Archive for September 2009

From the Sphinx to Omar Sharif

September 30, 2009

The basic business concept of a pyramid scheme defies all laws of building engineering and is totally at odds with the Egyptian model pyramidical structure. All the Pharaoh’s men constructed the masonry edifice from the ground and worked vertically (or diagonally, if one is being pedantic). This is sound practise as the effects of gravity would have caused the apex to fall if it were made first.

Contrast this with the geometric pyramid schemes utilised by, it’s got to be said, swindlers. They are at the head of the network with bigger degrees of multiples below them. New investors are constantly needed with the promise of high returns.

There are winners in this shady enterprise but eventually patrons and thus money supply runs out. Avoid pyramids like the plague; they are the eleventh plague of Egypt.

While watching an old episode of Coronation Street, the characters of Martin and Gail Platt put me in the mood for roulette. I wanted to test the old martingale system, a kind of precursor to pyramid schemes, which sometimes needs copious amounts of money but I was flush so what the heck.

The martingale or doubling-up method invites the strategy of doubling your bet after every loss until you win. A sure fire thing so off I went to the tables, a latter day Dostoeyevsky.

Red had come out four times in a row so I staked £1 on black. Red. £2 on black. Red. £4 on black. Red. £8 on black. Red. £16 on black. Red. £32 on black. Red. £64 on black. Red. £128 on black. Red. £256 on black. Red.

By this time I had calculated red had turned up thirteen times and I had staked £511.
£512 on black. Red. £1024 on black. Red. £2028 on black. Black, black at last, ya beauty.

I was handed over £4056, £2028 of which was my stake. Including previous losses all in all I had bet £4055 and was therefore £1 in the red or should that be black. Proof indeed that at the wheel, fortunes can be won and lost. Lady luck had smiled on me, showering me with Cleopatran riches.

A dam needed on the Eve of strike action

September 17, 2009

Strike action looks imminent at Royal Mail as workers continue to be unhappy about conditions in the service, pension funds and would you All about Eve it, pay. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) will ballot its members after what they feel are sardonic, in the voice of George Sanders, new provisions by the management. The changes are as unsympathetic as a Bette Davis part said an uncredited cast member of the CWU.

Since July there have been off-on and on-off -but no on-on and off-off- strikes throughout the country resulting in minimal disruption although a backlog of letters has affected business for some. E-mail has been the communication of choice, the Marilyn Monroe to the humble letters Norma Jeane Baker. Herein (hereon?) lies the possible tragedy for Royal Mail. Waiting in the wings could be an Anne Baxter ready to take their place.

The strikes protested so far from the workers have been wildcat strikes. Wildcat? This always puzzled me when I was younger. How can a wildcat go on strike? Other news items also flummoxed me. There was a Guerrilla attack in Ceylon. Now at an unadvanced stage of my life this could only mean Gorillas. A gorilla attacking sounds very nasty and this unprovoked assault gave me reason to question the legend- if you leave them alone they won’t hurt you.

Oh to be young and stupid again when the news was gobbledygook.

The Pound fell against the Dollar. (At least it broke its fall)
The Whips reported to the Prime Minister today. (I got the belt at school today so one of them forgot to report- the rotter)
One of the Bills has been guillotined. (Give me the belt any day)
The Right Horrible Member for Parkhead. (That’s what it sounded like)
The PM addressed the conference. (Must be something to do with a letter, we’re back to the Royal Mail again)

I am still awaiting delivery of the 1950 Oscar winning film, I forget its name; it must be lost in the post.

AN ESP(a)N(a)..ICE ONE

September 9, 2009

Stepping into the scuffed shoes of Setanta is the American owned ESPN UK. The lucrative sports pay TV market now has two big cats on its doorstep and the square go for the meat could be vicious. The Murdoch owned Sky organisation is up against a better product than the unlucky Irish operator.

Alarm bells had been ringing at Setanta for awhile and perceptive Atlantic executives using perception of an almost psychic nature- after their ears had become used to the bell ringing- filled the vacated space. Insiders say that luck was not involved in this venture and instead an employee with ESP at ESPN foresaw the move.

I remained sceptical about this tale and although I have seen hypnotist and magician shows in the past fortune telling never was my cup of tealeaves. However, if they had named their science “misfortune” telling I would believe them. As an aside I saw a really bad magician who invited me and another man to the stage. Soon he pick pocketed our wallets before returning them and to quote the short sleeved Daniels “Now that’s magic!” However when I went home I discovered I had the other guy’s wallet and was a cool fiver richer.

Barnstorming ESPN’s offices in London I demanded an interview with the charlatan masquerading as a psychic. I was informed she was a Spanish woman who lives in New Orleans so I booked a flight to the French Quarter to speak to Claire Voy Yant.

When did you first notice you had special mind blowing powers?

When I was at the circus and I watched the trapeze artists and I could see in the future that if I did that I would fall.

Amazing! Who will win this year’s Premiership?

A bit hazy but I predict Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal. And um…err…Man City.

Astounding! What are the numbers in this week’s Euro millions draw?

That’s an easy one. They are…

At that my tape recorder stopped (and if you believe that you’ll believe in Santa Claus) but I have memorised the numbers. Next week I look forward to driving my new Maserati down to my new Penthouse where I will subscribe to both Sky and ESPN. Almost contented I only have to track down a blue vinyl Bohemian Rhapsody and it’s mine. Being so greedy I might even buy two.

Explosives Corporation goes out with a bang

September 4, 2009

The string of lawsuits has eventually taken its toll on the Acme Corporation as the receivers have been sent in to close down the conglomerate. The calamitous products produced by Acme and the millions of accidents they caused have brought the company to collapse. Afflicted teenagers suffering from Acme also tend to boom and bust their spots.

Founded in the 1920’s Acme was at the forefront of innovation. Widely used by dastardly animals intent on creating turmoil most of the inventions were rabidly anti-road runners. A furtive skeletal figure Wile E Coyote was Acme’s best customer and his mysterious disappearance has contributed to the corporation falling into debt. No one seems to know the whereabouts of the Wiley one. Conspiracy theories abound but he was last seen suspended in mid air before plummeting into the chasm of cyberspace shouting “Rangers for everrrrr…”

Acme did have some successes. Envied worldwide for their spectacular mailing system that could outrun the Millennium Falcon and make today’s pretenders, Amazon’s express delivery look like a beard growing, haggard, creaking, Grandfather clock that’s stopped ticking. Wile E dropped his request in an out of town post box somewhere deep in a canyon and Shazam! A wooden crate landed at his feet or usually- his head. If only the mail men had the same vigour in the society we live in today I could receive my new Stephen King – I’m his second biggest fan- book before he’s written it. On second thoughts I might get a beump (Inspector Clouseau) on the head.

As we buzz the final tweezers into Acmes’ operation we should not forget those wonderfully destructive contraptions that never trapped the target but destructed the error strewn operator. If anything Acme were too ahead of their time and future times could be all the richer for using the doomed firms discoveries and fine tuning them; hummmmmm. Dynamite and camouflage paint can do just about any job.

Today I painted an image of a cave with an inviting opening on a brick wall and a Road Runner ran straight into it and crumpled to the floor using expletives which I have beep beeped out. And now I know what to have with my chips tonight.

Excelsior!

September 2, 2009

Disney’s takeover of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. promises exciting times ahead for lovers of the Mighty Marvel comic book super-heroes. Soon the famous costumed cavorters will have their day in the happy kingdom’s theme parks. What a thrill it will be to hurl through the skies on the Silver Surfer and speed into cosmic rays in the Fantasticar.

Disney’s heavy investment in Marvel should secure the future of the magazine titles; the life blood of the group. Action figures and film franchises are all good and well, traditionalists can’t do without their monthly world saving adventures. In some cases some of these characters are over fifty years old and maybe the injection of new funds will reenergise the Marvel universe.

In the pipeline the video games arcade punters will ooze puddles of drool over their controllers with a new line-up of beat-em-up games. Dr. Strange v Goofy. The Black Panther v Shere Khan. Aunt May v Uncle Scrooge. Disney will be looking to cash in real soon and if they are searching for a man to walk about Disneyland dressed as the mighty Thor, well, call me.

Most people are aware of the Marvel heroes mainly because of the films but you always need a good baddie (my first and probably only oxymoron) and the Marvel baddies are right up there with the baddest of the bad. For your pleasure, here’s a few of the super-villains.

Galactus-

The world devouring, planet eating, greedy gannet demi-God who wants to put Earth on a plate and consume it like a snack. All of a sudden a roll and sausage doesn’t seem satisfying.

The Sandman-

A shape shifting nasty who can transform his molecules from human form into sand quicker than quicksand. More often than not he slips through Spider-man’s fingers. I like Sandy, every day’s like a day at the seaside.

Absorbing man-

He can take on the properties of anything he touches. Therefore he could be gas, solid or liquid. With these powers you could never get drunk as the unique metabolism renders the alcohol useless. What a frightening thought; being sober.

The Tinkerer-

An engineering genius who can make an explosive weapon from a string of wool and three buttons! The ultimate jack and master of all trades but he’s never about when you need help to wire a three point plug.

And now duty calls. Flame On.