British Hospitality

Joseph walked up to the front door of Number Seven with some foreboding. He’d had a hard trip, having been chased down the road by thugs and mugged by the taxi service. He knew he looked a bit bedraggled, as someone who’d run out of money and been forced to walk a long way in driving rain might do.

He’d heard of the famed hospitality of John Bull Esquire, a jovial, beef-fed old chap who prided himself on his stiff upper lip and superior moral values. At least, this was what Joseph had heard on the radio and the TV, which Mr Bull regularly appeared on to explain exactly how magnanimous and generous he was, at great length. And with the colder weather coming on, he’d thought it worth a shot to ask for shelter.

As he approached the gates however he noticed that grand old facade was groaning under the weight of what looked like razor-wire and guard posts. Eerie voices echoed from inside “scrounging benefit-claiming bastards want to take our homes and jobs…”

It was all very unsettling.

Steeling himself, he clumped up to the intercom and pressed the buzzer. It rang to the tune of Jerusalem before a suspicious-sounding voice cut in.

“What do you want?”

“Oh hello, my name’s Joseph, I’m looking for somewhere warm to get out of the rain if that’s alright?”

A deafening, outraged silence could be heard at the other end of the line. “What are you, some sort of slacker looking to steal everything?”

Joseph was baffled. “No it’s just cold and wet out here, and I’ve been mugged.” The suspicious voice faded for a second, and another, shrill and harsh, cut in. “Immigrants bring crime, we can’t get ’em out, send in the army!” The suspicious one tutted and shushed, “Alright Mr Mail I’ll definitely check, hang on…”

“Can you prove you’re not a thief or some sort of extremist planning to murder us all in our beds?”

Joseph stood in the rain a bit, water slowly filling his boots, as he wondered what on Earth he could do to prove a negative. “Erm… look I’ve not got any ID, I was mugged you see. I really just need…”

“NO ID?!? YOU COULD BE A BLEEDIN’ FUNDIE ANTI-BRITISH SCAMMER HERE TO NICK OUR MEDICAL SUPPLIES!! THIS IS THE THIN END OF THE WEDGE! THERE’LL BE MILLIONS MORE OF YOU SOON!”

“No, no honestly I could just do with a roof and maybe a cup of tea…”

After many minutes of argument, interspersed with occasional screeching from Mr Mail, the suspicious voice finally relented after several tense phone calls with other members of the community to confirm that Mr Bull wouldn’t have to be putting up with any more of these bleedin’ travellers. The gate swung open. Inside, a fence tunnel topped with barbed wire led to a shack marked “scroungers.”

On the other side of the fence, a beef-fed man in a bucther’s apron stood, surrounded by guards and flanked by the hatchet-faced Mr Mail.

“Before you come in we’ll need to look at your teeth mate. Make sure you’re kosher.”

Joseph sighed, and trudged forward.