GET IN LINE
A long queue snakes its way around a block to a food bank in the early morning hours, the wait for the first day’s January sale. It’s only late December, so people are sleeping under blankets, drinking hot soup from flasks, or playing endless games of Candy Crush on their latest iPhones made by over-worked Chinese doing fourteen hour stints a day, plus overtime, in crowded factories run by gang-masters on behalf of the Apple Corporation, or just sitting half-asleep on the pavement sidewalk shivering in the cold and wet.
One man near the back of the line is clearly losing patience.
“This is bloody terrible!” he spits.
“I’m unemployed because of Westminster’s policies; waited three hours for my welfare money, walked twelve miles to attend a job interview I didn’t get because my PhD is too low a qualification for a night guard at a garden centre, and here I am yet again lining up for days to buy tins of beans and milk so my young kid can eat.”
The woman in front turns to him. “My friend, I lost my home because of the Tory’s housing policies, I got sold phony life insurance by my bank that didn’t pay out, lost my pension in a finance scam, and I’m in debt to high street loan companies to stay alive. How do you think I feel? This is life in ‘Austerity Britain.’ Learn to live with it.”
The angry man is not impressed.
“Well, you can stuff your acceptance of fate. I voted No in the Referendum for Britain’s prosperity and this is what I get for keeping the bankrupt Union together. No sleep for days. I’ve had enough of this crap. ‘Wonderful country,’ my arse. I’m going to find where that useless shit of a chancellor lives, We’re-better-together Osborne, give him a piece of my mind, and punch his effing lights out!”
And off he strides, consumed by homicidal fury.
Two days later he returns to join the same long, straggly line to the food bank. As he lays a blanket on the cold concrete ground, the same woman as before welcomes him back.
“Back again? I thought you’d had enough of all this?”
“Aye, I did.”
“And you were going to confront Osborne.”
“Aye, that’s true.”
“Did you find where he lives?”
“Aye, that I did.”
“And did you give him a piece of your mind?”
“No? You didn’t punch him one?”
“No, I damn well did not!” says the man, grumpy as hell.
“There was another bloody queue!”