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“It's disgusting, we know that much” The Belgian said, pointing at a DIY store sign. He launched into a rant of epic proportions, how his youth had been destroyed by the meticulous classification and ordering of tools, under orders of Father. The displacement of even an old pair of pliers was enough to rekindle his memories. He consequently hit The Treasurer over the head with them, screaming not to be such a beastly Austrian.

The Treasurer retorted that he needed them for 'general tin-opening purposes' (a lie), so he took them back from the mouth-foaming Belgian. The pliers were so rusty they disintegrated in his paws, so getting to the contents of the tin proved harder than expected. After using The Secretary's rotten mouth for this purpose (his teeth fell out quicker than The President's orders came down upon us), we stared at the tin as if it were another challenge of our classroom abilities. Mother always claimed that we couldn't hold onto a pencil and insisted that this was directly related to problems in our later careers and relationships. However, this didn't open the tin, did it.

A quick round of confessions was followed by a kick to the tin. At this point we noticed its casement was abnormal and proceeded to investigate. There was a picture of a ravioli parcel on the cover and someone or something had written ravioli above this image. The wrapping offered a number for a customer help line which may have helped, but we soon got frustrated with the idea that there might be a telephone out there and ripped off the horrible bit of paper which had confounded us.

The Bookmaker took out a cheese knife and slashed at the shiny tin as if it were a sofa, but to no avail. His impotency, probably a result of being a nonce, was such that even the knife blade became flaccid in his indescribably inept fingers; have those fleshy tubes ever held a pen? – I think not. He started screaming (at least he understood he ought to be frustrated), but his cries were soon muffled by our fists.

We were now looking at an anonymous tin, like any other tin of moderate proportions. We had in fact, both in reality and in writing, reached a dead end. As a child father would regulate our games of 'cars' by insisting we never drove down or simulated the act of driving down a cul-de-sac, a street type he said lacked ambition and was unworthy of us. It certainly was not a type he found unworthy of his mistresses, and was happy to house them in the local 'Barrat' estate built on the former footprint of mother's beloved scent garden. It was on those dreary streets that I first met the boy formerly know as my friend Paul – now known as my half brother Paul, and would pass many an hour sitting in his gravelled front garden playing 'quarry', a game I have only ever seen re-emulated in adulthood by the Treasurer. I always thought Paul was Romanian because all of the toys father would confiscate from me to give to 'the Ukrainian orphans charity' would find their way into his hands. He did speak good English for a Romanian I thought. Even at that time I had respect for a chap with good command of 'languages', no matter if he is a Belgian nonce.

Then a flash of brilliance: we could sell it on the market, if only we could make the locals believe it was an exotic food stuff. The earnings could then be spent in a fashion of our choosing. “We could publish a romantic story, no, no, even better: a fairy tale! And publish it with the money we make in the market!” The Propagandist exclaimed with moist eyes and a trembling voice (we blaim his inferiority complex and masochistic self-effacement). Having no knowledge of the Romanian dwelling in our midst set off the Bookmaker, who is a vile racist at the best of moments, but the combination of Spaghetti, and Italian dish, and the Belgian sophistries (he was lecturing him on how to calculate the odds on how soon he would get a lectureship. It was a lost bet for both men, but the Belgian knew he had an easy target in the Bookmaker – a man more paranoid than his (pink) shadow). The Propagandist set out to write a story about a lonely tin of spaghetti and a motherly figure (he called her the Scientist – a wise woman he seemed to revere so much as to constantly say prayers in her name, sing songs and pick flowers to put “in her hair”, whatever that meant. We were disgusted). He pulled out a flashy electronic devise from his designer (GQ he let it be known) bag and started frolicking with its keys. It was a pervert doing his thing, but we let him have his little pleasure (as long as the Secretary didn't catch wind of this type of bag, or the whole of the Society would be forced to buy him one for his biweekly birthdays).