Wealth / Class Envy

So Mr. Free Market is wending his way home, after a week’s hard work exploiting the masses and keeping the working classes underfoot, when he pulls his Porsche 911 Cabrio up to a red traffic light which happens to be next to a bus stop.

Two yoofs are slouching there waiting for their bus, and in the time-honored spirit of British class-consciousness and wealth envy, start chanting “Wanker! Toff wanker!” at him.

Whereupon Mr. FM enquires of them, in his best upper-class accent:

“So… how’s that bus stop thing working out for you, then?”

Slack-jawed astonishment from his audience, followed by anger; but before they can do anything untoward, the light changes. Exit Mr. FM in a roar of Porsche goodness, leaving frustrated rage in his wake.

…And Speaking Of Wankers

It now appears that what we men have always thought was one of life’s necessities, in fact really is necessary. I speak here of frequent orgasms, as evidenced by this study (from Harvard, no less) which concludes as follows:

“We found that men reporting higher compared to lower ejaculatory frequency in adulthood were less likely to be subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer.”

So there you have it: have orgasms, or die. The “suggested” frequency is twenty-one (21) orgasms per month. (Yeah, I know: “I’m not going to cut my wanking in half just to satisfy some Harvard tools.”) For the innumerate, that’s two every three days. And apparently they should be regularly spaced, so locking yourself in your bedroom over the weekend and bringing up your average by going on a two-day wank-a-thon won’t suffice. Wank-a-thons can also cause the condition known as Wanker’s Claw:

As with all things, moderation is better.

Therefore, the next time you’re overcome with lust after seeing a new picture of, say, Monica Bellucci:

…and yer wife / girlfriend isn’t interested in helping you save your life, you can reach for the Kleenex with no guilt whatsoever. (Incidentally, Ms. Bellucci’s latest movie is entitled On The Milky Road [sic]. If that isn’t a sign right there…)

I should point out, however, that this study was drawn from reported as opposed to (ahem) observed behavior, and as we all know that when it comes to talking about their sex lives, people lie like Clintons, even to researchers; so there should be a little caution attached to these findings.

You’ll also want to vary your technique a tad, or else you’ll end up with the dreaded Wanker’s Imbalance:

Still, if you want the plausible results to form part of your excuse when yer Missus catches you in flagrante delicto, they are:

Past research by the same university suggests that emptying the prostate of cancer-causing substances and infections may have some benefit. Ejaculation may also help to reduce prostate inflammation, which is a known cause of the cancer.

Caution should also be exercised if you enlist the services of a mistress or random pick-up at the pub to keep you healthy. For some reason, I suspect that wives are not going to be fooled by the excuse.

Dr. Kim also points out that the plea of, “If we don’t have sex tonight, I’m going to die!” is likely to be met with the usual sympathetic response:

And of course next month’s study from Harvard is doubtless going to find that frequent orgasms for men can cause blindness, just like yer mother told you.

You have been warned.

Not Bisley

Apparently, Royal Bisley is mostly populated by People Who Treat Shooting Seriously — i.e., not my kind of people at all, because I prefer having fun at the shooting range. So instead, Mr. FM booked us time at a private range, where we could do just that. Here’s a view downrange at 100 meters (ugh, metric is everywhere Over Here).

…and I played with several rifles: the aforementioned Blaser 93 in 6.5x55mm Swede, Combat Controller’s Browning .300 WinMag (which has completely recovered from its earlier Scottish mishap, and is capable of shooting minute-of-angle — MOA — at 100 meters, just not by me — I could only manage 2″ groups because eyes), and finally, a Mauser M12 “Impact” in .308 Win.

As Longtime Readers know, I have either a soft spot or a hard-on for Mauser rifles, depending on whether I’m talking about them or I’ve just shot one. Good grief. Thus equipped, I can honestly say that the M12 is in the top three rifles I have ever fired — and let me tell you, that encompasses an awful lot of rifles. With this rifle, minute-of-angle wasn’t just easy, it was a breeze. If you look in the center of the pic above and see the boar-shaped steel target, and squint to see the 4″ heart/lung target area “flipper” plate, I was hitting that flipper dead center with every single shot.

Let me go further: if I was told I could only ever own one medium rifle, you’d have to talk me out of choosing the M12. (I’d get the “regular” model with wood stock, of course, because Kim; but I think you catch my drift.)

 

And by the way: if anyone knows a way we can get Our Rulers in D.C. to pass the Hearing Protection Act (which will finally take moderators off the NFA list), feel free to apply that particular cattle prod to their backsides.

 

 

Quandary

Back in the U.S., I normally play the lottery each week (shuddup, it’s my retirement plan and it’s only a couple bucks “investment” each time), mostly when the payout is respectable.

So this past Tuesday, I bought a Euromillions lottery ticket because the payout is €70 million ($79 million). The tax on that $79 mill works out to about $32 million — except that all over Europe and the U.K., Euromillions lottery winnings are not taxed. This is not the case in the U.S., of course, where the godless fiends of the IRS will swoop down and take Uncle Sam’s 40% (pound of flesh) share at gunpoint.

Which leads to an interesting thought.

$79 million is an awful lot of “fuck you” money — a lot more than the post-tax $47 million. Needless to say, U.S. citizens are forbidden to have overseas bank accounts without disclosing such accounts and their contents to the IR fucking S, so that Uncle Sam, in this case, could collect the aforementioned 32 million pounds of flesh.

But the lottery is paid out Over Here, not in the U.S.

What would stop the winner from saying a simple “fuck you!” to the IRS, give up his U.S. citizenship, refuse to pay them their “goodbye” tax (“fuck you again”) and take up residence somewhere like Monaco, Liechtenstein, or one of the several tax havens scattered around this part of the world? (Believe me: show up at one of those countries’ embassy or consulate with $79 million cash and ask for “asylum”, and they’d get into fistfights to get you to pick their country over the others.)

In other words, at what point does one say that citizenship isn’t worth the price one has to pay for it — especially when all the USGov will do with your money is piss it away on the usual government wastage like Solyndra subsidies or welfare for illegal aliens?

I know I probably sound like some liberal asshole who doesn’t want their tax dollars to go to military spending, but in my case it’s the exact reverse sentiment: if I could pay my “windfall” lottery taxes direct to the Pentagon, specifically earmarked towards a new aircraft carrier, F-35 or couple of M1 Abrams tanks, I’d do it in a moment, without hesitation. But you can’t do that, can you? Tax dollars go into the “General Fund”, and are then siphoned off by the usual suspects into subsidies for objectionable art projects or even worse, to federal funding for Oberlin College, while the Pentagon gets fractions of a penny from the tax dollar, literally.

I’m making something of a joke about this situation because I’d never do it — my citizenship is too precious to me, I’d feel like I’d betrayed my adopted homeland, and I could not face never being able to visit my kids, family and friends back in the U.S. for the rest of my life.

But I have to tell you, I wouldn’t attack someone who made the opposite decision. Which should tell you how far our beloved government has fallen in public esteem — because if I, one of our country’s proudest and most grateful adopted citizens can even be tempted to thinking about this option, how badly have they screwed things up?

So come on, all you loyal Americans out there: what would you do with $79 million sitting in Europe, waiting to be given to you? Stay over there forever, living in luxury, or pay the taxes and live here in 40% less luxury?

And just to put this thing into perspective: assuming you dedicate 10% of your new non-taxed fortune to housing (and that’s not a bad principle), what you could get for your money in the Principality is the top floor of this little thing:

Not Since 1971

Last night was the cricket match between the local team (for which Mr. FM’s Son&Heir plays) and a team from one of the neighboring villages.

The previous night had seen the rain bucketing down and more was forecast for the evening, so I quite expected the match to be called off. Not so; these lads from Hardy Country are, well, hardy, and the match started promptly at 6:15pm — shortened because the light was terrible (low, ominous black clouds), and they only expected to get a couple of hours’ play in, even without any rain.

I expected to find a dodgy little field with bumps and lumps all over the place; instead was a pitch I’d have happily played on myself, on the outskirts of the town — and in fact, it had won a prize for “Best in County”. Here’s the clubhouse (complete with advertising hoardings, alas, but someone has to pay the bills, I suppose):

The visitors took the field, clad in traditional white

…and the game began:

I’m not going to go into a ball-by-ball account of the game, because it will be largely incomprehensible to the majority of my Loyal Readers and in any event, I need to get that second cup of coffee into me. One incident, however, had me in stitches of laughter.

One of our lads, a strapping fellow named Stan, hit a towering six (home run equivalent) clear over the road and over one of the neighboring houses, as marked:

Someone among the spectators wasn’t watching, and when the cry of “Six! Six!” went up, he asked, “Where did it go?”

“Over the house where the Angry People live!” came the response, and I fell over laughing, because I knew exactly what they were referring to.

You see, the people living in said house were among those tools who move into a place where some activity is going on, and then proceed to complain about said activity (e.g. people who move into a house in an airport’s flight landing path, and then complain about the jet noise). And thus it was with this bunch. They’d bought a house next to a cricket pitch, and then were somehow surprised when cricket balls began raining into their front lawn during a cricket match. (To be honest, it’s a hell of a distance — the pic has foreshortened the distance between pitch and house — so it’s never actually raining cricket balls, but over the years, I guess it does add up.)

The irate home owners had once even called the police to complain. (The rozzers showed up, looked at the pitch and the cricketers, said, “Nice shot,” and left, no doubt after telling the Angry People to stop being dickheads, very politely of course.)

Anyway, our lads won in a nail-biter — the match was decided on the very last ball — and so the inevitable celebration followed at the local pub (both visitors and home team drinking their pints together in utterly convivial fashion). Here was my contribution, one of several:

Mr. Free Market himself was unable to attend — some capitalist stuff about making money and grinding the working classes underfoot — but I kept him abreast of the match via text. So I sent him the final score (along with his Son&Heir’s contribution, a doughty 27 not out — i.e. he was still batting when play was called), and then after telling him that our lads had won, I sent an afterthought:

Actually, cricket won.”

Complete sportsmanship, applause for good play regardless of which team performed them, and only one fielding error in nearly three hours’ cricket.

As the somewhat cryptic title of this post states, I hadn’t watched a live cricket match since 1971 — a Test match between South Africa and Australia — but I’ll be at the next village match on Wednesday evening, and two days later I’ll be at Lord’s to watch South Africa play England.

“Happiness” does not begin to describe how I feel.

Arrival

And lo did The Weary Traveler arrive in the Scepter’d Isle, whereupon the fiend Mr. Free Market did take him straight unto a drinking place called The Something Or Other, and did ply this jette-lagged scribe with full many a pint of ale:

…and in vain did your Humble Narrator protest that this was too much, and that he would pay for this loathsome excess in the morn; but his protests avail’d him nought, for his so-called friend simply prevailed upon the publican to bring yet more of the same to the counter, and from good manners did he imbibe all that was put in front of him, yeah until foul drunkennesse did descend upon his poor brayne.

And all that The Weary Traveler could later recall was loud laughter, good tymes, fysshe & chippes, and perhaps pinching the bottom of Mrs. Free Market, for which he hopes she will forgive him. Or maybe ’twas the bottom of Mr. Free Market — the memory be vague ‘pon this point — in which case he got what he deserved, the bugger.