BLINDFOLD If you have ever played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, you will know that it is practically impossible to properly blindfold anybody, especially if they do not want to be blindfolded. Placing a bag¹ over the victim’s head is generally more successful and easier to do. If you must go for a blindfold avoid handkerchiefs, which are never big enough; silk scarves, which are never opaque enough, and pink fluffy elasticated eye-masks, which, in my opinion, are never tight enough.
- It is generally worth investing a few pence on a ‘Bag for Life’ rather than a supermarket plastic carrier, as, not only are they more environmentally friendly, they have less of a tendency to leave your abductee dead.
BLOOD It is my firm opinion that blood should be neither seen nor heard. Spilling blood is never good. If you feel the need to prove your commitment to the cause with the acquisition of a physical injury suffered in the pursuit of your principles, try to develop a blister or bloodless abrasion. Pain is one thing, we all know the discomfort a paper-cut can cause, but bleeding to death is quite another. Remember, blood on the external surfaces of the body is almost always a bad sign.
BOMB Explosive projectile. Explosives, effective as they are, are expensive, difficult to obtain and apt to blow bits off the unwary – so why not avoid them altogether and pop an empty crisp packet instead?
BOURGEOIS A person whose political, economic, and social opinions are believed to be determined mainly by concern for property values and conventional respectability. The Bourgeoisie are held in contempt both by those who have no property and therefore no interest in its value, and also by those who determine just what, exactly, amounts to ‘conventional respectability’. Heads you lose, tails you lose. This dichotomy was experienced most acutely during the French Revolution when the Bourgeoisie were reviled by both factions of the Gallic Class War. To be honest, I don’t think they lost too much sleep over it. ‘Here’s your options – the nobility are going to treat you with contempt because of your petty concerns over conventional respectabilities, whilst the proletariat are going to hold you down on a block of wood so that Monsieur Guillotine’s latest invention¹ can permanently separate you from the full range of bodily functions – now, who are you going to support?’ The Bourgeois are currently known as Liberal Democrats and, strangely, have a deep affection for over-priced French Red and pieds-a-terre² in Normandy.
- Monsieur Guillotine did not actually invent, but rather improved, this instrument of capital punishment – formerly known as the Scottish Maiden (Demoiselle Ecossaise). The guillotine replaced the previous method of execution, known as the Breaking Wheel (Rupture de la Roué) which was so barbaric that not even the French could stand it – and remember, this is the nation that dismembers frogs.
- Literally ‘foot on the ground’ – because the kind of hovel that the French generally sell to the English will have mud floors, three walls and a roof that is fine as long as it doesn’t rain.
BREAK What you do to legs, arms etc.
BRICK What you do it with.
BUBO Pus-emitting swelling in groin or armpit. See Policeman’s Boot (below).
BURGLARY The act of entering a building or other premises with the intent to commit theft. Whilst this is not strictly an ethical act, it can be a highly efficient, if risky, method of raising funds, but then again, so can spending the day in a bath-full of baked beans. As with all such endeavours, the primary objective is ‘don’t get caught’. If you feel that this objective is not achievable, it is always advisable to pursue the secondary objective ‘persuade somebody else to do it for you’.
A TYPICAL D.I.Y BURGLARY – Walking along a quiet street, you notice an open window on the secluded side of a luxury, detached house. You scale the fence and climb in through the window, using the wheelie bin as a step. As you push your way through the open casement, the wheelie bin scoots away and demolishes the garden gate depositing week-old Indian take-away all over the drive way. Stepping from the window ledge, you catch one foot in the sink and the other in a giant potted hibiscus, which crashes to the floor followed by a) the better half of a twelve-piece dinner service and b) you. You attempt to clamber to your feet but find yourself staring into the glowering, yellow eyes of a giant, snarling bullmastiff. You exit the window in one bound, smashing your shin painfully against the kitchen tap and your forehead against the window lintel. Once outside you try to flee the scene, but slip on an extremely viscous Tarka Dahl and fall to the ground where you are immediately accosted by thirteen spitting feral cats and a postman with something brown and odorous on his shoe.
EXERCISE – Grow a beard:
- Do not shave for at least six weeks.
- Do you have a beard? (If the answer is ‘No’, you are a) a woman, b) a child, c) looking in the wrong place)
- Eat a soft-boiled egg.
- Try to look in the mirror, post soft-boiled egg without being repulsed by the aftermath.
- Shave it off.
© Colin McQueen 2022
Letter ‘C’ of The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion will appear 22nd & 25th March.
The Beginners A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion Index is here.