by robert consoli / May 15, 2011 / 0 comments


S. wants to go to England and has been talking about it forever. But for the last year or so I've been watching a kind of reality cop-show called Inspector Morse on PBS. It documents the work of the dedicated police detectives on the Oxford, England Murder Squad. This series has been a real eye-opener; these guys do difficult and dangerous work. Hardly an episode goes by without at least three or four people being murdered


'Holy cow!' I said to S. 'If you have three people getting murdered in Oxford every week .. let's see, that's 156 people a year. Population of Oxford (I did a quick Google) is about 150,000 people .. Goodness! That makes a murder rate of 104 per 100,000 people!'


I did some more googling. 'That's almost three times the rate of South Africa which is supposed to have the highest murder rate in the world.' I was stunned.

'I don't think...' started S.

'Those British must have a lot of suppressed rage.' I did even more Googling but I couldn't find any independent murder statistics for Oxford at all!

'It's a scandal how the government suppresses this information,' I said.

'But, Bob .. ' she began to say.

'No, it's just too dangerous to go to England! In good conscience I can't expose you to that. We have to go somewhere a lot safer, like South Africa.'


I redoubled my research into the Inspector Morse documentaries and I picked up these helpful tips for those of you who want to grab Death by the whiskers and actually go to England.


1. Don't get in a car with strangers particularly if the documentary camera man can't show you who's driving.  


2. For god's sake, every time you drive, CHECK YOUR BRAKE FLUID!


3. If you're rich in Oxford then immediately fire your entire staff; cooks, drivers, maids, the works.  It's a fact that at least one of your staff is the rightful inheritor to your estate and is just waiting for a chance to bump you off.


4. Stay away from Professors (apparently there's a large school in Oxford); one of them is likely to be your cousin and is just waiting to get rid of you in order to inherit your money.


5. Avoid fox-hunts like the plague.  In fact, anyone on a horse is likely to be bad news.  


6. Particularly be on the look-out for jovial British ex-colonels over 50.  They're poison, sometimes literally.


7. Stay away from people with funny looking weapons.  These appear to be the murder weapons of choice in England.  Inspector Morse has documented grisly cases of murders with cross-bows, halberds, bows and arrows, and garrottes.


8. And remember, if you're approached by a bum, get away from him immediately.  He's actually your dear old dad whom you've never seen but your Mom had an affair with him in “the '60's” and he's going to screw up your claim to the estate.  In fact, avoid anyone connected to “the '60's”.


9. Most importantly, no taxidermists, ever.


S. and I finally decided on east Los Angeles for our holiday get-away this year.


'I love you, Bob.  You're always looking out for me', said S. giving me a little nuzzle.


'Someone has to, doll', I said.