Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Decapitations Galore, PMQs & More On Shell-Suits

I am reading the local paper for references (favourable or otherwise) to The Boss, when I come across the wedding photographs section. There are twelve photos, mainly of plumpish, blonde-streaked women marrying shiny-faced, gel-haired men. Four couples are, however, headless.

I look at the picture credits. Sure enough, the decapitated newly-weds are attributed to one Edmund Beales. I photocopy the page and fax it to the House of Commons marked for the urgent attention of The Boss, together with a copy of the draft reference for Mr B. I scrawl "re-think advised" across the top.

Then Greg takes the original page from the paper, tipp-exes out the credits, and sticks it on the wall. He says that, from now on, our team-building activity will no longer be darts with a photo of The Boss denoting the bull's-eye, as this is "too dangerous to hardworking people." (Greg's eye-patch is still in place.) From now on, the game is to be: Guess Which Are Mr Beales's Photographs?

After the next five people to visit the office identify the correct photographs without hesitation, Greg admits defeat and heads for the pub for a medicinal gin. Upon his return, he decides to watch BBC Democracy Live online.

The whole Commons Chamber is already full of MPs wishing to appear dynamic in anticipation of this session's first PMQs. Greg locates The Boss, who is conspicuous by being slumped in his (new) seat. Panic ensues - as we know all too well what usually happens next. I send Andrew a text saying, "sit up straight!"

Within the next five minutes Mr Beales, Miss Chambers and Miss Harpenden all phone to complain that The Boss is not taking his duty to the taxpayer seriously, as he is "obviously taking a nap." Meanwhile, Andrew replies to my text that he is too depressed to sit up as he doesn't like being on that side of the Chamber.

The calls from disgruntled usual suspects continue - interspersed by further, increasingly-desperate texts to The Boss instructing him to "wake up!' - until PMQs is over. I'm sure I saw a trickle of drool on his chin at one point. That man's becoming more of a liability by the day.

Afterwards, Greg says how disappointed he is that Douglas Carswell didn't ask the question Greg sent him in response to his Twitter request for suggestions.

"What did you ask?" I say.

"I merely wanted specific details as to the percentage of my tax that is spent on shell-suits."

"Oh, for God's sake, Greg. Don't you think today's terrible events in Cumbria may have taken precedence over questions about clothing?"

"I bet Derrick Bird was wearing a bloody shell-suit," says Greg.

The concept of political correctness gets ever more diluted in our office.

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