August Personages

Months have lives. They have a beginning and an end and, just as with humans, if they feel that they have unfinished business, they become ghosts.

There is, for example, the March Hare, plaintively begging tortoises, snails, even garden gnomes to race against him, trying to right some perceived ancient wrong.

There is the May Flower, haunting garden centres hoping that one day someone will buy one of those small plastic packets of seeds and find that something actually grows as a result.

There is also June Isbustinoutallover, who haunts the bra of a large-chested lady in Oklahoma, though only because she fell into her cleavage one day and hasn’t been able to get out.

And there is July Andrews, a ghostly nun who haunts Alpine villages trying to get the residents to dress their children in Laura Ashley wallpaper.

And then there is the April Fool.

Legend has it that he was a happy-go-lucky type of person, who unfortunately took the phrase “April showers” too literally. One April 1st he went out – in Ireland – carrying only one of those tiny umbrellas that look like a black pudding and are about as useful in keeping rain off.

He returned home ten minutes later with his umbrella inside out, his shoes full of water and the beginnings of a heavy cold. Then, just as he stuck his metal key into the metal front-door lock, he was struck by lightning.

Conventional wisdom tells us that one of two outcomes might have resulted. He could have ended up with superpowers, perhaps as a Rain God. Or, and this is what actually happened, the lightning might have caused his mobile phone to explode. In his trousers pocket.

So now he travels the earth, whispering warnings to the over-optimistic. He is the voice in your head that tells you not to give your bank details to Nigerian princesses, not to try to light your farts, not to go to see Die Hard 5. He is the voice that saves you from yourself.

Trust me on this.

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