I have decided to embark on a life of crime. All around me I witness successful and stupendously wealthy people engaging in crime. I see it from the top to the bottom, and more so at the top. It is only stupid television-licence-paying, tax-paying mugs like me who are slow on the uptake.

And where did paying my television licence get me? It got me slapped with a bad credit-rating, when I sold my TV and the licensing department refused to believe that I had done so. That debacle took copious amounts of unravelling, including obtaining affidavits from the police. People who don’t pay their licences don’t have to deal with that sort of bother.

I am starting small-scale. Recently at a restaurant, I took three of the wrapped toothpicks from a container on the table and put them into my handbag. Toothpicks come in handy, particularly as mini-weapons when trying to get to the front of queues more quickly.

On my next visit to a restaurant, although there were peppermints proffered with the bill, on the way out I stuck my grubby hand into the peppermint bowl, and withdrew a small handful. Again these went into the handbag. Peppermints also come in handy, especially when I am hiking, and a few grams of sugar are all that stand between me and collapse.

I will soon move onto more hard-core stuff, like stealing the odd piece of fruit from trees that hang over fences. As far as driving goes, I am taking lessons from minibus taxi drivers. I no longer distinguish between straight and turning lanes, and I ‘go’ at red traffic lights. Going from A to B takes much less time now, and as we know, time is money. I also save the petrol I would have used idling at the lights, although that benefits the environment, which is not that criminal, so maybe I won’t do it after all.

When people give me too much change (it happens), I won’t inform them and give the money back out of concern that it will come out of their own pockets when the tills are short. You can’t count? Your problem.

So how am I going to relate this to wine? Turns out I can. When I was a student (weren’t those the days? sigh), I went wine-tasting at a large and beautiful wine estate beginning with a ‘B’. After the tasting, I stole a tasting glass. Not so much because I wanted the glass, but because back then I was desperate to prove what a super-cool bad-ass I was. Needless to say, it went into the handy handbag. There was a time when the adult Alison might have come clean and apologised to ‘B’. Not the new Alison. The new Alison might even do it again, especially after she’s had a few. So be afraid. Be very afraid.

No good criminal pays income tax. However, I don’t mind paying tax, and will continue to do so. It goes to a good cause – building a new mini-city for the president, his four (at last count) wives and his 21 official children. The only thing I don’t approve of is the scale. When I am president, I will build a much larger and far more lavish city for myself with taxpayers’ money.

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