The Baby Didn’t Vote 

“But the baby didn’t vote!”

This is one of the typical garbled cries you’d hear from a remain moaner, as I call them. These people constitute two-fifths of my otherwise-gleaming family, which includes me (Nigel), my wife (Janet), Sasha and Grimwald (twins, 19F), and Eoin (8 months old, our sickly autumn years baby).

Janet and I wish to start a new life far from the pot holes, heroin and the rude child at the end of the street that uniformly plague all urban centres. We’ve got our collective big eye on a recreational vehicle in Camber Sands holiday park, where we can live out our remaining years, sitting still and remembering how angry we used to be. However, our daughters want to remain within the city, so they can pursue their own vanity projects of higher education, skilled e23mployment and access to culture.

Wearying of the endless quarrelling and indecision, I insisted we put the matter to a vote, so it could be settled once and for all. In the words of Winston Churchill, “If democracy can’t solve this problem, I’ll eat my hat! And between you and me I’ve been salivating at the thought of my hat all day. I trust this conversation is off the record…”

After a fierce week of campaigning, we converted the downstairs toilet into a makeshift ballot booth. Predictably, the results were a stalemate that wasn’t rectified by five further rounds of run-off votes and a relay race around the perimeter of the house. The deadlock hung tight in the air like the Humber Bridge. There seemed to be no solution.

“But the baby didn’t vote!”

It’s come to this. On Sunday, we have agreed to clear all furniture from the living room, stand on opposing edges with the baby dead-centre, pat our knees vigorously and lie as convincingly as we can to win the support of a child who doesn’t know he’ll be held responsible for tearing our family apart for the rest of his life.

Off Grid

I rejoined society in September, after finding that UberEats consistently refuses to deliver ‘off grid’. I had only been gone a year, but the world I came back to was one I didn’t recognise. After living in a world without advertisements, in a small commune of tunnels built underneath Camber Sands holiday park, returning to a world consumed by money and advertisement was like an oxygen high.

Committed to full reintegration, I had my credit card chip surgically inserted into the subcutaneous layer of my palm.

Unfortunately, it turned out I had what doctors refer to as ‘flipped out nerves’, an issue which facilitated an unplanned overlap in transmission signals between the bank card reader and my central nervous system. As a result, whenever I pay for any goods using contactless debit, my entire short-term memory is replaced by an instant recall of all bank transactions taking place over the last two weeks within a two-mile radius.

When the problem was finally diagnosed, the surgeon responsible offered to reverse the treatment, but I decided to refuse, mistakenly thinking that this gift would help me find a permanent position within the banking or financial analytics industry. What I discovered, through research and various rejected applications, is that all this information is easily searchable through internal databases and asking a man with a (now substantially swollen) hand is not any quicker.

I tell my story in the hopes that no-one else will make the same mistake I did. Now I work as a driver for UberEats. If someone wants sweet and sour chicken delivered to the five-mile stretch beneath the Yorkshire Moors, I say, “You bet,” process their order with my palm, and quietly forget who I am.

SEAN MORLEY