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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

And in other magician news, we watched Derren Brown attempt not to kill himself on telly last night, playing Russian Roulette. The whole build up to the final stunt was really entertaining in itself, as we tried to double guess how he was going to cut down the volunteers from 100 people to the five people, one of whom would load the gun on the night.

But then when it actually came to the moment when he was going to do the stunt, we both surprised ourselves by getting quite nervous and giddy. I kept looking away and missed the first time he lifted the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. I watched intently then, and didn't miss the second time. It felt quite voyeuristic - which of course it was - and I felt a little guilty having expressed the hope, moments before, that he would die.

On the third shot, he held the gun out to the sand bag and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Looked like he had miscalculated. We started giggling hysterically. He put the gun back down on the table and started to breathe really rapidly. It looked like he was weighing up the options - either lose his credibility by chickening out, or lose half of his face if he carried on.

And then suddenly he really quickly picked the gun up, held it to his head, pulled the trigger - nothing - and then pointed again at the sand bag and shot it.

It was tremendous. We laughed very loudly, clapped, cheered, laughed and carried on laughing through the ad break. Great telly. Great, great telly.

Of course, if you're a cynic, it was very easy to see how he planted the little bloke in with the rest of the crowd, very easy to make it look like he was chosing him with the other four goons, very easy to stage the whole thing. We didn't see the gun actually being loaded - the stooge did it under the table, apparently so that Derren couldn't see which chamber the bullet was going in. Rubbish - that could easily have been done in our sight. But obviously that would have taken the tension out of the actual trigger pulling. The magical tradition of "Oh no, I've messed the trick up", quickly followed by "Hey, I did it!" was just in keeping with all good performances of this kind of illusion. And it's very easy to rig up a small explosion in a sand bag, to make it look like it had been shot. If it can be done on EastEnders, it can be done for this.

All in all though, really exciting telly.

In other, less fun news...

I talked to the MRI gimps again. No go with the old scan, it seems. They said that they can't move my scan forward unless the consultant says that I'm a medical emergency, which obviously I'm not. I'm really frustrated now, because I've been saying to them that my appointment needed to be moved forward since last July, and it's so stupid that after waiting seven months, I'm just two weeks short of the actual scan.

I texted my Mum to let her know, and it seems that the waiting list in Ireland is a hell of a lot longer, and it will cost over 1,000 Euro to get it done there. I would need to get an appointment with an Irish consultant before even being put on a waiting list, and that wouldn't even be until January.

So Mum and Dad have cooked up this wild, hair-brained scheme in which they think they've solved the conundrum - get me on a plane, fly me to Edinburgh, scan me, and then fly me back. I have many, many problems with this scheme, the two main problems being FLY?!!! FLY?!!! Are you mad?? and FLY BACK?!!! FLY BACK?!!! Are you mad??

But they've both offered themselves in the role of companion / minder, to make sure I get on the plane, and to make sure I get on the plane on the way back. Which would be interesting - Mum has been exposed to my airplane madness before, but my Dad hasn't had the pleasure. I'm not sure which one of them would be a greater comfort - I really need someone who will at the same time ignore me completely and make sure I don't choke to death on my own fear.

This is turning in to one crazy nightmare. I have to ring the radiology people again tomorrow and ask them three questions -
1. Can my appointment be moved forward?
2. If not, have I still got my original appointment for 31st October?
3. Can I take valium before then?

If the answer to 1 is "Yes" then the other two are redundant. If the answer to 2 is "Yes", then everything relies on the answer to 3. If the answer to 3 is "No", then in the immortal words of Mr T, I aint getting on no plane. Fool.

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