Dollop 27 – Free Sandwiches And Paper Boxes

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{I am writing today’s Dollop from the police station. I arrived at the focus group and was immediately arrested. Apparently, the Hungarian plumber that I was meant to be impersonating was in fact an illegal immigrant. I tried explaining to the police that I was simply pretending to be a gay dyslexic Hungarian plumber, because the actual Hungarian plumber had dropped out of the focus group that my housemate is running at her place of work. But they said that they weren’t going to fall for that old housemate’s focus group dropout trick. They’d been fooled with that one once before apparently.

I tried explaining to them who I really am. I pointed them in the direction of my daily blog, hoping to prove that I am who I say I am, but apparently my blog is too full of wild fabrications for them to trust anything I say, and so it was immediately discredited as supporting evidence. In fact they immediately dismissed anything I said to them, because they said that I’d spent my blog posts building up a series of false identities. As they pointed out to me, my blog post from two days ago was full of fabricated identities. I’d claimed that I was a pilot for EasyJet, and I’d faked a number of award wins, including World’s Most Sexiest Blind Man, and World’s Most Intelligent Blind Man. Stephen Hawking was contacted, and he told the police that he’d never heard of me and that my quote from him was bogus. Likewise, they contacted thousands of glamour models, but no one recognised my name. When they showed them a photo of me, most of them laughed derisively at the notion that they’d have considered me a worthy winner of the World’s Most Sexiest Blind Man award. As they pointed out to the police, they would have naturally given that accolade to David Blunkett.
They also knew that I was good at impersonating people, after they heard my George Formby impression on Dollop 16. Basically, they told me that, rather than helping me, my blog posts had created even more suspicion and doubt around my name.

They’ve also got in contact with Spotify to inform them that I might not be the real David Eagle after all, but a gay dyslexic Hungarian plumber. They’ve also asked Spotify to provide them with all the songs I’ve ever played, as they are looking to see if they can find evidence that I listen to an above average level of Hungarian music for a UK citizen. This is terrible news for me and my lawyer, as last Saturday I had a marathon Béla Bartók listening session. It’s an annual event that I’ve privately enjoyed on 23rd January for the last twelve years. I load up the ten hour playlist, and shut myself in my bedroom, bask in the music of this fine Hungarian composer, while munching my way through home-made Goulash. There’s nothing much going on in the month of January, and I find my Bartók goulash days give me something to look forward to after all the Christmas and New Year’s revelry.

Fortunately, none of this really happened. It was another of my wild fabrications that the police at the police station accused me of, except they didn’t because the police are also one of my wild fabrications – come on, keep up. I made all that up because I thought that a fictitious story about being arrested might be more interesting than how my day actually panned out.

There was no need to pretend to be a refugee or immigrant. The focus group was piloting some training courses and games that the company is developing. The day started with an icebreaker game in which we had to introduce ourselves and then make three statements, two true and one false. This immediately brought me out of my comfort zone because obviously I’m really not used to lying and making things up.

We then had to do a team exercise, which involved making boxes out of paper. There were all sorts of rules about the size and shape of the box, how the corners should be folded, how much paper should be used for one box. We also had to make decisions about how much paper we wanted to buy from the supplier in advance, calculating potential profit and loss. To be honest, I’d kind of zoned out a little bit, because it was nearly 3pm, and I still needed to get home and write today’s Dollop, and I didn’t have any ideas of what to write about because I was hoping that maybe the focus group might provide me with some material. But the only material I’d been given so far was paper with which I was meant to make boxes, although I hadn’t managed to follow the visual instructions about how to fold the pieces of paper, so immediately my team were one man down, as I had no idea how to make the boxes.

We were told by the course leader that we should treat this like a real-world task, and act in the way that we would if this was a proper job. Well, if this was a real-world situation then I’d be asking myself some pretty searching questions, like how on earth have I ended up in a job that involves making boxes out of pieces of paper? What possible use could these flimsy boxes actually be to anyone? Who is our customer? How the hell did I get this job? Surely I should have failed the interview. When the interviewer said “how are you when it comes to making boxes out of very thin flimsy bits of paper?” At that point I’d have realised that I’d walked into the wrong room, apologised for wasting their time, and asked them which floor the interviews for male lap dancers were being held on.

So, while my fellow team members made boxes out of bits of paper, I spent the time eating the free sandwiches, and thought about what I could write about today. When the task was completed, we were asked to rate our performance and say how well we thought we’d done. I thought I’d done pretty well. I’d eaten loads of free sandwiches and come up with a joke about listening to Bartók, while my hapless team mates had spent their time making boxes out of flimsy pieces of paper. In truth, I’d thought that I’d come out of this exercise with a lot more to show for it than my team mates. But I don’t think that was quite the answer she was looking for.

I’m not really sure how much my presence made a positive difference to the event, but Elsa seemed grateful and I sort of enjoyed the novelty of the afternoon. And I still managed to get back home and write – what I think is – a decent Dollop. Tomorrow, I’m off to a funeral, and there’ll be free sandwiches there too, so I think my life is going pretty well at the moment. Try not to be too envious.

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2 thoughts on “Dollop 27 – Free Sandwiches And Paper Boxes

  1. Ah free sandwiches, what a pleasure they used to be…and the sausage rolls, pies, little flaky pastry nests filled with, well, heaven only knows what and of course the cakes and biscuits. No more. Diagnosed coeliac 5 months ago. Everywhere I go it’s wheat, wheat and more wheat. The world is made of wheat and its derivatives! No more free sandwiches for me. But that is as nothing compared to what slowly dawned on me…no more real ale!
    Another avenue of enjoyment cordoned off forever. No more real ale booze cruises up hill and down dale…ahhh I still dream of downed ale!
    Your account of free sandwiches inspired me to ramble!

    • My goodness, of all the things I’ve written about, I think you win the prize for most passionat, heartfelt comment. I am sorry for bragging about my sandwich eating. If it’s any consolation, they were fairly standard. But I promise that there will be no mention of sandwiches or anything wheat based tomorrow.

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