Thursday, 5 August 2010

Oops. The Dangers of Frustration.

Today is a nightmare. As part of his mission to collect every disaffected non-constituent in a 300-mile radius, and to add them to our workload, The Boss has brought Igor back into the fold. Igor is a madman, who looks exactly like Alexei Sayle in The Young Ones. He is convinced that he is being persecuted by the Russian mafia, despite the fact that he claims to have been no more than a postman when he lived in his home country. I don't think that postman has ever been code for spy, even in Igor's case, and he would make a terrible spy anyway - he's far too big and flamboyant.

This development is too depressing for words, as Igor is at least as demanding as Mr Beales, and a whole lot more unstable. The Boss can't resist him, as Igor is the most shameless flatterer I have ever met. Today, Igor breezes in to the office, and promptly falls to his knees in front of The Boss - who he clasps around the thighs, while muttering various overblown expressions of gratitude. Then he sings us a Russian song about brotherly love and comradeship. Or that's what he says it's about. He could be singing a shopping list for all any of us know. The Boss sits there, feet up on my desk, lapping up the adoration. The sight is so nauseating that Greg has to take an early lunch, just to avoid being overcome by the urge to beat both Andrew and Igor to death.

The day doesn't improve when Mrs Cowan rings again to ask whether I've managed to get anywhere with her case yet. I feel terrible for having to stonewall her. She can't possibly know what her husband might be up to, or she wouldn't have brought their case to our attention. Would she? And how on earth is she going to feel if it turns out that it's her beloved husband who has brought them to the brink of financial ruin, and not some unknown fraudster?

I'm so stressed by the whole thing, that I decide to email Johnny before I go home. I need someone to make me feel good. However, things don't look promising when I upset him by the content of my first email, in which I ask his opinion of whether the Russian Mafia are really all that Igor is claiming they are. Johnny's reply snaps back:

"Those of us who live and work in Russia do not discuss the M-Word, here or anywhere."

Ouf. That's put me firmly in my place, an experience that is not quite as enjoyable as when Johnny is just being mildly assertive. As payback, I am rather tempted to mention Monty Python and the Spanish Inquisition. Then I decide that I can't afford to fall out with Johnny, as the whole situation with Max is quite bad enough. So I swallow my pride, and make nice - as the Ya Yas would say. (Being a Southern Belle is one of my oldest fantasies, which I blame on having seen Gone With The Wind three times.) My acquiescence has an unexpected effect, and I think I may just have had virtual sex. Accidentally. It was quite pleasant, actually. At least I didn't feel that I needed to put a bag over my head, despite the absence of Botox.

As I walk home, I wonder where in the scale of marital infidelities my misdemeanour would rank? Higher or lower than kissing a real - albeit cosmetically-enhanced - person in front of your wife and daughter? More or less forgiveable? God knows. I shall have to give this some thought, once I've stopped thinking about the event itself, of course.

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