“I am still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” he says, and takes a long look into a pocket mirror to add an air of verité.
So, as usual on a Friday morning, I have to sit listening to The Boss promising the impossible to each constituent who has an appointment, before he leans back and basks in the love in the room. Later, it’ll be down to me to tell them that what he’s promised is unfeasible, or against regulations, or whatever - and then the constituents will phone him to complain about my attitude.
Then Andrew promises a slimy old man who’s just got out of prison for an unspecified sexual offence that, “of course” we can get him a visa for his Thai bride - whom he hasn’t even met yet. (This leads to me fretting about Dad, and briefly losing concentration, so I can’t recall what the next constituent is promised.)
He gives his address as the bail hostel on Seymour Road. For Godsake, what is this country coming to, when we put traumatised refugees up in places like that?
Dad would approve though - as long as the refugees weren't young and attractive. And Thai.
After we’ve finished surgery, The Boss heads for the Oprah Room to do an interview with a reporter from the local paper. (Normally, we only use the room when Andrew needs a lie-down after a particularly hard-drinking lunch, as it contains a comfy couch and is soundproof enough to dull the sound of snoring - but this time it’s being used for its proper purpose.)
Greg and I keep our ears pressed to the door as a precautionary measure, only to hear Andrew say that he’s had enough of the red ink letters, and has decided to “speak out.” In response to the reporter’s murmurs of encouragement, he continues:
"I refuse to be intimidated and will not be prevented from opening my mail, which consists of important letters from constituents.”
Local vox pops later applaud his courage. The Boss doesn’t open his letters. I do.