'Woeful at Wadham' – HT18 Week 2

Dear Audrey,

Sometimes I wonder whether PPE is what I’m really meant to be studying. It’s certainly practical, but all I really want to do is perform. Help!


Woeful at Wadham

Dear Woeful,

Let me paint you a picture, petal: the year is 1979. Disco is dead. I’m hanging on to reason by one battered, fuchsia false fingernail. The cause? My late ex-husband Morty ‘The Hamburgler’ Fontainbleau. He was lewd, he was crude, and his raison d’être (we were living in Saint-Tropez) was to make an economist out of me.

Now there are only a few things which I’m not: I’m not corrigible, I’m no angel, and I’m not sorry. I am also not an economist. Well, that last one has only been true since I officially gave up the fiscal ghost. I’ll let you in on a sugar-coated secret: Morty put a ring on my finger for one single reason, and that reason is what I’ve got upstairs. You see, I used to keep all my economics almanacs in our loft, and I had an annual subscription which Morty offered to renew on a direct debit. Well, I was in a tight spot, and this just about kept me afloat. So I agreed, and before I knew it I was whisked away to the “Le Sud de la France” (that’s French for “The South of France”).

What I liked about Morty – other than his silk lapels and Gucci loafers – was his ambition, his dreamer’s spirit, you know, his goddamn appetite for greatness. Of course, like all money-laundering, neckerchief-wearing scumbags, his glory was also his guillotine. And that blade came down on his neck like a sockful of rocks. He was a reindeer trying to squeeze through a cat-flap, if you see what I’m saying – antlers are stubborn accessories! Well anyway, once “la police” (as the French would say) cottoned on, I filed for divorce and packed my bags. Of course, Morty ended up on the second longest car chase in European history – 14 hours, no less. It all came to a rather sudden end – I won’t go into the gruesome details, but if you think it’s funny to vandalise a road-sign indicating an animal crossing, then think again. No amount of crumple zone will save you from the weight of fully-grown Charolais cattle barreling over your dashboard.

And there you have it – Morty loved me, but our marriage was a sham. He was a moonshine mogul, fiddling figures quicker than you can cry “sacré bleu”, and I had been taken in like a turkey at Christmas. He used me for my economic expertise; I was a pawn in his chess-game of phony finances, and oh boy! how I was blinded by his golden bishops and diamond rooks. Intellectually speaking, he milked me drier than an ice-cream parlour gone into liquidation.

Now do I blame Morty for all that happened? No. I honestly don’t. There was little bad feeling between us really – we used to share a cheese and onion sandwich at Colin’s Café for our fortnightly catch-up. Heck, I even paid for his sandalwood coffin! But I do blame economics. Call me an institutionalist but us creatives, the Carole Kings of this world, have to leave the money-meddling to the banks. Pay your taxes and get the bill, that’s what I say.

Whether your account is inshore, offshore, or you’re unsure (like Morty, may he rest in peace), but just be sure to keep it nasty, cherub.

Truly yours,

Audrey xx

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