|I took this picture. Me. With my pooey trigger finger.|
So it appears that the world's most thin-skinned leader - Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan - fresh from persecuting anybody in his own country who might have a bad word to say about him, is now being allowed to prosecute a German comedian because of a bit of on-air mockery
to which he took exception.
What a world we live in when politicians and leaders can't take a bit of a ribbing from satirists. Satire is a good thing. It holds the powerful to account in a way that the general public can understand and enjoy, and it deflates huge egos.
And I remember a time when Mr Erdogan wasn't like this. In fact, I met him at a conference in Istanbul where he seemed quite pleasant and almost tolerant of people asking him about the Armenian Genocide. There was only a minor riot. One could even go as far as calling it a bit of a barney.
And I've told this story before, but it's worth repeating in the current circumstances.
You see, I was running late to my conference meet-up with the (then) Prime Minister of Turkey. The reason: A surfeit of kebabs the night before in an epic feast up by the Blue Mosque, and it was - in the words of the Viz Profanisaurus - touching cloth.
Reader, I did what was - and remains to this day - the biggest poo in my life in that toilet on the top floor of the Hotel du Posh by the Bosphorus, and what made it worse was that it was a three-flusher that I had to beat to death with the toilet brush. And still it sat there for the maid to find (And she did. And she was disgusted).
With time against me, I fled from the room without washing my hands, into the express lift and down to the conference room, where the Prime Minister of Turkey awaited.
At some stage in proceedings I believe I shook his hand. Things were a bit of a blur, you understand. I might also have said something nice to Vladimir Putin's pal who runs Russia Today. It was a different world back then and everybody was friends.
But it still stands. My hand-shaking hand was the one that had the lurgi from The World's Biggest Poo. And it touched the Prime Minister of Turkey and the germs sent him down the road to where we are today.
Like a butterfly flapping its wing in China, these things spiral out of control.
And ten years on, I'm not even sorry. You hear that? I'm not even sorry.
So sue me, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Sue me.