The Diogenes Syndrome

(750 words) Saunders – no one seemed to know his Christian name, or even if he had one – lived in our village, and was reasonably infamous. They said that when sober he was intelligent, well spoken, and witty. He came from a very wealthy family, a household name indeed. When drunk, however, he didn’t wash or shave, was without principles of any kind and would shout vile insults at innocent passersby, whether he knew them or not. Unfortunately, he was nearly always drunk. Well, I’d heard stories about him – hurling abuse in the local pub (before being banned), somehow storing a large boat in his back garden which squeezed through his neighbour’s gates with just millimetres to spare, keeping rubbish in sacks in the garden, and barging into his neighbour’s house, dressed only in underpants, when the neighbour was entertaining guests.