Delayed by my soapbox and foray into mobsourcing, along comes part 44 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”. Given my recent foray into trying to change the world, getting back to writing has been bliss.
There is another quiz question associated with the part number. This is an absolute stinker, even with the picture clue, so you’ll need the answer although the original artist is actually here.
OK, the quiz question out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
Jones lifted up his left hand and inspected it closely, repeated the process with his right, pursing his lips, and then giving a big sigh.
“This is different, Mike.” Jones gripped his hands together then rested his chin gently on them. “Last time it was like the whole world was trying to get me. Now it is a bit like I’ve been transported to a different place. Like I’m on the very edge of the world looking in. Not the same at all.”
“Yeah, like you’re sort of detached from everything.”
Jones dropped his hands and stiffened. Smithy’s eyes seemed focussed on a point several feet above Jones’s head.
“I’ve felt like that a bit recently.” Smithy continued slowly and deliberately. “It soon wears off though. You just have to roll with it. I find if you try and question it, things just feel... worse. Better to just go with the flow.”
Jones waited for Smithy to provide an explanation, but it never came. Instead Smithy just sort of apologised for running to the Superintendant whenever Jones behaved a little oddly and said it wouldn’t happen again. It seemed a little flat and unfulfilling. Jones wanted to explore it further, but Smithy just laughed and then excused himself on the grounds he was taking his wife shopping for an ornamental windmill for the garden.
Leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands across his stomach, Jones watched him go back to his desk, gather up his things and rush from the office. For a while, Jones just sat and stared blankly at the empty office. In the end, he gave a sigh and headed back to his desk.
However hard he tried, Jones found his mind wandering from the paperwork in front of him. In the end, he did the bare minimum needed for bailing Dunker Phil and decided to call it a night. He’d started to tidy his desk, but when he found himself lining up the pencils, his hand had shot back as if scalded. Jones looked at the pencils before slowly, very slowly, reaching out and disorganising them. His hand lingered over them for a moment before Jones grabbed his flying jacket from the back of the chair and resolutely striding from the office.
As Jones entered the car park, the Datsun chirruped loudly, flashed its indicators furiously and flung open the driver’s door. Jones gave a smile as he walked over to the car and climbed in.
“At least you will talk to me, eh girl?” Jones patted the steering wheel as he closed the door.
The Datsun gave a “pre-preeep” in response.
Joining the evening rush hour traffic, they crawled through the London streets. Jones turned on the radio. Two politicians were discussing the need for greater social responsibility. Jones turned the radio off again.
A protest march brought any progress through the traffic to a halt. Hundreds of people danced in the street to the accompaniment of a traditional folk band. As they danced, the crowd swelled as others came from side streets, shops, offices and houses to join in. The growing crowd were parading banners and placards demanded a state funeral for Horace Adkins.
For a while, Jones contented himself with reading the various banners until one caused him to look again. At first reading, he had taken it to read ‘Entertainer’, but he suddenly realised it read ‘Entrepreneur’. Jones pursed his lips and stroked his moustache before he swore under his breath. The Datsun gave a “Proop” of admonishment.
“I may have had a breakdown, but I am not mad.” Jones stated as he gripped the steering wheel tighter.
The “preeeeooop” from the Datsun was taken as agreement by Jones.
“Looks like we’d be better taking the long way round tonight!”
Flinging the Datsun into gear, Jones made a U-turn in the road, narrowly missing a group of grey haired ladies carrying a bust of Horace Adkins made out of low fat cheese. The ladies swore at the retreating Datsun. Jones smiled.