The Prorex Makes her Point
Cat slowly shook his head as the Prorex failed to laugh at my joke and proceeded to prod me several times in the chest saying very loudly,
“Are you here to fix the latrines? They keep blocking you know. So very annoying for our visitors. It’s urgent you know,” she ended, with a staccato series of none too painless pointy finger jabs to my upper body.
As I started to say that I was not a sanitary engineer, the Commander stepped forward and gently eased the old dear back a bit saying,
“Ma’am, this is the Inspector. He’s here to be help us with the hole.”
“Well, that’s what I thought,” responded the Prorex, “the latrines are a disgrace. High time someone looked into them. Ruddy awful smell.”
So, my fast thinking brain as ever worked out the situation. This scatty old dear was some ceremonial head of the Old Thames Bridge and obviously they wheeled her out in any moments of crisis. Ceremonial figures always had their place at times like this. She was obviously a couple of asteroids short of a belt, so I thought I’d better try to explain my role clearly.
“Ma’am,” I began, “I am a tax inspector and I’m here because a hole has apparently appeared in one of your Dromes. I have nothing whatsoever to do with toilets.”
As I spoke, I realised how ridiculous that sounded. If I was tax inspector, why would I be investigating a hole, toilet or otherwise? Oh I guess she might, if she could find her asteroids for a moment, think that I meant a hole in someone’s finances? I guess. However none of that really mattered as, whilst I was musing on why as a tax inspector I kept investigating things other than taxes, the dear old Prorex went for me again. This time with even more ferocious finger jabbing.
“Young man,” she intoned in a quite shaky, aged way, “I don’t like tax inspectors. I don’t like tax and I don’t like paying tax. The Old Thames Bridge already pays too much tax to The Council and we won’t pay a credit more.”
She finger jabbed really rather expertly as she literally spat out each word. And trust me there was quite a bit of spit. By the time she’d finished I was drenched. And my stomach hurt from the jabbing. And then something a little unfortunate happened. On one of her last jabs her finger went right through the small metal ring that attached my Victorian compass to my tunic. Effectively her bony jabbing finger became attached to me, along with the rest of her.
To be continued……..