Bloody War Spills Into London Backyard

“LONDON – My new neighborhood erupted into what can only be described as a bloody tribal war and it’s all my fault. After a moving into my new-shared house in East London last week, I took it upon myself to sort out the backyard. I was happily constructing some new flowerbeds, when my spade hit something hard. I hauled it up to have a look at the thing that was obstructing my rose garden.

In my hands was a fist-sized chunk of coltan, one of the most valuable minerals in the world, as it is used in all mobile phones, computers, and surgical instruments.

Dollar signs flashed before my eyes (pound signs, really, since I live in London). I began to dig up the rest of the garden to see if it was a one off. Half an hour later I was laughing hysterically, shouting at the top of my voice, “”I’m rich! I’m rich!”” The rest of my housemates came home to find me doing back flips and talking of setting up my own off shore bank account in the morning. Soon, the shimmer of wealth could be seen in my housemates’ eyes as I described the untold riches that lay in the backyard. We planned to split it five ways easily enough for every one to never need to work again.

From there, it began to deteriorate. I kick myself now for my early exuberance. All my shouting had alerted the neighbors to what was going on in the garden. One of them must have heard me talking about coltan and how we were sitting on a gold mine. In the middle of the night, the War started. A team of neighbors dug a tunnel into the garden, decapitated Arthur, my housemate who had been guarding the backyard, and made off with a sack of coltan. They left a note saying we should all leave the house if we wanted to survive the week.

Though we were all sorry about Arthur, we were not going to be scared off by a little decapitation. I personally set up a perimeter of anti-personnel mines that my mates from British Aerospace Systems lent me. (Apparently BAE produce samples for trade fairs all the time; if you want some free munitions all you have to do is ask for them). Sure enough, the next night was a bloody affair with high casualties being incurred on our invading neighbors. Helina, another housemate of mine, turned out to be a crack shot with the sniper rifle.

During a lull in the fighting we had managed to get mining production up 250 percent. We were now in a position to approach The Democratic Republic of Congo, who own 50 percent of the worlds’ coltan mines. I wanted advice on mining coltan during a major conflict. These guys should know, as the Democratic Republic of Congo has the blood of over 2 million dead on its hands in the past 6 years, making it the largest conflict since the second world war. Surprising, since it is the least reported war since CNN started reporting 24/7.

One CNN reporter went on the record (he was very drunk at the time): “”No one wants to know about this war. No one wants to feel guilty about the laptop they own or the cell phone in their pocket, Jesus! You think we report the truth? Hell no, we just report what people pay us to report (hic).””

The Democratic Republic of Congo was very helpful, as they sent out a team of mercenaries to help us protect the mine in the back garden, as well as lots of tasty mangoes.

Last night, it all came to an end as our landlord turned up in an Apache attack helicopter. Laughing maniacally through a loud speaker, he told us to get off his property in the next thirty seconds or be prepared to catch hellfire missiles (another freebee from the most heavily subsidized company in the U.K.: British Aerospace Systems). As all landlords in London are incapable of telling the truth, he started firing on the house 10 seconds after the ultimatum. I jumped through my bedroom window and out onto the streets below, just before the house went up in smoke.

Having become totally caught up in this never ending carnage for control of the coltan mine, I have decamped to the Congo to train with the Hutu tribe and prepare for a counter strike against my landlord. After all, finders keepers losers weepers.

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