Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A Logical, if Non-PC Approach to Casework.

Greg's on a mission today. He says things have been far too miserable around here since Recess began, and that we need to try something far more effective than yesterday's disastrous attempts at raising morale. Especially my morale, as he says I have a face like a wet weekend, which he rates as even less attractive than my "Infected" face.

He suggests we opt for a session of Writing Honest Letters at lunchtime, if we can get rid of The Boss for a while. This seems much more likely to cheer me up than anything else that's been tried, including Johnny's series of grovelling emails apologising for being such a f*ckwit, so I agree. I set only one condition - that we shred the letters immediately after we have read them to each other. (The postman indicated that he wouldn't be open to further bribery if we posted them again by accident. He has no sense of humour.)

There are an awful lot of potential candidates for today's session, but Mr Beales has written in again, so we start with him. This time it's not about "the cheap slapper" who didn't like the headless photos he took of her wedding, or the Policeman who hid in a bush before jumping out in front of him. Now we're on the subject of Mr Beales' sister-in-law. She wanted a gastric band operation, but was ordered to lose five stone before she could be considered for that. Mr Beales thinks this is ridiculous, and tells us so - even though she has almost reached her target now.

Greg starts typing without any prior consideration.

Dear Mr Beales

Thank you for your letter regarding the fact that your obese sister-in-law has had to lose five stone before having her gastric band fitted. Whilst I take your point that the only reason that she wanted the operation was to lose weight, she has now proved that she can achieve this without the need for surgery.

I therefore have a radical suggestion for you: if she's managed to lose some of her excess weight in order to achieve her goal, why doesn't she just keep going? Whatever she is doing is obviously working, and were she to carry on, the funds that would otherwise have been spent on her operation could be used to save someone else, whose illness was not caused by spending too much time and money in Greggs. She might also be able to give your wife some tips.

Yours sincerely
Andrew Sinclair, MP for Northwick East.

Greg hits print, sits back in his chair and smiles at me.

"Your turn, Molly. Who's it going to be, then?"

So many choices, so little time. It's cruel to have to pick just one, but Andrew could be back at any moment. It is lunchtime, after all - and he hates to pay for food when he could just steal it from me and Greg. In a panic, I opt for Mrs Backhouse. She's had it coming for a long time, now I come to think of it.

Dear Mrs Backhouse,

Thank you for your letter regarding your housing situation. It was kind of you to write, but you really didn't need to bother as, to all intents and purposes, your letter was identical to the last ten that you have sent me, not to mention that it merely re-iterated what you have said during the half-dozen constituency surgery appointments that you have already attended since the most recent General Election.

As I have repeatedly explained to you - and indeed to Mr Backhouse, though I am never actually sure if he is listening - the position is that I am completely unable to force Northwick Council to re-house you and your family, whilst Mr Backhouse refuses to agree to the move. I confess that I am completely mystified by your insistence on bringing this matter to my attention, given that you say that you and your husband are happily married. 

Furthermore, as Mr Backhouse is the only tenant named on the tenancy agreement, not to mention your husband and the children's father, the Council cannot approve your exchanging the property either, without your husband's permission. I can therefore only suggest that you divert your considerable energies to endeavouring to persuade him of the necessity for this move, rather than continuing to bother my staff who have rather more pressing issues to deal with. 

I am enclosing a leaflet which gives information about the services offered by our local branch of Relate, and I also enclose a list of solicitors who specialise in divorce, should you decide to take more drastic measures. Might I also request that, should you attend any more surgery appointments, you consider bringing your own box of tissues with you.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Sinclair 
MP for Northwick East
Working hard for hardworking families, especially those who actually speak to each other without the need for me to act as a referee.

God, WHL Hour is always so therapeutic. We finish just in time before The Boss comes back, and my sandwich provides a useful distraction, allowing me to shred the letters while Andrew chews. Greg and I feel energised, and able to carry on indefinitely - or at least until The Boss comes back from this afternoon's meeting with the Agoraphobics Group.

I'm expecting trouble on that front. If I'd been locked in my home for ten years, and was only just finding the courage to venture out, a couple of hours with Andrew would be enough to convince me to go back home, lock the door and throw away the key.


  1. Its time you forgave Johnny. He is clearly destined to be your soulmate. All this WHL is merely displacement activity.

  2. Do you think so? I was working on the principle of "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen." And he has only been grovelling for a couple of days so far!

  3. PS I don't want to think about the issue of displacement activity, thanks very much - it's quite bad enough when it's lingering somewhere in my subconscious ;-)