Dear Friends

DF 35 - Burglar justice

August 2004

Dear Friends,

It has been an interesting short break for me...

Professor Francis Crick of Cambridge University has died. In 1962 he was awarded one third of the Nobel Prize for medicine. Along with James Watson (US) and Maurice Wilkins (NZ) he was honoured for 'discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.' That's DNA to you and me.

On CBS News - carried live by SKY News at 12.55am 30/7/4 - his passing was reported thus…'the understanding of DNA - the Double Helix - was equal in importance to the invention of the Atom Bomb and the discovery of America. Without it - as they cut to a supermarket display - you wouldn't have those lovely tomatoes, made possible by genetic engineering.'

Also..

SEVENTEEN DEAD BURGLARS

Court transcript

PROSECUTING COUNCIL (PC)

So, Mr. Ian Gillan - the accused - we are talking about seventeen dead burglars (with the usual disclaimers), found just inside the front door of your house, in a - how can I describe this - a heap.

IG

Yes.

PC

Can you explain the lead-up to what some might consider to being an unusual situation?

IG

Well, they broke in and surprised me. I was doing the crossword and suddenly the windows were smashed to smithereens.

All these blokes jumped into the room, waving guns and screaming 'you're dead'.

The cat flew under the table and I spilled my whisky.

Then the front door burst open and another load of them rampaged into the place.

PC

Did you feel - and I want you to think carefully before you answer this - Mr. Gillan did you - at any time - feel threatened?

IG

No, not really, I mean we often have people dropping in unannounced, but it seemed somehow different this time. I wouldn't say threatened, more like uneasy, because, you see, I didn't know any of them.

PC

Can you describe, Mr. Gillan, the circumstances which required you to use such overwhelming and inappropriate violence; leading directly to the deaths of seventeen innocent men?

IG

I will tell you what happened.

When the first wave came through the window I didn't know what to do, but I was stung into action when I saw the look in the eyes of the one with a knife, coming at me like a train.

PC

You were able - pardon me for interrupting - but are you telling me Mr. Gillan, that you were able to analyse his intentions by interpreting the look in his eyes?

IG

Mostly it was the knife in his hand.

PC

It didn't cross your mind, at any time, that this might have been a prank, the boys having a laugh, a bit of harmless fun.

IG

Yes, just for a moment, then he stabbed me.

PC
(Addressing the Judge)

My Lord, at this point I would like to introduce photographic evidence showing that the defendant suffered no wounds, abrasions, bruises or physical damage of any kind whatsoever during this, er, massacre of innocents.

JUDGE
(To the jury)

You will disregard that last remark. Regarding the massacre, it is for this court to decide. The innocence of the victims however, has been established; their untimely demise has made it impossible for them to defend themselves against the accusations of the defendant.

PC

Forgive me my Lord (turns to the jury and then slowly re-addresses the defendant) You say he stabbed you, and yet there is no wound.

IG

It went through my coat, but I knew he meant business. We struggled for the knife and got tangled up with someone who started shooting, I heard screaming and then we fell and somehow matey was brown bread.

I'm lying on top of him with a blade in his chest, and there's three deaduns from loose rounds off the gunman, who's now thrashing around having an asthma attack and pointing to his inhaler.

Looking back I should have known, but, in the heat of the moment, I thought he had arthritis and epilepsy. My first thought was to go in the kitchen and get a spoon or something to put between his teeth and stop him swallowing his tongue.

PC

You were concerned about his condition?

IG

Of course, the man was in trouble.

PC

So, what happened next?

IG

The lights went out, don't forget I just heard another load of people come in the front door, so I left the mayhem and went out into the hall.

PC

Did you have any idea of the numbers in each party?

IG

Oh yes, ten came in through the window and seven came in through the door.

PC

How can you be sure of that?

IG

I saw ten come through the windows and seventeen were found dead. It adds up.

PC

Mr. Gillan, it has been forensically established that the bottom seven, in the pile of bodies, i.e. the group that entered through the front door, had their heads broken by a baseball bat, not dissimilar to the one which you keep in the hall; in fact the very same one.

IG

Yes, that makes sense.

PC

So, you admit that you kept a baseball bat near the front door.

IG

No, I kept the baseball bat near the glove and the ball; it was a set you see, a souvenir.

PC

And so you picked up the baseball bat instead of the ball, or the glove?

IG

I did think about it for a moment, but decided against the ball or the glove.

Then I tried to swoosh them away by swinging the bat around my head.

PC

And what about the other living five - who had survived your first assault?

IG

It seems they must have dragged their friends out into the hall, with the intention of making their escape in the vehicles that are still parked outside. A Volvo 240GL estate (1983) and a London Taxi, both of which have similar turning circles - although I can't see how they'd have all squeezed in.

I reckon they just laid their friends on the other bodies in the hall, for the time being, when disaster struck.

PC

We now have twelve in the heap. All innocently slain Mr. Gillan, and you are expecting us to believe that a further disaster struck. A disaster in which, of course you played no part.

IG

That's right, well I played a part I suppose, when I realized things hadn't turned out the way anyone planned, so I called a truce.

PC

A truce?

IG

Yes, I said I was sorry a few of you blokes had got accidentally a bit roughed up, but there's no need for alarm. You take the weight off your legs, sit on that pile there, and I'll get you a drink.

PC

A drink?

IG

A drink. I once made this for Michael Jackson.

To start with you use pint glasses full of ice and then introduce the advocaat base; after that you whack in some vodka, whisky, drambuie, strega, lemonade or cream soda - I forget which I used - cherry brandy (just a drop), port, tequila, mescal and an absinthe float.

So then I called the police, offered a cocktail to the remaining few and lit myself a cigarette.

JUDGE

Guilty, five years, take him down.

It just goes to show how much trouble you can get now for smoking a cigarette; fortunately I got off on a technicality so the tour will continue as planned.

Thanks to British Justice I am able to make another contribution to the Anecdotage section of Caramba, where you can also find the ultimate female put-down in a neat little story about an event that actually did happen at Paicey's house some years ago.

See you on the road.

Cheers,
Ian Gillan

Copyright © Ian Gillan 2004

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