A perfectly beastly visit to my accountants…

Today I had to undertake the utterly tedious but necessary task of visiting my accountant in order to calculate how much money I must give away to this dreadful government.

Having fortified myself with an extra glass of champagne before the meeting, it was still an utterly painful sixty minutes for an individual of my creative disposition.

When this tiresome business was at last completed, my accountant relaxed and said “Look Nigel, your accounts are in order, but there are a few other issues I want to discuss with you – off the record. I’ve known you for twenty years, and consider you a good friend. I know that you have expensive tastes, and have been prone to ‘excesses’ from time to time. This is none of my business, but right now, I have certain, well…concerns…”

I suddenly snapped out of my trance and muttered “concerns? what do you mean…concerns?”

“What I mean is. Firstly. You spend more than you actually earn each year on champagne alone. Add to this the huge amounts that you spend on visiting the theatre and eating out, well…that leaves a slight deficit.”

“I’m aware that for many years you have been using money from your Trust Fund to offset this. This has not been a major problem in the past, but right now, the Fund is not looking very healthy. If you keep spending like at the rate you are going, you will probably have nothing left in ten years time.”

I waved my arms to brush away this line of conversation. “I appreciate your sentiments. Truly they are in the right place. But please do not worry about me. I recently took part in some speculations that I am assured will bring me huge rewards. Therefore, your concerns are totally misplaced.”

“By ‘speculations'”, he replied, “do you mean that quarter of a million pounds that you gave to Humphrey J. Bumphrey?”

“Yes, it might be. Hang on? How do you know about that?”

He turned very serious and said “Look Nigel. I know that he is a friend of yours, but, well… Bumphrey has something of a ‘reputation’, and a big mouth to boot… I would seriously consider trying to get it back if possible, and under no circumstances give him any more money. Otherwise I fear that you may spend your old age freezing in a bed-sit. Am I getting through to you Nigel?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” I replied, “I understand implicitly. But now I must go. So much to do. So little time to do it. Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you again soon…”

“Yes, goodbye Nigel. But seriously. Take my advice. Cut down on your spending and take care around Bumphrey. He’s a slippery character.”

I walked out of the building with my equilibrium completely destroyed. How one earth can I possibly cut down on my spending? Less champagne? Impossible? Stay at home instead of going to theatre? Doubly impossible. How on earth does he expect such a civilized man as myself to do this?

Then I had a brilliant idea. I went back to my apartment, phoned Crispin and asked “Do you happen to own one of those ‘credit card’ devices?”

He replied that he did indeed own one. “Splendid,” I replied, “Could you do me a favor and book a table in 7-QX for six. Of course I want you to come along and join me. We could take in a show afterwards…You will?…Splendid…See you at six. ”

Well, if I can’t spend money for my own Trust Fund, it does not stop me spending money from someone else’s…