There's this scene, in 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells', where a big, scary looking geezer forces some poor sap's head in a drum full of water. 'Areyougunnapay?' he growls, as he pulls his gasping victim up out of the water, 'Areyougunnafahkinpay?' Before the guy even manages to get a full breath, let alone answer, his head is thrust back in as his arms flail uselessly about.
Sometimes, I want to do that to someone. I don't necessarily want to make them pay anyone for anything, but punishment is necessary and only being almost drowned forcibly in frigid water will do. I'd have to run up and give them a massive thump in the stomach, and as they double over, grab their face and shout at them through gritted teeth and a red face about what they've done. And then, to the sound of a breathless whimper and an arm bonging wildly off the side of the drum, ram their chest into the cold metal and plunge their face in, pressing a knee into the small of their back so they don't move about too much.
I wanted to do that this morning, when I saw the front page of the Daily Mirror.
It's not the slouch that does it. It's not the vacant expression, or resting the mug lazily off the arm of the chair. It's not the knowledge of what this woman did to her daughter. It's that bollock-achingly appaling headline. Whoever wrote it needs punishment.*
'Mother of pure evil'? For Christ's sake - you're paid to write short, pithy phrases that sum up whatever a story is about. It's your job. You've probably spent many years writing headlines. People probably think you're quite good at it. And you can't bloody recognise that you've just called the victim in this case 'evil'? If you're calling the woman in the picture the mother of pure evil, then whatever she gave birth to is what you're calling pure evil. That's what 'mother' means, fuckknuckle. You've changed the entire meaning of the front page so that the smiling child in the bottom corner is like Damian in the Omen films. If you want to get accross that the woman is evil and a mother, why not just go with 'Evil mother'? You arsehole.
The Mail is only slightly better, going with 'Mother of all liars'. It is inadvertently saying that the woman has given birth to every liar in the world (which probably means that most people working for the paper look at the picture and think 'Mummy'), but at least it's trying to refer to a well known turn of phrase.
The day that I climb a clock tower with a sniper rifle edges ever closer.
*I don't actually want anyone hurt, or to forcibly take anyone to the brink of drowning. I'm using hyperbole for comic effect. Honest, officer.
***UPDATE*** That was a bit angry, wasn't it? Hung over this morning. Sorry.