Story by Big M
Merv had been pretty depressed, since the Church of ISIS incident. He’d placed the entire Pig’s Arms on a war footing, after repeatedly contacting the NSW Pleece, the Feds, and then Crime Stoppers.
Manne and that Fijian bloke with the van had been stockpiling everything from apples to apple cider and beer to bananas. O’Hoo had been declared the Sergeant of Arms/armourer, and had amassed enough ordnance to blow up Inner, and Outer Western Cyberia. Hedgie had become the self appointed protector of the Bowling Ladies, escorting them to every meeting and game, even having a quick roll himself, on occasion!
The Hell’s Angles had set up a waste vegetable oil run generator in the cellar, capable of powering the entire building for two or more weeks. Granny and Foodge were at the sharp end, initially ‘surveilling’ the potential terrorist cell, then attempting to infiltrate. Granny had finally attended the church fete, only to find that it really was the Church of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, and not some gang of plastique wielding, disenfranchised youth. She even managed to flog off some jars of lemon curd.
Merv was now faced with the task of offloading half a ton of over ripe bananas and apples. He had already sold six cases of ‘South Sea Island Semillon’ to an unsuspecting restaurant owner with a new liquor licence. “O’Hoo, you’d know a few green grocers?” Merv ventured.
“Mate, you’ve already tried to get me to flog those bloody bananas, besides, I’ve got me own problems trying to offload three dozen world war two grenades!” O’Hoo skulled the last of his pint, then started off. “Might be able to get some pensioners up in Bowral to take ‘em…wonder what old Ooster-fella is doin’?”
“Another pint, Foodge?” Merv pushed a fresh canoe across the worn timber counter. Merv still felt somewhat beholden to Foodge for getting him through his WEA Literacy and Not Sounding Like a Fuckwit course. “You’re not tight with any green grocers?” Merv tried to sound nonchalant.
“Thanks Mr Merv.” As he took a pull from a pint, leaving a ‘milk moustache’ like a little kid. “The only person I’m ‘tight’ with is Granny.” Nodding towards his intended as she busied herself vacuuming up some fly shit, pretending not to listen.
Foodge had managed to flog down that pint, when he realised that a tall, grey haired gentleman was at his right elbow. “Publican, two more pints of whatever he’s having.” The voice was steady and clear, kind of commanding.
“Thank you kind stranger.” They clinked glasses.
Here’s to the law, and those who keep us rich by breaking it.”
Foodge wasn’t arguing, two free pints in as many minutes.
“I’ll cut straight to the chase.” The stranger nodded to Merv for another pair of canoes. “I’m looking for the finest legal mind in Sydney.”
Foodge looked around. There was no one else there, except for Granny.
“You, Mr Foodge, I need someone like you for a big case.”
“How big?” Foodge was no stranger to negotiation.
“Mmmm…how big is that?” Foodge’s glass was becoming perilously close to being empty.
“Steak for lunch, and as much Shiraz as your liver can metabolise!”
“I know you!” Merv interjected. “ You’re that bloody Chris Murffy, the bloody criminal defendin’ barrister!”
“Yes, I am thanks, big man, just keep the beer flowing, and stop interjecting!” Murffy had stood up, trying to intimidate Merv, but found himself staring at Merv’s Adam’s apple, so sat down.
“Mr Foodge, this is a huge case, a local church, a church full of innocent folk, who’s only aim is to do good works and support the community, have been accused of being an ISIS terror cell by some Islamophobe, who has launched an attack by falsely reporting them to the local and Federal police, even Crime Stoppers.”
Merv had gone pale, then clutched at his chest, then collapsed.
“Quick, someone call an ambulance!”