Dear The Alarm

Re: 68 Guns

Whilst on holiday in Cyprus last year we called upon one of our neighbours to feed our cat. No doubt thinking that she was doing us a good turn, Nora took it upon herself to move all computing apparatus from our settee to the floor so that Gladys couldn't keep sitting on it. Unbeknownst to her however, the patch of parquet she picked was directly underneath a section of window susceptible to condensation. Therefore, upon our return, we were pleased to find a well-nourished if slightly nonchalant Gladys but less delighted to find my Inspiron 1545, which refused to switch on despite several attempts including different power adaptors, in a puddle next to a soggy T.V. Quick.

After several days of diagnostic checks, PC World were unable to ''uphold the promise'' of a full repair, citing a drenched motherboard, and told us that the laptop had died. As I explained to their 'specialist technician' in detail before tersely being requested to leave the 'store', his summation was constitutionally flawed very much for the same reasons as that which can be applied to your 'alternative standard bearing call to arms'.

Given that the component parts of the sodden hardware are conceived of nothing other than manufacture, it cannot by any stretch of logic be considered as a living organism. Employing the same methodology to your 'rebel hit' , The Alarm, tubular weaponry is traditionally of a metal and timber construct and, once again, not born, reaped, nurtured or spawned, but instead honed in a workshop or factory. Therefore, as with my saturated Dell, irrespective of the number of firearms concerned, although it is agreed that they can indeed never die, it must be made abundantly clear that this is by dint not of immortality but of non-sentience, ergo the absence of life in the first instance.

Consequently, not only can 68 guns fail to become deceased on the basis that they were never previously conscious, but, being bereft of souls, it is also unacceptable, uncarnately speaking, to add a further eight to the tally and make a ''Declaration'' attributing a collective incorporeal essence to this revised total or, to put it more simply, espousing the spirit of 76.

Furthermore, although by no means an expert of military strategy, I am a long-term follower of Sharpe on Yesterday, and think that he would agree with me that ''68 Guns'' is a rather inadvisable battle-cry, revealing as it does, the full extent of one's armoury to an oncoming foe, thus eliminating the need for espionage resourcing on the part of said adversaries and denying you the elements of surprise and doubt crucial to victory. Regardless of the inauthenticity of such a revised combat yelp, I feel that ''Definitely Much More Than 68 Guns and A Camouflaged Rocket Launcher, About 20 AK-47s That You Can't Quite See, A Great Big Anti-Aircraft Cannon Just Out Of Your Line Of Vision and Lots Of Other Really Massive Stuff We've Hidden Honestly And We Wouldn't Think Any Less Of You If You Just Want To Retreat Or Surrender To Be Truthful'', although admittedly slightly less catchy, may result in a skirmish triumph without any of your pistols and/or rifles even being discharged.

For the sake of my own conscience I can only hope that the impartation of this tactical advice is to pop renegades fighting a worthy cause




Derek Philpott

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