Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Bass boom boom boom, lights flash, spin, pulsate, explode in a volcano of beat rhythmic colour. We dance as hard and as fast as we can, getting with the flow, we’re one with sound with light with ourselves.

A moving, grinding, craving, living breathing multi-minded, electro-sexual entity all here for a single purpose, all here focused on the bass boom boom boom, sweat dripping, a hundred different flavours of B.O. bash and mood scent knitting together, the smell of the right now, the smell of this time, the smell of Rapture.

The smell I love more than life itself, the sweet sweet smell of Rapture and the delight it will bring me this night and tomorrow, as it has fifty times or more.

Liquid Rapture is known now, the Rapture you want, the one they know not is solidified and tubed for instant anxiety free dispersal, a thin layer to a household chap stick. Simple, yeah man, so simple and so now. Away we go.

“What’s that officer? Oh no, that’s just some balm for my poor dried lips that my dear old mummy gave unto me.”

Friday night has always been my favourite of the two, the night we celebrate freedom from the grind and spend our weekly wage as if we were the divine, which of course we are. For a quarter of my pay this week Tanaka-San breaths life into my empty soul with 0.5ml of the most glorious party chem to hit this dreary city since sapor Yorokobi stiffed a dozen twigs down at Stockholm’s in the Spring. Not that I ever touched that skitt; Yorokobi was strictly for twigs and their smooth-faced feelers.

Mine was Delirium and before that Frenesí; oh I loved them both dearly but now my heart belongs to Rapture.

I’ve lived a hundred lives and more, the gift of Rapture, and oh my mighty drummer what lives they have been, the backgrounds, the families, more dis than functional, every socio-economic fetch up, under class, working class, middle class, toff, every minute of every day. And their secrets, yeah man, all their secrets good, bad, dirty and when you get lucky lucky, pornographically illegal. Like that sweet girlie in June, should have reported her old man, but then he needs his kicks the same as me.

All these lives, in all their glorious memory altered Technicolor detail, condensed, compressed, erupting in my head for hour after hour. Like dying and having your life flash but in reverse and not your own but some fucked up nubes life instead. Pure pleasure, purest joy.

They call it ‘mind-rape,’ but then they would wouldn’t they.

It’s not rape, not when all I take is a single kiss. Smear on Rapture for glossy, moist kissable lips, move in for a smooch and BHAM! The memory tsunami hits and you fizzle with highs and lows that last until sun up.

You’ve never had it so good.

Yes, yes, yes - she does come down with a bit of a headache that would make you pray for a crack in your noggin’ from the bridge of your nose to the base of your skull. And I have heard on the never-to-be-trusted Tri-D news networks that those enRaptured develop some slight mental health issues which they reckon stems from a deep routed sense of violation.

This is total skitt of course or a massive exaggeration; I don’t care either way, it’s not like I’m leaving them with a dribble of death, just a kiss, safe as houses, yeah?

Besides, that's just the way it is.

Anyway anyway anyway, the night is till fresh and steaming and I’m looking chimeryczny; full of beats and skinny bottles. MMX-VIP just off Canal Street is radiating a serious amount and I’m slipping between all the hot hedonistique’s, ‘who to choose?’ is the only question on my mind.

She needs to be full of life, full of experience, no good wasting a lip full on a good little study hard with nothing but A’s and early nights to taste. No, she needs to look coarse around the edges, scarred inwardly something to cling onto as the Rapture fires me down her engram highway.

And then I see her. Standing with a group of giggles, they laugh she watches, not giving anything away this one, oh no. She drinks a skinny bottle and I give her my best smile and move in.

“Would you like to dance?”

“Sure, why not,”

And we hit the centre and we go at it, each movement like frames from a celluloid film roll, captured by euphonic pulsars. We close up, harmonising, becoming one, so close now, so close. The scar on her cheek, so slight, so barely visible makes me hard for it, I want it’s story, I want all her stories.

She looks into my eyes and I see my own desire reflected back on me, any minute now I think, any minute now.

Rapture on my lips starts to warm, it senses it too, it senses its time is almost here. The girl slides a hand up my chest, gently brushing the side of my face and taking hold behind my neck. So close now, so close. Her lips, glossy, moist kissable lips are just centimetres away. She pulls hard, reeling me in and we kiss.

Always starts with a bang, like touching a live wire, an explosion of life, the show that’s about to come in a nano-second, this is gonna be good I think and then I get a sense of fear. Not hers, my own.

The memories come, never in any order you can understand, rarely are memories catalogued by date but by intensity, the perfect high, big bold brass killer memories at the start, come down on the gentle half forgotten epiphanies that make us who we are, except these memories…

Cold dark memories, full of hate, spite, violence, uncaring, where’s the compassion? Where’s the love? So lonely, so cold, icy cold, just a single all pervading need for self gratification, selfishness². I’m descending deeper and deeper and each layer is aching with disappointed, dissatisfaction, depression, and at the bottom of it all a little blue eyed boy with a yellow T-Shirt and a beaming smile full of hope that will be so soon crushed. All these terrible things that have been done, all done for a single selfish drive to live a happy life. That’s all.

That’s the reason I do what I do.

These memories are mine, and they’re vicious like a barbed wire shower, the ultimate bad trip.

Rapture on Rapture not good, oh so not good.

Is she suffering with her own Rapture feedback? Probably, I hope so, all I know is I’m screaming out for help but no one can hear me. ‘Mental shutdown, mental shutdown,’ but no such relief will come, not yet at least,

I’m stripping my self out from the inside, scrapping at the walls, brain tissue under my finger nails and it’s only just started.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Guns for geeks


The gun comes on a Tuesday.

I’m not in to receive it of course. Oh no, so the Postman leaves a card instructing me to go to the nearest sorting office to collect it. Except, I can only collect it between 9am and 5pm weekdays.


Like most of the working population I am actually at work at that time so the earliest I can collect it is Saturday. This is no good because I know I will be fretting for the rest of the week. I desperately need that gun so I can feel safe again.

What if they come back before then? They might have a schedule to work to.

Tuesday: Collect menacing money from the Chinese Takeaway.

Wednesday: Door patrol at the illegal cockfight at the docks.

Thursday: Visit mutha in the nursing home.

Friday: Beat that shit Ged to death for unspecified reasons.

That gun is doing me no good sitting on a shelf in a sorting office. If I wait until Saturday, I could already have had both my arms and legs broken and my genitalia separated from my body and stuck in the fridge cooler with the half cucumber. This would not only be horrifically painful, but also present an intimidating size comparison.

No good at all. I need that gun right now.

Weighing up my options, I can clearly see there really is only one thing for it; it’s drastic and potentially dangerous but I think the circumstances call for it. I’m going to have to chuck a sickie.

The classic mistake that most people make when calling in sick is to over egg it with the sick voice. Nothing gives it away more, especially if the ailment you are claiming to be suffering from is not actually related to your voice, such as a stubbed toe. So, go easy.

Here is my sick call; you may want to take notes.

“Hi, it’s Ged.”

“Hi Ged, how are you?”

“As it happens I’m a bit poorly Helen (Receptionist), how are you doing?”

“Oh I’m okay, sorry you’re not well, did you want to speak to Anthony?”

“Yeah, I better had.”

“Okay hold on transferring you now, hope you feel better soon?”


“Hi Anthony Mann.”

“Hi Anthony this is Ged”

“Ged what’s up?”

“I’m feeling really shit today boss, I got up and ready and got half way to work but I had to go back, I feel that terrible.”

“Right, well I’m a bit sort staffed today…”

“Yeah I know, I I’m so sorry that I’m totally letting you down, I know that.”

“No you’re not letting me down, you can’t help being ill. Do you think you’ll be back in tomorrow?”

“God I hope so, I’ve got so much to do, I hate just sitting here on my arse feeling like crap when I know there’s so much to do.”

“Okay, look, if you feel bad tomorrow give me a call and let me know.”

“Okay, thanks Anthony, and again sorry for letting you down.”

“Get better Ged, Bye.”

There you go, textbook.

I hope you noted what I did there. I managed to get the boss to assume I would not be in the following day. That is two days of my life I have taken back.

I hope the collection at the Post Office will guarantee I can keep them.

Naturally, it is not as simple as actually just going to pick the bloody thing up. Unlike the fifty million other times I’ve collect packages and oversized envelopes from there, this time the man behind the counter wants some ID.

“But you’ve never asked for ID before?” I protest.

“I always do.” The man says, unwavering.

“I meant generally you,” I say attempting to combat his pedantry, “The Post Office has never asked for ID before, not once, and I’ve collected dozens of parcels from here.”

The man behind the counter looks away and starts to shuffle his collection cards. As far as he’s concerned this conversation is over, and he caps it with a classic.

“It is our policy.”

“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had a policy, I just thought it was random rules plucked from the air according to whoever is on duty.” I say.

To be honest that’s a lie, I didn’t say that, I thought it later in the car. In fact, I just stay silent and look at him, silently judging him.

This obviously does not work at all, clearly he’s been silently judged by better folk than I.

“Now if you can supply some ID, a drivers licence or a bill with your name on it…”

“So I can use a bill as ID?”

“Yes.” he confirms.

“What sense does that make?”

“What?” he says in a clipped tone that threatens to cut itself of at the T

“Well, I assume the reason for requiring ID is that I could possibly have stolen this collection card.”

“That’s right.” He confirms.

I half laugh, “Couldn’t I just as easily have stolen a bill from the same address? It doesn’t have my photo on it to prove I am who I say I am.”

He’s heard it all before this man, my pathetic protest is like arrows fired against a Bradley assault vehicle.

“When you come back with identification you can collect your parcel.”

With that he closes the hatch shut and walks away.

Perfect. Now I have to get back across town, which will take the best part of an hour, then get back here and then home again.

I have this overriding sense of dread that I may get spotted by anyone of my colleagues who will take great delight in reporting my apparent miracle recovery to The Mann.

It takes more than two hours to get back to the Sorting Office due to every road in town seemingly being dug up for ‘essential’ road maintenance. Not that you ever actually see any working being carried out of course; oh no, just traffic cones and traffic lights surrounding a series of big holes.

When I eventually I do get back to the sorting office it is a different guy who opens the hatch door.

“Yes?” he says in a far more friendly tone.

“Can I collect this please?”


I pass him the card and start to fish my driver’s licence out of my wallet when he vanishes out back.

It is at this point that I begin to panic. I hadn’t considered it before, I’m importing illegal firearms into the country. I’m no expert but I can only imagine that I can get into big trouble for that. What if he is gone out back with card to alert the police, they may be on their way here right…

“Here you go.” The man says as he pushes a shoebox-sized parcel toward me.

“Oh, don’t you need my ID?” I ask as innocently as possible.

“Nah, it’s alright, you’ve got an honest face.”

With that, he shuts the hatch.

Always the victim, be it of love, of crime and now most insidious of all, jobs worth bureaucracy.

Still got the gun.

When I get it home and unpacked I can’t help holding it all the time. Feeling the weight, gripping it in my hand, pointing it at a series of inanimate objects around my flat as if they were my bitterest enemies.

The gun is so cold and lifeless, yet the power it can potentially give me…

They call it gun fetishism, the love, and sexualising of the gun. Not that I was doing anything sexual with the gun you understand.

Just stroking its barrel occasionally.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Phase 2


“Owww!” exclaimed John, slapping himself on the side of the neck.

“Little bastard,” he half-shouted, “Little bastard bit me.”

His wife peered over her morning paper to see what had caused such an outburst from her normally placid husband.

“What bit you dear?”

“This little shit,” he said hold up his open hand to show her.

Scattered across his palm was a miniature crash site of insect body parts.

“Well, it looks like you got it," she said as she went back to the first edition news, "Have another cup of tea, that’ll make you feel better,”

“Yes, you're right, and would you like another, Helen?” John asked.

“No thank you,” replied his wife.

John picked up the teapot and started to pour another cupful. When the cup was full, he careful placed the teapot back on its coaster and gently shook his head from side to side as if he was refusing a silent request. After a dozen or so shakes he stopped and then smiled broadly at his wife who was oblivious to the whole event, still intently reading her paper.

"Is this Rowland’s Finest Tea, Helen? I hear they are the only tea makers to use the very finest crops.”

“I really don’t know dear, it was just an own brand I think,”

“Oh right,” John said, a momentary look of confusion on his face, before, “You know, you may think you’re saving 25% of your grocery budget with own brands, but your actually sacrificing 25% of the taste.”

Helen put the paper down on the breakfast counter and stared quizzically at her husband.

“What was that?”

John, without responding scooped up the discarded paper and casting a cursory eye over it audibly tutted under his breath.

“The Herald, Helen?” he said with a look of utter contempt splashed across his face, “You know the news is always happier in The Zeus Times.

“John, I don’t want to have happy news, I want accurate news reporting, which is why I buy The Herald. Besides, when have you ever in your entire life wanted to read the Zeus Times? It’s hardly a newspaper at all.”

John sat for a moment crest fallen. He again shook his head; more violently this time, continuing as he got up from his stool. He walked over to the French windows and in a much-repeated gesture waved his hand at the large double doors, which responded immediately, opening before him.

Stepping out into their beautifully maintained city garden, John took a deep breath of air and turned back to his wife who was now on her feet, worriedly watching John.

“Honey, you know we could really use some Lawn Restore™, it’s the only grass healthcare system guaranteed to revive, restore and nourish lawns of between 100 to 1000 square metres.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the lawn dear, why don’t you come back inside and take a seat? I think you might be poorly.”

Helen followed John out into the garden, putting her arm around her beloved husband she careful directed him back inside and into the lounge, where she insisted he sit. As soon as she was sure he was comfortable, she called Marcus their GP and family friend who reassured her that he would be with them within the hour.

For Helen it was a most difficult hour.

“Honey, this sofa is looking a bit lived in, did you know down at SofaHut™ there are hundreds of ‘buy now pay nothing until June 2022’ deals? Can we really afford to give that a miss?”

“Yes dear, yes we can.”

“Helen my darling, I think it’s time we thought about the new Photon™ 190 inch Tri-D home entertainment systems; it never feels too real.”

“No dear, we never watch Tri-D.”

“I’ve noticed that dust settles almost immediately after we clean, if we used Jenk & Daughters™ Dust Guard, the only cleaning system endorsed by the brave boys and girls of the Mars Exploratory Team we could say goodbye to those cleaning woes for good.”

“We already use it John, and it doesn’t really work that well.”

As good as his word Marcus arrived forty-five minutes after the call. Within moments, John was telling him about the new range of casual wear for men at BeeBee’s the largest department store in the city.

From an initial examination Marcus concluded that John’s condition was the result of the insect bite which he had received earlier in the day. He helped Helen move John to the bedroom and sedated him.

Even as John drifted into unconsciousness, he was keen to inform the pair of a new cure against depression and anxiety, but before he could tell them anymore he had slipped away into a deep sleep filled with product placements and advertorials.

“But what kind of insect bite could cause this?” Helen asked of Marcus as she poured him a cup of coffee.

“It’s one of the new generation of Ad-bugs,” Marcus explained, “Except this one is far less passive than the ones we’re used to.”

“So the bite has infected John with advertising?”

“It’s called virus marketing, Helen, or viral marketing. A company-programmed bug goes around giving consumers a nip, injecting them with a small amount of adverts. They normally only act as a guide, to push someone toward a particular brand or product.”

“And that’s legal?”

“Yes, of course,” replied Marcus flatly, “I think the dose John received from the Ad-bug was either far to high, or he’s had an allergic reaction to it.”

“Do you have anything to get this viral marketing out of his system?”

“Well,” considered Marcus, “I can…” and then he stopped suddenly. “That’s funny,” he said shaking his head, “I could have sworn… something…”

“Are you alright Marcus?” asked Helen, half getting to her feet.

Marcus waved her back down. He then lifted his coffee cup to his nose, breathed deeply the aroma, and took a mouthful, swallowing it down in one single satisfied gulp.

“Yes Helen, I’m fine,” he said replacing the cup to its saucer, “Now what was I saying?”

“You were going to tell me what you could do about this viral marketing.”

Marcus sighed and scratched at the top of his arm where a small red welt was now forming.

“There is one thing you can do Helen,” he said.

“And what’s that Marcus?”

“You could invest in your families health with the latest version of DataWeb from C. Moore Inc™. It guarantees a reduction in household omni-presentations by up 95%.”

“What?” said Helen, confused.

“Buy it today and get 20% off your next DataWeb, or DataWeb associated purchases.”

Helen began to cry in frustration.


Sunday, September 03, 2006



“Honey, there’s a spider in the bathroom!” Frankie shouts, “Can you come sort it?”

“Can’t you sort it?” I shout back, “I’m in the middle of something here.”

Level 12 of ‘Creeping dread’, which is the brand new one from Matsuyoki San.

“No I can’t. You know I hate spiders!”

I ignore him.

“Pleeeeaasseee…?” he pleads, and I know I’ll have to go sort the spider if I ever want any peace, let alone a chance to make it to level 13.

I think, ‘pause’, and walk downstairs to the bathroom. ‘Frankie is going to owe me for this,’I mutter under my breath as I skip the last few steps of the stairs.

Frankie sits on the top of the toilet with his knees up to his head and his feet on the rim. ‘Pathetic,’ I think, how could I ever have fallen for him?’

“Oh my big brave man,” I say, “Now tell me, where is this horrific beastie that has terrorised you so?”

“Screw off, she’s over there!” He says vaguely waving his finger at the basin.

“Oh, and what makes you think it’s a she?” I ask.

“She wants to hurt me, ergo she’s female.” Frankie says before sticking his tongue out at me.

“The spider does not want to hurt you, it probably just wants to sell you something.”

“Okay fine, whatever, can you just deal with it please?”

“You know, for this Frankie my dear, you’re going to owe me a Lullaby after twilight”

“Yes, yes, just get rid of the little bastard, please.”

Frankie continues to point to the basin; I kneel down and slowly move in to take a closer look.

I’m being more cautious than usual, not only am I feeling extra tired after another 13 hour day in the Accounts Department at Endthemall Entertainment (makers of KillClone™) but according to my PM astrology report, my sales resistance is currently at 23% which is the lowest it’s been since March.

“What did the spider look like?” I ask Frankie who I assume is still cowering on the toilet seat behind me.

He fires straight back, “Like a spider, dummy.”

“No, Frankie, what colour was it?”

“Don’t know, didn’t really get a good look at it.”

I turn around, leaning my elbow as I do, “Was it light or dark?”

Frankie has both hands covering his eyes, he looks like the first of those three monkeys, “I think it was light.” He says peaking at me between his fingers.

I get back to the job in hand. I focus, I really must be careful, a sudden move and it could be on me, and before I know it, it has got my credit details and signed me up for 5 years worth of extended warranty on something that would be cheaper to replace if it broke.

Although, if it is a light one it is probably just trying to sell a financial service of some kind. They’re not that hard to knock back, unlike the dark red ones which are a bitch to resist and will attempt to convert you with ever fibre of their genetically modified being, or die trying.

I move the waste bin to one side and slowly peer behind the neck of the basin.

There it is, a bright yellow Ad-bug. It sees me and immediately goes into its pitch.

“Is it time your car insurance worked for you?” It asks.

“No,” I say as confidently as possible, “My car insurance is just perfect, thank you.”

It is not so easily deterred, “Well we’ve been checking your records, and we could offer you a policy that will reduce your monthly premium by up to 25%. Does that sound of interest to you?”

“What’s it saying?” asks Frankie.

“It’s trying to flog me car insurance,” I say, “But I’m not buying.”

The Ad-bug visibly shrugs, “Give a guy a chance?”

“No,” I say defiantly, “Get out.”

“I’m just trying to do a job here.”

“We don’t need car insurance, so you might as well buzz off.”

“Kill it!” shouts Frankie.

“I’d advise against that,” says the Ad-bug, “As property of C. Moore Incorporated™ I am protected by the 2008 international law of Omni- presentation. Any damage to me or any similar advertising media will result in legal action.”

“I’m not going to hurt you, I just want you to go.”

The Ad-bug scratches it spidery head with its front right legs, “I’m almost done here, if I could just have another 5 minutes and I’ll be out of your hair, so to speak.”

“What are you doing apart from trying to sell me stuff?” I ask.

“Well,” it says, “I was setting up data-webs, that was until your partner over there started shouting at me.”

“And what do data-webs do?” I foolishly ask.

“Well,” the Ad-bug says with renewed vigour, “You have quite the infestation here. Fortunately, our data-webs guarantee a reduction in household omni-presentations by 85%. I can assure you that you won’t find a better domestic service currently available, and all at a lower than ever introductory rate”

"Introductory rate?" I say without thinking.

It’s the merest of buying signals but it’s all the Ad-bug needs and before I know it, it has my credit details and a sale.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lullaby: making Britain happy and healthy.

Ruby and Jim

I just need something to take the edge off.

The doctor says ‘hello’ without looking up. Late thirties, short dark bobbed hair, probably was reasonably attractive when she was in her teens and still trying. Now this Sysifus task of healing a work-less, life-less, and restraint-less clientele has beaten ‘trying’ out of her.

I say ‘hi’, and sit in the uncomfortable blue chair directly next to her desk.

She looks up when she realises I am not about to volunteer any information.

‘How can I help?’ she says in the exactly the same way she might say its cloudy and overcast outside.

I’ve already rehearsed my response to this, already been through this entire scenario, just to make sure, just to make sure I get exactly what I want from this. I just need to say 5 words. 5 words, which will guarantee I get what I need to take the edge off.

“I think I need help”, I say and I lower my head and slump with a big sigh in the chair, as if just saying these words is an enormous effort for me, a truth that I have only now been able to reveal for the very first time. Which it is not.

“Okay,” she says, “What’s the problem?”

I can sense the clock ticking in her head, has to, she only gets 7 minutes per patient before calling for the next one, otherwise they be backing up in the waiting room like Tokyo commuters on the zoom tubes at 6pm.

I go for it, exactly as rehearsed, “I feel anxious all the time,” I say, “I have a tightness in my chest whenever I go outdoors.” So far so good.

She nods in unison with each statement and begins to type away on her wireless keypad, symbols bounce up on the flat in front of her but I can’t make out what they mean; probably some hypocratic secret code.

“I’m unable to sleep at night, and then unable to stay awake during the day,”

“Okay, are you experiencing any eating disorder?”

“Yes,” I say, “Yes I am.”

“Anything else?” She asks finally turning away from the flat to look me in the eye.

“Yes,” I say, “I’ve had a headache constantly for about a month.”

“A month?” she asks automatically attempting to qualify my statement before she types in on the hieroglyphic puzzle game.

“Yes,” I confirm. “A month, oh and I’ve had some dark thoughts.”

“Self harming?” she asks in the exactly the same way she might ask if I want fries with that.

I take a considered deep breath, “Not exactly, I just sometimes think that if I had an off switch I’d push it.”

She types some more and I am left for 30 seconds of my 7 minutes in silence, so I just gaze at the pictures on the wall opposite her. Sunny faced people, a young woman hugging a golden haired boy no older than 12, an elderly couple and handsome man who’s slight greying at the temples and crows feet at his eyes betrays his youthful appearance. I wonder if they are successfully treated patients of the Doctor here, or her family perhaps.

“Well,” the Doctor says finally, “I think you should try Lullaby.”

No, they are just stock shots from a smiling faces advertising brochure. And judging by the quality, they’ve been torn directly from the perfect bounded spin with no regarding for the appropriate licensing agreement.

“Lullaby.” I repeat, “Really?”

“Yes, Lullaby. You’re clearly suffering from depression and I feel the best form of remedy will be Lullaby every evening just after twilight.”

I just need something to take the edge off you see…

I wasn’t expecting her to go for Lullaby; I expected a tub of chemicals ending in ‘hydrobromide’ or something.

Yes, I’ve heard some very good things about Lullaby, but then again I’ve heard some very bad things about Lullaby.

“Aren’t there side effects with Lullaby?” I ask like a captain of consumer affairs.

“Well yes, but then all forms of proscribed treatment will have side effects,”

“A friend of a friend told me that their friend got lost to Lullaby”

The doctor pushes back slightly in her chair and spins round to face me head on. She smiles a simple sympathetic smile, like you do when a child says something ridiculous.

“In regard to the notion that you can get lost to Lullaby, well, I can assure you that it’s just myth. Lullaby is by far and away the safest treatment currently available on the NHS, or indeed any private healthcare. A course of Lullaby over the next 14 days will ease your anxiety, aid your bodies need for healthy normal sleep and most importantly give you perspective on your own life by showing you other lives.”

It sounds convincing, however…

“Are you sure you can’t get lost to Lullaby?”

The Doctor does something complete unexpected and I suspect completely unprofessional; she takes my hands in hers and gentle pats them.

I feel a confusing mixture of shock and reassurance.

“As I said before,” she says very softly, very calmly, “all forms of proscribed treatment will have side effects, however these stories of people becoming confused and lost within Lullaby is just nonsense”.

I agree to take Lullaby.

She fills out the prescription and explains that I will need to take this to the nearest municipal library to collect my small auto-disposable booklet of soothing songs. She also explains that if I am unable to find a responsible and reasonably literate adult to sing Lullaby to me one can be arranged.

The government it appears are keen to push Lullaby as hard as possible, all part of their drive they say to make Britain healthy and happy.

So, that evening I ask my friend Ruby to come round to my one bedroom flat above the town’s only unisex hairdresser and sing Lullaby to me.

After supper, and as the last of the twilight gives way to darkness I lay on the sofa with my head in her lap. She gently strokes my hair as she sings the first Lullaby to me.

It is the most beautiful and serene Lullaby I have ever heard…