Isn’t it curious how two very different aspects of human character can manifest themselves , under one roof, in one family and as a result of the same basic upbringing. ‘Ducker’ had a brother called Nicholas who, for some years,thought ‘Ali Money’ was some Arab prince who seemed to know a lot of Hollywood stars. To be fair to him, which is never enjoyable , the penny had dropped by the time he took up his residency as the Vicar at St Anthony’s church in Lower Sadworth . A position he filled quite happily, but without note, for the majority of his life. His career was so colourless that we have no difficulty in dropping him from this tale and we won’t be referring to him again. As his brother said to him, “Nicki, the road to hell is paved with great anecdotes, and you don’t have any”
So back to his younger brother ‘Ducker’ who had qualified as an accountant through luck and bribery and now worked in his local town signing off the accounts of the many businesses there. He was a popular figure at the bar by reason of his colourful stories and the ability to buy a round. He used to quote his best advice with abandon. ” Never make a promise you can’t break”, which he would tell to any passing ‘ingenue’ who was lucky enough to cross his path on the way to professional glory.
I remember someone asking him how it was he had been so successful with the ladies and yet had no children. He smiled knowlingly and winked in that world weary way which wreakes of dishonesty. “No forwarding address son”. “Pardon” says the innocent pupil. “Never leave a forwarding address, then they cannot contact you with the bad news”. Needless to say he was regarded more as a fund of good stories than useful guidance. One of those people who, if you introduced him to your friend, you might say, “Count your fingers before you shake his hand”. “Anything is possible with Ducker” And so it was. His speciality was massaging the figures of local small businesses to prevent any unpleasant conversations about tax. Despite his ‘slack-happy’ approach to deadlines, his ability to overlook a decent percentage of the profits when auditing accounts always kept his glass full at the bar, and a decent car on the drive.
Moving on with reluctance and a man calls up and asks if he can come round for some advice. “Come as soon as you like” says Ducker. It’s one of the curiosities of life that the morally bankrupt enjoy giving advice almost more than anyone else. Anyway, this chap rolls up and settles in the chair opposite Ducker’s desk. He clutches his cup of tea and says. “I have a day job, but I want to start an evening business with my wife offering interior design”. “I’ve been given your name as a person who can set us on the path to a profitable enterprise”. Ducker smiles, which gives him the chance to flash off some expensive dentistry, and says. “You’ve stepped in the right door son”. “I can give the addresses of quite a few round here who could do with your help.”. “Not me, of course” he said pointing to his purple and orange desk lampshade in the shape of a parrot, As for profits. “You make em and we’ll keep em to a minimum if you follow me. ( More teeth flashmanship) and then he asked. “So what do you do during the day. His young client replies “I work for the Inland Revenue as a tax inspector.”