Yes, you're right, I'm practicing my excuses before tonight's inspection of my spring-cleaning exercise up here in the garret. But honestly, what's a man to do when surrounded by all these damn books most of which I have never got around to reading? And of course, as I dust the them and the shelves I can't help reading the titles and that old insidious temptation takes hold.
Now be honest, in my position could you just pass by a book called "Thinker, Failure, Soldier, Jailer" without pausing to have a quick look? It's an anthology of Telegraph obits from the past with one entry for each day of the year. So, sitting down quietly - er, very quietly! - I opened it up at random and came face to face (so to speak) with James 'Jimmy the Gent' Burke, b. 1931 - died 1996. He was, apparently, a notorious 'Noo Yawk' gangster who was used as the basis of Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas.
Amongst his exploits was the $5 million highjack of Lufthansa's cargo terminal. 'What the hell, dey're Nazis, right?, so like, who gives a rat's ass?' was not what he said but I like to think he might have thought it! Anyway, the FBI failed to find a penny of it (or if they did they're not telling!) Nor could they pin the crime to Burke even though they were certain he was behind it. Six men took part in the robbery but apparently there was a falling out amongst thieves and very quickly after that several of them became ex-gangsters, if you follow my Pythonese! They couldn't pin that on Burke either but eventually they got him for something minor and that was good enough to lock him up and throw away the key.
Ah well, I can't spin this out any longer so it's back to the hoover and the duster, honestly, you have no idea what I have to put up with!