This novel is something a little different for me. It is a satire set in the
UK at the present moment. There are striking parallels between these days and
the 1930s. There’s a lot of racist people around who are crawling out of the
woodwork as they have been encouraged by the implications of the Brexit vote.
June 24th – The Evening
“Oh, bollocks,” said Tompkins to himself, “I’ve bloody well slammed my Jaguar into a telegraph pole, again, that’s the third time today.” He thumped a pint-glass sized fist into the palm of his other hand, causing a slapping sound that reverberated around the interior of his vehicle. Using his enormous strength, Tompkins levered himself out of the Jaguar and surveyed the damage.
“That’s bad, not like the previous two, around 30,000 pounds worth by the looks of it, I will have to sell off some of Mater’s shares in BT to pay for this” he said, straightening a few pieces of metal using his massively strong hands. Tompkins put his back into it and moved the car from the pole. He pushed it a few yards away, to try and make it look like his car and the pole had never been introduced, let alone met on any meaningful level.
“I’ll have to ask my little Polish mechanic to come along and fix this for me.” Tompkins made a note in his pocket book to contact Vassily, or Grigor, or whatever the mechanic’s name was, to ask him to come and fix his auto. He made a note of the location too, just to help matters somewhat.
“This is going to make old Tomcat late for the pals’ meeting – we’ve to decide whether those Russkies are aiming to start another Bolshevik revolution in Old Blighty.”
He looked at his Breitling watch and sprinted away towards the cunningly named The Meeting House. His clan was going to meet in 5 minutes time, at 10:30pm, under the artful guise of an Archery Club Executive meeting. Cue lots of talk about bows, arrows, bullseyes and similar lingo.
“Just shot a bullseye with me bow,” repeated Tompkins to himself as he sprinted along towards his destination.
“Hello, is that a Tomcat I spy,” said a man leaning out of a large, black car.
“Why, if it isn’t the Deputy-Commissioner of Police, how are you doing, Spiffy Wiffy?”
“Haven’t seen you run so fast since you saw that beautiful blonde French girl from the Rugby pitch at Twickers.”
“The Varsity still won with 14 players, but y’know Spiffy, a man has to do, what a man
has to do. I caught her in the car park, near a red Bentley,” replied Tompkins still running, “I remember her well, turned out to be a grocer’s daughter from Arles, so the Mater and Pater didn’t approve. Her father specialised in onions, but they were cocktail onions you see, not nearly big enough for the parents. ‘If you’re going into onions, Tomcat,’ my Pater said, ‘make sure the onions are big enough to grip with both hands’ – and y’know, Spiffy, I’ve followed that philosophy for the whole of my life, and applied it not only to onions, but to all things. Make sure they’re big enough to grip with both hands, y’know.”
“Fascinating insight,” came the reply, “what became of her, the grocer’s daughter from Arles?”
“Oh, nothing much, became Mayor of Lyons, Minister of the Interior under Sarkozy, and then Minister of Finance under Hollande, although she’s rumoured to have spent a lot of time under Hollande, ministering to his sexual predilections. Nothing ever happened between us because she was stolen away by a Hungarian count, of all things.”
“Anyway, Tomcat, did you want a lift to wherever you’re headed?”
“No thanks, Spiffy Wiffy, I am almost there, so I thank you for the conversation, but bish and bosh, perhaps next time you could travel in something with more class, that looks like a hearse, y’know.”
“It is a hearse,” replied the Deputy-Commissioner, “we’re going undercover to catch this Big Whopper gang, who are persecuting unemployed immigrants in the belief they’re dragging the country down.”
“What a terrible name for a gang,” said Tompkins, vaulting over a 5-foot high fence as though it was a bonsai hedge, “do they eat junk food all the time? Watch out for the cyclist.”