First, some news about new Red Rattle Book ‘No Money Honey’
It is now available from Amazon but the famous tax evaders have quoted the wrong price. The actual price is £9.99 and not £15.99. Amazon should change the price to the correct amount in a couple of weeks.
Zombie Phone Call
‘Bev, don’t close your eyes again.’
‘I’m tired. My God, Emma, it’s half past six. This is what darkness looks like in the daytime?’
‘I’m in Lord Street in Southport. It’s full of zombies.’
‘I know, it’s terrible. It’s why I always go to Liverpool.’
‘Have you really opened your eyes?’
‘Sort of, I’m really tired, Emma.’
‘Bev, these are real zombies.’
‘I know. Southport zombies are in a class of their own.’
‘No, Bev, these are living dead zombies. The kind that leave vacant space in graveyards. Bev, don’t close your eyes again. I need Dad to get me out.’
‘I’m going to sleep. I’ll remember this little trick, Emma.’
‘Bev, wake up Dad. Tell him to get me out of here.’
‘You said real zombies, Emma. Like in the cinema?’
‘They are a bit better looking but similar. Not as much as blood but they certainly stink.’
‘Emma, I’ve just seen myself in the mirror. I’ve never seen myself at six thirty in the morning before. I don’t want to ever do it again.’
‘I’m in danger, Bev.’
‘Agreed, I suspect you will be committed before dark. You will be declared insane but no surprises there.’
‘Switch on the TV, Bev. There must be some news.’
‘I thought you wanted me to wake, Dad.’
‘You can do that as well.’
‘I’ll switch on the TV.’
Bev found the remote on the bedside cabinet and selected the BBC News channel.
‘Oh, my God,’ said Bev.
‘Told you,’ said Emma.
‘They’re not that better looking.’
‘I didn’t say they were handsome.’
‘They’re quite gross actually. Oh, my God.’
‘Bev, wake up Dad.’
‘This bloke just knocked the head off of one of the Zombies. There’s another. Oh, my God, they shouldn’t be showing this in the morning. What about little kids?’
‘Bev, wake up Dad. For once, please do what your older sister asks.’
‘I’ll wake up, Dad.’
Bev left the bed and walked to the door of the bedroom of her parents. Bev banged on the door and shouted. She thought about walking in but her parents in the morning were not a pretty sight. Not a million miles from the zombies on the TV to be honest, she thought.
‘Dad, you have to come and watch the TV.’
Her father mumbled and groaned but eventually said a sentence. ‘Is it Penelope Cruz?’
‘It’s serious, Dad.’
‘If it’s not Penelope, I’m not interested.’
‘Dad, Emma is on the phone. She’s stuck in Southport.’
‘I bet she’s drunk,’ said Dad.
‘Get up, love,’ said his wife.
He walked into the bedroom of Bev and watched the TV while Bev spoke to Emma.
‘Dad’s up,’ she said.
‘The car’s turned over,’ said Emma.
‘Oh, my God,’ said Bev. ‘He’ll kill you.’
‘I didn’t do it. The zombies did. Bev, I’m inside the car. They turned it over with me inside. What’s Dad doing?’
‘He’s watching the TV and shaking his head.’
‘Well, tell him to get a move on. I don’t think they can see me but all it needs is one to bend down for a look. ’
‘I don’t think they’re that mobile, Emma.’
‘They’re mobile enough. Is Dad still watching the TV?’
‘He’s getting dressed. Dad’s just shouted. It’s all over Britain. My God, they’re everywhere. Dad’s left the house. He said give him twenty minutes. Are you okay in the car, Emma?’
‘I’ve got my phone and a bottle of water and a bag of mints. I’ll need to go the loo soon.’
‘Dad’s just come back in the house.’
‘Isn’t he useless,’ said Emma. ‘Oh, hello, Dad, they’ve turned the car over, Dad.
‘Who said they could put a curfew on the streets, Dad?
‘They’ve put roadblocks at the end of the street. That’s not fair, Dad.
‘No, Dad, we came out of the club minding our own business.
‘No, Dad, I don’t think short skirts attract the zombies.
‘I thought it was just Southport. It’s nowhere else but Britain? How’s it happened, Dad?
‘I will stay here, Dad, and I won’t do anything until you’ve spoken to your friend in the police.
‘Okay, I’ll speak to Bev in the meantime.’
‘What did Dad say?’ said Bev.
‘He’s phoning someone in the police to give him permission to come to Southport,’ said Emma.
‘It’ll be that woman that Mam and Dad argued about.’
‘Oh, no,’ said Bev and Emma together.
‘Emma, there’s a bloke on the TV who the BBC says has an explanation. He has a pony tail and an earring.’
‘I have to do something, Bev.’
‘Really gross,’ said Bev.
She grimaced and pulled her head away from the phone.
‘Bev, well, what did the know-all say?
‘It’s to do with the lottery, he says. The expert says he warned all the media last Saturday when he heard the number that was drawn. This guy has really thick glasses. He said the numbers in that sequence have the power to raise the dead and that because the number was quoted to ever it was quoted to, I got a bit confused there, it will unleash zombies now who will roam eternity seeking money and reward. This guy saying all this is really weird but the BBC woman is nodding. And it makes sense this other expert is saying because the zombies are climbing the walls of the banks and anywhere where there is money.’
‘Is that all?’ said Emma.
‘Mother’s up and wants to talk and the Archbishop of Canterbury has just come into the studio. I think mother has been crying. No, Emma, it’s just a few tears. What did happen with Dad and that policewoman? Here, Mum wants to speak.’
‘I’m not too cold and I’m not hungry,’ said Emma. ‘I’m sitting on the roof. The car is upside down. Don’t get upset, Mum. He had to speak to her, I suppose. She’s just a friend, Mum. I need to speak to Emma, Mum.’
‘Emma,’ said Bev.
‘That wasn’t easy.’
‘They are burning all the zombies off the walls of the banks. Oh, my God what a mess. You want to see the state of London. The Prime Minister is making a broadcast. He looks really ugh in the morning. He is declaring a state of emergency. He is aware of the damage that is being done to the banks and the financial world by the zombies.’
‘What damage, Bev?’
‘They’re burning the banks down.’
‘Does that mean I won’t have to pay back my overdraft?’
‘They’re going to nationalise the banks and the stock exchange. Dad’s come in to watch the TV. Oh well, that’s put a smile on his face. It didn’t last. Mum has just called Dad a pig. Oh, dear, they’ve left the bedroom. Oh double dear. The policewoman has arrived. Mum has gone to her bedroom and Dad has gone to answer the door.’
Bev handed the phone to the policewoman who was now in her bedroom.
‘Turn down the TV, Bev, please,’ said the policewoman.
She is really bossy, thought Bev.
‘Emma, this is Superintendent Haley.
‘No, your Dad will stay here. I will be there in twenty minutes. We already have police in Lord Street. They have control but stay where you are until I arrive. We should have Southport clear by lunchtime and everything but the banks should be open for the afternoon. Other countries are lending Britain fuel to burn the banks and the zombies.
‘No, Emma, it won’t be the same afterwards.’
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Somebody is being cheeky and, inevitably, the powerful are irritated. The Brazilian Foreign Minister, impeccably named Antonio Patriota, is planning to recruit 6000 Cuban doctors to work in the rural areas or backlands of Brazil. Because the cities offer trained medics higher wages and sophisticated glamour, the rural poor, like the urban poor in the favelas, are easily neglected. To the smug rich, this link with Cuba has worrying echoes of how now deceased leftie Hugo Chavez took Cuban medical expertise to Venezuela in exchange for oil. The governing party in Brazil is called the Workers Party, and that definitely has a left wing ring. Brazilian President Dima Rouseff, and even her name sounds dangerously ideological, initiated the talks between Cuba and Brazil. The elite in plutocracies, sorry, representative democracies, pride themselves on tolerance and mutualism. The least the left can do is play fair and not introduce policies on behalf of the workers. The Brazilian Federal Medical Council has described the initiative as ‘irresponsible’ and described the planned programme of health care as ‘politico-electoral’. Rouseff also wants to produce medicine jointly with Cuba and lend their ex-revolutionary lefties $176m to develop airports. If this is not enough to make the rich paranoid, which of course they always are, the Brazilian trade diplomat, Roberto Azevêdo, is now the head of the World Trade Organisation. He declares his objective to ensure free and fair trade. Whilst the plutocracy certainly believes in the free market that word ‘fair’ worries them especially as Dima, the lady with a name more left wing than Rosa Luxembourg, has already congratulated the diplomat on his appointment. The view amongst the Brazilian elite is that people are being careless. Perhaps it is the consequence of the famous Brazilian amiability. This is what happens when people relax without diligence, which is maybe why Brazil needs 6000 extra doctors and to produce medicines fast.
Two examples of carelessness have recently worried Brazilians. A week ago, in the coastal city of Arraial do Cabo, a 28 years old woman was accidentally shot by her husband with a harpoon. The harpoon went through her mouth, and the point came out the other side. She was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery, which presumably necessitated temporary decapitation. Neurosurgeon, Allen Da Costa, stated that another half an inch and the unnamed woman would have died. In the circumstances, half an inch appears to be a generous estimate. We can be certain that it felt a lot less than half an inch to the lady involved. Surgeons expect a complete recovery for the woman but are less confident about the prospects of the husband.
A police officer whose name is not available said that officials were looking into the case. ‘Everything indicates that it was an accident but we are investigating. We do not think that the husband tried to kill her. Once she is fully recovered, the lady will be questioned.’ Presumably, the husband has avoided suspicion because he called for the ambulance. But who knows what the woman will have to say? There could be surprises because meanwhile in Petroplis surgeons spent four hours removing a harpoon spear from the skull of a fisherman who accidentally shot himself.
While diligently cleaning his equipment he triggered the harpoon. Accidentally, he set off the harpoon gun, so he says, and the spear went through his left eye and lodged inside his skull. Has anybody warned the Cuban doctors what to expect? Perhaps it takes practice to remove all these harpoons. I hope that the victim, Senhor Coutinho, is not a relative of the latest acquisition by Liverpool football club because Coutinho, the currently harpoon free footballer, appears to be finding his form. The last thing he needs is a harpoon accident in the family. The Coutinho with the harpoon stuck in his skull arrived at Santa Teresa hospital 10 hours after the incident. The not that easily surprised Brazilian surgeons were astonished to see that Coutinho was still conscious. Admittedly, he was slow getting to the hospital but who knows what the man had to do before he left, a final fishing trip perhaps, and maybe he prevaricated. Maybe he thought by going to hospital he was making a fuss of what was only one arrow. On his arrival, Coutinho was sedated and the arrow was removed. The operation lasted four hours. Again a full recovery is expected. Senor Coutinho is supposedly excited about wearing glasses.
Never to be outdone on carelessness, our friends the fine policemen of Rio de Janeiro are back in the headlines. Anybody who thought at least the policemen in helicopters were safe from committing harm while in the sky has had to think again. A helicopter crew chased a drug dealer through the streets of Rio and packed favelas, firing machine gun bullets at the racing car below. Not every bullet hit the car but the drug dealer was found dead in his car next day albeit not by the helicopter crew. The incident is being examined, and the investigators have been asked to determine whether excessive force was used. Well, the policemen were in the sky and there was some restraint. Nobody dropped a bomb, and there is absolutely no evidence that harpoon guns were used. More accidents happen in the home than under helicopters full of policemen watching James Bond DVDs. If you think that remark about driving and watching DVDs is fanciful then you have never taken a taxi in Salvador. Presumably, those involved will be asked why they were chasing the drug dealer. Not every Brazilian will assume that they were pursuing an arrest. But we need a sense of proportion. Right now in Syria, the warring factions save machine gun fire for the quiet interludes in the conflict. They call it modest strategic engagement or something.
The Brazilian police do not use tanks and bombs or not at the moment. The authorities have just ordered thirty-seven German tanks. They will take part in a pre-Olympic security drive. Citizens, and drug dealers especially, have been asked to keep their distance but enough cynicism from me. Life in Brazil has improved. Lula and Rouseff have not produced any ideas for an economy that would eschew the disgraceful unequal distribution of income that scars the country but some of the Government programmes have mitigated hardship amongst the poor. And the country is acquiring a confidence and a sense of right and wrong that was missing in the past.
The police in the helicopter were chasing a felon or he certainly became a felon once the helicopter appeared. The movie, ‘Carandiru’, is available on DVD at Amazon and always worth seeing especially now the original policemen involved in the prison slaughter are on trial. In 1992, around about the time Jimmy Saville was pestering young British women, prison guards and policemen quelled a prison riot. They killed 102 prisoners. The riot had exploded after a row at a football match. The police went into the cells and slaughtered prisoners at point blank range. Many of those they killed had surrendered, and some were naked. This happened because the riot had already calmed when the police stepped inside the prison. The police slaughtered prisoners indiscriminately. Like Hillsborough and showbiz paedophilia, the event required memory for Brazilians to see sense and be shocked.
So we must not laugh and make cheap jokes when we hear extreme tales about harpoon accidents. In Brazil, in their bloody past, there have been people a lot more careless than the two fishermen. And if the Government is being careless about the sensitivity of an elite that never gave a damn, well, good luck to them.
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