Heads you lose
It is all rather depressing witnessing captured Westerners in Baghdad falling prey to Iraqi head collectors while governments cite the age-old mantra "We don't negotiate with terrorists", whilst secretly negotiating with terrorists.
I am convinced that these militant groups have got a real PR problem, made infinitely worse by capturing harmless middle-aged men who think working in a warzone is the way to easy money, and parading them in from of the cameras whilst wearing their best balaclava, a present from Auntie Ada. If they're really serious about spreading dread and fear into the hearts of Western culture, they should be targetting their victims a touch more selectively, and for a small fee, I am willing to help them out.
Mr Zarqawi, you are, quite frankly, kidnapping the wrong people, and your demands are ...well... shit.
Look, go out and round up as many westerners as you like, and we will immediately exchange them on a one-to-one basis with high-value targets, convinced that they are taking part in a new series of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here". Can you imagine the tabloid frenzy should the likes of Abi Titmuss, former members of Hear'Say or Sonia from Eastenders turn up, handcuffed to a radiator somewhere in Sadr City?
Good Lord, convince the right people of the existence of Baghdad Fashion Week and you'll have any number of air-kissing, chattering wankers heading to their near certain doom Kate Moss. Naomi Campbell. Think of the publicity. Think of the public opinion. And I'll even throw Neil "Doctor" Fox in for nothing. It's a win-win. And by way of Brucey bonus - not only will you be the possessor of top-quality, hardly-used celebrity brains, but can you imagine the quantities of Class A drugs packed up their nostrils? You'd make a killing...
And your demands? Don't make any, except for the chance to appear on "Star in their Eyes", done up in drag as Chaka Khan singing "Ain't Nobody", and a series of glossy 8x10s of a naked Konnie Huq in a bath of beans. Trust me, those Yankee infidels will be fleeing from the Middle East before you can say "Hey! Isn't that TV's Ant and Dec?" Just take the bastards off our hands, we don't want them anymore.
I can start immediately: just follow the sound of barrels being scraped, and you will arrive at tonight's ITV Celebrity Awards, guaranteed to be heaving with some of the most vapid individuals ever to grace the pages of OK! magazine.
And while we're visiting Tasteless City
Seeing as the BBC has pulled the plug on Popetown - a cartoon lampooning the Catholic Church - the door has been left wide open for my brand new sitcom proposal: the story of a cafe owner in occupied Baghdad, his loyalties torn between making a quick buck off the occupying army and the head-collecting resistance whilst trying to smuggle The Fallen Mullah With Ze Big Boobies across the border to Syria. It's called "Allah! Allah!"
I'll get me yashmak.