The kettle cull (Part 4)

17 Dec

THE Misfit is staring at her computer screen, shoulders back, arms hanging straight at her sides. She sniffs, wrinkles her nose, frowns intensely and says across the desk in her broad Yorkshire accent: “We’re all kettles, you know. We’re all kettles in a way.”

I pause mid-headline on a story about an undertaker from Beverley who’s been refused permission to stage Viking-style funerals on the Humber estuary.

“That’s how they look at us,” she continues. “They being the intellectually-challenged people responsible for running this company. I’ll just revise that. They being the intellectually-challenged people who run this company irresponsibly.”

I feel I am expected to respond so I say: “We are kettles?”

She frowns intensely again and says: “Kettles. We are little kettles with little spouts, and little feet that don’t move so we just stand there and get picked off one by one.”

“I see.”

“They get rid of the kettles on the pretext they keep shorting out the electrical circuits in this dilapidated building that no money is ever spent on, therefore making it hugely inconvenient for us to have a brew, therefore saving money because we spend less time brewing up and use less electricity. Then once all the kettles have gone, they issue another round of redundancy notices to get rid of more of us. The unlucky few – or is it the lucky few, I can never get that one straight in my head – follow the kettles through the door, clutching their P45s, in the week before Christmas.”

“I see the point you’re making. What sort of kettle do you see yourself as? I feel I identify with the old black-bottomed variety that has a few dents and whistles when it boils.”

“Dunno,” says the Misfit. “A Russell Hobbs 13775 with concealed element and 360-degree rotational base, I suppose. Does anyone actually give a fuck?”

“Not really,” I whisper, and glide back to the Humber estuary like a silent longship.

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