You might find this surprising, but I used to be good and I used to be a worrier. I had several different levels of worry back in those days. Sometimes I’d worry about the environment and the greenhouse effect, and sometimes I’d worry about unemployment; but in the latter case it was only to fit in. Then there was my worry over social chaos, which was a nifty little theory I had concocted over a sausage sandwich in my favorite cafe, Malc’s Mini Diner. I used to brag about it a lot, citing my famous ‘butterfly effect‘ example, whereby a person who covers too many unrelated topics in a single conversation sets off a catastrophic chain of events culminating in the total destruction of the population of Venezuela through a mass epidemic of pinching. People never took me seriously, but I worked on my theory. I was on the verge of a major breakthrough, (which involved sending a female Albanian bank clerk to a small, barely known village near Kentucky to say ‘waffles‘ at precisely three o’clock pm in the village square (by the statue) in a thick, Australian drawl; the effects of which, I had calculated, would result in an end to war and hatred in the world and, more importantly, ten Scandinavian air hostesses knocking simultaneously on my apartment door ten weeks later, looking for free love and directions to Pretzio’s Pizza Palace (Pretzio is a good friend of mine) when I met Samantha Bonaski, a half polish student with lips that looked like they might puncture at any minute and curves like cascading orange peel.
I fell immediately in love. Although she was engaged to a brilliant college professor in my faculty, my theory won her over temporarily, and, for three incredible nights, we performed Olympic grade gymnastics in a small psychology laboratory, dutifully filling out questionnaires after our lovemaking. After that she told me she could never see me again, and I was devastated. In a flash, my altruistic phase was over. I resolved to murder the man who had taken Bonaski away from me and, before I had time to think about it rationally, the act was done. It was a classic crime of passion, but I covered my tracks by beating him mercilessly about the head with one of his own volumes and scribbling a self-depreciating suicide note inside the front cover. His critics were beside themselves with guilt, but his colleagues just nodded gravely and commented that the deceased had often been heard to remark that that book would be the death of him.
Initially, I was terrified at what I had done. For three days and nights I hid out beneath my bed, punishing myself by reading Deletant. Eventually my throbbing desire to see Bonaski again got the better of my guilt and fear, and I left my retreat to track her down to a small kebab house in Micheldever. She was surprised to see me. I told her I just wanted to say how sorry I was over her beloved’s death; with that out of the way, suggested wild and passionate lovemaking as the rational way of dealing with her grief. But she told me that it was not her late fiance she had left me for, but a third year geology student: incidentally, the captain of the university rugby team. I knew the guy. His fingers were big enough to meet around your neck. I broke down into tears at that point. Then I begged her on my hands and knees, confused myself into thinking I was a dog, and ended up getting off with a Labrador bitch who explained to me she was on the rebound. The next few weeks were unbearable. My work suffered. Every time I saw Bonaski she would be attached to her Neanderthal boyfriend in new and increasingly innovative ways. I contemplated bumping him off too, but the task was more complicated than it had been for the late, lamented Professor D Wingleberry – by several pounds and inches, specifically. Eventually I decided to use social chaos to bring about his demise and set about my calculations with a fervor. I required, it transpired, a small dog to make sexual advances on a retired Afghanistan priest residing in Basingstoke to bring about my revenge. Accordingly, two weeks later, the unfortunate rugby player perished agonisingly in a deadly inferno at his local filling station, caused by a flaming pigeon named Percy crash-landing in a careless puddle of petroleum. At last, Bonaski was mine. But, in an ironic twist of fate, I no longer desired her. Suddenly I was drunk with power and the menace that you know was born. The stock exchange crash of ’91 was my work, as was the ERM fiasco and, believe it or not, Beijing flu. I had passed the point of no return, from manhood to Godhood. You were all pawns to me and I could do anything; anything, I tell you.
Bonaski was my downfall. A flippant remark made by an Irish leprechaun chaotically resulted in a chance conversation between her and the slobbish taxi driver, whose casually tossed cigarette end it was that had set young Percy ablaze. Immediately, she suspected me. It took her years to trace the chain of happenstance back to the Afghanistan priest and the small dog (who, by this time, were happily married with six children). The authorities were sceptical at first, but Bonaski has a way of convincing people. They arrested me just two days before I was to be randomly picked as winner of an all expenses paid trip to the new, moon-based McDonald’s to taste the first ever Lunar Mac. I felt cheated by this, because I always try out new burgers. They threw me in this cell and threw away the key, laughing as they did so. And here I have remained for the past year.
But if you think the nightmare is over, you’re wrong. Two years ago, disillusioned by society, I set my master plan into action. Time is running out now and none of you are safe. I placed a small piece of cheese in Trafalgar Square, in full view of a bearded tramp holding a conversation with one of the lions. The outcome will be devastating, but you’ll have to work it out for yourself.