Cracker by Damian Christie

Give 'em Enough Rope

What's up with the deification of Van Nguyen?

As the United States nears its 1000th execution, why are there candlelit vigils and calls to have a minute's silence for a convicted heroin smuggler?

400 grams of heroin. 27,000 hits, apparently. That's a lot of lives fucked up.

Should he be hanged? Probably not, but why is he such a cause celebre? 'Person gets killed in Asian country for drug smuggling'. Stop the presses.

Back in the nineties, some dodgy guys I knew of tried to smuggle a few thousand Es from England to New Zealand. They booked their flights with a stop-off in Kuala Lumpur.

Now I'm no drug smuggler, but surely when you're in the illegal narcotic exportation game, your first priority is not getting killed. Not getting caught is second. Cheap flights are third, Airpoints fourth, and choice of in-flight movie is a distant fifth. "Discount getaways flying Malaysian Airlines?" No thanks.

Luckily for these guys, one of them got stopped at Heathrow. He spent six years in Wormwood Scrubs. His nose was regularly broken by people who probably looked a lot like Vinnie Jones.

An hour out of KL, the others realised their mate wasn't with them (they'd at least had the foresight not to sit together). One went to the airline toilet and tried to flush his cargo. The toilet choked and backed up, spraying little coloured treats all over the small cubicle.

"I just felt like giving up", he later told me. Reason prevailed, and even though the plane was descending, he picked every incriminating piece of evidence off the walls, floor and roof of the toilet, flushing them away. Probably the smartest thing he did in an otherwise startlingly stupid series of events.

He moved into real estate.

So Van Nguyen. Who cares? People die every day. Most of them have done a lot less to destroy others' lives than a heroin smuggler. I'm more concerned about the crema on Russell's coffee.

Time wasters on a Friday - for those of you who enjoyed hearing Ashley Highfield at the Great Blend, the lovely Noelle has made my bFM interview with him available as a bCast.

Also, I've been a bit underwhelmed with the response to my "tell me a story" post. Come on people, you know you wanna. Did I mention there would be free stuff?