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C.S.I. (Fridays), C.S.I. New York (Mondays) and Numb3rs (Tuesdays) on Sub TV; NCIS Los Angeles (Mondays), NCIS (Tuesdays) and Criminal Minds (Thursdays) on Nelonen.Recently I’ve taken to carrying around a small sachet of antiseptic wipes with me wherever I go. Actually, it started as a small sachet and is currently a large family size value pack of Pirkka’s finest. “But Nick, why are you carrying around antiseptic wipes with you?” I hear you ask through the space-time continuum. Well, my friends, I have to tell you I’m slightly on edge. No, more than that, I’m paranoid – and for good reason. I don’t know if Big Brother (as in the state, not the TV show) really is watching me, but I know for a FACT that if he wanted to he could FIND me and KILL me, or at the very least fine me for a minor traffic violation.

How do I know this? Well, I saw it on the telly. Several times, in fact. I have inadvertently become an expert on avoiding detection by the world’s finest law enforcement agencies. Stupidly, said agencies have decided to broadcast documentaries detailing their cunning methods – and then disguised them as fictional crime shows. You know C.S.I., right? Documentary. Criminal Minds? Same. N.C.I.S.? Ditto. Even Numb3rs is based on a real-life FBI mathematician who has saved the world AT LEAST five times from certain doom through the use of esoteric calculus and extra strength hair spray. You might be thinking I’ve finally flipped but I’m telling you, it’s REAL.

It’s amazing what they can do these days. Science used to mean dweebish men closely examining test tubes and petri dishes for bacteria cultures. These days working in (forensic) science is as exciting as being a rock star. If you’re a scientist working for the constabulary you get to perform your job in massive, sparkling labs full of the latest high-tech equipment, populated by fellow sexy young scientists. At some point you just needed to be a certain height to join the cops, now they’re employing psychics, mind-readers and general freak-show rejects who are weird but possessed of an unearthly genius, designed by a higher power to make escape as difficult as possible for thieves, murderers, rogue terrorists (are there any other sort?), et cetera. Also, lots of people who TALK like THIS with STRESS in weird PLACES currently work for the boys in blue, according to the aforementioned documentaries.

But what does all this mean for the average Joe? Well, you might go for a quick slash in the bushes on the way home from the grill kiosk unaware of the risks you’re facing – your wee could be sponged up out of the yielding Finnish earth, analysed, your DNA sampled, and the police waiting for you at your front door, ready to arrest you for illegal placement of bodily fluids, before you’ve wiped the last smudges of ketchup from your mouth. Even if you pee in a bottle and dispose of it at home, just ONE stray hair could see you doing time in jail. Trust me, it’s not worth it.

All of this explains is why I wipe every surface that any part of my body ever touches, in order to destroy all trace of my passing. They’ll never find me.

Nick Barlow
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The writer knows the art of channel surfing.

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