what a shower!

October 23, 2006

Trouble at t’mill (or in t’shower) as “an MP called for an independent inquiry today after it emerged that the North Yorkshire police force spent more than £28,000 of taxpayers’ money revamping an en-suite shower for its chief constable. He said the £28,400 could have been spent on two community support officers or two new staff at the force’s hard-pressed calls centre. Mr Willis criticised the decision to appoint the clerk to investigate, saying he is “already responsible” for the issue, and insisted an independent review was necessary.” getedimageaspx.jpg Chief Constable Della Cannings had set up an internal inquiry which would ‘look at “any wider implications of the evidence gathered” to see if there are “consequences” for the “fitness for purpose” of the police authority’s contractual arrangements’. There is speculation that any inquiry into the shower would cost at least as much as the shower itself.

I’m sure we all approve of police being thoroughly washed. For one thing, they would be no good at catching people if the criminals could smell them a mile off. And who would call a bobby to a burglary if you knew you had to disinfect the house afterwards? It’s also right for the top cop to be setting an example of fragrancy. And in her defence Chief Constable Della Cannings lamented the fact that ‘the matter had been personalised to her rather than as a chief constable of an organisation with an enormous amount of work going on in its buildings’ some of it pretty messy I’m sure. But I wonder what sort of shower do you get for 28k? Does it have gold taps or something? Is this an example of the police igniting synergy, something they seem so keen on nowadays? More importantly, do clean cops catch more villains? There is clearly a need for research in this area and if the proposition is found to be true compulsory daily finger nail checks for all police should be instituted as a matter of urgency. girlsgetdunked.jpg Rapid response mobile shower units should be set up for cops on the move and the cops in this picture should be reminded that showering fully clothed doesn’t count.shower.jpeg

For the police station here is a shower I can recommend which any police force in the country could be proud of.luxury_steam_shower_cabinet.jpg It has the following features which would no doubt be of considerable value to the modern police force:
“1) Hand held showr on slide rail-easy clean
2) 4 Neck jets, 8 upper body jets and 4 lower body jets
3) All jets with sequential hydromassage settings
4) Shower valve with diverter
5) Computer control panel with remote control and voice acknowledgement
6) Foot massage
7) Radil and 1 speaker with CD and phone facility
8) Steam with time and temperature settings
9) Steam outlet with provision for aromatherapy oils
10) 2 moulded padded seats
11) Lighting-fluorescent overhead
12) Exhaust fan”
Total cost $2199 so you could toss in some shower gel and a police issue loofah and you’d still have change from $3000.

More recommended products for police showers:

b000fncl0401-abvymd8plec2h_scmzzzzzzz_v51556274_.jpg“philosophy the police man men’s gift set
this police man has vowed to protect and soothe. an outstanding common man, this hero works hard to protect the skin from the effects of the potentially dangerous razor blade. he honors the spirit of the true heroes who are the “a” men and women out there protecting and serving all of us every day. this police man set containing a 3.3 ounce common man shaving cream and 2 ounce amen fragrance is the ideal way to tell the hero in your life how much he means to you.”

“The Shower Police: A Gay Erotic Novella by R.W. Clinger
Brett Hide spends a summer as a counselor taking care of a six-pack of boys. When Hide’s cabin roomie, the hot and irresistible, Marco Tuvetti, exposes a sexy secret, As Camp Minnowtah’s Shower Police, Hide learns a few more secrets, particular about his steamy supervisor, Ian Pierce. As Pierce showers and Hide’s on duty, Hide runs into a sticky situation, which entails lust, obsession, and a likeness for another man’s skin”. (Hmm maybe not).

long-handled-loofah.jpg“Our long-handled loofah sponge is great for reaching those hard-to-reach areas. No plastic here except for the grip; this is a genuine wooden handle and an all-natural loofah sponge. If there was such a thing as an heirloom-quality long handled loofah sponge, this would be it. Not only does it gently exfoliate, it works great as a back scratcher!” (comes in pretty handy when you can’t find your truncheon, too.)

Fried bacon

October 19, 2006

TWO police officers are to be disciplined after parking their patrol car on double yellow lines to buy Kentucky Fried Chicken. Headline writers couldn’t agree on whether the cops would face a grilling or a roasting, would be barbecued or fried in their own batter.
Other customers at the takeaway, the report says, were “outraged.” And so they should be. How is anyone going to run after a robber with his belly full of chicken nuggets? With obesity in the police force threatening the nation’s ability to contain crime and fight the war on terror, the police should be ordered to pick up an apple or a bowl of muesli if they need refuelling. It doesn’t matter whether there are double, triple or sextuple white lines as long as they are properly fed. And where is the Home Secretary when you most need him? Instead of trying to get in the army to machine gun rioting prisoners, Mr Blunkett would have done better to get in Jamie Oliver to review meals in police canteens. A compulsory plate of organic salad for all serving officers under the rank of chief constable would bring down the unsolved crime figures in no time.

prayers for today’s youth

October 19, 2006

A new Catholic prayer book aimed at teenagers includes a prayer for God’s help to avoid talking rubbish when drunk.
“Lord, if in an unsober state, and under the influence of those around me, I say something stupid, please give me strength to retract my words. Protect me against senseless bravado and pride,” reads the prayer. The book, released in Poland by Dominican monk Wojciech Jedrzejewski, has angered the Polish Catholic community as well as national media. But Father Jedrzejewski stands by his work. He said: “This book will make it easier for young people to meet with God.”
Other prayers in the book include one asking God if boys really have to be rude to girls and teachers in order to get peer respect.

I offer one more little prayer which the ingenious brother is welcome to use if he so desires.

O God, the creator of all things, you framed the laws concerning theft and robbery and mugging for the good of the human race. Graciously grant, by the example and patronage of St. Joseph, that we may do the jobs you provide us with and earn the reward you promise and, above all things, not get busted.
Dear Lord, protect me against jealousy of other kids’ mobiles and let me not fall into the temptation of nicking them. And if I do, oh Lord, protect me from the temptation of using excessive violence. But if the bastards resist, give me oh Lord the strength to stick one on them. And, oh, by the way, Dear Lord, if you happen to witness said nicking, just don’t tell the bacon that it was me what done it, right? Amen

Granny bashing

October 8, 2006

POLICE swooped on a gran of two for not throwing back a neighbour’s football. Angela Hickling, 56, was arrested then had her photograph, fingerprints and DNA taken. Police spent several days taking statements. Officers scoured her garden and rifled through drawers and cupboards after neighbour Christopher Salisbury claimed she had kept the ball. She insists it never landed in her garden.
Meanwhile, another grandmother aged 81 stunned wheel clampers by grabbing a lump hammer from her car and wrecking their van. “I felt ten years younger,” she said.

lump.jpg
It’s clear that it’s not teenage yobs and hoodies that are the menace in our society, but grannies. Or is that setting up and defining too much a ’self’ and ‘other’, Ms Butts?

Another report claims that ‘THREE out of four pensioners would like to try extreme sports on action-packed holidays. Retired post office worker Nancy Evans, 71, from Devon, said: “I have parachuted. Next year I want to go tornado chasing in America.”‘
Top 3 holidays for oldies: 1. Skydiving’ 2. Shark cage diving’ 3. Scuba-diving.

Watching grannies jumping out of planes might be fun for those in the plane but the only extreme sport I’m into is extreme avoidance of anything that can be labelled a sport. Quote of the day (thanks to Mr Eugenides:

“The only exercise I get is following the coffins of friends who exercised”

– Peter O’Toole

a yob is a yob is a yob

October 5, 2006

Predictable howls of outrage from the ‘political correctness gone mad’ lobby at the news that the police have been banned from using the word “yob” in reports to the Metropolitan Police Authority. Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin said: ” It can reflect on groups of youths who congregate, rather than those who carry out criminal activity. We have to be careful because of the need to engage with young people.” Presumably the Assistant Commissioner is worried that congregations of young people will hang around reading MPA reports and might take offence, going on, I iimagine to wreak havoc on whole neighbourhoods asa result. Still, I think he has a point. ‘Yob’ is normally described in dictionaries as being ‘informal’ and so though not out of place in a matey document like the Labour manifesto, is not terribly appropriate for official reports. Also, although everyone thinks they know what a yob is, it can be tricky to define. One dictionary defines it as ‘yob – a cruel and brutal fellow’ and in another we read ‘yob- a rude, noisy, and aggressive young man’ Clearly we are also dealing with a particular nasty piece of sexism here and another reason for banning the word- why should young ladies not be able to have the term applied to them if their behaviour warrants it? Not only are definitions problematic, people are too quick to pin the term on particular sections of society, as this piece from the BBC website indicates:
“It (yob) has become a kind of shorthand for a form of behaviour that everyone recognises instantly. Rowdy groups of young people spill out of a pub, and then rampage through the streets, roughing up each other and anyone else unfortunate enough to cross their drunken path. This is what is often perceived as “yob culture”. The words now have become a rallying cry for politicians in the law and order debate. But who, and what, are we really talking about?
The usual suspects include lager louts, soccer hooligans, and teenagers who hang out on street corners. In fact any young person who displays a disregard for orderly behaviour, and a disrespect for their elders, is likely to be labelled a yob.
While it may be identified with the young, yob culture is not confined to one age group, or indeed one class. It’s a form of behaviour that has been observed among a wide range of social groups. Restaurant owners say too many customers – including professionals like bankers and lawyers – indulge in drunken behaviour, and make racist and sexist remarks to waiters.”
Now we certainly wouldn’t want to the police to be hunting out anyone who happened to look like a lawyer or a banker would we? Or seeking to eradicate yobbishness from old folks’ homes either.
The member of the authority who raised the objection to the term, Ms Cindy Butts, had a more interesting reason for objecting to the term. “I have a problem with the language of ‘yobs. It sort of sets up and defines too much a ‘self’ and ‘other’, she said.” Nice to see that Ms Butts puts her degree in social anthropology from SOAS to such good use. I’ll remember that next time I’m nicked for speeding: ‘Reckless driver, did you say, officer? I believe you are trying to set up and define too much a ‘self’ and ‘other’. Good day to you.’ Ms Butts is, I believe, is deputy chair of the MPA. Now I’ve never been deupty chair of anything so for me the title very much defines a ‘sef’ and ‘other’ sort of thing. Also, as Sartre maintained, in a sense we are both ‘self’ and ‘another’ (“Je suis moi-même et un autre,”). In other words, “the imaginary object – the picture of itself – is properly speaking an other, and that the imaginary subject, in virtue of being divided between itself and itself as an other, is a kind of subject that can apprehend the otherness of another self.”, as Beata Stawarska of the
Catholic University of Leuven puts it in “The Self, the Other, the Self as An/other”. I hope that makes things clear. I’m sure Ms Butts will have no problem at all in labelling the next individual to confuse ‘other’ and ‘self’ by relieving her of her mobile as a ‘yob’. But she is right to suggest that official reports need to be a little less tainted by the words and concepts of the man in the street. After all the boys in blue are often too ready to leap to conclusions about people. I was once stopped by a policeman after I had jumped on my motorbike and sped towards him, carefully, staying just the right side of a bus lane. He flagged me down and said ‘If I hadn’t been here you would have gone in that bus lane, wouldn’t you?’ To which I replied ‘If you hadn’t been here, you wouldn’t have seen me though would you?’ He wasn’t best pleased but I quoted Sartre on hypotheticality at him and sent him on his way to look for other imaginary offences. With any luck he might have nabbed a few old ladies for jay-walking.

offensive weapons

October 5, 2006

Anything, as SilverTiger observed in a comment, can be regarded as a weapon. Two recent clipings from the Pattaya Mail illustrate this:

“Transvestite badly beaten with toilet seat
Chotimoni Kongsri, a 22-year old “woman of the second category” from Surin, was badly beaten by his ex-lover, who used a toilet seat as a weapon. ”

“Twenty-eight year old Jirapong Khaengkhan was arrested last week for breaking into the Soi Bongkot home of Mrs. Wanida Rungruang. The burglar had, apparently threatened Mrs. Wanida with ‘two blunt instruments’. At the time police caught him, Jirapong was carrying a black bag. Upon searching the bag, police found what they described as two ‘artificial male sex organs.'”

Three other weapons related stories from the same source:

– ‘Amazing Bangkok airport
A departing tourist had his suitcase searched after the x-ray machine noticed a hunting knife lurking in the luggage. The offending weapon was taken out and dispatched to a second machine which was meant to bind it neatly in a series of layers of strong adhesive tape. Only trouble was the machine spun out of control and refused to let go of a very sticky and untidy package. The tourist was asked, “Have you got a knife to cut this?”’

– ‘A Rayong man has been arrested after trying to hold up a department store without a weapon. He used a thumb and finger to simulate a gun, but failed to keep his hand in his pocket and was easily overpowered by six security guards. His lawyer pleaded in court that the mistake would probably not have occurred if his client had used a knife.’

‘Lethal weapon thwarted
A local tree feller has been sentenced to three years in prison after holding eleven people to ransom in Rayong. He charged into a hotel lobby, wielding a huge electric chain saw, and demanded money and valuables from the security deposit boxes. He was immediately pinned to the floor by security staff who noticed he had forgotten to plug his machine into the mains.’

Nothing if not ingenious, these Thais.

Knifeman scales railings behind Downing Street
A 32-year-old man will appear in court today charged with possessing “a bladed article” and assaulting a police officer following a security breach at Downing Street. “Bladed article”- I like that. So what’s a gun- a barrelled bullet-containing device? I was almost right- according to the Firearms Act of 1968 a firearm is “a lethal barrelled weapon of any description, from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged.” Peashooters? A well-aimed pea can be pretty lethal. The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 also has problems with another term: ” for ‘rifle’ there shall be substituted the words ‘rifled gun'”. Much clearer. I wonder what the law on knives is- ah, here we are: Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibits the possession in a public place of any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed”. Oh dear, sharply pointed, too- better keep those knitting needles out of sight at home granny.
Anyway, the knife, sorry ‘bladed article’ business reminds me of the old joke about the man who stabbed Margaret Thatcher. What offence was he charged with? Having an offensive person on his weapon.