Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Alternative employment ideas

It's the Little and Large Show
Originally uploaded by StefZ.

I have been toying with a few ideas to earn a little cash whilst my mid-life crisis runs it course and I finally realise that working in an office is great after all.

The first idea I ha€™ve been kicking around is to offer a professional, at home, but above all, discreet, PC maintenance service for celebrities and politicians.

Let'€™s face it, having your PC repaired off-site is the 21st century equivalent of taking a couple of rolls of film to Snappy Snaps for processing. Every photolab I have ever dealt with had a couple of albums in a back room somewhere, loaded with duplicates of the more bizarre and pornographic customer photographs. And sometimes, Heaven forbid, the lab technicians even stopped laughing long enough to call the police or social services.

There i€™s a gap in the market out there. After all, what is the point of employing a fitness trainer, lifestyle guru and personal chef if you are doing three years in Parkhurst on child porn charges?

Ah yes, the Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away

From Jonathan King to Gary Glitter to Pete Townsend to Matthew Kelly to Michael Jackson to that pair of former Labour cabinet ministers who miraculously avoided exposure a year or two back (hmmm, now what were their names again?), it is a risky world out there for paedo porn hungry people in the public eye.

What is the harm in viewing images anyway? People watch imagery of war and death on news programs every day and no one is locking them up for murder.

Yeah right.

Hats off the Microsoft on this one. Not only have they produced such crap operating systems that pretty much every home PC is now crippled with malware, spyware and botched application installations, they also came up with the Internet Explorer file caching system, the downfall of many a children'€™s TV presenter....

Would you like Internet Explorer to save hidden copies of all the unnatural smut you've been looking at over the last three months you grubby little reptile? Yes / No

Aside from offering a specialist PC repair service for famous perverts who would rather not become famous for being perverts, I am also toying with the idea of offering specialist walking tours around London. Not only are they a potentially lucrative source of cash income, that the taxman is unaware of, they could also be a lot of fun.

I got thinking about this outside Whitechapel tube station on Saturday night. A man with a silly hat and the voice and mannerisms of a middle-aged, out of work actor was gathering a collection of expectant American tourists for one of the numerous Jack the Ripper walks that criss-cross that part of London. What really impresses me about the Jack the Ripper walks in particular, aside from the opportunity for kick-backs from the pubs that line the route, is the fact that few original Ripper sites remain. Actually, I could be wrong here but, on reflection, no original Ripper sites are left standing. Not having taking part in one of these walks myself I can only imagine what the guides are telling their eager punters...

And over here between the Bangladeshi sweatshop on the left and the kebab house on the right, just where that empty can of lager is propped up against the wall, is the site of the fourth Ripper murder. Imagine, if you will, a night-time scene, a cobbled street wreathed in fog, quite unlike the scene you see today ... etc etc

I got to chatting about the prospect of getting into this business with my companions later on in the evening.

We had stopped for a drink in an up-market bar that looked like a hotel lobby area at the far end of Brick Lane. The hotel ambience was accentuated by the presence of a several East European call girls. Sat at the table immediately behind us was a particularly nasty looking piece of work with a pair of female employees. He seemed to be catering for two very different potential markets, namely Muscovite Brick Layer and Heroin Schoolgirl. He bought the bricklayer and the schoolgirl a Margarita each then they sat there not saying anything to each other for half an hour before walking out onto the street, and staying there.

Anyway we watched TV for a bit. Until, the TV got up, adjusted his dress and left the bar.

I then turned the subject of conversation towards imaginary tours of London, in keeping with the tour we had seen earlier and a blog posting I had made on a similar subject a little while ago. I mentioned the story about the teacher on a school trip who had shown us the place in Rome where the Toblerone was invented 500 years ago. Tracy then came up with a blinding lie to tell tourists on my proposed London walking tour. In its early draft form, it goes something like this

The first tube tunnels were originally built in 1645 and cut in a triangle shape. The designers believed that this was the strongest tunnel configuration and one that would enable the trains to travel at very high speeds. Because of their experience with mountain passes, Swiss workmen from the village of Tobe Le Rone were employed to cut the tunnels. When they had finished working on the Underground they returned home and one of them started a chocolate making business. He created the triangular-shaped Toblerone chocolate bar in memory of his time working under the streets of London

And then comes the punch line. You wink at the listening tourists and say in an authoritative tone

And that is why real Londoners always refer to the Underground as the Tobe. Remember, if you want to sound like someone who knows the real London, and not some tourist who has just come into town, always refer to the Tobe

Excellent, another two dozen similar lies and I sha€™ll be ready to rock and roll. Maybe, I could even turn the whole walk into a kind of street game show, a contest to see who can correctly spot the most of my bullshit. I could give the winner a prize. A bar of Swiss chocolate maybe...

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