by Anthony Massingham
Collect your choice of gallery quality Giclée, or fine art prints custom trimmed by hand in a variety of sizes with a white border for framing.
It was plain to everyone but his doting and hapless parents that naming their only son Rupert was a decision that would secure him a tormented and miserable passage through middle school. Being the token scholarship boy of an upper-crust private boy’s college, and crippled with a pained speech impediment, he was always picked last for the polo team, left on the sidelines at rugby fixtures and overlooked for all but female character parts in the local Glee club.
Throughout his school days, Rupert harboured a deep-seated loathing for all that he would never be – wealthy, upper class, vocally eloquent and influential. Not being particularly ambitious but excelling at maths and business studies, after matriculation he entered the world of merchant banking via his alma mater’s one saving grace – an active old boy’s network.
Encouraged by promising reviews as Lady Bracknell in an amateur theatre company’s performance of ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’, Rupert, as part of ongoing therapy, conceived a short-lived act he labelled ‘cutting-edge socio-political satire’.
‘Sir Snobbery’, replete in full fox-hunting regalia, would sneer at the people in the cheap seats and mercilessly make fun of random members of the audience, humiliating them in ways he found strangely familiar. He would encourage the richer folk to rattle their jewellery in appreciation and regale them with tall tales of privilege, excess, petulant behaviour and waste on an epic scale. For the finale, he hired the local paper boy to act as his down-trodden poor but, due to public complaints, the child-protection authority closed down the show pending legal proceedings.