Summer, 2030. The line from Ashkelon to New York wasn’t the best.
“Hello, is that Chris Darwen? Anthony here. Er, Anthony Haynes. No, well I don’t expect you can remember all of your writers names. I mean now that you’ve acquired News International, I expect you have a very large address book. It’s just that back in 2019 you published a post of mine called Ballad of the utility men. No, well, it wasn’t that memorable. But I was just wondering whether you would be able to delete it for me. No, I wasn’t really expecting you to do so in person, but perhaps Pearson? No, no, not Pearson PLC. Yes, I know you’ve acquired them too. Mike Pearson. What’s that you say? The Sergeant Wilson of Higher Tempo Press? Oh, very droll. It’s just that in the post in question I, well, had a bit of a go at a player called Adi Konstantinos because I’d run out of patience with him conceding penalties and getting carded. I think I might, inadvertently of course, have given the impression that he wasn’t that bright. No, Konstantinos, not Pearson. No, well, maybe he isn’t. Thing is, I’m bringing him in as assistant manager. Yes, I know, but I thought that off the field his passion — well, yes, you can call it aggression of you like — might be rather useful. Only if he did happen to come across that post, well, he might just, erm, turn his aggression on me. You will? Thank you, Chris. I mean, thank you, Sir Chris. Of course. I trust you enjoyed your visit to the palace.”