Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Future Tense

Daniel Popper is about to have a very bad day.

It will begin when his girlfriend ends their relationship at 7.27am. It will worsen at 9.15am when he is made redundant. Having lost both his girlfriend and his job within 108 minutes of each other, Daniel will grow to hate the phrases “I’ve got to let you go” (girlfriend) and “It’s not you, it’s me” (employer).

Daniel will then attempt to drown his sorrows. However, he will find out that he is unable to withdraw any money from the nearest ATM, being deep in the financial impossibility that is being over his overdraft limit. He will come to the conclusion that, with minus minus money and without any income, he is effectively bankrupt. Daniel will then attempt to drown himself.

On the way to the canal, Daniel’s day will improve slightly when he runs into his best friend, Graham. Graham will buy him drinks.

His misery lubricated by alcohol, Daniel will lament that he has “Pissed his life up the wall.” He will then bitterly reflect that pissing up a wall, particularly a long way up a very high wall, would imply some sense of achievement. His day’s brief improvement will then end.

He will bewail that all he has to show for career earnings of around £100,000 are a very big television that is too large for his living room and a boxed set of The Wire. He will curse himself for living a champagne lifestyle on beer money. He will then correct himself and instead curse himself for living a premium continental lager lifestyle on Special Brew money. Daniel will then ruefully conclude that he will now be living a Special Brew lifestyle on no money.

Daniel will go on to bemoan the fact that his lack of job will no doubt perpetuate his lack of woman, as the first question any potential mate will ask is “What do you do?” However, Daniel will not know that it will be a good one year and 100 days before any member of the opposite sex will even think about asking this question. Nor will he know that the answer will not have changed in the meantime.

Graham will attempt to raise his friend’s spirits. He will observe that there are plenty more fish in the sea. Daniel will observe that he cannot “fucking fuck a fucking fish” and does not wish to become a fisherman. Graham will end his efforts there.

Upon leaving the pub six hours later, Daniel will be splashed by a car. He will not realise that he has left his wallet in the pub, from the contents of which his identity will be forged, eventually embroiling him in a highly improbable series of events involving international terrorism. He will also be unaware that his pet cat, Hodge, will have grown weary of his repeated absences and supermarket own brand cat food and adopted his neighbours instead.

But before all that, Daniel Popper will be awoken from a hitherto excellent dream about racing a rocket car across the Nevada salt flats by the sound of Celine Dion caterwauling her way through My Heart Will Go On.

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