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Part Three In which we discover that the mafia clans fight amongst themselves One day the mafia

were drinking tea and talking about who to kill next. The sun was shining behind the curtains, and gentle laughter washed around the room as the mafia discussed whether it was better to drown someone in treacle (because they probably wouldnt be able to climb out) or ethanol (which would evaporate away quickly). Someone had brought along cake and the more the mafia talked the smaller the cake got. This was a Good Time. Then the mafia heard that someone was coming to visit. Oh dear, they said, I hope it isnt someone unpleasant. Hes a very important person said one of the assembled, we should be nice to him, so that he doesnt kill us. The mafia boss frowned. We still kill people who are nice to us, he pointed out. Then one of those people who always seem to know exactly what is going on and stops to say oh-hello-havent-seen-you-in-ages-must-meet-up-soon on practically every occasion that are going anywhere explained that the visitor was from a rival mafia clan, the Llamas. The clan, in fact, that our own mafia, the Alpacas, had narrowly beaten in the contest for Queens Best Mafia Clan 2013. Rumour had it that the Llamas were not entirely happy about this. Hello, said the visitor. Hello, said the boss. May I sit down? Help yourself said the boss, indicating a generous patch of floor. So the visitor sat down. Don Uovo, I have a proposition But everyone stopped listening at this point because the visitor took a live mouse from his jacket pocket and placed it on the table. The mouse nibbled the last few remains of cake. It then became bored, and scurried across the floor and started to chew through the Ethernet cable. Cant you control your mouse? asked Fino. I have a sentimental weakness for my friends, and I spoil them as you can see; they talk when they should listen, said the boss scowling. Please allow your mouse to continue. The visitor tapped the floor with a yellow pencil and the mouse hurriedly returned to its master. What do you say then?

Don Uovo was not sure how to reply, but said to himself, This mouse has destroyed my internet connection. Bother. Aloud, he said I am afraid that I will have to decline your offer. I wish to congratulate you on your new business, and I know you'll do very well. The visitor looked taken aback and said, youll regret this. Once the visitor had left, the boss turned and said I think your brain is going soft, were British dont you remember, and dont comment on the strange things people do. The mafia looked suitably subdued and did not drink any more tea. The next morning Don Uovo thought he might go to Sainsburys. He was in a bit of a hurry because there was a Mafia Meeting at eleven oclock, so he decided to take the route via Green Street, which is rather enclosed (but shorter). As he walked he hummed unconcernedly to himself and thought about the vodka he was going to buy. A famous thought experiment describes a cat in a box which is simultaneously alive and dead. The practical application of this is often overlooked. Feline entanglement theory states that a large number of cats all tangled together (wool is often a good choice because the cats will do it themselves) will be either be all alive or all dead. Since each cat has an equal chance of death, the chance that the group dies is increased significantly as the number of cats tends to infinity. In practice mice are used because they are smaller and so you can use a smaller box. Don Uovo had reached bar nine of his hum when he stepped on a paving stone that looked like any other. But it was not. A terrific cracking noise rent the air and he felt himself descending into and underground cavern. He fell through the air for several minutes. He continued his hum. At bar fifty, a web of orange wool stopped his fall. More wool began wrapping itself around him, and he could see many, many mice, all tangled up in the same wool. He gulped.

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