Donors and Dodgers by Trevor Plumbly

After donning my plastic identity vest, salting my donation bucket to ensure a guilt-producing rattle, I took up my station for the street appeal day. That’s when I met most of you, not in person of course, more in personality. The rules governing street collectors are unwritten but quite basic: don’t obstruct the footpath, don’t accost pedestrians, smile lots and thank everybody. Advertisements

The Jury Should Retire. By Trevor Plumbly

In a recent murder trial down here, the fact that the accused had extremely violent tendencies and had carried out acts of vandalism was withheld from the jury on the grounds that it might influence their decision on the case before them. After he was acquitted and the broader facts were made public, there was an angry, and to my mind, justified outcry from the public, followed by the usual somewhat paternalistic response from the Minister of Justice and the legal profession. What struck me as odd was that the public ire… Read More

Caveat Emptor! By Trevor Plumbly

Traditionally, the people who attended auction sales were often more interesting than the goods on offer: you had the serious buyers trying to add to their collections, dealers looking for stock, Joe average trying to buy cheaper than retail, and the hoarders who just couldn’t help themselves. All of them trying to conceal any involvement in the bidding process, and all hoping for the ultimate prize: a bargain. The auctioneers who conducted this orchestrated little piece of theatre were as much of a motley bunch as their clients; the worst sounding like… Read More

Eat This, Jumbo Mercer! By Trevor Plumbly

As you get older, you tend to reflect on the people who influenced your early life. Looking back, I can honestly say that Jumbo Mercer made a major impact in my formative years, but then if Stephen King had attended the same school he’d have had an impact on him too. Despite the nickname, Jumbo wasn’t fat; he was stocky, confident and showy, whilst I was skinny, nervous and introverted. Bullying in English single sex schools at that time was as much a part of the curriculum as the ‘three Rs’: they… Read More

No News Is…News? By Trevor Plumbly

Stirred by the lead news stories in my country recently, I decided to risk belabouring the issues I raised in an earlier article. The media, it seems, feels that my font of knowledge would be tainted by hard news, and that the daily doings of the rich, famous and infamous are more suited to my intellect. Just for fun, I’ll run a few of these journalistic bombshells past you and trust that your pulse rate remains stable. ‘John Travolta accused of making sexual advances to a male masseur.’ Now apart from Mr… Read More