Saturday, 22 August 2009

Going postal

“A surprise invitation may come as a welcome surprise to some and a prospect to others, especially the less socially inclined, of unimaginable horrors.” Odd thing to write on a surprise invitation reflected QT. The host, he immediately noted from the shakily written signature “X” at the bottom, was from a former employee of Unlikely Solutions Ltd. He had shown unqualified promise, despite his lack of qualifications. Office lore had it that he had gone stark raving mad. “Spreadsheet blindness” as it was commonly known, however its clinical name was “Excelleritus”. Both the informal former and formal latter classification had caused some confusion of the misnomered kind. It wasn't that the excessive use of a certain branded software program, from which the condition takes it name, induced psychological breakdown, rather, there was a peculiar virus attracted to number keys that, when exposed to over a number of years, subtlety alters the chemical composition of the brain's neural transmitters to that of a heavily fruited cake, with the addition of the occasional walnut. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember. QT read on: “As some of you may know, despite my condition, I have managed to rehabilitate myself - well, more like resuscitate and resurrect - as a respected journalist. With some success, dare I say. You may have noticed my syndicated column “Going Postal” penned under the pseudonym, R. U. Barking. That wasn't my idea by-the-way. I may be mad, but I'm not insane.” The spidery scrawl continued ... "In case you haven't been following the substance of my jottings on a week-by-week basis, I outline my plan, in pedantic detail - names, dates and so on - to carry out a preplanned work-place massacre and also expound upon on the vicissitudes of the nondescript columnist turned mass executioner. This is no mere attention-seeking gimmick, I fully intend to make good on the deal, as I have often stated in my column. Speaking of deals, and to the purpose of my writing, I'm inviting you to celebrate the book and film tie-in at a special launch party to be held last weekend." Hmm ... thought QT. Glad I missed it. He looked down at the doormat to see what other postal delights awaited his attention, when he noticed the headline on the folded paper. "Police Launch Investigation into Last Weekend's Launch Party Massacre Massacre". Apparently the police didn't have a clue. If only they'd had a tip-off. He read on: "As they say, there's no such thingamajig as bad publicity and I think we can safely say we have blockbuster on hands come next summer" the Chief Inspector went on to observe, "you've got to admire the campaign managers and promoters, they certainly got my attention."

The hostage, whom "X" had threatened to take with him if his more than reasonable demand "just to be taken seriously as an artist" wasn't met with polite reviews, had survived after the police marksmen stormed the scene, some half an hour before, or so, the Chief Inspector had given the actual order to "storm the scene". The marksmen had manged to kill and maim slightly fewer innocent bystanders. A blessing QT supposed; not to be a critic, but they had taken him seriously, only not in the manner "X" had hoped for.

"He had a life plan" one of the neighbours was poignantly quoted as saying.

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