Weak at the top: John Weak's diary

Weak at the top: John Weak's diary - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Smokehouse is about to acquire Acidix, small chemical factory somewhere up North big on grime. Acidix only makes one very nasty chemical which is supposed to be the next big thing in floor cleaning. Sir Marcus has asked me to communicate good news to the City. Could use PR agency but let's face it, PR is like having a pee in a wet suit - you get a nice feeling doing it but no one else notices any difference. Far better to take the City lads out to traditional 10-course lunch and crack open a case of something eye-wateringly expensive. It's the only language they understand. Phoned my own stockbroker last thing and bought Acidix shares.

Told him I was going to sell at the end of the week, trouser the money and tap dance off to the Maldives.


Took the train up to Acidix and was surprised how many Northerners there were in First Class. Huge mobile phones though. Was forced to make a lot of unnecessary calls with my mobile headgear just to show them the technology they can expect next year. Arrived at Acidix in time for coffee. Was tempted to order a tall latte but they probably would have brought me a long ladder.

Their MD said he was just a simple man who knew nowt about owt. Saved me having to say it. He warned me that tests weren't quite complete on wonder chemical which cleaned floors spectacularly but tended to burn through to foundations. That's my kind of chemical. We could work that up into some kind of children's toy. Besides, if we didn't take a few risks with technology we'd still be travelling around the country staring up the backside of horses. Told him acquisition was on track and they could look forward to less grimness up North in near future.


Stroke of luck!!! On the train back to London, managed to sit opposite very high-octane totty with exceptionally pert mobile phone. Got chatting to her (after five false starts) about me being a corporate raider pillaging the North. Gave her insider tip to buy Acidix shares. Told her about the new wonder chemical and laid it on thick about how one mopping will burn you out a new cellar. I got her pretty stoked up and gave her my card telling her if she was after big tips I was her man. Shame she got off at the next stop. Although I could have sworn she said she was going all the way to London.


City briefing day. Private room arranged at Savoy and have raided staff welfare budget to beef up expenses on this one. When I got in, Hayley (secretary) told me all the City analysts had called and cancelled. Probably too busy buying Smokehouse shares. Can't under-claim on expenses so I invited my old mucker Bill Peters to have a quiet lunch for 10 with me and to see whether we could seriously damage that crate. After fourth bottle, I told Bill to remortgage his house and put the lot on Acidix shares before they went ballistic. He said his money had gone on his divorce.

Bit of a shocker as I didn't know he was divorced. He said he wasn't but he'd spent a lot of money on things that would lead rapidly to divorce.


On my way to City press conference with Sir Marcus I called the fox on the train to ask whether she'd taken my little tip on Acidix. She said she'd listened very carefully and warned the pension funds she advises to sell Smokehouse shares pronto before we made dodgy acquisition. Met Sir Marcus who told me our shares had nose-dived and gave me a thermo-nuclear bollocking before telling the City that the acquisition was off.

I had to break the good news to our friends in the North who told me they'd just bought 20% of our shares for virtually nothing and thanks to me had got owt for nowt. How heartening. My Acidix shares have, like their sodding chemical, gone through the floor. Have cancelled Maldives holiday and am looking closely at Blackpool.

You can contact John Weak at: john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk.

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