Item One… #writephoto #humour

This week’s #writephoto prompt is

Alderman Teflon Brassnibble checked the agenda. As usual it lacked… items. He peered at the Hon Sec Madeleine Underbake who was knitting, oblivious to his telepathic hatred as it winged across the baize of the Council table. He sighed. ‘I call the meeting of the Newton Architrave’s planning and highways committee to order. We appear to have no minutes to approve…’

The pause would have been pregnant with his unspoken fury if he could only be bothered. After all, why moan when they’d discussed nothing. Nada. Bugger all. As it had been for months, years.

‘… so moving on to item one…’

Once again he scanned the room. Presley Unstable sniffed and broke his pencil. Grumula Pinchtopple clicked her fingers, one by one. The three Green Party members supped noisily on recyclable cups.

‘Has anyone anything that might be item one?’ It was like looking down a long tunnel hoping that there might be a light at the end, even if it was only an on rushing express. At least that would bring an end to this farce. As he thought the word ‘tunnel’ an idea occurred to him. Teflon wasn’t used to having ideas, realising long before that they tended to lead to the need to take action and he’d spent a career in local administration studiously and steadfastly avoiding anything that required effort.

But he was a broken man. Even he could tolerate only so much inertia, so much indolence. Apathy, when you came down to its fundamentals was exhausting. He rummaged in his bag, an action so unusual and unexpected that the other members of the committee stopped doing nothing and watched him. He extracted a folder. He opened it. He unclipped a sheet of paper. An old fashioned letter which he scanned. One of several he had been sent about the lack of action by the committee on the subject of Jeremiah Thimbletupp’s hazel arbour. Nothing specific, just a generalised moan that it needed a bit of a prune and could the committee sort of maybe find a way…

Teflon looked up at the expectant faces. Madeleine had dropped a stitch; Presley his pencil and Grumula began rolling her shoulders, clicking her neck in a way that, for a moment, Teflon feared he was about to witness a rare example of self paralysis by stretching. Even the Green Party members had sat up straight and stopped supping. The anticipation was tangible, you could almost taste it. Teflon briefly imagined an animated debate, a lively disagreement with a minuted action and…

He sighed. Yes, there was the rub. There would be consequences. It wouldn’t begin and end with the debate and discussion. Dealing with the complaint would evolve into an inquiry, there would be outcomes.

Slowly and not without a hint of sadness, Teflon clipped the letter back in place and shut the folder. Yes, they were in a Tunnel, but the light wasn’t the end or the beginning or even a dramatic intervention. No, it was the members of Newton Architrave’s planning and highways committee scrabbling around with a torch looking for a reason why they’d gone into the tunnel in the first place.

‘Shall we adjourn to the pub?’ As usual there was no debate, no minute. They just did.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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17 Responses to Item One… #writephoto #humour

  1. gordon759 says:

    I am reminded of the story I once heard of the American official who asked that his department be closed. When asked why he replied that the boredom was getting too much, as was that of his secretary.
    He was the head of, I think, the Appeals department for mining injuries compensation. His day consisted in coming to the office, making a coffee, reading all the newspapers, then going home. His secretary did exactly the same. After five years no one had appealed against any mining injury compensation.
    He did more work, and his secretary wrote more letters, in the year it took to finally close his office.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What utterly silly names. I love them. Are there any vacancies on this committee? I’m sure I could add gravitas to their decision making.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reminded me of our city council. If one ever needs a way to fall asleep, their open meetings are a boon to treat insomnia.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wait a minute… ! Another one or two. Smiling!


  6. KL Caley says:

    I’m sure I’ve known a fair few managers like this in my time also 😉
    Great post! Thank you for joining in the challenge:

    #WRITEPHOTO – Tunnel

    KL ❤


  7. Pingback: #WRITEPHOTO – TUNNEL by TanGental – New2Writing

  8. Pingback: #Writephoto Round-Up – TUNNEL – New2Writing

  9. namitadash says:

    Great post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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