The Canterbury Tales.

Avast ye maties, it is another day fighting tooth and nail through the scourge of Monday. A tree falls in the wood, and all the villagers are there to hear it. A sound system is set up to record the fall, nobody is in doubt; the tree makes a noise. It is then broadcast on E4, to wild celebrations.

Enough of this mayhem. I woke up at six, to make sure the alarm would wake me up at six. It did. So I woke up twice. Into town, dodging the wargs and orcs.

It’s menu training day! High hopes, low clouds. We file into the food chamber, and mill among the giant vats of recipe, being churned like butter then finally etched in wood, presented before our eye.

Sitting around a table, Toni pokes open the file, displaying the poorly photographed items. Jaws drop as a succession of terrifying substances are shown.

The entire menu has been changed. Out with the burgers. See ya later, mashed potato. Gone is the cod! What’s going on? Even the chips are no more.

“They replaced everything with new stuff” intones Toni, gasping through furious tears. “I’m so sorry. It’s devastating. None of this will sell.”

Eyeballs move tepidly toward the pages. First up is a yak’s head in an antique diving helmet, garnished with barnacles. Disgusting. Foreheads ruffle, teeth grind. She turns the page.

“Machine code soup. We’ve going to have to pre-prep zeroes and ones. I’ve no idea how”, she says, sadly thumbing a pen nib, staring resignedly into the distance. A small scream emits from her tired lips. A yelp. A cry. A prayer.

“Mind of Dog served with bark”, she continues. “All the rough energy of tree bark and a pun thrown in.”

I sigh and begin to fuse with the chair, loudly clucking with disappointment. A fist is balled. A growl is heard. Discontent, subtle, but growing.

“But  a dog’s mind is not physical for fuck’s sake!” exclaims someone. “We’re going to get so many complaints! How much is it?”

“Er…”, Toni’s head dives into the menu.

“…..48 thousand groats”


It’s all been made up. We have no stock. We realise the doom we’re facing. Chairs are turned over, sobs are gulped back. Heads are buried in hand and seethes are prominent. A noose is tied. I wander into the distance, a shotgun slung over one shoulder. This is truly the end of days.


About neilstilwell

Abseiling into trouble, a sewer rat staring at the stars. Disgusting. You can assist my search for the one ring by buying a Kindle version of this diary from here. It has some other stuff in it, and a dreadful cover.
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