I'm tempted to recount my current travails and bastarding nightmare experience trying to find out what's happened to a parcel sent from sunny Aberdeen to Vancouver using the delight that is FedEx. But I shan't. My blood pressure doesn't need to be any higher. If it was the top of my head would explode, killing everyone in a three mile radius with foul-language-fallout. They would have to seed the earth with salt and erect those fetching signs with skull and crossbones on them.

Let us leave it with the mysterious phrase, "Where the sun don't shine." and move on to other, less contentious things. Such as...

Mr Guthrie* and I have been reviewed -- well, our Saturday lunchtime Word 07 thing has been. The Press and Journal starts off telling everyone how good Rosemary Goring was, then it's all:

"Saturday lunchtime saw King's College auditorium literally packed to the rafters eagerly awaiting Aberdonian crime author Stuart MacBride and Edinburgh's Allan Guthrie.

Both read their latest offerings from the realms of Scotland's thriller underworld.

More of a theatrical performance than a literary reading, both novelists took particular pleasure in teasing the crowds with their dark humour, sound effects and imaginary guns."

And then it's on to Roddy Woomble and a quote from the organisers.

OK, so they don't say we rocked the Kasbah, but neither do they say that we sucked wet farts from the arseholes of dead pigeons. And in my book that's a result. But according to David Robinson of the Scotsman:

"...the crime writing event with tartan noir writers Allan Guthrie and Stuart MacBride was a little too self-satisfied for my tastes"

So that's us told ;}# Now I have it on good authority that Mr Robinson is the kind of person who habitually wears sandals (and no, I'm not kidding -- though I have no idea where he stands on the subject of socks with his footwear), but let's not allow that to cloud our opinions of the man. I'm sure they're very nice sandals, if you like that sort of thing. What's wrong with wearing sandals, after all? I wear slipper round the house all the time: does that make me a bad person? Well, possibly... but one great thing that you can say about slippers is that you're much less likely to kick someone to death while wearing them. Unless you do it very, very gently.

You know, given that I spend most of my life sat on my arse in front of a computer, slippers are my default mode of footwear. I spend more time in slippers than I do in anything else. I am Slipperboy! Chief Slipperperson of the Slipperpeople. I even shuffle when I walk (because slippers have a nasty habit of flying off into the cat's dinner bowl if you don't), and that's why I'm in no position to make fun of someone else's footwear. Unless they're wearing black shoes/sandals and white socks, in which case they're cock-weasels of the highest order.

Anyway, where was I...? Ah, right: I have to confess that yes, I was pretty damn satisfied with how the event went. We went out to give people a good time and they seemed to have one (at least Shona of the green piratical T-shirt had fun). So maybe the problem is that we didn't give Mr Robinson what he expected? Which is always a problem: expectus-interruptus.

Perhaps he didn't like the whole non-standard reading thing? (because it was very non-standard) If so, I take full blame for the self-satisfied nature of the event. It wasn't Mr Guthrie's fault. He's very serious when not being led astray by a bearded Aberdonian. But when he does get led astray he's a seriously funny guy. Saucy minx that he is. However, if there's one thing he's not it's smug. Any smugness must have been mine and mine alone.

So we have decided to say sod it: we're going to do the same thing, slightly differently, at the Edinburgh Book Festival later this year. So be warned: if you don't like the thought of a pair of self-satisfied people poncing about on stage and making strange noises, don't come! It'll only upset you.

Now, where did I put my slippers? I think someone from FedEx needs a long, slow kicking...

* He likes me to call him that, because he's not the tallest person in the world and it makes him feel good about himself.

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