Strathclyde Telegraph

Obscuroscope: column one (unlikely gangs)

My name’s Michael Scobbie and I am a third year History, Journalism and Creative Writing student here at Strathclyde. Over the coming months, I’ll be finding ridiculous and/or obscure news stories and then essentially slagging them off and hopefully making you laugh.  

In Amish America and sub-Saharan Africa there are two wonderfully ridiculous criminal gangs running amok. Over in Ohio, sixteen Amish people stand accused of cutting the hair of their fellow Amish folk. According to the prosecution, the mass haircutting attacks were ordered by Samuel Mullet. 

(A man who has the surname Mullet and orders victims’ hair to be cut by his minions? You could not make that up. He surely has to be some sort of super villain.) 

This hair-cutting was Mr. Mullet’s way of sending a warning to rivals who opposed his authoritarian rule over the settlement he founded. Nothing stops a whiff of revolution quite like a gage 1 right across the skull.  

I remain utterly convinced that Samuel Mullet has been created by Stan Lee and leapt out of the pages of one of his comic books. The shorn hair was supposedly returned to him in paper bags. Perhaps he is planning to fashion said hair into some sort of intimidating costume (one that befits an evil mastermind) for when The Avengers reassemble to put an end to his dastardly deeds.  

The most staggering part of this story is that the accused could face life imprisonment if found guilty. You are most certainly going to be very popular in the showers when deranged criminals and psychotic murderers find out that you’re in prison for is giving someone a really bad haircut. Don’t drop the soap. 

In fact, I reckon that if an Amish haircutter ever does end up jailed, they will want to be sharing a cell with someone whose crime is nicking some cocoa beans that could have gone on to become Curly Wurlys. How might this come about, I hear you ask? Well, over on the other side of the planet, there’s mass chocolate thieving going on in the small African nation of Madagascar. 

Many people thought Madagascar was a fictional place created for the animated film of the same name, but it actually does exist and it produces the world’s richest cocoa beans. And, at the moment, cocoa farmers cannot prevent their product being stolen by gangs of robbers. 

It is difficult to take men seriously as criminals when they come screaming out of forests demanding chocolate. In the Wild West, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were famous outlaws. In the wild forests ofMadagascar, villagers live in fear of notorious chocolate bandits led by Butch Cadbury and the Milky Bar Kid. 

By my reckoning there is money to be made from this whole chocolate-looting-episode by someone other than European chocolatiers. Of course, I am talking about turning it into a film. It could be the sequel to ‘Blood Diamond’ …let’s call it ‘Blood Chocolate’. 

The synopsis is simple. Have a stereotypical African villager find the largest cocoa bean ever. Since the beans are known as dark gold, this thing has to look like a mountain gorilla’s fist. Said villager faces a moral dilemma: he has the opportunity to sell this cocoa bean, thereby helping his entire village escape poverty. But! He has a sweet tooth. He wants this chocolate all for himself. 

Will he sell the cocoa bean for thousands and share the wealth? Or will he simply take it to Mars Inc. and demand they make it into the world’s largest, smoothest bar of Galaxy so he can stuff his face?

Hollywood can release this film the same time as the new Avengers flick, in which they will face their most dangerous enemy yet: Samuel Mullet. An inevitable sequel will see Mullet, Butch Cadbury and the Milky Bar Kid unite.

By Michael Scobbie, columnist
(Published: Issue One, October 2012)