Monday, 25 April 2011
Captain Paranoia is perched on my shoulder. He has been listening to the government, watching the news and reading the tabloids. He has agreed to an interview.
Plastic Mancunian: Hello, my evil little nemesis. Please introduce yourself.
Captain Paranoia: I’m Captain Paranoia – the only person who tells you the truth. You know that every word I say is true and that terrifies you. And so it should. Will anybody read this interview? I don’t think so – you usually write total crap.
Plastic Mancunian: Thanks for that. You’ve been watching lots of TV, reading lots of news and listening to the message from our government. How do you feel?
Captain Paranoia: You’re screwed.
Plastic Mancunian: Why?
Captain Paranoia: You’re clearly a moron. You’re sitting here talking to me and eating a cheese sandwich with a can of beer and you have no idea that you are screwed? No wonder everybody hates you.
Plastic Mancunian: What’s wrong with eating a cheese sandwich and drinking beer?
Captain Paranoia: You’re a BINGE drinker. The government says so – and the Daily Mail. And cheese is so bad for you they may as well redefine it as “POISON”.
Plastic Mancunian: Really? What should I be eating then?
Captain Paranoia: I’ve seen your fridge and your cupboards and you’re doomed. You cans of food are so full of E numbers that they may as well be labelled “POISON” too.
Plastic Mancunian: What’s an E number?
Captain Paranoia: Something that will turn you into a mutant. Hang on, you’ve must have eaten loads because you look like a mutant already. Everyone thinks so.
Plastic Mancunian: I’ll go to the shop and buy some more food then. What do you recommend?
Captain Paranoia: Not driving to the shop. You’ll be killing the planet with your oversized carbon footprint. I’ve seen you – travelling to China and other places in an aircraft and ruining the planet for the kids. You don’t care about future generations, do you? You are causing the planet to heat up. It’s all your fault. And that old banger of a car of yours is so bad for the environment it is killing pets every time you drive.
Plastic Mancunian: I’ll walk then.
Captain Paranoia: I wouldn’t do that. You’ll be mugged. Have you seen the crime statistics for this area? You live in one of the worst places in Britain. You may as well walk around with a neon sign saying “Mug me! I’m an idiot.”
Plastic Mancunian: The police will protect me.
Captain Paranoia: Naïve as well as stupid, eh? There won’t be any police because of the government cuts. The place will be filled with desperate anarchists, all with one plan – to mug you.
Plastic Mancunian: Well if it’s that bad, I’d better take protection.
Captain Paranoia: And then get arrested and jailed for assault no doubt. That’s if you don’t end up in hospital, in which case you will probably catch some dreadful virus. Swine flu’s still around, you know. And it’s not an epidemic – it’s a PANDEMIC. It will follow you wherever you go.
Plastic Mancunian: Maybe I should leave Britain – go somewhere else.
Captain Paranoia: You’ll have to fly there. So you clearly don’t care about the environment. Besides, if the bugs don’t get you before you leave the UK, the terrorists will. Or maybe you will be arrested at the airport because you look like a weirdo. Let’s hope so, eh?
Plastic Mancunian: You really don’t like me, do you?
Captain Paranoia: Nobody loves you more than I do and I HATE you. Having said that, I like you enough to tell you how it is, because you are too stupid to read the papers and watch the news. If, by lucky chance, you manage to get on a plane out of England, you will probably end up in a war torn state ruled by an evil dictator.
Plastic Mancunian: Nonsense. Anyway, I want to talk to you about statistics. What do you make of the statistics that we hear on the news?
Captain Paranoia: They prove that you are screwed. D’UH!!!!!
Plastic Mancunian: How?
Captain Paranoia: What a moron. The government is warning you that you are five times more likely to lose all of your teeth if you drink more than four cups of tea a day.
Plastic Mancunian: I drink six cups of tea on a good day.
Captain Paranoia: Then you’ll lose all of your teeth by the time you’re fifty – if you make it that far.
Plastic Mancunian: What are the chances of me losing my teeth if I drink less than four cups of tea a day?
Captain Paranoia: I dunno – maybe 1 in 500,000.
Plastic Mancunian: So if I drink more than four cups, my chances of losing all of my teeth are what? 1 in 100,000?
Captain Paranoia: Not necessarily.
Plastic Mancunian: Surely this is abuse of statistics. The chances of me winning the lottery jackpot are one in 14 million, approximately. They tell me that I can improve my chances of winning by, say, buying ten tickets. “Yes Mr PM. If you buy ten tickets then you are ten times more likely to win the lottery jackpot.” What they DON’T tell me is that I have just spent £10 but my chances of winning the jackpot are still 1 in a million. Of course I could win the other prizes, but that’s not the point. The point is that the government and newspapers mislead us using phrases like “you are 500 times more likely to explode if you drink more than two pints in a day”. The chances of me exploding are infinitesimal, making the chances of me exploding if I drink more than two pints in one go STILL infinitesimal.
Captain Paranoia: You’re talking bollocks as usual.
Plastic Mancunian: Well thanks for that. Can I post the interview on my blog?
Captain Paranoia: Absolutely not! Nobody will read it and if somebody does, by accident, I don’t want to be associated with you. Now bugger off!
Thank goodness I don’t listen to Captain Paranoia.
Don’t believe everything you read in the papers.
Or on this blog.
Ditch Captain Paranoia and make this your mantra.