After falling into arrears on his energy bill, Mr Vince Mantle has recently been informed by his supplier that the company intends to repossess all the gas that he has used over the last two years. Bailiffs have already attended Mr Mantle's house and have given him seven days to make a full payment, else they will return to collect the thirty-two thousand cubic metres of natural gas that he has so far failed to pay for.
Mr Mantle, who was made redundant some time ago and has been unable to keep up with the spiralling cost of his energy bills, argues that he is no longer in possession of the gas, but his protests have fallen on deaf ears. "If necessary, we will remove gas of an equivalent value form the property," said a spokesman from Mr Mantle's energy company, Northern Bastards PLC. "We have equipment that can suck all the air out of a house in ten seconds flat, although it can cause some respiratory problems and make your ears pop."
The spokesman went on to say that this course of action is only ever pursued as a last resort, and that he did not think it would be required in this case. "We are doubtful of Mr Mantle's claims and suspect that he has our gas hidden somewhere," he told us. "There are plenty of places it could be salted away - for instance, a spare bedroom, a garden shed or even in a series of old lemonade bottles stashed under the kitchen sink. Speaking for myself, I'd put money on that dirty great gasometer round the back of his house having more than a little to do with it."