Friday, 16 August 2013
If My Heart Surgeon Commissions A Painting
Dear Doctor Maxwell FRCS. CTh. Consultant Surgeon Papworth Hospital.
Thank you so much for ordering the painting and paying me in full up front. I do realise that £120,000 is quite a large sum but you have to consider all of the hard work and training I have undergone to reach this point in my career.
Of course, you won't receive the painting for some considerable time. I have put you on a waiting list and you are priority 2. This means that if I ever run out of ideas for much more interesting and fulfilling paintings to work on (priority 1) which will serve to further enhance my career and reputation, I will get around to working on yours. I can't give you any idea how long this will be I'm afraid.
I'd like you to come and see me in my Leiston studio in about a months time. I realise that the 300 miles round trip is a considerable journey for you, but at least you still have your car. (I'll expand on that a little later) Upon arrival at my studio, the nearest car park which is anywhere near expensive enough is in Aldeburgh, just a few miles away. You can make your own way from there.
At my studio you will be greeted by my window cleaner, Melvin. He's extremely polite and nice Melvin is, and will look after you well for the duration of your visit. He will take you to my bathroom where you will be weighed, measured and asked personal questions, the answers to which I already have on record. The purpose of this is irrelevant but I'm sure it will make you feel so much better, being dealt with so soon after your arrival. I'll then require you to wait for about four hours or so in my kitchen
Whilst waiting, if you see me going about my business, please don't attempt to talk to me as I have far more important things to do than mix with the hoi polloi. There's a restaurant up the road that serves a very nice lunch for a start, I'll be needing at least two hours for lunch.
Once I get around to seeing you, I'll explain a bit about how I'm going to create your painting. It may not be anything like the one you ordered but I'm sure you realise I know best. You may well have researched paintings and art in general and may have formulated some questions to ask me. Please don't be ridiculous. I really do know best. This consultation will take approximately five minutes, then you can make your way home again.
From this point on, every few weeks or so someone will be around to remove some of your possessions. Don't be alarmed, this is quite normal and I'm sure you have enough possessions to last you through your time on my waiting list. I will of course leave the death bed until last but you are not, repeat NOT to use it (unless as a very last resort). I hope to get to start your painting just before you have to use the death bed. My timing is 85% impeccable so please, don't panic. It won't help.
About six months or so later you may wish to telephone me to ask about the progress of your painting, and express your concerns about the number of possessions you have lost. You will reach Melvin again. He won't be able to give you any idea or help but as you know, he's very nice and polite. He may also be able to put you through to one or two friends of his. I hope you'll appreciate the music you'll be forced to listen to before speaking to perhaps the Postman or the Milkman. You may even be able to speak to another window cleaner. I'll more than likely be at lunch so won't actually ever speak to you.
About this time I will be having your car taken away. This is to make it as difficult as possible for you to remain working. Of course, you may continue to work. Obviously you need to earn a living if possible but I don't want it to be too easy. I'll also be confiscating your passport so that you can no longer go on holidays. In fact, anything that you enjoy will be taken away gradually.
Don't be alarmed when you start to realise you have very little left worth keeping. Please don't be tempted to get in the death bed. I will get on to your painting before you need to use it I'm sure and if you really feel concerned remember, Melvin is just a phone call away.
Eventually, all being well I will get on to your painting and once completed, some of your possessions will be returned to you. I can't promise how many, the longer you have been waiting the more I will have taken and obviously some things will be lost forever.
I hope this letter has explained everything clearly to you and I really am looking forward to driving your car.
Incredibly brilliant, much sought after, successful, handsome and well dressed artist.