Victim Top-Trumps

There is a game which we might call Victim Top-Trumps which can form the basis of many a conversation and it has an element of one up-man-ship to it. The purpose of the game is prove just how badly life is treating you, how utterly unfair the world is and to elicit as much sympathy as possible. The winner goes away with the prize of being top victim. It gets conflated with Victim Poker as there can be a bidding war.

In the game of top-trumps the players are dealt a hand of cards. These might be automobiles, Star Wars characters or whatever. The idea is that someone selects a category, let’s use cars as an example. One player selects “Top Speed” and reads out for his/her card, Porsche 911 top speed 174mph. In turn each player selects a card and reads out a statistic. Ford Fiesta top speed 107mph, the next player says Bugatti Veyron top speed 242mph. Now this player has just won this round and takes the cards off the other players. The winner is the one who wins all the cards. In this instance the Bugatti is the top trump.

In the instance of Victim Top-Trumps, there are many categories. These might be: the journey to the Top-Trumps tournament, the weather, the plumbing, the relationship, the workplace, the government, the neighbours, the pets, the financial situation, health, age, substance dependence, the prices in the supermarket etc.  And each can be sub-divided into numerous sub categories. The aim is to justify the victimhood to the greatest extent possible. It needs at least two players but the numbers can increase, say at a dinner party or a wedding.

Imagine if you will three players sat around a dinner table:

A: The Piccadilly line was fucked again. I had to wait ten minutes at Arnos Grove!

B: That’s nothing there was a suicide on the tracks at Victoria!

C: Did you not hear about the terrorist attack at Leytonstone? The police had us held back for two hours!

So who won this round?

A: Pass the gin my wife left me!

B: You poor thing. I came home and found my husband dressed as a kinky nurse in red suspenders and dancing to Kylie Minogue!

C: That bird I was messaging has blocked me again. She says that she is fed up of me stalking her and sending dick pics.

 And this one?

C: My flu just won’t go away

B: It was a bugger! I had that one …..was in bed for a fortnight and they put me on antibiotics.

C: I was admitted to hospital for a few days

A:  They gave me the anti-flu virus, because of my condition, so I didn’t get it. My gammy leg has gotten worse with the weather. I am due some more X-rays

C: My heart skipped a few beats so they are considering putting in some stents

B: That’s nothing I am waiting to see if my biopsy comes back with signs of cancer again

A: The doctors say that they may have to amputate

C: As it turns out I have Ebola, so they put me in an isolation ward

So here we have raising the stakes


All in all this bunch have a lot to feel sorry for themselves about. Bless, poor things….


Having cued this up:

Do I ever play Victim Top-Trumps?

Why do I do this?

Armitage Shanks™

Dressed in his resplendent uniform
and his white silken gloves
each with three buttons
he shines porcelain daily

He places ancient scrolls of parchment
in the sacred reading cubicles
he wets the terracotta dreams and waxes
filling all the phials with ointment

He tinctures the air with incense
and places floral offerings in the vase
he cleans each shining altar with love
adding Naptha where it is needed

Cleanliness is his obsession
and soon they will visit his shrine
the one he cares for day after day
spick and span, spick and span

He knows his place.

Soon the Temple doors will open
and they will flock for confession
for some welcome release on their journey
just passing through, passing through

He knows that they cannot see him
untouchable the Brahmin in his Soul
does what he must always do
he shines porcelain daily

He buffs the vanity mirrors
and fills all the machines with fayre
adding blue pills and plastic
which perhaps, they might later wear.

He knows his place.

And when his shift is done
he reads Nietzsche in the night
and Lao Tze at dawn
he worries at the fading of his sight

As the eight bells toll at five
once more he becomes alive
he shuffles off the duvet warm
and reveilles at his alarm

Dressed in his resplendent uniform
and his white silken gloves
each with three buttons
he shines porcelain daily

He knows his place.

Hello Langley

Sister Gwyneth Pritchard
from Abergavenny
says they don’t wire tap
NHS hospitals
well at least, not that many

Like her colleague
nurse Blodwen Jones
she doubts that
they are interested
in my mobile phones

The firewall here is intact
says my friend Fireman Sam
they don’t hide mikes
nor fish eye cameras
on that woman, with the pram

And when I meet on Monday
with the well known august Dr Brain
he says that Mossad
are not here for me
they camp in the grounds, just to train

The FSB have now long since left
says the man in the bed next
they know he knows
all their codes
as he has sent them to Putin, in a text

Still we count everyday
the visitor’s umbrella stand
just to be certain
and be sure
for strange isotopes, might be at hand

And when the server goes down
it is just a gremlin not the Kremlin
the CIA and FBI
do not listen
to the words we send
it is of course, all pretend

Sister Gwyneth Pritchard
from Abergavenny
says they don’t wire tap
NHS hospitals
well at least, not that many

Ah but what about the Alien horde?
They can’t wait, to get me aboard
my organs are precious
can’t you see?
They want to experiment on me

Hush now baby don’t you fret
and don’t you worry
tonight we have a chicken curry
and before the lights go out
we can watch the X-Factor show
and even Langley will never know.

Homo In Silicio

Homo sapiens, a possible misnomer, is heading towards an entire new species, which we might deem homo in silicio. Already much of our time is spent on line and in our electronic worlds. There are advances in medical implants whereby the heart etc. is controlled by on board electronic devices. We have the world of wearable tech.

Before long it will be implantable tech. we may become microchipped like cats and dogs. Soon there will be a new rite of passage at say 18. Then we get fitted with our own transmitter/receiver and our SIM implant. We will get intra-cochlear headphones and an intra-jawbone microphone implant. Our heads-up display will be hardwired into the cortex.

Amongst us will be an army of clones produced from neither egg nor sperm. Many of us will change species and there will be a parallel evolution between homo in silicio and residual homo sapiens. It will be to be discovered if any Souls are willing to take on a cloned body, so we may have a new type of being entirely without Soul. Only those rich enough for the implant technology will become homo in silicio, they will communicate with the all the data sources and live increasingly immersed in the virtual worlds. They will seek to dominate the remainder of homo sapiens, who will develop empath and telepath qualities.

Homo in silico will give over control of pretty much everything it values to the onboard artificial intelligence. It will have virtual relationships via avatars, reproduce by electrically and visually stimulated ejaculation into glassware, the eggs harvested simultaneous with the SIM fitting rite of passage will be extracted from liquid nitrogen and genetically matched. No corporeal contact will ever be needed again and so homo in silicio will exist in a near hermetically sealed world devoid of viruses and bacteria, where high definition 3D holograms are the on board ersatz of nature.

In time there will be the war to end wars, in which the machine driven soft wet matter takes on the rest. It will be the war of the empath and telepath, against the computers and its hosts.

Coming sooner than you think to a world near you…

Hmnn… perhaps there is a movie script here….

The Worrier’s Path

The talker’s rule…

1) A Worrier does not believe in battles, therefore he approaches life with all the accuracy and care of someone who has drunk ten pints of “wife beater” and taken half a gram of amphetamine sulphate. A Worrier knows that knee jerk reactions are best and that repetition of folly is his favourite pastime.

2) By striving for complexity a Worrier fills his diary and day-to-day life with things of the utmost boredom and futility so as to avoid taking any action. A Worrier is able to construct a twenty-seven dimension third order hyperpolarisability tensor for any situation so as to justify the fact that he is overwhelmed by complexity. By projecting catastrophe after catastrophe onto the world, the Worrier justifies his fear and inertia.

3) A Worrier knows that it is better to run than to stand, being sure that he can always put things off until Monday next week, when he can, if there is time, review how to put them off until the following month. A Worrier is sure that there is no such thing as the eternal now and his favourite mantra are “if only” and “what if?”

4) A Worrier never enters into battle because he knows that the control of his self-image, view of the world and personal history are what keeps him sane. As such a Worrier is always obsessed with controlling his life so that he can, after all, have life on his own terms.

5)Whenever faced with even the slightest of difficulty the Worrier capitulates to the sound judgment of his infallible reason. He becomes obsessed with displacement activities and bends the true meaning of life to fit with all his preconceptions and prejudice.

6) A Worrier stretches time so that his life is filled with the exquisite beauty of hours spent in the dental waiting room looking forward with anticipation to that root canal work in the absence of anaesthetic. By making life as boring as possible he will extend his apparent longevity by decades. Hence his life will seem like an eternity.

7) A Worrier is convinced that he is only his self-image and ensures that his personal history is sufficiently intact that he can be bound to it. A Worrier never reveals to himself the fact that he is a magical being of the universe.

Death by Committee (no action needed)


The Committee for Due and Careful Consideration
has concluded that, after much,
due and careful consideration
there is a need for some more committee work
in order to reach consensus and include all stakeholder views

Henceforth, the Committee for Tentative Bold Decisions
will be disbanded and replaced by the following:

The Committee for Developing the Procrastinory Arts
which will be under the umbrella of
the Division of Continuous Development
and manged by sub tier Obfuscation and Delay
special focus group Application of Classical Hellenic Drama in Committee Work

The Committee for Exploration of Justificatory Practice
(as applied to the abeyance of decision making).
It will be chaired by Sir John Certainty
formerly of Ladbrokes and now
Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Prevarication

The Committee for Extensive Self Congratulation
(a sub committee of the Remunerations and Rewards Division)
This will be chaired by Dame Patricia O’ Bac
formerly of the European Union Centre for Administrative Acceleration
and part time adviser to Greenpeace on Sustainable Bureaucracy (paper)

The Committee for Dogmatic Adherence to Due Process
(a sub committee of Regulatory Affairs)
This will be chaired by Rick Parfitt of Status Quo fame
his portfolio will focus on the inclusion of the work
of the above committees into the institutional Dogma Manual / User Guide

The Committee for Considering the Risk of Risk Mitigation Strategies
(a sub committee of Corporate Contingency Planning and Risk Contingency)
This will be chaired by the entire Committee for Strategic Oversight
and include representatives from all member states
with each having a veto to ensure complete inclusion

The Committee for Employee Well Being and Vacations
(a cross functional committee between Human Resources and Remuneration)
Sir Thomas Cook and Sir Richard Branson will co-chair.
The Committee for Dogmatic Adherence to Due Process
has already received their disclosures with respect to conflict of interest

The Committee for Generating New Committees
(This is envisaged as a “blue skies” think tank)
The Director General European Commissary Affairs will chair.
He will be the new committee generating Tzar
Price Waterhouse Coopers will audit expenditure

The Committee for Due and Careful Consideration
would like to thank The Committee for Tentative Bold Decisions
for all their hard work over the decades.
It hopes they enjoy the private box at The Royal Opera House
and wishes them well for all their Christmases in Barbados.

Memorandum Ends