Complicated Things

The recent developments to the Kitchen Situation –  helpfully labelled the Suitcase Situation – certainly warranted an urgent Cabinet meeting. Sitting in the dashingly furnished Cabinet Office, accidental Prime Minister Lucy Wastell was in fact somewhat grateful that such exigent ameliorations presented themselves when they did. The earlier commotion  had disturbed the slumbering Tony Blair, who upon waking – and it turns out Mumsie was right after all – immediately demanded to be fed and started whining about wanting a haircut. Lucy found this to be incredibly annoying, so any excuse to get out of the kitchen was gratefully welcomed.

The suitcase itself had been immediately entrusted into the hands of Minister of Defence, Lord Daniel Westington. It now sits with some sinistery* before him, looking rather dangerous on the grand, French polished table. The assembled Ministers were all looking at it in a not-really-looking-at-it sort of way, as if close scrutiny might upset it. Disingenuous small talk fails to veil the evident apprehension.

Lucy was rather pleased that most of the Cabinet had managed to dig themselves out at such short notice. There were a few omissions, however – the Foreign Secretary hadn’t deemed a potential bomb threat as weighty enough to shift him from his occupancy in the South of France, but he did at least send his very best wishes to all concerned. Regrettably, Wing Commander Tom had been unreachable, no doubt swanking about the kingdom on some perilous pursuit or other. Which was a shame.

Just as Lucy was about the bring the Cabinet to order, Mumsie appeared at the door with a heaving tray of tea things and very small cakes. Why very small cakes? Surely cakes should be big. She didn’t get far, unfortunately, before fumbling unforgivably and depositing the lot into the expensively-attired lap of Cabinet Secretary, Sir Edd Evans-Morley. A quiet yet lethal gentleman, Sir Edd gallantly suppressed what must have been a quite boisterous squeal and smiled apologetically at the horrified Mumsie.

“My fault entirely, madam.”

Herding Mumsie swiftly out the door, Lucy decided it really was time to get on with things.

“I’ll keep this brief, as it appears we haven’t got any tea and cake,” she said. “Lord Westington, what can you tell us about this suitcase?”

Upon rising to his feet, Lord Westington bristled his magnificent moustache and cleared his throat.

“You were right to come to me about this matter, of course you were,” he boomed. “But I have to tell you that it’s all been a blasted waste of my time. See here – ”

With a flourish, he flicked the catches on the suitcase and, accompanied by short gasps of horror from the Cabinet, it snapped open, spewing dusters of all kinds across the table. Collective heartbeats settle to a pace somewhere just beneath pneumatic.

“Do you mean to say he really was just selling dusters?” asked Ian, scratching his temple with a fountain pen.

“Oh, I feel a bit bad for him now,” Lucy repined. “I’d have just bought a duster if I’d have known. He was living in a tree for four years, you know.”

“When a man takes to living in a tree one must wonder what lead him there, Prime Minister,” retorts Lord Westington. “In his case, it probably had something to do with him being an utter bastard.”

“Well, that’s probably true,” Lucy nodded in agreement. “Hey ho, at least he wasn’t trying to blow us up or spy on us. Anyway, now we’re all here, perhaps we should have a bit of a catch up? Chancellor, how are the coffers looking these days?”

Momentarily caught off guard, Ian shuffled through the papers before him and glanced surreptitiously in the direction of Trade Minister, Simon Daley. Both men appeared to be sporting shiny new watches.

“Yes, yes, all is going nicely in that respect, Prime Minister,” Ian eventually replied. “Mr Daley and I have been exploring some fiscally fascinating trade deals and Dr Martens continues to work with me on the gin production – that’ll be a good little earner, you know.”

“I am interested to hear more about these trade deals,” the Prime Minister narrows an eye just slightly. Querulous huffing emits from the direction of the Chancellor.

“Prime Minister, if I may?” Sir Edd wiped the remainder of cake from his hands and slid a neatly typed paper towards Lucy. “Trade deals are notoriously complicated. I have taken the liberty of summerising for you, here.”

Lucy cast a fleeting glance at Sir Edd’s report. She then cast a slightly more lingering one, as she hadn’t understood most of it the first time. On reading the report in more detail, it appeared to make even less sense.

“That… all looks very good,” a vague attempt to save face. “I’ll leave it in your capable hands, Chancellor. Now, has anyone heard any more about this war with Oxford? I’ve had one drunken phone call from King Boris and not a peep since. Anyone?”

“Wing Commander Tom is gather further intelligence as we speak, Prime Minister,” replied Sir Edd, artfully maintaining his reputation as a man with an answer for everything. “But what does appear to be clear is that war can be effortlessly avoided by handing over Tony Blair to the Oxford monarchy.”

“Bugger that,” snapped Lucy. “The trial of Blair shall be our defining political triumph! I’m not giving that to bloody Boris on a plate.”

“It would seem that effecting that strategy is still some way off, Prime Minister.”

“But why, Sir Edd?” Lucy spluttered. “I want this trial to get a wriggle on. Why can’t we just find a chap with a big wig to declare the bugger guilty?”

“I’m afraid it is somewhat more complicated than that,” Sir Edd replies, with a smile that could melt steel.

“Oh, everything is so bloody complicated, apparently. I don’t know. I’m beginning to think that President Alatorre had a point.”

“Bombing Oxford is not really an option,” said Lord Westington, somewhat disappointed.

“Not even a small bomb? Right under Boris’ throne?”

“Not even the tiniest, bantam-bomb, Prime Minister,” stated Sir Edd, rather firmly. “I strongly advise that we wait for Wing Commander Tom to return with his findings.”

With a lack of anything more sensible to suggest, Lucy had little choice but to capitulate to the counsel of her Cabinet and move on to other matters, such as the possibility of getting some more tea and cake.

Meanwhile, in Oxford, King Boris was about to receive a very special guest of his own…

 

* Yes, I know this isn’t a real word, but I liked the sound of it anyway.


123 thoughts on “Complicated Things

  1. Of cakes, dusters and suitcases. What more can one ask. Get rid of the Cabinet members who couldn’t be bothered to turn up.And as for talk of bombing Oxford …
    I now can’t get dusters out of my head, which is ironic really … dusters would get them out of my head. 😃🍻👷

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    1. What more indeed! I might sack some Ministers if they continue to avoid my most excellent meetings. We don’t always throw the tea things around, this was a special occasion.
      I really like the smell of new dusters, for some reason. And car leathers!

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  2. President Alatorre! …got to admit Dan looks the part, but hey don’t all Americans nowadays! King Boris … bet you he gets wind of this and orders a courtier to follow his secretly desired Lucy … well he can join a bloody long queue to get close to you … and Lucy this new endeavour so absolutely you … top draw chest … whoops mean cabinet … may all the balls you deal with be curved. Eric (Ministry of Odd Ends)

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    1. Dan is the perfect choice for POTUS – do you think there is still time for him to stand as an independent against Trump and Clinton? There are many, many shenanigans to come involving Boris and all sorts of things – stay tuned! But rest assured that your place at the front of the queue shall not be relinquished, not even for Kings and dignitaries! So pleased you are enjoying it so far. I wait those balls with great anticipation.
      (That’s a great Ministerial title, by the way!)

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      1. How does one contact someone at the epicentre of the known world? Or is this one so dumb he can’t see your contact box for looking … one has a proposition … of a kind? Eric in a pickle.

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    1. That’s three of us that say it is a word, so that makes it officially a word now 🙂
      It was lucky that the suitcase was full of dusters after Mumsie dropped the tea tray.
      Sort of feeling sorry for Farage, but I wouldn’t mind betting there is something afoot…

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      1. It’s just mad! He clearly has his eye on a lucrative career in the States – a bit like a cut-price Tony Blair – but Trump?! It’s an odd association, even by Farage’s standards. The whole thing makes our little tales here seem like the more reasonable option…
        (Onwards with world domination!)

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      2. I can’t see how any reasonable person could support him…I guess there is a supply of unreasonable americans!!

        I think we would certainly do a better job…
        World domination plan is go!!

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      3. There certainly seem to be quite a few unreasonable Americans who absolutely think Trump is the future of their country! Mind you, there were plenty of Britons who thought the same about Farage. This is a fascinating time to be alive but, seriously, what is wrong with the world? The sooner we are in charge the better, I say.

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      4. It is terrifying to think that he might actually be in charge of one of the largest nuclear powers in the world…
        I wanted to do another post-apocalyptic photoshoot…but I didn’t want it to be for real!!

        You are right…the sooner we are in charge the better…can we rule the world from cambridge or do we have to move to the US?
        (technically I’d have to move either way…)

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      5. I know, it’s a bit like a horror movie! Surely it can’t happen… can it?!
        We can certainly run the world from Cambridge, the University have been at it for years, but in a less obvious manner 😉 Don’t worry, we shall find you a swanky Ministerial residence, close to all the best bits and within easy reach of the gin emporium!

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      6. The next step could be tricky. Put your Good Ideas hat on (the one with the Womble!) and see what occurs. I shall also give it some very careful consideration, over here in this chair. I promise you I am not sleeping – it just looks like that when I am thinking really, really hard 😉

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      7. Of course!!
        You have to close your eyes to stop the distractions getting in…and the good ideas leaking out…this does happen through eyes you know… most people don’t know that!

        I will get the womble on it…he is a great help!

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  3. Kitchens. First, I don’t like cake. I know. Heresy. I shall no doubt find my P45 in the post. But, with that in mind, I should like to put in a request for something more savoury to mop up the tea. Cucumber sandwiches would do just fine. Please tell Mumsie Morries does a nice organic one.
    Of course we could splurge and have canapes and wine/cava/champagne. I am recovering from a lack of appetite hence my enthusiastic interest in all things food.
    Dusters on the other hand, leave me totally disinterested. They are an unpleasant reminder that one might have to … dust?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is perfectly alright – all the more cake for me! Mumsie will be more than happy to make you up whatever you would like, although I’d avoid anything pasta-based as she is terrible at that. Luckily, she will take on the dusting too, while we get on with far more important matters.

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    1. As the Minister for Bacon I am very impressed by your utter dedication to your role! I shall get Mumsie to search Blair – I’m not touching him, obviously. I bet Boris could be placated – or at least distracted – by bacon, good point. Some sort of bacon-centric offensive is required, I think.

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      1. Bugger you’re right. We had better put the bacon smuggling policy into action immediately. In the meantime I will nip down the Spar and pick up some of their finest thick cut. Good work, my man.

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      2. Actual butcher bacon, eh? Well, it’s a sacrifice I shall have to make for the good of the people. I never expected this job to be easy, but… I could never have forseen something on this scale. Our best bacon. Pah. When this is all over I shall build a bacon memorial park in honour of the brave rashers that gave their lives so that Boris might be distracted for a bit.
        Don’t be rude about Tom, he will be very cross indeed!

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      3. I thought it best to keep them onside, although the ‘special’ relationship will not stretch so far as to the supplies of best bacon. No doubt I will find alternative ways to keep it ‘special’.

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      4. Blimey, things are not that desperate, old chap. The Americans can do what they want on their own trampolines, but the trampolines of Cambridge are sacrosanct! We shall be trading arms and insults, that is all.

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      5. I know, the bacon situation is indeed troubling. Don’t worry, I shall instigate a special pig breeding programme that will guarantee us supplies of mega-bacon. You, of course, will need to over see this. Sorry to hear about the dream, dare I ask as to its nature?

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      6. Well it started off pleasantly enough, there was even a touch of nudity, but then the girl and I nearly got locked in a caravan by a bunch of crazies, as we ran through the weird wood streets there was some kind of monster that would pop its head up from the floor…and I lost my phone!

        ‘Twould be a pleasure to watch pigs breeding! I hear its quite the sight. When I was at uni, one of our lecturers had an odd spiral shaped pointer that he used, it wasn’t until the second year that he told us it was for artificially inseminating pigs!

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      7. That sounds scary, especially the bit about losing your phone. What terror!
        Your lecturer sounds delightfully bonkers. Hopefully our special pigs will be happy enough to get on with business the old fashioned way.

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      8. This sounds very much like a song I could really like. I suggest a rousing chorus to really get the pigs in the mood. They shall be the happiest and most delicious in the land – nay! – the very world. I strongly believe that it is through bacon that world peace will finally be achieved.

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      9. I would love to hear that sentence spoken at a UN convention in the very near future!
        The pig is an intelligent creature; it may require more than one song in order to moodify all of them sufficiently…I shall gather together all the pig related love songs I can find, as a sort of a birthing playlist as it were.

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      10. Good work, Babbage. I suppose this makes you the Minister for Makin’ Bacon! I have grand visions of a slew of Casanova pigs, wooing the weak-kneed sows and so creating our porcine master race. Another bonus, of course, will be the super sausage that can accompany the mega-bacon. I think next we might need some kind of epic hens to provide our breakfast eggs. But first things first. Breakfast means breakfast.

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      11. All that talk of food got me a little peckish too! Bit I like where your mind is going regarding the porcine and poultry master races! An ancestor of biddy would be ideal, and a bona fide French cockerel…and it seems that Fidel Castro is the ultimate wooer of the ladies, we can maybe pick up a Cuban pig for a good price…and thank you for the revised title 🙂

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      12. Ah, the return of the mighty Biddy the hen! She is an excellent choice of stock, due to being possibly immortal. The fact that she is a fictional character will not hinder us in the least. I didn’t know that about Castro, what a sly old fox. If we combine a Cuban pig with their famous cigars, we can breed pre-smoked bacon! A marvellous efficiency.
        No need to thank me about the revised title – that is the secret of great Government – the ability to adapt and evolve to the ever changing circumstance.

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    1. The first great tragedy of this Government, I feel. I suspect there may have been one or two survivors, but no one was brave enough to delve into the lap of Sir Edd to perform the rescue. Scenes of this great horror have been beamed across the nation, so that all may weep at the loss of cake. Nevertheless, Mumsie has vowed to nip down the shop for more, and the healing process can begin *sobs*

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      1. What?! Your economy will never survive with that attitude! You shouldn’t be buying them in, you should be making them and exporting them! Think about the deficit! How will the good people of Cambridge feel when you slap on a cake tax?! Politicians! Tchah!!

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      2. Hahahaha! Fear not, there will be no cake tax. No cake tax people! I would get Mumsie to make them, but they would be dangerous to the population. All efforts are currently in gin production, but once that is up and running, the cake factories will fly up all over the place. And after that, well, all anyone cares about is cake and gin so I might have a small holiday 🙂

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  4. I had a strange feeling Nigel was only trying to sell us some dusters but has anyone actually checked what he may have added to them? These sound bugs can be invisible to the eye these days. I’d check the inside of the cakes and the teapot as well. I bet he’s gone off to report back to Boris.
    I’ll bring some fairy cakes to the next meeting Prime Minster.

    Liked by 1 person

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