Pad Life 13: What The Giraffe??
I do miss The Thick Of It.
In a new series, Malcolm Tucker would be working for the EU.
Knock at the door
Burblechops, PM: Heehaw spaffywaffy rumpypumpy tiddlyboo fishywishy littledishy howsyerfather not me.
EU: Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off.
Burblechops (receding): Tonight, Ursula, we’re going to be AUS-TRA-LIA…
I thought we were going to be Canada? I mean, I don’t mind, moose or kangaroos, it’s all the same to me, as long as they’re out of the pub by 10pm. I do seem to recall, way back in the mists of time, that the point of all this was that we could be Ourselves, sovereign, proud, unfettered, unchlorinated, blue passport holding. Have you seen the new passport? I got mine a couple of weeks ago. It’s black. Honestly, it’s black. It’s not any shade of blue. Admittedly, it looks a bit more chic than maroon does, but chic is a bit dangerously continental, don’t you think? We want blue, to match our blood.
Here at the Pad, it does sometimes feel as though civilisation is unravelling. There are some encouraging signs of normality, though. British Gas failed to turn up for a scheduled repair/service to my boiler, agreed to come the next day, bloke didn’t know he was supposed to service as well as repair, did both but got very grumpy, clattering things about and using the bathroom cloth to clean something or other without asking. I nervously enquired if he’d checked the flue pipe thing, and he gave me a look which suggested death by carbon monoxide was the best I could hope for. A couple of days later another grumpy bloke turned up to do the service, and the following week a third grumpy bloke turned up to do the repair. I find that reassuring, a reminder of the days when shouting at utility providers was as exciting as it got. This week Council Tax informed me I was moving out of my property and sent me a final bill, also sent a new bill for someone I’ve never heard of. Eventually they acknowledged that ‘a moving form became misdirected.’ Sounds like one of my kids trying to find their way home after closing time.
Of course these days bells start ringing about identity fraud, and I went carefully through my Credit Report to check it wasn’t showing a mortgage on Mar-a-Lago. To my annoyance, Bugger Lugs, my ex, still shows up in Links or Associations or whatever it is, although we have been neither Linked nor Associated for twenty years now. I know it’s only historic, but it’s like when you look at photos of yourself in the 1980s (or 2015, if your time scale is different from mine) and gasp, ‘That hair! What was I thinking??’
The benefits of easing my way into eternity’s waiting room were apparent this month, when I got my State Pension, my Bus Pass, and my flu jab. The jabbing took place at a surgery miles from where I live, on a Saturday morning, to keep us all away from real people. A summons was sent for patients of the relevant medical practice to turn up between 11 and 12. Desperate for a day out, everyone was there by half past ten, and happily moaned for half an hour about how disgraceful it was to keep old people waiting in the cold. And I got to use my Bus Pass! What a day, Daphne, what a day.
Maybe not quite as good as giraffe day. I opened my bedroom blinds one morning and said to Little Cat, ‘Is that a giraffe I see before me, or have I got heatstroke again?’ (That was a day, too. During the heatwave, the Scion found me on the floor sobbing nonsense about a mouse, there, not on the stair, right there, and announcing I was going to dig my way into the floor and go to sleep. He called an ambulance. I believe I may have mentioned before that I don’t do heat. Anyway, Little Cat was so discombobulated that while we were at A&E she pissed all over my bed and I had to get a new mattress. The delivery of which is another story…which I shall spare you.)
We got a lot of fly-tipping round our communal bins over the summer. The neighbourhood, trapped with its possessions during lockdown, was apparently intent on divesting itself of half its furniture, carpets, cots and casserole dishes. But a giraffe was a new one, even for us. Obviously, I named him George. Anthropomorphism comes easily to me, even with a five foot tall dodgily carved bit of wood.
By lunchtime, George had disappeared.
I was a bit miffed. I’d begun to formulate plans for bringing him in, giving him a once-over with an antiseptic wipe and a bit of Pledge, and placing him in a handily empty corner. Obviously, there was a story there. My money was on a domestic. They acquired George on their honeymoon, a wild impulse buy after too much of the local version of a Jägerbomb flight. When it all went tits up during lockdown, one party decided they never liked the stupid giraffe anyway. The other party, appalled by the finality of the act, drove round every fly-tipping site they could think of in an ever more desperate search, finally returning home to stand at the door, tears in their eyes, whispering, ‘I saved George. Can we save Us?’
The next day, George was back. He’d been decapitated. Guessing that’s some sort of a message.
In twenty years’ time, one or both of them will be gazing at their Credit Report murmuring, ‘What was I thinking??’
Assuming that there’s such a thing as Credit, or Reports, or giraffes, in twenty years’ time. I don’t believe in a god of any kind, but if there is one, now is the time, sunshine, to be telling your creation down here to come the fuck in from wherever their minds are wandering at the moment, because otherwise we’ll find ourselves fucking the fuck off for good and all, whether we want to or not.
I mean, Peter Capaldi was Doctor Who as well as Malcolm Tucker. Perhaps the EU could hire him in both capacities. Then he could reverse the fucking polarity of the fucking neutron flow, and we’d all be fine.
Where I live is now in Tier 2. However far up the wedding cake you are, take care and try and stay safe. And friends in America: please. Just, please.