The other week I wrote, and then deleted, a rather eloquant rant about the concept of "choice" in the public services, thinking that no bugger would be interested. Just my luck then, that all of this country's party leaders have been going through my bins as the issue emerged as the headline of the day yesterday. Bastards.
"Choice!" they cry. "Choice! When you need an operation, you can choose which hospital you go to. Good God, it's a free market, dog-eat-dog world now, and you, as the customer get to choose which flesh eating virus you pick up from which Health Service trust."
What, I must say, a complete load of bollocks. If Thatcher wasn't completely do-lally and calling everybody "Dennis", she'd be bouncing off the walls at the crap Blair's coming out with. And Howard's no better, trying to out-choice the opposition with a vision of tills ringing up and down the country, health service managers and private hospitals swimming in great pools of cash.
It's a phony argument, as Charles Kennedy said in a rare moment of sobriety. When I go to have my bionic legs grafted on, I'd like it to be done at the Royal Dorset Hospital, which just happens to be the nearest one to me. And I'm sure that anybody else with half a brain would want the same, unless they're having pointy bits stuck into the other half. Bollocks to choice - and the same goes for schools, transport and Lord knows what else - we just want local services that work.
Not too much to ask? Alas, it appears it is.
No.2: Velma Dinkley
Sweet, short-sighted Velma, always in the shadow of leggy, glamourous Daphne. Cursed by a frightening intellect and a haircut that looked like a motorcycle helmet, this member of the Scooby Doo gang was always going to play second fiddle to the more glamourous occupants of the Mystery Machine.
However, Miss Dinkley is saved by one thing - her burning sexual desires that consumed any mortal that crossed her path. Busty Velma, never happier than when meddling with herself, hid a rampaging passion under dowdy jumpers and a geeky exterior; but unleashed, she became a wild animal devouring all in her path. Why do you think someone called "Shaggy" is a complete nervous wreck?
This passion, alas, had a dark side. Who can forget Dinkley's sudden downfall when the scandal of trading sexual favours for the framing of Old Man Hannigan from the Penny Arcade over The Innsmouth Haunting and Gold Bullion scam emerged? It's incredible what you can do with a Scooby Snack.
Highlight Episode: Velma and Daphne do Zombie Island. Leaving Freddie a twitching corpse on the beach, the girls finally manage to do some investigations of their own - each other!
Looking back, I really ought to have got out more.
Not the vote-o, again
Once again, I'll be up to my elbows in it tomorrow, so I won't be able to prepare a fresh Scary Story. Instead, covered in fresh sticky-back plastic, will be one I prepared earlier - a tale of mirth, woe and singed arses.