Collateral Damage – A tale for Tony Blair

It’s a little hard to explain …. but we’ll get there in the end. Time’s what we’ve got plenty of you see.

Those noises from next door? Just to wet the whistle, in a manner of speaking. Gets the old adrenalin flowing. It’s Masher. We call him that but he’s getting pretensions, wants to style himself Olaf the Great. Not that he’s Scandinavian or anything – in fact he comes from Wales – but Welsh is torture to pronounce –if you’ll excuse my little joke. He likes the sledgehammer. Do you know your old Norse? No, I suppose not. It means slay hammer. You can guess why – great big ugly lump of iron on a big handle. Masher’s got muscles like a gorilla. He can really swing it. But he’s none too accurate. The boys in Re-Gen keep complaining.

Where were we. Oh yes. Explaining it all. Look, this is the best way – although it’s not strictly accurate – but I guess you won’t be moaning, at least, not about this. There’s gonna be a lot more to moan about. Imagine you take the hard drive out of your computer and put it into a brand new machine. It’ll work just the same – same old games and routines and responses and programmes and all that. That’s what we do. Only not to your hard drive. And you get all the same old responses and whatnot. It’s a great idea. So it’s like, you’re kind of dead, but not really. I mean, it’s somebody else’s body, but you get the feelings.

But surely there’s a flaw in the plan you’re thinking, I mean, bodies can get messed up. Well that’s the whole point. Then we fix them. The boys down in Re-Gen – they’re wizards. All the bits, good as new. Takes time – and there ain’t no anaesthetics – but that all adds to the fun.

Cruel? No – imaginative. Take Mr Wong. He’s not Chinese, I know that’s a bit non-PC – but nobody’s PC around here. He was thinking about that dripping water thing. Felt it was a bit slow – very impatient our Mr Wong. So he’s moved on to high pressure hoses. Steam if you must know. Then there’s Driller. You can guess. Got an award a while back. So many holes – quite the work of art – and all gushing at once. I don’t know how he does it. You noticed Cross Cut as we came in – fella with the big saw. A bit rusty, but does the job tickety-boo. Cross cut is really the name of the saw – but not in this case. It’s where he cuts. Across. He’s bad tempered as well. And Dr Amp. What an artist – I’ve seen him go up to 6000 volts and they still don’t disintegrate. Must ask him one day what the secret is. They’re happy to share these guys. No jealousy. Not like you’d expect. Decent sorts I say. True professionals. Dedicated.

We’ve got the lot: Mister Twister. Captain Gas Jet. They do think up these amazing names. Car Crash Harry : he likes the vintage ones – lots of metal, none of your plastic nonsense. Red Hot Poker – ugh – don’t ask. You’ll miss Joe the Toe – on his hols. But I’ll bet he’s just itching to get back. He loves toes. Other people’s. And he’s none too fussy about how he gets them. Slow Choker. Scraper Dave. Crusher and Grinder … I could go on.

Pain? You asked about pain. Well there’s this touching faith you lot up there have that the body is merciful and lets you black out if the going gets tough. Might be the case up there, but down here, different story. We discovered the trick : keeping you awake. Oh, it’s great when that dawns on them. Like the Catholics when they find out it’s all true, everything they ever believed in. Exactly. But then, whoops – suddenly it’s them in the hot seat. Hilarious!

Now, we’ve got for ever, but we better get on. Can’t keep the rest waiting. Wouldn’t be fair would it? Where would you like us to start, Mr Blair?

By Dr Nigel Mellor for his website click here

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