There are three main parts of my job. Sleuthing, interrogating and surveillance. Yeah, it'd be snappier if I could think of another word for interrogating that begins with S, but come on, who am I? Some kinda word guy? Forget it. Maybe I should start slapping them while I interrogate, so it'll be 'sleuthing, slapping and surveillance?' Nah, I've already placed my business card order and Vistaprint ain't the kinda guys you want to jerk around.
Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying I've been doing some surveillance. On Fat Barry. I've been trying to catch him in the act of leaking secrets to Russia. As soon as I get enough evidence, BAM! I'm reporting him to MI5. Or I'm blackmailing him. Hey, a guy's gotta eat.
Followed Fat Barry to work. Now I'm stalking the supermarket aisles watching him. I'm wearing a disguise (Brian Blessed mask and orange overalls) so as not to draw attention to myself.
Fat Barry is stacking milk cartons. Not even checking the use by date on them either. He doesn't care about us ingesting spoiled dairy. The commie bastard.
He's gone for a cigarette break and is on the phone. Sounds like it's Candy.
FAT BARRY: I can't wait to see you again, baby . . . Scatino's at 8 . . . Lovely. See you then.
Scatino's at 8. I'm going to be there.
I'm at Scatino's.
Fat Barry arrives first and orders bread and olives. That guy boils my potatoes. He hates our capitalist society but will eat our decadent olives. I'm so tore up I get lasagne down my Blessed beard.
Candy showed up soon after. If I wasn't so sure these two were just spies bent on destroying Western civilisation, I'd be wondering what the hell she sees in him.
She's reached over and held his hand. She must be passing him a secret note. Time to pounce.
'Having a nice evening, COMRADES?' I said as I sat at their table.
'What the hell, Brian Blessed?' said Fat Barry.
I took my mask off. You should have seen the look he gave me.
'Who are you?' said Candy.
She must have face blindness or something. Must be hard when you're a spy.
'Ben Davis - private detective,' I said.
She looked confused. 'Oh, you're the shoe guy.'
I rubbed my eyes. 'Yeah, I'm the shoe guy.'
'What do you want?' said Fat Barry.
'Nothing,' I said, making myself comfortable. 'Just thought I'd share some secrets with you.'
'What kind of secrets?' said Fat Barry. 'And can you take your feet off the table, please?'
I changed positions and took out my pad. I'd written, 'Pad of Secrets' on it to make it extra convincing.
I cleared my throat and rattled them off:
- The government are planning on taxing chickens. For every dozen eggs they lay, HMRC will take one. The eggs will be used to make a giant omelette for the Prime Minister.
- The button that launches all our nukes is actually hidden in the self checkouts at ASDA.
- To join the SAS, you have to have a scrambled face and a deep voice.
- Britain is planning on giving Gibraltar to Argentina, the Falklands to Spain and Northern Ireland to the winner of a phone-in.
'Why are you telling us all this?' said Fat Barry.
'Just thought I'd help you with your cause,' I said. 'If you know what I mean?'
Fat Barry stared at me. He knew I was on to him. Then, he called the waiter and had him kick me out. As he was shoving me, I noticed his name tag. VLADIMIR.
We're through the looking glass, here.
Also, they threw me out before I could pay, so you know, there's that.