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Jack the Ripper Tour

January 25, 2006

After a busy day at Pinewood Studios, I decided that even though I was tired I would rush off to London to do a walking tour of Jack The Ripper that our group was taking.

This is a tour where you wander around London and see all of the locations of the most notorious murders in the history of London. We were also hoping they might have some stabbing whores so we could get into the whole spirit of the Jack The Ripper thing. It seemed like a very touristy thing to do, but to me it beat other touristy things like the changing of the guard, so we jumped on a train and headed into London.

We caught an early train and were very happy because we would be arriving with time to spare. Unfortunately for us, our train broke down. While we waited to go somewhere, we struck up this conversation with this beautiful woman from South Africa. We chatted a bit about the show we were doing and she seemed interested in checking it out. We discussed going on the Jack The Ripper tour and I was kind of going to invite her along just for the fun of it. But then she started talking about South Africa, especially Johannesburg.

She mentioned that people get shot for all sorts of reasons. Robberies, grudges, perhaps your neighbors might think you were a witch. It was a violent, almost lawless place and people are scared to walk around in the city. She told us a story about how one day her boss drove to work and saw a guy bleeding on the side of the road with a big crack in his head. He called for an ambulance, but couldn't render assistance because of the traffic. An hour later he drove by the same spot and the same guy was still bleeding and dying on the side of the road. Even though it was a busy intersection in downtown, nobody stopped to offer assistance.

After a while, I started getting a little bit creeped out. The whole idea of going on a tour of notorious murder sites that happened over 100 years ago to 11 women seemed sort of pointless in the face of the fact at least 11 people a day meet a more grisly fate in Johannesburg. I was attempting to switch the subject, but she kept going on and on about the lack of respect for life in her home country.

Finally the train started rolling again, only to stop at the next station and not proceed further. By now we were going to be at least a half hour late, and I also realized that I left my cell phone back at the studio. Since we had no way of hooking up with our friends, we passed on the walking tour and had drinks at the Globe, walked around and called it a night.

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