Sunday, May 10, 2015
On Borrowed Time, by Mat Coward
I'm a big fan of Mat Coward's funny stories about muddled and desperate criminals. The hero, if that's the word I'm looking for, in this story is Nash, a British public servant, of sorts. He is paid by the government but he is frank that he works for big business. The job of the Section is to spy on labor leaders, and non-profits, anyone who might upset the corporate status quo. His personal tasks include secretly opening the mail of a major union boss.
And one day he finds a very expensive watch in the man's mail. Being desperate for money - we don't find out why until much later - he swipes it. Then he gets worried that - well...
There were several people he might need to kill, and the way he saw it, if all of them were still alive a week from now, that'd be the nearest thing to a proper result he'd have achieved in years.
It's always good to have goals.
Indeed it is. You might not think a civil servant would be well-equipped to kill people, but you wouldn't know about the special training sessions the Section provides for it's worker bees.
Nash had once attended an upskilling weekend on The Rudiments of Self-Defence, which included rudiments such as how to sneak up behind someone in the dark and self-defend yourself against them with a garrotte.
A very funny tale with a lot of pointed comments on the world we find ourselves living in