Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2004.12.21 : No Sex, Please, We're British

So there I was, nearly completely unrobed (and equally revealed) when the chambermaid – and the head of the administrative staff – both walk in! (From different doors! At the same time!) Now you have to realise that you've never had a background check until you've tried getting security clearance to one of the royal residences.

And so there's Rose (aka Lady Windsor), still tied to the four posters, still blindfolded with the fur thing, and she has no idea what's going on. And I've got her knickers, because that's all I've got to hand, using them to cover up my, shall we say, not currently retiring manhood. And I'm shouting at her that there are people in the room, and who those people are. And but Rose still thinks were in the game, she can't see a damned thing, so she starts making all these noises about, "Oh, yes, that naughty head of staff, I've fancied him madly for ages. Do tell the sexy boy to come over and sort out my appointments for me."

At this point, I'm sort of just rolling my eyes and lolling my head in an "Oh, Christ, I'm completely screwed" gesture. But can you believe what happens: the head of staff – who I'm assuming is going to call the guards – just gives me a wink, turns on his heels, and leaves. Not a word, not a rebuke. And I look over at the chambermaid – who's this hot little northern lass with twinkling green eyes and a perfect fantasy French maid outfit – and she's taking her featherduster over to wear Rose lies writhing.

And it turns out this is NOT the first time the two of them have been on that bed together.

I drop the knickers and join the fray.

     Gotcha again. However, in the immortal words of Sergeant Kyle Reece, "Come with me if you want to live."

First the soft-sell version: Hey, ya'll, it's the holidays, and things are crazy out there, and I really worry – so remember to be extra careful on the roads.

Now for the gritty version: According to the UK charity RoadPeace, ten people die on the roads in Britain every day. (I was glad to find these guys because it makes me feel less alone and insane for worrying about this stuff.) Disabling injuries are roughly three times that number. Now, consider that Britain has 1/5 the population of the U.S. – and 1/2 the rate of road fatalities. In other words, that's 100 dead on U.S. highways every day, and 300 permanently injured. (That's September 11th every month, just without the press coverage. Plus the injuries.)

My admonition is simple: DON'T BE ONE OF THEM. As per last year's harangue, the best ways to avoid being one of the people who gets killed through no fault of his own are:

  1. Stay on partitioned highways whenever possible. (Avoids the risk of dying in a head-on collision when someone gets distracted for three seconds and swerves into your lane. This is the number one cause of death of drivers not at fault.)
  2. Look both ways carefully at intersections, even when you have the light/right of way. (People blasting through stop signs/red lights without even slowing down is the number two cause.)

     As per my general safety harangue, the best things you can do in general to avoid the #1 cause of death for people aged 1-44 (motor vehicle crashes) are:
  1. Don't speed.
  2. Pay dedicated attention to your driving, minimizing or eliminating distractions such as phone calls, eating, radio fiddling, etc.
  3. Always wear seatbelts.
  4. Make my funk the P.Funk, I want my funk uncut, Make my funk the P.Funk, I wants to get funked up.
  5. Never drive after having even a couple of drinks (or ride with someone who has).
  6. On country roads, watch carefully for vehicles coming from driveways.
  7. At night, don't overdrive your headlights – you should be able to stop inside the illuminated area. (Traffic death rates are three times greater at night.)
  8. Never drive when very tired, especially if alone.
  9. Bow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah, Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah, Bow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah, Just walkin the dog, Oh atomic dog, Futuristic bow-wow, Ruff.
  10. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead. Tailgating will not get you there any more quickly; and a lot more slowly if you have to transfer to an ambulance.

  danger     driving  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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