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Monday: Paul Arden
Tuesday: Harps
Wednesday: Bernd Ziesche
Thursday: Mr T.
Friday: Ray
Saturday: Viking Lars
Sunday: Bruce Richards

Ronan's report

Friday November 28th, 2008

For ten days the ZA PPP ltd laboratories shook to the subterranean thud of Thor The Steam Hammer of ZA. Deep in those promethean depths, the lady stokers, under the impassioned eye of leading stoker Mrs Cholmondely -Pennell, had fuelled the furnaces tirelessly to produce up to four hooks a day in a herculean effort to meet the immutable deadline of the international exchange.

Even here, in the upper levels, smoke and steam belching forth from the venting of the mighty engines had billowed down the corridors and condensed on the walls where the urchins of the company crèche scraped off the contaminants and, mixed with the pristine waters of the Orfe filled Dollis Brook, rehydrated the inking pads for Nev "Merkins" Perkins and his team of label makers waiting restless on the idle assembly lines.

Now the beating heart of ZA had stopped and a vibratory void settled over the building. This anticipatory silence was disturbed only by the faint sounds of celebratory hook completion songs from the stokers contralto choir reverberating in the clay caverns below and the distant crack of an occasional liberating gunshot from the direction of the accounts department.

All minds turned to the intense experimentation now underway in the labs. Which beetle would it be ?, which feather ?, which fur ?, which glorious pattern would be selected for the project ?.

Tension throughout the building was palpable and nowhere more so than in the design department where Marcel and Mutt, never conceptually prolific, had been forced to leave their mannequin store cupboard Canasta tournament and begin work on an ideological visualisation scheme for the finished product.

In Communications, desperate to pass the time usefully, Larry Furtlesham anxiously darned Popham Signalling Flags and silently slipped gong chime sequences, self help messages and root vegetable whittling instructions into old Wisdens for distribution in the NW suburbs. Aware of the terrible fate that had befallen his predecessor Smithins during the Hungarian free flotation devices request crisis he knew that once the testers discovered that these flies were to be merely exchanged and not sold there could be serious trouble and a very private fear permeated his every thought.

The PR department was deserted, the floor strewn with partially degreased cactus and Krug corks, the girls preferring the company of Korky Kaddis and the Long Horns down at the Kit Kat Club until the call came to entertain the press. Mrs Bliss and Bunty Wigthorne took flasks of sweet tea and sought nervous release with the firemen in Peelers on the high street.

In the Marauder Cutty O'Cuthbert Mc Cuthbertson, mono-blinking, quietly polished sherry schooners in the empty bar, every pore of his being attuned to the psychic pressure seeping down from the north and wondered what desperate fates the future held for them all....................

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