War monologue 1 – Blackout

Blackout’s what I can’t stand. If I go out I have to creep around in the dark, tripping over things. Torch is useless. They tell you to keep turning it off and on to save the battery. Well, you have to do what you can, I suppose. After all, there is a war on. But I twisted my ankle coming from the bus stop last week. And her next door, the hoity-toity one, she was knocked down by a car a month ago. Lucky it was going slowly, or she’d have been killed. As it was she had a lot of cuts and bruises. Didn’t knock any sense into her, though. Still hoity-toity.

And those blooming blackout curtains. So awkward. I have to start putting them up an hour before sunset. But I’m always scrupulous. Well, you don’t have any choice with those nosy wardens poking around all the time. And yet I still got taken to court. I did. Can you imagine? Me. In the Police Court. I nearly died of shame. I told the warden it wasn’t my fault. I told the magistrates. But fat lot of notice they took. That one in the middle, the chairman, he was just a pompous arse. I’m sorry, but there’s no other word. I said to him, “It was the cat,” I said. “The cat.” And so it was. Went running up the curtain and brought it down. I’d told the warden he should prosecute the cat. He just laughed, though I couldn’t see what was funny.

“Well,” says the chairman, “you should have kept the animal under control.”

Would you believe it?

“But,” I says, “it’s a cat,” I says. “Not a dog. You can’t control a cat.”

“In that case,” he says, “you have to take the consequences. Fined thirty shillings.” 

Thirty shillings! Previous chap only got fined ten. I protested, but of course I was wasting my breath.

By John Emms

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