A peculiar cross-section of the British public had sceptically read hastily-scrawled letters from a famous unknown property tycoon, Mr. H.P. Jones, to a fabulous soirée. A number of administrators with no direct contact to the mysterious fellow were particularly proud of their professional choice of colour scheme for the invitations, priding themselves on their small contribution to the world to their overbearing parents.
As is common with the current generation of letters, a number of recipients with malice afterthought had tossed them into their garbage, simultaneously doing their part to rid the world of sin and preferring to bid adieu to their time in more creative ways.
The garbage had elevated its prestige and mobilised itself socially, and had it been sentient would now be joking with Dame Eleanor Cartwright about the inability of American dancers to successfully coordinate themselves. Taking out the trash would be a national prestige and a duty of honour for any members of the upper class who had not been killed in the Great Holy Revolutionary Purge. The garbage, however, was not sentient, and swallowed the letters without being flattered by an abysmally pretentious world.
John Copeland was a splendidly sentient fellow, so sentient in fact that having read the letter he felt a sense of monumental glee which could only be forcibly quelled by downing a series of Courvoisier-based beverages, drunkenly caressing and issuing the completely wrong vocatives to his soon-to-be castrated Norwegian elkhound. The Norwegian elkhound, named by others as “Terence”, looked at him in bemusement and stroked with ululation the scrotum that he instinctively felt he would soon lose to some national tragedy.
John Copeland awoke the next day with an admirable degree of sentience found only in excited young go-getters and low-tier automatons and sprung up from a khaki armchair in his semi-detached Burensian homestead. He once again fingered the epistle, restrained his class-related paroxysm and pretended to read a particularly uneventful copy of ‘The Daily Telegraph’. He activated a number of important mental processes. Among these, they included going to work, phoning up his consultant about his father’s knee, bringing his father tea, and picking lint from his bellybutton. John correctly and responsibly identified that they were in descending order of importance, and immediately commenced with the latter.
Through the wail of his unusually muted cur, John delivered tea to his world-weary father. His eyebrows panicked at his arrival through confusion as to what emotion to express, the inner conflict finally resonating a countenance of firm surprise across his entire body. His detached body received gracefully the matinee Earl Grey, and his heart itched for some kind of remark to make.
“I liked the tea better when it was delivered by your wife.”
John was surprised at this remark. His father was usually this mean; the shock in that case was minimal, although it did force him to recall the web of lies that he had callously spun. John’s ‘wife’ was never his wife; his father still thought that marriage was a necessary condition for household-related love, and women were forced to marry at gunpoint as to avoid familial insolvency. Ironically, this is exactly why Helen Hampton had left him. He was unable to commit to anything of value, and when she had implied through a sequence of piercing remarks that she wanted to marry him and transiently decay by his side, he had grown suspicious and forced her to grovel to a neck-bursting extent.
John had never bothered to tell his father that he had left Helen: he had told her that she had not returned, aggressively mumbling, “she’s on a ceramics course in Manchester” whenever he had sufficient syllogisation to notice and inquire. His father, George Aloysius Copeland, prided himself on everlasting monogamy, viewing it as “the one great drug”, which reminded John of Karl Marx and his remark that, “religion is the opiate of the people”, to the extent that almost every time he made a comment of this nature he burst inwardly into hysterical laughter.
“Whatever happened to your wife? When will she be ready to re-educate me about motion?”
When his father had asked where his wife was studying, John had made up the alma mater “The School of Materials”. Learning that this was a real place, John became learned in its geography and claimed visitations whenever he was in that area. John had no reason to detect that his father had begun to dissect his web of lies, although when there were absolutely no other anxieties he could at least maintain the inquietude that his father had begun to smell the rat.