This article is taken from the July 2021 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issue for just £10.
“Don’t come in! Don’t come in!” Bozza is yelling, as he fumbles with his laptop and zips up his trousers. “I’m working on my Shakespeare manuscript.”
I am keeping him company in the room of boxes. It used to be Bozza’s working place, but Cazza said she needs somewhere for all the presents people are sending her. She gets very excited each time one arrives, and I can see why: the shiny paper on the outside tears wonderfully, and then the cardboard underneath is lovely to chew.
Bozza pretends he doesn’t like me keeping him company, saying it puts him off. He is such a funny man. He has just tucked his shirt in when Cazza comes in with a new person. “Sir Christopher needs a word,” she says.
“Ah, Geidty! Just knocking out a few pars to clear the old brain-thing.” He moves the laptop away from Cazza, who is trying to see the screen.
I am sniffing Sir Christopher’s shoes, which are almost as shiny as the sparkly stones on the collar that Cazza found in one of the boxes. (“Look what the lovely Huawei people sent!” she said, when she put it on me. She was very pleased, but it started making a fizzing beeping noise after I wore it for a swim, and one of the Earpiece Men took it away.) He looks down at me, and I suddenly want to go and sit in the corner.
Sir Christopher yelps and shuts his eyes. “I haven’t seen that”
“Prime minister,” he says, which is what people call Bozza when they want to make him sad. “I believe we have enumerated all of the undeclared donations. Please sign here.”
“Right-ho, no rest for the wicked, eh?”
“I have not received evidence on the matter.”
Cazza is opening another box. “Oh look, Dillers! A bowl for you!” It is shiny and yellow and very heavy. “From the bin Salmans! How sweet!”
Sir Christopher yelps and shuts his eyes. “I haven’t seen that,” he says, backing away. He trips over another box, and it makes a clinking sound. “I haven’t heard that, I haven’t seen this,” he keeps repeating.
“Oh dear,” says Cazza, “I’d better see Sir Christopher out.”
“No, I need to explain some things. You go back to playing with your folio.”
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