The family of Gareth Taggart watched in horror this week as the 40-year-old secondary school teacher from Uttoxeter completed a terrible transformation that saw him change from being a youthful, open-minded, laidback liberal into an uptight, ranting, middle-aged man with an addiction to the History Channel, in an unholy conversion that has been described by many seasoned local observers as his birthright.
‘It’s been horrible,’ said 15-year-old son Julian, ‘the hair sprouting out of his ears, the inappropriate scratching and uncontrollable grunting regardless of who was in the room, and his howling at the TV whenever any female presenter under 30 comes on. It’s been like a Hammer Horror werewolf movie in embarrassingly boring slow motion.’
Omens pointing to Taggart’s dreadful fate had been emerging for some time, as he would ask his children ‘if they’d been born in a barn’, complain that modern bands were ‘just ripping off Oasis’, or mutter about ‘scroungers’ whenever the news was on, but lately his family have become fearful that he was no longer being ironic.
‘At first and we could talk about how he danced at weddings and laugh about the idea that he was turning into a monster, but now in some way I feel it should be my solemn duty to destroy him,’ said wife Amy, ‘Yet still, when I look into the depths of his tortured eyes, I see a spark of the man that would groove along with the excessively loud dance music from the car next to us at the traffic lights, and not tut and tell them they were in a residential area. Also I don’t think I’d get off on anything less than manslaughter, even if I did use a silver bullet.’
‘I’ve never seen something so awful happen,’ said the man’s traumatised son, ‘but it’s left me with an unbreakable resolve that I’ll never let something like that ever happen to me, not in a million years.’ A claim, which spurred Gareth Taggart to unleash a blood-curdling cackling laugh that chilled the bones of all that heard it, and made 30-something men across the county re-tune their car radios to Radio 1 and resolve that, next weekend, they really should get out clubbing again.