On my estate (and I ain’t talking councils), I employ umpteen staff who are paid to maintain the Towers and serve its master. And if you keep on top of ‘em (especially the new stablelass, when she ain’t on the blob, curse her), they do a grand job and can be of real service.
But I noticed from recent inventories that they’d been going through 2 packets of tea-bags a week, which if my mathematics were correct, meant that someone had been supping more than their quota of two teabags per day.
Now, I’m reasonably well-off, what with my inheritance and shady dealings, but teabags don’t grow on trees y’know. Or maybe they do, I haven’t really looked into it. But I think you’ll agree that this was a flagrant disregard of trust, and that whoever was taking the piss must be weeded out and dealt with in the usual style: the giro or the birch, their decision.
So I did the obvious thing and installed a SpyCam in the staff kitchen. Clandestine is my middle name. Or is it Dastardly? I’ll have to consult my Dennis The Menace Fan Club certificate.
Sure enough, come lunchtime (two minutes early, rot them – that’s coming out of their wages) in they all pile and on goes the kettle. Everything seemed in good order, but most were coffee drinkers, which intrigued me still further. Old Simpkins the gardener was seated next to the microphone, so most of the conversation was drowned out by his squirting bowels, which rather put me off my ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Caviar’ sandwiches, I can tell you. It seemed like he was timing it to my every bite.
But I clearly made out the following dialogue featuring Goodacre, who is Simpkins’s understudy, and one of the cleaners (all Filipino –can’t tell ‘em apart).
“Easter holidays are never long enough,” spat the former in his East Cockney whine, “ makes you wish that Jesus’s death had been a painstakingly agonising affair, drawn out over a couple of weeks. Then I could still be at home, rogering the missus.”
Good sentiments those, I’ve seen his missus. Pencilled her in for the next Christmas do. A cert. Couldn’t keep her eyes off me at the Handyman’s Ball when I presented some prizes. Rough around the edges, I’ll grant you that, but curves in all the right places.
“That’s a terrible thing to say” responds whatsherface sourly. A brown-noser, I reckon - she’ll go far. Especially with those poonts.
“Maybe you’re right,” chirps Goodacre, “ ‘Ere though, it’d be a larf if the Guv’nor suffered a long, agonising death, then we’d have as much time off as we like!”
(The Guv’nor being one of the staff’s more affectionate names for yours truly. My personal favourite is Mr. Fascist. Gives me a strange, warm glow. Can’t explain it.)
Well, as you can guess, I felt like giving him a couple of Good-Acres myself, courtesy of the old right boot, but I had to admire his gumption. I’ll have to watch His Nibs closely, thought I, for here’s one after my own heart - and two in one Towers won’t go. And watch him closely I did a little later, when the kitchen emptied leaving our main lead alone - or so he thought. A handful of teabags goes in the jacket pocket and half a packet of Chocolate Digestives in his satchel, almost quicker than sight. I let out a wail, covering my mouth as I noticed his ears suddenly prick, although he couldn’t possibly have heard me as the staff’s quarters are as far as possible from my own. Even so, it was disconcerting enough to make me flick SpyCam over to the female showers, where I watched some fat bint for a while, but my heart wasn’t really in it.
Later that day I called him into the office and could barely disguise my admiration when I offered him a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive, and he accepted readily without a pause, adding that he was both parched and famished after a hard day’s toil.
I’d seen enough and promoted him right there and then on the spot. It’s time Old Simpkins was put to pasture, he’s 80 if he’s a day, and we haven’t seen eye to eye since he
FLASHMAN STRIKES AGAIN!
Paul Rodgers is not the best thing since fried Fred.