A short story about a man who is completely “literal-minded” who finds himself in a situation where his only salvation, and that of someone very dear to him, is Lateral Thinking and recognising the subjective nature of the problem. In short a conflict between his habitual attitudes and the reality of the unreality in the situation.

The conflict thus engendered makes the story. Will he break through? or will he be like the character in Conrad’s “Typhoon” and try to “Bash on regardless”? The story will illustrate how his strengths are his weakness and his weakness a strength.


NAME: William W. Williams

AGE: 39

OCCUPATION: Accountant (Junior Partner External Audit Co.)

DESCRIPTION:  Height: 180 cm

Weight: 175 k

Eyes: Grey (glasses: Steel rim trifocals)

Hair: Brown (grey flecked)

Build: Slim, almost lean



A Loner. Literal-minded. Meticulous. Obsessively honest. Unimaginative. Both obstinate and obdurate. Cautious with money. Not stingy but demands value. Sense of humour doubtful but has a love-hate relationship with puns. Very persistent and orderly minded (see ’Psychology’).



Freudian: Anal retentive character predominates with attendant psychological characteristics.

Transactional Analysis: Usually cathected in ADULT which is PARENT contaminated.

CHILD: ego state rare (he doesn’t often have fun).

R.E.T. : Rational Emotive Therapy appeals to him and he has made some efforts to overcome “irrational beliefs”. However, his efforts are always more rational than emotive.



Divorced 1984. with custody of only child (boy now aged eleven).

For details see attached PERSONAL HISTORY.


William W. Williams was born on January 20th 1950, only child of Rev. Evan W. Williams and Gwladys Mefanwy Williams nee Jones. His parents were married in Cardiff, Wales, in 1949 prior to their emigration to Australia where Rev. Williams had accepted the position of Pastor in The Bethel Anabaptist Chapel in South Hawthorn Victoria. There was a strange little Welsh enclave in the area which were as insistent on a genuine Welsh pastor as any group of Presbyterians in search of a Scot.

The W in the middle of his name is also William (he tries to conceal this). It was the result of a dispute. Gwladys insisted that he be named after her father, William Rhys Jones. Evan said that it was traditional in his family for the second name to be William, as was his and his father and grandfather’s. His wife was equally insistent that HER father’s “William” should be the First name.

He had a rather lonely childhood. He went to State school, his father’s living being very poor, but was accepted at Melbourne High School at secondary level and progressed from there to Melbourne where he got an honours degree in commerce and accountancy. He did the usual professional examinations, always with success and achieved an excellent reputation as a chartered accountant. He was offered a junior partnership in an old established firm of accountants specialising in external audits.

He married Susan Smithers (then 22) when he was 27. The marriage lasted seven years at which time she left him and ran off with an actor. William still cannot understand why. In his eyes, he was a perfect husband. He didn’t get drunk or beat her. He was faithful. He was a good provider and had, with great daring, read a number of sex manuals and had endeavoured to put a number of the less alarming ideas into practice with his usual attention to fine detail. He could not realise that he bored her to tears and that the actor, an eternal child, promised excitement and fun.

Alan W. Williams, his son, is a lonely child with much of his father’s seriousness. At eleven most of his time is spent with his personal computer, which he has been programming since the age of nine. William has regularly updated his son’s equipment but at the moment draws the line at buying a laser printer. The two of them live in a unit in Glen Waverley. the marital home m Brighton having been sold to settle the divorce agreement.

William has tried membership of several Singles organisations but has never felt at ease in this milieu. Concerned friends have tried to pair him off with likely ladies but these contrived relationships have usually proved disastrous. It may be that the owl-like scrutiny of young Alan, in his huge round glasses, has disconcerted even the most accommodating young women.



Food: Conventional food. He is quite a good cook because he follows recipes to the letter. He is unadventurous in his tastes but considers himself so if he eats Chinese food. He would not dream of eating ‘fast food’.

Drink: He is a wine man. He drinks wine with his meals, choosing the correct variety to suit the dish and has a small but excellent cellar. He drinks light beer on social occasions having heeded the point 05 warnings.

Dress: He is usually to be seen in a dark grey business suit although his leisure wear runs to tweeds and fairisle pullovers. Before he gave up smoking in response to the Quit campaign he used to smoke a pipe.

Hobbies: Reading, Chess, Model building.

Sport: (Former) Cross country runner, Jogging, Fishing (Fly).

Music: J. S. Bach and has lately expressed an interest in “Computer Music”. Doesn’t like Discos because of the noise. Is rather a wooden dancer, dancing with his head rather than his feet.