Every flancer has a brown A4 envelope under their bed. This envelope contains precisely 34,583 receipts. And its name is Depression.
Every year at around about April-ish, the flancer panics and considers running away to Aruba because the envelope calls (just before the accountant does. For the ninth time). Every year around about June-ish there is Olympic-Standard Procrastination. And every year around about September-ish there is lots of sobbing and entire boxes of wine drunk to try and stamp out the treacherous brain cells that insist on reminding you of what could happen if you do not sort your shit out.
Sometimes though, after a head-blow or some seriously A-Grade boredom, the flancer thinks, ‘ooh, I might just give next year’s accounts a preliminary tickle…’ A gallon of stomach-chewing coffee will be brewed and some Kendal Mint Cake eaten in order to fortify the flancer against the contents of The Envelope. ‘Rather start now and reduce the horror come May,’ thinks the flancer smugly, buffered by the escape-hatch-thought* that they can sack off this madness whenever they want because it’s only November.** Flancers, incidentally have and use so many escape-hatch-thoughts throughout the course of the working day that the thought-escape-hatch hinges are wafer-thin through constant deployment.
But the gaping flaw in this ‘plan’ is that flancers are the most disorganised creatures ever to spring forth from the hands of the Lord.
Flancers are just not programmed to get things done in good time. In good time means: ‘before I suffer serious comeback for repeatedly putting this off.’ And so, whilst truly intending to begin ordering their accounts, the following scenario will occur: A Facebook status of ‘Am starting my accounts!’ will be posted in order to crow to other flancers that you are indeed a paragon of organisation. This will then be Tweeted. The search for The Envelope will commence (cue small internal fanfare – or if like me you spend quite a lot of the day alone and thus talking to yourself – external fanfare) but first you happen to unearth your cuts book. You will read your cuts book with a nostalgic half-smile, realise an hour has gone by and re-commence the search. You will then find a photo album of your student days and then a copy of Vogue from 1997, both of which will distract you for a further two hours.
You are now up to your nipples in dust bunnies and decide, hey – you may as well clean your room. Then, why stop there? Clean the house. Stop for a coffee. Hem some curtains. FB and Tweet something spitefully witty about H M Revenue & Customs. Answer some emails. Maybe start knitting a bag to keep The Envelope in when you find it.
You then remember The Envelope and why you started looking for it. You will also remember that The Envelope means sitting there, head in hands for hours thinking: ‘what the chuff did I spend £15.46 on in Argos on the fifteenth?’ Cue the silent workings of the extremely well-oiled escape-hatch-thought hinges.
And then the phone rings and interrupts you. It is your accountant on your case. Because it’s now actually April.
*Escape-Hatch Thoughts: ‘I have plenty of time for this and will do it later.’ ‘This is totally good enough.’ ‘They will never know I made that up.’ ‘I deserve a break – hey, I might burn out if I’m not careful.’ ‘A long walk and a coffee is good to recharge creativity.’ ‘I think I’m ill.’