"Hope this reforms your face," the note attached to the brick said. This was the fourth one today and probably the 30th this week. Not that Iain was counting, but they were really starting to stack up in the kitchen of the small one-bedroomed flat. If he thought he could safely go outside he'd stack them elsewhere. Possibly even in front of the window people kept throwing them through, which, all in all was not a bad idea.
Iain congratulated himself on such a sharp thought as he brewed another cup of tea from the teabag he'd now reused five times. He knew exactly how many times he'd done this because he'd learnt over the last two months that each teabag lasts maybe five times if he really dried them out, squeezed them very hard and then didn't mind drinking something that tastes nothing like tea.
As his lips curled around the stained mug and the hot mud water reached his throat, he wished for the umpteenth time that he had never said that he could easily live on £53 a week. Iain did not know exactly how many times he'd wished this. He just knew it was more than he'd had non-tea or abuse bricks thrown through the window.
£7.57 a day seemed like more than enough money at first for anyone to survive on. After rent and bills of course, not that he paid either of those. He had chuckled to himself at the very thought at the time. Sure it was a pay cut for him of over £1,500 but he'd just spend that week at home in his lovely mansion, eating food he'd already got in and barely spending a penny.
Poverty is not about money he'd once said, and when he did he'd made himself a very nice cup of tea to congratulate himself on that one. He didn't really know what else it was about but was fairly sure most people wouldn't check. Were 'povs' a thing? Maybe he could say that's what poverty was about.
Either way, it hadn't really been a concern. He didn't realise that several months later over 85% of the UK's population would sign a petition meaning that the government would be forced to place him in a council flat in Tower Hamlets for at least six months, for fear of an otherwise French style revolution. Iain still remembered that look in David's eyes as he'd told him. It was the only time he'd ever seen his boss look apologetic about anything.
Even when Dave left his daughter in the pub, his wife had merely got a shrug with a look as if to say "why didn't you fix this?" But as he handed Iain the keys to flat 237, he'd made the sort of face you'd make before sending a soldier to their death. Which to be fair Dave hadn't even made when he'd done that with troops in Afghanistan either.
The first week had been ok, though it was a shame he'd had his three trunks of specially prepared food confiscated at the door. Breach of agreement apparently. So was having a chef in the apartment. Instead he'd get a pre-paid voucher to use in Asda like he'd so deemed on others. Iain had never shopped in Asda before but once had a nightmare about being trapped in one with only an organic Pheasant as a weapon to fend off all the hungry, fat, disabled people who kept trying to pat his arse like in the adverts.
Now though he was accustomed to spending one full day's allowance travelling several miles to get to the specific frozen warehouse of despair, as he called it. Then whilst there, try and work out which animals weren't roadkill and which vegetables were actually vegetables. All this while its unpaid workfare staff members threw various discount items at him. With force. And a consistency that could, as he had admitted, be called anything but lazy or shirking.
Only five months and one week left of this awful situation now, Iain thought. He would've contested it but regulations of the trial meant he'd lost access to legal aid and couldn't afford it. Surely though all the people would realise soon enough that this economic crisis was their fault wouldn't they? They must know that the lack of jobs, industry, housing and growth is all down to their awful existence? And once they realised they'd let him out of there in order to carry on fixing this Broken Britain. Well once he'd got out and removed all those scroungers on benefits they'd let live in his mansion's spare rooms for the six months too.
After that, well then he would put all those with spare rooms into smaller cubicle spaces somewhere on the Isle of Wight, and just send them aid packages of grains every month till the banks were fine again. He clenched his fists at this brilliant idea and even thought about trying a sixth time with the tea bag. This thought however was ruined by another brick careering into his hallway. He opened the note with a sigh. 'Universal Cretin' it said. Hungry and cold, he added it to the pile.