Ugh, still got a cold but at least I’m not claiming it’s flu, unlike 90% of men in my position.
Anyway, last night I took some flu capsules (what? What? You can still take flu capsules even with a cold, you know!) and settled down to sleep. At 2am I was woken up by a loud knocking on my door. When I opened it, 2 men with Ministry of Defence ID cards were standing on my doorstep.
“Mr. Hughes, come with us please, it’s a matter of national urgency”
“Hang on, let me get dressed first”
“We have clothes for you in the car, sir”
“I must have a shower and freshen up first”
“We have a small shower plus a travel toothbrush in the car sir, please come with us right now”
So I didn’t have much choice. I was taken to the car, had a shower, brushed my teeth (and flossed), got dressed and was then blindfolded and taken to an airfield where I was bundled onto a plane. Although I wasn’t able to see, I calculated where I was headed and my destination from the distance travelled, the time it took and by feeling the rays of the dawn warming my cheek. The drone of the engines indicated I was on board a BAe VC-10, and from the sound of children playing, a sheep being shot and someone playing the bagpipes I could work out that my destination was none other RAF Mackrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre.
I was taken indoors and the blindfold was removed. I was in a large conference room. Seated around a large table was The Prime Minister, The Foreign Secretary, Dr. John Reid, General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of General Staff, The First Sea Lord, Marshall of the RAF and the Commandant of the Royal Marines. Also sat around that table was Lord Bragg, Sir Tom Stoppard, Joan Bakewell and former Tottenham Hotspur striker, Mark Falco.
“Ah, Mr Hughes…glad you could join us” said the Prime Minister “we need your help”
General Jackson stood up and looked me in the eye “Hughes, we have a problem. This is our monthly book group meeting. We’re discussing ‘East of Eden’ by John Steinbeck and we want your opinion.”
“Ah, yes, Steinbeck’s flawed semi-autobiographical masterpiece concerning the fortunes of the Hamilton and Trask families in the Salinas area of California. As far as I can tell, the main crux of the story concerns young Cal Trask’s strained relationship with his father and models itself on the Cain an Abel story from the bible. Where Cal’s story departs from the story of Cain is that Cal finally achieves forgiveness from his father. Thus the story turns from tragedy to triumph”
A huge sigh of relief echoed in the room as the assembled committee raised their eyes and arms in acknowledgement.
“I thought as much” said the Prime Minister “anyway, sorry to have troubled you like this. I’ll have my people take you home now” and with that I was ushered out of the room. On the way out, I couldn’t help but notice the cadaver of an alien being and some fantastical machinery in a room next door. The PM suddenly stood in the doorway, interposing his body between me and the room. “Ah, yes, well, just pretend you didn’t see that. Byeeeeeeeee” and with a wave of his hand I was taken back to the plane.
I was taken home and returned to a blissfull slumber. When I awoke I realised it had been all a dream. Oh well, I made myself a cup of tea and went to the office…only to find a copy of “East of Eden” on my desk.
But this is merely just fancy…It couldn’t possibly happen could it? COULD IT? Or could it?