This week in my cupboard at The Dabbler I launch an exciting new series in which I dispense free online legal advice to the unwashed masses. Our first topic is bonkers alibis. There is, I am told, a body of opinion that reliable legal advice is best sought from qualified practitioners who have devoted a number of years to study of the law. There is some merit in this view. Unfortunately, if I took it seriously, I would not be in a position to dispense legal advice of any sort, and that would never do, would it? I like nothing better than to stand on street corners haranguing passers-by with legal tips, through a loudhailer if necessary, or even a tannoy, whether those passers-by are in need of the advice or not. After all, the day may come when they will need it, hoit cum toit, tolly polly, rinkum dinkum.
It is also worth pointing out that you may benefit from deep textual study of my legal tips even if you are not a member of the unwashed masses, for example if you are the sort of person who bathes occasionally and shuns human company, aloft in your ivory tower. Such persons are still placed under arrest, rightly or wrongly, particularly if Detective Captain Cargpan is in a bad temper, as he so often is, when he has not roughed somebody up for a few hours. Why, only the other day I heard tell of a fellow, an inhabitant of an ivorian turret given to preening upon his balcony spitting upon and hurling anathemas at the unwashed masses gathered below at the foot of his turret, with their pitchforks and stink. Up the spiral staircase lumbered Cargpan and his toughs, and they bashed this chap about and dragged him off to the nick, where they bashed him about some more before charging him with several obscure crimes most of us thought had been removed from the statute book, such as “leaning against his own mantelpiece” and “having an oddly-shaped head”.
Of course, I knew these were still heinous acts of criminality, even though I have never studied the law. My knowledge comes from having memorised Dobson’s pamphlet How To Fill Your Brain With Arcane Legal Precepts Through Simple Will-Power And Osmosis (out of print). The ivorian turreteer did not, alas, retain me as his legal advocate, and that is why he is now serving twenty thousand years in Sing Sing, or in the Pointy Town equivalent of Sing Sing, which is called something like Bing Bang or Ping Pong or Whiff Whaff. It is not to be confused with the thrilling sport of the same name, played with light little white balls and bats. The bats are not white, though they are fairly light and fairly little, when compared, say, to big bats like bludgeons, the ones Detective Captain Cargpan issues to his ruffians on the morning of an arrest. Nor are these the same bats that hang upside down in caves and flit and swoop and occasionally become entangled in the hair of screeching girlies in certain genres of film.
I hope from the above it is clear that I have an enviable grasp of many matters, legal and otherwise, and therefore can almost always be relied upon when dispensing advice, in The Dabbler and elsewhere.