Wednesday, 16 June 2010

It has now been several hours since I woke to find myself naked in an unfamiliar room, handcuffed to a lifesize wax model of Benito Mussolini. So far, I have been unable to establish the sequence of events that brought me to this place; I thought for a while that I might have been the victim of an elaborate practical joke, but who among my acquaintances could have executed it? Certainly not my colleagues at the office; they are far too sober and respectable. Nor could it have been my only surviving family member, cousin John, since he is out of the country at present, doing important work for the government. That leaves only my landlady, Mrs Punt, and she is a septuagenarian with macular degeneration. Of course, she has a fiery spirit, but I believe that the physical work of transporting me from my room to this mysterious place (without alerting me to my plight) is beyond her, and she hates to employ labourers for any but the most essential tasks. 'If it broke, then it doesn't deserve to be fixed,' as she likes to say. I think that she has misunderstood natural selection; still, she keeps the rent low, as, by another quirk of her character, she refuses to recognise the concept of inflation.

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