Miles Kington: The agony of cannon and balls

'Yes, I am having a lesbian affair. Be shocked! Be outraged! But for heaven's sake tell me what to do'
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The Independent Online

Most agony columns are written by agony aunts, lovely people who dole out emotional comfort and supportive advice and the psychological equivalent of a nice cup of tea.

This agony column is quite different. All the emotional problems that people have written to me about recently are answered today briskly and sensibly by a bank manager, and no nonsense.

Thank God for a practical agony aunt, at last.

All yours, Mr Price, and the first problem, please...


Dear Mr Price: Can you possibly advise me in the appalling situation in which I find myself?

I am female and 23 years old.

I work in a circus.

I am one half of a cannonball act.

I am, in fact, the human cannonball.

I am loaded into the barrel of the cannon, wearing a spangly top and fishnet tights, and after an agonising wait I am fired 50 feet across the ring into a net.

The firing is done by my partner, Zebod, who lights a large firework in the back end of the barrel to simulate the firing mechanism.

As soon as the bang is heard, I am ejected from the cannon .

Of course, I am not ejected by any explosive device at all – there is a huge spring that operates a kind of board which pushes me at speed out of the cannon. The acceleration is swift yet gentle and cannot hurt me as long as I lie in the correct position.


Mr Price, the bank manager, writes: I wonder if we are getting anywhere near to your query, as I have to go to a meeting two hours from now?


Dear Mr Price: Yes, I am getting there.

The thing is, my partner, Zebod, whose real name is Toby, has suspected for a long time that I am having an affair with a Peruvian in charge of the Liberty horses. Toby has a fiery temper, and I am afraid that he might do something murderous, like put a really powerful firework in the cannon and blast me to kingdom come. What should I do? Yours, Suzie, the Human Cannon Ball.


Mr Price, the bank manager writes:

Dear Mrs Ball, let's get a few basic details sorted first. Do you have a bank account? Is your current account healthy? Is your repayment programme sorted out? And have you written a will?


Dear Mr Price: I don't think you quite understand. I am in fear for my life. The thing is, Toby is quite right when he suspects me of having an affair with the Peruvian in charge of the horses. Conchita is in love with me and I am with Conchita. Yes, you read right! She is a woman! I am having a lesbian affair! All right, be shocked! Be outraged! But for heaven's sake tell me what I should do!

Conchita is a real woman and I love her! Toby is a real man and I hate him – he is furtive and fearful and vengeful! What should I do, Mr Price?


Mr Price, the bank manager, writes:

Dear Ms Suzie, I am glad to say that my bank has come up with some new products that should cover your case more than adequately, including a very competitive life insurance package capable of compensating for any life-terminating experience during a human cannonball job scheme.

You would also do well to look at our comprehensive Monosexual Partner Bonus Policy, which will bring untold benefits to two people of the same sex living together in a settled relationship, as long as they do not adopt children.

Trusting this satisfies all the points raised in your communication.


Dear Mr Price: You don't even begin to understand, do you? And now I have just discovered that Toby, my partner, is having an affair with Conchita, the woman I thought loved me! Tonight I am going to shoot them both! I don't care! Unfortunately, I don't have a gun.


Mr Price, the bank manager, writes:

Dear Ms Cannon Ball, Perhaps you would care to discuss our third world arms policy, whereby we can finance all your arms-buying as long as you register as a developing nation.


Miles Kington writes: I am glad to tell you that all Suzie's problems have now been cleared up. Do you have any emotional problems for Mr Price the bank manager? Just get in touch!