I’ve been thinking about punishment this week. No, not devising a ladder rack large enough to dislocate Namibians; more like dwelling on that San Marino Torture Museum. It was a grizzly experience, and I’m chagrined by the depths of human cruelty.
Don’t get me wrong. Leaning marginally to the right, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over a vile murdering rapist – as opposed to the caring, magnanimous kind – going to the scaffold. Persona non grata; saves taxpayers’ money. But what I don’t understand is why a crowd would turn out, barbarously relishing the spectacle? And to take matters to the next logical step, why would anybody waste valuable energy thinking up ways to make death more painful?
‘Vlad the Impaler was your man,’ said my friend Simon, artfully dissecting an orange at my door this morning. ‘He was kidnapped by the Turks and taught as a child how to use a donkey to push a stick up one’s arse. Needs practising, that sort of thing. Nothing worse than a poor impaler.’
He scoffed another segment, discarded the peel beneath my trailer whilst murmuring something about it being biodegradable, and continued. ‘Course the other favourite is covering a fellow’s feet in goose fat and setting fire to him. Can’t be very pleasant, can it? Right, on that note, I’m going for a dump. Have a good day.’
Charming. Don’t mind Simon – he’s still a bit tetchy after England’s whitewash defeat in the Six Nations rugby thingy on Saturday. All gobbledygook to me, of course; I follow the croquet.
Medieval Torture Chamber
Anyway, back to the Torture Museum. Now what’s with these mendicant friars inserting red-hot pokers up the botty? It’s inhuman and there’s no need for it. Bottom line – ahem – so what if a “heretic” hadn’t converted to the “true faith”? A) it’s nonsense and B) did that really make him a follower of Satan? You can’t force people, by pulling out their fingernails, to believe something; gentle cajoling over a cuppa, surely, is far more efficacious.
Try offering your adversary a hot drink. Sure, throw in a muffin if you’re flush, and see whether the results are more forthcoming than the stint on a rectal pear proved to be. In a nutshell, let’s stop torture; instead, how about we spread a little love and forgiveness around the world. Having said that, of course, it’s always a good laugh to stick a colleague’s head down the loo and steal his dinner money. Middle ground, folks – it’s all about compromise..