Disaster porn

Armadillo pose

My slumbers are being disturbed daily by the incredible on-going story of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane MH370. Not least by the ability of so many people to create so many stories out of so little information. As the scale of the search grows ever wider I decided I should add my own surveillance skills to the effort…

Plotting an escapeI was particularly distressed by the idea of suicide by pilot, with widespread reporting of two previous cases back in the late 1990’s. So much so, that I thought I would submit my own script of events before Hollywood churned out their inevitable take on the story. So, put aside all of your conspiracy theories, because this is how I think things have played out.

As a plot developer I am going with the idea that the pilot or co-pilot had decided on suicide by crashing the plane, and had over-powered their colleague in the cockpit shortly into the routine flight. It is widely reported that a ‘ping’ was being transmitted for about 6 hours after the communications systems had been disabled; and the plane is thought to have changed course to a northern or southern corridor taking it either towards India or into the Indian Ocean. My preferred theory is the southern route out over the ocean, until the plane runs out of fuel and plunges into the water.

However, there is a stranger twist to this altogether strange affair. How could the perpetrator have guessed that they would be plunging into a massive ocean at the exact position that Bruce Willis had rowed his fishing boat out to? What are the chances that the only man in the world who could single-handedly catch a jet plane and hold it completely intact as it entered the water and continued down into the murky depths would be in that exact same place?

But at this point in the story things start to get a little odd… as Bruce and the plane plumb knew depths (go on, you never thought he could did you?) a pinpoint of light appears on the distant ocean floor. Could it be the coin Bruce had recently flipped to see if he was going to have a successful day fishing? Probably not. There again, it could be a wedding ring tossed overboard from a passing cruise liner as the result of a domestic tiff. Probably not.

No, as it turns out there was a simpler explanation… much to Bruce’s amazement (go on, you never thought he could be amazed did you?) it was the glint in George Clooney‘s eye, as he stood on the threshold of the lost city of Atlantis.

In his own special way George extended a warm welcome and a cup of coffee to the bemused but somewhat relieved passengers. Bruce declined, as he preferred tea. George had personally discovered, at no cost to his reputation, an ethically sound and sustainably resourced new world… and as there was no wi fi, internet access or mobile phone signals everyone lived happily ever after. Well, that’s Hollywood for you.

X-ray eyes

I intend to donate all the proceeds from the film to the families of those who were on MH370. In the unlikely event that my vision of what happened doesn’t turn out to be completely accurate I advise you all to revisit your conspiracy theories. But don’t let your Bruce-induced nightmares keep you awake.

Until I discover a cure for dementia, and we speak again, I am going to be an extra vigilant Juno.

[With special thanks to those who placed Bruce & George pics on Google images that helped illustrate this tale (or should that be tail?)].

Somebody has to…

Jesus Loves

My ‘religious correspondent‘ has identified a source of tremendous salvation for all of you out there on the eight-lane black top, the car-dominated cities of the world, the highways and the freeways, the motorways and the turnpikes, in your smog and exhaust fume riddled existence… Jesus Loves You!

If you are reading this while driving along a Los Angeles freeway, the likelihood is that you are infringing rather than breaking any laws… as vehicular movement is likely to be minimal. As you glance at the Hollywood sign on the hill you are probably blissfully unaware of Gabalfa. But, as a cat steeped in observation of my surroundings, I can assure you that Gabalfa is the Cardiff based equivalent of your present dilemma. It is a point on the planet where a four-lane flyover intersects with a moment that bridges across the world as a simple dual carriageway spans East and West (as Eastern Avenue becomes Western Avenue, or vice versa depending on your direction of travel). This could quite easily be the Istanbul of Wales if it wasn’t for the complete lack of any culture, intellectual interest or iconic imagery.

I am particularly taken by the other-wordly claws at the bottom of the picture. Either this is the devil’s representative encroaching on the ‘heavenly love‘ bestowed on a bunch of non-descript residences flanking a few hundred metres of boring blacktop; or could it be that a wizzened old Gabalfarian has been religiously press-ganged into making an appearance to support the generosity of the claim made of the bearded one.

The following images are gratefully downloaded from internet sources to illustrate Glorious Gabalfa, and leave you in no doubt or uncertainty about the task faced by the lordly one in his love-spreading endeavours:

Until we speak again I have been your worshipful Juno, forever baffled by the claims attributed to and by religious faiths.

Another christmas ghost story

Ebenezer Mackay approached the staff entrance to the Cardiff City Stadium and immediately reeled backwards in surprise. There on the door was the most ghostly apparition starring back at him…

A disembodied voice boomed: “Malky, before you enter this portal again you must reflect on the ghosts of Premier Past, Premier Present and Premier Future. Firstly, Premier Past… I know you spent too much of my money, and as a punishment I removed your right hand and replaced it with a chocolate teapot, but what were you thinking at Palace last week?

“If we are to stay up and you keep your job we have to be winning these games… or at least that is what people who properly understood football have suggested I say.”

Malky, accustomed as he is at the blank expression required for trying to be serious when talking to doors [see above image], offered the usual Glaswegian response to such threats… unfortunately no interpreter was available to provide a coherent translation, but a combination of ‘Jimmy’, ‘stitch’ and ‘that’ were audible to those close by.

The apparition boomed again: “If you can’t speak fluent Malaysian when addressing me, your Almighty Leader, at least get the fans off my back with a win against the Warner Brothers Association or whatever they are called. The fans have had enough of the Hollywood extravagance from recent visiting teams, they want some of the fabled gritty British stuff to be dealt out by us to the opposition.”

Malky knew on this occasion he had a prize ghost up his own sleeve, the ghost of Premier Past and Premier Present would be available for selection in his own team:


So is it to be the Peter Odemwingie show? Will he step up to the plate and put the West Brom transfer debacle behind him, and respond to the away fans taunts the way all Cardiff fans expect?

The blood-curdling voice made one final remonstration: “The ghost of Premier Future will come in the shape of Liverpool at Anfield. We can discuss your christmas present after that result.” Malky stood unrepentant, and with the defiance that comes from having all of the fans on your side he delivered his own ghostly response… “Threaten me pal and I will send a few ghosts around to your mansion for a little talk. The ghosts of Scottish football history will pay an enlightening visit.”

      These guys can tell you a little bit about football, and they also know something of the Glasgow ways of doing things.

It’s 3.00p.m. on a grey Saturday afternoon, the West Bromwich Albion players look unimpressed by the Cardiff pre-match love-in, the home fans are awaiting some fireworks…

City v WBA [1]


From the off the Bluebirds/Red Dragons/Purple Dragonbirds (take your pick) promise fireworks with three early chances, but as with many a fireworks display it fades after a few minutes of sparkle, bang and crash… with no goals to show for the effort. The remainder of the first half follows a pattern of Cardiff domination that the locals have become unused to seeing so far this season… but still no goals.

The second half seems to be providing much of the same, when at last in the 66th minute a cross from Craig Noone was met for a rare headed Peter Whittingham goal (a bonus for my personal representative, who also has Whittingham in a fantasy team).

Peter Wittingham scores

Chances at both ends happen during the remainder of the match, with both teams making a bit of a meal of scoring any decisive goals. West Bromwich Albion are possibly more famous for their Balti Pies, and on this performance they are still more famous for their pies as they were definitely the undercooked product in comparison to a home team sponsored by the more appetizing Peter’s Pies:

The ghost of Premier Past failed to haunt the away fans, but Peter Odemwingie did enough to draw the applause of Premier Present in the form of the home fans. For the record the final score was PETER’S PIES 1 BALTI PIES 0. Ebenezer Mackay went away with a smile and a little less fear of any outcome from the ghost of Premier Future at Anfield next week. As for Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, they will be enjoying a few more smiles when they look at the Premier League table after this result, but await many more guarantees before the promised riches of the league are secure for a further year.

I have been Juno, and I hope these seasonal reflections didn’t scare too many anxious Purple Dragonbirds as they seek a reassuring christmas carol from the Malaysian humbug in their financial driving seat. I look forward to further seasonal ruminations before too long.

Bluebirds 3 Blue Moon 2

I kind of forgot to comment last week when my local team went to my old haunt in East London and lost, but today I was amazed by the sight of a jubilant Cardiff City fan coming down the road:

Jubilant Cardiff City Fan

Seems that being the richest team in the world doesn’t count for much when you come up against a bunch of Bluebirds who haven’t had a home match in the top league to shout about for 51 years. And so it came to pass, that the collection of multi-millionaires (aka Manchester City) were the first to come to town for a stroll in the park against the newly promoted (Champions, may I add) minnows of Cardiff City.

City v Man City [1]And there was me thinking they were big men… it seems like Cardiff had a sneaky tactic of bringing in a supporter large enough to scoop up most of the Manchester City team.

After a tense first half, with Cardiff keeping their illustrious visitors to 0-0, the half-time buzz was all about daring to dream, whilst trying to suppress the thoughts of what the men from everywhere except Manchester could do (well at least we had one from Cardiff!).

City v Man City [2]The whistle blows for the second half… its all Manchester City. They take an early lead, but it only spurs on the locals to even greater noise, getting behind their team, transmitting the belief as only football can… a bunch of overweight folks sat on their arses telling a bunch of fit blokes how to play (strange how these humans think when they get passionate).

Without any help from a Hollywood make-over merchant the miraculous happens, the dreams are answered, Martin Scorsese need look no further for the plot of his next film. An equaliser, Cardiff take the lead, then go further into the lead.

Fraizer Campbell scores the third goal for Cardiff

The Cardiff fans are in dreamland, expecting the fourth and fifth to arrive like London buses. Then the officials add on 6 minutes of injury time… the old traditional Fergie-time has transferred across Manchester. Time for Manchester City to pull back a second; could they find a further finish to bring the local hopes and dreams crashing down? Kiss my furry rump could they. The final whistle blows… its time for many a Cardiff person to pinch themselves. Yes, it really did happen, the world is a changed place from what it was at the 4.00p.m. kick-off… and normal football cliches will resume on all sports channels and in pubs across the land. Just don’t interrupt a Cardiff fan at the moment with silly questions about ‘Bluebirds’ playing in red and black:

Bluebirds I have been Juno, your intrepid sports reporter, see you again the other side of disbelief!