Hello, and thankyou for coming in today. Before we start I’d just like to point out that my current facial state isn’t normal. I would have worn a hat, but in the current surroundings I felt that would raise more questions than a brief explanation at the beginning of this interview would. So, my fairly unavoidably visible head head wound is due to my double life as a semi-professional wrestler.
I have to bill it as ’semi-professional’ for tax-reasons as well as adhering to company policy. HR frown on moonlighting, even when it’s in a distinctly separate field. I think you should take that into account when considering this position, although it doesn’t affect all that many members of staff. I like to get that out of the way as early on in an interview as possible, so as not to cloud the air with it later.
So, last night was a title match with me billed as a face against Crippler Cranshaw’s crowd beloved heel and the natural escalation of ticket price demanded something more from us than our normal nipple tweaking, mat slamming fun-fest. They upped the place of battle to a barbed wire (well, more chicken wire with ‘barbed wire’ written in red paint on a few clapboard signs that were zip tied through the large metal loops) cage containing a ‘typical family living room’ – subsidies from the home office have led to alterations in the scenarios we play out in the ring and each week they seem to focus on a different ‘message’ that we impart to our baying audience. This week’s ‘message’ was that while considered comparatively harmless, the lounge can be the most dangerous room in case of a home invasion, unless you are prepared.
The bout started as one would expect, with me in my usual attire of tweed plus-fours, smoking jacket, guards tie, wrestling pumps and pipe, sitting in my ‘front room’ listening to Camilla, née Shand previously Parker-Bowles now surname-less, gracing the hallowed grounds of Ambridge with her temporary presence. With a gentle knock upon the door, the only solid item in the walls of our field of battle, The Crippler™ (as he is known amongst his Definite Article loving fans) announced his presence and I stood up, turned down the wireless, adjusted my protective cod-piece (part of my signature pre-match preparation, accompanied by the sound of a wine cork being removed forcefully from a bottle of Chateau Lafite 1979, and affordable expression of the classic which is having the value pushed upwards by my fans) and turned pantomime style to the door. With the audience shouting at me to avoid a door-opening situation and me holding my hands to my ears in the universal sign of not being able to hear their roar I turned the handle and the fight was on.
He sprung through the gap and turned a full 360 degrees, drinking in the crowds cries of disapproval at this tiny deceit, his cape flowing and gilded Nixon mask catching the light in that special way only it can. As he finished turning the crowd quieted and he slowly withdrew from a crouch to face me.
“What is this”, I cried, “an interloper in mine house? For what reason dost thou interrupt my radio listening on this frost-bound eve?”
[The flowery language is written for me by a team of scribes selected by our shadowy overlords from the best of ITV's sitcom writer's room and then kidnapped during the dead of night and chained together in a room under Westfield's shopping shed - so close, but just out of reach of the hallowed turf of BBC TV Centre to which they aspire]
“It is I”, he retorted, “The Crippler™! [pause for audience reaction] And I have come to…[further pause]…CRIPPLE YOU!”
And with that the bout began. We slipped naturally into a grapple, flicking seamlessly through the 3rd, 7th and 26th positions (a classic opener, made famous by Killa Kasparov in ‘86), before breaking and flinging each other into carefully selected collapsible items of furniture. I extracted myself from the remains of a Louis XIII cabinet (replica) and grabbing a crossbow tried to put a bolt through through the head of my opponent. This was, of course, scripted and, throwing pieces of hostess trolley in my direction, he intercepted the bolt with his cloak and was pinned to the sideboard. As I approached he tore himself clear and launched at me with his signature move, the pinking shears. Gripping my head in a vice like grip between his powerful thighs he proceeded to lay punches down along my back in a zigzag pattern before throwing me effortlessly (with significant effort from myself, I might add) into an altered Ikea GRÖNÖ, which shattered at my touch.
I will stop describing the ebb and flow of combat at this juncture, as my contract forbids blow by blow accounts due to the impact on pay per view writeups, a significant income driver in these days since The World British Wrestling Foundation Society (Southern Division) has been forced from our television screens by the spectre of political correctness gone quite mad. Suffice to say that at one time I was hanging upside down from the collapsible paper lampshade as The Crippler™ pummeled my kidneys with a Jamie Oliver Flavo(u)r Shaker and at another time he was bent over the divan chair as I went about his behind with a pair of M&S slippers. It’s not as choreographed as some might say, but our sponsors do love their products to be used in contractually specific ways.
The bout was only billed to last for 20 minutes, due to only having forty 50 pence pieces ready to be inserted into the meter, and we played the crowd right up to the button. In the dying moments I removed a razor blade from the chinese puzzle box that had fallen ‘to chance’ under my hand after a heavy fall through John Lewis Mystic Square glass table, and while thrashing amongst the beaded safety glass opened a small cut in my forehead. Blood streamed as I stood, with theatrical shaking of my head and general scooping of said fluid aiding the effect. I rounded on my attacker and, spoiler alert, performed my signature move on him, pinching first left then right nipple, before hooking his nose from the middle of his confused face and flinging him over my right shoulder into a, until that time, carefully avoided stack of Habitat vase-ware. He at last lay still and with a flourish of arm and leg entanglement I pinned him, the referee (the second of our match, after an hilarious incident involving the first and a porcelain petunia) declaring my win after a slow and, for once, uninterfered with 3 count. I stood, leaving my opponent feigning unconsciousness amongst the flapping neon tetras of a broken fish tank, and walked out of the cage into the bosom of my beloved audience.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, why did you choose us over other financial service establishments?
I have interviews to give this week. I have a chunk missing from my forehead due to an interaction with a low bookshelf while visiting my mum this weekend. This is the explanation I am tempted to go with.