Stan and Annie were clearing a big desk to make space to study government
statistics.Despite this Annie was dressed as brightly as a mad
peacock on lsd. in turquoise cotton trousers and a teal blue
viscose and polyester [with 5 percent elastane] V necked striped top
She chose the V neck was because she thought it made her look
slimmer but if that were so it was contradicted,somewhat
paradoxically, by the clinging induced by the elastane in the
What a problem dressing is nowadays she murmured under her breath,
Her bedtime reading was
“Contradiction, Paradox,Woman and Society”
by the unknown,unseen,silent and yet internationally outrageous author Dr K. R. Braithwaite.
“Paradox and contradiction are the route to understanding” was the last sentence she had
read before she fell asleep last night.
Then she had dreamed she saw a mouse eating a lion.No wonder she had
Shall I make the coffee” she whispered to Stan.
“No,dear.I’ll do it if you can get the graph paper sorted. No need to whisper”
Stan stood up and walked across the room with a dazed expression.
“I hope you’ve not been trying self hypnosis again” she shouted
quixotically.He returned with two large mugs of steaming hot coffee.
“Would you like a meringue” he enquired.
“I’d love one.”
“So would I,” he answered glumly.”But we have no cake at all.”
“I blame Harold Wilson.”
“Well,I have to blame someone,don’t I?”
“Why not blame yourself”
Stan began to sob and moan.
So Annie rang 999.”Can you send a paramedic.My friend needs a
meringue.” she said in a friendly tone.
“What do you think the N.H.S. is ,a cake shop?” the receptionist
replied assertively in ringing tones.
“Well,we older folk need cakes!”Annie cried.
“How old are you,” the lady said.
“Why is there some cut off point?” Annie retorted……..
“Yes,we only supply meringues to centenarians!” she was told.
“Well really,whatever next,” Annie cried in shock.
“I suppose they have to economise now and can no longer supply cakes
and ale to pensioners like they used to do.”
But we could send you some toasted mouse sandwiches,” she was
told.”Don’t bother,” she cried fortuitously.
The heat had made her makeup run and small rivers of turqouise,black
and blue were crossing her face giving it the appearance of a large
bruise.She wished she had followed the advice her mother had given
her,”When in doubt,leave it out”
Or,was it “when in doubt,say nowt”
or even “when glum ,keep mum.”
“I would have kept Mum,”she thought resentfully, “but the law won’t
let you once they die”.
“Why do we have so little freedom here in England?” she asked Stan
querulously.”I can’t tell you” he croaked mysteriously
“Why not? It’s forbidden by the Official Secrets Act.”
“After we finish the statistics on unemployment and mental health we could look
into Official Secrets,” he promised her mellifluously.
“Stan, you are so good.” she shouted gratefully.
Will you wash my new jeans?” he asked.
“Why can’t you do it?” she fretfully quizzed him patting his rump.
“I don’t want Mary to see them.”
“What’s this.. mt trial?”
“Gosh it’s 5pm .Mary’ll be back soon.
“We’ve not got far today,
I expect we can make up for it tomorrow.”
Not wanting to contradict him she remained silent whilst he studied
her face like an a psychologist trying and failing to see meaning in
an ink blot.
Then the doorbell rang.It was Dave,the paramedic with a tray of mouse
sandwiches.What a surprise.
“Come in, Dave”Annie called out.
“Sorry,buttercup,I hate roasted mice.”
“I’ll make you some Welsh rarebit”.
“I never refuse Welsh rarebit,”Dave confided to Stan.
“Very wise.in my opinion,”stan responded ina kindly warm tone of voice.
“Do you fancy coming for lunch on sunday?”
“What will it be?”
“A chickpea a mushroom roast.”
“that sounds very tempting.What vegetable will you have?”
“Chick peas are vegetables!”
“I mean,do you have anything green?”
“I could cut some grass and saute it in olive oil!”
“I’ll be here.I’ve not had any grass for years.”
So Dave drove off in his ambulance leaving Stan on the doorstep next to Emile.
“What do you think?” he asked the warm little cat.
“Well,you know cats eat grass raw!”
“Yes,but only because cats are too small to reach the hob.” anwered Stan.
“What fool these mortals be!” mioawed Emile to Janet,the cat next door.
They rolled their eyes and then rolled on the grass.
What happiness to be a cat.
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