|You are in:|
To Bristow, a temp is a challenge. How long will she last while he makes her life a misery? Temps usually come from Tillies Temps or Trendi-Temps but Ponsonby’s Permanent Positions have supplied a few (including the notorious Tess Trelawny strip 4032 - who may or may not have been involved in the Great Tea Trolley Disaster of '67). When a temp is asking for work at one of these agencies she will get a choice of three - Siberian Railway, Salt Mines or Chester-Perry’s. Most opt for the salt mines. Those that plump for C-Ps and find themselves in the buying department will regret it - strip 3429
Sometimes Bristow meets his match
"I take it you have worked in an office before?"
Less violent but equally stubborn temps will sing "We shall not be moved" whilst Bristow dangles his horrible hairy spiders (purchased specially from Joe's Joke Emporium) over their heads.
Temps, like the workers in the typing pool, are always female and single. Mr. Gordon Blue packs out the canteen when he holds his "Bring a temp" day (spoilt by the inevitable "Pass the tomato sauce Bunnikins"). Once in a while Bristow meets a temp he really likes. These tend to be the one who wear T-shirts bearing the slogan "I hate work". And there's always the oddball with the most peculiar taste in men strip 5413a
Pre-eminent amongst the many temps who have dared to cross the Chester-Perry threshold is the clan whose surname is LaRue. We first hear of one Zanzi LaRue back in 1966, famous for appearing in raunchy films with an office theme - acclaimed masterpieces such as The Company Director's Dilemma in which she played the lift girl. She does not appear in the strip at that time but her look-alike, the temp Natalie provokes enormous interest in the typing pool from the clerks (and massive resentment from the typists).
In 1970 Bristow visits the cinema to enjoy Miss LaRue's charms for himself, obtains an unexpected concession - strip 2847 - and enjoys her performance as the tea lady in Rosie Lee's Revenge. Not long after Mr. Myles, of Myles & Rudge, takes on a temp and engages one Candy LaRue from Tillies revealing a roguish nature that irks his partner Mr Rudge in strip 4471 . However his cunning plan to make Miss LaRue his permanent assistant is scotched when his wife outbids him and removes Candy from the market. We do not know the relationship between Zanzi and Candy. In 1976 Zanzi LaRue is still living the high life as a risque actress and her dalliance with young Errol Chester-Perry in a nightclub is manna for the gossip columnists. But it must have gone horribly wrong for in 1983 we find her accepting work as a temp at Chester-Perry's, her qualifications being that her previous employment was as a stripper (which is all that the Personnel manager needs to hear).
Miss LaRue's first spell at C-Ps is shortlived but must have been reasonably successful for two years later she is back and her motives for seeking a new job are very clear, if perhaps rather sordid - strip 6902 . Jones and Atkins, amongst many others, fall under her spell but Bristow seems immune as strip 6904 shows.
In 2002 Jones falls again for a temp, named Trixie (and a few strips later, Tanzi), and therefore bound to be a LaRue. He fights the post-boy for her favours then loses her to Atkins ("the head of his department is on holiday"). Only the iron in his soul keeps him going after the shock of rejection. and as Bristow says"Its your own fault. You should never have got involved with a temp. Temps leave a trail of destruction wherever they go. That's their mission in life. Meet, miserise and move on".Things get a bit confusing in 2003. Zanzi LaRue is mentioned briefly and appears to be permanent in the pool but two months later Bristow chats up a new face amongst the typists and discovers her to be one Fifi, daughter of Tanzi.
- This meeting is fraught with significance as Fifi, alleges that her mother was "betrayed" and is seeking revenge on the Chester-Perry organisation. Bristow of course attempts to name Mr. Fudge as the love-rat using some dubious evidence. We never do learn how Fifi avenged her mother but there is one farewell from the LaRues when mother Zanzi turns up in 2010, assisting the clerks as they interrogate Jones about his mysterious holiday .strip 2456 So maybe the terrible insult has been forgiven and forgotten.