Written by Erskin Quint
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Sunday, 25 July 2010

image for Letter To The Editor - A Retired Archbishop Writes Retired Archbishops Are The Worst. Loads To Say And All The Time In The World To Say It.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you because I always enjoy your Business Pages and the excellent analysis and advice provided therein (or is it thereon? it certainly isn't 'thereunder' or its arcane relative 'thereinunder' as those are terms used by solicitors to baffle the unwary, but, fair enough, it's a fair cop, fair dinkum, the game's up, you've got me bang to rights, I'll come quietly, society is to blame, I'm a freedom fighter not a terrorist, I can see you're more than a match for me, a spell in the Scrubs will do me good).

Now I have forgotten what I was writing about. Me and my memory. It's all my fault. Fair enough, I admit it, it's down to me, I can't deny it, Father, I cannot tell a lie, it was your son, I'm desperate Father, 'call me Dan', I'm desperate Dan.

Now you've made me do it again. Where's me thread, as Theseus said, after he had lopped the head off the Minotaur. My local, the Bull's Head, is called after the minotaur. It started off as The Minotaur, but they changed it because nobody knew what a minotaur was, whereas a bull's head is a familiar object to dwellers in the Herefordshire farming country.

Not that I live in Herefordshire, I live up Arkengarthdale in Yorkshire, well, I used to, but you'll not have heard of the place I live now, unlike Herefordshire (which I chose because of the iconic Hereford bull as it illustrated my minotaur discourse and because they used to lead a Hereford Bull round and round before matches at Hereford United; I think it was Hereford United; wouldn't make much sense anywhere else; imagine leading a Hereford Bull round before games at Grimsby Town - I think they favour haddocks there, which I think are boxed and iced, you couldn't lead a haddock round very easily; they are like the pig in that respect - they won't be led; you can't turn a pig either, but I don't know if you can turn a haddock).

I'm at it again. Honest injun, Aunt Aggie, I throw my hands up, it was me, I am to blame, I can't deny it, I'll take the rap, the evidence is conclusive, there's no denying it, get me my brief on the blower, Constabule, I'll sing like a canary though I'm no stool pigeon, they made Big Louie the patsy and I was the sitting duck, I'll take the tumble, a few months of Canned Heat I can stomach, it's the gnawing guilt I can't abide.

Oh, now I'm limp as a rag. Hang on. Yes, that was it. Here we go. It was my fault, I own up, you've got...

No. I must be firm.

Right. What I wanted to write to you about, before I so rudely interrupted myself, was some business advice. You see, I am just about to retire, and am getting into the rebranding line, me. I'm only just beginning, just working on building up my portfolio, so to speak, at this stage. So it's early doors, I'm still setting my stall out, going for the cautious 4-5-1, biding my time, playing to not get beat, piling forward at set pieces, getting bodies into the box, knocking it in to the back stick, rather than knocking it to feet, playing the percentage game a la John Beck's Cambridge.

Oh bloody hell. Now I'm sprouting football cliches. Ah. Rebranding. Well, I may be just starting off, but I am ambitious, and one of the ambitious things I am currently rebranding, is death.

Well, a particular brand of death. Murder, to be exact, to be definite, as murder does tend to be, in my experience.

I was thinking of rebranding murder in this manner, along the lines of:

"MURDER: SUICIDE FOR EXTROVERTS"

You see, I thought I could market that to the popular journals and media in general, those who comment on murderous crime and death in such a compassionate and considered way, like The Sun and The Tatler. Do you think it could be a winner? Then, if that takes off, there's the Samaritans, for instance; they might be interested in new angles. They must be getting stuck for things to say to people, after all this time since they were founded in the 18th century by Toy Billionaire Chad Valley. I don't know. What do you think?

Is it a goer? Ooer, it feels like I'm up in front of Dragons Den with my machine for stencilling the names on the backs of tortoises. Theo and Desdemona are out already and I'm getting a right grilling from Duncan Valentine about my financial projections.

So there you have it. Please let me know what you think. I'm a big boy now, I can take it, I won't cry, I won't throw my rattle out of the pram, I won't take my ball and go home, I can stand on my own two feet, I don't actually live in Herefordshire's farming community.

I can do the time, unlike some who do the crime and won't do the time.

It's the gnawing guilt I can't abide.

Yours,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
(I moved away from Arkengarthdale because I didn't want to cloud the patch of that Archbishop what's-his-name from York, which is near to Arkengarthdale; the parishioners of that simple farming community would have become confused and disturbed; I did note, before I left, a surprising number of Hereford bulls up my end of the vale, viz. none whatsoever, maybe it's the climate doesn't agree with their coats, or they prefer the lusher grasses of the Welsh borderlands.)

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

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