Nigel Winchmore-Symonds

Nigel Winchmore- Symonds was not a lucky chap. I don’t know why. Some argument between the gods during his birth, or a sudden shift in the cosmic charts shortly before he was plonked into his mother’s arms. We have no explanation, and there is no real reason to speculate, apart from the fun of it.

Some people seem to attract bad luck in the way others benefit from its close relative, known as ‘good luck’ for ease of identification. Nigel had been born into poor, or ‘restricted’ circumstances or whatever euphemism floats your boat on this particular day. No problem with that, except that his grandmother had been born at the tail end of a more prosperous time in the families history and was constantly trying to remind her grandchildren that they were ‘gentlemen’ or something else which might mean that life or the local employers would treat them more kindly. This is seldom the case, as Nigel would discover during his unfortunately long life.

Anyway, no need to dwell too much on his gruesome history. Suffice it to say that Nigel was highly intelligent and perceptive but had neither the confidence nor social skills to take advantage of the fact. To be honest, the opposite was nearer the truth. Because his well-meaning but deluded grandmother gave him elocution lessons, and because his surname harked back to grander times, he stuck out like an over-manicured thumb  amidst the poor and unglamorous streets where he spent his youth. He wasn’t physically bullied but he was constantly derided and made to feel apart from the  normal run of life. He comforted himself, by reading, researching and reflecting on the world around him. This may or may not have improved his position.

Move on a few years and he is now a junior clerk in the office of a company selling a range of tinned fish. Needless to say, the environment was as inspiring as it sounds and filled by people who longed for the end of their working day. Nigel worked at some small desk collating sales returns, and thus had a fragile connection to the marketing department. Lets face it. Those marketing boys knew how to live a life. Highlights were the afternoon ‘conferences’ where tea was not the only drink and expansive plans with little hope of fruition enjoyed a brief time in the Limelight: a small illumination device largely fuelled by vanity, but more of that another time.

Here he was at the back of the room, waiting to be grilled, if you can use that term carelessly in the fish environment, about tin sales in Greenland and Iceland. ( Apparently disappointingly small ), when Carl Boomberger, Head of Marketing and all-round self-confessed genius mentioned in an aside that the “world, in marketing terms,  was really flat”. Poor old Nigel, whose mind was not as gripped by the topic as it might have been, only came alive at the end of the sentence, and without thinking responded. “Actually it’s round sir, or possibly ellipticle if you want to be pedantic”. There was a short pause while people tried to ascertain what kind of life-form was capable of natural speech so far back in the room when Carl exploded “Are you trying to teach me my job young man”.

“Is that possible” said Nigel with an ambiguity which might have saved him from the consequences of his impertinence. On this occasion it didn’t and he was left to ruminate on the relationship between power and freedom of speech as he scanned the newspaper for jobs while standing at the bus stop.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in bullying, character, community, creative writing, employment, Environment, Fiction, humour, Relationships, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Nigel Winchmore-Symonds

  1. catterel says:

    I hope “to be continued” … are you planning to bring all your incredibly credible characters together into some cosmic event? In anticipation …


  2. renxkyoko says:

    I have a vision of Nigel, who is neither here nor there, the type who will be a bachelor all his life…. which is a pity because he seems like an honest and kind person.


  3. Fabulous! Absolutely fabulous! You had me smiling right from the start. As soon as I saw his name I said to myself (out loud, becauseI do!) “this is going to be good”. And so it is. Oh please write and get a book published. I can already see myself, cosy bed, cuppa and my kindle with your latest book. You have to do it!!!

    You have also brought back a distant memory! When I was little, about 4, I remember one of my sisters being sent for elocution lessons! I have no idea why, I must ask he. She really did come home saying “how now brown cow”!!! 🙂


  4. Your comments are always so generous and inspiring. I will have a chat with Real Life, and see if he allows me the time and space to use my pen for an extended period. You never know.


  5. solarexpert says:

    Bring all these characters into one life story… and Heaven is a college… go on get writing


  6. Barbara says:

    It does seem you are setting up a cast of characters. And I have to say, they are all quite intriguing in very different ways. You have such a distinct turn of phrase Peter. I love it!


  7. Purely.. Kay says:

    I couldn’t read beyond your second paragraph, at first, without thinking of my day earlier this week. I just didn’t have a lucky day on Tuesday. But, everything always seem to turn around some kind of way. And these cast of charactes would make an interesting story


  8. As always, excellently written with wit and that important little devil called wisdom. This SO resonated with me … Let’s just say, I knew how he was going to leave that fish-y environment! I say good for Nigel – be who you are and speak as you are meant to speak! Wonderful story – please keep going!


  9. nelle says:

    That ‘selling a range of tinned fish’ line, roflmao…


  10. Pure delight, Peter! The end is so well executed and elecuted! But this part: “…he stuck out like an over-manicured thumb amidst the poor and unglamorous streets where he spent his youth.” had me smiling from ear to ear. You are a clever, clever writer. 🙂


  11. You, my dear, Peter, are one of my favorite writers. Xx LOVE.


  12. ElizOF says:

    Poor Nigel…. I loved his reply to that bastard! 😦


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