Dilbert does fracking

This morning’s offering from Dilbert:

Of course, as Ivo Vegter pointed out, fracking doesn’t really cause earthquakes and as New Scientist recently told us, any water pollution is generally due to poor management of waste water – a hazard in many other industrial processes. So his evil plan wouldn’t really work.

Still, nice to see Dilbert’s company president using Christine’s Brilliant Idea. Fine work, Christine.


This year, I have been mostly entertaining myself during quiet moments through the medium of TNL‘s “Fail of the Month” compilations. Unsurprisingly, there is a 2011 compilation version of the 2011 compilations, and it’s pretty funny.

Even those readers who don’t usually enjoy the videos and music that I occasionally put on here (their prerogative, of course) should give this one a watch.

Be warned: There may be some few expletives on the video.

Death & Taxes

An oldie but a goodie.
A reply allegedly sent from the Inland Revenue (the UK tax people) to a presumably disgruntled Chris Addison and reproduced in full in his column in the Guardian.

The joy for me in this is imagining the original letter which is being replied to. It’s brilliantly written, whether it’s genuine or not.

Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.
Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a “begging letter”. It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a “tax demand”. This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the “endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat” has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from “pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers” might indicate that your decision to “file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies” is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a “lackwit bumpkin” or, come to that, a “sodding charity”. More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay  “go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services”, a moment’s rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to “stump up for the whole damned party”  yourself.  The estimates you provide for the Chancellor’s disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful,  are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on “junkets for Bunterish lickspittles”  and  “dancing whores” whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to,  for example, “that box-ticking facade of a university system.”

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
1. The reason we don’t simply write  “Muggins” on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;
2. You can rest assured that “sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give” has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn’t render it irrelevant,  the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime,  whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to “give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India” you would still owe us the money.
Please send it to us by Friday.

Yours sincerely,

H J Lee
Customer Relations
Inland Revenue

Now – I’m off to email SARS.

Notes from Chris

I like Todd Lamb’s Notes from Chris:

Welcome to the “Notes From Chris” gallery. These are notes that I post around New York City from a mysterious man named Chris. Chris wants to do tedious things with people. He also has lots of problems. “Notes From Chris” is a project started by Todd Lamb in 2008.

Here are a few examples:

A bit like the rash of signs that came out across Cape Town a couple of months ago, offering “Horse Meat”, “Umshini Wams”, “Husbands” and “Romantic Dates” amongst other things. That turned out to be an “city-wide installation” for some art festival or other, but it was fun while it lasted.

Knowing that these notes are fake takes the edge off it for me, but they’re still pretty funny and worth a read.

No fly

Love this from American site loweringthebar.net:

According to the Daily Mail Online, an immigration officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas. Officials confirmed on January 30 that the man had confessed to adding his wife’s name to the list after she left for Pakistan, with the result that she was not allowed to get on a plane to come home. Airline and immigration authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel, although I imagine she put two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone.

As you might expect, the husband was smart enough to tamper with immigration databases but not smart enough to avoid getting caught. Or, at least, it appears that at some point during the three years he forgot he had exiled his wife, and that he had done so by putting her on a list of people considered potentially dangerous. He later applied for a promotion, which required a new background check, which showed that, lo and behold, he was married to somebody on a terrorist watch list. That raised some eyebrows, and the officer then admitted he had tampered with the list.

He has been fired, and boy is he going to be in the doghouse when Mrs. Immigration Officer gets home after three years in Pakistan. Man, he better have some flowers waiting, is all I can say.

According to the report, the UK Border Agency has, like our own Department of Homeland Security, been criticized for “poor performance” and has suffered a number of humiliating incidents, “for example the incident 19 months ago when an illegal immigrant escaped from the Channel Tunnel port at Folkestone by clinging to the underside of a bus carrying Border Agency staff.”

For the record, I have not been checking when Mrs 6000’s next trip abroad will be.