Friday, 13 August 2010


“Good morning, Marjorie Flecks speaking.”

“Good morning, poppet. I caught a quick glimpse of your advert and thought I’d call and perhaps get the ball rolling. One had an accident recently – which was most certainly not one’s fault – where a member of the household staff bumped into one with the Dyson. One, of course, does not need the money but would be interested to know how much one would receive.”

There was a short silence at the other end of the line. “Erm … I think you may have the wrong number … Is that Dame Crusty?”

“It is indeed, Marjorie dear, and one is quite sure one has the correct number! Now are you going to take on the case or not?”

“But this is the vicarage, Dame Crusty, we don’t deal with insurance. Oh, Sebastian ensures salvation with his sermons [snort], if you’ll forgive the joke?”

There was another lengthy pause. “Dame Crusty, are you still there?”

“One is, dear; one's waiting for the joke.”

“That was it; ‘ensures salvation with his sermons’ …’ensures’, ‘insures’? That was the joke.”

“Very nearly, dear. Honestly Marjorie with such a lack-lustre attempt at humour, you could do nothing but give Patrick Kielty a run for his money, nothing more. Now, are you going to take up one’s case?”

“Dame Crusty, you must have it wrong!” She insisted.

Increasingly frustrated, one picked up the newspaper. Licking the tip of one’s index finger, one began to violently search the pages. “Right! Here we are … oh! … Marjorie dear … it appears one has indeed made an error. One should have read it more carefully. I naturally thought of you when one saw Bigger Bloomers and simply pressed the speed dial for the vicarage … but upon closer inspection, I have noticed it is BGR Bloomer. I’ll give them a call.”

One couldn’t hear exactly what the vicar’s wife was saying, as one put down the phone, but the inflection in her voice certainly didn’t befit the wife of a man of the cloth.

As it turned out, one didn’t need to call them anyway. The folloing morning, while returning from the village, the very same member of household staff was riding up the drive on her bicycle. As one passed by her, one simply lowered the window and pushed her into the box hedging.

One felt as if an exquisite balance had been restored.

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