We are taking names. Smith. Williams. Brown. Roberts. Patel. Jackson. Cooper.
Hold up. What was that one ?
Not that one, back up a bit.
Cooper, Jackson, Patel.
Stop. That one. Check that one. Come on, quickly now, we have no time to waste when we’re taking names.
Third generation, parents born in Uxbridge, impeccable national insurance contributions.
Okay. Let’s keep going.
Harris. Green. Clark. Moore. Hussain. Campbell.
Stop. Check that one.
Campbell ? I didn’t think we were checking Scots ?
Not yet, no. Not that one. The one before. Hussain, wasn’t it ?
Yes, Hussain. Second generation. Egyptian grandparents. Been here a few decades and barely even travels back to Africa anymore. The odd holiday by the looks of it.
Hold it for now. Let’s see what the numbers look like at the end. Keep going.
Mason. May. Rudd. Hunt. Johnson. Tysoe.
Wait, what ?
Tysoe. It’s unusual but it checks out. Might be French. There’s a village with that name in Warwickshire. Goes back centuries.
Okay. Best to be sure though. Doesn’t sound right, you know ?
I know. Maybe get to it next time.
Maybe. Keep going.
Dixon. Harvey. Andrews. Ford. Bomberg. O’Leary.
Woah, woah. Too fast. There were two there. Right there. Jewish. Irish. Gotta check them both.
Sorry, there’s just so many.
It’s okay. That’s why we’re here. To take the names. We are the Department For Taking Names.
The Jew checks out. Here before World War Two. Father fought for us, landed at Normandy. Better hold the Irish though. Came over less than fifteen years ago, probably an economic migrant. They had all that trouble, didn’t they ?
Yeah. Put him on the list.
It’s a she, actually, Couple of kids by the looks of it.
Fine. She then. Put her on the list. Kids too. Presume they’re at one of our schools ?
Well we’ll see about that. Keep going.
Kowalski. Another Smith. Robinson.
I already checked it. Been here since the 50s. Fled the Soviets, bought a shop in the 60s, worked it until retirement. Contributions check out. Married a Jones. Kids in jobs. Nothing else on record. No police or hospital admission or benefits or anything. Nothing to see here.
I don’t like it. Doesn’t look good. Won’t play well to the 52. Or the Mail.
The list ?
Yeah, put him on the list. The list of names. Let’s keep going. We are taking names.
This is story 37 in a series of 42 to raise money and awareness for the mental health charity Mind. My fundraising page is here and all donations, however small, are really welcome: http://www.justgiving.com/42shorts
It’s not exactly Orwell I admit but it would feel remiss to write nothing given the current state of affairs in the UK. My surname is Tysoe in case you’re wondering where that section came from. I’ve been here my whole life but have scarcely felt less interested in being British.