Monday, September 28, 2009

A Reply from the Inland Revenue

I stumbled across the email below. It is surely a fake, but fab writing:

Dear Mr A***

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise.

I will address them, as ever, in order. Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a “begging letter”. It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a “tax demand”. This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the “endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat” has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from “pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers” might indicate that your decision to “file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies” is at best a little ill-advised.

In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a “lackwit bumpkin” or, come to that, a “sodding charity”. More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay “go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services”, a moment’s rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to “stump up for the whole damned party” yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor’s disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on “junkets for Bunterish lickspittles” and “dancing whores” whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, “that box-ticking facade of a university system.”

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:

1. The reason we don’t simply write “Muggins” on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;

2. You can rest assured that “sucking the very marrows of those with nothing else to give” has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn’t render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to “give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India”, you would still owe us the money. Please forward it by Friday.

Yours Sincerely,
Customer Relations

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where's me troose?

Happily wandering around Trapani as the city woke up, taking a few pics, thankful that the towering thunder clouds that had been around all week hadn't dumped any rain on us.

A fisherman rowed his dinghy out from the nearby beach and eventually began casting his nets.

I spent a happy few minutes trying, but failing, to catch a satisfactory pic of the net gracefully arcing in the air.

Only later did I realise that this was a complete waste of time - had I managed to catch the photo I wanted it would have been buggered up by the fact that he was just wearing his manky old underpants.

I guess he was fishing for his trousers which he had lost in a drunken stupor the night before.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A dog is for life - not just for Christmas

A puzzling statement.

I've had a number of dogs. One was quite big - with cold sandwiches and a curry I managed to make it last past boxing day - but it's easy to eat a small dog in a single sitting.

You can stretch a dog beyond Christmas, but to claim it will last for life is just silly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh Nooooooo

Photos from a recent race.

First one shows my "ohhhhh nooooooo" face - because I'm going as fast as I can, while just in front of me - and completely by surprise on first lap - is a quite skinny bridge.

Second one, on a subseqent lap later in the day, shows the bridge itself but still the same expression - this is because I've been dopey enough not to remember where the bridge is. Or, perhaps people kept moving it between laps.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not a victimless crime.

A shopkeeper recently rejected a pound coin proffered by a family member.

Estimates vary but somewhere between 1% & 2% of one pound coins in circulation are believed to be fake - up to 1 in 50 - if this is the case then we must have cheerfully successfully passed on a great many in complete ignorance. This is the first one that we've been aware of.

A little research revealed the salient characteristics of a forgery:

The obverse and reverse (heads and tails to you and I) change from year to year - often the year on the dud does not match the faces - this one is correct however.

The faces are often out of alignment - if the obverse is vertical then the reverse should be as well. This one is OK here also.

The most common mistake is that the Cross showing the start and end of the edge inscription is missing as it is here (fake on top). Why this should be I'm not sure - the cross has serifs and may be hard to do.

The font in the inscription is woeful - look at the S in DECUS in particular. I guess the forger has literacy problems and can't see the difference between these letters as they dance in front of his dyslexic eyes.

The faces are slightly off centre.

The metal is not magnetic, and is much the same weight and hardness (neither coin will scratch the other) but most astonishing of all - the fake has corroded.

What to do with it now? It would be fun to eBay it and see what it's worth as a declared forgery. Unhappily eBay will not allow this.

Passing it on via a parking meter would be kind of fun too - but it will surely eventually end up in an old ladies purse and she'll be unhappy to pass it on and so end up a quid short. Best bin it I suppose.


Whereas the earlier mentioned often borders on the pathetic, - being borne of necessity - has a sort of nobility.

An example, some blacksmiths who can not afford a commercial forge and bellows:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

12:12 Torq in your Sleep

An unscheduled dismount quite early in an endurance race.

Note the audience of small boys, they were highly amused.

Yes, yes ... ha bloody ha.

1212 Torq in your sleep from atc5k on Vimeo.