Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 3

Readers, being familiar with all facets of my personality as you are, you will have correctly guessed that for all my attempts at bluster and for all the ideas I had entertained about being able to strike deals with the Dundee Mafia and convince them I was a major player in the world of crime, in actuality I quaked and sobbed and begged for mercy the very instant I was hauled into the inner sanctum of Cox's Stack in Lochee.

I was dragged into a lobby of sorts, where yet more goons stood around looking thoroughly vacant but ready to obey any order to smash my kneecaps with a hammer. The wiry and wily mafioso said, "Zip it kid! Geez! Stop the sobbing will youse? We ain't even given youse the old hoyteedoy yet!"

Between heaving sobs I made it clear to him that I did not understand his fancy street-smart gangster slang.

"Youse are kiddin' me?" he said. "Ya ain't never heard of the old hoyteedoy? The Roobidoo? The Kax-Macket? Gee-whizz, I'll dealin' with a real Pole-toes here!"

For a Dundonian, he had a peculiar way of saying things. I gathered it was the habit of the Dundee Mafia to welcome their guests in some way designed to show them who was boss, to quash any attempt, before any such attempt might be made, at outwitting them or any effort to best them in strength or swagger. Evidently, the fact that I was bawling my eyes out and genuflecting wildly was enough to convince him that I presented no real threat to the crime syndicate, as he forewent any such ordeal.

"Listen kid, youse'll have to quit with the wailing and tears. The boss don't appreciate no salty crackers in this joint. Now, let me clock the bead, chum."

I did my best to control myself. He translated for me, explaining that he wanted to see the jewel I was attempting, poorly, to conceal. Well readers, I was left with no other alternative but to do as the mafioso bade me. I suppose I could have refused, but then he may have performed the Roobidoo upon me and I had a feeling that whatsoever this act involved, it was unlikely to be altogether pleasant.

Taking the jewel, he peered at it closely. He whistled.

"I gotta show this to Old Charlie Noodles," said he, before disappearing through a door. As I waited for his return, the herd of goons approached, obviously interested in me. I talked softly to them and fed one a polo mint from my pocket, which seemed to satiate him.

The wiry mafioso reappeared, trailed by a wizened old coot chewing on a vile-smelling cigarette.

"This is Old Charlie Noodles," said the wily, shifty man. "He's the cheese when it comes to beads and gold in great store. And he reckons this" - here he indicated the massive green jewel - "is a meezer. Sort yourself out kid, Old Charlie Noodles needs a word in your curl about how a feeb like yourself managed to get your kitkats into an amazing buckjumper such as this."

I was up to my neck in this now and had to face the reality of the situation. I stood to my feet, because there is no other way to which one can stand, and tried to look composed as the ancient, bespectacled mafioso hobblingly approached.

Old Charlie Noodles (decrepit mafioso)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 2

My dearest and most interested of readers, if you recall, yesterday's diary entry ended with me approaching a lummox in order to persuade him to allow me ingress to the headquarters of the Dundee Mafia. If you did not recall this, it was a simple matter of looking at yesterday's diary entry yourself, instead of wasting everyone's time insisting on this needless recapitulation.

Though I was nervous, I stepped up to the goon and said, "I demand entry" in as authoritative a tone as I could muster. It does not do to show weakness where goons are concerned.

The beast did not react in any way, merely standing impassively like a mighty golem awaiting instructions from a Jew.

I tried again: "Brute," said I, "You must let me in to see your boss. I have something important to tell him."

The monster's eyes slowly tilted towards me, as though noticing me for the first time. With no change of expression, he casually swung his hand at me in a vague swatting motion, as though I were a tiny gnat and he a mighty ox. I know that oxen do not have hands capable of performing this gesture but I expect you to grasp my simile's intent: I mean that I was to him a minor irritation and did not register to him as any sort of threat. However, he did look like an ox.

As the back of his hand made contact with my jaw, dislodging a tooth from my mouth, I fell heavily to the ground, dislodging the jewel from my cardigan.

The enormous creature rumbled as he saw the Tewari Eye escape across the concrete.

"Urrrgh...shiny..." he said, coming very close to forming an expression on his guarantuan bovine face. As I frantically gathered up the jewel and bundled it up once more beneath my cardigan, the goon turned, opened the door, and disappeared inside Cox's Stack.

Moments later, a scrawny black-suited mafioso possessed of wily eyes and a cigarette appeared and promptly hauled me inside the building before I had any time to protest...
The wiry and wily mafioso to be described in more detail tomorrow

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 1

Cox's Stack (headquarters of the Dundee Mafia)

Once I had settled upon my foolhardy scheme of visiting the Dundee Mafia for guidance and to offload the purloined jewel, I immediately took steps to put the scheme into practice. With no history of crime (except the recent murders and the theft of a priceless jewel) and not being criminally minded (apart from my devious intention to sell the priceless jewel for profit and hide my involvement in the recent murders), I obviously had no real knowledge of the Dundee Mafia. I did not know who was involved in the organisation, nor how far the filthy fingers of their crime syndicate reached throughout the city. I had no contact numbers or business cards. How would I, a mere civilian, get in touch with the man in charge?

The local yellow pages proved fruitless: they had no listings under 'M' for Mafia. The closest I could find was "Marr Brothers Lawful Businesses, Inc." which obviously had no connection to crime whatsoever.

Well readers, common rumour has for many years held that Cox's Stack, the former chimney of The Camperdown Jute Works, is the headquarters of the Dundee Mafia. The fact that it has no windows means that the mafiosos within the converted building are free to get on with their innumerable criminal activities unobserved. The high vantage point from the top of the 286 foot building allows lookout men to view the entirety of the city and also observe when the police are approaching.

Unlikely though this urban legend seemed, it was the only lead I had. It could not hurt to try, I reasoned (in hindsight, this was the exact opposite of the truth). Retrieving the Tewari Eye jewel from my loft and slipping it beneath my cardigan, I left the house and made for Cox's Stack in Lochee.

Paranoia plagued me as I sped towards the Stack, through bustling throngs of crowds of mobs of Dundonians doing their shopping. The jewel was ill-disguised beneath my cardigan and I became conscious that I appeared pregnant or the victim of an enormous stomach tumour. If someone had merely given me a second glance, I would have surely aroused suspicion. How easy too would it have been for some dithering old baggage to accidentally bang into me and dislodge the jewel onto the chewing-gum-spattered paving stones of Dundee's city centre. All would have been lost. When I think back to the number of times this could easily have happened, I realise how fortuitous I was to make it all the way to Cox's Stack with the jewel unspotted.

When I arrived, I noted with a thrill of fear that outside the door in the base of the enormous former chimney, there stood a colossus. This lumpen behemoth was at least seven feet tall and looked to be similarly wide. He looked as though he could crush both Geoff Capes and Giant Haystacks between his gigantic palms, then casually eat a couple of sumo wrestlers for lunch. The brute wore a tightly-fitting black suit and a shirt that would have billowed freely around the neck of an overweight orangutan and yet strangled this beast.

Everything about this creature said "the hired goon of a criminal fraternity". Taking a deep breath, I approached the door.

The Hulking Lummox guarding Cox's Stack.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dundee Courier Reports the Crimes

Readers, the brighter among you will begin to realise the reasons why I was unable to update you during the grim events I have just described. The stupider among you will likely be so concerned with chewing your sleeves and banging your head against a cupboard that you will not have given the issue much thought.

Essentially, I felt it necessary to keep as low a profile as possible and decided I could not risk an online presence. I am not an effective liar and the circumstances would have necessitated my keeping up the charade on this electronic diary that all was well, a charade that the brighter among you would doubtless have seen through and the conscientious among you might have reported to the Dundee constabulary. I was not too concerned about the stupider among you because you likely would not have noticed anything amiss and would happily have got on with your usual business of dribbling and misusing apostrophes.

The next morning found me still crouching uncomfortably behind my couch, unsure as to how to proceed. I was startled out of my paralysis by a rattle at the letterbox. It was the newspaper. I ran to see if the previous night's terrible atrocities had been reported by The Dundee Courier.

"TWELVE DEAD AND MUTILATED IN McMANUS JEWEL HEIST" the headline read. Eagerly, my eyes flew across the page, frantic for information... "Tewari Eye stolen ... priceless ... twelve men murdered ... eyes torn from victims' heads ... no obvious leads ... witnesses sought ... police suspect the involvement of the Dundee Mafia ... victim's widow said, 'I just can't believe someone would kill my Jim out of greed for money' ... tragedy...", etc, etc.

Readers, you will now be imagining me, shivering by my letterbox, reading those awful words, tears stinging my eyes, my lower lip quivering and my heart quailing. You are right to imagine this because it is what happened.

There was also an article by Jack McKeown on page 8 where he interviewed local kite enthusiast Duncan Moonie, which was fascinating and briefly distracted me from my immediate woes.

The Courier's report (on the robbery and murder, not on Moonie and his kites) spurred me to action. I had to quickly get shot of the jewel. If police somehow found out that I was in possession of it, I would be in trouble. There was no escaping it. They would take one look at Fell and realise he was merely a tool, incapable of independent thought. I would be the one carried off to gaol forever and brutally abused by bullish prisoners for the remainder of my days, and that would be the story of me.

What could I do with the jewel? Commit it to the flames? No, it would never burn. I could not destroy it as it was made of some sort of precious material as hard as diamond. I could hide it, but it might be found. I would have to give it to someone else. Sell it to a greedy jewel lover? No, it was too famous. Who could take it? Something in the article pricked my attention again.

The Dundee Mafia! They were used to crimes and criminals - perhaps they would buy the jewel from me and take it off my hands. Perhaps they would use their clout to offer me protection. Perhaps they would take razorblades to my face. It was a ludicrously risky plan, but for better or worse (in hindsight, worse), it was the plan I decided to follow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part VI (6)

My dearest and most anxious of readers, even if you yourselves have not been personally responsible for commanding a buffoon to steal a jewel only to have him murder twelve men and gouge their eyeballs from their sockets, you must have an inkling of the horror I felt at discovering that the idiotic Fell had murdered twelve men and gouged their eyeballs from their sockets. This inkling you feel is known amongst psychiatrists as 'empathy' and I thank you for it, although it does me no practical good so you might as well feel 'ambivalence' or 'begrudgement' for all I care.

That night, after I had expended the last of my frenzied terror and fury by pummelling Fell to within two inches of his life, I took to pacing restlessly up and down the length of my living room, occasionally pausing to curse, kick, and expectorate at the battered form of the wretched Dr Fell. In my pacing, I was of course careful to avoid stepping in the horrendous puddle of Museum Guard's eyeballs and gore strewn to the left of my Moroccan leather pouffe.

I was guilty of murder! I could not credit it! How could Fell have been so stupid?

These were just some of the questions I asked myself, even although the first two weren't questions as such and were more exclamations. Long that night did I pace. Countless times that night did I emit wails of anguish and tear at my hair. Often that night did I twitch at the curtains and peer out in paranoid fear lest someone had trailed Fell back to my home. Once that night did I stub my toe on the side of the television cabinet.

As the hours wore on and no feds showed up at my door, my nerves began to settle somewhat. After all, the thing wasn't my fault! I only told Fell to steal the jewel! I explicitly forbade the harming of any human beings! No court in the land would find me guilty and no priest or vicar would hold me morally accountable for the deaths of those men! Would they?

Readers, if ever you find yourselves in a similar predicament to mine and make the choice to turn yourself in to the authorities, confess your crimes to a priest, then willingly accept the strongest punishment that the Scottish Justice System can dole out, then and only then will I accept your opinion on the best course of action for me to have taken that night. As it was, I made the decision to do my utmost to save my own reputation and freedom by perverting the course of justice and hiding my connection to the terrible events of that night.

I hid the jewel in the loft, flushed the eyeballs down the toilet, unplugged my phone and computer, switched off the lights, and hid behind the couch until I could think what course of action to take.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part V (5)

Readers, if any among you is squeamish then I suggest that you do not read this diary entry because it will sicken you. It will make beads of cold perspiration sprout from your forehead and will make semi-digested food and drink, combined with stomach acid, rise inexorably up your gullet and eject itself forcibly from your spasming throat across your computer keyboard. The ghastly sight of this pool of warm, lumpy, and froth-lathered mulch pooling around your soiled desk with its cooling spatter rapidly soaking into your trousers will sicken you anew and you will doubtless expunge yet more vomit until you are capable only of heaving up violent-smelling rivulets of thick brown bile down your chin. At this point, you will likely collapse, ashen-faced, into a tightly curled ball of weeping despair, begging gods you do not believe in for a speedy demise.

Readers, if any among you is emetophobic (fearing the act of vomiting and/or graphic depictions or descriptions of such) then I suggest you do do not read the previous paragraph as it will not be your cup of tea.

That night, Dr Fell dropped the Tewari Eye, the famed and priceless gem from a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khathmandu, into my eager hands then beamed proudly.

"I did it," he said. "I did what you wanted."

"Indeed you did, you delightful imbecile," said I, slapping him playfully across the cheek.

It was then that I noted his right hand was besmeared (i.e., smeared) with blood. I felt a little uneasy.

"Tell me Fell," I ordered manfully, "Why is your right hand besmeared (i.e., smeared) with blood?"

"Don't worry boss! It isn't mine!" he hooted. I felt a qualm in the depths of my belly. His blood I could readily handle, but this news boded ill.

"The plan went exactly as you commanded boss," said he. "I let myself into the Museum through the skylight in the roof, taking care not to be seen. I ran down to the floor with the jewel, smashed the display box using a bust of James Chalmers, inventor of the postage stamp, then swiped the loot. Immediately, there was a load of loud noises, but I didn't pay them any attention just like you told me. Well, I legged it back up to the top floor to escape through the skylight, only to find that I couldn't reach up. I was trapped."

I sighed. Idiot as he was, he had happily dropped some 1o feet or so through the skylight without realising he would be unable to climb back up later when he needed to flee.

"Then a chap in a uniform came in and pointed a gun at me, telling me to freeze," said Fell. "I panicked and threw the jewel towards him. Well it's a huge and heavy rock at the end of the day - it struck his temple and he fell to the ground, quite dead. I heard footsteps. I panicked again and grabbed the man's gun. More men with guns came in and I shot every one of them with my gun. Then there were no more footsteps."

Well readers, you will understand that my heart quailed at this news. Naturally, I subjected Fell to a barrage of punches to the face and neck. As he is a moron, he merely grinned at me throughout the assault, which did not satisfy my rage. I meant no murder to take place! The ninny continued:

"But I never hurt them!" he protested, "The bullets flew into them so quick and their lives flew out of them so quick that they can't have felt nothing! You said not to hurt anyone and I never did that, no I never did that! Anyway, I saw that I could use these men to help me escape - I heaped their bodies up into a pile and used them to clamber out to safety. But not before I..."

"Please, no more!" I said. "What other horrors have you committed, you wretch? What further madness have you wrought this night?"

"I'm sorry boss!" he said. "I got confused. I had the jewel, see, but then I remembered you saying something about fetching you the 'eye'. Well, I panicked - I find it devilishly hard to think at times. I am an idiot, as you know. I didn't want to come home to you with the wrong thing. I feared you might be cross. So I wanted to be sure I done the right thing, boss. I only wanted to be sure."

As he spoke, my own eye was drawn to the right pocket of Fell's jacket where I became aware of a red stain, slowly spreading, slowly growing, through the fabric. I had a queer feeling.

"Speak, man!" I stated. "What have you done?"

By way of answer, he slipped his hand into his pocket and removed numerous slimy balls, besmattered (i.e., smattered) with blood and grue. He let each one fall with a sickening plop to the living room floor. I shrank back, appalled.

"So to be on the safe side boss," he said, gleefully, "I just took every eye that I could. I prised the eyes from the heads of those dead men, boss. Just to be on the safe side. Then I came back to you boss. Did I do good?"

The Great Slave Scam Part IV (4)

The idiot Dr Fell proudly holding aloft the legendary cursed Jewel of Nepal

Again I must be divisive and separate my readership into Dundonian and non-Dundonian ones because those Dundonian readers will be more than aware of how events transpired on that fateful Tuesday night. I believe it made national and international news too, but I wouldn't know about that. At any rate, I ask politely that if you already know how things panned out that you keep it to yourself and do not pipe in and ruin it, like some loutish teen in an English classroom, flicking to the end of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men just as the pupils are about to begin reading the novel for the first time and malevolently revealing that it ends with the death of the idiot man-child Lennie Small.

Regrettably, my own tale does not similarly end with the demise of an imbecile for Dr Fell survived. However, as you will see, things would have been far more advantageous had he met his death that night, whether by a well meaning brother-figure shooting him in the back of the head or even through being crushed accidentally under the wheels of a bus.

My mood was already befouled prior to Fell's arrival home. Gordon Ramsay, demonstrating a recipe for halibat with caper tapinade on The F Word had moved through his instructions and list of ingredients too quickly for me to be able to write them down for future reference. Disgusted, I fell into a huff for the remainder of the evening, cursing the fact that I would ne'er (never) be able to enjoy such a halibut dish.

You will perceive that, despite my earlier boasts of treating this adventure in a care-free manner, that I was now becoming anxious and ill at ease. 11 o'clock came and went. Then midnight appeared, treated me to a cocoa and a digestive biscuit, but did not hang around for very long. Next, 1am slunk in, contented itself with dishevelling my hair and grinding my teeth, then left my home, leaving the door open for 2am. 2am in rarely a pleasant house guest - it has poor taste in TV for one thing. I tried watching a bit of televison but all that was on was the end of a poorly-dubbed film on Channel 4 about a Chinaman kicking and punching other Chinamen, and an Open University programme on BBC 2 about algae.

When 3am came uninvited in, I confess I despaired. What had happened to that chump Fell? Had he been caught? Was the idiot even now leading the police to my door? I could scarcely thole the suspense a moment longer.
At 3:42am, Dr Fell appeared, apparently unfollowed. Well do I remember his vacant, slightly-drooling face as he held aloft the famed Tewari Eye. Evidently, the plan had succeeded.

Of course, it had not gone completely free of hitches, some of them rather major ones. I will reveal all in my next diary entry......

(You will note that I have doubled the number of dots used in this ellipsis. I feel this is the only way to indicate to you that, although previous entries ended at tense points and justified the use of ellipses, this diary entry's ending is doubly tense and I felt I should formally recognise that in some way.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part III

Well do I remember the fateful night I bade Dr Fell steal the Newari Eye from Dundee's McManus Museum. It was a Tuesday.

Well did I know it was highly unlikely to succeed: after all, Dr Fell was an irreemable buffoon of the first order and could not be relied upon to open a carton of French onion soup unsupervised, let alone purloin one of the world's most famous and heavily guarded jewels.

Well did I decide I did not much care either way, because if the plan failed, all that would happen would be that Fell would take the rap and face the wrath of the Scottish justice system. Thus the scheme was, for me, completely risk-free and so I treated the whole affair in as laidback and carefree a manner as that of Nigel Havers reclining on a beach lounger instructing his waiting staff to fetch yet another pitcher of gin and tonic.

"Dr Fell, you cretinous boob," I said to the cretinous boob Dr Fell on the night that I wished him to go to the McManus Museum and steal the famed Newari Eye, "Listen well. Tonight you are to go to the McManus Museum and steal the famed Newari Eye."

"Sure thing boss," he replied.

"You must break in through the skylight in the Museum roof and lower yourself into the upper gallery," I ordered, "Then run down to the Jewel room. Smash the display case and grab the jewel. You will likely hear a loud alarm at this point. Do not worry about it. Simply run back to the upper gallery and let yourself out through the roof once more. You are not to hurt anyone, is that understood?"

"Sure thing boss," he re-replied. Well, I did not wish to have murder on my conscious for what was simply a bit of a lark.

"Above all," I said. "You must not return here until you are sure the coast is clear. I do not want you leading the feds to my door!" I used the word 'feds' because I felt that it made me sound knowledgeable and seasoned regarding jewel heists.

"Sure thing boss," he repeated, grinning vacantly.

I opened the door and pushed him out. I sat back to watch Ten Years Younger and to await Fell's return...

(You should be used to the ellipsis by now, so I will refrain from explaining its presence)

The Great Slave Scam Part II

If any of my readers are of the Dundonian persuasion, they will already know that Dundee is rich in treasures just ripe for the plucking. They will also know that many of the city's choicest and rarest artifacts were mysteriously stolen over the last few months. If any of my readers are not of the Dundonian persuasion, they need not worry as they will likely have read the information I have just imparted in the last few sentences to my Dundonian readers and so will now be sufficiently up to date with the relevant exposition. In retrospect, there was no need for me to be quite so divisive in separating my readership into Dundonians and non-Dundonians, but I have done it now so we shall have to make the best of it.

One such treasure held in Dundee is the infamous and priceless "Newari Eye". Every Dundonian school child knows the history of this artifact, so if you are such a school child you can probably safely skip the next little section, though it isn't long and you might do well to refresh your memory anyway. Before it came to Dundee the jewel had a long and terrible history which I will not bother to recount because I do not know it. What I do know is that it was brought to Dundee in Victorian times from Nepal. It had been found affixed to a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu where it had formed the idol's green 'eye'. A brave British soldier (whom my mother always told me was one of my distant relations) was asked by a young lady to steal the jewel for her to prove that his love for her was genuine. Well, the soldier succeeded in prising the jewel from the statue and presented it to his sweetheart as a token of his desire to mate with her. Of course, legend has it that the jewel was cursed, and of course, the British soldier was brutally killed the same night. Well, the woman, the daughter of a colonel, kept the jewel and took it back with her to her family's mansion in Dundee. Within a year, all their fortunes had failed and she was reduced to hawking second-hand shoelaces in Lochee. She was left with no option but to sell the jewel, which she did - to Mark McManus who owned the McManus Museum and Galleries.

There it remains to this day. Or rather, there it remained until a few months ago, when I successfully used the slave Fell to purloin it. The jewel is priceless, which means it is worth about 10 million quid. I will explain the heist in the next entry...
(the ellipsis again indicates that more is to follow and is intended to excite you)

The "Newari Eye" (about the size of a watermelon)

The Great Slave Scam Described

Readers and lookers, the keener among you will have noted that I have not recently been keeping you updated regarding my many misadventures. There is sound reason for this and I will tell you what that sound reason is in the course of the impending narrative. It is a tale unlike any other. In turns it will astound you, shock you, disgust you, perhaps even stimulate you carnally if are the type of person who gains arousal through reading accounts of misery and suffering.

If you recall, I had enslaved my former enemy Dr Fell by rendering him idiotic through Bhujeum Pills and had been frittering away my time having him perform humiliating actions merely to amuse myself. If you do not recall this then it does not matter because I have just told you so you need only recall the information I have just imparted, which was a scant one sentence ago. If you struggle to recall that, there is no hope for you. In my previous diary entry, I indicated that I had in mind a grand scheme for the slave Fell. This grand scheme was the ultimate cause of my inability to update this electronic diary for reasons you will shortly discover.

My plan was this: I would use the slave Fell to commit various thefts around the city of Dundee. To my mind it was a plan with no drawbacks because if he succeeded, I would gain the numerous monies and priceless artifacts that I would order him to steal. Thus I would become rich and could afford a Nintendo Wii, etc. If he failed, and was captured by the filthy arm of the law, then I would lose nothing save an idiot slave and Fell would be the one incarcerated. Being as how he was now a moron of quite epic proportions, he would be unable to remember why he was stealing things and would certainly lack the wherewithal to pin the crimes on me: he would not even remember my name.

With the basics of the plan established, I next had to establish the complexities of the plan...

(Note that I made use of ellipsis at the end of the previous sentence. This is to indicate that I have more to say about the topic but am choosing not to do so right now. I will do so in the next diary entry, which I will begin writing now. The ellipsis was to whet your appetite and to excite your curiosity: I hope it worked.)