• Hello! my name is Mike, I am a loser and I live in Brighton, well, actually I live in Hove but nobody knows where that is, so we’ll call it Brighton. I share a flat with a dog called Scrabble, on the roof of an old factory on a street that winds down to the sea front.

    When I was a kid I always wanted to be an artist. I started as I meant to go on by failing my Art O’Level twice, so I became a salesman instead.

    Variously, I sold televisions and cameras, photocopiers and fax machines, cornflakes, slacks and hand-dryers. Luckily, I was very good at getting jobs, because I was also an expert at losing them.

    I married my school sweetheart, and we made two children – one of each – a smart one and a clever one.

    Accidentally, I learnt to make television programmes, and whilst I did that I tripped over the internet when it was as young and stupid as I.

    I got divorced from my school sweetheart, which was awful, and I moved to a flat in London Zoo, well, actually it was in Camden but nobody knows where that is, so we’ll call it a Zoo.

    After expertly losing some more jobs, I learnt to teach instead of doing, and I travelled the world talking rubbish to people and getting paid to do so. Then I met a Perfect Human and I proposed to her in Africa, and then married her in a garden tent. We exchanged gifts – I gave her problems, she gave me grace, hope and a new family.

    I stopped getting jobs because I had become too good at losing them, so instead, I got cancer – which is much more difficult to misplace. When my Perfect Human’s daughter also became ill, we got a dog called Rolo to help us both get well; then I lost Rolo.

    Because I am good at losing things, I lost my cancer last year, well, technically I’ve misplaced it for a few years, but I also managed to misplace my Perfect Human, for a while, and I moved to Brighton (well, Hove) to find my health and myself. When I got here I found Scrabble, well, she found me, really. I started to draw pictures of Scrabble and Brighton and I shared them on Twitter and Facebook, and I found some nice people who asked if they could buy them, in frames, on their walls, and I became an artist.

    Then a nice lady called Jude found Scrabble and me in a corner of the internet. Jude asked if she could make a book of our pictures, which you’ve just found. Try not to lose it.

    (Taken from Mike&Scrabble: A guide to training your new human, available on Amazon and in all good bookshops)

    Mike Dicks (1967-) was born in Bishops Stortford, England, he grew up in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire and then moved around a lot having what is best described as a ‘portfolio career,’ and a life of creating anecdotes about himself. Mike lives by the sea in Brighton, England with his dog, and co-author, Scrabble. His first book, “Mike&Scrabble” will be released in early 2017.

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