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theless spent many hours walking round the beautiful gardens wishing I was a gardener there. When I discovered I was about to be promoted, with all the extra responsibilities involved, I decided it was time to leave. The timing was perfect. Between two and five years of service you could leave and claim back every penny of one’s pension contributions, so I left at four years, eleven months and two weeks and claimed the lot. My boss was horrified. “How will you accumulate your full forty years contribution?” he pleaded. I said I had no idea how life would pan out in the intervening time and would find the money useful now. He was dead six months after that, at about forty years old, so what good his efforts at accumulating payments?
Incidentally, I spent my money on a thoroughly lazy year off before university while having lots of sex.
A propos of university, I ended up owing a great deal of Poll Tax. By the time I graduated, and to save myself from persecution, I arranged to pay the sum off in small monthly instalments. I “forgot” to pay them after about four months, and have never heard a thing about it since. This is precisely what is described in How To Be Free.
My wife just telephoned in a somewhat agitated state to say she was being bullied into going onto an “on-call” rota at Forensics, where she works halftime pathologist. She said she thought they might threaten to terminate her
employment if she refused. I said, just say, “no”. Call their bluff. If they sacked her, so what? And that is what she will do, and a lot happier she sounded when she hung up. Yours sincerely Matthew Black Australia
BLOW THE HOUSE DOWN Dear Idler Like many others, I have been sickened by the smoking ban. Now pubs hold no appeal for me. I can’t get comfortable if I can’t smoke in a pub—I’d rather be at home, or in someone else’s house.
So for fag-addicted idlers whose natural habitat was the local, here is a post-ban code of conduct. It’s an early stab, and we’d all welcome sensible additions to it. When you see an empty pub, don’t just walk past it. Go inside and gloat, as loudly as you can, involving as many of the bar staff as possible, but take care not to order anything.
Even if they built huge, weatherproof shelters with comfortable, dry seating installed with plasma screens showing the cricket, don’t go anywhere near any pubs that had any sort of non-smoking area before the ban came into effect. Such pubs are run by body fascists.
Never, ever eat food in a pub. The one thought that consoled publicans
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