A good few years passed with nothing much to take note of. Whatever he was expecting to happen in both his forties and his fifties did not happen, not a lot did. On the eve of his sixtieth birthday, McIver poured the boiling water from the kettle onto his Pot Noodle and decided now, five minutes before the deadline, he would put the lottery on one last time.
As he struggled with the tiny buttons on his phone, he remembered a time when the dexterical simplicities of his youth came to him so naturally and fluidly. He could amble, he could frolic, he could dial a phone number without repeatedly pressing the wrong digits, not that phone numbers existed in 2043.
An odd calm came over him as he bought the ticket and took his seat next to the large window, his trusty foot stool by his side, his old man blanket covering the delicate parts of his frail frame. As the numbers popped up one by one a fire was lit beneath his amble behind, a warmth he hadn’t felt in decades. Six numbers in a row picked out like posies in a summer meadow. A cool one point five million was his and his alone because there were no other winners that night.
The first thing he did was hire a butler. Mackford showed up the next day at 8am sharp dressed in the finest attire that the North-East could throw up. Mackford was not his name but the butler would go by any name to assume the position that lottery bucks could afford.
He looked at his new master, the greying yet still handsome Mr McIver, a cheerful look on his face admonishing all the years that ageing had taken away from him. Why, he looked ten years younger already dressed in his usual checked shirt and jumbledown jeans. A cut-price squire, a Lidl lord, the dapper red snapper.
“Take me to Greggs, Mackford,” he announced, stepping into his Seat Ibiza, carefully making his way into the back over the passenger seat, “I’m in the mood for pasties.”
Away they sped through the mid-morning air. The traffic, low and humming, the streets empty because it was a Tuesday morning and everyone of purpose was already at work. He hadn’t felt this at ease in years.
Outside they stood, Mackford eager to take up the challenge of his master, McIver licking his lips in anticipation of the prizes that awaited him. The latter entered the hallowed premises, softly at first but picking up speed as he deftly nimbled past the sandwiches. It wasn’t too long before there was a tap on his shoulder and Mackford was back at his side. “Is there a problem?” asked McIver. Mackford looked forlornly at his feet and nodded. Only the worst could have happened, they must be out already. Some fat pie hogger has hogged all the pies!
“I won’t stand for this! Out of my way, Mackford, I must see the manager!”
“It’s not what you think, sir,” replied Mackford, “there’s plenty on the trays. I… I don’t know how to say this but due to inflation the cost of a cheese and onion pasty has shot up to one hundred pounds a pasty.”
“A pasty? That’s outrageous. I’ve never heard of such an absurd concept, Mackford. What kind of a world do we live in when a ludicrous lukewarm smear of dairy and vegetable costs that much? Damn and blast, I can’t leave here empty-handed. I’ll have to settle for a sausage roll instead.”
“It only gets worse, sir, the sausage rolls are fifty pounds each.”
McIver took a seat on the nearest bench before he toppled over in disgust. A cold sweat appeared on his brow, a fearful chill down his back. He was finally living his dream, the dream of all dreams, the life of luxury only it was too late. The economy had caught up, inflation had made devils of them all and there was no way around it. With his head in his hands, McIver wept the sweet weeping of a lifetime and all the yum yums in the world couldn’t raise a smile on those lips.
13 comments on “The Craxford Diaries”
In a world where you have £1m, but a sausage roll costs £50, you’re not going to be employing that butler for long. Best get the most out of the one day you can afford to pay him.
Good hired help is hard to come by these days. As long as he can polish the cheeses properly then I’m happy. Nuts to dem expensive s’rolls.
OK, let’s get real. A Greggs sausage roll is £1.25 according to the internet. The average UK annual wage is £29,000. That means that the average person earns 23,200 Greggs sausage rolls a year.
If a sausage roll was £50, and the ratio stayed the same, then average annual earnings in the UK would be £1,160,000. So in other words your lottery winnings are worth about £30k in today’s money. It’s nice but it’s not going to get you a butler.
What I’m saying is that this fantasy story is an absolute fantasy.
That got real very quickly. Look at you bringing maths into my fantasy. Now it’s all ruined.
I hope you’re happy.
Happy? I’m delighted. I was only hoping to get real, so ruining your fantasy is a real bonus. Don’t talk to me, I’m busy savouring this moment.
Why don’t you go savour a sausage roll and do us all a favour?
Because I can’t afford one and neither can you, as I have now proved to the satisfaction of the court. Prepare for sentencing. You’re going down for a long, long time.
Your big fancy London pounds can still afford sausage rolls. Don’t hide behind your sensual eyelashes like you always do, it won’t work this time.
I’m fluttering them lashes like billy-o. Why isn’t it working? This ALWAYS works.
Billy-O? Billy Ocean?
Yeah. Don’t you remember, while he was singing about getting out of his dreams and into his car, how his eyelashes were continuously fluttering? It’s what made him a sex symbol, or at least a symbol.
Wait, Billy Ocean wanted to get out of his own dreams and into his own car? Surely he can do that any time he wants? Why write a song about it? Baffling to say the least.
You have to write songs about something. Writing them about nothing won’t bring you pop success. Just ask the Papples.