Arthur Godley, proprietor of Godley's Garden Gnomes and Godley Investments meets his maker in unusual circumstances and, in the process, learns a few costly lessons. A twenty first century version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". More
Arthur Smedley Godley - wide boy and proprietor of Godley's Garden Gnomes and Godley Investments gives lessons on money-making to a strange but very quiet visitor.
Sitting in his white leather, executive chair behind his white desk, Godley pontificates about his success to the visitor who sits silently in rapt attention.
Godley can talk endlessly and knows all there is to know about opportunism and money making. It started, we learn, with swindling a boy out of his sausage at school lunch. Godley's knowledge has no limits and success is there for all to see from the Bentley parked outside the front door next to the sunflowers ("they have such big heads and rise above everything else") to the thick pile Chinese carpet - given in return for once helping a Chinese man find "a bit of flooze around Harrod's in Knightsbridge".
And Godley's business?
Well, he runs Godley's Garden Gnomes from a rundown, old, red- brick factory around the back - but it's really the front for his main venture, Godley Investments. Godley is a loan shark with a couple of big boned salesmen and a trouble shooter - Titibola - "six foot three, huge tits and a face like Joe Frazier".
And the visitor soon hears about Godley's deep business philosophy based mostly on a picture book about dinosaurs. "Sniff it out and snuff it out I always say."
And being a business guru and self proclaimed "God's gift to the local economy" he decides to compare himself to the other God.
And that old God made many mistakes, including being overstaffed. "He runs interviews for washed up individuals and those who have already given up hope" - and most of them pass the interview and get in.
But how has Godley been so successful? Well, his own slogan sums it up: Godley's Garden Gnomes satisfies a whim, but Godley Investments feeds the greed.
"They all want rid of their mortgages and overdrafts but there's no sense of compassion from the banks and so they come to me. They need presents for their kids at Christmas, a new car, a new fridge or washing machine. So, who do they ask? Debt Busters - also known as Godley Investments. Never say no, that's me. You've got to have a kind heart."
With so much talking, though, his throat gets dry. No longer able to resist a drink from his well equipped cocktail cabinet and desperate to show his visitor his famous PowerPoint presentation ("where every graph points upwards") Godley starts to lean a few lessons himself as his interest in dinosaurs takes on a frightening form.
His PowerPoint presentation transforms itself into a full scale, 3D spectacular - in full Technicolor - of a prehistoric jungle complete with a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex that stumbles around Godley's desk. Finally, plunged into complete darkness, Godley hears the Voice.
Terrified and unable to see anything and with the Voice appearing to know everything about him including his bank account details and PIN, he is forced to log onto his bank account and transfer its entire contents to a company called Godly Investments.
So begins Godley's own lessons from someone who claims to be his Chief Executive "out on a trouble shoot."
"You see, Godley," the Voice explains, "You can't just take a company name without it being ratified - particularly one called Godley Investments. I already own the trade name, the brand name and the marketing and distribution rights. With your track record, I wouldn't even be willing to grant you a franchise."
Godley is no Scrooge and we never find out whether the experience changes his ways, but, like a short, twenty first century version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Arthur Godley certainly learns a few lessons and perhaps others might as well.