Written by Big M and his fingers on the keyboard.
“So, Wes, how are you settlin’ into the Old Dart?” Merv drained the glass and motioned to Manne for a refill. “This bloody knee’s still givin’ me curry.”
“Well, I think I’m settling in OK. Walked straight into a job in paediatrics at the local NHS. Of course, havin’ a Federal Pleece paedo check on file didn’t hurt.” Wes polished off the rest of his Yorkshire Pudd, while a very buxom barmaid pushed another pint across the bar.
“Paedo check? If the Federal Pleece can check to see if you’re a paedo, then why don’t they do it for everyone, then round up the paedos and shoot ‘em?” Merv had never heard of such a thing.
“Nah, they just check to see if you’re on any state or Federal pleece data base for anything related to kiddy fiddling. All health care workers, ambos, teachers, volunteers and such forth have to get one.” Wes was wondering what sort of technology was being used to retain so much barmaid bosom in so little blouse.
“Orright, clear as mud.” Merv was thinking that in his day they’d take ‘em out to the bush and shoot ‘em, not put ‘em in a database. “Excellent thinking regarding the paediatric job. I guess that’s where they’d target. Have you had any dealings with Foodge?”
“No, Foodge thought he was onto a paedo ring, so went to Belgium to infiltrate the European Paediatric Society meeting. I think he’s getting paediatricians and paedophiles mixed up.” Wes was getting some promising signals from the buxom one.
“I’ve bloody well explained the differences to ‘im a ‘undred times”. Whoda thought Foodge had been to uni? Merv was propped up on some pillows on the battered old Chesterfield in the Gentleman’s bar. “Any more wedges, Manne?” Manne nodded and disappeared into the kitchen. “What about O’Way?
“O’Way has taken to it like a real private eye. He’s diarised every meeting, catalogued
information, surveillance photos pinned up everywhere, computer logs of recordings. He’s actually having dinner with some high up tyke, a bishop or cardinal or summit.” Now the buxom one was pushing a note across the bar. “How’s everything else going?”
“An agency sent a bloke around because they’d heard that we needed a new character. Dunno his name. Viv reckons Wilma, Hung One On sort of agrees and Big M thought Wilmer sounded more masculine, not that anyone would presume anyone’s gender in this modern world. Granny is pining for Foodge and worried that he might root some European sheila. Manne and O’Hoo are the only one’s workin’, but it’s worrying having a serial masticater or like, Manne in both the kitchen and bar. It’s put me off havin’ sour cream with me wedges.”
Wes couldn’t believe what was in the note. “Ah, oh, we’re breakin’ up…losing the satellite link, feckin’ mobile phone…”