Tag Archives: Crime

Joke 12

5 Apr

A man in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre.  However, after planning the crime, and getting in and out past security, he was captured only 2 blocks away when his Econoline ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied:

“I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.”

A Good Whine

8 Mar
The first developers of IBM PC computers negle...

Image via Wikipedia

You all seem to have fallen in love with the Hub and I can’t have that because I’m the star of the Tilly Bud Show, not Rhoda, so I’m going to tell you about his larcenous past and you can all fall out of love with him again.

We had been married a year and had just moved to Joburg.  The Hub worked as a computer operator.  This was back in the day when technepts like me were afraid of computers, never mind operate one.  It was quite a specialised job, though not particularly well paid. 

I can’t help it: I have to big him up even as I’m trying to do him down.  Why did I have to be happily married to a decent man?  I could have married a bully, a philanderer or a vegetarian.*  Mutleytypemutters.

*Apologies to Flo and NRHatch.  I really can’t help myself sometimes.

  In ye olden days of the Seventies and Eighties, computers were massive – great big IBM main frames with what looked like cassette tapes in the shape of wheels on them.  You had to take off your shoes when in the server room and walk in designated areas. 

To run one programme could take all night on several mainframes (you could do the same job now in a minute on a personal computer).  There was a lot of hanging about and (to my shame) he’s not a reader.  In his previous job there was no security so he would bring his motorbike inside for safekeeping.  Then he got to riding it up and down the halls and stairs to pass the time.  They never found out, and there was some speculation as to whether the mysterious black marks that appeared on the floors and stairs were caused by a poltergeist. 

In the job I’m talking about, there was an office mentality of Bosses and Thedirtbeneaththebosses’feet, Hub being one of the dirt.  There was a fabulous free bar and entertainment room on the premises, intended for use by all staff on occasion, but co-opted by bosses at some point until it became a magical place that staff had heard of but never seen.  A sort of Shangribar.

Never seen by any member of staff except the Hub, that is.  By means unspecified (he’s forgotten), he discovered where the key was kept and sometimes when he was on night shift, he would sneak in and pinch a couple of beers to help while away the time; if there were two men on shift (computing being a man’s job, of course) they’d have one each.  Never more than two altogether: apparently the secret to avoid being imprisoned for life is to take just enough that people don’t notice it’s missing.

I must be honest: if I’d known I was marrying a petty criminal, I wouldn’t have.  However, I made vows and I stuck by him, despite the drinking.

One night there was a marathon bosses’ drinking session to celebrate how well paid they all were, and the managers boozed hard until after two in the morning.  I can’t help wondering how they stayed in business.  Mind you, it’s not the bosses who do the work is it?**  **Good grief.  Never knew I was a closet socialist.

Once they had all gone home, the Hub entered the left-open bar room (no need for a key) and helped himself to three of the many bottles of red wine left on the tables.  In the spirit of wealth redistribution, of course, comrades.

I really don’t know why: neither of us have ever drunk red wine.  I go pink from time to time, but I don’t think that counts.  He believes he was just hacked off at their outrageous display of capitalist consumption when the proletariat could only afford to eat rib eye steak for breakfast instead of fillet.

Not being true criminals at heart, we didn’t know what to do with the swag.  We couldn’t drink it (eurggh); we couldn’t offer it to our more cultured friends (didn’t have any); we couldn’t give it away (accessories after the fact; enemies after their arrest: fact); we couldn’t destroy it (waste perfectly good wine?  We’re northerners; we don’t do waste).  Result: the bottles sat in our wine rack gathering dust for twenty-four years and spreading guilt (me) and irritation (the Hub: ‘Can’t you dust just once every couple of years?’) with each day that passed.

I felt a little better when we emigrated back to the UK in 1996, though I was worried customs would nab us on the way in (of course we had to bring the wine that we would never drink back with us, and leave my state-of-the-art microwave and its boomerang turntable behind).  Customs let my eleven trunks through without a hitch, even though the wine was listed in one of my eleven itemised notebooks (‘Lego: 10 x onebricks, blue; 30 x twobricks, blue; 17 x threebricks, blue; 375 x fourbricks, blue’).  When she gave the notebooks back to me, the officer couldn’t hide a smile as she said, ‘You are very…thorough…aren’t you?’  Good job she wasn’t or I’d have been arrested for receiving stolen goods and harbouring a fugitive for ten years.

And, at last, at long, long last, we reach the point of my story: here’s one of the three stolen bottles:

Isn’t it lovely?  Dusty?  Empty?  It done gone sprung a leak up there on the wine rack.  I walked into the kitchen and thought someone had murdered my fridgefreezer: wine was everywhere, in the egg rack, the cheese rack, the milk shelf, culminating in a pool on the floor. 

It was all the Hub’s fault, of course – a wife, like an elephant, never forgets; twenty-four years is nothing to an outraged woman facing red stains in her brand new kitchen, and a charging elephant is pretty dangerous to a Hub, as he knows, having once escaped one in  Zimbabwe.

Of course he claimed it was my fault: ‘You told me it was leaking when you packed up the kitchen.  Why did you lie it down again when you got it out?’ 

I hate it when he’s right.  Please tell me you don’t like him anymore: it’s all I’ve got.  That, and a fridge with pink innards.

POSTSCRIPT

I’m shocked!  For years I’ve been proud to support the South African wine industry, no matter how dishonestly come by, and I’ve just noticed the bottom part of this label:

POST POSTSCRIPT

Weyhey!  I’ve just realised I’m not such a good girl after all!  This proves it.  They say confession is good for the soul.  I hope they don’t also say the South African Police read this blog: if I have to go on the lam, who will do the dusting?

If Only…

17 Feb

Describe the perfect crime.

Someone would break into my house and clean it. 

If they stole the Hub’s crap, that would be a bonus.

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