Comisario's Miscellanea

Discussion in 'Post Test Messages Here' started by Comisario, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    This is a thread for notes, ramblings, random information, timeline ideas, and whatever else I suppose should be here.
     
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  2. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    AMS- Update songs

    1992- “High" by The Cure
    - "As high as I might/ I can't get that high"​

    1993- “Regret” by New Order
    - "I would like a place I could call my own"​

    1994- “Girls & Boys"
    - "Avoiding all work/ Because there's none available"​

    1995- “Common People” by Pulp
    - "You'll never live like common people"​

    1996- “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis
    - "All the things that you've seen/ Will slowly fade away"​

    1997- “The Boy Done Good” by Billy Bragg
    - "The boy done good"​
     
  3. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    BTD-Influences

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  4. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    BTD-Prologue

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  5. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    BTD-Cover

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  6. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    Playtime teaser

    Teaser for "Workers' Playtime"...

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  7. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  8. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  9. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
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  10. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  11. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  12. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  13. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Fleg..........

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  14. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mile End, London
    Fleg 2.........

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  15. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  16. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    The short hand edged towards the Roman numerals of VIII on Harry’s watch, marking the most obscene time to still be at work. A bundle of papers sat upon his desk, propped up against his forehead as he studied the folder in his hands. Enveloped within was a volume of pages, all alphabetically ordered and filed away like the tedious fantasy of a Party bureaucrat. Harry ran his finger between the folder covers and retrieved a handful of papers. He set the staff files down and, with a sigh of resignation, peeled back the cover sheet.

    Gould. Foremen didn’t just wander off, not when they knew what absenteeism got them.

    The pages rose with a flick of Harry’s wrist and were quickly slammed back down at the pile’s side, not a single one bearing the name “Gould”. Were Roger’s surname “Greaves” or “Gordon”, then the file would have been found with ease. Harry tried again, wetting his fingers and double-backing on his search. He passed from “Young” to “Norwood”, and thus from “Norwood” to “Abrams”, with no trace of Roger Gould. It was gone: not misfiled, but non-existent. He placed his finger upon the intercom and a voice stirred over the crackle of interference. Most secretaries left when the managers took their leave, but Valerie stayed behind in those obscene hours.

    “Oh. Mr… Mr Larkin, is that you?” There was both tiredness and surprise in her voice.

    “Val, I need something. Have you seen the staff file of Roger Gould, one of our senior foremen?” Silence came over the conversation. There was no Valerie’s end, save the soft rustling of papers in the background. Harry sat back and tried to imagine the missing foreman. If he’d been to a workers’ committee meeting, then Harry couldn’t have paid much attention to him. As chairman, he knew all the names and faces on the committee. The man known as “Roger Gould” was beyond his recollection.

    “Oh… yes, Mr Larkin.” Valerie paused for a moment. “Give me a second.”

    She has it. He couldn’t figure out the reason why. This was his work. Hours of overtime at his desk, his brain soaked in a poor imitation of black coffee. It was cut with barley or rye and served up to an office of people who didn’t know better. The other half of the coffee went to the downstairs canteen, where it was cut more often with cigarette ash. He had suffered that muddy brown concoction, coercing his eyes open through the late nights and early rises, for nothing. The clack of Valerie’s shoes upon the laminate flooring grew louder and louder. She neared, bearing the papers he needed so desperately. Harry couldn’t imagine why she’d have Roger Gould’s file, but it was there in her hands when she opened his door.

    “Here you go, sir – Roger Gould’s file,” she said softly. She brought it over to his desk and laid it down in front of him, his eyes trained on her the whole time. The question still burned in his mind.

    “Valerie.” She was turning to leave, but she stopped dead in her tracks at the utterance of her name. “Why do you have it?”

    “Sir?”

    “The file – why do you have it?” he asked again, but slower this time. It was weariness masked as calculation, as if Harry was interrogating her.

    “The Director wanted it.” Wiseman had jumped the gun and done his own work for once. He’d decided to make Harry’s business his own – hardly a vote of confidence in his work. And to use Val, of all people. There was little use complaining about it when there was nowhere for that complaint to go. Harry knew the impotence of his position. Deputised and gagged, he was bound to follow the Director’s leadership.

    He sighed and took the file in hand. “Thank you, Valerie.”

    Her feet pattered out of the room and she closed the door behind her. In solitude, Harry reviewed the file.

    Roger Gould was forty-eight years old, with fifteen of those years spent working at the factory. Originally a worker on the engine assembly line, he proved himself and won small accolades for his labour. A model worker. His rise to foreman, and then head of the engine assembly foremen, was swift. Roger’s working life was laid bare on the page, but the facts didn’t offer a reason as to why he left. This was not a man who lived life in naivety; Roger played the game and it was apparent that he played it well. There was no promise of promotion in disappearance, no chance of a pay rise for the man who’d missed three days of work. A small photo, just larger than the face of Harry’s watch, was stuck down beside the rudimentary details of the foreman’s life.

    It was the monochrome portrait of an unassuming man. His hair was receding atop his head and shaved short at the sides, his lips betrayed no smile, and there was indifference in his eyes. It was the portrait of someone worn by work and war. Military records from before the liberation were rarities, but Roger was clearly of that generation that knew the humiliation of defeat from the frontline.

    Harry didn’t know the engine rooms as he knew his own ground, the east wing of the complex where the aesthetics of bodywork were pieced together to the plans of Russian GAZ-21s. They were corridors and yards apart, and this Roger Gould did not seem the type to venture beyond his station. But he’s walked off now, he thought in the midst of searching for a pen on his person. Blindly, he patted over his pockets to feel only his wallet and the outline of his house keys.

    The drawers in his desk offered him a single biro, almost bereft of ink. Snatching it up, he drew out a notepad of paper with it and proceeded to scribble down Gould’s number and address. The digits were so faded as to be illegible. Returning the biro to its place at the back of his desk drawer, Harry rose from his chair and checked his watch. IX was drawing nearer with every tick. Shirley will still be up… hopefully. If she wasn’t, it was another night on the sofa. Further persuasion wasn’t necessary. He bundled his papers together and shoved them into the briefcase beneath his desk. The shirt sleeves came down and the suit jacket came on. That’s enough for one night.

    From his corner of the floor, the corridor led straight past the secretarial pool. Walls of glass and wood panelling lined Harry’s path, yet the windows were rarely in use. Behind shutters of pallid beige and cyan, Dagenham’s managers sat hidden and reclusive in the days they wasted at work. Wiseman and Burke, especially. Everybody wondered what went on behind Burke’s door, the gateway to the headquarters of a Party branch officer. “Official Party business” was the unquestioned and unquestionable line. Illuminated by lamplight, Valerie was sat at her desk at the end of the corridor. Her concentration was clearly elsewhere when Harry approached her.

    “Valerie, I need Gould’s details for tomorrow. Address, phone number, related contacts – you know the sort of thing,” he said as he leant one hand on her desk. Her head span up to face his.

    A smile was forced onto her face. “Of course, but I already called his house twice today. There’s been no answer.”

    The smile fell back to a more muted expression, more of the sort worn by office peons in their overtime. He recognised it every time he looked at his bathroom mirror after work, when the wrinkles across his forehead grew deeper and the skin about his eyes sagged.

    “I still need you to take it all down. It’ll come in handy if I have to send someone to go and find him.” Harry opened his briefcase and set Gould’s file upon his secretary’s desk. “I’m off home, now.”

    “Home?” The word was a forlorn one to Harry’s ears. Valerie’s fingers danced over the papers and slid them into the pile in front of her. Harry had never seen her go home. The image wasn’t something easily imaginable, picturing her out there. She’d never spoken of a family, a house, pets, or anything. Then again, neither have I. The idea of Shirley intervening in a conversation, coming up like the weather or the food in the canteen, was an alien one. “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

    “Bright and early,” he yawned as she returned to her work. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    The lift descended cautiously, like a train perpetually pulling into a station. From 3 down to G, buttons flickered on and off with the passing of each floor. Behind the managers’ reception, the night-watchman rested his boots and caught forty winks to the detriment of everyone’s safety. Harry took little notice, turning left at the desk and following the murals of Soviet liberation towards the car park. Stalin led ships across the Channel, Voroshilov received flowers from a little girl in Mile End, and Londoners stood arm-in-arm with Red Army soldiers according to the paintings. Some of them were not so fantastical, as far as Harry could recall. Uncle Klim had received flowers from the people of Mile End, amidst stones and verbal abuse, so there was at least some truth recorded in the artist’s strokes.

    Solitarily, Harry’s car stood as the last in its spot. It was a “Valence”, one of the new Haynes designs made in Dagenham, with its four doors and metallic grey paintwork. Three months passed between ordering it and receiving it, but Harry was simply pleased to have his before the Albanian embassy got their order. A perk of producing them, I suppose. Briefcase deposited on the passenger seat, Harry slid onto the leatherette upholstery and took the steering wheel in hand. Along New Road, he trundled along. The traffic was sparse: nobody went home at nine o’clock. At the roundabout before the Ingrebourne River, Harry glanced at his watch. IX had been passed fifteen minutes ago, meaning the BBC was already off-air. Wednesday night always brought with it the sudden abyssal screen, deep black to the eyes and with the low hum of static in the background. She’s probably popped up to bed. The pedal went flat to the floor as he sped around the roundabout and over the river, taking care of any to cross his path. Fortunately for him, none did.

    Suburbia came into view with the “Welcome to Rainham” sign. Quiet streets of uniform houses, Harry struggled to find his own. Management and the more senior workers lived here, amidst houses and marriages of equal detachment. The car slowed to a halt on his drive, when he finally discovered it illuminated by the living room lights. Why is she still up? Briefcase in one hand and keys halfway in the door, Harry’s entrance was eased by his wife. She leapt at him, embracing him and kissing him on the neck. His black necktie came undone as she slipped a hand underneath the buttons of his shirt.

    “Good… good evening, Mr Larkin,” she whispered in his ear. As her head pulled away from his, Harry caught the smell of vodka on her breath. Awkwardly, he positioned himself around her and stepped back into the hallway. She followed, smiling from ear to ear and laughing at Harry’s graceless manoeuvres. Setting the briefcase aside, he utilised both hands to keep her at a distance. She hasn't done this in a while. Off into the living room, his eyes caught sight of a clear, near-finished bottle and an empty wine glass tipped onto the carpet. The last time he’d caught Shirley out of her mind like this, David had just left for university. Lucky boy. Harry missed him, for her sake more than anything, but he still missed him. As Harry reversed into the living room, Shirley pawing at his chest, he saw family photographs strewn over the floor. There was Clacton Pier in the summer of ’61, the smiling faces Harry hadn’t seen in a long while, and tear stains over the card. Bending down to gather up the debris of Shirley’s night, he felt his wife planting herself at his back.

    “Shirl, can you just sit down for a minute?” She didn’t reply, but she must have understood him. She crept off, sliding her hands down his body and away from him. To the coffee table, he threw the photographs and then made his way into the kitchen. Cupboards were wide open and the taps were still running, pouring water straight down the plughole. Before switching it off, Harry grabbed a glass from the cupboard and filled it with cold water. “Come in here, love, I need you for a second!”

    With that call, his wife came skipping in. “Yeah? Are you ready?” she asked, as if exhausted by his resistance to her advances. Harry couldn’t have done anything, even if he wanted to. When do I ever want to?

    “Drink this and go have a lie down.” Shirley cupped the glass with two hands and drank it down in gulps.

    “I’ll go if you come with me,” she said as she kissed him with her wet lips, trying to shimmy her body into his. If you could see yourself now, he thought. She would have stood there all night if he didn’t agree to go with her. “Come with m-…”

    “I’ll come with you, just give me a second.” Shirley hurried off to the bedroom, spilling water from the glass and laughing excitedly. Once she’d successfully climbed the stairs to the bedroom, Harry couldn’t imagine her staying awake much longer. He turned the taps off and closed up the cupboards. In the living room, Harry found the photographs a place in the side table drawer. He spied the vodka bottle and wine glass, still rolling about on the carpet, and took them back into the kitchen. Into the top cupboard, the vodka was placed. What was out of Shirley’s reach was out of her mind. The wine glass went into the sink, saved for tomorrow’s washing up. The risk of her finding it was completely diminished by her inevitable hangover. I’ll get down early and do it. All would be as it was before, pristine and tidied away as if the night never happened. Harry speculated that she’d wake up around lunchtime, her head in a maelstrom of pain, and would be none the wiser. That is what he hoped, at least.

    The lights went out all over the house as Harry made his way from room to room, shutting up for the night, and then upstairs to check on his wife. Softly, her snoring drifted over the upstairs landing. Harry caught a glimpse of her in the mirror opposite their bed, an image of Shirley curled up with her hand clasped around the glass and the covers hanging limply over the edge of the bed. Harry shuffled in, trying to muffle the sound of his footsteps, and knelt down to pick the bedsheet up. He guided it over her half-naked body, attempting to envelop her splayed legs in it to no avail. There was little more he could do than that.

    The landing light went off and Harry stepped into the bathroom. As he gazed into the mirror and pulled his grey jacket from off his back, Harry exhaled drowsily.

    Another night on the sofa, then.
     
  17. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  18. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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  19. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    1945-1947: Herbert Morrison (Labour with Liberal supply and confidence)
    1945: Winston Churchill (Conservative), Archibald Sinclair (Liberal)
    1947-1947: Stafford Cripps (Labour minority)
    1947-1950: Winston Churchill (Conservative majority)
    1947: Stafford Cripps (Labour), Archibald Sinclair (Liberal)
    1950-1959: Anthony Eden (Conservative majority)
    1951: Jim Griffiths (Labour), Archibald Sinclair (Liberal)
    1956: Douglas Jay (Labour), Oliver Smedley (Liberal)

    1959-1960: Selwyn Lloyd (Conservative majority)
    1960-1966: Douglas Jay (Labour majority)

    1960: Selwyn Lloyd (Conservative), Oliver Smedley (Liberal)
    1964: Randolph Churchill (Conservative), Oliver Smedley (Liberal)

    1966-1969: Anthony Crosland (Labour majority)
    1969-1970: Enoch Powell (Conservative minority)

    1969: Anthony Crosland (Labour), Michael Winstanley (Liberal)
    1970-1972: Anthony Crosland (Labour with Liberal supply and confidence)
    1970: Enoch Powell (Conservative), Michael Winstanley (Liberal)
    1972-1977: Anthony Crosland (Labour majority)
    1972: William Whitelaw (Conservative), Michael Winstanley (Liberal)
    1976: William Whitelaw (Conservative), Eric Lubbock (Liberal)

    1977-1981: Edmund Dell (Labour majority)
     
  20. Comisario Gunnar Sträng's Chocolate Homunculus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
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