Monthly Archives: February 2011

The course of true crime runs smooth

Only seven people died at the St Valentine’s Day Massacre: not much of a body count by modern-day standards, when a single distressed teen who runs amok with daddy’s Ruger manages just about as well. It also wasn’t quite the expert cut-down we imagine from having seen Billy Wilder’s chilling re-enactment at the beginning of

Too many chiefs, no little Indians

We tend to form short-term, dynamic, social microcosms wherever and whenever we can. Some of these are essentially republics. Beaches, holiday camps, major cultural festivals, large-scale mass demonstrations … all present a diversity of human life doing what we all do best: rubbing shoulders, exchanging our different kinds of mojo and generally muddling through in

The best laid plans

It’s over! Beano’s gone. He drove off suddenly this morning in his little Lancia leaving only a cloud of dust (actually more like a smattering of dirty sleet, the weather having turned awful again). J-M is “standing down” as he puts it, prowling around the library, doubtless in expectation of some sort of explanatory de-briefing,

The wizard scheme (part two of “Lock up your daughters”)

“No, Beano, this all might happen a whole lot faster than you think, because, you see, I have a wizard scheme. Now I don’t want to celebrate victory before we’ve even raised the flag, but we have a campaign to plan and there’s someone very useful I’d like you to meet. By the way, if