Ever get the feeling you’ve been plunged into some kind of psychological hinterland, populated variously by characters from the Chuckle Brothers and Superted?

This surreal borderland, an interzone between reality and opiate-induced phantasmagoria, was where I found myself earlier today after talking to my bank manager.

I suspect Lewis Carroll had a similar conversation before embarking on Alice Through the Looking-Glass.

Once in, it is difficult to escape from this world. You’re trapped in a place where Bananaman rules with an iron fist and mankind’s apparent saviour is a glove puppet called Sooty.

Only Sooty’s attempts at ridding the world of this tyrannical menace are constantly undone by a pink, cigar-smoking anteater.

At every turn, your attempts to establish sense and order are thwarted. Usually by a flying teddy bear in a cape.

Just when you think you’ve navigated the pitfalls of Castle Greyskull, you end up back at the beginning of the maze, a smiling robot called Spotty politely declaring that you’ve breached some obscure bylaw.

Your last thought, as your fist smashes into the phone and your girlfriend runs screaming into the street, is: ‘Why me?’

And the real horror of the situation is revealed – it’s me because the universe is a colossal mass of indifference. My fate is not pre-determined or a result of some karmic retribution.

It is just the way of things. Some of us are destined to perish at the hands of moustachioed removal men, our screams mute to all but an uncaring God.


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