Hoofprint Advice

Upon waking, the sight of hoofprints on the ceiling, hoofprints that were not there when you fell asleep, can be worrisome. The regime has now issued a helpful step-by-step guide setting out precisely what to do in the circumstances.

i. Remain lying in bed, quite still, staring at the ceiling. Try to recall any dreams you may have had while you were asleep. Did any hooved beasts, such as goats or horses, feature in these dreams? If so, they were probably not dreams at all, and thus you have a preliminary explanation for the hoofprints on your ceiling. Report this immediately to your local nocturnal hoofprint investigating officer.

ii. If you did not dream of hooved beasts, or cannot recall doing so, you are left without a satisfactory explanation for the hoofprints. This will not do. Get out of bed, plunge your head into a pail of icy water, thrice, and look again at the ceiling. If the hoofprints are no longer visible, bury the memory of ever having seen them.

iii. If, on the other hand, the hoofprints are still there, clamber on to a step ladder and try to obliterate them with a rag and a proprietary cleansing spray such as Hoofbegone!â„¢. If you are able to eradicate the hoofprints entirely, fold up your step ladder, return the spray to your cupboard, and wash the rag in warm soapy water.

iv. It may be that the hoofprints on your ceiling are impossible to remove. Do not even think about painting over them with whitewash. Instead, get dressed in something fetching and pay a visit to the local nocturnal hoofprint investigation office. Make an appointment to see a ceiling hoofprint specialist.

v. At the subsequent interview, before you are tied to a chair in the cellar, provide the specialist with any snapshots you have taken of your ceiling. When asked to describe the hoofprints, and any other phenomena that may be pertinent, give full and frank answers before the hood is pulled over your head.

vi. When you recover consciousness in a ditch in a remote part of the country, dressed in a paper suit, make your way to the border. Report to the guards, and on no account say a word about the hoofprints. Submit willingly when one of the guards points a sort of magnetic ray gun at your brain.

vii. As a sleeper agent in the neighbouring statelet, obtain a menial job and await further instructions. Note that the suckers on your hands and newly-behooved feet should be kept free of dust and grime. Avoid podiatrists, even in social settings such as cocktail parties and pétanque tournaments.

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