Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Little Bit Of Knolledge

I need to get this one right.

No room for any errors; I’ll need to make sure I have all of the required permissions. We may have moved on from the permissive society but, I don’t think I should have too many problems. It can’t be that difficult; can it?

What I need is an expert.

“Hello, Leafy Suburb planning department. Zoe speaking; how can I help you?”

Less than four rings to answer, they’ll be doing well on their charter times this month.

“Good morning Zoe. I’m trying to find out if I need planning permission to construct a knoll?”

“A what?”

“A knoll.”

“A know-all?”

“No, a knoll.”

“A nole?”

Zoe must be new to the job.

“No, a knoll. Kay-en-oh-el-el.”

“Oh, a kinoll. What’s a kinoll?”

“It’s a hillock.”

“Oh, I see……Where do you want to build your kinoll?”

“I thought that the garden would be the best place for it.”

“Ah, yes. What will you be building it out of?”

Good question, I’ll have to wing this part; Google doesn’t have the answer to everything.

“I’m planning on using soil mixed with manure and some turf to cover it in.”

“Will it be a permanent structure?”

“I was kind of hoping so; yes.”

“Will anyone be living or working in it?”

Oh Heavens. I hadn’t thought about this. I missed the knoll dissecting, geography field trip at school; my mum lost the permission slip and I had to do an afternoon of ‘quiet reading’ instead. I’ll have to wing this one too.

“Erm… I’ll probably have some earthworms and moles doing their thing in it eventually. I won’t be charging them rent or anything like that though.”

“No, of course not. Can I put you on hold for a minute?”

Poor girl, she sounds like she’s about to have a coughing fit; she didn’t even wait for me to answer. It must be this cold snap we’re having.

Three minutes later.

“Hello, my name is Marcus Planning Department Supervisor. I understand you want to build a knoll in your garden?”

A very strange name; maybe his parents had a sense of humour or his career path had been premeditated from birth? Still, he sounded like a jolly chap.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Can I ask why?”

“Because the angle from my depository window is not good enough and I keep knocking my shins on the edge of the bath.”

Marcus sounded like the chilly weather was getting to him too. I hoped they had the air conditioning cranked up in their office.

“Because the angle from your depository window isn’t right and you keep hitting your shins on the bath?”


I think someone must have been telling a good joke in the background. I hoped Marcus didn’t get distracted; this was important.

“How will having a knoll help?”

“I can hide behind it and ambush my neighbour, with my water pistol, in the summer.”

“You want to hide behind it and ambush your neighbour with a water pistol?”

I couldn’t hear the joke teller; so I guessed they were probably looking at a very funny website in the background. It’s always nice to hear people enjoying their work, especially in the hurly-burly world of a Council Planning Department. There’s bound to be a lot of de-stressing needed. I must ask Marcus for the url when we’ve done with the more pressing matter.

“Yes, I’ve got a bid in on ebay for one of the big super-soakers. He won’t know what’s hit him.”

“Why do you want to use a super-soaker on your neighbour?”

The cough was back.

“Because he’s got a hose with a trigger grip on it and he won the snowball challenge last month too.”

“Snowball challenge?”

Marcus was being very thorough despite the distractions in the background.

“Yes, it was a lucky shot. Can I have permission to build my knoll then?”

“Err… I’ll have to consult my colleagues and get back to you.”

Pleased he wasn’t going to be making any rash decisions I left my details and wished him a good day.

Damn! I forgot to ask for the website address. I didn’t think I should ring him back to enquire about something so trifling.

He probably had better things to do.


At 29/1/06 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An amusing anecdote, I am sure, is this the result of negotiation with the Professional Standards Department or some breakdown? Brian we enjoy your reports from the front, We know that these reports are not always well received especially by those responsible for some of the more asinine decisions made in regard to procedure and "newspeak".
Please promise to stay on track in the future, your expose style is/was well regarded by too many to give up. I should have thought the messages of support showed that.

At 29/1/06 10:04 AM, Blogger Katy Newton said...

Brian must be bored already. That was very funny indeed. I'm sure it brightened Marcus Planning Department Supervisor's day too.

At 29/1/06 10:35 AM, Blogger Towertown Trash said...

More power to you Brian. Glad to see you havent gone silent totally. I know what it must be like for you having had similar in my '30'. Let's hope common sense prevails and that this is just a brief hiatus in your ramblings about the Throbbing Metropolis. Like everybody else has said, I cannot for the life of me see what could cause any problems or offence. Keep us smiling and let normal service be resumed asap. Good Luck mate.

At 29/1/06 7:23 PM, Blogger MuppetLord said...

Don't try and push it by asking for a flagpole as well.....

At 30/1/06 9:18 AM, Blogger NotQuiteHere said...


Do you not think we should all club together to get him a flagpole? It doesn't technically count as a permanent structure and providing we ensure it is less than 6 foot (that's on top of the knoll mind) he wont actually need planning permission to put it up. We'll just have to make sure we supply him with a suitably sized flag to go with it.


At 30/1/06 10:12 AM, Anonymous Ros H said...

Goodness Brian, I thought you were far too young to remember Percy Thrower!

At 30/1/06 8:00 PM, Anonymous The Boyfriend said...

NQH, dearest

Don't you think that there would be a danger of one of the more "those
responsible for some of the more asinine decisions made in regard to procedure
and "newspeak"" (Henceforth, I suggest, to be refred to as "TRFSOTMADMIRTPAN",
or TR-PAN for short) would appropriate said item for the purposes of running
their pre-owned ideas up it?

At 30/1/06 11:12 PM, Blogger NotQuiteHere said...

We could always give him a "policy free days" campaign flag (with velco numbers) then he could run lots of "ideas" up it ;)


At 31/1/06 11:29 AM, Anonymous dwaas76 said...

Gardening leave for keeping a blog?? Ridiculous. If they don't like what you write they should change, not stop you writing. I bet they're the same people who get het up about criminals being called 'pondlife'.

I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humour though...keep heart, OK?

At 31/1/06 9:04 PM, Anonymous Ralph said...

I suppose that's what you call the Death Knoll...

At 6/2/06 10:23 PM, Blogger Stan Still said...

Someone here who might be able to help in your plans, Brian.

At 8/2/06 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Marcus get back to you yet?


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