The President’s unwillingness – or perhaps the slight hereditary misfortunes of his genetic make-up – to understand what it means to be a “foreigner” had brought about an air of desperation (in my mind only, the rest of the Society seemed to go about their business as usual). After his failure to procure a sizeable chunk of the City of Canterbury - a definite low point in the history (as written by our in-house historian) of The Society - it was nothing less than admitting complete defeat (”When defeat is total, you take your gun and head straight back for the jungle”, in The Professor’s words).

Earlier, we had already tried to establish a sense of community by gathering all our pennies (11) in a jar, but because of The Secretary’s “long fingers” (ie. Flemish for outright thievery perpetrated by people with freakishly long fingernails or fingers) we had to let go of this thought (not after severely beating the Secretary over the head with the societal baculum, that is). “Soon,” I thought, “we will see the admittance of women and furry animals to our Society.” I didn’t dare speak these words, because I feared another series of kicks to the ribs from my fellow Tavistocks (especially after the “misunderstanding” (my casual unzipping) at the race-course had led to my incarceration by the race-track police, or whatever these ruffians are called. In any case, the floor of the cell was cold, my bottom wet and my demands for a Qu’ran or Bible or I’Ching were all dismissed as frivolous (literally I was told “shot op, you poff”). By Buddha, if I ever get the money back I once deposited in a bank in a shady country in Eastern Europe or thereabouts, I shall fight the urge to spend the worthless sheets on liqueur and take them all to court. That is, if I can remember the exact shape of their criminal heads, for they were all bald and stocky. Footnote: nobody came to my rescue at the race-course that day, least of all Mother, and she was the one who had de-potty trained me as a toddler to resemble the Belgian national symbol (a rather sensuous bronze statue of a small, peeing boy). Nobody seems to grasp its sophistication in these islands).

This gradual accumulation of failures ought to result in some form of long-term gain, so we set off to find the winning lottery ticket we were sure Uncle Cyril had safely hidden until he had a chance of cashing it in. At least, that is what our President seemed to have convinced himself of. A quick search of his home ensued, but nothing was found, apart from a pair of stinking socks, the remnants of a model railroad, an empty wine cellar and some imitation grass. Uncle had a strange fetish for a particular shade of bright green, so it seemed; earlier research had shown he would occasionally dress up as a giant bunny and hump his furniture (our communications to the police were quite clear on this point). It was a rather ghastly scene, especially after we found him hiding in a wardrobe, his fists clenched around a giant carrot. Un daunted by his predicament, he shouted we were welcome to try some of his carrot soup. Useless to say, we took him up on his offer. It was a great end to our day.