Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The curse of the shiny-arsed sales reps

THERE IS one small garage within eight miles of Beelzebub Mansions. It is used almost exclusively by locals who, to all intents and purposes, keep the business going.

It sells newspapers, free-range eggs from the next-door farm, bacon from the piggery opposite, and just about any other item one might need in an emergency. It may soon even get a licence to sell chilled Chardonnay to alcoholic hacks.

Oh, and it also sells fuel, mainly to drivers of horse-boxes, tractors, pick-up trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles. And me.

Now the garage doesn’t have a regular delivery of petrol. It’s too small. So when supplies run low, they pick up the phone and a tanker drops by a few days later. Everybody’s happy.

Except that now our little local filling station is under siege from prats in Ford Mondeos and shiny-arsed cheap suits from the big city who are desperately trying to squeeze another pint of unleaded into their overflowing tanks. They were even at it at 7am this morning, queuing up and down the country lane like unleaded lemmings. It’s madness.

Who are these people anyway? Legions of sad sales reps condemned to a life of sweaty bum cracks and extra-large Ginster’s pasties while they parlay their pitiful wares to uninterested shopkeepers and bored supermarket buyers. I tell you, if you could bottle eau de sales rep, it would smell of failure, Travelodges and three-day-old socks.

Why do we even need door-to-door salesmen anymore? We have telephones and the internet now. And how many businessmen indulge in an impulse buy of a box of musical Freddie Flintoff egg-timers just because some desperate, pallid-faced mortgage slave has turned up on their doorstep?

Sack them all now and you’d solve the fuel crisis at a stroke. Alternatively, ship some in from Northern Ireland. The daft sods have got so much over there that they’re throwing it at each other.

Anyway, don’t mind me. I’m off to bulk-buy bread and spray-paint “You Loot, I Shoot” on the walls of the West Wing.

MANY OF YOU have written to me recently enquiring as to the whereabouts and mental state of Whittaker, my gofer and general factotum. I am happy to tell you that he is in fine spirits.

I’ve avoided mentioning him for some weeks on the advice of his psychiatrist, but now his recovery seems to be well underway, I’ll update you on his progress. As you may recall, Whittaker, driven beyond reason by the abject unfairness of the ban of hunting with dogs, had taken to living in a bush in the Lower Meadow, naked apart from a bandana and some camouflage paint.

You may also recall that his long trek back to a kind of normality began with the launch of EasyCat, his whizzo scheme to paint cats orange, fit them with a name tag carrying an 0898 number, dump them 20 miles from home, and then sit back to wait for mad old ladies to phone up and report the strays at £5 a minute.

Such was the success of this venture that he was able to buy a Rover 45 with a ten-year warranty and some trousers. With a zip. Apart from a minor setback when he was sent home from the first drag-hunting meeting for turning up in lipstick and a frock, he’s now back in the swing of things. In fact, I wandered down to the old stables last week only to find that he’s filled the building with immigrant Chinese ladies knocking out Marks and Sparks bras at tuppence a tit.

Tomorrow is his big day. The cubbing season starts and, now he’s realised that the ban on hunting with dogs is so badly-drawn and ineffectual that he’ll be able to continue murdering wildlife with impunity, he’s been ironing his strangling gloves and starching his pinks in eager anticipation. I’ll pass on your best wishes.

HE’S GONE again. Yes folks, our Prime Minister popped in briefly on his way back from China and India, picked up a new set of skiddies, cleared the milk bottles and free newspapers off the doorstep, fed the goldfish and then set off for a really important meeting in New York that took up the rest of his week.

Meanwhile our education system has disintegrated to the point where you can get an A-level pass with just 16 per cent of marks (and an A grade with 47 per cent), the nation is just about to grind to a halt because 61 pence in every pound we pay for fuel goes to the profligate government, and while we’re giving ASBOs to known crack dealers, we’re sending to prison people who smack their children and a 71-year-old retired vicar who refuses be held to ransom over his spiralling Council Tax bill.

Now I know that he’s said that he won’t fight the next election, and conventional wisdom has it that he won’t even stand as an MP, but we could still have another three years of Mr Blah before he reluctantly hands the controls of the train set to Prudence Brown. So why do I feel that in his head, he’s already jacked the job in?

Our problems are no longer his problems. He’s far more concerned with how he’s going to pay off those big mortgages once he’s free to legally and morally benefit from his position. Cherie, no doubt, will continue to con star-struck foreign jewellers into giving her big discounts and then conveniently forget to pay VAT on the imported goods.

So who’s in charge? Who’s handling Iraq, the NHS, our Third World public transport system and the imminent 24-hour orgy of binge drinking, rape and murder that the Daily Mail assures us is on the way? (Oh yes they did.)

Please God, don’t say John Prescott.

AT LAST, the European Union has introduced a law that actually benefits the British people – although perhaps not in the way that they expected.

I can announce that thanks to the burghers of Brussels, the number of burglaries in this country will decrease in the next year. And how have they accomplished this significant achievement? Simple. They’re getting rid of traditional window cleaners.

Now we all know that just about every scrote (George Formby excepted) who takes up the chamois and bucket is only interested in carrying out burglary reccies under cover of smearing dirty water over the double-glazing and then charging you £20 for the privilege. He then returns in the dead of night with a mate, a jemmy and a bag labelled “swag”.

But no more. The “Working At Height Directive”, which became law in April, virtually outlaws the use of ladders when it comes to window cleaning. In future, they’ll have to invest £2,000 in that fancy “watery stick on a pole” type thing you usually see being used on offices.

It’s sad, but inevitable. Goodbye Stan Ogden and Robin Askwith. Hello, lower insurance premiums.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who wasn’t crying with laughter when George Bush talked about “de-watering” New Orleans, of anyone not shedding a tear at the departure from our airwaves of Richie Benaud, or of anyone who hasn’t already got 20 cans of red diesel stocked up in their garden shed.


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