A Letter From Neville Mossop

A letter plops on to the mat:

Dear Mr Key, My name is Neville Mossop. The latest outpouring on your foolish website was brought to my attention by my dentist. I have to say that I do not take kindly to having my name bandied about by the likes of you, purely for the purpose of amusing your readers (if there are any, apart from my dentist). You did not even bother to seek my permission. If you knew anything about me, I doubt you would be so cavalier. I have had a very difficult life. As a child I was teased incessantly by my playmates on account of my inability to punctuate sentences after my opening sallies they treated me cruelly oh so cruelly in fact one day when I went to have a go on the swings a boy whose name coincidentally was also Neville Mossop took a bowl of milk slops and upended it over my head then poked at me with a twig while reciting in a singsong voice some ditty he had learned from a book of insulting ditties I cannot recall the exact words but they pierced me like spikes and I began to blub like a ninny which only made things worse particularly when I arrived home and saw that my ma was cooking swordfish for supper again even though she knew quite well that swordfish played havoc with my innards I will spare you the details because they are too monstrous to repeat suffice to say I had to be carted off to a clinic and missed a whole term of school I think the one where they taught punctuation of sentences after the first few so you can appreciate that I have had a terrible time and have become a self-pitying whiner rather than the international man of mystery with a Peter Wyngarde style moustache I always yearned to be and still do but I fear it is too late as I am now ninety two years of age and very few if any agencies employ international men of mystery of such advanced years and I would say I live in hope but I do not I am thoroughly pessimistic to the point where I wake up every morning groaning and cursing the memory of Neville Mossop my childhood acquaintance who caused me such grief and now I have to put up with you causing me grief too as well as my dentist who told me not to waste his time making an appointment to see him when I have not got any teeth left in my gob being so old and withered unlike the young scamp with the same name as me who chases swans in parks I never chased a swan but you should know that the only reason I left the clinic after that bout of swordfish poisoning was because I was chased out of it by swans a whole gaggle of them honking horribly they chased me out of my bed and out of the ward and along the corridor and down the stairs and out of the door and into the grounds and out of the gate and I was still in my hospital gown and still the swans came after me savage and relentless and then I developed a massive nosebleed which was the last thing I needed well I suppose not the last thing because the last thing would be death and it is rare to die from a nosebleed but I expect you would die from one if the flow was not staunched I staunched mine that day with some rags I found in a bin you can find all sorts of things in bins if you rummage for example just the other day I found some pages torn out of a book by Dennis Beerpint that someone had obviously found so stupid that they ripped them out and threw them away well I kept them and took them home and read them very carefully again and again over the next few days until I realised they were utter twaddle at which point I crumpled them up and took them back to the same bin to throw them away like the other person had done but the bin was gone it had been removed by municipal bin removers one of whom I later learned was also called Neville Mossop as were two of his colleagues which is quite a series of coincidences or maybe not perhaps it was a deliberate recruitment policy pursued by a madcap town hall bureaucrat whose name might also have been Neville Mossop for all I know and I suppose I could find out by going to the town hall and banging my fist on the reception desk until someone gave me a list of all the bureaucrats in the town hall but when you get to the age of ninety two the prospect of making the bus journey to the town hall is a bit too much to cope with and it seems far more enticing to stay sprawled in your bed cursing the young scamp Neville Mossop and swans and swordfish and people like you Mr Key who think it is amusing to write poppycock about someone you have never met and who might take umbrage at having his name besmirched. Yours sincerely, Neville Mossop.

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