Saturday, September 04, 2010

Which is my way to this honest man's house?

Lying in the pile of reasonably clean straw that I call my bed last night, I got to pondering (as I do each night), as I waited patiently for the sweet, welcoming arms of Morpheus to enfold me into the world of dreams, where anything and everything is possible - give me a break, I'm not Wordsworth!

Howsomever, there I was, having a wee ponder, and I got round to the concept of 'Honesty'. Now, being a former career criminal I used to have less than a passing acquaintance with the very concept of honesty, although I like to think I have become quite good friends with it now.

During my discourse with Blodwin the Head Expert the other week, I made a sort of throwaway remark about life being so much easier if we have a little bit of larceny in our hearts. I think Blodwin was a bit worried about that and I had to explain that I didn't mean that everyone has to be a crook, far from it really.

What I meant was that life is so much easier, and we can get much further in all walks of it, if we are prepared to turn a blind eye where it is appropriate, cut a few corners, take the easy path, that sort of thing. I'm not advocating criminal behaviour, just saying that a little common sense can go a long way to easing our path on the sometimes very rocky road of life.

To be quite frank about it, honest men are few and far between - I mean REALLY honest men. Everyone will turn a blind eye given the right circumstances - it is human nature, I think.

Anyway, as I was dropping off, something from John Bunyan came to mind too - from "Pilgrim's Progress", which I had been reading the other day. Pilgrim is talking to Worldly-wise and asks, "Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?"

A good question indeed - where lives Mister Honest?

Boudica said I was a bit grumpy in my letter the other day and, being a self-proclaimed expert, she came to the conclusion that it was because I had run out of books to read. Come to think on it, she may be right - that's why I was reading Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" for the umpteenth time. It's this place - it frowns upon such decadent practices as reading. Any other prison, and fellows like me can have books sent in by family and friends - but not at the "Lazy L". What! Let prisoners have books! What the hell is going on? The bastards will want to start reading them next!

No, the 'Lazy L' frowns on such activity. "Go to the library!" they cry. Yeah, right, okay - once a week, five books, finished them in three days and that's that. We are told, "You may purchase books from an approved source such as W.H.Smith or Waterstones!" (Although I'm not sure about Waterstones.) So every now and then, after I have managed to accumulate the money, I spend about a hundred and fifty quid on books. I only get half a dozen for that of course because I buy substantial tomes. Most of them are given to the library when I'm finished of course, maybe that's how they get their library in the first place, who can tell?

Which in effect brings me right back to honesty with a touch of Machiavelli thrown in. We won't let cons have books sent in, we will make them buy them. It will stop cons from accumulating too many books, stop them from reading too much and getting cleverer than wot we is, earn us a few quid in discounts - and we will get any books that cons buy in the end anyway!

Okay, maybe that's all a little harsh, but it certainly shows that everyone needs a little larceny in their heart to get by - certainly they do at the "Lazy L".

Finally, Boudica is at war with the absentee tenant next door, who may have taken to killing her (Boudica's) pigeons - she has found several dead ones lately. The Troll (as Boudica calls her) has also complained to somebody or other about Boudica feeding the birds. A young girl with anorexia came to see Boudica about it but went away again after being reassured that Boudica was doing nothing wrong. I've told Boudica to report the Troll to the RSPCA - because killing birds is frowned upon.

The woman is only doing it because she wants to sell her house! I've got to say it - she is being foolish in insisting on annoying Boudica. Maybe she hasn't heard the phrase, "It is easier to deal with a friendly lion than with a mad dog." Do yourself a favour Missus, don't annoy Boudica too much. She has mellowed over the years - a most fortunate state of affairs for you really. There was a time in days of yore when Boudica would have been less than polite about things and painted your windows black to go with your soul. Who kills birds?

Oh well, no doubt it will all be sorted out in the end - the Troll will sell her hovel, Boudica will continue to feed her blackbird (plus other assorted avian friends), Hartlepool will win the FA Cup and Osama Bin Laden will kiss George Bush's arse. But I'm not holding my breath.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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