Like most ordinary children, John wanted to run away. Most ordinary children become frustrated when grown-ups insist on wasting their time on trivial matters, like room-tidying and homework-finishing, when their time could clearly be much better spent studying effective methods to avoid being captured by pirates, or engaging in deep philosophical discussions with Fluffbutt over a pot of tea. This leaves them no choice but to take Fluffbutt, grab a clean set of underwear or two, and steal a couple of biscuits for the road.
They never get very far, however, because they quickly realise: what would everyone do without them? Dad wouldn’t have anyone to pretend his jokes were actually funny, Mum wouldn’t have anyone to explain her Square-Eye theory to, and Ms Riley wouldn’t have anyone to give “the look” to when aforementioned homework had aforementioned tea spilled all over it. And so, they head home, conceding that the world will just have to survive another day without them.
Only John was no ordinary child. In fact, he wasn’t really a child at all. He was a 52-year-old accountant. That is to say, he used to be an accountant. On the day that John ran away he called a meeting with all eighty-seven-and-a-half members of staff (Steve from HR only worked part-time), solemnly announced that he was firing himself effective immediately, and tipping his hat, wished them all a very good morning. This left his staff understandably confused, but nonetheless John felt strangely triumphant as he strode out of the company building and into the sun, leaving the words ‘J. A. Carroll’ to fade & crackle behind him.