Tuesday, September 8, 2009


...c'est les autres. At least, that's what Jean-Paul Sartre once said.

And I'm inclined to agree. Hell truly is other people.

Take one of my colleagues for instance. Let's call this colleague "Calamity" for illustrative purposes. I don't work directly with Calamity as he is in a different office, but I speak regularly with him on the phone. I shouldn't, but I invariably do, ask, "How are you today, Calamity?" Because this invariably leads onto a litany of the latest woes to befall this misfortunate functionary.

So far, I've been told:
"My arse exploded last night."
"My wife's arse exploded last night."
"I was off last week. Spent the whole time in bed with a bucket by my side."
"I was on holidays in Darfur. Stupid time to go, really."
"There was a dead sheep with an upside down crucifix stuck in it nailed to my front gate this morning".
"Hitler's ghost woke me up last night."
"Bertie Ahern is my best friend."
"The hubcap came off my X5. I have an X5 you know. It's shiny."

For several months now, I have been a shoulder to cry on for Calamity. I have been a sounding board for all his problems. I have been Marjorie Proops, Doctor Phil, Joe Duffy, all rolled into one. I have interjected his lament with "ooh you poor thing" on innumerable occasions, so much so that when my nearby colleagues hear this phrase they have to snigger and say to each other "Uh-oh, Govstooge's onto Calamity again."

I bet you are thinking, "Aaw, Govstooge's really nice after all." No? Oh well.

Anyway, Calamity, if you happen to be reading this in between your bouts of vomiting and missing hubcaps, please take note that I am no longer a free counselling service. Find a properly qualified therapist and pay them whatever they ask, you earn more than me anyway, you tight fucking bastard.

And next time a piece of information goes astray between my department and yours, complain to me directly. Don't ring up my managers denouncing me and making out I don't know what I'm doing, even though it was the first time something went wrong.

Because, if I knew where you lived, I'd be round there to give you something new to complain about.

Hell is Govstooge with a pointy stick.

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