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Bristow's Colleagues

Toady Thompson
“The Firm's Crawler”

 
 
Toady Thompson is not just known as the firmís crawler. It appears to be part of his job description. Ever anxious to please, he is not only prepared to propose Votes of Thanks to retiring committee members of the Sports and Social club, he is willing to serve himself. And it is Toady who suggests that the Club erect a statute to the memory of the man who founded it. When Sir Reginald splashes out on a luxury yacht, who better to justify it to a cynical workforce? strip 4482
Strip 4482 was published in the Evening Standard in October 1975 and in Living Death in the Buying Department. This scan is from the Melbourne Age October 1975
.

Without Toady Thompson, Bristow would have no one to praise his writings. When the management take away his supply of paper, it is Thompson who encourages Bristow to keep going using old envelopes and scraps. Thompsonís verdict on Living Death and the rest of Bristowís oeuvre is invariably "brilliant". When Bristow tells him of his rejection by Heap and Trotwood, Toady calls down "a plague on both your houses".

Highslide JS
Strip 2770 was published in the Evening Standard in February 1970 and in Bristow (1970), from where this scan was taken.

The only good review Bristow has ever had for any of his writings...
Toady Thompson excels himself

He is the strange choice of Herod in the firmís Nativity Play and apologises humbly to Mary and Joseph for any inconvenience caused. (Of course Bristow knows the perfect replacement, a man who would happy to be seen in a cruel and heartless role - Peterson of Public Relations). Holiday postcards from other clerks always start "Dear Slaves" but not those from Toady. He wishes his colleagues were with him. He wishes his bosses were with him. He even wishes the building itself was with him.

The most loyal of workers, Toady is devastated the morning he sleeps late and has to catch a train with Bristow (for whom arriving late is an art form).  When Toady proposes that they share a taxi Bristow, quite understandably, swoons on the spot.

It must be wonderful having Toady as a colleague. Mr. Gordon Blue expects nothing but contumely from his dyspeptic customers but not when Thompson is dining strip 3538
Strip 3538 was published in the Evening Standard in July 1972 and in More Bristow. This scan is from the Melbourne Age September 1972
. Of course before he gets to the canteen he must be persuaded to leave his office. The two men who regularly stroll round the corridors hear his boss telling him to break for lunch. "You mean G-G-G-Go outside for L-L-L-lunch?" goggles a gob-smacked Thompson. He must have conquered his fear because in a later strip he visits Duggie's Tattoo parlour in a street near C-Ps. Duggie is not sure if he is able to carry out a rather unusual request - "This is difficult Mr. Thompson, I've never seen the Chester-Perry building".

Some may scorn Toady's attitude but Bristow has his measure

Jones: Bristow - why does Toady Thompson behave the way he does. He should realise nobody likes a crawler
Bristow: He thinks ahead. In the years to come, while we are slumming on a park bench he'll be reclining on the patio of his semi-detached house in the suburbs
strip 10262, published in the Evening Standard August 1998

In 2004 on frankdickens.com we learned that TT is practicing synchronised toadying. This highly skilled social activity requires a number of experienced toadies who exhibit identical reactions to whatever their boss does (eg he cracks a small joke they all split their sides laughing). Lets hope this one catches on. Thompson can toady for England. But the strangest development came three years later. To Bristow's amazement (and possibly jealousy) we find that Toady is having a relationship with - wait for it - Miss Sunman ("His name's not Toady, it's Ronald"). Words fail even the author of this website. Ronald indeed.

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