Monday, 19 December 2011

A Dorsetshire Labourer

We've had a bit of a surprise this evening.

A knock came at the door. We opened it to a strangely familiar, rather skeletal form in a white smock-frock - a little tatty, but still well-care-for.

Thomas Leaf.

It would appear that, way back in September 1858 when Leaf pushed our Porsche Cayenne off the cliff to achieve the right speed, he fell off the cliff after it. Actually, it wasn't just Leaf - he had his two fellow-idiots, Christian Cantle and Joseph Poorgrass, with him and they all simultaneously forgot to let go. As we reached the critical speed it wasn't just the Cayenne and we inside who were transferred back across the multiverse. It was the three smock-clad gorms who were still pushing.

When we staggered out of the wreckage we were able, with the remarkable collection of mint Victorian postage stamps we brought with us, to get some quick cash and a car to drive back home. The three yokels who had been left in the bushes on the side of the cliff, we hadn't noticed. It turns out that Thomas has spent the last fifteen months in tracking us down.

To be fair to him, he's been making himself useful. After doing a rough impression of Tess of the D'Urberville's  journey from Sandbourne to Stonehenge, he turned sharp right and washed up in Bracknell.

An odd place, is Bracknell. It is technically in Hardy's Wessex, but I'm not sure Tommy H would ever have approved. Thomas Leaf, dressed in a smock, speaking with a 19th Century Dorset accent and with old-fashioned views of value, naturally got a job in the Waitrose marketing department. After his dedication to tradition was recognised by the higher-ranking powers that be, he ended up in Victoria Street where, due to his inability to understand post-modernism and lack of insight into the human condition, he came up with the idea of the John Lewis Christmas ad.

And from where, with some advice, he made his way to Husborne Crawley. He says he doesn't want to be in Marketing any more - as a character from a 19th Century pastoral novel he's  had quite enough living in a fantasy world. He wants to be a farm labourer again, but the days of dozens of people harvesting one field are long gone.

We've given him a spade and told him to clear the ditches. He's happy as Larry. In fact, it was hard enough to stop him going out there immediately. He's not got any brighter after 18 months in Marketing. And we can get no real idea of what's happened to Christian Cantle and Joseph Poorgrass - apart from Tommy Leaf remarking that they're "something in the City now".

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