Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Even with such a wide variety of channels that you can get free through your TV and even more that you can pay for - it still seems like it is seen by high-brow individuals as being an idiot box.

Now I will admit that things like reality TV shows and panel game shows and competitions are very much overdone, especially when different channels run shows that are almost identical in order to try and "compete" with one another.

But this similar format in programming is not just limited to reality TV, in fact there are so many procedural cop TV shows that glamorize a certain profession that has men with egos that are large enough without the extra publicity and status that these kind of shows bring. The other problem with procedural cop TV shows is that they tend to vilify the poor and innocent bounty hunter, private investigator and mercenary in a very unfair light...well maybe not so unfair but I still don't like it.

There are a certain number of shows that do seem to break the mould of this dreary predictability, shows like the West Wing, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, the Magnificent Seven, Spaced, Porridge, To the Manor Born, Firefly, Blackadder, shows that are wonderful to watch time and again due to fantastic acting, brilliant scripting and being well produced. Granted their ratings weren't necessarily as high as the more boring television and trashy programs that are broadcast, but that doesn't take away from how wonderful they are.

Then for those who see fictional programs as being a waste of time there are arts channels and programs, ballet, opera and theatre that is broadcast; nature documentaries - most of them seemingly having David Attenborough involved - historical documentaries and even channels that are there purely to provide religious and faith-based programming. 

The television is hardly an idiot box, a great drain and distraction on time - true enough, a killer of the art of conversation? Arguable. An easy way for people to have to avoid talking to each other about problems? Almost certainly.

However as far as television goes, it reached it's peak in the 1990s with Sharkey & George, Poddington peas, Family Ness, Jonny Quest, Earthworm Jim, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and the X-men cartoons. After that they really shouldn't have bothered doing anything else, I mean Top Cat and the Wacky Races defined the pinnacle of television before the 1990s cartoons came along and blew them out of the water. 

I know I am in the minority in yearning for the past glories of television that will never again grace the airways or digital signal as they are now, but then again I still have a working VCR and a TV that has a back box that is four times the size of the screen. So maybe it's me that is stuck in the past and digging my heels in, not wanting to move on, but then again I really don't care; at least my brain is being rotted by high class, time absorbing, entertainment and not modern trash.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Murder in the First - Day 2

I had spent the first day of my investigation finding out what Turndune and Ellis knew. It really shouldn't have taken up a whole day when you consider that their combined IQ is about four and that they wouldn't be able to find their way out of a wet paper bag, even with directions. 

However trying to find out what they knew, without them finding out what I was up to, required some degree of finesse. Now ordinarily I despise stealth and sneaking and all that kind of behaviour that you expect from spies and assassins, but if I had any hope of helping out Ryan, I had to adopt some methods that I generally find deplorable.

When it comes to taking on bad guys and enemies, I have always felt it best to kick down the door and go in all guns blazing; let everyone know exactly where they stand in a very blunt and direct manner. Granted this has meant I have a hospital loyalty card, but still I like it and it does seem to get me results and pay as well as hospital visits.

As it turned out there was little to no evidence available that implicated anyone, let alone Ryan. The murder victim was a young woman, not more than twenty-two years old and was well known to the police.

She had been arrested several times for possession, solicitation, assault, burglary and a string of other petty crimes. I say petty crimes because my yard stick for criminal behaviour is Kevin Metis - crime lord, gang boss, murderer, human trafficker, drug smuggler, kidnapper, rapist and a whole lot more. 

The victim's name was Sonya Lesner, it had some vague meaning to me, buried somewhere in my memory that I couldn't quite grasp when I first saw the name, but I had no doubt that I would remember why it was important when I need to, or more likely, just after I needed to.

She had been found beaten in an alley, her clothes torn off and strangled. The bruising on her neck, arms and torso suggested that it was a man, the hand mark too big to belong to a woman. She had engaged in some form of sexual practice earlier in the evening, but it was clear from the medical examination that she hadn't been raped.

The problem was that the evidence collected showed that the sexual practice Sonya had been involved in had been with Ryan. Ordinarily that wouldn't mean that he would be the prime suspect, especially as no evidence had been found to link him to the murder scene. Yes, he would have been brought in to be questioned and asked to prove his whereabouts etc, but the way Turndune and Ellis were talking, it was very clear they were not looking for anyone else, or even considering that it wasn't Ryan.

It's not surprising for corrupt cops to act this way, especially when they both hate the Barlow family with a vengeance. They were going after Ryan to hurt Fred, and damage his reputation in the standings of the police and general community.

Yet another reason that Fred couldn't get involved in investigating.

Having discovered what I could from Tweedledum and Tweedledee, I decided that I should really get on with finding Ryan before the boys on the beat did.

There are many places for a smart man or a rich man to hide in this city and never be found. There are even more places that a smart or rich man can go and though the police know where they are, they can never be touched.

Fortunately for me, Ryan wasn't a smart man or a rich man. There were a few places that I knew he would avoid, his place, my place, the library, all pubs, clubs and pool halls. It occurred to me that there were two possible places that he could be hiding that Turndune and Ellis would never think of looking for him in - one was the police station, the other was Fred's place.

There seems to be a generally held assumption that there are certain places that are just stupid to hide in and so are never checked. Though Fred's place wasn't a bad call to go and hide in, I had the sneaking suspicion that Ryan was in the police station and not just anywhere in the police station, but in Superintendent Gary Rogers' office.

Rogers was on a three month cruise with the latest bimbo that he seemed to have collected and as a result his office was not in use, not even post was being delivered there. It was at the top of the building and unless you were going to see the Superintendent, there wasn't any reason to go up to that level. The fire escape also connected to his office on the exterior of the building that meant Ryan could come and go as he pleased.

I waited until the change of shift between 2am and 3am and crept up the fire escape to Rogers' office. The door was locked, but it didn't take a moment for me to pick the lock and sure enough, there on the floor of the office, fast asleep, lay Ryan.