Millicent Pyle (53 and bank manager) is a respected member of her rural community but her innermost thoughts reveal a darker side.
Shares can go down as well as up. I recently invested a substantial amount of money in a small, but up and coming pharmaceutical company.
I met the James Blackett, CEO of the Prick It! three months ago at a reception for rural financiers and owner-bankers last month in London. A short, ugly little man, with an imposing nose, but gifted in the art of realising enormous profits from his ideas. Or buying the ideas, inventions and patents of others for little or nothing making them believe he was doing them a favour.
The company’s latest product was a disposable kit that could test for testicular cancer. Results are available a matter of hours.
Loved the idea, originally, until I discovered the catch to the investment. Nine out of every 10 tests suggested the patient had cancer. Participants were given a drug, at an enormous cost to them and silly money to the company.
‘The Idiot’ came begging for a payrise because his father was offered the drug after testing positive for cancer. Actually cried real tears. Had his mother on the phone weeping and wailing that we were their only hope. You know I can’t stand the blubbering of common people.
So, I sold my shares, made a very healthy profit, and gave ‘The Idiot’ a rise in line with inflation. Then, I went to see James for an explanation.
“It’s business, Mill,” he laughed, “I’m not charitable, like you.” Bastard! How dare he refer to me as charitable… and my name’s Millicent.
Left his office with a smile and my own plan.
Two weeks later, a leading national newspaper ran an exclusive entitled, ‘You’ve been pricked’ exposing the underhanded dealings of James Blackett and Prick It!
The paper revealed that eight out of every nine men tested were in fact clear of the disease. And it said that an unnamed source close to Mr Blackett had approached him when she found out about the shady dealings and was so incensed by his response that she sold her shares and gave the profits to charity.
Well, I did give ‘The Idiot’ the rise. Took it back, with interest when I learned his father was alive, kicking and cancer free.
Apparently, James is now being investigated by every regulatory body possible. Prick It! shares have been suspended and all of liquid assets frozen. He can’t even buy a bottle of cheap wine right now. Poor, poor, foolish man.
Let’s raise a glass of Merlot to the disgraced James Blackett who had the foresight to call me charitable. And darling, charity begins at home.