Leaning on his spade and wiping the sweat from his brow, Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency clerk Jeff Peters smiled triumphantly, gazing around at the new money pit. The Scrooge McDuck esque cavern, finished with opal touches and extensive marble, has been constructed to replace the smaller, outdated baths previously used.
Head of public relations at the DVLA, Richard Fillibuster effused “this is a big step forward in employee pleasure, we at the DVLA have always strived to extravagantly fritter away our victi…taxpayer’s money. This new multi-million pound three acre nude-only money pit exceeds our dual brief; to be obnoxious and also a little creepy. In the past our staff have had to be content to ‘snow angel’ in bathtubs full of taxpayer’s coins but now we can strip down to our slimy skin and leap from the Olympic regulation diving board into a deep vault of gold. Better still, we have now achieved a certification for our 0% contribution to road maintenance”.
Fillibuster added that whilst the new money pit had always been on the agenda the project was finally put into motion when Mr Grant, a factory labourer from Wolverhampton had the audacity to tax his hard-earned second-hand Ford Focus ST. The actual denomination of the cash used to fill the pit has yet to be decided but Mr Fillibuster was keen to point out “whether we fill our platinum-clad, polished gold, opal finished money pit with pennies or £5 notes, we will all gain sick pleasure from Mr Grant’s £295 annual tax.”
Fillibuster and Peters laughed maniacally, shared a passionate kiss then Peters added “yeah, fuck that guy”.
A recent questionnaire commissioned by the Office For Using Funding For Unnecessary Research As A Cover For Money Laundering Through Offseas Accounts has found that dogs experience an emotional rollercoaster when their owner “pops out for a bit”. Of the 58,767 canines inexplicably polled, 86% described an intermediate-duration separation from their human to be torturous and exhausting.
Expanding on his answer Jeoff, a Dalmatian explained “when my human, the ugly one, left the other day I went through the whole gamut. I sat forlornly by the mat for at least 12 minutes. Then I went outside to take a sorrow shit. After satisfying myself that he most likely dead I began to divvy up his possessions with the cat. Felix was being his usual self however and refused to recognise neither my claim on the blanket nor the adjudicating authority of Mike the hamster. We were about to come to fisticuffs in the kitchen but right that moment, in he comes, striding through without a care. The great gangly bastard just pats me on the head and puts a pint of milk in the fridge. I’m like ‘what the hell dude, what the hell?!’ and you know what he says? He just says ‘stop barking, bad boy’. Shit son, you’re the bad boy”.
It would certainly appear that Jeoff is not alone. Just last tuesday Chichi, a Pomeranian, was unfortunate enough to go through the same ordeal. “So I was just sittin’ there, minding my business, y’know watching my soaps and gnawing dem paws o’mine when ‘slam’, that door done go open an’ close! So I leap up and I’m like what the hell girl? This ghost comes marching on in with a bag that says Tesco or some shit. All casual as you like, I’m like ‘hell no, I am not seeing what mine eyes is saying I’m seeing, we buried you girl, we gone buried you’. Cos like, at that point, you gotta assume folk be dead. Going out like that, not returning for at least, I dunno, two episodes of the Kardashians. I mean, we did some funeral rites, me and Kesha (Cavalier), we dug up the garden for that human. We even found her favourite slipper, took it into the yard and pissed all over it, you know the full service, it was a beautiful ceremony”.
Her thoughts were echoed by Rocky, a Border Terrier, who provided us with a detailed timeline of his most recent “waking hell”
0:00 front door closes, must bark loudly to confirm that I have recognised the departure
0:00-0:05 lay on mat in front of door, stare forlornly at glass aperture
0:05-0:20 clamber onto back of settee and stare out of window, barking intermittently at any movement
0:20-0:25 take yesterday’s newspaper out into garden and shred all over lawn. With this I honour you.
0:25-0:50 gnawing the skirting board for my fallen homey
0:50-0:59 try to play with bally. Perhaps human went to buy more ballys. They would lose dozens of ballys a day if it wasn’t for me, after all.
1:00-1:20 slight glimmer of hope that human still alive seems like a distant memory now. I shall chew the sofa cushion, it’s what they would have wanted.
1:20-1:25 briefly take time off from chewing in order to settle pack hierarchy with an uppity looking sparrow. This is my house.
1:25-1:40 Resolved that I’m not going to be like those mopey dogs on the adverts, I’m a home-owner now.
1:40-1:43 Oh god what if the human is sat in a little cardbox box on the side of the road?!
1:40-1:53 chew chew chew
1:53 ARHGHHHHHH OHHHMAAAAGAWD WHAAAAAAT THE HELLLLL YOU’RE ALIVEEEE! ARRRRRGGGGHHHH. WOOOOOOOOOO. WUFFF WUFFF WUFFF WUFFF WUFFFF. Oh…I just peed.
My latest book, Conflagration, is due to be released this month. Conflagration is my third collection of poetry (fourth book overall) and spans two years of work. Conflagration is longer, more mature and better balanced than my previous works and is the book I am most proud of.
I would like to offer a huge thank you to my friend Matt “Swampy” Ward for taking over the artwork mantle and providing a vivid, manic rendering of the title poem.
Conflagration is priced at £4 and will be available in store at Beccles Books, Lowestoft Library and Halesworth Library. It should also soon be available in Kindle format from Amazon and also via Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org (unmonitored email address).
Observant visitors will have noticed a considerable drop off in my posting in the last year or so, Conflagration is likely to be my final collection for the foreseeable future.