Monday, 20 October 2014

Tantrums in Toytown

I don't know who comes out looking sillier in this story(see ), the busload of visiting style nazis who were told to sling their hook, or the locals who also thought they should have had an automatic right to go rubbernecking around somebody else's house. Wonder what they have in common, other than beige anoraks, tartan Thermos flasks full of weak tea, no real friends or social life.... and a tendency to trap normal people in corners and bore the backside off them in order to compensate for all that?
Gordon Bennett, you sad sacks. If it mattered to any of you that much, you could have bought the house when it was on offer. As you didn't, at least have the decency to shut up and butt out.
Be honest, it is not as if Baillie Scott built houses any sane person would give up a morning to mooch around anyway, never mind buy the dumps. OK, in some perverse Disney Gothic sort of a way they might be very pretty (if you were tripping your tits off and near blind from years of self-abuse), but they must be a bugger to light and heat. These are houses for cartoons, not people, and only a self-despising masochist with deep pockets, no taste and a sick sense of humour would buy one. When I pass several of the monstrosities daily I always wonder if Hansel and Gretel have escaped yet, or how bad the mould is in the gingerbread walls.
I also have news for anyone who thinks this incident somehow damaged the island's reputation or caused the English to think us a bit uncouth. Another unfortunate sighting of a twee Baillie Scott building caused the first outburst of laughter in a day, back in the mid-1980's, which gave some English upper-middle class professionals funny stories they have been dining out on ever since.
It happened when a notorious financial scandal hit court, and caused the world's press to wonder if anyone in the Manx offshore racket of that era - either as “service providers” or legislators - was even capable of dressing themselves in the morning without professional help. Which, to be honest, they were not.
The trial took place in the old Castletown court, and at 8.30 AM a mini-bus full of the thousand pound an hour QCs hired to fight the case delivered them there. I have it from both the bus driver and the native guide hired to escort them that as they sighted Castletown Police Station one wit drawled “I say, do you think Will Hay still works there?”
The bus rocked with laughter, and neither the legal hacks nor the UK press hacks in the bus following stopped sniggering from that moment until the farcical trial finished. As a result the island's reputation as a finance centre was destroyed completely for at least another fifteen years.
Some will maintain this was because the industry was then run by chumps, drunks and con-artists.
 Me? I blame Baillie Scott, his Noddy-on-bad-acid imagination and whatever cretin actually employed him to design a building meant to instil respect and lock up hardened criminals.

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