July 31, 2011

There’s something endlessly fascinating about alternative therapies. You know the sort of things – special water from fairyland to cure bunions, or powdered unicorn horn to help with embarrassing bottom problems.

It amazes me that people actually fall for the far-out nonsense. And if you have the money to buy these snake oils, then feel free to spend your hard earned wonga on any of the above. In fact, if I didn’t have morals and principles, I could sell you a selection of these remedies.

Some of you may know that I make a living from replicating apparent psychic phenomena, and that I do it by using science, psychology, suggestion and a few sneaky techniques. One of the demonstrations I love performing is bending spoons, Uri Geller style. It’s fun, it’s wonderful, its… being used to cure cancerous tumours.

No, really.

A TV producer friend of mine is investigating the claims made by an individual in the United States that because he can bend steel spoons with his mind, and tumours contain iron, he can sort of… “magic” away the tumour. For a price, of course.

It would be laughable, were it not for the fact that the people seeking out this “healing” are desperate and vulnerable. Of course, it’s easy for those of us who are healthy to stand back and look at the weird and outlandish claims of alternative healing therapies and scoff. But, you know what? It’s amazing how many people fall for similar things, all be it on a smaller scale.

For example, in Detroit, you can get a facial, with exfoliation, then a masque and then waxing. But not for your face… for your bum! I’m not kidding. Then there is Reiki combined with the “healing power of horses”. A mere £140, by the way.

And if you want something even more questionable, you could go for the snake massage on offer in Israel. A massage, with real snakes.

Sure, these are pretty harmless – and I hope the snakes are – but when it comes to things like psychic surgery, where the “healer” appears to dig into the human body with his bare hands and pull out the tumour, desperate people are being fleeced for millions of dollars. (Psychic surgery is achieved by sleight of hand, in case you were wondering.)

And all of this explains why my chum is going after the spoon-bending tumour blaster. It’ll make great television, and it will hopefully mean that patients seek out treatment from health professionals rather than these charismatic charlatans.

Having said that, if you still want powdered unicorn horn, you can find my stall at Bathgate Market.

Drew McAdam



July 3, 2011

I’ve noticed that every evening there’s a certain breed of youngsters who purchase a takeaway at the drive-thru of a particular fast food outlet in Livingston. They then speed off into the night, chomping on the nosh as they drive.

When the meal is finished they simply open the window then launch the flurry of containers and leftovers into the roadway. The following morning certain country roads and verges in West Lothian are dotted with paper bags, drink cups, polystyrene trays and half-eaten food. Nice. Thanks, guys.

Well, this little problem could be tackled in a logical and scientific manner. You see, it takes a specific length of time to eat a burger, chips and to wash it down with a soft drink. The time – and I have carried out extensive testing on this – is 4.5 minutes.

Assuming that these eejits are scoffing their meal while driving away at 70mph from where they purchased their meal, they will be a quantifiable distance from the drive-thru when they finish eating. It is at this point that they open the windows and launch the litter.

Using speed, time and distance mathematics, a calculator, a bit of guesswork and the nimble brain of a 12-year old, I know that the distance from starting the meal to the moment of litter launch is in the region of 3.8 miles from point of purchase. By getting a map and a little measuring tape, then marking out all points exactly this distance from the fast food joint, police could sit in a hedge, just waiting. That way, they would be there at the exact moment the occupants of the speeding car fling all their rubbish out the windows. Bang. Caught them in the act.

See? A little bit of creative thinking to solve an annoying problem.

But how to stop them doing it again? More creative thinking. They would be grabbed by their scrawny little necks and have all their own litter rammed down their throats. Oh, yes, and then their car would be set on fire to ensure they couldn’t do it again.

Okay, sounds a bit harsh… But I bet right now you’re nodding your head and thinking that this master plan might just work.

Drew McAdam