There is a loud knock at the door. Maggs places her copy of The Bell Jar on the table and answers the door to find a man in a suit holding a clipboard.
MAGGS: No thank you.
MAN: I’m not selling anything.
MAGGS: Thank heavens for that. The last thing I bought from a door to door salesman was a bobblehead of Eamonn Holmes. It lasted two days on top of Mabel’s twin tub before his head fell off, bounced to the floor and rolled under the trolley Mabel keeps the Teasmaid on. Took three days of trying to fish it out from under there before any of us remembered the trolley is on wheels.
MAN: Okay. Well, I’m carrying out a Brexit census to collate information on whether people will be voting in or out.
MAGGS: Brexit? Is that some kind of car?
MAN: No, Ma’am. Brexit – whether Britain stays in or leaves Europe.
MAGGS: Well that seems a pointless vote. I’m all for people power and standing up against the man, or the machine, but I don’t think democracy can stand against the mighty power of geography.
MAN: I’m sorry?
MAGGS: Well, it’s all good and well if the nation votes to leave Europe but what do we do once that’s decided? Do we take power tools to the tectonic plates until Blighty floats free on the ocean, then paddle for warmer waters?
MAN: I think you seem to have misunderstood. Have you not been following the news about the proposed exit from the European Union?
MAGGS: The news? I can’t be dealing with the news anymore; I have poetry in my life now.
MAGGS: Oh yes. I used to think it was a bit rubbish but I’m a convert now. Do you read much poetry?
MAN: I can’t say that I do.
MAGGS: Such a shame. Now, this Europe business, is it going to change the way poetry is written or read?
MAN: Well, I couldn’t really say.
MAGGS: Well who can then?
MAN: I don’t really know. I’m only employed to carry out surveys. Your local MP might have more information on how it will change poetry in your local area, or they might have to contact the culture secretary to find out about funding changes, I couldn’t really say.
MAGGS: The culture secretary, interesting. Are they very cultured?
MAN: I’m sorry?
MAGGS: How cultured is the culture secretary?
MAN: I think we’re getting a little off topic, Ma’am. I just need to know whether you plan to vote to stay in or leave the EU.
MAGGS: Yes, so you said. You know that voting is a private matter? I’m not discussing my voting choices with you or anyone else. Besides, I’m busy. I have to write to the culture secretary about Domestic Cherry 5.
MAN: I’ll just put you down as undecided.
MAGGS: You do that, dear.