Are you all OK? I hope so. No doubt Puffins are distraught to read this week’s Question Time Review will not appear and that this circumstance is likely to continue until the autumn. Given the gratitude in which I hold you, the dear reader, and given the need to stifle possible unpleasant speculation, one feels obliged to explanation.
The other night after wrapping a particularly harrowing edition of QT Review and after Mrs AWS, my wife of 27 years, had gone to bed, I found myself alone in my home office.
As is my want, I felt moved to take advantage of the tranquillity of a north country July night to log on to the internet and make one of my regular and rather generous donations to a worthy cause. There are many less fortunate souls than my church-going wife and myself and our grown-up family. In a sad and fallen world not all enjoy our respectable suburban home, surrounded by generous landscaped gardens, nestled at the better end of a county town cul-de-sac behind a stout five-bar Cumberland gate.
Unfortunately, tired and emotional after listening to Kate Andrews, rather than visit a food bank website for public sector worker’s homeless orphans, I somehow found myself directed to a place called the ‘Dark Web’ where, I now realise, my mouse button clicked itself onto ‘Happy Ladyboys For Lucky Sugar Daddies’. As you may already be aware from this morning’s tabloids, by a remarkable and unfathomable coincidence, driven no doubt by complex algorithms beyond any humble reviewer’s ken, this isn’t the first time this unlikely happenstance has occurred.
Shocked and disgusted at a live stream of willowy, athletic, lithe, tanned young men dressed as girls, I acted at once. However, owing to a long-standing medical condition I was typing with one hand at the time and by accident missed the ‘Report’ button and instead inadvertently selected ‘Donate.’
During the confusion, my webcam fell from its
hiding place resting place, switched itself on and pointed below my waist. It being the witching hour between being garmented in a cardigan and slacks and wearing my stripey pyjamas, Puffins will be unsurprised to read my bare bottom was exposed.
Having accidentally clicked on ‘Donate’, and not yet aware of the easy-to-make mistake, I was faced with a payment page.
I, as any right-minded citizen who has visited Southeast Asia unaccompanied as often as I have, assumed a modest donation to be required to law enforcement to help investigate this nefarious trade.
Misunderstanding the present exchange rate between the Pound Sterling and the Thai Bhat, a journalist subsequently wrote, to my surprise, I had spent £35,000 on a certain Mr (or Miss) Jo-Long Bunnylove of the Daddy Bar-fine Private Video Club in Soi Fireman Street, Bangkok.
This happened by accident.
In a disgraceful act of financial deceit, the said journalist had blagged my details from an overseas bank by guessing (I must add, for security reasons and to protect my family from possible terrorist attack) that my account had been opened in the name of a family pet.
Likewise, my Amazon account proved insecure.
Concerned that Master/Miss Jo-Long Bunnylove may well have been a homeless orphan all the same, I was slow to object to his/her purchases through my unknowing largesse. One felt obliged to help decorate what is no doubt a modest shack too close to the Equator. Mirrors, especially on the ceiling, make a cramped bedroom look bigger. A queen-sized heart-shaped bed allows for more space without taking up more room – a friend informs me.
Acres of pink chiffon go well with the jungle green that lays beyond brand-new gold lame curtains. As for the airline tickets to Thailand, since the closure of the ticket office at Carlisle Citadel station, one struggles to find the correct mode of transport, or even county, when attempting to book a day return to Penrith.
Puffins may also have noticed, on an evil thing called social media, A.I. Photoshop montages of fake screenshots purportedly broadcast from my office to a computer in Soi Fireman. I can assure Puffins my bottom was neither present nor taking part in the unusual act depicted.
An expert, who for obvious reasons must remain anonymous and cannot answer questions, wishes to assure the public that pictures of my naked body are of such a good likeness and contain so many unknown hidden details that they must be 100% deep fake.
No doubt the product of an extreme ultra-hard far-right Putin-backed conspiracy theory Chinese bot sweatshop somewhere in Serbia.
I have forwarded all the images (and some others Mrs AWS received in a plain envelope the day before a pre-planned long-term stay with her sister) to BBC Verify. As I write, they are being poured over in Broadcasting House by a jury of DJs and news presenters of the highest integrity. I await Miss Marianna Spring’s delivery to camera of the BBC’s forthcoming convincingly worded whitewash.
See you in September!
© Always Worth Saying 2023
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file