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Jolly Rotten Holidays

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All had gone back to normal. Or so I thought.

A few days ago, I was coming downstairs to make Anne some breakfast before she went to work.

It was seven o’clock and I froze in my tracks as the bell rang. I was wearing my dressing gown and decided that whoever had the audacity to disturb me this early had to take me as I was, decency be damned. I opened the door and looked into Ralphie’s drooping eyes.

‘Hiya,’ he said. ‘Sorry to wake ye…’ He pointed at his tow truck that was now blocking our drive.

My goodness, I thought, someone has bought another car.

‘Alec! Maurice!’ I roared towards the staircase. ‘Would you come down, please?’

‘Get yerself another set of glasses, Clive,’ Ralphie grinned. ‘Can’t you see that me trailer’s empty? I came here to pick up a car. That BMW outside your drive.’

‘Who ordered this?’

‘Can’t tell ye.’

So the BMW was being impounded. Probably Sandro’s last move to wring money out of Risley.

‘The car belongs to a friend of mine,’ I said. ‘What if he comes back from his holiday and finds it gone?’

‘Some holiday that is,’ Ralphie chuckled. ‘Owner’s having a grand time in Holland. If he wanted his car that bad, he would have taken it with him.’

Now Alec came downstairs, all dressed and ready. ‘Hiya Ralphie,’ he said. ‘Bit early to go to the White Hart, eh?’

Ralphie pointed at the BMW. Alec grew pale. I had suspected him of cooking something up with his pub mate, but it was clear he had not known this.

‘Leave it be, Ralph,’ Alec said. ‘That car ain’t in the way anyroad.’

‘Official orders,’ Ralphie said ceremoniously, patting an envelope that stuck out of his pocket.

Now Maurice joined us, looking slightly sleepy and beautiful and smelling of Eau Sauvage. ‘Hi, Ralphie,’ he smiled. Then he saw the empty trailer parked neatly behind the BMW and grew pale. ‘Fuck me with a chainsaw,’ he whispered.

‘Come to think of it, you could get a few hundred quid for them hubcaps,’ Alec mused. ‘Not to mention the rest.’

‘Forget it,’ Maurice said. ‘That car is going to the council yard unharmed.’

Ralphie nodded. ‘Just wanted to let ye know, even though it ain’t yours…Fuck me, the man must be completely daft to leave a prize car alone like that. Makes me wonder how he became a professor. Couldn’t even wipe his own arse if you ask me.’

***

And so the BMW, which had served as a restroom facility for Jane’s dog for days on end, found its new shelter. It was odd, but we missed it after it had gone.

Dear Risley, if you ever read this, please know that

I) The faculty board might resort to proceedings to dismiss you on account of not showing up. And in this day and age, it’s not sufficient to just apologize in writing and hope to be readmitted. I ought to know, I’m a solicitor.

II) Your car is fine! It’s in the council yard in Milton Keynes. We drove past it a few times and we can tell it’s well taken care of, even though it’s covered in bird shit now. I’m sure it’s aching to be reunited with you. You are its rightful owner and it relies on you.

III)  Anne, Alec, Maurice and I have decided that you can have two of Furball’s babies if you want. They’re spayed and ready to leave. Of course we’ll miss them, but let’s face it, we’ve got nine cats now and all we seem to do after work is scoop turds from the many shitty litter boxes. You’ll have company in your house in Cambridge. Pets are always there when you feel lonely. It might help you a great deal.

IV) And oh yeah, Maurice says he’s definitely not going to kick the shit out of you, but then again, he’s been in an exceptionally good mood lately. He plays the Steinway every night and makes it sing. You’re not invited 😊. It might still be wise to stay clear of him. However, the fact that he very much wishes for you to take in two of our cats proves that he’s got a heart and understands more than he will admit.

V) Ever since you left our house, Anne has been missing a framed photograph from her study. It shows me as a young man. She’s rather attached to it and will do unspeakable things to you with a parsnip would be most obliged if you returned it. The same goes for my gilded cigarette lighter and Alec’s collection of miniature F1 driver figures he got at the Burger Vomit.

Thank you very much! And love to you, dear Risley, and to all you dear readers, and may 2022 make all your wishes come true!

You still suck, Risley Pax vincit omnia,

Clive Durham