Monday, 30 July 2007

Disharmony on the Conservatori chorus-line

It not been great month for Hollywood Don Cameron and his Conservatori Family faction of contemporary dancers. Apparently old Conservatoris are pining for days when Signora Thatcher, the Iron Don, used to keep order in the United Territories by chucking Union Leaders down open mine-shafts. Not so many open these days though.

"It used to be case that if a member of one's caporegime wasn't working, one could slap him around a bit with an old bicycle" say Signor Leigh of the Conservatori Cornershop faction. "Now one is expected to give the idle bugger a hug and say 'there, there, tell Uncle Edward all about your unhappy childhood and have a lollipop', then sing a lullaby. One is decidedly unhappy with the Don."

"I love a good show tune myself," say Signor Duncan of the Centre for Progressive Close Harmony Singing, "but Don Cameron needs to set a clear score, otherwise it's just a bit Lilly Allen, if you know what i mean."

"Frankly," say Capo Osbourne, "I'm his most loyal supporter, but phewee what a bell-end."

Things so bad that Don Cameron recently visit Rwanda in effort to recruit new bodyguards with experience of war crimes and a good rhythm section.

Don Campbell remain quietly detached from this bout of ill-fortune and spleen-venting in our close rivals. He send token of sympathy to Don Cameron. Although what use he will have for old vinyl copy of 'I like to ride my bicycle' with his iPod I not know. Puzzling indeed are the ways of the Don.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

The Magisterium Committee

A good week of fund-raising for the Family, we been busy selling flood protection insurance to the residents of Hampstead Hill.

However, I attend secret meeting tonight. The Committee for the Assassination of the Magisterium is body that plan the elimination of evil Labouristi leader in the London territories, Signor Livingstone. Livingstone is well protected, with vicious reputation for dealing with opponents, so we struggle to find button-man.

Last one we send, Signor Hughes, have lucky escape when bomb under yellow taxi miss him by seconds due to length of time he stand on pavement talking to local paisan about history of post offices. Time before that, Signora Kramer tried to train her cat Whittington to do the job. She hadn't though counted on Livingstone's protection ring of killer newts. One feline is no match for fifty small lizards with vicious nibbles.

This time Signor Brake, Capo of our Carwashington chapter been hunting round for overseas contract killer. It brilliant plan. Signor Livingstone spend lot of time trying to build coalitions with overseas crime families, like Castro-cartel in Cuba and Qatari Mujahideen. An emissary from one of his former allies might be able to get close enough to finish him off.

Search though still ongoing. Amazing how many top international killers appear to be busy with sniper training courses or ninja reunions when nature of job explained.

Conservatoris we understand have entrusted same task to Floppy-Golightly, the Henley Romeo, who favourite disguise is that of oafish buffoon. A mask he wear so effectively at times, that he marked for death should he ever renter territory of Litttlepool. Not wise to walk into middle of football pitch during minute's silence for hostage and accuse entire crowd of being soft.

We though need volunteer for Livingstone job, before worrying about whether to give Floppy's home address to the 'Friends of Anfield'. I be monitoring our progress with interest.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Heroic Victories for Don Campbell

Tonight I rest my weary feet after great victories for Don Campbell in our street wars in Little Ealing and Trumpton.

My day started early with Signor Rennard's Good Morning project, a method of subtle encouragement designed to ensure local people know who is Godfather in this town. It involve switching on megaphone, pushing open letter box at 4 in morning, and inviting occupants to show Don Campbell their respect. Generally it also involve not hanging around long enough to receive their tokens of gratitude. It personal attention that count.

Later in day we hear that Signor 'Bollywood Tony' Lit of the Conservatori is preparing to launch his great musical number on High Street in bid to woo residents to love Don Cameron's new Conservatoris. Tip-off though must also have reached Labouristi, who turn up in force at one end of street while we obstruct other. Signor Sharma have bought full contingent of Kali cult fanatics wielding a variety of shasters, with Signor Watson lurking in background swinging his old phone mast from hand to hand.

Signor Bakhai assess situation... "I think we hang back, see what happens and wait for the special vans". I not disagree, Signor Watson have particularly evil glint in eye and I pretty sure he one who yell "Oi Liberali you soft on gangs or something?"

Signor Lit though is not deterred, and in a moment a thumping bangra beat that sound uncannily like opening sequence to "We are the Champions" is booming from a line of loudspeaker cars that line the road.

"Now my warriors" he yell to assembled Conservatori,, "Unleash your chakrams on the Labouristi... compassionately, and let us show Signor Sharma and these Hindi devils who are the masters of Little Ealing."

He pull small kirpan from his belt and iron circle with sharp edge from under suit, start singing, and run at full tilt towards the nearest line of Labouristi cultists. His colleagues do likewise and soon the chakrams are flying, doing considerable damage to the Labouristi ranks,

"We are the Champions (slash, hurl) - my friends... (lunge, thurst), And we'll keep on fighting to the end (parry, chip), We are the Champ..." they singing.

Signor Rennard is standing back scribbling notes.

"Interesting technique this new Conservatori have... crude... a little out of tune... bit showy for my tastes... not yet convinced how effective it will be..."

He have point, Labouristi are bloodied, Signor Watson have lost top of phone mast, but there are rather lot of them and second rank carrying Thrishulas and Farshas, look considerably more ready for Conservatori than first.

"Unleash the Brahmastra" scream Signor Sharma.

Suddenly large black limousine roll into view. Door open and who should get out but old Labouristi Don, Signor Blair. He look Signor Lit in eye. He look sad, but with ever so slight glint. Suddenly car stereo break out soothing strains of Elton John and Kiki Dee. Signor Blair break into song

"Don't go breaking my heart..."

Signor Lit falter, he look confused, he try to mumble "No time for losers..." but all that come out is "I couldn't if I tried..."

Signor Sharma look triumphant, Conservatori look aghast. They are in disarray, falling back, the Kali mob advancing.

"Time for the special vans I think." say Signor Bakhai

"I agree" indicate Signor Rennard who make guesture to flunkies.

Into view swing a fleet of five Xerox trucks that line up along road. Canvass flaps fall aside revealing a line of large white machines.

"Risograph artillery... wait for it... steady... Focus boys... Focus... and... fire..."

There are few men that can remain standing when 200 bundles of compacted leaflets hit them full in chest, but some of Conservatori make decent fist of trying before burbling beneath the onslaught "We are the... urgh..."

Labouristi not looking too clever either, Signor Watson keel over with red target package in groin, but their numbers are telling and it soon clear we running low of ammo.

Signor Lit though see all is lost and is leading dwindling band of survivors back to Sunrise HQ. The doors close and we see lights going out as he barricades himself on roof. A new tune is starting to the strain of subdued sitars...

"There's no time for us... there's no place for... what is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away... From us... Who wants to live forever?... Who wants..."

Signor Lit clearly have bad day, and he still out of tune.

For us though things also not going great. the Kalists are still advancing and two vans are burning. Signor Sharma is yelling something about unleashing his Pashupatastra on us, and Signor Rennard motions that it time to leave to consolidate what we got.

We retreat to factory fortress and Labouristi look in no mood to follow. Sharma had bit of shock tonight and there now parts of Little Ealing off limit to his thugs.

News also come in from Trumpton that Conservatori have been slaughtered by early morning tomahawk raid, whereas we now control two whelk stalls and local Post Office.

Don Campbell arrive to congratulate his brave soldiers. Killer Bakhai bask in glory of mighty advance of 3% of our territory... it heroic day for Liberali Family.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The battle of Trumpton Green

Signor Rennard clearly so impressed by my work in Little Ealing that he send me away for few days to help our caporegime in Trumpton, where the retirement of Don Blair create huge turf war between families.

Capo "Watcher" Stone is pleased to see me.

"Oh God... Liberali" he say "help with security and try to stay out of trouble. We putting on show of strength for local paparazzi on Trumpton Green today, need to avoid any confrontations."

No problem think I, so first Labouristi cugine I bump into, I warn them off being anywhere near the Green at 12:00. He sure seem to get message, run off straightaway, not looking back.

But some people just won't take hint. While Watcher and our soldiers assemble we see growing crowd of Labouristi in stripy shirts gather nearby. They led by fat man with spiky hair and tomahawk. Eventually they stroll over like they own place and soon trouble kick off with much name-calling on both sides. I make comment to spiky-head to put his little tool away, at which point he go very red.

Presence of paparazzi though stop anything too unpleasant and Labouristi thugs soon drift away yelling curses as they leave.

Next day I back out with Watcher in Newty-Ass market, shopping for pasta for boys, when spiky-head turn up again. He look plenty mad and storm up to us.

"My name is Big Chief Sen of the Labouristi, in insulting my spiritual warhammer you have insulted my tribe. I will be avenged."

"What tribe that" I say

"Ancient tribe of Newcastle New Moon Hopi. Labouristi promise my people supercasino, but thanks to Liberali family whining, project move to our hated rivals in Manchester, then cancelled altogether. Liberali family and Newcastle Hopi are sworn foes, you have no right coming to our ancient burial grounds, speaking with forked tongues."

"Odd Chief." say Watcher "According to Family archive we pretty sure you grew up in Nottyham, live in Streatham, and make living working for retired old Labouristi Capo who own fancy factories. Last time we hear about you up here was many moons ago moping about losing poker games in Northern Echo and selling Daz to housewives. I'd have some reservations about claiming this land as your own."

Signor Stone's incisive analysis do not appear to improve Big Chief's mood.

He seem to be thinking about reaching for tiny totem of tribal pride, so I hurry Watcher away to waiting car, leaving Chief to unleash his fury on gormless colleagues who stand around with camera phones rather than get involved.

Watcher so grateful for my quick thinking he send me back on very next train to Little Ealing. Signor Rennard so delighted he have me getting up tomorrow at 4 a.m. to do some special and important business just for him. It promise to be great day for Liberali.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Bollywood Tony, the Blair Years

Well, we is all pretty shocked, seem Hollywood Tony, Don Cameron's choice of Conservatori Capo in Little Ealing, is best friends with former Labouristi Don Blair. Labouristi hit squad leave brown envelop full of incriminating photos with local paparazzi, showing the two laughing and smiling together, only week before joining Signor Cameron's Bollywood project.

Signor Lit issue statement:

"It is true that in the recent past Signor Blair and I attended rehearsals for small amateur dramatics performance of West Side Story. We have shared love of theatre and while Signor Blair hogged limelight in lead role of Anton, it was my talented and sensitive portrayal of Bernardo that first caught Don Cameron's eye, making me ideal man to direct his new Conservatori approach in Little Ealing.

Most significant contact I had with Don Blair during that time was when he stab me at end of Act 1 twice on week-nights, three times at weekend. Play teach me valuable lesson in perils of gang violence and need for old Conservatori men of honour to move on from our violent past.

O.k... so I may have pay him a few times for extra acting lessons, but apart from that, it was purely two professional men of honour sharing their love of thespian excellence. I now of course wish to remove the stain of the Labouristi from Little Ealing forever in a communal non-violent way involving puppets and mime."

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Smoke-filled Trains

Milling around Little Ealing print-works today I feel myself irritable and devoid of usual chippy good humour. Signor Borrowman have me supervising cugine in construction of famous Molotov Rennards (MRs), a bundle of newspapers, tied with organic hemp and soaked in bio-fuels, that used to persuade truculent business types to use Liberali Family recycling bins for disposal of unwanted currency.

In nervous irritation, I'm all fingers and thumbs and splashing more ethanol on suit than newspaper.

"Liberali, you're going to end up smelling like the old Don if you don't relax" say friendly voice of Signora Elspeth. "I know exactly what ails you, wash that off, pick up your gear and I join me outside, but for goodness sake don't tell Menzies."

Five minutes later we out by moat with roll-ups and Sicilian home-grown. I’m soon having crafty one with Signora Campbell and small collection of equally furtive paisan, who also look relieved to be taking break.

Soon we feel troubles lifting, and even dodgy old out-buildings of Little Ealing operation look strangely comforting in the haze.

I drift away from group a little, lost in thought. I consider feeding ciggy butts to ducks in moat, but remember previous reaction to other local produce and think better of it.

Through the yellow mist, a figure lurch into view, look around to see I am alone and then whisper to me,

"Liberali, big secret. All I can say is Platform 9 and 1/4, Paddington, tap the wall thre times, the password is 'Ron Weasley is better than Voldermort',. Tell no one, just be there tonight."

Figure lurch off again with great stealth, interspersed only occasionally by quacking and whispered noises of "ow, ow, get off you feathery bugger".

Rest of day pass better after that. Come dusk I pack a couple of MRs in my emergency case and make way to local station. I'm soon in Paddington and hunting for strange platform which I find behind big advert for new kiddie film.

I knock on wall on few times, and eventually what look like brick painted on a metal panel is slid back. Throaty voice say:


"Er... new weasels is better than older sort..." I stumble.

There is what sound like tittering behind wall.

"... good enough, push the no smoking sign to your right and stand still."

I do. Suddenly floor is travelling down very fast and I find myself standing in what look like abandoned old Underground station.

Across platform ahead, couple of carriages sit on old track, glowing in gloom, as light disperse through curtains covering doors and windows.

I walk over. Doors swing open exhaling a familiar scent and cloud of promise that tonight will be good time for Don Liberali.

Inside train has been gutted, and interior redecorated with familiar leathers and woods of Liberali Club near Westminster. Many old paisan are here, lounging on recliners, reclining on loungers, puffing cigars, cigarillos and one or two hubble-bubbles. All having fine evening away from prying eyes of world of rules upstairs.

"Signor Liberali!" shout familiar voice "come and join us!"

In corner I see my old friend, and former Don, Signor Kennedy stretched out in large red armchair. He throw me packet of Sicily Lights and offer empty chair to his left.

"Mineral Water for Signor Liberali!" he shout to flunky "Russian-style I think, ice and lemon... if I remember your preference correctly"

"Very kind" I say "This great place Signor Kennedy, how long you had it?"

"Thank-you Don, it's actually a legacy of my predecessor Don Ashdown. There's a network of these old railway stations under the Territories that used to be used by his former Untouchables colleagues for training. When the Labouristi had a war with the Untouchables, many who knew about these places disappeared. They fell into disuse, and we have been exploiting that opportunity since my retirement."

"Prohibition is back Don Liberali, the new rules on smoking mean we now don’t just have a set of useful bunkers, but a chain of highly desirable premier smoking-clubs. The Ginger Nails are going to make a fortune!"

"That brilliant Signor Kennedy, Don Campbell must be delighted."

Room go very quiet all of sudden.

"Ah… we don't actually intend on telling Don Campbell about the Ginger Nails... it's more a of a private thing between friends… Trusted friends who need a place to go and enjoy mellow moments in the company of other trusted friends. Capisce paisan?"

"Of course Do... I mean Signor Kennedy, As you know my memory terrible, too much vino play havoc with recollection of detail, and Don Campbell far too busy with important affairs to Family to worry about little side-action from old protégé. "

"Grazie Signor Liberali, now relax, enjoy yourself... here's your water, try not to drop ash in it."

We have great evening, catch up on old times, and he tell me plenty good stories. I leave very relaxed, so relaxed it only later that realise I left suitcase at club.

Reminder come next day when I see picture of very grumpy Signor Kennedy in local Sicily Express, hanging out of window of what look like club with cigarette in one hand and blackened remains of handle in other.

MRs and environment of the Ginger Nail clearly not good mix.

Make me think smoking bad for health, particularly if I’d left my name on anything in the suitcase. Have sudden urge to go buy Nicorette patches…

Friday, 13 July 2007

4% off Protection Payments

So, Don Campbell call meeting of Liberali Family to discuss impact of Don Brown's new slums proposal.

"This is troublesome", say the Don "As soon as we propose to free up our Capos to build again, Don Brown pops up with a very similar proposal and people forget that it was ours in the first place. We need a new idea, one the Labouristi Don cannot take from us. What are your thoughts my generals?"

There is deep cough.

"Yes Knuckles?"

Signor Carmichael has creased his furrowed brow and from the rumbling noise from the bowels of his throat is clearly about to propose idea;

"We could... er... like increase protection payments for all the really successful businesses... maybe to 50%"

"A worthy thought Knuckles, but the old Don, whose recovery from vino-poisoning we all crave soon, none more than I, tried that idea. It didn't work so well. The Family banker said he got rather tired of being kidnapped and beaten up by men with nice ties who used to want to give the Don even more money as a sign of respect. No we need a different tack."

There is shrill squeak from the back of the room

"Yes Signora Swinson?"

"We need more wimmin!"

"Quite possibly true Signora... but I fail to see the relev...

Signora Swinson raise her eyes up to heaven

"Look Padrino, you can send all the old-style bully-boy thugs you like to some people and still the Family is no better off... wimmin can be persuasive in other ways."

Many of my old paisan shifting uncomfortably at this suggestion, Signor Oaten has gone pink and Signor Opik, who until that point had been concentrating on texting girlfriends in Romania take sudden interest in meeting.

Signora Swinson start turning red.

"Calm down colleagues," say Don Campbell, "what I believe Signora Swinson is of course referring to is proper funding for the gender-balanced hit squad, a crack team of assassins whose deadliness is enhanced by their diversity of methods."

Signor Opik cross his legs and resume text-message.

"Thank-you Signora, it is of course an excellent suggestion that I intend to implement fully in the fullness of time, however today we need ideas for raising finance not spending it."

Signor Laws nudge Signor Cable forward and cough;

"Yes Letteropener, you have a suggestion for us?"

"Er... yes Don... Knuckles' methods may be crude but his heart is in the right place. There are various exemptions from payment currently enjoyed by the men with shiny ties that I feel they would not miss if they were, shall I say, forgotten. There are also various Conservatori paisan who feel it appropriate to drive down our streets in their over-sized delivery vans who perhaps should feel obliged to pay a toll or two for the privilege. If we do that then we can not only scrap the hated Consigliore Payment, but also knock 4% off existing protection payments for some of the small businesses currently impoverished by the yoke of Don Brown's terror. Our coffers will be still be full."

There is silence

"Fuck-me that's brilliant" say Don Campbell, who seem to have reverted to old Glasgow street slang in moment of euphoria. "I'd like to see the sheep-strangling bastard's face when we put that word out."

Sound good to me also, I only recently sold van, and much easier for boys to collect big sums from small number of people than little bits from everyone. Il Padrino has spoken.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Labouristi to build more slums

Don Brown of the Labouristi been driving around local streets lots today. Occasionally he stop, get out soapbox, and stand on it and shout at local people. Being relatively inconspicuous in my Trilby and overcoat I drift over and listen.

"People of United Territories, I bring you great news! The Labouristi are your friends and if you are friends of Labouristi, if you are our key workers, we going to build you new homes. Glorious homes, decent homes, homes fit for my own paisan (who sadly won't be living in them due to existing swanky pads in Belgravia)."

There is murmuring in the crowd:

"We wouldn't need new 'omes if your Capos hadn't been shipping over their nephews from Eastern Sicily for the last few years to work in Tescos. 'Ow do we know these new 'omes won't just go to friends of the Family?"

"Paisan, paisan, I feel your trouble, of course these homes will be for you. Regrettably we are successful land these days, we attract many new people to our streets. Welcome friends in the main, friends who bring with them many new skills and benefits to our lives."

"These friends are reasonable people, they do not want glorious new homes, nothing for them can anyhow replace the memory of lemon groves they left behind them to work here to ensure your McVities Crunchy Cream Crackers are available on three for two deal every Friday."

"No, these kind people, when we move you out of drafty old homes with those large rooms that so hard to heat in winter, will sacrifice themselves by moving in. Meanwhile you, you lucky people, will have the benefit of our new 80-storey compact community blocks. Tower blocks so gloriously efficient that 400 homes can be kept warm with one windmill on roof."

"I am humble son of Scottish sheep strangler, this thing is least I can do for you."

"And now my paisan I must depart, Signora Brown is doing up our second Sitting Room and want help with picking curtains from Habitat."

It sure is exciting think I, plenty of work for men of honour in building trade... and many of the best of them are my cousins in Sicily. Only question is where they going to live when building new blocks?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The growing storm

The turf war in Little Ealing hot up plenty in last days. It seem some Labouristi not take too kindly to Signor Sharma new appointment as acting Capo, and breakaway to form alliance with Don Cameron.

"We are music-loving men of honour" they say in statement left nailed to the corpse of rat with red rose stuffed up bum. "We admire Don Cameron's attempts to bring sunshine, laughter and Sunday afternoon Variety-Acts to Little Ealing."

"We no like Signor Sharma and his demands for chanting praise to Kali whenever he enter room. It bit freaky frankly. And we all make better Capo than him. We also not happy that Don Brown send Signor Watson from Brummie Town down to Little Ealing. He welcome us by making big speech about respecting diversity in the Family and then offer us all tickets to see 'Behzti' at local Brummie Town street theatre. Never have we been so insulted"

Meanwhile 'Killer' Bakhai, the boys, and me continue to make inroads against old Labouristi territories and scams. Conservatori so worried that they send Signor "Warhammer" Shapps to infiltrate our operation.

Signor Shapps is cunning master of disguise, only maybe information about Liberali Family a little out of date. He spotted when he turn up to printing franchise wearing "Penny on Protection Rackets for da bambinos" t-shirt, sandals, and dodgy ginger beard.

Don Campbell laugh so hard that he minded to spare Signor Shapps and instead send him back to Don Cameron minus t-shirt, sandals... and pretty much anything else on his person. We let him keep beard though, a man is entitled to some dignity.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

The Carpet Warehouse of Doom

After little too much vino yesterday afternoon, I get lost in back-alleys of Little Ealing and find myself stumbling into the yard of an old carpet warehouse. Delivery doors are open and the carpets look very comfy, so I clamber between rolls of Axminster and Wilton and am soon sleeping it off.

When I wake it must be some hours later as only light come from flicking bulbs in loading bay. I think about getting up and finding my paisan when a stream of headlights pull into bay and many men get out of some long black saloons. I find sudden urge not to move and sink deeper between squashy tubes.

From this vantage I see man I recognise climbing out of largest car. It is Capo Tom "da rat" Watson of the Labouristi, a dangerous man who once beat to death Liberali enforcer in Brummy Town with mobile phone mast.

He draw up table and three chairs and sit at head of it surrounded by Labouristi goon squad.

From the other end of the warehouse, a tiny old man who I not know, walk towards him followed by a train of large men with strange headgear and yellow scarves, swaying from side to side and chanting what sound like "Kali Ma... Kali Ma...". Maybe little old man's mum called Carly?

"Signor Watson, welcome to my small and humble enterprise, say the little man. We apologise for our meagre hospitality but we trust that Don Brown's emissary is pleased to be with us on this night." he say. Maybe Signor Watson visiting his mum?

"Cut the crap Sharma and sit down" say Signor Watson "And make sure those gentleman with you remain in the light where we can see them. We will wait for Signora Nirwal and then we will get down to business. And please do ask them to stop that awful drone".

"I do apologise if my Thuggee and their meditations offend you Signor Watson, I do find them useful though for removing troublesome visitors who occasionally stray into our territory. Perhaps some refreshment will lift our spirits and help you recover from your journey. Ras malai and barfi for Signor Watson" cry the little man, clapping his hands.

One of the tall gentleman, who seem pretty pissy about stopping his mumblings, disappear into the warehouse office and come back carrying tray full of colourful sticky things. I feel pretty hungry, but rumbling tummy not good friend to me right now. Signor Watson though must have eaten, he simply stare at tray with passive face, while the little man tuck in to big orange thing that dribble honey all down chin.

Signor Watson grow impatient.

"Where is Signora Nirwal?" he ask.

"If it pardon the Don's Emissary, I am but a humble servant of the local chapter of this Family and am not privy to the movements of all my paisan's movement." he reply.

Signor Watson does not look convinced.

At that moment I freeze, something is moving in the rug next to me. It can't be one of the tall gentleman, I may be boozy old goomba, but I can count, and I still see everyone who came in earlier. Whatever it is, I give it good hard kick, and it stop moving.

"You are of course aware of why we are here." He say, not expecting answer, "After Capo Khabra's unfortunate run in a large pile of newspapers that mysteriously fell on him from the lifting crane of a local branch of WHSmith, we need a new Capo."

"In his lifetime Signor Khabra expressed the desire that he be followed, by someone unlike himself, a modern woman who grew up here and has powers of persuasion over the young that he felt were lacking amongst his own generation. Don Brown also has sympathy with the wishes of his dear departed friend. So we are here tonight to offer that opportunity to Signora Nirwal."

This does not seem to phase old man in way it might, it after-all seem like snub.

"I of course have the highest regard for the wishes of dear departed Signor Khabra and my Don" he say smiling, "yet there is the issue of reliability. Time is pressing. The Liberali and Conservatori are making trouble on the streets, the businesses are confused and afraid and we have lost many payments."

Signor Watson drum his fingers "Where the hell is Signora Nirwal!"

Carpet next to me start softly moaning. Happily noise is so muffled by thick fibres, I pretty sure no one hear. And second good kick sort out any doubt.

"Well I can't wait here all night," say Signor Watson. "As you say time is pressing and we must restore leadership. The Don will not be happy, but Signor Sharma, consider yourself acting-Capo until we can determine what has happened, and for God's sake man dust those coconut flakes off your suit, you have an example to set."

With that he get up and depart with goon squad. Signor Sharma, smile relaxing for a moment, then pack up table, issue order to Thuggee disciple to pick up 'special carpet', and make way to cars.

Seeing Thuggee come my way I role on other side and dive under a pile of rugs. My strange neighbour, still in carpet, is lifted into waiting van, yellow scarves are tied around both ends. "Kali Ma... Kali Ma..." they echo again. Maybe Signor Sharma's mum get new carpet after she not get to see Signor Watson?

When they gone it give me time to pick out real nice rug for Signora Liberali, who be plenty mad at my late night. Not so sure about the red rose design but maybe good for utility room.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Conservatori see light

After Signor Rennard suggest to me that hanging round Little Ealing franchise not making best use of my talents, he put me on induction-duty with new recruit, recent defector from local Conservatori faction. We sent out with cugines to learn streets and ensure Signor Gupta not run into old best-friends.

He brave man, but last night found deadly warning on doorstep, a small oak bonsai with all acorns nibbled off by squirrels. The sign of the Tebbit.

So I chatting to Signor Gupta about past and ask him why he join us.

"I been Conservatori for some time but always admired Liberali family. These new changes in Conservatori Family are not to my liking. Don Cameron he sail into town last week with that bangra-boy Tony and he show us no respect."

"He say 'good news paisan, Tony here is your new Capo and we're going to make a Bollywood movie! We are a modern compassionate Conservatori Family and the public must see we are their friends through the medium of dance!. To cut a long and painful story short, next thing we know we are all learning lines for musical number in Uxbridge Street market and... and..."

Tears begin to well up in old man's face

"he made me wear T-shirt saying 'I hate grammar schools' in front and rotate in circles so camera see back saying 'but not yours'."

I let old man weep on shoulder, he clearly suffer much, the new ways of Conservatori are dark and troubling.

Monday, 2 July 2007

No fire without smoke

So I am down in Little Ealing print-franchise talking to Signor Rennard about how we eliminate local competition. Franchise is cleverly hidden in abandoned warehouse in old industrial estate surrounded by defensive moat where live some pretty aggressive ducks who act as early warning mechanism in case of intruders.

The new local Capo Signor Nigel "Killer" Bakhai is currently feeding them local spicy bread which make them quack a lot and bite Signor Davey who is attempting to talk to him about security.

"So Liberali" say Signor Rennard "We have a cunning and brilliant plan to eliminate the Conservatori playboy."

"That great Signor Rennard, what is plan?"

"Tomorrow he believes he is having a meeting with agent for famous Bollywood producer. Only this is no agent, or at least not one of the type he is expecting."

At that moment I swear I see Signor Hitchens of our cultural-relations magazine business walk past with shoe-polish, some of which appear to be applied to face not shoes. He funny fellow.

"The agent will lure him to a meeting at a cafe near the Broadway. At the moment he sits down an enormous quantity of leaflets will be dropped on him from great height, ensuring his swift and gruesome demise."

"That sure is brilliant plan Signor Rennard", I say, "Only is it not same plan we use in Hartypool, Brummy Town and Bromchester? Might they not anticipate this move?"

A funny look enter Signor Rennard eyes, I get strange feeling he visualising large quantity of leaflets over my head. He make me nervous so I fumble for my cigarillos and light up.

"Liberali are you perchance smoking inside a building containing 100,000 newspapers soaked in highly flammable orange ink, against the express wishes of Don Campbell's print-shop smoking policy?" he say calmly.

"Perhaps you better go and finish it outside with the ducks."

I begin to think this great idea and besides Capo Davey look in sore need of smoke.