Captain Midnight here with a bit of a conundrum.
Himself and I have an arrangement, or so I thought. He’s constantly surrounded by what he calls Very Important Papers. They are everywhere: lists of things-to-do; notes-to-self; bits of so-called poetry; stories and manuscripts; official looking letters in brown envelopes. I never touch any of them – as long as they are lying down on a flat surface.
On the other hand…
Paper that has been scrunched up is another matter. Himself obviously doesn’t want it anymore so, to maintain proper standards of data security, I generally shred it for him. I can’t say that he ever shows much gratitude for my efforts in this department but yesterday he was actually quite cross with me, even though all I had done was shred a small piece of crumpled paper that fell off the desk.
“It’s money,” he said. “You don’t chew money wherever you find it..”
“What’s money?” I asked.
“It’s a promise to give something of a certain value,” he said.
“You mean like a promise that you are going to give me chicken to eat?”
“Yes, something like that.”
“It can’t be worth much then,” I said. “Because when you promise me chicken, it doesn’t always appear in my bowl.”
For some reason Himself didn’t seem to appreciate the niceties of my argument. Instead, he gathered up the soggy remains and waved them under my nose.
“10 Euros!” he said. “I could have got a half-decent bottle of wine with that.”
I decided to look away and say nothing. Never tell the filth anything is my motto. Without a confession, he’d be hard-pressed to actually prove it was me.
“You’re lucky it’s not a British banknote,” he said. “You could go to prison for defacing Her Majesty’s currency.”
It seemed unwise to point out that Section 12 of the Currency and Banknotes Act of 1928 defines defacing as “to print, stamp or by any like means impress words, letters or figures upon a banknote” and that chewing clearly doesn’t fall within that definition.
I’m saving that one for next time.