Written by tjmstroud
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Monday, 9 July 2012

Dear Constituents

I had such a hectic weekend but it was spoiled again by the rain.

For those constituents untrained in meteorology I can confirm that the current weather is caused by the jet stream having moved much further south this year. However, I suspect a more obvious link to the Eurozone crisis.

As a result, I have asked the Met Office to look into the likelihood of a conspiracy between Angela Merkel and that new upstart, Francois Hollande to deliberately move the jet stream south so that Brits feel so left out in the cold that we beg to come in where it's warmer and drier. But we always keep an ace up our sleeves.

Don't they realise we like rain? What on earth do they think Basingstoke is famous for? Proper rainproof coats made from Gabardine were invented there in 1879 while Merkel and Hollande's ancestors were still wearing sodden smocks.

And let us also not forget our other British inventors. While French and Germans peasants were still walking around in rotting wooden clogs or old cow leather, the British had already moved on to Mackintoshes, invented by our own Charles Mackintosh and special, waterproof, boots worn by our Duke of Wellington.

But, despite these famous British inventions designed to isolate bodies and feet from pouring rain, puddles and mud, two outdoor events in Krupton were cancelled. For this I do not blame the EU but the previous Government.

You see, many poorer Krupton residents - those abandoned by the last Government but now far less in number thanks to my tireless endeavours - have been forced to stop relying on sophisticated technical advances like Macs. They have been forced to use far cheaper forms of protection. The black polythene bags distributed by Krupton District Council are ideal for keeping off the rain, but, like many imported products, have serious flaws. They are desperately weak at the joints so have probably been made in France. The overprint, though, is clearly done in England and probably by the company who wanted to supply the bags as well but only won the printing contract.
This would explain the printing on the side which says: "Refuse".

But, unfortunately, these event cancellations meant that all my well laid plans required a radical rethink. Now as you know, I am a happy family man with domestic responsibilities but no man wants to be cooped up at home looking out of the window at the rain whilst his wife discusses decorating the kitchen. There are far more important things to do than decorating.

Amongst the abandoned plans was my attendance at the Krupton Summer Fete where Anthea (my PA) had organised several photo opportunities. She had also purchased me a lovely pair of red Bermuda shorts and matching sun glasses in order for me to demonstrate the outgoing, fun loving side to my personality.

By the way, I was trying them on just as the Ed Balls and George Osborne fight started in Parliament last week but the zip stuck and I had to watch it on TV. Afterwards, though, and still being unable to operate the zip, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon mingling with tourists in Parliament Square testing their reaction to someone walking in the rain wearing a white shirt and tie, navy blue socks and lace up shoes together with Bermuda shorts and a panama hat.

Whilst hoping I wouldn't be recognised too quickly I was still very interested to establish whether a headline such as "Quentin Kelp works Bermuda shorts and bare legs in Westminster rain" might produce some positive publicity (something similar had worked for someone called Britney last week).

However, I decided not to prolong the experiment after passing a group of Japanese tourists who pointed and then laughed at my knees - although one did photograph me and then give me 50 pence.

Occasionally, however, the outward appearance of a more colourful and extrovert nature is vital for an MP who wants to nurture an image of a serious and deep thinking politician and leader of people. Sometimes I have to set aside my navy blue suit, subdued tie and sensible shoes for something less formal - although I do, of course, frequently remove my tie in the Red Lion on a Saturday afternoon and evening when my "Meet your MP" session is in full swing.

Today, therefore, my theme is outward appearances. Appearances are everything in this image conscious world and so I want to use an example or two to illustrate how important these can be and will revert to my earlier references to conspiracy in Europe.

Take my dear friend, President Herman Van Rumpold, for example.

Did you know that Herman is actually an undercover agent. He operates in disguise as a shy, underpaid insurance clerk. But behind this public fa├žade lurks a man with such unique skills that he never needs to be re-elected because ordinary people never elected him in the first place. Now, through nurturing an appearance of a 9-5 insurance clerk, Herman has surrounded himself by an enormous bureaucracy that protects him from any sort of damage like polystyrene packaging.

Herman is Belgian and rarely goes outside Brussels, but unlike me, Herman has no need for Bermuda shorts to get attention. President Von Rumpold survives by wearing camouflage - a grey suit. Now that's clever.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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