Thursday, October 28, 2010

10/28 - The Timsons Explain it All For You

For some reason, this week's batch of letters (rather an improvement over those of recent weeks) remind me of that great and industrious family of South London villains, the Timsons.

L1: Oh, I can hardly wait to see what the Submariner has done with this mighty pair. If the refreshers were good, this case could entertain the Old Bailey for a week or more as we go into all the pertinent and necessary details of exactly how religious the family were, how clear the prohibition of indoor relationship, how necessary to warn the couple of the dangers of self-incrimination through any admission of certain conduct, and how much exactly which party can be held accountable for The Big Bang. There must be some way to thread a needle between LW1 putting on his Big Boy Underoos and accepting his portion of the act despite his wanting to make a good impression and the girlfriend being both the primarily moved and the primary mover.

I am so disgusted with both halves of this couple that I almost want to tell them to marry at once. They clearly deserve each other. Both are willing to live with Granny's incarceration (whether or not deserved, one of the sadder points for cross-examination involved in the case) - and for what? Simply in order to avoid being adults? Are they afraid her parents will send her to her room without supper? Sadly, in the end, I must insist that they break up. Without a spine between them, they will not be able to stop her parents from sneaking their babies out of the house and getting them baptized, or reading their gay teenagers condemnatory Biblical passages assisted by sermons condoning any bullying the teens have received as righteous and thus driving them to suicide. It sounds melodramatic, but the risk is real.

The Timson angle for this letter is the case of the Tap End. Tony Timson is arrested for trying to drown his wife April when they share a bath. The whole incident was really just a case of heated feelings following a slight altercation. April had told Tony what she would be wearing to a party at Chrissie Malloy's and that Peanuts Malloy would be attending the same party. Tony didn't care for April to be wearing that particular outfit in such company, and then, however much embarrassment it cost Tony later to admit to it in the presence of Mizz Liz Probert as junior brief, April made a comparison between Tony and Peanuts on the subject of... virility. Tony expressed the assumption that most married couples shared baths, didn't they? Mr Bernard, it was revealed, couldn't do such a thing, as his wife had a hip. When the Timsons' arrangements of communal bathing became known in open court, Mr Justice Featherstone was so outraged by Tony being expected to sit with his back squashed up against the taps all the time that he unwisely appeared to opine that such circumstances almost justified an attempted murder. This even led to the intrusion of tabloid reporters phoning the Featherstone home and asking Marigold impertinent questions. Guthrie's incompetent attempt to remedy the situation required the far more skilful intervention of a legal practitioner of considerable greater talents in order to restore him to both judicial and domestic tranquility.

Moral: It is a truth universally acknowledged that no couple should marry if the parents of either possess double the amount of spine of the combined halves of the couple.

L2: And we go from bad to worse. The sterling question for cross is bound to be - Exactly How did LW2 discover the affair? And we all know the answer. Mumsy has been Talking. She told LW2, not only oblivious to the question of whether or not it spoiled the wedding for her, but both glad and doing all she could to insure that it did so. She didn't stop at telling LW2, either, and we can bet Ms Mermaid's red high heels on it. All the family knows. All her friends know. Anyone whom Mumsy has ever considered even an amiale acquaintance is under no illusion that even to acknowledge the existence of the slore (thanks, once again, to Johnny Weir for the new word) is to volunteer for excommunication. This is almost a beneficence on Mumsy's part - at least it avoids the possibility of the slore being invited to any event attended by Mumsy, LW2, family or perhaps even friends.

But that is the low-hanging fruit. I wonder where the husband is in all this. There is WE in the first sentence, followed by I'M so excited in the second. The WE in the third sentence is natural enough, as their children are being included in the ceremony (BLECH!), but there is a WE in the fourth sentence that annoys me. From the rest of the letter, that WE feels as if it applies more to LW2 and her mother than to LW2 and her husband. There follows a detailed account of the numerous roles filled by the slore as wedding planner preceding and during the ceremony. Then there is the sentence that anything connected to the wedding is painful "for us and my mom". WE can't watch the wedding video, but almost all the actions and reactions belong to Mumsy - asking LW2 to toss the veil, reconciling with Popsy, etc. Which WE exactly has been wanting to watch the wedding video - LW2 and hubby or LW2 and Mumsy? How distraught is hubby anyway? There are a lot of WEs which seem to refer to him but also seem to attribute to him more than his reasonable share of outrage involved. This is not encouraging.

I advise an immediate divorce. LW2 seems to be rather blurry on what she feels, what her husband feels, what her mother feels, and whether there is or ought to be any difference. And, on the bright side, they can still go ahead and plan another wedding, only this one will actually have teeth!

If only the slore were an official wedding planner, one could speculate merrily about whether or how she could legally turn away the business offered. It would be so much neater a picture if Mumsy pushed her friend every step of the way. Especially given the occasional case popping up in which wedding-related service providers have wanted to decline business from same-sex couples, we could have quite a nice time building up quite a fun picture.

The Timson case that springs to mind is that of the Children of the Devil. Dennis Timson robs a novelty shop of depressingly little cash and takes a box or two of novelties for good measure. As Carey Timson and his family are on holiday, Dennis stores the goods in Carey's garage and then forgets about them. Eight-year-old master criminal of the family, Carey's daughter Tracy, takes nine devil's masks to school, where she and eight friends don the mask and run about screaming for a few minutes before Tracy is apprehended. But this moderately benign caper has legs. Gareth Malloy thinks Carey told the police that the Malloys robbed the novelty shop. In retaliation, Tracy's cherubic classmate Dominic Malloy is primed by the rest of the Malloys to convince the well-meaning but credulous social worker Mirabelle Jones that Carey has introduced Tracy and Dominic to Satanic practices. Tracy is taken from her home into care in the middle of the night without even so much as a Barbara doll for consolation. Restoring her to her parents requires convincing Dennis to appear before the Crockthorpe local authority and put his hands up for the Wedges job.

Moral: It is a truth universally acknowledged that those who watch their wedding videos as frequently as LW2 does or would like to do are in want of marriages that compare favourably. [NB: See: van Arkle, Muriel - nee Heslop]

L3: This is a technical question that should never have made it past the editor as presented for the column. How much is the extra degree worth in the industry in question? That should come out easily enough, without requiring much in the way of cross. As for what LW3 ought to have done, skulking and sulking for the weeks since the tragic discovery is Not It. (Why, oh why, am I suddenly thinking of those commercials about the Heartbreak of Psoriasis?)

As breakups seem to be the order of the day, and it apears that LW3 has very probably been seen to have checked out mentally on the job, however justifiably, it might as well be made official. It would be interesting to see what would happen if LW3 were to inform the coworker of the salary difference, but that seems too improbable to suggest.

The Timsons always seem to be in the shadow of the more violent, more efficient and more successful-at-crime Malloys, a circumstance never better illustrated than in Rumpole's Last Case. Dennis and Cyril Timson are robbing a bank and have about two thousand pounds bagged from the safe when they hear the approach of a guard. They start to leave the way they entered, hear noises, go back the other way, encounter the guard. In the midst of much confusion, the guard is shot in the foot and they are apprehended. As the case heads to trial with their separate barristers each considering the merits of a cutthroat defense, the Malloys, who are rumoured to have pulled off something spectacular, are croing that the Timsons just get nicked and grass on each other. Peanuts Malloy is heard saying that the Timsons are only any good to use as ferrets. It transpires that the Malloys simply followed Dennis and Cyril into the vault, waiting for the pair to finish emptying the safe and leave, when they would have prduced the gun neither Dennis nor Cyril actually had and relieved the Timsons of the loot. When Dennis and Cyril were caught, the Malloys simply stayed where they were, then made off with about forty thousand once the coast was clear.

Moral: It is a truth universally acknowledged that confidential documents left on a scanner are to an unsupecting office worker as her box was to Pandora.

L4: Another technical question. Sigh. LW4 has already missed the boat. Maybe one occasion of illness might be passed off, but not contacting the hostess after the second occurrence with an inquiry into the health of everyone else and then (assuming no other casualties) into particular ingredients in search of a possible cause of what LW4 could at least have presented as putatively an allergic reaction? Surely any comment made now will make it plain to the friend what actually happens to be true, that LW4 believes there to be personal blame in the case, or at least believed so for some time. The friends apparently deserve better. Just drop them slowly and don't talk about it.

Perhaps LW4 has been dining with Hugh "Snake Legs" Timson, who inherited the position of family fence from the retired Uncle Percy. Police thought they could trace possession of a number of stolen silver sugar bowls to Hugh, but they found nothing from a long list of stolen articles until the bright Inspector Broom/Brush (Mr Mortimer herabout or at a nearby point making a name change for the Hammer of the Timsons) noticed a large number of bags of frozen peas in the Timson freezer and took it upon himself to order them put to the boil. One wonders what else might have taken up temporarym lodging among the eatables over the years.

Moral: It is a truth universally acknowledged that, as Julius King posits, however insincerely, in *A Fairly Honourable Defeat*, anybody can be made to drop anybody with the right tweaking.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10/21 - Seventies Night

Being pretty disgusted, I shall be pretty brief.

L1 - One could go through the motions of cross-examining LW1 about her flexibility - but we all know the answer is Not Very. And that's fine. One might cross-examine the BF about what avenues to Paradise he might have proficiency in constructiong, but he's probably been through enough. Given such an otherwise wonderful object, some people would try every position in the almanac twice a day and thrice on Sunday to make sure they're Just Not a Match. Others might look into triangles or parallelograms, but LW1 gives off too much Marcia Brady to be sufficiently game for the sort of hard work required, and that's fine.

Moral: One might be well advised to remember that Something Suddenly Came Up bites in more than one direction.

L2 - This is really a technical question, and I loathe technical questions. LW2 sounds like the sort of pushover that people who could really use such a friend so rarely know in real life. That guilted out because a friend of an acquaintance made the rather bizarre request for a donation of hair? The friend has clearly learned from the master - Danny Bonaduce. This has the DB touch all over it. It would not surprise me a bit if the friend has been madly jealous of LW2's hair for some time now and has seen an ingenious way to get rid of it. But LW2 has a grand opportunity to improve her friend's knowledge of literature with a reference to a well-known story about another donation of hair, and if worst comes to worst and she feels truly compelled to lie she can claim that her husband thinks he will be surprising her with a present of expensive combs.

Moral: If LW2 wouldn't (and it seems reasonable to assume so from the letter) cut off her hair to buy her husband a watch fob, she can hardly be expected to cut it off to make a wig for the child of an acquaintance when asked secondhand.

L3 - Now the potential for effective cross-examination here is off the charts. One might inquire into exactly what sort of questions LW3 had to refrain from asking in order to secure her radiantly happy marriage (and there were, one might reasonably presume, a good many of them), but the thought of being landed with another brief in a divorce case before Mrs Justice Appleby is too offputting. But one might put a few pertinent questions to the husband and the bride while LW3 happens not to be in the court. There might have been a few little games going on with LW3 that might be useful to know without LW3 being on to it.

LW3 really has a very strong air of Jan Brady about her. Noone wears the mix of righteously and overreachingly offended air in quite the same way. And the bride has broken the Girl Code. Not realizing without a word ever passing her friend's lips that the marriage was based on a veneer only of mock forgiveness extending only to the the husband, and that the vile woman who had to be blamed for 250% of the trouble between the couple was to be Shunned in Perpetuity. The bride has committed a serious offense, very serious indeed. LW3 would be quite justified if she were to seduce the groom, for instance. Or perhaps it might be more effective to create a grand scene at the wedding, rather akin to the time that Jan wore a black wig to a party.

Moral: It seems almost unfairly to LW3's benefit that Eve Plumb came out of the Brady Bunch with the most chic reputation of all, doesn't it?

L4 - So you wanted to be Susan Dey and now you realize you're not up for it? Join the queue.

Moral: (and this one's for serious Bonus Points) Honey Lingers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10/14 - Return of CEB

As I find myself still wondering about why various people here would find it difficult to believe in bisexuality (not to be a great cheerleader for the Bs, who are unlikely to attain true unity with the LGs as long as the Ss manage to throw up enough smoke screens to keep them divided, although there are various areas for improvement on both sides), this seems like a good day for the return of our guest columnist C.E.B.:

Greetings to regular readers of this page! As my schedule as a highly successful and much in demand Queen's Counsel appears to have provided me with yet another uncharacteristically lengthy block of free time, and as it was rather pleasant to be able to enlighten people without Rumpole tricking my witnesses in cross-examination or Phylly on the bench summing up against me, I thought I would fill in yet again.

L1: Dear LW1, I entirely empathize with your situation. Your sister and family are treating you exactly the way the Sisterhood of Radical Lawyers likes to treat me. Just because a number of young lady barristers have been attracted to me - not just my wife, Phylly, who, you may recall, was my pupil, but also Fiona Always, who told Rumpole I looked like Paul Newman, and Liz Probert, who pretends not to like me but keeps wheedling me into taking her to the Opera every now and then. But please don't think that I spend all my time pursuing young lady barristers (or typists, if we count Dot Clapton). It's not my fault that they fall in love with me. I often make a conscious effort not to attract women, and can mention at least two of my lady pupils whom I did my very best to repel, Mrs Heather Whittaker and Wendy Crump. Mrs Whittaker was middle-aged and Wendy Crump was fat. But I mustn't take up a lot of time delving into the many chapters of my rich and varied love life. Seriously, I mustn't, as Hilda Rumpole reads this column very carefully to make sure Rumpole isn't getting up to anything, and Hilda might tell Phylly something she didn't already know.

Weddings can be difficult occasions. I remember that Phylly and Marigold Featherstone thought that my remark at the Ballards' wedding about Sam being sentenced for life could have been phrased better, but at least the moment passed without any such exchange as that between you and your sister. Of course, sisters have exchanges that can be difficult to interpret, such as when I hosted a party from Chambers at the Bar Races and we met up with Fiona Always. Then Fiona's sister Jennifer Postern showed up, they called each other Sprod and Pimpsy, and said it was loathsome and disgusting to see each other. I couldn't understand it.

Now, it appears you are being accused by your family and you certainly have form (previous convictions). I am glad I am here this week instead of Rumpole. Rumpole would tell you never to plead guilty, but I know a thing or two old Horace doesn't. After all, which of us, I might ask, is a Queen's Counsel and entitled by rank to lead the other? But I have a little secret. There is a much more highly effective stratagem available to you. By all means plead guilty, and let all your family know how aware you are that you have a problem. The "I Know I Have a Problem" Admission works wonders. People fall all over themselves to be sympathetic, and quite often they don't even make you do any real work to resolve that problem. Telling the Sisterhood of radical lawyers that I know well how much I need to work on my sense of Gender Awareness (or some other of those terms that young lady barristers seem so keen on these days, such a lot of nonsense most of it) has saved my bacon on numerous occasions. Just don't tell Liz Probert.

L2: Dear LW2, you had an unfortunate reaction to a sedative and behaved, entirely beyond your own control, in an inappropriate way with a friend. Now, in some respects, this smacks of a technical question. Why your dentist would entrust you to the care of a friend without impressing upon him the importance of his seeing you home safely in person is beyond me. It seems to be asking for a lawsuit of some sort or other. At the very least it appears to be sheer negligence. There are also those who might cross-examine your friend about why he thought it acceptable to drop you at the bus stop when you had behaved inappropriately in the car, but I think his reasons will become clear during the progress of my answer.

But the true issue here is not so much what you actually did and don't remember doing, but that your friend is no longer quite so friendly with you. I regret to point out that you really cannot expect him to be after what has happened. Even if on an intellectual level he entirely accepts that you were neither in control of your actions nor acting out your true subconscious desires, it will probably prove impossible to un-ring this particular bell.

I am reminded of the time I had to interview Dave Inchcape for a seat in Chambers. Just prior to the interview, Liz Probert had accused me of being prejudiced against gays, in part because there were no gay members of Chambers. My defense, that we hadn't had any gay or lesbian applicants, ought to have been persuasive, but she simply replied that she'd like to see how I would react if we ever did. And then, when Sam Ballard accidentally knocked himself out when he accidentally hit himself with his chest expander in the middle of the case when he was leading Rumpole and defending Lady Perdita Derwent on the charge of murdering her husband, I had to interview Dave Inchcape. It was a most awkward situation. If I advised against him, and he turned out to be gay, Liz Probert would never have forgiven me. And I couldn't just come out and ask him. But I certainly would have felt awkward shaking hands with him or not having him sit on the other side of the room. I suppose, since I myself would of course be entirely incapable of passing judgment on such a point, that if he were gay, he would not have any difficulty finding partners, and then he mentioned his experiences with Tommy Tompkins, who was married and had children. Now, I had never known about Tommy. Perhaps there were other members of the Bar who'd been leading secret lives all along; it was too good a chance not to admit Dave to Chambers. And then, at the Ballards' wedding, mind you, I got the shocking news that Inchcape was a closet heterosexual when I saw him actually KISSING Liz Probert! Naturally, I was outraged.

Now I must be better at this dispensing of advice than I knew, because of course the Ballards' wedding is important for another reason. It was when Sam was coming around from a strong sedative that he became enamoured of the formidable Matey - Marguerite Plumstead, who had been Matron at the Old Bailey for years. I am certain anyone would accept that Sam, who had been a resolute bachelor for many years, would never have fallen in love with Matey had it not been for the sedative he was given after his head injury. This, I think, is the sort of corroborrating evidence that supports your claim that you had no idea what you were doing and that you would never have acted in such a way had you been in command of your faculties.

But back to your real problem. Your friend may be able to accept that what you did is not your fault, but the fact remains that his delicate straight sensibilities were assaulted in a way that he may never be able to forget, even if he can forgive them. It is similar to someone with Tourette's Syndrome whose conversation is involuntarily peppered with foul expletives. A possible romantic interet might well be able to accept the (s)he is not being CALLED all those filthy words, but having to hear them every so often in the conversation will likely and understandably be a sufficient deterrent to dating such a person. Similarly, if your friend is unable to forget your hand in his pants, then it is unlikely to matter whether or not he fully forgives you for it. After all, just consider what it might have meant if - well, something had actually responded in that situation? No offense, but it's too disturbing for me to able to contemplate any further.

L3: Dear LW3, you have discovered that your landlord is a convicted criminal of the worst variety. Now, you doubtless do not require my opinion as an expert on the Rent Acts, having already had the testimony from a number of other knowledgeable people. First, be thankful your landlord wasn't defended by Rumpole, who might have gotten him off. Then again, if it had been before Mr Justice Graves or Mr Justice Bullingham, Rumpole's reliance on brilliant cross-examination of Prosecution witnesses might have been less effective and resulted in a longer prison sentence.

Now, one thing I have learned from our Head of Chambers, Sam Ballard, even if I did call him a pompous you-know-what when he originally was less than entirely cooperative with my application for silk in his correspondence with the Lord Chancellor's office, is that so many criminals have an insufficient sense of sin. that may explain why they are so often repeat offenders, like Rumpole's favourite clients, the Timson family. My advice, andn I am sure that Sam Ballard would agree with me, is that your landlord has doubtless not served sufficient time in prison to have learned the error of his ways. It is clearly your moral duty to set him up to be caught again by the police, this time with a longer sentence in store.

L4: Dear LW4, your letter takes me back. I remember when Rumpole spent the evening with us explaining to an American visitor about the pantomime. After I cleverly supplied him with a large quantity of claret, NOT from Pommeroy's Wine Bar, he even agreed to take Tristan and Isolde to the panto. That was a magical evening for Phylly and me. We definitely were able to put the spark back in our marriage.

Now, before this occasion, we were, on occasion, able to drop the children with our friends, the Arthurian Dagos, who only go to Italian Opera, and therefore were generally at home when we wanted to go to see any Wagner. It made a very nice little arrangement, even though the Arthurian Dagos are in no way related to either of us. But then disaster struck. Phylly was away trying a long firm fraud, and the Arthurian Dagos decided it was time for us to return the favour and att end to their three children. With Phylly away, I had to take care of five children at once, which was entirely unfair. Anyway, to make a long story short, we soon discontinued the practice.

But it did teach mje an invaluable lesson which you may be able to turn to advantage. Remember your simple arithmetic. Three is greater than two. Need I say more?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

10/7 - MUCH Shorter than Usual

I hardly know what to say, finding the Prudecutor's response to L1 so offensive that it may make me consider whether, as has been the case with the series Bones and the writer Regina Barreca, I ought not just to give up DP. At any rate, it has made me determined not to spend all day cross-examining and analogizing everyone to death. Accordingly, today we get a Quickie Version.

L1: I am inclined to take a Biblical tack with this one. Is there not some saying about casting forth the mote from thine own eye before attending to that of one's neighbour? Whatever LW1's husband may or may not be doing obviously has some relevance, but a good and thorough examination of her own state of affairs is in order if she wants to make a confrontation out of this or even just take on the situation in a reasonable manner. What of her own friendships? Can she state with confidence that none of her friends might be regarded by her husband the way she views her kids' unrelated Uncle? There are a great many more Aunts of this nature.

It is unfortunate that this couple has not developed the mechanics for being able to have the I'm Jealous Conversation without it degenerating into Are You Making Me Drop X? That is a concern, the main one in my view. But of course that has to be able to go both ways.

If I were in long-winded vein I might start in on my theory about Social Orientation and how most people are homosocial as well as heterosexual, and how some people might have a more delicate balance of those opposing orientations than others. We don't know that LW1 has a friendship that her husband finds similarly irksome. If she doesn't, she's on more solid ground. But it might be harder for the couple to find an amiable resolution if one of them has a much stronger social orientation than the other.

If I had to make a wild guess, I'd suppose that LW1's husband might well have been socially starved for a period of time - that's common enough, and not necessarily a biggie to resolve. There could be more there, but this is one of those areas where I've seen such inequity the other way that I can't raise much outrage if it's true. But I won't object to Ms Mermaid's giving H1 what he might deserve.

L2: What possible difference does it make whether LW2 is wrong or not? Naturally given the circumstances (s)he is focusing on a point of theoretical rather than practical importance. Maybe later there will be time to address the issue with the granddaughters. At the moment, there are other things rather higher up on the priority list.

L3: Well, why were these people LW3's friends in the first place? Actually, the Prudecutor struck me as being more offensive in this reply than she was on the first letter, but the Prudecution has supplied a useful way to frame the answer. Are these friends genuinely the sort of people who would make hypocritical critical comments while cadging rides (as the Prudecutor apparently thinks is a 100% probability)? If so, then just thank them for convincing you that Rush Limbaugh is right about them and drive off. Problem solved.

Then again, while I would readily accept that the Prudecutor might well have lived all her life without meeting any such people, there are those for whom the moral choices of self and friends form regular topics of conversation. [Reference omitted.] One might establish with LW3 whether the questions and remarks, if not crass and hypocritcal, were only reflections of a genuine and reasonable concern just gone too far or badly phrased (potentially fixable) or if there might be a bit of defensiveness in play as well, perhaps for good reason.

I am having a mental coin flip on this one. Perhaps LW3 just needs to drop the environazis/death penalty uberprotestors. Or perhaps LW3 has found something admirable about them, and has closeted his/her opulent tendencies in order to win their approval. I'm almost sorry to be omitting references this week, because this letter has a flavour to it of the closeted person who has passed for something with great success and feels resentment when he wants to be himself but finds that his friends took his posturing seriously. Perhaps LW3 has convinced them that his/her social conscience is as big as theirs (at least more or less) - maybe there have been misestimations on both sides.

The one example I'll give is of the musical theatre director who made a $1,000 donation to the campaign in favour of Proposition 8, and whose name was listed among the donors. It seems to be a case of his not having realized the full implications. Many people who'd worked with him were upset, and some called overhastily for reprisals. Sadly, he ended up resigning from the theatre in order not to cause it any harm. He made a public statement of support for domestic partnership while reaffirming love and support for his lesbian sister and her [other] rights, and donated another thousand dollars to a gay rights organization. One would hope LW3, if his friends are basically worth keeping, will have a happier resolution.

L4: There are those who really cannot be at peace with the universe unless they are entirely (or nearly so) pleased and delighted with their own appearance. There are those who don't care much in general, and will gladly aim their choices towards the objective of pleasing a partner. There are those who don't care much about a particular point in principle, but would feel that yielding to a partner's preference would equate to being controlled - perhaps a feeling towards which the partner's attitude and reactions in attempting to push a desired choice has contributed.

I have known a number of men over the years who don't particular care about their hair at all as long as it has not reached a certain length. When it does, they get it cut very short for economy. (Personally, I always cut my own hair because I would rather have it look less than optimal than have to cope with the nasty comments I'd be sure to get at the very least about the colour if I ever took it to be cut by anybody else.) My guess would be that LW4 has come off or been interpreted as controlling in her attempts to keep H4's hair from being cut too short. If not, then let LW4 pay for more regular hair care, one way or another.

Well, I still don't know whether this will be my final DP post or not. Sorry for the poor quality.