Crime Transference

Last week, after a fairly late night in the pub, a friend of mine (I’m going to call him Bill Smith) was making his way home across town. Bill Smith needed to catch the Piccadilly line from Hammersmith to Green Park, then transfer to the Victoria line to take him down to Brixton where he lives. It’s a simple enough journey in normal circumstances but unfortunately Bill Smith was a bit pissed up. Actually he really was quite pissed up indeed.

Somewhere between Hammersmith and Green Park he fell asleep and when he awoke he was in Cockfosters. I, like everyone in London, has heard the name Cockfosters spoken over a tube tannoy many times before – it’s the where the Piccadilly line goes. Until last week though, no one had ever actually been there; the temptation to get off the tube seemingly always overpowering the curiosity to find out what it might be like.

Last week though, aided by a full quota of booze, Bill Smith woke up in Cockfosters on an empty tube train. Not even the tube driver was still there, presumably having bailed out at Oakwood. It was at this point that Bill’s luck took a turn for the worse. Not only were there no more tubes back, but at some point while he’d soundly slept, a crook had reached inside his coat and taken his phone and wallet.

“So how did you get back home?” I asked, when he recounted his tale of woe.

“I had to walk,” Bill replied.

We checked the distance on Google Maps. According to Google Maps it’s 14.5 miles.

Cockfosters to Brixton on foot

Cockfosters to Brixton on foot

(Google Maps assumes he took the most direct route and had the ability to walk in a straight line, neither of which are likely in the circumstances.)

“You walked 15 miles in sub-zero temperatures? Are you insane?”

“What would you have done?”

It was a good question. He lives alone, so even if he found someone else who’d let him use their phone, who was he going to call in the early hours of the morning. Then a genius idea struck me:

“I’d steal someone else’s phone and wallet.”

Some of you may also just have been struck by the pure genius of this. In case you haven’t though, I will explain.

A crime has been committed. There is The Victim (Bill Smith) and The Crook, I’ll call him Jeffrey Archer. Jeffrey Archer is a wallet and a phone up. Bill Smith is a wallet and a phone down.

We can summarise this using maths:

NetCrimeJeffreyArcher = Wallet + Phone
NetCrimeBillSmith = – (Wallet + Phone)

Note in maths, negative crime = Victimhood

Bill Smith now cunningly steals a phone and wallet from an innocent passer by. I’ll call him Steve Davis. Bill lost a phone and wallet but now has replacements. He is now neutral in proceedings and is free to leave. Now the maths looks like this:

NetCrimeJeffreyArcher = Wallet + Phone

NetCrimeBillSmith = (Wallet – Wallet) + (Phone – Phone) = 0

NetCrimeSteveDavis = – (Wallet + Phone)

Note that Bill Smith’s net crime is zero and Steve’s and Jeffrey’s exactly offset each other. This demonstrates the First Law of Crime Transference:

“In a closed system, the sum of all crimes equals zero.”

This law is also known as The Conservation of Crime.

It is also important to note that Bill Smith is no longer referred to as The Victim. Having transferred the crime he is now The Intermediary and Steve Davis becomes The Victim.

Steve Davis can either choose to remain The Victim or cunningly steal the phone and wallet of another passer by in which case the victimhood is transferred once more and Steve becomes an Intermediary. Most importantly, however Jeffrey Archer remains The Crook.

This may proceed as many times as needed until Jeffrey Archer is caught. At that time Bill Smith’s wallet and phone are returned to whoever the current Victim happens to be and everyone is happy except for Jeffrey Archer and he shouldn’t be happy anyway because he is a Crook.

Let’s look at another situation. Imagine one morning you step outside your front door all prepared for your journey into work to find that your car has been stolen. You look up the road and see a car of equivalent value. Under my scheme, that’s yours!

Note it has to be of equivalent value. If your Nissan Micra got nicked you can’t steal your neighbour’s Ferrari. If you did that you would actually be a Net Crook for the theft of a car of the value of a Ferrari minus the value of a Nissan Micra:

NetCrimeJeffreyArcher = Nissan Micra

NetCrimeYou = (Ferrari – Nissan Micra) = Porsche

(Note in this scenario we are making the reasonable assumption that your car was stolen by Jeffrey Archer.)

This demonstrates The Second Law of Crime Transference:

“To finish criminally neutral, the sum of the crimes a Victim may commit be must exactly equivalent to the one which was inflicted upon him or her. Otherwise they will finish a net Crook or a net Victim.”

It is important to note it is the sum of the crimes. Therefore you could steal your neighbour’s Nissan Micra, or you could steal several things of lesser value which add up to the same overall amount e.g. two motorbikes.

The final law of crime transference deals with the type of crimes to which crime transference can be applied. Some crimes are non-transferable. If someone beats you up, simply beating someone else up does not make things neutral as you are still all beaten up.

Example. Jeffrey Archer beats up Jimmy Krankie. Jimmy Krankie then beats up Audley Harrison. Here are the maths:

NetCrimeJeffreyArcher = Beating Someone Up

NetCrimeJimmyKrankie = Beating Someone Up

NetCrimeAudleyHarrison = – (Beating Someone Up)

Note that because this crime is non-transferable, Jimmy can’t take the fact that he was beaten up into account – he is a Net Crook. This scenario is also an obvious violation of the First Law of Crime Transference.

(Note also that this refers to a standard beating up – if Jeffrey Archer had simply stolen a kidney from Jimmy Krankie and Jimmy then stole one from Audley Harrison then it would be classified a transferable crime and Jimmy Krankie could go free.)

Therefore The Third Law of Crime Transference is:

“A crime is only transferable if the state of the Intermediary will remain unchanged after transference.”

And so concludes the three laws of Crime Transference – “But wait!” I hear you cry, “Crime transference does NOT reduce overall crime!”

No. It doesn’t. I never claimed it did. Crime transference just makes our lives easier if we’re caught in a tricky situation and I’ll explain how. At each stage of the crime transfer the Intermediary can decide if:

  • The crime really inconvenienced them and they need to transfer it
  • They fucking hated their Micra anyway, have an excuse not to turn up to work and can get the insurance money and buy a Cinquecento instead

In Bill Smith’s case there would be a great benefit to him to transfer the crime. He transferred it onto Steve Davis. Perhaps Steve Davis lived a 5 minute walk away in which case he wouldn’t have bothered transferring it. If he too lived a 5 hour walk away then he would simply have transferred it and we’d have kept going until it landed on someone for whom it was a lesser inconvenience.

Government cuts are only going to push overall crime in one direction. In circumstances such as these, wouldn’t we all rather have this choice?



Homo Perfectus

I am an atheist. I believe in evolution. Some people aren’t atheists. Some people believe in something called “intelligent design”. Well I take issue with this theory. God or no God, there is nothing remotely intelligent about human design. The design of humans is crap. Look, here comes one now.

Homo Sapien

Hardly inspiring, is it? If I were God I would have designed something far better and I will now show you exactly what. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Homo Perfectus. Homo Perfectus is like Homo Sapien but with the following improvements:


Two arms is not enough. What about all those times when you need to carry three things? Homo Perfectus has four arms. In this way he or she can carry three things and still have an arm spare for mischief and petty crime.

Extra arms for carrying three or four things

Extra arms for carrying three or four things


With four arms comes four hands. The digits on the two new hands would be utility digits – each finger would perform its own special function, like the tools on a Swiss Army knife:

Left Hand

  • Fork
  • Corkscrew
  • Saw
  • Can opener

Right Hand

  • Knife
  • Bottle Opener
  • Fish Scaler
  • Screw Driver

(NB Homo Perfectus will never actually use the fish scaler.)

Utility fingers

Utility fingers

One of Homo Sapien’s most fundamental flaws becomes apparent when wanting to push a button which is more than four inches away from the end of their arm. Homo Perfectus would therefore have a metre long index finger on the upper left hand.

Extra long finger for pushing distant buttons

Extra long finger for pushing distant buttons


Homo Perfectus would have feet three times as long and five times as wide as Homo Sapien so that he or she could walk on snow without sinking into it.

Big feet to allow easy traversing of snowy ground


Homo Perfectus can shoot powerful laser beams from his or her eyes and uses this ability for cooking food and shooting cats and dogs for recreational purposes.

Laser eyes for shooting cats and dogs

Laser eyes for shooting cats and dogs


Homo Sapien’s ears are useless for eavesdropping. Homo Perfectus solves this problem by having ears on the end of extendable tentracles, a bit like Mr. Tickle’s arms. The tentracles can be controlled such that if a private conversation is occurring across the room, Homo Perfectus would simply extend one or both tentracles until the ear(s) are within a few centimetres of the conversation, thus catching all the juicy details while the eavesdroppees are none the wiser.

Ears on tentracles for easy eavesdropping

Ears on tentracles for easy eavesdropping


Homo Perfectus has an elephant’s nose as elephants have the best noses.

Elephants clearly have the best noses

Elephants clearly have the best noses


Homo Sapien has hair in all of the wrong places. How often do you hear one say, “Brrrr, my armpit is cold!” Never!! But Homo Sapien continually suffers with cold ears, nose, fingers and toes. Homo Perfectus has hair on all of these, but nowhere else.

Hair in all the right places

Hair in all the right places


Homo Perfectus has wings on its head, thus making aeroplanes obsolete and thereby solving global warming problems.

Homo Perfectus takes to the skies

Homo Perfectus solves global warming


Lastly, Homo Perfectus is blue so he or she is camouflaged from sharks when swimming in the sea.

Homo Perfectus

Homo Perfectus


This thought experiment is more important than it first seems. If Homo Sapien is the design masterpiece of the greatest intellect in the universe then how did I improve upon it with such ease? It blows the whole intelligent design theory out of the water! I have disproved intelligent design! What a moment in our existence!

Oh wait. That’s been done a billion times already.


P.S. If you have other suggestions for the design of Homo Perfectus, I would love to hear them.

The Future of Office Furniture

Over the past few weeks I have been closely monitoring my bathroom habits at work. On average I do 4.6 wees and half a poo at work every day.

A round trip for a wee takes 107 seconds. A round trip for a poo takes 343 seconds*. This means every day I lose 11m 4s of valuable work time going to the bathroom. I work about 225 days a year but 5 of them, a full work week, is spend going to the bathroom.

The number of people employed in the UK is 28.82m so we are losing around 664,000 years of work time every year by people going to the toilet. Imagine if somehow we could get this time back. Imagine the boost to the economy if overnight we added 664,000 person-years of work to the economy annually.

I have a solution. Office furniture.

Specifically, I have designed a new chair. For the most part it is the same as a standard office chair with variable height, arms and lumbar adjustment. However it has one key, built-in feature not found in the current generation of office chairs – a toilet.

Just take a moment to behold the beauty of this suggestion. Office chairs with built-in toilets.

There are two key benefits:

  • 664,000 person-years of work extra in the economy every year
  • Cheaper office space (since you don’t need to pay for floor-space for bathrooms)

There is one down-side however:

  • Someone in the office might do a smelly poo

I have thought about this problem at length and have solved it by making a small adjustment to the chair design. I would have one of these built into the arm on every chair so any worker could quickly avoid embarrassment with a simple press of the button.

The chairs would not be cheap but given the boost in productivity they would easily pay for themselves in a few months.

Although the office is the most obvious place for such a device there are many more applications. A couple of years ago on a flight to New York, I sank a few mini-bottles of wine and just as my bladder told me it was time to go to the toilet, we hit turbulence and the seat belt light came on. I spent the next hour in agony – unnecessarily in my opinion. The simple installation of toilets into aeroplane seats would have completely removed this problem. It would also mean that airlines could remove bathrooms from the plane and therefore fit in more seats. Again – they pay for themselves.

Our fragile economy needs a boost now more than ever. No party has shown us a policy which comes close to instantly add 664,000 person-years of work to the economy annually. Our nation’s financial ills will not be solved overnight by national insurance hikes or inheritance tax cuts. The solution is far more simple. The solution is office furniture.


* Note I did not count today’s disaster in the time keeping as it would have skewed the figures

P.S. Since writing this article I have trade marked The Stool Stool as the brand name for this product.