This manuscript, battered and carrying tell tale splashes of paint was pushed through my door late last night.
Could it be from a writer in an alternative universe, a slip stream inhabitant or a terrifying warning from the near future, you decide.
Ken’s tongue traced his upper lip as he put the finishing touches
to the French windows. Ken was a bit of a perfectionist, or a pain in
the arse if his ex was to be believed. He stood, hands on hips and
surveyed his handy-work and a contented smile slid across his face.
Time for a cup of tea, he thought, so he strolled into the kitchen
and switched on the radio, which was permanently anchored to
radio 4, mainly so he’d never miss The Arches.
“We interrupt this programme with a newsflash. The
government has tabled a green paper that any householder of any
type of dwelling that paints their walls magnolia will be fined
£75,000 or a prison sentence up to a maximum of 15 years
depending on the number of offending walls.
A spokesman for the government said this afternoon:
“We see this as yet another example of broken Britain and beige
and tope are also in our sights.”
Police had mounted early morning raids on hardware stores
across England and Wales. Police were forced to use batons as an
assistant manager at Sainsbury’s Homebase in Orpington started
“Come on and get if you think you are hard enough”
It finally took a hail of rubber bullets to bring the situation under
control said a police spokesman. So far15 million gallons of
magnolia have been destroyed. We now return to our normal
Ken could not believe his ears, Magnolia is a lovely colour. The
whole of the downstairs was Magnolia. Ken slowly did the maths, 10
walls – they’d throw the book at him. Panicking, he ran into the
shed and studied the top shelf where he kept any unused tins of
paint. He read their labels Magnolia, Magnolia, Beige, Tope, Tope,
White, Magnolia White, Magnolia, Magnolia.
He was not part of Broken Britain; he was a computer
programmer, he could talk for hours about code and often did. He
worked on a Business Park for goodness sake – He shopped at
Sainsbury’s – he had a Bag-For-Life, how unbroken is that?
Then the thunderbolt struck, as he later described it in his police
statement. He was not going to cow-tow to some government
knee-jerk reaction. He undid the top button of his shirt, which for
Ken was like Clark Kent ripping off his shirt in a local phonebox. He
strode out of the shed like a man possessed. He took the pencil
from behind his ear found the sharpener in the kitchen draw and
sharpened it to a lethal point. He took the hall stairs two at a
time, stepping past the bathroom, with the pleasing aroma of
Parazone tickling his nose. Muttering, “Broken Britain, Broken
Britain, I listen to The Archers for heavens sake – the whatsit has
turned” he concluded. What was it that turned? He could not
remember Anyway whatever it was, he was it!
Ken opened the door to his study, which was actually the upstairs
spare bedroom. The Tope coloured walls were lined with box files.
He closed the floral curtains, the last remaining trace of his ex
which he was reluctant to part with, took one of the files down,
opened it and chose a blue exercise book and wrote on the front in
large capital letters, THE MAGNOLIA LIBERTION FRONT, quietly
whistling under his breath the country classic ‘A boy named Sue’.