power as Pilate will let them have and regular stonings to keep the congregation happy. Then this guy turns up on the back of a donkey, tells you that you're doing it all wrong and disrupts your nice little earner with the money-lenders, saying it's "upsetting his dad." Alarm bells are probably ringing at this point.
Then to cap it all, he's going round telling people that he's the Son of God, for Jehovah's sake; and if you think about it long enough, he says that He is the physical embodiment of our Lord. He hangs around with fishermen, prostitutes, ex-lepers and even Samaritans. Who does he think he is?
Nail him up, that'll learn him.
Remember the humilation heaped on David Icke when he outed himself as the Son of God? Not too long ago, he would have been sharing a stake with Joan of Arc, and she'd only been hearing voices. Good thing we live in a more tolerant society where nutters are ten-a-penny, eh?
OK, so Mel Gibson says the Jews had Jesus nailed up for upsetting their apple cart, but that a simplistic view that's endured for two thousand years simply because it's easy to blame someone else for you troubles. Someone had to take the rap, and the Jewish people have taken it - all of them - ever since. And on the whole, most have got a pretty strong alibi.
Sloth, envy, greed and the other four sins I can remember right now - they're the culprits. Lust - for power - that's another - embodied in those hapless priests in Jerusalem. It's symbolic for Christ's sake - "Forgive them, for they know not what they do", spoken of those who comdemned him and those who did the actual hard crucifying work on the ground. Ask Salman Rushdie - you can't help it if stupid people take your work at face value. All this time and the Jewish people are still taking the rap for a bit of shonky copy-editing.
Look, for the next edition, God may wish to consider an explanatory yet amusing foot-note in the style of Terry Pratchett; or introduce a comedy canine sidekick disciple who we can waste little time in blaming for our own shortcomings.
"And Jesus, in his Passion, did look down from the cross and sayeth 'Although you have sinned greatly against me and my Father, I forgive your trespass."
And Scrappy doth fall to his knees in thanks and exclaimeth "P-p-p-p-puppy Power!"
That'll do it. First class ticket to Hell please, change at Portsmouth.