It was 2016, the year when BT admitted that the telephone had actually only been invented in 2007. Prior to this, BT’s installation process involved hiding actors behind the skirting board and paying them to mimic the voices of your friends and family. The unemployment associated with the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008 was really just these actors being laid off.
It was July, and I still hadn’t received my invitation to this year’s detective’s awards. May and June had passed without a word, but then Sophie stopped to talk “I don’t think you’re invited’, she said. I sighed, and picked a bourbon out of the drawer. I dunked it in my tea. “Look on the bright side,” she said “at least now you don’t have to make small talk with the others.” She didn’t understand; I wanted to be there, making small talk with the others, bumping into the odd guest and occasionally a normal one.
I called to Baxter, my assistant. Baxter was a bright lad, with eyes like a hawk: small, beady, and attached to the face of a hawk. It must have been quite inconvenient for him, but I didn’t want to pry into his private matters. He was a valued member of my team - witty, tongue in cheek. He had spent the morning searching for leads and found it, in a matter of hours, near Bradford.
I called across to him. “Baxter, what do you think? Why weren’t we invited?” Baxter said nothing, and simply shrugged. The problem with being tongue-in-cheek is that it does make it difficult to talk.