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What on earth does Bristow do at night? He must be exceptionally active, because his main activity during the day appears to be sleeping. No matter how big the mountain of paperwork in his in-tray or how loudly Jones is bellowing in the telephone by his ear, Bristow can drop off into a deep and restoring snooze at will. This is no sad development of middle-age, sharp contrast to his youthful energy. strip 2548 suggests that he has always been torpescently inclined.
Nobody in the Buying Department is in the least surprised to find Bristow asleep. If the postboy should be passing whilst the phone rings then Bristow may rouse himself sufficiently to say that he is "in conference" before relapsing into slumber. However, oversleeping after 5 pm is a serious matter. On one occasion when he wakes with a start at 5:20 he wearily concludes that it is hardly worth going home and switches the dictaphone back on.
If Bristow has a sleepless night at home, he can soon drop off. He merely has to imagine a pile of invoices, phones ringing left and right and it's the start of the long hot afternoon. An alternative scenario is that he is opening a vital telegram, and the fate of hundreds of employees depends on his instant reaction. Either way within seconds he is well away. Maybe he takes encouragement from the example set by Mr. Smethwick, one of the Directors.
Even people outside the Chester-Perry Organisation notice. The lads at Myles & Rudge, in the office across the street are wary, dismissing it as some sort of stunt to attract staff " He's not so much an employee as window dressing". Looking down from the extension high above the same building, the Blondini Brothers are envious strip 4837 .
Other buying clerks are happy to join in the dozing if they think they can get away with it. On a freezing foggy day, Jones and Bristow put themselves into the shoes of the gallant and dedicated drivers of the C-P juggernauts, playing the game "Chester-Perry products must get through". It is a short game. The "drivers" glimpse a friendly lay-by and can fold their heads into their arms and drop off with the knowledge of a job well done.
Perhaps Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 -1892) should have the last word. When Jones, on a warm day in March quotes "In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love", Bristow can riposte from the same source "Surely, surely slumber is more sweet than toil?" (and follow it up with a well earned "Zzzzzz" ( from strip 10163 published in the Evening Standard in March 1998)