Play up, fellows! The Weekly: Maintaining Britain's Standards
Better yourself
Position: Under-under-footman.
Responsibilities: The under-under-footman is responsible for undertaking everything beneath the under-footman but beyond the under-under-under-footman. Specific duties vary from day to day, and are outlined each morning over breakfast in under ten minutes. At all other times the under-under-footman shall remain belowstairs with behaviour above reproach.
Remuneration: The wage shall not exceed 8 per annum. Room and a board provided. One half-day given off each month. One half of one suit of uniform-clothes provided, to be shared with the under-under-under-footman. For this reason, duties can be expected to be allocated on the basis of visibility above or below waist height as appropriate.
Sexual assignations: Permitted with parlour-maids but not chamber-maids; and the youngest defiant daughter of the household back from finishing-school if the stable-boy is unavailable.
Chance of being made scapegoat by bumbling police-sergeant in event of murder: Low to reasonable.
Prospects: Under-footman; valet; burglar.
Position: Cartographer.
Responsibilities: Empire! The very word thrills the soul of even the lowliest pauper whose soul is destined to burn in the fires of hell for all eternity. Yet there is much we know not of the farthest flings of Her Gracious Majesty's dominions, and it is in this vacuum of knowledge that a shrewd and ambitious cartographer may yet stamp his mark. A cartographer of hardy constitution, iron nerve and sharpened pencil can contribute much to our understanding of such exotic and ill-explored regions as Scot-land and the Northern Poor-towns. These last frontiers of human endurance must be conquered by the courageous cartographer, irrespective of disease, hardship and weirdly ritualled anthropophagous natives so that one day our bright-eyed, cow-licked school-children may learn as much about these distant climes as they understand of Darkest Africa and the Canadian Wastes.
Remuneration: A piffling stipend of £13 is provided to furnish the initial expeditionary force, but it is understood that the cartographer lives off the land mapped. You are entitled to a generous percentage of any gold and precious ores discovered in the name of Britain, and the opportunity cannot fail to excite of meeting and cataloguing mysterious new peoples; and of the gentleman-cartographer improving their rude shapes with the BRITON'S GENES or the lady-cartographer establishing a fine and profitable seraglio against her retirement.
Risk assessment: Little is riskier than the post of cartographer when much of the world is as wild as the caving-tenements of Bolton or the Border-lands of Wales; but the wise cartographer goes well-armed with machete and Webley (and, indeed, there is much sport to be had in this manner when work is ceased for the day); and is content that all cartographers are immortalised in the name of at least one town, usually the one around which ultimately they are strewn.
Prospects: Scientist; soup; Cartographer of the Cities of Mars when that expedition is launched in the next eight months or so.
Position: Resilient Thwarted.
Responsibilities: Success can be measured only by comparison, so between the inspired gentleman-amateur and the callous-palmed mining-child lies the vital task of perpetually thwarted resilience. Unshakeable faith in the powers of glued feathers required; plus cheerful bumbling; and unbrittle bones.
Remuneration: A minimum of £50 per annum in grants from a grateful SCIENCE.
Prospects: None.
Position: Public Face for Anonymous Author.
Responsibilities: History has vindicated the once shocking programme of supplying DISTRACTING-ENTERTAINMENT to the BRITON'S INGLEMAN. How far we have come since the days of administering CORRECTION-BEATINGS with angular knouts instead of the merciful clothed fist. Associated with this programme is the protection of the distracting-artists themselves; whether to spare MISS M LLOYD the onerousness of further encores by catapaulting tureens of mustard gas into the gods, or smoothing PROFESSOR M WALL's exit through clamouring throngs by giving him a sword, the practice is establishedly fruitful. The most popular method of escaping the public eye among distracting-artists with easily recognisable features that could conceivably be reproduced by look-alikes is, of course, carrying a pistol, but close aheel comes that of employing a look-alike to be seen out and about while they themselves remain safely indoors to write, to perform plays and to drink laudanum. Many of our famed LOUCHE-CREATIVES have hired such persons, but one avenue remains open in this area: the public face of the anonymous author. You will be required to go about your daily business entirely as normal, but at irregular intervals to pause, allow a smile to play about your lips and nod shallowly once or twice in an undefined secret satisfaction. In this way our anonymous authors may continue unhindered in their creation of such popular books as I Saw A Lady's Wrist and I Touched A Gentleman's Lobes.
Remuneration: £10 per annum and free, gratefully unsigned copies of your author's works.
Prospects: Double for military clerk; look-alike of MR C DICKENS, who has been prevented from completing his newest book these last few double dozen years by his obligations to open shops and judge babies; false heir.
Assisted ably by MR H PATERSON

Position: Tiny Murder Crafts-man.
Responsibilities: Players of the instructive and wittedness-keening educational game CLUEDO may understandably consider the tiny murder weapons to have been created magically by the BRITON'S GOD, but they are in fact the responsibility of the Tiny Murder Crafts-man. As a Tiny Murder Crafts-man you shall be familiar with the moulding process from both your work on the tiny, simpler figurines of the BENEVOLENT INDUSTRIALIST LAUDABLY CRAFTY LAND-ACQUIREMENT GAME and your minimum brace of years shaving nourishing lead into healthful military training-toys for urchins; you shall be skilled in dancing should any dancing-related emergency arise; and you shall live near a church in order to procure the raw materials of roof-lead, and golden corpse-hair for the noose item. Tiny craftsmen with proportionally normal-sized murder weapons sha'n't be considered, and may be chased away with a broom by a clucking char-lady.
Remuneration: £6 per annum and a hat; furthermore, whatever else you take from the church you may keep after tax.
Special considerations: You should consider especially where you will spend eternity, and live your life accordingly.
Prospects: Tiny Murder Master Crafts-man, supplier of genuine tiny murder weapons to ministers for keeping very small bolshy foreign powers in line; trouble-shooting dancer; vicar.
Position: Symbolic Gardener.
Responsibilities: LIFE! The very word thrills with the sound of fife or perhaps knife. And in the BRITON'S LIFE much is communicated without words and sometimes even without eyebrows; and it is for these times the symbolic gardener lives, or perhaps sieves. As a symbolic gardener you will be tending allusions of vital potency, so must demonstrate equal facility with cutting back dead wood, watering a single tragic rose with a cup of tears wept by a strangely unmemorable woman in grey, and raising firm, juicy pears and big melons. The ability to tamp a simple blackened pipe in an unhurriedly silent and reflective manner when impulsively entrusted with a frippish secret by the youngest lady of a house is an advantage, as is snipping a bloom from a tufty bush of scribbly corymb at the exact moment of a colonel's death in his high lonely palace. You will inexplicably own a swanee-whistle.
Remuneration: The post is paid in a purely symbolic currency, usually a handful of broken child's toys to stoke the perpetual bonfire or a house-plant to be re-potted now its owner is engaged to a quiet fellow with prospects. You may eat whatever you can grow, but this is strictly limited to vegetables, &c, with names of hinted impurity.
Prospects: Gatherer of souls by figuratively shaving individual blades of grass to the soil with a tiny pocket scythe; bemusing dowager by unexpectedly appearing through gap in hedge in a back view while manipulating the stream of a hose-pipe; suggestive metaphor.
Position: Toppered Maniac.
Responsibilities: A recent attack of plaguey pigeons has resulted in several opportunities in this exciting field, which does not require you to be in a field. The toppered maniac is a bright and merry sight in our city-towns, adding spice to our evenings by appearing briefly in the peripheral vision while racing from rooftop to rooftop, and by sliding down water-spouts, looming unexpectedly from alleyways, and kidnapping people leaving a theatre or crossing a park and chopping them to pieces with an axe. The toppered maniac is expected to provide his own diabolical apparatus of deadly potential, which at the last will either turn on him, fail at a critical moment, or accompany the maniac on a death-plunge through a trapdoor into the deepness of a river. Fewer though similarly rewarding positions are available for bonneted maniacs who must be equally facile with tapping gentlemen on the shoulder playfully with a collapsed fan and baking children into pies, before perishing ultimately in a tinderwick conflagration while crooning heedlessly to a rumpled photograph of a wan, unidentified youth.
Remuneration: The toppered maniac may expect an initial salary of £15 per annum, rising to £17. The bonneted maniac's scale runs from £12 per annum to £16, plus any profit which may be made from the sale of pies.
Prospects: Proprietress of successful pie shop; news-paper headline; formless shadow glimpsed momentarily in a flash of lightning after a boisterous child is snugged abed ten years later by a relentlessly garrulous nurse.
<<<
advocate feature   archives   corner shop © the weekly science combine