© Copyright 2003 - Unknown - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/mf; latex; slaves; cons; X
It is always amusing to note that about 80% of the "frillies" we make are ordered in sizes, which make it obvious that they are to be worn by men! After all, vital statistics of 38-34-40 do not sound like a young glamourpuss, do they? And they recur time and time again. Still, that's not my affair. I send out the best-designed rubber clothes I know how to make, and so long as someone has fun with them, I'm not concerned who it is!
There is another department (sounds grand but actually it consists only of six staff), which specializes, not in pretty rubber clothes, but in heavy, sombre clothes, which more appropriately can only be considered as bondage equipment. While most transvestite customers are satisfied to accept exactly what the catalogue offers, the buyers of the restrictive rubber stuff make all kinds of special demands, some possible and others not! And they will pay heavily over the odds for the modifications too. Not that this does us a lot of good because I had a costing team into the business a few months ago, who proved to me that we were losing money on this section. Giving away something like $5 with every order! Which is no way to run a rubber garment business, let alone a railroad!
We tried all ways to make economies. For instance, we bought a pair of electric scissors to cut the rubber. Were they any good? Put it this way; have you ever seen the edge of a leaf after a caterpillar has been chomping? We tried dozens of ideas and expedients and came to the conclusion that there was nothing we could do to economize without dropping our standards and that was vetoed all the way, unanimously. The price of the latex has gone up double in just under a year! So, could we cut down on our scrap? I was shown the our fair profit.
What is more, from most jobs of this kind we expect to get some kind of technical spin-off that will be useful to the majority of our more modest customers. If it weren't for our nucleus of very rich clients, we couldn't have developed as we have so don't knock the rich, even if a lot of them are oil sheiks!
This one, being trouble from the start was, inevitably brought to me. This is a great disadvantage of growing old and wise! Everyone copes with all the easy, pleasant jobs and dumps the difficult, worrisome ones on your desk. So many bucks have stopped on my desk in the past few years that I sometimes feel like a doe at bay!
The order called for certain garments to be made and I quote verbatim in invisible rubber! I admit it rocked me. I thought at first it was some kind of a joke; until I realized where the order came from, and that English is not exactly the mother tongue. What it meant was transparent rubber. This was made positive by instructions, which said, "to the order of His Excellency, it is that you make this things in invisible rubber, which shall be as clear as glasses." All I can say, in humility, confronted by a crack like that, "he does a lot better in English than I can in Arabic!"
In short, "this things" was or were to be made in transparent rubber, as clear as glass. Which was now quite clear. And impossible! There ain't no such thing! Plastic you can have in glass-clear; latex rubber you can get in what we call semi-transparent, which really means semi-opaque. You can see through it if you stretch it and wet it at the same time just! Very thin, it does make some attractive skin-tight clothes in which the nudity underneath is not quite concealed not quite revealed. Very tantalizing. But glass clear? No dice!
Yet, there it was, "to the order of His Excellency . . . !" I had visions of a visit from the State Executioner, with curved scimitar, chasing me around my office. Worse still, I had visions of an average $10,000 a year of good lavish business going out of the door forever. Recently a major manufacturer of latex sheet had gone out of business. There just wasn't enough industrial demand for it to justify keeping the plant working for the fun clothes" business. I had had a frantic six months coaxing and conning a small firm to buy the machinery. In the end I had to buy it and got it cheap and resell it to the small firm on time three years, interest free! This accounts for all the grey hairs I have most of them! Anyway, two years ago they were up to their ears in hock to me, and I was up to my ears in a debt of gratitude to them for starting to make latex sheet for me again. So I took the problem to them. They had learned from scratch how to make latex sheet, so why not invisible rubber?
I got the answer at once. Impossible! Then we started
talking! You know, I figure the function of a good businessman is not to
do things, but to persuade other people that they can do things! It took
a week before my friends would even agree to try! In addition, they wanted
a guarantee of $2500, win, lose or draw for experimental costs. I sent
an urgent telex message in my private code and waited. Within twenty-four
hours back came the answer, which translated roughly very roughly as follows:
"To the order of His Excellency, invisible shall the rubber be to pay for at costs shown by your invoices plus 25%,'
Invisible rubber I don't understand, 25% on cost I do I guaranteed my friends their minimum $2500 and left them to it. For the next month or so, every second day I received an envelope from them, containing small squares of latex rubber. The samples were semi-opaque: almost translucent; vaguely opalescent; not entirely opaque; "pass for translucent"! Any damn thing but transparent! Yet, as I checked each laboratory sample I did notice a gradual trend toward a kind of colourlessness; a trend, no more, and very gradual at that I figured we might just about get there by the end of the century, which would not do me, or my client much good.
And then, one cold, miserable November day I received a sample, which was evidently and unanswerably transparent, of a glassiness! Except that it was brilliant green, something of the color of rank vegetation, of a poisonous plant from deep inside a tropical rain forest! I called for car and driver and went out into the country to visit the manufacturers. If I had to cancel the project, I should in the end lose less prestige and goodwill by doing so promptly than by leaving the decision until later. Customers tend to get emotionally involved with their ideas and the longer they wait, the greater the disappointment and the deeper the anger. I could most feel the edge of that scimitar against the back of my neck!
I found the experimental chemist and the plant manager
together, standing staring in awe at a piece of rubber sheet about six
inches square, transparent, clear as glass, but very faintly tinged with
pink! I held it to the light, and it was as clear as a windowpane. I lay
it on my hand; not merely was it transparent, but because of that faint
pink tinge, it was truly almost invisible, I tried the stretch and recovery
factors in my long-experienced hands and it felt right. We cut strips from
it and tested them on complex machines, which proved that my intuition
and experience were right!
I asked how soon I could have fifty yards of thin latex, 10/1000 of an inch thick; fifty yards of medium, 15/1000 of an inch thick; and fifty yards of thick, 20/1000 of an inch. I was told I could have it all in two weeks, but that there was a snag! I sighed and asked what it was. Well, actually there were two difficulties. Two? Yes. No more? Not so far!
First, the chemical used to clarify the rubber was well
I'm not going to hand the results of a costly series of experiments to
my competitors on a plate but it was terribly costly. Second, under normal
conditions, the transparency would last no more than ninety days from the
date of mixing. Allow fifteen days to make and ripen; fifteen days to cut
and assemble; ten days to deliver and get organized. That left the client
just fifty days to enjoy his invisible rubber. After that, it would quickly
turn an ugly fawn-brown. I sent another telex, explaining the problem,
asking for instructions. Back, like lightening came the reply:
"To the order of His Excellency to fabricate at once the invisible rubber urgent top priority quickly. To repeat, order and delivery at fifty and one-hundred days is demanded forthwith, "
I gathered from this that I was to proceed with the order
and repeat it twice, so that my client would have sets of invisible rubber
garments of the kind requested for an unbroken period of about ten weeks.
I checked the cost of the material on the phone, and almost fell off my
chair when I heard it. For latex rubber that I could see, the 150 yards
in three thicknesses I wanted would cost me approximately $1500. For invisible
rubber, l had to pay just over $15000. $100 a yard!
These "Emperor's Clothes" would have been cheaper in mink!
I wiped the sweat from by brow with a trembling hand, signed the order, and committed myself to $45,000 worth of invisible rubber plus the $2500 for the development work. As an afterthought, I sent my friends a check for $5000 on account. They never have a nickel to hand on a tombstone! And since I was obviously going bust over this deal anyway, what difference did $5000 make? Then I started work with my partners on the design of the garments and the rest of the problems, which were not small by any means! First, it seemed that we must have a couple of items made from the latex mix by dipping. Shaped breast-cups and twelve genital sheaths with each of three deliveries of invisible rubber sheet.
At this stage, I had to get up and go, literally! I flew
to Zurich to visit with some friends of mine with a small plant half-way
up a mountain, employing half a dozen of the most highly skilled watchmakers
in the world. They do not make watches, half-way up a Swiss mountain in
November! Me! The guy who shrivels and dies a hundred deaths if the temperature
drops to 50 Fahrenheit! The things I do for my customers!
We had long ago discussed what I now needed had done and between us paid for the design work. So far, we had not had a customer. This is the way in my business. You work and plan years ahead, often. Sometimes one never does find a customer. But when one does, one can "work miracles".
And when the order is marked "regardless of cost", well, the bread that has been cast on the waters will come back, buttered on both sides! What I wanted, in quantity and in a hurry were certain miniature electrically-operated mechanisms, of incredible smallness, which is why we had to use watchmakers to build them.
There were three adaptations of the basic type. The "guts" of the mechanism was a tiny solenoid, with an armature inside it, and a circuit to reverse the flow of current from a stack of miniature mercury cells. When the current was switched on, the armature had to vibrate madly to and fro on the solenoid. In itself very simple; in the size I had to have, not so easy. The whole mechanism had to be encapsulated in acrylic plastic to a certain shape, and attached to acrylic plastic invisible plastic fittings. For a female there had to be a pair of fittings to cup the nipples and a pair of fittings in the size and shape of a large, erect penis. For a male, one fitting in the penis-shape and another for attachment to a certain arrangement of metal rings. In the case of the penis-shapes, everything, mechanism and cells, could fit into the plastic pems itself. For the nipples there was to be a kind of dome of clear plastic. For the metal rings a thin, flat package to rest behind the scrotum. All that was to show was a switch, and this must not protrude but must rest flat with the body. What is more, it was not to be a simple on-off switch, but a miniature lock and key. The order specified that the cells must be adequate to operate the vibrators for three hours unbroken.
Apart from all this, it was dead easy! My friends muttered
dark oaths under their breaths in German, quoted astronomical prices and
took orders for twenty pairs of nipple vibrators, ten genital vibrators,
and thirty of the penis-type to be delivered in triplicate at intervals
of thirty days. I signed the order, gave them a check that left me feeling
weak at the knees and flew back to London. It was, if anything, colder
in London than it had been half-way up that Swiss mountain or maybe I was
just shivering at the thought of spending my old age selling apples by
the side of the street, with a cardboard label on my chest reading, "ex-bondage
equipment maker, down on his luck. Please buy an apple!"
But soon I thought, with the price of crude at $10 a barrel, why should I worry? Every time I filled the tank of my car, yet another millionaire rolled off the end of the mid-East production line!
We began to make the garments, and then the minor problems arose. Ordinary latex adhesive was useless. It dried a dirty brown at the seams. They had to mix me some "invisible" latex adhesive. I needed gloves, which cannot be fabricated. They had to dip some for me. And so on. But, one by one we overcame the technical problems. Twelve days to the day from my return from Zurich the first supply of vibrators arrived at the airport. Normally it would have taken another two weeks to clear them through Customs. I sent a young man from my accounts department to the airport, armed with all his real charm and a lot of folding money, He also took checks to cover duty and handling charges. He came back twelve hours later, half dead with exhaustion, but carrying my packages. He says it must be easier taming lions than getting civil servants to hustle!
The patterns were all ready. We waited, with bated breath for the first shipment of invisible rubber. I panicked and called the plant. It was all ready and well up to standard. How were they getting it to us? They proposed to hand it to British rail!!! Have you ever shipped an urgent, vital, terribly valuable consignment by rail? I don't know what would happen in the USA. I'm inclined, I think, to over-rate the efficiency of other people and to under-rate our own. I imagine that if you put a shipment on Railex in, say New York, it would be delivered to your customer's door by about 10 a.m. the next day in Chicago. I may be wrong, But one thing I am not wrong about is this. If you put that same consignment on British Rail Express, you could kiss it goodbye for anything from a week to three months! It might never arrive. If it did, it would most likely arrive at an address where it was not wanted, had never been ordered. All the return labels would be torn off. Its destination might be anywhere from Paris, France, to Kalamazoo, USA. After a year, the tattered wreckage might reach you, and six months later, you might get a letter apologizing for the slight error, and enclosing an invoice for $237.64 for "additional charges".
I sent my own car and driver to the plant to collect the rubber. At $100 a yard, it needed special treatment!
We started cutting and fabricating. Now, at the best of times, cutting out latex rubber with a pair of scissors is not the easiest of jobs! But invisible rubber? That was something again. From time to time someone would leave the cutting room, screaming or at least in need of a cup of coffee. Putting on the adhesive is nothing, requiring only a capacity for infinite care and patience, neatness, a beady eye and constant vigilance to avoid sticking odd parts together at the wrong time. Then we fabricated the parts, and that called for the finest skills at our disposal. You might think this to be exclusively women's work, but in fact they have no monopoly. Actually, the Old Man - that's me - can run rings around all of them, but it's trying to my eyes – and my back, so I leave it to the younger ones. Besides, when you're the boss, and you've got a reputation for being the greatest, it's wise not to push your luck. (Mohammed Ali please note!)
What we were making were sets of latex clothes to cover every square inch of the body, skin-tight. Clients do not like garments to have a lot of wrinkles when they're on, so we have to make them too small and carefully instruct people how to put them on! And hope for the best! The gloves were easy. All we had to do with them was to fit them to the wrists of the sleeves. But I had thought a lot about the feet. Normally we still fabricate "feet" like socks to fit to the ends of the legs, but even in black latex, to my way of thinking they never look quite right. The foot is really an impossible shape for which to assemble a sock from the flat. So I had "pushed the boat out" and gone to the truly hellish expense of having stainless steel formers made in four sizes, not for simple socks, but for what I might call "foot gloves", with separate "fingers" for each toe, if you follow me. I had thought of this idea years before, but had always shrunk from the capital cost of the tooling. I was in this order so deep I felt I might as well see if I could write off the cost of the tools in one go. (I did, and now, for the first time ever, customers of mine all over the world may buy "foot-gloves". They are proving very popular. Another technical spin-off from a rich man's order!)
We were making ten suits for girls and ten for youths all to different sizes! On the youths' suits, at the front of the crotch we fitted the genital sheaths, to hold penis and testicles in separate compartments. I had to set an average size, so that in an average case, they would fit very tight when the penis was erect which I fully expected would be most of the time the suit was on, by the time we had finished them! And we cut a circular hole about a half-inch in diameter at the back, about where the anus would be. Of course, we reinforced these holes well, with latex washers inside and out. Latex is good, tough material until you cut it jagged or make a hole in it; then it just tears!
On the suits for the girls, we made a matching round hole both back and front, We also cut smaller round holes in the tips of the breast-cups that had been dipped for us, and then cut suitable holes for the cups and fitted them into the suits. We had to have a point of entry. Sometimes for special customers we make such suits with merely an open seam through which they are fitted. Then, with the suit on, the seam is glued and cemented closed. This involves the client having someone skilled enough to do it. Once or twice I have had to send one of my staff out to faraway places to d the job and teach someone. But with these I felt that a strong zipper would be satisfactory. Normally we fit these down the back where there is help with closing the zipper, or in the front where the user is solo. But after a lot of debate, we decided with these to put just an 18-inch zipper down the left side where it would mostly be covered by the wearer's arm. It would take a lot of skill to get the suit on without damaging it, but this customer had, over the years, bought enough rubber clothing from us to clothe half the nakedness of a country the size of India, so I guessed he had someone intelligent enough to supervise the operation. We provided a high collar in the thick rubber and fastened it with two straps made of the same stuff.
The hoods presented a problem I could not figure a way out of. They were specified "to the exact shape of the head" which was clear enough. But what was I to do with the hair? I could leave it inside the hood, which would be OK with an opaque one but would, I felt look odd with invisible rubber. Or I could leave a hole at the back for a ponytail except that the order specified "no holes except a half-inch circle at mouth and one small hole at each nostril. Which was clear enough. So, once more the telex chattered: "To the order of His Excellency, there will not be hair. When will you ships?" So, somebody's hair was going to be shaved off! It simplified my problem anyway. As for the shipment, at that moment if I had been pressed I should have said, "Never!" The whole partnership was working overtime on this job, because we could not stop everything else on its account.
We made the hoods to fit skin-tight and a bit on the small
side, perforating and reinforcing as required. I decided that the collars
of the hoods should fit under the collars of the suits. This made for a
neat job, but gave some adjustment at that very difficult and critical
point. No one ever thinks to tell us the length of the neck! What is more,
it varies according to the time of day and the condition of the body. Did
you know you are shorter when you are tired than when you are fresh, because
your neck shrinks? Measure sometime if you doubt me.
I had had two spares made, because I had to be sure everything was perfect. As soon as we had reached this stage, we sent for two of our regular models of the right size and had them try the spare suits on. This is one thing that does not go up in price! Not much anyway. We have a register of some sixty youths, men, girls, and women who are only too glad to come on request to model our wares. Some only model rubber; some only bondage equipment. Most will do everything. They do not ask to be paid, although we always take care of their expenses and give them a modest fee. In addition, from time to time, we give them an item they have modelled for us, and this seems to keep them very content.
The suits were just perfect at that stage I could not
fault them in any detail, although both models said they were terribly
tight. (The young man also pointed out that the genital sheath was very
tight, but I could have told him that before he put it on! Like the American's
complaint about English cricket that "it's very dull", the only possible
answer is, "it's meant to be!"
So, we proceeded to fit the hardware. To the girls' suits we fitted four metal flanges, supplied from Switzerland. These had to be fixed with small gilt rivets around the flange, with metal inside and out and the rubber sandwiched between. The flanges were at the anus and vagina and at the two nipples, With the youths' suits, there were two similar flanges, one at the anus and the other behind the scrotum. The flanges were turned with a small collar facing inward, just long enough so that a coarse thread could be cut into the metal. We called our models back the same day and they put the spare suits on again. These had also been fitted with flanges.
We fitted clear plastic domes over each nipples of the girl, screwing them into the coarse thread on the metal flanges. Through her anus and into her rectum we fitted one of the acrylic plastic penises, suitably lubricated; and we fitted the other into her vagina. She found this preparation very exciting and pleasurable! For the youth, we provided a Past penis-unit in the rectum while the second unit, in a small flat, smooth encapsulation was fitted under the crotch behind the scrotum from the vibrator unit. Up to this point, the models had assumed that this was all that was involved, and I was already satisfied with the effect our invisible rubber suits were having. We put on the hoods and zipped them down the back of the head, then I felt it wise to immobilize the hands of the models. I was not sure what was going to happen, but if there were a frenzy, I did not want my garments torn at this stage. So, we put a narrow but very strong chain belt on each of them and chained their wrists to the belts. Then the small keys were inserted into the locks that lay flush with their bodies, and the vibrators were switched on. We just had time to remove the keys! I have never seen anything like it - and I've seen a lot! Of course, the effect of a vibrator can be sensational, but the girl had four operating all at once. The amplitude of the vibration was, of course, very small. The armature oscillated no more than a tenth of an inch each way, but with such vigour, and at such a fantastically high speed!
I was mostly concerned with the suits and the cosmetic
effect of the invisible rubber, and I had to admit that although the whole
project had almost succeeded in bringing more grey hairs down in sorrow
to the grave, it would have been a wonderful way to die! Through the glass-clear,
faintly pink skin-tight rubber, one could see every muscle moving, straining.
The bodies looked naked yet they were not. Merely to reach out and touch
a body dressed like that was an aesthetic delight.
Satisfied with the suits, I turned my attention to the condition of the models. The girl was curled up on the floor, jerking like a marionette, yelling her head off and apparently having an orgasm about once every thirty seconds. The youth was lying on his back, jerking rhythmically and groaning but not with pain. I ordered the switches to be unlocked, and a few minutes later, peace reigned again. The models told me later that they had both had the most fantastic sex-experience of their lives. But the girl model added, "of course, if it went on for more than half an hour, it would become severe torture,"
And we had been ordered to ensure that the cells would last "at least three hours"!
I had some time before deciding that I must supply suitable
items to restrain hands of the wearers of these suits; otherwise I knew
they would be torn to pieces. I used a standard metal line and had them
gold-plated. At last I was ready to ship, so I sent off another telex and
to hell with the expense! I also spent a couple of hours with my accountant
and cost accountant going over the price. I won't tell you what it was!
You wouldn't believe me anyway! The simple cost was appalling, per set,
including the metal restraints. I just did not know what to do. I was determined
not to have done all that work for nothing; yet when I applied our normal
profit percentage the unit cost almost scared me to death.
At last I made a decision. I took the total cost per unit, with all our overheads added on, covering everything. Then I doubled it! After that I felt able to relax. Now I had a simple problem on my hands. Either I should have a customer so pleased he would not care what the price was or I'd lose one of my best clients, and probably have to whistle for my money too. In which case, instead of a nice winter cruise in January; I should be out looking for a likely stand for my apple-cart!
The next morning I saw my accountant again. "Include 500
mercury cells with the shipment," I said. "At no charge!" Which shows that
I have my generous side too! I read the reply telex: "To the order of His
Excellency, will arrive British Airways tomorrow a courier to whom to deliver
Obviously, I was not the only one not to trust a common carrier! I must explain that while I ship goods all over the world to my accredited agents, I never ship at my risk to my special customers. I will ship at their risk but not at my own. Some of their orders are a bit outrageous! Besides, I do not know their personal problems. A Prime Minister, or President, for instance, may not want his customs officers to know about everything he imports. It is quite usual for a foreign air force plane to arrive in London, carrying a few visiting firemen on some kind of official visit. The real purpose of the flight is to take back, in secrecy, a few cartons of goodies from my firm!
A lot of small stuff is delivered to various Embassies in London. The ambassador, knowing which side his bread is buttered on, sends the package on, unexamined, in his diplomatic bag, which, of course is not opened for inspection at either end. There are ways, for men of power, and as far as I am concerned let them use them! I make the goods available anywhere in the United Kingdom, free on board, and that's an end of it. We are all ignorant in different subjects, and smuggling is one subject I intend to remain ignorant in!
I gave the sample garments to the two models and for the
hell of it I told them what they would have cost if they had bought them.
I also warned them that they would change color drastically in about a
month. The girl said, "With that on and all systems going, you think I
care what color it is?" Which said something or other!
We heard not a word, black or white about our shipment, but I could not stop now so we went on to make the next batch of garments, complete with all the fittings. I should have advised removing the fittings from the used garments and replacing them in the new, but I felt this would introduce too many complications for people to whom dates are a sophisticated agricultural product and camels complex technology. (They own the oil, but it is British, American and Japanese hands that have to get dirty winning and shipping it!)
However, ten days before the second batch was due to be delivered I got another telex: "To the order of His Excellency. Ensure second delivery ready by December 30 for collection by courier. Supply same time 50 strong gags with breath tubes."
Well, at least nobody was complaining. I wondered about those gags. If the suits were beginning to wear out, as seemed probably, no wonder gags were needed! We made simple wide bands of the thickest invisible rubber, to pass over the mouth and return under the chin, fitting six inches of quarter-inch tube to each one. These could be worn under the hoods. The second shipment was off, and a dead silence reigned. The scrap material of the first delivery was now a most unpleasant shade of brown, quite useless. However, I told my production manager to use it for interlining where it would never show. So a lot of customers will have bondage items containing, somewhere sandwiched inside, as in a stiff collar, thick latex rubber that cost $100 a square yard!
In January we were chased up again by telex, and made the third delivery the first week in February. And that was all. Nothing more was said on either side. Peace reigned everywhere except in my heart! I had to look at the size of our overdraft on current account when I had signed checks for the latex-makers and the Swiss engineers! However, although I belly-ache, I was not really worried. Bad new travels fast, and if anything had been wrong, I'd have heard about it inside three days of the first shipment! So, I went off with my wife, two daughters, son-in-law and grandson on a four-week cruise, flying from London to Miami from dark winter to lovely sunshine and from there we sailed away through the Caribbean, down south as far as Buenos Aires and back.
In April, with the beginning of Spring I was back in my
office in London, wishing the cash flow had been a little brighter in the
past thirty days. I had a visitor, a tall distinguished looking Arab gentleman,
who, even when he smiled looked as though he felt he would be gaining more
virtue in cutting my throat than in discussing the state of the weather.
I knew him well as the agent of my special customer for invisible rubber;
the very important man who paid all the bills!
"My master has sent me to see you about the account for his recent order," the man said, and I began to see trouble on the horizon. The doubling of that cost had been a mistake!
"It was a very difficult job," I said, not too apologetically. I felt that in my way I had worked a few near-miracles!
"My master understands this. However, I am to say that he does not understand the account."
"In what way?" I could feel my hackles begin to rise!
"My master feels that you have made a mistake!"
"I don't think there's any mistake," I said.
"You have not charged for these 500 mercury cells," the man said, "My master was very pleased with what you made and would not wish you to be out of pocket over this. I am, therefore, instructed to hand you this check, which is for the amount of your account, plus an extra $5000 to cover your company's incidental expenses."
That took the wind out of my "sales", I can tell you.
It was like aiming a hefty punch at a skilled boxer, who neatly side-steps
and leaves you to run into the ropes. However, he has not finished with
me yet! As I went past, he gave me a right upper-cut to the ear!
"I am also to hand you this, as a token of my Master's personal appreciation of the work you have done for him over the years, and especially for the recent order which he feels was the work of a genius!"
I sat in my chair or hung over the ropes, incapable of speech. Compliments and gifts! It was too much. I took the small black leather box and opened it, my hands shaking so that I fumbled the catch at first. It wasn't the gift; that might or might not be worth having. It was the kind words that did it. I am more used to complaints!
I opened the box at last, to see, winking up at me the largest white cut stone I had ever seen in my life. It was a ring, and a very nice one too. No one in his senses would expect it to be a diamond. I slipped the ring on the third finger of my left hand, but it was loose.
I tried the middle finger. Still a bit loose. I smiled at my visitor.
"Tell His Excellency, please, how grateful and touched I am by his generosity. Of course, I shall write to him . . . "
"It is too large, " said my visitor. "If you would be kind enough to give yourself the trouble to take it to Aston's in Bond Street they will alter it for you. They are jewel to His Excellency and supplied the ring on that condition."
I expressed my thanks again. The visitor seemed to find
the whole transaction unimportant. No doubt his hourly income exceeded
my annual one! He opened his briefcase "Here is another order from His
Excellency. Please attend to it," He rose and I saw him out. Later in the
day I got a cab and went down to Bond Street. They measured my finger and
promised to alter the ring. "By the way sir," asked the polite man in the
black jacket and striped pants, "I trust you have this ring insured.”
"No," I said, "I only received it this morning.”
"I do urge you to cover it," He said, earnestly. "We could, if you wish of course, give you a Lloyds Cover Note at once. It would be best, I think. I noticed you were carrying it loose in your pocket!" He looked at me reproachfully.
"All right," I said, "Do that for me please. How much should I insure it for?
When he told me, I very nearly dropped dead! I'm not going to tell you, partly because it's none of your business and partly because you still wouldn't believe me! But I'll tell you this. I shall definitely not be selling apples by the road-side from now on!
I don't wear the ring. It’s buried deep in the vault of my bank, insured up to the hilt! If my wife and I don't ever need to sell it, it will help take some of the sorrow out of our children's lives when we pass on!
I went home after that. I just could not go back to work.
I was shattered! I think I felt worse than if His Excellency had gypped
me on the whole order. Bad news I can handle at my age; good news needs
a lot of absorbing!
I spent some time that evening in my study, looking over his Excellency's new order. My first reaction was "here we go again!"
It called for more invisible rubber. Obviously he had developed a taste for it, and I cannot say that I blame him. I only hope one day we can make it available at even $10 a yard instead of $100! One significant point caught my eye.
"Body measurements are exactly as in order of October last, the team being paired as follows.
and so on. It was quite meticulous.
There was another note which came to my notice. All electrical devices to have a minimum endurance of five hours, all team members having been successfully trained to three hours in each twelve."
No wonder those suits had worn out!
Those youths and girls had obviously had them on, with the electrics working, for three hours, twice in every twenty-four hours!
I wondered what he had in mind for them now.
The main part of the order was for large double-size "sleeping
bags" of the thick rubber. These were to be invisible, of course and to
be made so that they could be both zipped and sealed closed, with those
plastic sliders like zippers without teeth. Air was to be supplied by an
individual electric blower for each bag, and in addition there was to be
an auxiliary hand-pump inside, "if it should be desired the occupants should
provide their own air supply". This air-system would need some kind of
relief-valve, otherwise they'd blow the damn things up like balloons and
“There was to be a stoppered tube through which could be introduced a suitable oily substance to be recommended and supplied by you." (More problems!)
Obviously the "team", in male-female pairs were to be enclosed in these sealed transparent rubber sacks, with a "suitable oily substance" poured in for them to Wriggle about in. I hoped they'd enjoy it. Normally the air would be electrically pumped in, but sometimes they would have to work for it themselves, using the hand-pump. They were to be dressed in transparent suits, but in the thinnest latex and very loose-fitting. These suits were to have hoses attached, to be led out of the bags through glands so that they could either be inflated with air, or filled with the "oily substance" at choice. Electric vibrators were to be supplied as before, but with attached cables for control outside the bags. The inserts were to be made with "many smooth points". These inserts were to be fitted to invisible belts as appropriate. In addition, each insert was to be made in such a way that any couple or one of a couple, or all at once could be given electric shocks, "variable at the wish of an operator sitting comfortably in a chair."
We made all that lot eventually, and there were no complaints
at least not from the man who paid the account. I don't know what the "team"
thought about it! We tried out a volunteer young married couple in one
of these sets for an hour or so, and they had a dazed expression on their
faces for a week afterward; a kind of permanent smile, like the Cheshire
Cat in Alice in Wonderland!
There may be some significance in the fact that their first baby was born exactly nine months after this experience!
It can be done. If you can pay the bill, we can make it!
It's as easy as that. I guess the truth is that rich people have indulged
their whims all through history. Nero drinking wine in Rome in high summer,
cooled by ice carried by a non stop chain of runners coming from the mountains.
His Excellency sitting at his "computer", delicately adjusting the degree
of vibration and electric shock to his team of ten palpitating, madly copulating
couples in their invisible rubber bags, filled with "a suitable oily substance".
It’s a strange world, my Masters!