Charles T. Hemingway and Sons (Quality Tailors; Quality Cleaners) provide an exemplary and discreet service to the modern superhero; a need – nay, a must – in this day and age.
Every month, they provide a detailed email to the Elite Force of Britain, a team of exemplary and not-so discreet superheroes who defend this great country – nay, world – of ours. With some of the members’ emails being affected by the current time-flux disturbance that has seen several members catapulted into tomorrow, the emails from Hemingway’s have been sent hither, thither and every whither, with the exception of the EFB themselves. In a hope that they visit this blog (obviously, I have no idea who these superheroes are) they may get to read this top secret email here. The email has been in my spam folder for a while, or so it seems.
My dear EFB,
I hope all is well, and you are enjoying this fine weather we are having.
Your assistant brought the laundry in through our discreet entrance last week, and the laundry is now ready for collection. There are, as usual, a few things I need to mention to you, which you may find important.
Muriel Magnificent’s cardigan, the light-blue one, is starting to develop a hole in the left elbow. For a small, and reduced (I’m pleased to announce!) charge, we now offer an invisible darning service and would be honoured to help you with this. Please let us know if you would like to use our excellent services for this.
Lycralad’s troublesome gusset is now, unfortunately, in tatters. With it being stretched to beyond an inch of its life on many occasion, it has finally snapped. Even if we used our patented reinforced stretchable thread, it still sags like a heavy load; and a saggy gusset is no good to anyone, least of all a superhero. We have a team of excellent designers within the company now, who, for a reasonable charge, will be more than willing to design Lycralad a more fitting outfit.
We managed to remove the singe marks from The Firetop’s uniform, and have sprayed it with the new Amce Fire-Wash spray. This remarkable new spray simply puts flames out on contact. The uniform will become more soggy as it is used, but there will be no more singe marks! The Amce Fire-Wash spray has been given to us on loan, so we have cancelled the charge to you for this service.
We have also cancelled the charge for the cleaning of The Diver’s uniform. Amce’s trial Mud-Go spray actually replaced the mud on the uniform with concrete. It was only by chance that we noticed the uniform was heavier than usual as we tried to fold it, but lucky for all of us that we did. Amce are looking into the mis-fire of their latest product.
The Green Gladiator’s mask has now been restored to its vibrant green, thanks to Amce’s new Dissolve-It spray. A marvellous piece of engineering, that formula, as it dissolves threads that are sun-faded. I use it on my knees and they now look wonderful. We will charge our regular fee for this, as we had cleaned the mask prior to using the spray without any success.
As usual, we found a few items in the pockets. Chewing gum, a postcard made out to ‘Charles Seer’ and a pen lid in Invisible Charlie’s trouser pocket, and an ear-ring in Muriel Magnificent’s inside skirt pocket. There was also a rubber-band ball in there as well, but we presumed it was one of Muriel’s magnificent impressive tools she uses, so we put that back.
As usual, any questions, please contact us in the usual manner. All of your items will be available for collection on Monday, should your assistant like to call in then.
C.T.Hemingway and Sons
Obviously the contents of this email are completely confidential. We pride ourselves on discretion.
Several years – perhaps decades – ago, in a job a whole universe away from what I do now, where I used to work as part of a team of eight, I experienced something strange; and also rather frightening.
This particular day, there were only seven of us on duty, as the eighth person, Sharon Honeysuckle, was on holiday somewhere, doing something that she’d told a couple of the others on the team about. What, where, when and how, I now remember not, and the reason for this lapse in my memory will become very clear indeed.
Another of the team, Dawn Armatrading was explaining Sharon’s reason for having the day off, and it was there that we hit upon the snag.
“Who on Earth is Sharon Honeysuckle?” I asked.
“You know,” said Dawn, taken aback, “Short dark hair, pleasant girl, usually sits opposite you.”
I was puzzled. I knew there was another person on the team who was absent. I knew she was a she. I knew I spoke to her daily. But could I think of her? The team leader, Sharon Greentree, sat opposite me that day, which probably didn’t help, and it was this Sharon that I could only remember. “No…?” I questioned again.
“Brown eyes. Slim. Bought the sari last week.”
“I have no idea who you’re talking about.”
Dawn brought another team member into the conversation, Maxine Gavinson. “Maxine, Tom is saying he doesn’t know Sharon Honeysuckle. Describe her to him…”
Maxine laughed at first, but realised I had no clue as to who Sharon was. “She rides the motorbike,” Maxine offered. “Wears very red lipstick. It was her birthday last week.”
“No. I’m sure she’ll come back to me.”
And with that we got on with our work, although I desperately tried to think of this elusive Sharon Honeysuckle…
What I was experiencing here was a different variant of déjà vu, although kind of the opposite, if you like. Jamais vu is the experience of being unfamiliar with a person or situation that is actually very familiar. This phenomena usually occurs when the brain is tired.
I’m pleased to say that that was the only time I’d ever experienced this, and I apologised to Sharon Honeysuckle profusely the next time I saw her, as I recognised her instantly.
Still, it was quite a frightening experience, I don’t mind admitting.