The mighty keyboard

July 5, 2012

Last year, an elderly friend of mine living in a tiny town in the Philippines was attacked and subsequently treated pretty badly. I was incensed, and looked into ways of getting him some revenge, including recruiting some toughs to institute a round of much-deserved beatings. Instead, I eventually spent 10 minutes writing the following letter, knocking up a fake letterhead, and sending it off:

Mayor Santy R. Austria

Municipal Government of Jaen

2nd Floor, Jaen Municipal Hall

Brgy. Dampulan, Jaen, Nueva Ecija 3109



Dear Mr Austria,

It is with some regret that we at the Canadian Overseas Justice Department are writing to you, but we have been made aware of an issue in your municipality that we cannot easily overlook.

It has come to our attention that on the 10th June, a Canadian citizen, a Mr Brian Lord, currently resident in your municipality was attacked, tied to a tree and viciously assaulted by a group of at least 15 drunken males near his home in Jaen.

While he was subsequently hospitalised following the cowardly assault, the District Captain and the Chief of Police conspired to have him charged with trespass and carrying a deadly weapon, and coerced him into paying a large amount of money in compensation to his attacker, a man ironically known as ‘Manny’.

We are very concerned about this incident for a number of reasons. Firstly, Mr Lord is a well-known figure in Canada, a decorated war veteran and a figure of some reverence. He is also, I should note, 77 years of age, and has never been in trouble with the law at any stage of his long and distinguished life. We are worried that, should news of the assault reach the general population of Canada, there would be some measure of antagonism towards the Philippines, which would be harmful to all concerned.

Secondly, while we do not wish to question the judicial process in your municipality, from the information we have received, we are forced to conclude that justice was neither fair nor transparent in this case.

We would also note that the Canadian government delivers approximately $20 million annually in overseas development aid to the Philippines, mainly through the Canadian International Development Agency to “foster efficient, responsive, transparent and accountable governance at all levels.”  If we decide that this is not the case, we can recommend that these payments are suspended. We imagine that the government in Manila would be somewhat unhappy to hear that events in Jaen had caused the suspension of said payments, and would be interested to hear why we felt it necessary to do so.

We feel that at the very least, some sort of formal apology should be made to Mr Lord, as well as some form of financial restitution, and a thorough investigation made of the events of the evening of June 10, with a view to punishing the men responsible for the cowardly attack on an elderly Canadian war hero.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Kelly Dean

Chief Executive,

Canadian Overseas Justice Department

A few days later, Mayor Austria turned up at Brian’s door with the ringleaders, who apologised to him. They paid him back the several thousand dollars. And the mayor then even asked Brian if he’d help him with his next re-election campaign.

So I think that worked out pretty well.

(Brian was not a war hero, he was a rather dissolute radio DJ. There is no Canadian Overseas Justice Department.)


2 Responses to “The mighty keyboard”

  1. Nicola said

    The Might of the pen is therefore proved!

  2. Christopher Slaughter said

    Your father alerted me to this, Rupert… absolutely delightful ending to a pretty horrific story. And I must say, your pen-name made me laugh out loud… a very nice touch. I’m sure Brian was tickled by that as well…!

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