Remember those icecream vans that use to ride past the school gates at 3.15, with Rizla and Racing Post stickers in the window that didn’t sell any icecream, but would hand over some absolutely filthy hash in exchange for your week’s allowance?
Well, in China they’ve gone one better. They’ve got ‘death vans’.
China executes more convicts than the rest of the world put together, and a lot of those executions used lethal injection administered from mobile death vans that drive around the enormous country.
Can you imagine? I mean, choosing the song to be played over the tannoy to let all the neighbourhood kids know it’s time to bring out their convicts must be traumatic enough.
In 2006, one of these nightmares on wheels was used to execute the fantastically named, “Nine Fingered Devil”. Apparently, he got his nickname after his father cut off one of this fingers for stealing, and he was executed for committing double murder and rape. Clearly the man was deeply evil, and anyone who commits rape and murder shouldn’t be joked about, but… with a name like that, I can only assume his victims were Wonder Woman and The Silk Spectre.
According to the makers of these vans, the switch to lethal injection from firing squad is proof that “China promotes human rights now”. Oh, phew. And there I was thinking that the Szechuan equivalent of a county council mobile library was actually just driving around, arbitrarily whacking out anyone deemed an enemy to the state. I mean, who cares that the number of convicts put to death is a state secret? Does it really matter if the police are complicit in the illegal trade in organs, harvested from executed prisoners? As long as they’re promoting human rights by doing it.
Luckily, this practise is never going to make it to Britain. And for three quite simple reasons. Firstly, with the British motor industry sinking quicker than a kitten in a well, there won’t be enough skilled technicians left by the end of the year, able to build a death van. Secondly, we couldn’t afford the petrol. And finally, the terrifying ice cream mafia would run anyone trying to take over their patch into a deserted industrial estate and ritually execute them with a magnum.