Undressing

Professor Desmond Macadamia turns off his computer, pushes back his chair and prepares to leave work for the day.  He pulls on his duffel coat and says Good Day to his colleagues, his first words to them since Good Morning.  On his way out of the building he ducks into the toilets and attaches a plastic false nose and a false moustache, puts his pipe in his mouth and pulls on his deerstalker.  He looks like a Sherlock Holmes Mr. Potato Head.

Professor Desmond Macadamia is an assumed name – it is written on a badge that he always wears to work and people assume that is his name.  They do not question his odd surname, nor do they question why a Professor is working in a call centre.  Now that he is out on the street, his badge hidden under his coat, he is no longer Professor Desmond Macadamia – he is now Anonymous Man Walking Home From Work.

At home he discards disguise, coat and badge and sits at his desk to write a letter to the milkman, informing him that Lady Margaretta Patagonia would like to change her order from two pints of milk on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday to one every day of the week.  He then redirects some post for the Reverend Adrian Cuisine.  He has a thing for titles.

In a blond wig and sailor’s cap he cooks beef stroganoff for his tea as Admiral Rupert Pen-Lip, the onions sizzling, the mushrooms softening, the beef cooking gently, the stock and at the last moment, when the rice is already served in a ring on the plate, soured cream is poured in and turns the mixture thick and delicious.  Such luxuries were not so common at sea.

After tea he undresses and stares back at himself in the mirror, wondering if that is really him.

Time for his evening walk.  He pulls on the suit, starting at his feet and working it up his legs to his waist and then over his shoulders.  The head goes on last, the long ears flapping as he turns his head.  Once he is comfortable Doctor Rex Astrology fixes his collar, whistles to himself and, with a tennis ball between his chops, leaves the house.

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