Future

by Luke Otley

An extended stint of unemployment can be good, for some. Men who live in grand houses – grown fat and soft from paper and coin. These kind of men have paid their dues, whatever that means. They’ve toiled in the mud like dogs and can state with conviction, “I’ve done my bit”.

If all you have on your rap sheet is a fictional claim to a number of years spent as retail assistant to a (now) convicted rapist, unemployment is not a wise choice. Alas, these are unavoidable circumstances – show me an employer who is willing to hire a man with little to no prior experience for less than a month, and I’ll show you a fool. Employers are often mean, but they’re rarely stupid. I’m just a rat that missed the boat – the ship is still sailing, and the other rats are getting old and grey, comfortable on a diet of crumbs while I starve on the docks.

Graduate employment is at an all time high since 2008, according to The Times, but competition remains ‘intense’. Many have taken to the graduate job market, but a BA English doesn’t carry much weight with the Big Dogs. It would be wise for me to retreat to the forest and lick my wounds after being spanked out of £22k. Yes…it’s the promise of greener pastures for me, and a one-way ticket to the other side of the world. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to get a job in a weekly as copy-boy… a job in which I would have already had five years experience had I the foresight to start at sixteen. Alternatively I might just sack it in completely and watch myself become brown and tough like a leather belt, picking fruit and seasonally tramping from one farm to the next…

I could forget English altogether, and speak solely Italian. I might even grow a moustache and get a tattoo of a fat woman in a ballgown on my right thigh. When I inevitably get deported from New Zealand I’ll smuggle my way into Monaco in the dank confines of a cargo hold. I’ll marry a mute, and she will seduce me into a uniform silence. We’ll have one son, and name him Mao or something similarly ridiculous, and he’ll grow up to be a transgender Olympic swimmer with purple-dyed chest hair. I’ll die penniless but content at 44, and Mao will write a bestselling memoir about our time together. Due to the critical acclaim of the book, journalists will become more interested in Mao’s private life and it will be found he abuses steroids. His medals will be coldly stripped and, having invested his life to swimming, he has no alternative but to turn to crime. After several minor charges he’ll finally serve for manslaughter, only to be stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in the communal showers a mere two months into his sentence.