Your Government Grant Is Ready

He’s right there at Appomattox Court House. Just waiting for you. General? General Lee? Are you going to get out of bed? General ?

Well that was probably the last US government Grant that did any good at all – though poor old R.E. was probably not in a good mood to be getting one.

I’m more sanguine. The feds and the state government seem to be showering the coins down just at present. Adding together the factors of my low income, age, and health care card seems to have opened up the coffers somewhat. I won’t get paid for not being at work because I am not employed anyway, but they threw $ 750 at me, then another $ 100 or so every so often to ease the rates or the water or other utilities.

This is good, as I do not propose to go travelling or buy expensive motor cars or caravans. I eat regularly and well, but I cook regularly and well, too. There’s a link there that I intend to foster. As far as purchasing expensive clothing with the money…well I have a closet and a wardrobe full of expensive clothing that never gets worn. Even the pile of cheap underwear and socks has not diminished – so the economic stimulus will likely go to groceries.

Is the household doing poorly? No, it’s not. It’s warm, cosy, fed, watered, and entertained. The local library sent a mystery book hamper that is being read through and these are apparently available as many times as we ask. Don’t mind if I do. The beer fridge is full.

I shall watch the account to see if further amounts arrive.

Good Morning. This Is Your Scammer Speaking.

During the current virus lockdown many of you are staying home and re-arranging the canned goods on the shelf, organising your sock drawer according to colour, and hemming the lawn. While these activities are beneficial, we at the BGA Department of Scamming feel that more could be achieved. Here is your guide to creative scam-based  activities that every householder can do.

a. Commence transferring your money assets from one account to another. This will enable you to escape from the Mandatory Handover Of Savings that we phoned you up about last week. To do this you click on the link below and type in your account and PIN details. The Department will take care of the rest.

Act now an qualify for a set of steak knives.

b. Home schooling is going to be big for the next few terms and this is your opportunity to become an educator without the tiresome business of Teacher’s College or certificates or books or anything. All you need to teach your children is a blackboard and chalk. Try to get the kind that squeaks as you write with it. Children appreciate having their nerves scraped raw.

You can teach whatever you wish in the next few months. If you enjoy mathematics, you freak, then you could teach that. If you feel the children would benefit from a comprehensive course of getting up on the roof and cleaning the gutters with a teaspoon, boost the tykes up the ladder and lie back with a cool drink telling them what to do.

This approach has the advantage that you can do it from a social distance and therefore offer your services to the neighbours as well.

c. On-line and internet trading is a big thing and the awkward thing of people coming to your house when you offered old furniture and stuff on Gumtree is largely gone for the moment.

Remember that whatever goods you offer need not actually be good. If you are on one sie of a country that is in state-border and airline lockdown, you can send out whatever you wish with no fear of consequences. Indeed if it is cheap enough, no-one will even bother to return it.

Your real profit can be gleaned from the ” shipping and handling ” charges that you attach to the goods. The actual cost of sending something through the post office can be surprisingly low, as long as you do not opt for first-class delivery or insurance. But who is to say how expensive your hands are and how much handling you have done to cram the porcelain figurine into a thin envelope and push it through the post box slot. ( ” Tinkle…”) Do not undersell your expertise.

d. Charity begins at home, and the wise scammer makes sure that it is someone else’s home. Register yourself with the BGA as a charitable institution and we will issue you with a full kit of begging letters, posters, and one-way plastic collection containers. For an extra $ 100 you can also get official-looking vests with the name of your charity so that when you send the children from door to door they will look the part.

Remember that charity, like fallen leaves, frequently collects in piles. Churches and Salvation missions often have collection boxes or poor boxes at the front of their premises and these are sometimes not fastened securely. A screwdriver and a few minutes work may pay off handsomely.

Home Port

I was always impressed with the Panamanian merchant marine. And that of the Bahamas and Sierra Leone. I had grown up supposing the most powerful merchant fleets were from Britain, the US, or other allied countries – but so few of the ships that came into port seemed to be registered there. The Sierra Leonians and Panamanians had advanced to being the sailors of the world…

The penny dropped later – the ships were registered in countries that demanded no taxes from the owners, yet benefitted from whatever anyone else did as far as maritime organisation and safety. It was surprising that so few of them were not home-ported in Switzerland or Leichtenstein…

It all worked until this year when the Asian virus was found to infect the ships of the cruise lines. We’ve seen the horrid results of ships refused entry and stranded off any number of out-of-the-way ports. They’re gradually repatriating the passengers, well or otherwise, and the crews are being kept abord many of the vessels.

Time for them to go home. Not to Miami or Sydney or New York. Not to the ports where they hoovered up the money. To the ports where they cached it – their tax-free home ports. That’s where they said they were from, and that’s where they can finish up. The various governments that were taking the registration fees and banking the profits can now spend that money cleaning out the ships and turning them into low-cost floating housing for their citizens. Like the Queen Mary.

Or do a Queen Elizabeth and have a mysterious fire start in the harbour…

Subscribe To Read More

The very best headlines are written by Russian trolls to get you to click on their infected websites. The next best, generally without infection, are the news sites that require you to subscribe to a service before they’ll tell you a dirty little secret.

It’s a free country – you can click away as much as you like and accept the consequences. The worst that can happen is that your computer system will be hijacked and frozen with a demand for ransom money. Then you’ll have a perfectly legitimate excuse to set fire to the whole thing in the back yard and just read books and drink beer. Tempting, or what?

I think there is a money-making opportunity going begging here. Based upon my experience with several contributors to Facebook, there would be a good market for a service that took a subscription with the promise that you could read less. It’s not so much a blackmail scheme as a no-mail scheme. For a monthly fee they would promise not to share the next chain letter or photo of the children. A premium service would hold back anniversaries of previous photos and the gold-card standard would entitle you to avoid personal information fyshing disguised as “fun” contests.

Can I put you down for a six-month trial?

We Shut

And not apologetic about it.

We shut this last week as well. And we betting we be shut for the next two months.

They need to be a food run at some point as we did not collect a giant hoard of goodies – but this will all become clearer as the government regulations are worked out. House-number permission to do grocery shopping will probably come in and I wouldn’t be surprised at ration cards as well.

The car will not get used near as much – at least this will extend the time till the next service.

The household library will finally get re-read. A recap of all the books collected over the last 50 years.” You’ve got too many books ” will finally be silenced.

There will be somewhat of a silence, as well, on the social media. I’ve had about as much hysteria as I care to absorb – I’ll be turning some taps off shortly. The sensible and humorous will still get through.

One point of curiosity: What will the telephone scammers do to try to make hay from the current world crisis? They’ve been silent for a couple of weeks. It won’t be repentance and honesty infecting them at present, so I’ll be interested to hear from them soon.

PS: First 30-day snooze just now. Using the current troubles to push your political barrow is reprehensible.

‘Tis The Season…

To be nervous.

Falalalala La la la la.

Think I’ll phone the septic service.

Falalalala La la la la.

Liquid sounds are surely growin’.

Falalalalala La la la.

Christmas cheer is over flowin’.

Falalala Don’t get it on your shoes.

If you have a family tradition for the holidays that no-one else in the street seems to follow, are you in the right street? This is particularly poignant for those of us who live in a mixed bag. Our street hosts people from identifiably different ethnicities and many different religions. Only some would consider this part of the year to be a holiday season requiring traditional food and activities – for the rest it is just another week or so, but with fruitcake.

I myself live in a mixed household and if any of us were fanatics we could rub each other the wrong way something chronic. We do not, however, and the treble holiday season passes pretty cheerfully – except as we get older the calendar New Year’s Eve has toned down considerably. Ageing livers and dodgy eyesight mean driving home after midnight from some riotous nightclub is out of the question and we like to hit the hay earlier in the evening anyway.

But I do like the holidays – as much for the forced cheer as for the real stuff. Watching relatives who would normally bite at one another playing nice and kissy is amusing no end. If the festive event is held at someone else’s quagmire, so much the better. You can always offer to help with the dishes but leave early.

 

 

 

The Care And Feeding Of Road Rage

People have told me that there is no need to feed road rage – it has its own sources of nourishment. I am astounded by this – when I take my Toyota Crown 2000 along the Old Coast Road at Easter time towing the Blockmore caravan at 35 Km per hour I never see any rage. I’ve taken off the towing mirrors and I never look back.

Recently a person who was a great deal more Asian than I am was behind my little green Suzuki in a grey Subaru – a big one. I suspect I was not going fast enough to satisfy him – though it would have satisfied a magistrate, as it was the legal limit. In the brief glances I took into the rear-view mirror I could see lights flashing and violent gesticulations on his part. This may have been a folk dance, but if it was, the folk were unhappy.

I made sure I kept strictly to the road speed limits and drove safely Рusing my turn indicators  at the proper distance as required in the Act. My stern companion may not have read the Act, nor approved of it, as he kept repeating his light show. Perhaps there are different rules in the Dutch East Indies or French Indo-China regarding road use, and he has not had time to learn ours. In any case, when he peeled off to do important things elsewhere and I continued on to do trivial things in my part of the world, I reflected upon the lessons:

  1. Road rage sits beneath the surface of many psyches wearing many suits of clothing. You cannot assign it to any one group.
  2. It manifests itself when the practitioner is under stress – they are late – they have had a bad day at work – they are under financial pressure. Stress = rage potential.
  3. The trigger for the rage can be anything that frustrates them. If you drive at the legal speed in a lane within which they wish to break the law, you are target for that rage. They want to gamble with the laws and the Multinova fines. If you prevent this, you are culpable.
  4. The road-rager is better than you. Richer, stronger, handsomer, more powerful, etc. Some of this is in their mind and some of it may, indeed, be true – but if you do not allow them to show it, they are ANGRY. Arrogance only works if it is shared.
  5. You cannot satisfy the road-rager. Not by any means, whether that be defiance, or ignorance, or grovelling apology. The road rage is not directed at you – it is an inward attack that continues until the person has exhausted their fear and sorrow. You cannot make it better.
  6. You can, however, make it worse. If your behaviour has provoked the rage, the best and most sensible thing to do is to intensify it until the emotion rises to the point of psychotic and murderous mania. Until it is fury beyond boundary and stress beyond bearing. Get the road-rager to this stage, judge it accurately, and then slowly motor away. If you can pull into the forecourt of a hospital or police station – both well-provided with security cameras -and quickly go inside, you may be rewarded by the sight of the culprit exploding in the arms of authority. Be kind. Tell them to hold their temper…

Of course it goes without saying that you should make careful note of the licence plates of any offenders – these can be reported to the police or to people who will extract a suitable revenge for a small payment.