February 2009


In the light of recent fraud allegations against Sir Allen Stanford, Jai Alai 3Card Monty wishes to reassure our investors that our Cayman Islands-based auditors Bikini, Makepiece, Royalton LLC could and occasionally do detect the difference between their arses and elbows and have as of yet made no public statement regarding the solvency of Jai Alai’s Hedgeer Hemlein Index-linked Spandex Dandruff Tat Fund (formerly known as 18/46 CAKE Fund).




TDIA: I imagine you have all been wondering what I have been building down in the basement this last while.  Well, it’s not quite ready yet and the weird quantum uncertainty thing with Pope and Marconi set me back a bit but I can tell you that…


The Apostate Reader: …Can you believe this stuff?  I mean seriously, can you believe this stuff.  Indulgences!  Schismatic Bishops repackaged!  I’ve had enough! I am going to…


TDIA: …and you are?


The Apostate Reader: The Apostate Reader.  Can’t you read?


TDIA: I see that but I still have no idea what you are doing in my kitchen.


The Apostate Reader: Isn’t this the blog with all the stuff about the Pope and Berlusconi and stuff.


TDIA: That’s ALEXANDER Pope the dead poet and the fascists here like Rafaella Marconi are mostly quantum chimera.


The Apostate Reader: I don’t care!  I just want to say that I have had enough and I want to say out loud in your kitchen before your numberless readers that I hereby renounce all my long-dead ties to the Vatican.  I am no longer a Catholic.  So there!


TDIA: I can’t be sure but I think you have to get excommunicated for that.


The Apostate Reader:  Well fine!  How do I do that?


TDIA: What do I look like?  A canon lawyer?


The Apostate Reader: Well what do I do?


TDIA: There’s a very big internet out there and you clearly have a lot of time on your hands.


The Apostate Reader: That’s it!  The internet!  I’ll fill out a webform and I’ll be done.  [Exit Web Left]


TDIA:  Keep us posted on how you fare.  I am sure you will have no problem.  [Chuckles knowingly]


Secret work in the basement research station of the Definitive Indefinite Article seems to have disturbed a pocket of quantum uncertainty.  Technicians opened the area door to allow the uncertainty to escape allowing it to collide with a doctrinal singularity that someone had left out with the recycling.  The resultant spectacle was witnessed by the crowd gathered to hear the latest installment of the memoirs of Col. Trevelyan Makeshift-Bastion. 


The assembled were treated to a superlative feast of implausibility as the long-deceased poet Alexander Pope and quantum celebrity fascist Rafaella Marconi (who appears to have put on a lot of weight), wearing matching spandex bikinis, performed a passable foxtrot before dematerializing back into the interstitial flux field whence they came.



The Curious Reader: I got a message you needed me to come over.


TDIA: Yes.  I sent one of our new interns.  Listen, it’s ratings week and I have to much to do so I need you to entertain the clamoring public.  No eyeballs, no advertising. 


The Curious Reader: I see.  And what’s in it for me?  I don’t need any more spandex bikinis.


TDIA: You get to read some more about Col. Trevelyan Makeshift-Bastion.


The Curious Reader: Fair enough.


TDIA:  It’s all yours.  [Exit to basement.  Sounds of many locks and bolts being secured]


The Curious Reader: [Reads]


Day 53


We arrived at Camp 4 last night after nightfall.  After a few rounds of I Spy the chaps fell silent.  The cream we sent up in the spring had gone sour.  It is always distressing to see grown men cry.  There is a howling wind outside which makes it almost impossible to hear the gramophone but at least it drowns out the sounds of Thackering freezing to death outside.  The cad put ice cream in the gravy boat.  We sent him outside with the service revolver to do the honorable thing but so far he refuses to go with dignity.  If he doesn’t freeze soon we shall have to have a bit of a sing song to drown out his whining – it is bad for the other chaps’ morale.  I don’t know how many more letters I shall be able to write to you, old chap; the natives we send on the letter runs seem not to be returning and we will need them to serve at table when we reach the summit.


The Definitive Indefinite Article’s Institute for Applied Plutocracy is delighted to announce the launch of the Archive of Acronyms, Appellations and Aphorisms for our Troubled Age.


We invite our loyal readers to submit their own for inclusion which will be reviewed for inclusion on a going-forward ongoing monthly basis by our Steering Committee.


The permanent archive can be found here:





TARP  Tremendous Assets for Reprobate Plutocrats

AIG  America’s Insolvent Giant

SEC  Succor Every Charlatan






If medicine was a science in the same way that economics is, we would still be treating stroke victims with leeches.

Electricity is like sausages: you would be disgusted if you could see how it was made.



The Curious Reader: I had to come over.  I hear you got a dog.  What are you building down there?


TDIA: The future made out of 4x2s and a spandex bikini!  Now get out of here!  [Hurls book at him]


The Curious Reader: Ow?  What’s this?


TDIA: A book I found behind the boiler.  [Storms back down basement stairs]


The Curious Reader: [Reads]

The Collected Letters of Col. Trevelyan Makeshift-Bastion, Published by Unredoubtable Enterprise Books, 1935.


Day 47

We are still at Camp 3.  The snows have not abated since Wednesday and, though I don’t like to say it in front of the chaps, things are beginning to look a little grim.  Last night we used up the last of the Earl Grey and we have only three lemons left.  Of course the Sherpas have ample supplies but are very loath to share them with us since Beverage sent one of them back to Base Camp for his regimental collar studs and the poor chap was swallowed up in an avalanche.  I can only hope the snow lets up so we can press on to Camp 4.


There are plenty of supplies at Camp 4: half a gallon of fine Madeira, some fresh crumpets, clotted cream and a splendid billiard table that we had two of the Sherpas carry up there early in the spring – damn plucky little blighters – could show a thing or two to the shiftless so-called working class back in Blighty.


The only real worry I have is that Severance may be losing his mind.  He has been putting lima beans in his service revolver and taking pot shots at the summit.  Clayshaw has also been acting a little strangely and has begun to take milk instead of lemon in his tea.  It is very distressing.  I have seen that before – first it is milk instead of lemon, then they start taking their whisky without soda and next thing you know they are running around stark naked with a missionary’s head on a stick.  I find myself recalling my first summer in Dorset after Father had gone to India and mother was locked in the conservatory drinking gin from a chamber pot…[The rest of the letter would appear to have been chewed away by a rodent or a member of the servant classes]…