Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet and sour pork

Hello all

Thanks to finding a ten pound note in the middle of the road the other day, I have been able to purhase some petrol for the generator. Not only were we able to watch an hour of television last night, but I have also been given permission to spend fifteen minutes on the computer. Such fortune does not come our way very often, so I thanked Dolores fulsomely and set to work. I could spend the next 14.5 minutes (my 15 minutes started when I fired up the internet browser) telling you how lowly we have sunk, but that would only make me depressed. Instead, I'm going to finally reveal the ending to Ravel's attempts to recover his intellectual property rights in China. I understand this may be the slowest serialisation of a short story you have ever encountered, and I do apologise for the circumstances in which I find myself. Anyways, here goes....

Ravel was down to his last few yen. There was perhaps just enough for one more hand of 5 card stud. He hadn't won a hand all evening - 3 hours of increasingly stressful effort for nothing. It was all about to slip away in a near-empty warehouse somewhere in Beijing. His dreams of bringing the man who stole his world-cup replica trophy idea to justice were now torn. It was the last role of the dice, so to speak, and not spark of sympathy was evident on the inscrutable faces of the dozen men in suits who now stood breathing down the back of his neck, shouting and gesticulating each time he turned over a card. Ravel held the cards as close as he could to his chest, peeking only at the corners, but he time he looked at a card, he felt like the men behind him were peeking aswell.

This last round of 5 card stud preceded like all the others. No matter how much Ravel bluffed, his opponent would always call and raise. No matter how good his cards were, his opponent's were always better (when Ravel saw them, which was rare). This time, he was forced to fold almost immediately as there was no more money in the pot. His opponent gathered up the cash on the table and added it to his sprawling pile. Rather clumsily, thought Ravel, considering his opponent must have been in this situation before. It was almost as though presumed Mr Foo couldn't see very well, the way he simply stretched his arms out wide and gathered everything within reach. A few times during the night money had fallen off the edge of the table to be left on the floor. Ravel has not once been tempted to pick it up.

As the last hand came to its near-inevitable conclusion, Ravel simply pushed back his chair and made to stand up. His egress was halted, however, by several pairs of hands pushing him firmly back down into his seat. Unable to wriggle free, Ravel had no option but to pay attention to the presumed Mr Foo, who was now leaning forward as if to get a closer look at Ravel's face. In doing so, he made his own face visible, and Ravel saw for the first time that the presumed Mr Foo had cateracts in both eyes. Essentially, as you will no doubt have deduced by now, the man was blind.

Ravel swore in a Bulgarian dialect, using words he promised at his late uncle's deathbed never to utter to a living soul. The intended effect (which Ravel describes as ' ball shrinking') was somewhat lost, however as none of the targets seemed to understand. Their response was to laugh and cackle, slap Ravel on the back and point to the ceiling of the warehouse. Looking upwards, Ravel was more than a little surprised to see one of his world cup tropy replica's being lowered, spotlit, on a rope. Even more suprising was the sound of laughter from the assembled crowd on top of Nessun Dorma as sung by the three Tenors to a beaming Diana Princess of Wales all those years ago.

Now, I have been confused a few times in my life (see blogs passim), and as result I hope I have learnt how to handle the occasional deus ex machina, but even this would have had me in spasms. Within the space of a minute, a darkly serious situation had transmogriphied into farce. Ravel tells me that he was not only lost for words but quite unable to move despite the fact that he was no longer being held down. He was totally captivated by the descent of his replica trophy, that eventually landed on the table in front of him with a soft thud. It then toppled over, to reveal a piece of paper stuck to the bottom that Ravel had not so far noticed. On the paper was a symbol - reproduced below as a warning to others...

I say 'warning' because if you ever come across this sign, I advise you to run back to where you started your journey. Not because it signifies some type of mortal curse, nor because it is an assassination target, but because it belongs to a maverick television company (name witheld for legal reasons - we will call them Wang-Toon) who specialise in lampooning con-men and revealing them to the nation through setting up elaborate scenarios such as the one just played out in that warehouse. As per their usual form, after the symbol is 'disovered', by the con-artist, their presenter steps forward and takes a polaroid picture which he then reveals to the audience with a flourish and a cry of the Chinese equivalent of 'Gotcha!'.

Ravel was slack jawed as the presenter went through his routine to a camera that had emerged from the shadows. All around him people were laughing and chatting as if they had all enjoyed the same joke. But for Ravel it was no joke. He didn't know this was a TV stunt as he couldn't understand the director shouting 'Cut!', he didn't know what to do next as he couldn't understand the instructions being given to him by a lady with a clip-board and wearing a Wang-Toon badge. He didn't see the police man come from behind, but did feel the handcuffs. He also quite clearly heard the policeman say 'You arrested for fraud. Come with me.'. At which point, Ravel was helped up and out of the warehouse, into a police car and off to a nearby station, where another TV camera recorded his entry inside....

************ TO BE CONTINUED!************

(sorry, I have run out of generator time, and must attend to my chores. I hope to blog again soon and finish the story.)


Anonymous said...

Gosh JMC your blog's undergone a refurb and..
Ah so... Ravels mixed up in some sort of Chinese version of Noels House Party.

But where and who is Mr Blobby


Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

I once saw Mr Blobby on a bus in Morecambe (one time home of Blobbyland). He didn't answer my request for an autograph, probably because he was depressed (Blobbyland folded soon after opening, apparently)

Anonymous said...

JMC, I am aware that Blobby only understands the Blobby lingo. Perhaps if you had asked in Blobby Language ie Blobby Blobby Blobby autoblobby Blobby, you may have had more success.
I don't know.........