Exhibit A: A small innocent young boy sits in the casualty department of his local hospital with a saucepan stuck on his head. His howling cries can be heard throughout the hospital, and the doctors try desperately to calm him down, lest the flow of tears should build up within the pan and cause the young boy to drown within his own misery.
Who is to blame? Whose negligence or greed caused an innocent per-pubescent child to suffer the humiliation and pain of getting a saucepan stuck on his head? Let’s follow the trail of how this saucepan arrived on the boy’s head, and see if we can assess who is to blame.
Scene One: A dingy living room.
Mrs. Woman sits on her fat arse watching Trisha on Channel 5 on a 68 inch plasma screen TV and waiting for this month’s giro cheque to pop through the letterbox. As she lights up another Benson and Hedges, she contemplates how many Lucky Lotto scratchcards she can buy and still have enough money left over for a three litre bottle of cider. All of a sudden, her son – dressed in the latest designer sports gear thanks to a winning claim against the council for emotional damage caused by too many streetlamps – runs into the living room in a state of agitation.
“Mum, Mum! Can I have one of those new Sega Nintendo Saucepans please? Please Mum, all the other kids have one! Pleeeeeaassssee!”
“Can you fuck, you little shit,” Mrs. Woman grunts between puffs. “What do you think I am? Made of money? These high definition tellies don’t pay for themselves, you know.”
“Awwwwww, please Mum. I promise that I’ll tell the court Dad tried to touch my cock once, that way you can get more benefit from him.”
Mrs. Woman sucks thoughtfully on her coffin nail. “Well alright,” she replies, “But you can’t have a Sega Nintendo Saucepan. We’ll pop down the Pound Shop tomorrow and see what they’ve got.”
Scene Two: The HQ of Global Pound Shops Incorporated.
The elderly gentleman has come a long way for this meeting. Patiently, he explains to the Board members how his hand-crafted saucepans come from a long tradition of indigenous Scottish saucepan production. Only the finest materials are used in order to create the highest quality saucepans imaginable. The gentleman personally travels around the world looking for wood gathered during the Winter Solstice by fresh-faced Vestal Virgins, and only purchases aluminium with a shininess equal to the sun. Their saucepan factory is small, but it employs a team of skilled craftsmen whose families have been loyal to the company for countless generations. As the elderly gentleman concludes his presentation, he briefly mentions the prestige and well-deserved good reputation that his saucepans enjoy. The Queen herself uses his pans to fry her chips in.
The Board members of Global Pound Shops Incorporated stare in silence.
“How much is this going to cost?”
Again, the elderly gentleman explains that although his prices are slightly higher, this only reflects the exceptional quality of his product.
“Fuck that,” exclaims the CEO. “How am I going to maintain my crack cocaine habit if I’m only making ten pounds profit off each of your pans? Geoff, give ASS a call. We’ll buy from China.”
The elderly gentleman is hit by a car on the way out and dies on the way to hospital.
Scene Three: A Sordid KTV Room.
(Davey Five Times – Managing Director of Asian Supplies Solutions – sits with two prostitutes on either side of him. Mr. Wan Ke – boss of the I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory – is sat opposite getting sucked off by a twelve year old dressed as a bottle of Chivas. Davey Five Times’ long suffering assistant, JoJo, stares miserably at his own feet.)
Wan Ke: So, Mr. Five Times. Thank you very much for the order for fifty million billion saucepans. Even though we have agreed to a price of just one penny, our factory promises to supply a good quality product!
Davey Five Times: No worries there, my friend. That ISO9001 certificate I just signed for you should allay any of the customer’s fears.
JoJo: Erm, boss. Haven’t we been here before? You know the last time we placed an order with this company they just sent us two containers filled with soiled bandages. Why are we working with them again? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Industrial Products offered us a reasonable price, and we know they have the necessary control checks.
Davey Five Times: Are you fucking stupid? If we go with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Industrial Products, ASS will only get a 200% profit margin, and then I can’t buy that new lime green Jaguar sportscar. And anyway, if we seal this deal, you’ll benefit as well. Based on a 0.2% commission basis, you should be making 14 dollars next December!
Wan Ke: Hey, Mr. Five Times, why has your assistant just shot himself? No matter: Waitress! New whores please!
Scene Four: The I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory.
Imagine the worst place in the world. A nightmare fusion of a Nazi concentration camp, a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and Rhyl on a Bank Holiday Monday. Increase the horror and despair of that scene by eleven, and you are still not even close to picturing the true terror of the I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory. Row after row of mindless worker bashes away at crude saucepans with chipped rocks, all to the rhythm of a naked fat man sat on the podium above slowly banging on a drum.
Carelessly scattered across the floor are bags of material. At first glance they appear to say “ALUMINIUM”, but a closer look reveals that this has hastily been drawn over the top of the original title that originally read “HUMAN SHIT: DISCARD IMMEDIATELY”. Laughing cheerfully, Mr. Wan Ke and the other managers take it in turns to throw cigarette butts and bottles of piss into the material mix, seemingly unaware of the stench emitting from the five dead bodies lying in the Quality Control Room. All is well in the world, and business between East and West carries on as normal…
Well, readers? You’ve seen the evidence. Who do you think is to blame?