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Home > World

Hungry like a Big Wolf

5 March 2004

French terrorists have been blackmailing their government this week by claiming to have buried bombs under the national railway line. The group call themselves AZF, but have been communicating with police via classified newspaper ads under the alias “Big Wolf.” Which is much cooler.

The question is - why not just call themselves Big Wolf in the first place? It’s not like somebody else named them AZF. They chose it. Maybe it’s like a band having a squabble - half of them wanted to be AZF but the other half wanted Big Wolf so they reached this peculiar and confusing compromise. Sort of a Blair/Brown pact thing.

Or maybe Big Wolf are only a part of AZF - like Duran Duran and the Power Station.

Or perhaps they all wanted to be AZF but then had a crisis of confidence and - even after planting deadly bombs under the national railway line - got worried that they weren’t quite scary enough. So they came up with the name “Wolf”. But even that wasn’t quite scary enough.

Angry Wolf? No. Scary Wolf? Too obvious. Hairy Wolf? That’s just silly. But time was running out - in France, classified ads have to be placed by 4pm - so at the last minute they said “Oh fuck it, we’ll be Big Wolf. That’ll bloody do.”

They may be the worst blackmailers since Rupert Upton, the man who (in February) phoned his own parents claiming he had been kidnapped by gypsies. He told them that he would be killed unless they threw a hundred pounds over a hedge. When he ran in to collect the bills, police arrested him.

q.1 - why gypsies? - had Rupert been reading the Daily Express?

q.2 - why only £100? - if this marauding band of gypsies is going to go to the bother of kidnapping him, surely they're going to ask for more than a ton...? And if Rupert had been reading the Daily Express then surely he would have imagined the gypsies as being far more money-grabbing.

It just doesn't add up.

We can’t help but imagine the bathos as a room full of police detectives and phone-tappers went silent... the call came through... the chief inspector waved across at Mr and Mrs Upton and mouthed “Keep him talking!”... the phone-tappers gave the nod... the call ended... and Mrs Upton said “They want a hundred pounds.”

Oh Rupert.

Rupert Upton is a heroin addict



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