Archive for November 7th, 2010

The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
Raymond Chandler

Dear Reader,

I spliced the main brace last night in a bar and ended up three sheets to the wind. The broad I met in the bar  was taken aback. From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away. Thought I was for the high jump when I lurched past a cop working undercover in a PCSO hi viz jacket.  As Raymond would have said…He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food. It was cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. I was at a loose end,  and our work is, after all, money for old rope. Hadn’t had a square meal for hours which is probably why I was over refreshed… Normally, of course I accept all drinks invitations at the drop of a hat and I am sure  a friend who was holding a goddam fireworks party  took my excuse on the phone that I was on a CIA Extraordinary Rendition flight  with a pinch of salt.

But hook or by crook, I was determined to get to a bar for a spot of grog. Needed a hair of the dog anyway, but at the risk of flogging a dead horse and not wishing to be a fly in the ointment I did make the call to excuse myself from my friend’s soiree en famille avec le fireworks… I don’t do en famille…period.  I made my way over the water to get to the bar at World’s End.  I used the bridge.  I save the Jewish magic tricks for Easter.  I don’t have feet of clay and these days one has to stand up and be counted, throw one’s hat into the ring…. you understand, I am sure. Anyway… I would not be worth my salt if I had chickened out of hitting the bar. I grasped the nettle, knowing that I would not have to pay through the nose there and it is not as if I had drunk a Mickey Finn…

And talking about Mickey and his Finns…. today I woke up in the dead of dawn and took a walk along the river.  It was cold, but it was quiet…and I turned up my collar.  The homburg kept my thoughts and heat in my head.  I read Raymond Chandler as a lousy kid…and when I say lousy… these were middle class lice… some of them had even been at Eton judging by their effortless arrogance as they scrummaged in the Wall Game of  my hair.  OK… I may be lying… about the lice…. but at least I am not a prospective parliamentary candidate for a part of Oldham...wherever that is.

Raymond…. we got on first name terms when I was young….even though I never met him….. Raymond could be rude about the English…. “The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.” I’d say that was fairly rude…. but he had a good way with phrases…” She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.” I was younger then….. These days when a broad smiles… I check behind me…..and if no-one is behind me I check to see if she is wearing a parking attendant outfit.

On that note…. I leave you with one final Chandler quote…. one of my favourites… “Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”

Best, as ever…have a good week

Charon in a hat

The quotes and sentences in italics are pure Raymond Chandler….

And now for some *Real Life* – Sally Bercow and Mr Speaker according to The Daily Mail… wonderfully British…… barking…

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It had occurred to me that IDS / Coalition plans to put people on benefits to work could cause a few Human Rights issues.  Kris, who commented, suggested that we look at Article 4 !   I may do some proper thinking and research on this shortly…..


Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits slavery and forced labour. Conscription, national service, prison labour, service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity, and “normal civic obligations” are excepted from these definitions.

Article 4 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. 2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. 3. For the purpose of this article the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not include:

a. any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
b. any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
c. any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
d. any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

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