‘The Mothership and the Wheelie Bin’

drawing of dogs and flying saucerWe were visited by a Mother Ship last night. Woken at 2 a.m. by a sound as of a mighty rushing wind, I found the house to be under the scrutiny of a light bright enough to qualify for the X Files.  Back and forth it went and back and forth went a little white van along the lane just opposite, clearly caught in the electromagnetic phase-shift graviton field that every child knows is generated by these things.  Eventually it headed off down towards the cement works where it must have transported its target off-world because it never came back.

Today, I find that my wheelie bin has been moved and tidily replaced – The Wrong Way Round.  Some claim it was the police trying to stir up a bit of action in the hope of a Channel 5 special but they can’t fool me.  Not a dog in the village barked.  Make your own mind up, I say.

 

From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck.  Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018.

‘Gertrude’

drawing chest of drawers and spiderThe sock drawer used to be a safe place. An ordinary place from which socks, neatly cuffed into pairs, could be drawn for wearing. But now Gertrude has moved in and Gertrude likes her privacy. Gertrude is large and black and she darts quick as you like to the front of the drawer as it opens; hanging there, pulsing, her long legs bristling until the retrieval is over – which it is, very quickly. Her intelligence is mysterious, immeasurable, palpable. While Gertrude owns the sock drawer, I will wear tights.

 

From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck.  Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018.

 

‘Kitchen Forensics’

drawing of fliesMy resolve falters as I reach the kitchen door. It will be huge and offensive. It will require a delicate touch. It will be mine to deal with – yuk!

As I approach, an advance scouting party of flies lifts off and disperses itself across less appetising surfaces to wait, I imagine, for the all-clear. Well, not for a while and not here I tell them. I peer forensically at the agglutinated mass, put on gloves and aim a squirt of surfactant at the festering heap. Then, dissecting out two small bones and a piece of cartilage, I wonder for the nth time how come last night’s washing up is always my job[1].

 

 

 

[1] If you’ve ever shared a flat and had a party, you know how this goes. That is, unless you’re the one who gets up last and it’s all been done, gets up so early your hangover hasn’t even started yet and you leave the house in your underpants, or you emerge from the wardrobe three days later and nobody knows who you are.

 

From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck.  Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018.

‘Micro Management’

drawing of man painting sinking boat‘So they want us to use a particular font of a particular size and a particular colour for our email signatures?’[1]

‘Yep’

‘And there’s no corporate stationery or template for this?’

‘Nope, you make your own.’

‘I see.’ I think it over, devoting a whole nanosecond to the process, which still seems rather too much in view of the subject matter. I deliver my judgment.

‘And when, collectively, we blow it out of our arses, do they want it to be a particular fragrance?’

Ok, not exactly constructive, I’ll give you that, but when the boat’s sinking, you don’t call in the painters and decorators do you? We aren’t meeting our targets and why? Because management is fiddling with the curtains when they should be checking out the dry rot. Each time a target is missed, instead of finding out why that happened, they simply beat everyone over the head with a big stick, threaten to name and shame poor performers and delete a whole band of jobs. The upshot? You guessed – the people who were doing one job and failing to meet targets are now doing two, one of which they didn’t apply for, have no skills in and don’t understand. So what happens? Right again. Even more targets get missed, another round of deletions ensues and suddenly everyone is doing three jobs, only one of which they have a now fading grasp upon.

Meanwhile, somebody with no important nail varnishing or nose hair removal scheduled, has got the hump about email signatures that show a spark of originality, and you’d think it is a form of insurgency given the attention it’s receiving.

I examine my signature: wrong font, wrong size, wrong colour. Perfect.

[1] This could apply to almost any corporate body, any time, anywhere. It didn’t.

 

From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck.  Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018.