Thursday, 8 February 2018

The end is nigh...

It's a plot worthy of John le Carré. Or it would be, if there was time.

But the clock is already ticking.

I'm talking Armageddon, nuclear annihilation, mutually-assured destruction, the end of the world as we know it.

And it's all a game. An Olympic Game(s), to be precise.

Allow me to explain. (Or pitch the movie!)

I don't sleep well. Some nights I hardly sleep at all. And although the pre-bed sleep hygiene is good (no blue lights, hot milk, reading a (real-life) book) in the small hours there's often nothing for it but to reach for the phone. I can read a book without waking my wife. I can scroll through Twitter, check Facebook, catch the news... anything, really, to while away the hours of darkness once you know that sleep is nigh on impossible.

But that last one. Catch up on the news. There's a time in the wee small hours when - whether due to sleep-deprivation or not, I don't know - my rational sensibilities are completely askew, when my imagination can skim a news story and race from, I don't know, a percentage fall in the Dow Jones to all-out Wall Street Crash.

And it was like that last night (this morning) with the Winter Olympics.

You see, it's all very nice North Korea agreeing to join forces with their southern kin and play ice hockey together. And it's lovely that Kim Jong-un is sending along his sister. No, really. Lovely.

But hasn't it struck anyone else as, I don't know, ever-so-slightly odd that all this bessie-mates stuff has suddenly appeared out-of-the-blue when the two countries have been on a war-footing for most of the past few years?

I mean, Damascus Road conversations happen. But that's not the irrational explanation I came up with at three in the morning.


What if it was all a gigantic trick? What if the ice hockey team - or, better still, Kim's sister - somehow smuggled in, I don't know, a dirty bomb. (She could take it in her diplomatic handbag, after all.) What if it was all a very clever plot to hold the south - nay, the world - to ransom? And nobody was any the wiser. Because they all thought jolly old Mr Kim was turning soft. Hitler was an animal lover, after all.

But, while our guard is down, the ice hockey team (who are really a crack North Korean commando unit led by Kim Yo-jong) unpack their diplomatic bags, assemble their weapons of mass destruction and...

At that point I think I (mercifully) fell asleep. And by the time I woke up, it was too late. Too late to continue the plot. Too late write the book.

Too late to save the world?

Who knows?

I've done my bit.

You have been warned!

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