Reflections, or more correctly, where did I fuck up?
Like all innocent men, thrown into prison on a murder charge, all I could do was protest my innocence and feel horribly slighted and unappreciated when nobody listened.. Might have helped of course if they had any idea what I said. My fairly fluent French, as many years ago my lying French teacher had called it, seemed woefully inadequate and apparently incomprehensible, at least that was what they kept saying. Naturally none of fuckers spoke English. Nor as far as I could tell, did the <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Newcastle</st1:place></st1:city> born and bred translator they found for me and if I couldn’t understand him, what chance did the poor bloody French cops have?
Sorry about the swearing. Didn't used to do that in a former life. Former life, ha! Funny how we all, murderers, both innocent and guilty especially, all seem to have had a former life in which we were honest, God fearing members of society, with never an impure thought or foul deed to blemish our whiter than white character.
Take me for example, little master innocence who, until the age of 14 though masturbation was something to do with hatching baby chickens and that yanking your dick up and down until it was sore, was called wanking. This activity, apart from being supposed to send you blind or give you hairy palms, was not a polite subject for discussion with ones elders and betters.
Oh yes, when I was a kid we had 'elder's and betters', we knew they were, because they told us so. We were advised, ordered even, to respect grown-ups because they hold the secrets of the universe.
Grown-ups were no better than kids. They might know more things, but nothing that we couldn't learn for ourselves. Lets face it, how difficult is it for a young woman to learn that if you hitch your skirt up a bit higher and show more baby oiled thigh when the milkman comes whirring up in his milk float, you’re in for a bottle of gold top instead of the silver top you ordered.
On a masculine side, how hard is it to get the idea that when your Dad comes home, to put it politely, ‘in his cups‘ and after your mother got over going ape-shit and let him back into the bedroom, and you, the innocent child kept awake half the night by the banging of the bed, that alcoholic refreshment can offer extra pleasurable side benefits.
Yes we can learn a lot from our elders and betters. Really useful things like the difference between a fish knife and an ordinary one. When one apologises when one farts and when one doesn't, because one only broke wind. The level of volume between an appreciative belch and a full-bellied ear shattering burp. If one is a boy, how to walk with our back straight, be proud, courageous, manly and keep our opinions to ourselves in the presence of our male elders and betters. If one is a girl one is taught how to come to terms with menstruation and where not to put the Tampax. In many cases, we are also expected to keep our legs and mouths tightly shut and accept not being believed when complaining that ‘friend of the family’ Tom, Dick or Harry, collectively known as ‘uncle’ Tom , Dick and Harry, try to jam their hand up your skirt and their tongue down your throat.
Not that one should exclude the female friends of the family who, admittedly more rarely, say that not to worry if there are no more chairs left, they don’t mind sitting on sixteen year old John, Jimmy’s or Peter’s lap. Never happened to me but the few friends I had that it did, didn’t seem to mind all that much. Perhaps boys see things differently to girls. One friend I had who experienced a mature woman’s wriggling bum and was dumb enough to complain to his Dad was subject to an envious sigh and a clip around the ear for being a prat.
Oh yes we learnt all sorts of important things from these good people who were after all, the elder and better friends of your own elders and betters. .
Now as much as I’m sure that these traumatic childhood experiences are really important character forming aspects of growing up, they are absolutely sod all use in adult life.
They do not, for example, tell you how to physically overcome two heavy, overweight armed French cops, non violently naturally, one is, after all, not a criminal. Nor do they give any clue as to how, assuming the non violent overcoming has been successful, you leap from a third floor barred window, avoid serious injury and leg it, without belt or shoes down the Quay d'Orsay without arousing suspicion that one might just be, after all, an escaping criminal.
What you may ask have these questions got anything to do with anything and I suppose the answer is not a lot. I merely mention them in order to introduce myself and perhaps ask why. Why I allowed my former life as an honest, upstanding, pillar of the community, respected, if unworldly, member of academia; divorced, no girlfriend, masturbating whilst wishing I had the courage to buy a girlie mag in newsagent to add inspiration, start to come unravelled in August 1979.
More to the point, why hadn’t I the sense to get out before it went totally to hell in a bucket the morning November the 6th of that same year.
As it is, there is nothing good I remember about that miserable November day twenty years ago. Certainly I do not think back to the heady soul destroying times with any fond memories.
Okay, so some idiot French film director suddenly wants to make a film about that period of my life, and nothing I say will dissuade him. I’m not going anywhere soon, if ever, so I might as well follow the advice of my only friend, the prison librarian. Quentin’s (pronounced Contan and who is a queer as a bottle of crisps) argument is that should there ever be a Presidential amnesty for obviously innocent mass murderers such as I, not only would the money come in useful I could also represent him in any future Parisian ‘gay pride’ marches.
Another bonus is that I can also enjoy sitting in a warm corner of the library, instead of my usual bijou cell whilst telling my story to the flop haired young writer with the crooked teeth and atrocious English called Pascal. Why Maurice Capricious, that by the way is the totally convincing name of the film director, is paying Pascal to rehash my sordid little tale I can’t imagine?
Worse still, the setting for this epic production is a fictitious <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Provencal</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Town</st1:placetype></st1:place> with the unlikely name of Parigoterre
In his last letter, Jason, my brother, who now lives in the Cayman Islands and who included a photograph of himself lounging on his veranda reckons its because the French are always about fifteen to twenty years behind the rest of the World. Jason sold his own version of the Dr Deadly saga to <st1:city w:st="on">Hollywood</st1:city> about 18 years ago which explains why his veranda is about as long as <st1:place w:st="on">Blackpool</st1:place> front an twice as tasteless..
This blockbuster epic, entitled ‘Born Depraved’ was, naturally, set in the West Coast of America and included a cast of long legged, large busted, scantily clad beauties, all of which got horribly murdered by a famous Welsh actor, who was supposed to be me.
Personally I have never seen the film. It came out about the time Interpol managed to convince the local plod that the British registered Jaguar used by the retired Belgian Dr. Jean Fleur M.D., reclusive resident of Saulieu in Burgundy, was really owned and used by the much wanted English serial killer and Doctor of Philosophy, Dr. Jethro Flowers PHD.
On being arrested I fully expected to be extradited back to Britain as most of the crimes for which I was unjustly accused were committed in that always green and never democratic land.
The Brits didn’t want me. As I was gleefully told by a fresh faced smug prick from the Embassy, the maximum I was likely to get in the UK was ten years, out in seven, and therefore not vengeful enough for HM Gov.
Non extradition meant that if I was found guilty of murder by the French, the sentence would be a lot more severe.
Obviously, the unseemly money made making the rushed out overdubbed version of the <st1:place w:st="on">Hollywood</st1:place> film to coincide with my trial, didn’t help my case any. Re-entitled ‘Le Pourriture’, roughly translated as ‘A piece of Festering Garbage’ it was given a ‘Tout Public’ label, the French equivalent of a U certificate, and was available from any supermarket
As I expected Pascal, the ecrivan, is predictably choosing to ignore my version of events, i.e., the truth and set out to outdo <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Hollywood</st1:place></st1:city> in lurid money-making misrepresentation.
As a result, I though I might try and pass the time whilst ‘en tôle’ , French slang for ‘banged up’, setting the record straight. Not original you might say, criminals writing their story in an attempt to show that they are really just innocent, misunderstood, kind hearted and loving human beings.
Generally I would be in complete agreement, however, in my case, my claim to innocence is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I do not in anyway deny that I was stupid.
According to my advocate (brief), whom, I was told later, recommended to the judge in French too fast for me to follow, that I should be sentenced to life imprisonment, and that, after being beheaded (she suggested reinstating the death sentence just for me). Just goes to show, never trust a lawyer, especially one you are paying. Luckily, if that is the right sentiment, the open minded judge who resented being told what to do by a woman, decided that twenty five years was more appropriate with a chance of parole after 10 years. By my calculations, I should be coming up for parole in six months to a year.
Naturally, this will coincide nicely with the cinema release of Maurice’s film, working title ‘Le Monstre de Parigoterre’, and will no doubt help me, not a lot, with the parole hearing.
Here it is then, should anyone give a toss, the truth, etc., etc., or as near as I can, or want to, remember it.
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