I have proof, if proof were needed, that the kind of people who attend Harrogate (or the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival to give it its official sponsor-approved moniker) are weirdoes. As part of my Getting Vigorous panel I did a random survey: "What's the best way to dispose of a body?" I asked, with my usual winsome smile. The results were enlightening, but not as much as the amount of thought some people put into the answer.

"Best way to dispose of a body? Hmm... Body... Hmm..." I thought everyone would have their favourite method on the tip of their tongue. After all, surely we all lie in bed in the wee small hours when we can't sleep, thinking of the best way to get rid of our neighbour's bloated corpse before the smell starts making the postman suspicious. Because if Mr Postie gets suspicious and starts asking questions we're going to have another dead body on our hands, aren't we?

Or is that just me?

Anyway, the results of the Great Harrogate Body Disposal Survey are as follows:

18% said they'd chuck it in the sea
17% would dissolve it in acid / lye / lime / caustic soda
17% said they'd bury it -- in something, with something else, etc.
15% want to burn the body
10% would feed it to the pigs
6% would hide it
4% would eat it
4% would feed it through a wood-chipper
3% like to throw their corpses out with the rubbish
3% would throw it out of a helicopter
3% Abstain

Now I don't know about you, but I find the low rating of cannibalism on the list disappointing. And there was me thinking we were becoming more food conscious as a society. Shocking. But even more disturbing is the fact that 3% abstained. Why? What were they trying to hide? They say it's always the quiet ones you have to watch, and anyone who won't contribute to a perfectly wholesome topic like getting rid of a body, has obviously been up to something. "What? Dispose of a body? Er... no idea. Why do you think I'd know anything about that? I wasn't even there at the time... not that anything happened. No... er... Oh look -- a bee!"

Or maybe they just have a general criminallishness about them. Maybe they were the festering cock-weasels who ran up over a thousand pound on my credit card last week.

Yes, while I was in Harrogate someone had spoofed my credit card details -- apparently they run your name through an algorithm to generate X-thousand possible card numbers, then fire them automatically at a number of online purchasing sites to see if they've got it right. In my case this was two payments of £1.50 to Stagecoach. Once they know they've got it right, the rabid arse-monkeys go to town with their internet shopping spendathon:

£113.00 at Red Kite Apparel
£74.58 at ASDA Home Delivery
£96.50 at Avon Cosmetics
£345.00 at Vaportech Dry Steam
£285.00 at Vaportech Dry Steam again -- clearly whatever it was they had, it was very, very dirty.
£171.00 at Tesco Home Delivery

So that's a smidgeon over a thousand pounds in twenty four hours. Wankers.

Luckily the Royal Bank's fraud prevention people were on the ball and killed the card, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed anything till my statement came in.

I want to know where those 3% abstainers were. J'accuse Abstainers, j'accuse!

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