A preview of my next four columns

DO I write to you? No. You can sleep easy in your beds, knowing for sure that, come the morning, your doormat will not be disfigured by the mephitic squelch of a letter from me, criticising the way you write software, pull teeth, manage the imbecilic workforce in your dodgy business, preach sermons, negotiate settlements, teach maths, can peaches, restore sofas ... cor blimey what a lot of things there are for people to do, innit? (Here's a handy hint: next time you get bored with your meaningless, repetitive life, just reach for a copy of the Yellow Pages and browse through the index. It's startling, the things people do to put a crust on the table, the poor buggers. One wonders what historians of the future - I mean future historians, not historians who study the future, though I bet they've got them, too, in America - would make of it. A pig's ear, probably. They get all the details wrong, and don't talk to me about primary sources; at least 50 per cent of all my notes, account-books and memoranda are deliberately false or, at the least, misleading, and as for my letters ... Ah.)

Yes. Letters. I don't write to you, but you write to me. I had a real porker the other morning (do I mean "corker"? No; "porker" is better): three pages of closely-written holograph denouncing me, my attitudes, my racism, sexism, arrogance, stupidity and nastiness. I was (the writer observed) old, fat and lecherous. My hair was a mess and my eyes pointed in different directions. I had a nasty venal look about my mouth. The writer claimed to have met a woman I once went out with, and I was a bastard who had ruined her life. But the final straw (she said) was that she never knew what I was going to write about next, except that it would be "repetitive, mawkish, and stuffed with Latin and other unnecessary showings-off".

We can't have that. There's nothing I can do about the other stuff except resign, get liposuction and die, but this one I can fix. Here, specially for Ms F--- C---- of A---- Street, London S--, are a few trailers for coming attractions.

30 May 1999: ... colossal explosion and before I knew it she had torn off all her clothes and ... small puddle on the immaculate parquet floor, despite everything Tony Blair claims to stand for ... bearded twat with a mouth like a rodent's privities ... nothing to learn from Guyana ... articulation of Bach's early chorale preludes quite out of keeping with modern "authentic" performance style ... leather-clad dominatrix ... don't talk to me about fettucini.

6 June 1999: ... timeless ruins ... marmorial but somehow evanescent ... postmodernism ... very street in which I was once so happy ... psychic wound far back in early childhood ... pat of butter smack in the face, right under the eyes of a traffic warden ... the finest panama hats, of course, being Monte Cristi superfine ... flipped her over without warning and ... tiny oleaginous room- service waiter clutching a bottle of turps and a shaving-brush ... "But you can't have a view of the Acropolis in Rome," he snarled ... voluptuous curves and the scent of coumarine and ambergris ... eggs Benedict ... innovative mathematical model of binary star-systems, which he sold to the ... sodomising a dugong ... unsatisfactory conclusion ... Tony Blair's fault.

13 June 1999: ... shuddering descent into Heathrow ... whiny-voiced proletariat ... nylon leisurewear ... pall of dirty yellow haze ... think air-conditioning had never been invented ... how would it be if everyone did it ... all right for some ... Cassius Dio, I think it was, said that ... immaculately cut Solaro cloth suit ... flashing-eyed beauty with a secretive smile ... actually buys Richard Clayderman, except the Chinese, who know no better ... four-poster bed with shackles at each corner ... John Donne's The Good Morrow ... pat of butter smack in the face ... the grey London dawn ... rid ourselves of little Mr Blair once and for all ... angry and inflamed ... dispossessed and disenfranchised ... GP's surgery ... lotion ...

20 June 1999: ... illusions of childhood, or is it just me? ... sand in the ice-cream cone ... ferry clanking across the bay on its chains ... poor Dylan Thomas ... fat git ... white bread, of course, the only way to clean a Monte Cristi ... smell of turpentine ... psychic wound ... only find them in Essex (I think the word is "scrannet") ... immaculately cut Solaro cloth suit ... pat of butter smack in the face ... looked like it had cleared up, but then I noticed a ... hell Blair thinks he's doing ... flashing-eyed beauty with a secretive smile ... suppose they think it's clever ... "let you know," but she never did.

There. Now you know what to expect. Repetitive and mawkish? I think not. Res, as they say, ipsa loquitur.

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