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Archive for November 16th, 2008

Audio Podcast Version: West London Man (23): Half Baked Alaska?

The part of Caroline was played by Jo le Huquet, Hank by Colin Samuels of Infamy or Praise and Charon took the part of George.

Inspired by an email from Colin who suggested and wrote the plotline.

***

George has participated in or been just one step removed from numerous social atrocities, but he has always maintained a solid, if somewhat decadent, reputation amongst his friends, colleagues, and social acquaintances.  Soon, however, his darkest secret may be revealed.  Unknown to those friends, colleagues, and society acquaintances, George has distant American relations whom he refuses to acknowledge, much less to discuss.  His heretofore successful efforts to deny his colonial connections are jeopardized when he receives a call that one of these cousins has found herself with time on her hands and will be visiting soon.

George is stunned to hear from an assistant to Sarah Palin, who advises our hero that cousin Sarah will soon be visiting Europe (“to clear her head after a recent setback and to establish strong foreign policy credentials for a future endeavor”) and would like to drop in on him since she knows London is a country in Europe.
***

George is at home with his wife Caroline. George is stressed and has just poured himself a very large Vodka.

LONDON

George: Caroline…  You know I mentioned that I had a distant cousin in the United States?

Caroline: Yes…. you did say something about that  years ago…

George: Er…. I don’t quite know how to bring this up…. but the cousin wants to make a visit.

Caroline: Fantastic, George… wonderful… when?  How exciting.

George: Er…. I think I can find a better word than exciting… in fact I can find two words… fucking disastrous…

Caroline: George!  Language please, pas devant les enfants… what’s the problem?

George: My distant cousin is Sarah Palin… you know… the fruitcake who shoots mooses and runs Alaska, the would be President who can see Russia from her window…

Caroline: Your cousin is Sarah Palin?…. that’s marvellous…. how amusing….. I thought you would be pleased?

George: Well… Caroline….. look at it this way…I deal with US bankers every day… well… those that haven’t jumped off a building or been sacked post Lehman…  and if they find out that I am related to Sarah Palin… however distantly… I’ll be a laughing stock on Wall Street and in the City.

Caroline: I thought you were already a laughing stocking in the City, darling….. I think she’s hilarious….

George: Hilarious is not a word I would have used…. she hasn’t got a clue about politics, economics, banking, the global financial situation and her knowledge of foreign policy and geography is laughable.

Caroline: I don’t really think you and your banking mates can afford to be all high and mighty at the moment.  Your collective greed has wrecked the world…. and I do hope you have stopped short selling banking shares because it is illegal now…

George: Yeah yeah…. out of banking shares….  dumped the lot weeks ago… doing oil and energy stocks now… far more amusing. Look…. I’m going to have make a call to Perry Mason in California…. an attorney I know.

Caroline: Perry Mason is a fictional character, darling.  How much have you had to drink?  It’s only 6.15 and Mother is coming over later.  I don’t want a repeat of three weeks ago when you were roaring and told her that  she should wear shorter skirts, wear brighter lipstick and that you were going to buy her a bright yellow feather boa for Christmas.

George: The guy’s name is Hank P Mason…. we all call him Perry…. even his wife calls him Perry.  I’ll make the call in my study….. shouldn’t be long.

George goes downstairs to the lower ground floor and into his high tech equipped study.  He makes a call to Hank P Mason, Attorney at Law.

Ring… ring… ring….ring

***

PHONECALL LONDON TO CALIFORNIA,  USA

Hank: Hank Mason, Good morning…..

George: Hey… Perry It’s George….. thanks for taking the call… just getting up or have you pulled an allnighter?…. need some advice – a very delicate matter.

Hank: Allright… shoot.

George: Is there any chance you could apply to have Sarah Palin interned at Guantanamo?

Hank: Hmm, it would’ve been easier to intern her in DC, but we missed our chance a couple of weeks ago.  You might’ve heard?  What’s up, George…. do you want advice I can bill you for or are you just juiced up and looking to chat?

George:I couldn’t be more serious… and yes… you can bill on this one…. hit that clock Perry….  I need to stop Sarah Palin getting to London?

Hank: Ontario?

George: London… London…. you know the big City, Southern England near France…. world financial centre London… Big effing Ben London… that one… Christ…. what’s happened to your geography?…  you’ve been here many times… get to New York and straight on… that London.

Hank: (laughing):  OK…. but why…. I didn’t even know she knew where London England was….. is she allowed to leave North America?  How do you know she’s going to London?  Did she call you up?

George: Well yes… Perry… as a matter of fact she did call and tell me… or rather her assistant did.  She’s a distant cousin.. and wants to come to London and see me while she is over here.  She even wants to stay!”

Hank:(laughing):  A distant cousin…. fantastic….. hey… wait till I tell the guys that George is related to the pitbull in lipstick….

George: Perry.. that’s why I am calling… I don’t want anyone to know…. so Omerta…. you saw what happened to George Osborne when he couldn’t keep his mouth shut about Mandelson and Oleg the Oligarch….. I doubt Osborne will even be toasting crumpets in the Whips office soon… even The Telegraph are calling for Cameron to roast him over the fire a la Tom Brown’s Schooldays and then sack him…  I need to keep Palin in Alaska….  so can you get her extraordinarily rendited to Guantanamo or not?

Hank: ‘Fraid not, George.  Obamassiah is getting ready to close Gitmo.  Besides, it was only ever for terrorists and Iraqis without government connections.  If you want to keep her on ice, just sign her to write her memoirs.  Hell, just sounding out the big words might keep her out of your hair for years….. can’t your people do anything… Do you know anyone at the Home Office?  Immigration… your end?

George: The Home Office? Immigration?….look… if Bin Laden flew into Heathrow sitting astride a nuclear rocket like Dr Strangelove we’d probably let him in… The Home Office is hopeless….even if they identified him they’d probably leave him on the train en route to the detention centre. We’ve got hundreds of illegals in this country.  Do you know what the Police do if they find an illegal jumping out of the back of a lorry on the motorway?  They give them a cup of tea, a letter from the Home Office and a map and tell them to make their own way to the nearest Immigration Office… farcical.

Hank: Sorry….. nothing I can do.  Unless you can convince her that you’ve all got Mad Cow again, I’d say Uncle George is getting some quality time with little Trig…

George: OK… OK… I gather she has been offered $2 million to appear in a porn movie? and I read today that she’s going to guest in Desperate Housewives….

Hank: Really?  I heard she’s going to be the Eleventh Doctor.  Pip, pip, and cheerio, old chap.

***

Audio Podcast Version: West London Man (23): Half Baked Alaska?

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15-16th November: Postcard from The Boat

Half way through November and Christmas is barely six weeks away. RollonFriday reports that one law firm has already cut the budget for the Christmas party to £5 a head: “Lawyers at DWF are heading for a not-so-festive season after the firm announced that it would be donating a measly £5 per head for Christmas parties. That’s at the same time as confirming a whopping 12.5% increase in turnover for the first half of the financial year…”

An interesting week: We had a Vicar going to hospital with a potato stuck up his arse, the four Silks of The Apocalypse thundering in to support Mr Justice Eady in Dacregate and India land a probe on the moon after thrashing a truly dismal England cricket team in the first one day international in India. We also had Geeklawyer in a seminal article on European legislation regarding the ‘Three strikes and you are out for illegal downloading” rule reporting in his inimitable style.  I quote: “Natch you have to buy-off a few corrupt politicians like the sleazy retarded clothes-horse French President Sardozy who is more concerned with arranging threesomes with his whore wife than worrying where the bribes are coming from, or if the legislation is just.”

John Bolch, Family Lore, has a story about a guy who is being divorced by his wife because he has been doing virtual shagging with another woman on Second Life.

And so to the BBC 2 programme: The Barristers

Four years in the making and heralded by The Bar Council “The Barristers is an intimate portrait which details life at the Bar from aspiring barristers through to senior silks.”

Tim Dutton QC, Chairman of The Bar, says: “It has been a pleasure to work with the BBC on this documentary.  Historically, the Bar has been somewhat misunderstood and cast as a profession to which only the privileged can aspire to join.  This documentary will sweep these stereotypes away.”

So I sat down at my desk to watch The Barristers in BBC iPlayer on a cold drizzly  Saturday afternoon – a glass of Burgundy to hand and a cheroot. Did I enjoy the programme?  Not really.  The first episode covers the trials and tribulations of a group of students qualifying for the Bar. A quick trip to central casting, or so it seemed, and hey presto, a Neuberger approved group of diverse barristers to be.  I leave to Geeklawyer who is a practising barrister, to deal with the minutiae in his robust review. To be quite honest, apart from serveral cameo appearances by a man in a black robe doing criminal damage to the floor of Middle Temple’s  Elizabethan Hall with a heavy staff and getting away with it, I found it a bit heavy going.  Perhaps too much time was spent filming the stained glass, the architecture, the close ups of wigs and robes, and a selection of semi Dickensian figures processing in and out of rooms in robes? It is early days.  I shall watch the remaining episodes before giving a view – but next Saturday I shall make sure I have drunk at least a glass of decent Burgundy before switching the programme on.

Geeklawyer writes: ” So, if there was anything slightly repellent in this series it was the students. There, Geeklawyer said it. He says sorry to his many student readers but you have to understand how bad you look to a) outsiders and b) insiders. Really. One feels sorry to say it but the sight of grasping unquenchable ambition and striving is utterly repellent. Why? hard to say. One supposes that they have to do this to get on in life.”

A fairly laid back weekend, a spot of writing (sensible) and a fair bit of , shall we say, less sensible writing.  Charon After dark occupied me for part of Friday evening and the latest episode of West London Man: Half baked Alaska? is due out tonight.

I have not done an episode of West London Man for some time.  A US reader, attorney and a leading US Blawger, emailed me to say that as I hadn’t done an episode of WLM for sometime – he had started writing his own!.  I rather liked that, emailed him, received an offer from him to do an ‘american voice’ so I settled down to write episode 23 based on the US Blawgers story line which follows….

George has participated in or been just one step removed from numerous social atrocities, but he has always maintained a solid, if somewhat decadent, reputation amongst his friends, colleagues, and social acquaintances.  Soon, however, his darkest secret may be revealed.  Unknown to those friends, colleagues, and society acquaintances, George has distant American relations whom he refuses to acknowledge, much less to discuss.  His heretofore successful efforts to deny his colonial connections are jeopardized when he receives a call that one of these cousins has found herself with time on her hands and will be visiting soon.

George is stunned to hear from an assistant to Sarah Palin, who advises our hero that cousin Sarah will soon be visiting Europe (“to clear her head after a recent setback and to establish strong foreign policy credentials for a future endeavor”) and would like to drop in on him.”…

Due out tonight after 6.00 pm…

Have to go…. lunch beckons… but I’ll be back later..

Best, as always

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