It was Christmas eve and Chancellor George Osborne sat at his desk in the Treasury munching on a posh burger.
Near to the Treasury there was a party going on, with cries of laughter and Champagne corks popping. The Genie of the Ring Mervyn King was leaving and the Treasury and the Bank of England were having a giant party. It was a traditional gathering and everyone who was anyone was there – apart from Osborne. The Genie of the Ring was all set to leave and the Government still did not have a replacement to look after the country’s Central Bank.
Osborne glared at King gyrating manically around the room through the blinds of his window. “Idiot”, he grumbled as he sat down with a sigh on his chair, put his feet on his desk and took a large bite from his burger.
He was feeling sorry for himself and had just Tweeted a picture of himself hard at work in a failed attempt to get sympathy. Instead, everyone had mocked him for being too posh for McDonalds.
Suddenly, Prime Minister David Cameron burst into the room with such force that the office door cracked against the wall.
Osborne cried out in shock and promptly fell off his chair.
A crumpled mess on the floor, burger sticking to his hair, Osborne looked up at Cameron who was now standing grandly over him. Cameron was wearing a Father Christmas outfit, a fake white beard and his pudgy cheeks were bright red with rage.
“OSBORNE!” Cameron shrieked. “What the hell are you doing?”
“What does it look like?” mumbled Osborne disgruntledly. “I’ve been ringing up everyone I know to find a replacement for the Genie of the Ring. But no one wants the job.”
“Look, I’ve told you who I want,” said Cameron putting his hands on his hips. “The world’s rock star banker, the number one George Clooney imitator, the Genie of the Piggy Bank Mark Carney.”
“We can’t find him,” wailed Osborne as he picked himself up off the floor. “The Canadian Government are keeping him too well hidden.”
“Look, it couldn’t be easier,” said Cameron pushing Osborne back on to his chair. “It’s like being on a hunt. You just need the right carrot to lure him in, then beat him with your stick. Instead of stuffing your fat face with these burgers, use them to lure him out as that’s what I hear he likes to eat. Plus, I have an ancient map for you to use to track him down. Go to the Mysterious Forest of Housing Bubble Trouble and you should find him there.”
“But can’t we just ask the Genie of the Ring Mervyn King to stay on for another four years,” said Osborne falling to his knees and pulling at Cameron’s trouser leg for mercy.
“My word on this is final,” said Cameron. “Either you come back with the Genie of the Piggy Bank by tomorrow night or your head, metaphorically speaking, will roll!”
Seven hours later
Osborne was walking through the forest exactly as Cameron had ordered. He had spread burgers far and wide around the Forest of House Price Bubble to lure in the Genie of the Piggy Bank.
He had also employed two teams of SAS troops to sweep the area, 100 MI6 agents to interrogate anyone that might know of the Genie’s whereabouts and for GCHQ to hack the mobile phones and Twitter accounts of everyone within 100 miles just because he could.
But it had all been for nothing – still no sign of the Genie.
“This is hopeless!” said Osborne as he sat on a stone chair that had been conveniently carved into the side of a mountain.
“Cameron promised me that this map would work but all its got on is a few trees, a large mountain like this one next to me and this stupid smudged phrase on the back that I can barely read.”
It was starting to get dark so he lit a match to get a better look at the words written in swirling dark script. “Toil and bubble, house price trouble,” he recited aloud in a tremulous voice. “But if the economy is starting to tank, call upon the Genie of the Piggy Bank!”
With that there came a loud bang, his chair flipped around and he screamed as he was sent hurtling deep down a musty old shoot. He came to a halt in the middle of a pile of gold coins and looked around opened-mouthed. He was standing in a large underground cavern the size of three football pitches and everywhere he looked were gold coins, crowns and gems.
He started to look around the piles of golden money – it all looked the same apart from one pile of coins that had a golden pig on the top next to a large boulder which he walked over to.
“Hmmm, what does this say?” said Osborne, rubbing away the sand that covered words engraved into the boulder. “To summon the great and mighty Genie of the Piggy Bank, just rub the golden vessel. Maybe it means I need to rub the golden pig in the centre of all that money?”
He fell to his knees and started to polish it furiously with his hanky. Suddenly there was a flash of bright light and Osborne was entwined by turquoise and purple energy. Gradually, the energy and light gathered together to form a face.
“WHO CALLS UPON THE GENIE OF THE PIGGY BANK?” bellowed Mark Carney.
“Oh Genie, it is I, George Osborne, Chancellor of Great Britain. I have journeyed far and wide to find you. I want to take you from Canada to head our Central Bank. Our housing market hit the heights and is now firmly in a trough, we need you to help us get back to, um, what’s the word…”
“WARP SPEED, ESCAPE VELOCITY?” boomed the huge turquoise head of Carney.
”Yes, of course, whatever Star Trek term you want to use,” Osborne cried delightedly.
“THEN I AGREE,” said the Genie with a clap of his almighty hands. “BUT YOU MUST AGREE TO THREE CONDITIONS.”
“Whatever you want, oh Genie,” shrieked Osborne. “Thank you so much, you have literally saved my head!”
Seven hours later
Osborne was sitting in his office singing to himself. The economy was looking up. The Genie of Piggy Bank had worked his magic with the Help to Buy scheme and people were starting to talk of a housing bubble. All of a sudden, there was an almighty bang and his office windows shook.
“OSBORNE!” shrieked Cameron bursting into his room. “Have you seen the comment from the Genie of the Piggy Bank?”
“What comment?” said Osborne nervously, leaping out of his chair.
“The Genie of the Piggy Bank has raised big concerns about the UK’s economy,” shouted Cameron, marching straight up to Osborne. “He’s telling everyone that the UK has the beginnings of a housing bubble and is gathering an array of economic weapons around him like Hell Fire LTV cap missiles. They are hovering right outside the Bank of England as we speak.”
“I don’t know what to say,” said Osborne in a quivering voice.
“How about, don’t worry Dave, I’ll sort it,” said Cameron jabbing his finger in Osborne’s chest. “Or it really will be curtains for you!”
Osborne ran out of the Treasury and got a taxi to the Bank of England as quickly as he could.
The Genie of the Piggy Bank was sitting in the centre of the Bank of England. Economic missiles really were everywhere and Osborne had to slide carefully past them to get close to the Genie.
“WHO GOES THERE?” screamed the giant head of Carney.
“It is I, oh Genie,” said Osborne in a quivering voice. “And I have a favour to ask you – we need to get rid of these economic missiles. They’re scaring people.”
The Genie’s giant brow furrowed.
“BUT THE MARKET IS OVERHEATING?” said the Genie.
“I don’t care,” said Osborne, trying to sound tough. “We brought you in to help us create a property bubble, not blow it up the moment it gets too big.”
“THERE WERE THREE CONDITIONS TO ME COMING TO YOUR DISTANT LAND,” said the Genie in a booming voice.
“Of course,” said Osborne, who was starting to get exasperated. “The first was was that we put you up in a lavish palace. The second was that you could return to Canada and cease to be our economic Genie in five years rather than the normal eight years. Have we not done all of those, oh Genie?
“AND WHAT WAS THE THIRD?” said the Genie.
“Oh that?” said Osborne trying to laugh. “That was just one of those things you promise in the heat of the moment.”
With that, Osborne started to try and drag some of the economic missiles out of the Bank of England.
“STOP” roared the Genie, making everything in the room shudder and shake.
“MY THIRD CONDITION WAS THIS: IF YOU TRIED TO INTERFERE AND TIE ME IN ECONOMIC TWINE, IMPRISONMENT WOULD FOLLOW IN GENIE’S GOLDEN SWINE.”
And with that the golden pig shot above Osborne. Turquoise mist began to pump out of the pig and engulfing Osborne. Pink bands of light ensnared Osborne’s ankles and wrists and it gradually dragged him inside its tiny lid. “Nooooooo!” Osborne screamed as he was slowly sucked inside it.
Then suddenly, with a pop, Osborne was gone forever, leaving the Genie of the Piggy Bank to rule over the country – and everyone lived happily ever after.
Merry Christmas one and all.