by M. J. Nicholls
prone to frequent outbursts of weepiness. The
slightest sentimental sight a dead wasp, a
smirking teddy bear on a card, a forlorn child on
a charity poster would send her galloping
into the bathroom, her eyes spurting wellfuls of
This was a
problem. She had, that week, been appointed Head
of Water Management for Chiswick Southeast. It
was her responsibility to make sure that the
residents of Chiswick Southeast had access to
clean hot and cold running water at all times,
otherwise she was redundant. The thought of being
redundant, in fact, made her well up a
wasnt going to weep. This was her first
week going straight. She had spent months
undergoing Dr. Remi Franciss therapeutic
emotional galvanisation. For weeks, she had
trained herself to watch videos of atrocities, X
Factor contestants, and cute puppies being
bludgeoned without shedding one tear. She would
enter that boardroom for her first meeting a calm,
strong and tearless hunk of management
As she entered
Chiswicks Senior Boardroom that
palace of power she stubbed her toe on the
table. Tears shot up from her ducts like
excitable hosepipes and she scrunched up her eyes
to dam the blubs. She could feel the tears
sluicing up into her eyeballs: they knew the
route so well. Not now. Not before Chiswicks
Senior Board. No
It was useless.
The dam of weepiness had burst through her eyes
now fully closed and three months
of backed-up sorrow escaped from her lovely and
am appalled at the quality of water preservation
in the Chiswick area! What are we doing here? I
mean, if we cant keep the water pure and
fresh for our children, then whats the
point? Whats the sodding point? she
improved, the carpet below sodden.
There was a
silence. Then an extension of this silence. Then
a moment when it sounded like someone was about
to speak, but it was just a chair creaking. Then
more silence. Then, from nowhere, a sudden
rapturous applause, standing ovation, and four
passionate performance! one exec crowed.
remarkably eccentric and powerful opening speech!
a second cooed.
this woman a raise! a third whooped.
exactly what Chiswick Water needs! the more
important exec chipped in at the end there.
This was all
very nice, and she was pleased to still have her
job, but she badly wanted a tissue. Why was no
one offering her a tissue?