Garden Party

The Prime Minister had never really mastered the art of ‘nonchalant’. Even before she became Prime Minister, Lucy always possessed a self-evident air of overt obviousness. She was by and large quite boisterous, but even when she was being very quiet, you knew she was there. This was quite at odds with almost everyone else at Number Ten, who wafted about the place practically imperceptibly. Lucy didn’t like it. You had no idea you had company until it was too late.

The journey to the Botanical Gardens certainly had an air of nonchalance about it, although this was due in no small part to the presence of Wing Commander Tom, who was rather adept at such things. Which was just as well, because the last thing they needed right now was scrutiny. The gardens themselves were a dendritic delight, spanning around forty acres of flourishing landscape laying between Trumpington Road to the west and Hills Road to the east. For centuries they had led the world in fusing horticulture and science, serving both the University and the great general public. The legendary glass houses – huge, towering beasts of great beauty –  had been home to over three thousand different species of flora and fauna, but now seemed to have been converted for a slightly different purpose.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Ian Risk awkwardly examined his toes whilst Minister for Good Ideas & Gin Dr Samantha Martens and the Prime Minister stood tapping their chins, unsure whether to be impressed or furious. Here in the principle glass house, the air was thick with a cloying, sweet aroma and all around was the faint buzz of artificial lighting and the gentle hum of a sophisticated and extensive hydroponics system at work.

“Now – tell me once again why the Botanical Gardens have been converted into a gigantic cannabis factory?”

The Prime Minister swung on her heels and wheeled round to face the Chancellor. It was a simple question to answer, but that was really the problem. Even Lucy could grasp simple things; it was far better when her questions required complicated answers that she didn’t understand.

“Well, Prime Minister, the short answer is that this – “ Ian gestured to the forest of cannabis plants surrounding them. “This is basically the bedrock of our economy.”

Lucy was uncharacteristically quiet, but her eyes were like saucers in her little red face. Dr Martens was worried for a moment that there might be a small amount of violence.

“Right” Lucy replied. “Just out of interest, does the long answer sound any better than the short answer?”

“No, it’s much worse.”

“Right.” Lucy placed her hands on her hips and huffed ineffectually. “Right. I thought our economy was underpinned by the export of our Cambridge Special Damson Gin?”

“It’s the gin and cannabis,” said Ian. “But probably mostly cannabis.”

“Who are we even selling it to?” asked Dr Martens.

“You’d need to speak to Simon to get the specifics,” replied Ian, referring to Trade Minister Simon Daley – the architect of this great plan to become a drug dealing government. “But pretty much everybody, actually. It is quite literally the best weed in the world. But then I would expect nothing less from Cambridge botanists.”

“How do we even know that it’s the best weed in the world?” Dr Martens sounded a bit angry, but was secretly impressed.

Ian shrugged his shoulders but before he could elaborate further, Wing Commander Tom appeared from the towering throng of psychotropic shrubbery.

“The perimeters are secure, Prime Minister, but I’m afraid there’s some bad news,” Tom brushed a swathe of stray foliage from his otherwise immaculate suit. “The press are hovering about with their long lenses. They know something is afoot.”

“Bugger.”

“Would you like me to shoot them, Prime Minister?”

“Well I would like that very much, Tom,” said Lucy “But probably best you don’t. I’ve got a plan, actually, if the press really are that insistent on speaking to me well, then, I shall hold a press conference. But not here, surrounded by millions of pounds worth of drugs. We need to get back to Number Ten.”

“Prime Minister, the press will be on us the second we set foot outside the grounds,” replied Tom. “I really am going to have to shoot them.”

“No, you’re not, Tom,” Lucy grinned and wagged a finger. “I’ve just thought of another plan. It involves disguises. Follow me.”


65 thoughts on “Garden Party

  1. yeay!! disguises!! 😀

    I am glad you resisted the urge to shoot the press…that would probably cause too much paperwork!

    I have never been very good at nonchalant either…or unobtrusive…I have a relatively obtrusive presence…apparently…it could be the hair…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always fall back on the disguise plot device! Mainly because I just love disguises. And they rarely fail. Well – okay, they mainly fail, but they are such fun 🙂
      You are obtrusive in a marvellous way, I say! The hair brings joy and delight wherever it goes, but has a suitable air of menace that keeps unsavoury sorts on their toes 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly!! Disguises can’t possibly fail…
        or at least can’t possibly fail to be fun…which is important

        😀 that is an excellent description of my hair 😀 It is menacing to scoundrels…it has the look of hair that might start eating people if they are not careful!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I wish I had the use for disguises more in real life. Fancy dress is one thing, but an actual disguise would be brilliant.
        Hurrah! I hope it does start eating people. The current Government, for a start, so we can move in 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      3. yes…we need a reason to have real disguises!!
        Although…my dancing kit is pretty much a disguise…just not a very subtle one…

        oooh yes…All I would have to do is stand near cabinet members and let it loose…then it could snaffle them up 😀

        then there would be nothing standing in the way of world (or at least country) domination for us!!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. We need to find somewhere to infiltrate, then we would need disguises. It doesn’t matter where or why we infiltrate, just the excuse to wear disguises and see if we can pull it off 🙂
        My confidence in our quest for world domination grows every day! I just worry about your hair having to devour such unpalatable morsels – you might need a good dose of gin beforehand!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. oooh yes! an infiltration mission complete with disguises just to see if we can…it sounds perfect! Just as long as noone has to be a nun…or a monk!!

        I am fairly sure my hair could just chew them up and spit them out useless and out of the way! thus clearing out path but without it having to digest them…
        I think being fortified with gin first is an excellent idea mind you…just to be on the safe side…

        Liked by 2 people

      6. NEVER NUNS!!! How about waiting staff at a posh hotel – or even Trinity College! Then we could spill expensive food down all the academics 🙂
        Your hair is a magnificent beast indeed. I think the gin should absolutely be consumed just in case, and then also afterwards by way of celebration! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      7. oooh yes…waiting staff would get us in practically anywhere…and yes we could spill expensive food down academics and / or eat it when noone was looking and it is not like they could fire us!!

        I agree!! both preemptive and celebratory gin is the way to go… 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      8. yes…eat the good food, then replace it with cheap and nasty food especially to spill!! 😀

        hahaha! that should a new tv advertising campaign…to stop all that good gin getting neglected during other times of year!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Any constructive meeting among officials and summits between Prime Minister ad other great Rulers of he world? I am rather good at organising this – well, Mother was. Might it be a heirloom? But I am afraid, the summits and discreet encounters were mostly very discreet and straight and forward. Admiring strawberries you know, not cannabis. And all dressed.
    But it was another world my dear: there were no King Boris, no Nigel Farage and no US leader with a stunningly false shock of strawberry hair! O tempore, o mores…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So someone else can borrow his Zorro outfit then! Send for it at once.

        Cross-dressing is a rather effective disguise – for the men anyway. Most people are fearful of gazing too long, and few would be able to describe much of what they actually saw. Perhaps all the women really need to do to escape the male gaze is bind their breasts. I’m not sure how you’d fool the women, tho’ – since you are ruling out nuns.

        Now if EVERYBODY dressed as Zorro, that might cause enough distracted commotion – you’d be noticed, of course, but nobody would be able to say for sure who you were. Who’d believe them if they could?
        xx,
        mgh
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
        – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Brilliant! Everyone dressed as Zorro would work perfectly! Now, hopefully there will be a selection of Zorro outfits somewhere around here…. If not we might have to resort to nudity. Sometimes hiding in plain sight works best. Maybe. Oh it’s just another excuse to be nude 😉
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. All you’d really need for Zorro would be some black masks, a bunch of swords and a few capes – doesn’t anybody in that cabinet of yours know how to sew?

        But naked would certainly make for an interesting line-up if the police attempted to arrest the lot of you and called in witnesses to make the ID! It would be tough to get the decoys to agree to strip, and nobody would be able to recall your faces if you were clothed. Could be a plan.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I usually find that, in real life as well as fiction, the more unlikely a plan the better chance we have of it working. Or maybe that’s just my real life, which I am becoming convinced is actually a cunning work of fiction by some unseen – and completely mad – writer 😉
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deb! I have often thought that it would make sense. People will do drugs anyway, might as well make them safe and make a profit! Not sure how well it would work in reality, but that is the joy of fiction 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am hoping that one day the Spar will take over and we can have a mega-Spar in Cambridge!
        Yes, I am feeling almost like a real writer these days. Give it a few more weeks, I might even start waffling on about my ‘process’. (Gin and filth, actually)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Long live the Spar!!
        It is certainly true about Hemmingway and Oscar was no stranger to a bit controversy, was he? But do you have to wait until you are a properly great writer like them, or is it okay to get practicing whilst still writing nonsense on the internet? (I know I’ve got books out and that, but I’m not quite up to Wilde’s status just yet.)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aha brilliant! I can’t wait to disappoint all my friends and family with my hedonistic and morally corrupt ways! I’ll get on it straight away. First, though, I have a huge craving for a Peperami so I’m off to the Spar. Can I get you anything?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Right you are – do keep up the bacon smuggling because that is my back-up plan when the writing turns out not to be a career, rather an excuse for alcoholism and being inappropriate on social media. Do give my best to the dog. Not the best bacon, obviously.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. She thanks you for your best; not the best bacon obviously, I wouldn’t give that to the children! Though I do think she eats better they do anyhow…anyhoo, turns out no chance to post on smuggling this evening so get writing! Though I was trying to choreograph a naked trampolining routine in my head earlier…so if all else does fail…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, it’s coffee time on the quiet day after Christmas. Time to catch up! Oooh, I love disguises – and the Botannical Gardens are growing cannabis? Better than our product here in North Carolina (our second richest crop)?

    Like

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