Dear Aunt Agatha,
I found you by chance when I was looking up AA, the alcoholics group. It led me to Aunt Agatha instead. I hate to bother you because I’m actually in quite a good situation. When my European public service job ends next year, I have a guaranteed pension and retirement pot that will pay me about a million euros every year. This is only right, because I was Europe’s longest serving elected leader, and after 18 years, you expect a pretty golden parachute when you finally bail out.
I improved it while in elected office by making my little fiefdom the El Dorado of corporate tax avoidance, bringing average rates to below 1%. Not surprisingly, many big companies pumped in lots of money, and some of it stuck my way. I put the LUX in luxury, and thwarted efforts by the EU to stop this happening. There was a problem 10 years ago when my head of security secretly recorded me on his wristwatch, but fortunately the story became about illegal bugging rather than the incriminating stuff I’d said.
My public antics with my colleagues have been vastly overblown. All right, I did give one a playful slap on the cheek, patted another on the belly, and kissed another’s bald head. This is just me unwinding after a few drinks. And that 18-foot statue of Marx I unveiled was not because I approved of the swine whose ideology killed millions: it was because I was paid. I am afflicted with sciatica, and it does tend to make me stagger after a breakfast bottle of brandy. But I am good for years yet, and would like you to suggest what I might do in retirement.
(signed) “Never Drunker”
Dear “Never Drunker,”
Have you thought of becoming involved with wine – I mean professionally? Your name has a strong brand associated with it, and I think could sell huge quantities. I suggest you might buy a vineyard and produce the stuff yourself. This would have the huge advantage that you’d always have bottles of it within reach. In retirement you could potter about, sampling the stuff and entertaining your visiting friends to long and boozy lunches. It would be like not retiring at all.