Written by Big M.
“Granny won’t be what?” Granny (obviously) roared from the landing of the Mary McKillop Memorial Staircase (somehow the naming of things has gone all Catholic).
Foodge looked up and started wringing his plump little hands.” Err, um, ah, um…happy?” Which was hardly a revelation as Granny was rarely happy.
“It was rhetorical!” Granny waved a bony finger at our hero. “Why won’t I be happy?”
“Oh, Christ, I mean, God, I mean Crikey, I’m going to vomit.” Foodge lurched forward, managing to spray his entire stomach contents into the fireplace, which didn’t really help. It’s not like you can burn the stuff.
This time Father O’Way spoke up. “The London trip is being financed by the Vatican, highly sensitive, and they specifically require a single male for the job. When the personal characteristics of the agent were forwarded to me I immediately thought of Foodge. I mean, he’s highly educated, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of criminal law with detective skills that put Holmes to shame. This comes from the Pope himself, with Extreme Unction.” O’Way had no idea what unction was, ordinary or extreme, but thought it added gravitas when working for the tykes.
By this stage Granny had descended the stairs, and stood in front of the Good Father. “So yer sayin’ that this is gonna be a priestly type of excursion, vow a chastity and all that?”
“Err, yep, that kinda sums it up.” O’Way mopped his brow with a linen hanky that the Pope had given him. “We need someone with intelligence and decorum. Someone who can rub shoulders with the common man, chat about current affairs in a Gentleman’s Club, then enjoy theological discussions with the Bishop.” O’Way felt like he was losing his way. For all he knew Foodge could be a Freemason.
“So what youz are sayin’ is that I’m not goin’, but neither are any other sheilas?”
“Absolutely!” O’Way almost heaved a sigh of relief. “No sheilas, I mean birds, I mean ladies at all.”
“So who’s goin’ with him, Merv?”
“I just ruptured an anterio-posterior crucio-menisceal ligament.” Merv gestured for someone, anyone to get another bag of ice.
Granny nodded to Foodge who ambled off sullenly to the ice machine. “Well, we couldn’t send Manne, on the basis of him being a sexual deviant.”
“It was only internet porn, Granny!” A voice came from the kitchen.
“What about O’Hoo, he’s always lookin’ for extra work, unlike the rest of youz, plus he really is a detective.” Granny’s face lit up. “That way youz can try and work out where yer dragon tattoos come from.”
This was an excellent idea, as Big M had forgotten about the tattoos, and, for that matter, O’Hoo!
“The problem with O’Hoo is that he isn’t allowed into England, or, should I say, back into England.” Foodge piped up.
“That’s true, Granny, I can never set foot in England ever again.” O’Hoo was pulling a Piglet Pale Ale. “Well, not since the incident.”
Big M was uncomfortable with the way this episode was heading. Well, more of a
collection of paragraphs, than an episode. Anyhoo.
“What incident?” Granny gasped.
O’Hoo tapped the side of his nose. “Need to know basis.” Enough said.
“Enough said.” Replied Granny, suddenly experiencing déjà vu, or whatever they say in France. “What about you, O’Way?”
“Well, agh, err, um, look there’s a dwarf!” O’Way tried to sprint towards the exit, only to find himself face down on the putrid carpet, thanks to Granny’s almost imperceptible foot work.
“Ah, the jokes on you O’Way, because there’s no such thing as a dwarf!” Granny looked triumphant.
“Actually there is, and plenty of different types; achondroplastic, hypochondroplastic, Laron, Hypophophataemic rickets, there’s a long list…” Merv was warming to his favourite topic.
O’Way hadn’t realised that Merv had a penchant for dwarfs, or had chosen to forget. Regardless, he’d been hoisted by his own petard, so to speak (Actually he hadn’t but Big M like to get this into conversations, along with ‘damp squib’, and ‘chance would be a fine thing’, which he didn’t understand, either). Petard or not, O’Way sat there rubbing his shin. “I couldn’t go, I’ve got Church business to attend.”
“I thought that this was a mission for, and on behalf of the Pope, hence the Mother Church Herself.” Granny smiled. “No, that’s it, yer goin’”