nonfiction about things that didn't happen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I had this idea for a story, it starts with a series of columns in the Guardian by a man, a cross between Charlie Brooker and George Monbiot. He makes a snide suggestion that the least intelligent 20% of the country should be denied the right to vote. Between him and the online commenters it begins to be less of a joke and they end up establishing a party with this aim.

The next thing that happens is that The Sun or someone starts a counter-movement, creating a party with the aim of denying the vote to the 20% of the population with the highest intelligence (I don't know how intelligence would be measured). And it would go on from there.

The reason I thought this story would be interesting is because I think a lot of people think they know best, and that the world would be better if stupid people couldn't vote, and I thought it would be interesting to see who would vote for what party, like whether they would each get an equal share of the votes, and whether the percentage that voted for the intelligent party would be the most intelligent people, or just the cockiest.

Anyway I thought it would all be a bit naff and heavy-handed.

Monday, August 10, 2009



Oh Graham, you're hopeless! What on earth made you think these were a good idea, she pointed across the room at the foyer paintings, and went at them purposefully, where on earth did you dig these up from? A police auction, the first visit I couldn't think about anything but the cameras. Just act as if they aren't here, Matthew had said, she grabbed at the picture nearest her, the signal this is sending to your customers is look, we don't care about style, we don't care about looking up-to-date, and with that they are going to think well if they don't care about their interior design, they won't care about me, what do you think Deborah, I've always hated them, right since the day he bought them. Graham, you know that. She dropped the picture into a waiting bin, that was great, Rebecca, that'll be great stuff, well done Graham, now if we can do some in the back room, the office, a make-up girl was flustering over her but didn't actually seem to be doing anything but touching the air around her

Graham, your cavalier spending, really, it has to stop, and I looked at her and knew that it was coming from Rebecca, I know, and I didn't mind, and in the meantime we need to, to generate some income, some additional income from somewhere else, Rebecca breezed in, she couldn't have been younger than thirty-five, I'd seen older men with younger women, uglier men too, than me, and less funny, oh, are you two discussing your finances, that's good, Deborah and I have looked over the books and there's no way, Graham, that you can continue to spend at your current level and keep this business open, we reached an agreement that I should sell off some of the statues, really I would have sold anything.

Rebecca, I took a breath and tucked my hands deep in my pockets, I am so, I'm really so grateful at what you've done for us, and honestly, really I don't know what we'd have done. If you hadn't come I think me, that Deborah and I would have been, it would have been over, the business would have been over, she strode towards me and wrapped her arms round my middle, you buffoon, it's you you should be thanking, you've put in so much hard work yourself, you've really turned this place around, you and Deborah, I clutched her tight, she felt surprised, I think I love you, she pulled her arms back from me and shoved them into my chest and I fell backwards onto the coffee table, Matthew was staring at us both, okay what's going on, Rebecca, Graham, what's going on, Rebecca, do we need, are you okay? I think we, okay, right, I think we should, just all sit down now, and talk, I don't think I can carry on here, Matthew? could we please travel straight to, straight up to Hartlepool and get all that shot and finished, and you or someone can talk to Graham and Deborah about it, about carrying on, she seemed determined not to look at me, why don't we sit down, Joe we don't need to be filming this darling, she was already making for the car park, hang on let's get things clear here before we go anywhere

I saw her struggle up the attic ladder with a box of our old rubbish and I went up after her, by the time I'd got up she'd put the box down and was standing at the top of the ladder. Can I talk to you, I was standing on the top rung of the ladder, my face was the height of her breasts, she was wearing a quite long black dress with a greeny-grey petticoat, she took a step back to allow me to get off the ladder into the attic, I don't there's anything to talk about, well I'm, I just wanted at the very least, just to apologise for, not for saying what I said but for the timing when I said it, you know I'm sorry for that, but I still, I'm not sorry for that I said it, really, I don't want to talk about this, I'm here to finish this and after that, just ignore me until tomorrow and if you need to talk to anyone I suggest your wife, she started to go down the ladder, please let me, look I, I want to talk, I think I could make you happy, I was thinking and this business, it's looking good, now, all thanks to you, and it's, I own it, it's in my name, it's just in my name, and we could, oh I don't know, she was gone

There was a spread on for the crew, now Rebecca = egg and cress = Rebecca, Deborah, what makes you, why do you have to believe everyone but me