This was supposed to appear on Tuesday, but life got in the way…
ABDUCTION The felonious carrying off a man’s daughter, wife, etc. More often referred to by the media as kidnapping (see below) this is an excellent method of raising cash, but it is wise to be cautious:
a) Before deciding on your victim, carry out some basic research: is anyone likely to want them back and, if they do, can they afford to pay the ransom? There can be little worse than being stuck with someone whom you can’t return, who eats like a horse and insists upon attempting to ‘discern the rationale of your didactic approach’ every evening over the cocoa.
b) When operating solo, always kidnap someone smaller than yourself. If that is not possible, try to snatch his dog – as long as it is neither big and vicious nor small and yappy.
c) Do not get over-ambitious. Kidnapping the mayor might seem like a wonderful idea after thirteen glasses of your sister’s homemade rhubarb wine, but it is unlikely to prove practical, and it is doubtful that you will be able to carry out your scheme without eventual exposure, capture and humiliation.
d) Do not attempt to kidnap someone of above average IQ¹. There can be little more embarrassing than losing so many games of chess that you are forced to pay the ransom yourself before releasing the brainbox with money for train fare and a sandwich on the way home.
PLANNING AN ABDUCTION – Honestly, it is probably better not to. The moment you start to get involved in meticulous planning, you will realise how fraught with problems the whole thing is and, like as not, will decide not to bother. My best advice is to go into it as one of those spur-of-the-moment things. Have a room set aside and fully prepared: buy a clean bucket, but other than that, take the whole thing as it comes and sooner or later, a suitable victim will walk into your life.
A TYPICAL D.I.Y ABDUCTION – Walking through Tesco’s car park one Friday afternoon, you spot a frail old man pushing a trolley piled high with luxury goods. You make a split-second decision to abduct him as he starts to load up his car. It is not until you get him home that he manages to convince you that neither the trolley nor the car was his own, and that he is himself an habitual thief. Worse, he is old, small and frail – he is also poor and lonely. You give him a hot meal and attempt to release him, but he refuses to go.
1. This is an immutable law of subversion – if it were not so, Stephen Fry would have been taken long, long ago.
ABSCESS A gathering of purulent matter. All of the main political parties have an annual abscess, usually at the seaside. A subversive is expected to study this sort of thing carefully in order to understand what the enemy¹ is up to. If this doesn’t put you off, nothing will. Actually, it is not difficult to discover what the political parties are planning, as they are rarely off the television during the abscess season and go to great lengths to tell you, ad nauseum, what they intend to do next². If you belong to a subversive group, you will probably have an abscess of your very own – probably in the pub on a Friday night.
1. As a subversive, you may decide to view all organised political parties as ‘the enemy’ – this is perfectly normal and, frankly, not terribly subversive.
2. In truth, what they want you to believe they intend to do next. What they actually intend to do next is exactly the same as every other party in power over the entire history of the world e.g. feather their own nests.
ABSCOND To hide oneself; to fly from justice. Flying from justice will probably prove to be totally impractical for the do-it-yourselfer, but you can run away. Ignore all the rubbish about attack being the best form of defence; run away and, if at all possible, hide. Disguise has always offered additional scope for the prospective escapee and, in the case of a male disguising himself as a female, allows him to employ the supplementary safety net of tears if cornered.
ABUSE Bad language addressed to a person; insulting words. In order to be effective, abuse must be witty and incisive. Abuse is never effective. If you wish to employ abuse as a subversive tool, try to obey three simple rules:
- Never waste wit on anyone you suspect may not be able to understand it.
- Never abuse anybody you feel may be likely to beat you up as a result.
- If you feel that you really must abuse somebody who may beat you up, do it very quietly and from a very great distance.
The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion (Accused to Assassinate) will appear on Friday 28th January 2022 providing I remember.
© Colin McQueen 2022
Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion – Index, is here.