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Mum!  Tiger-Lily raised her voice.  Mum!

Oh, eh, what is it, Tiger?

Mum, do you think you could stop salivating over The Young Montalbano

and tell me where you put my lacrosse shirt?

Carrie replied, In the utility room, I think, without taking her eyes off

the screen.

Duh! expostulated the teenager.  And dad…

Mmm? Gyles made a kind of non-committed non-verbal response.

There was a rather attractive girl, a cross between Cheryl Cole and the

young Sophia Loren, being fed forkfuls of food in a prison cell by the

eponymous hero of the programme.

Young Montalbano ep 1 BBC4 Viola

Though she appeared to have learning disabilities and had tried to shoot

the nouveau inspector, or commissario, he of the Botticelli curls did not

look as if he was deterred.  In fact, he had given the girl the dress his

girlfriend had asked him to buy her from the local market.  It seemed to be

an incentive to talk, or do something else.  It wouldn’t earn him any

promotion with his enamorato, you wouldn’t think!  But somehow he

seemed to get away with it, though the girlfriend recommended the

recipient for a cleaning job.

Gyles was riveted.

Carrie thought being banged up in a cell with Michele Riondino would

be anything but a punishment.  Where could she get a gun?

Dad!  Did you hear me?  Have you got a spare battery?

Gyles reluctantly raised himself from the sofa and interacted with his own


Glad to have some parental attention, Tiger became fairly chatty.

Dad, you know John Boothroyd-Smythe, or B-S, as Mr Snodbury calls


The naughty boy?

Yeah.  Well, he is in Big Trouble this time.

What’s he been up to now?

He set up a website called Squealer’s Trash Blog and criticised the

management of St Birinus’ and said that Mr Snodbury was Napoleon

and Mr Poskett, the choirmaster, was Snowball.

Did he say the Headmaster was Old Major? laughed Gyles.

How do you know, Dad?  Tiger was amazed by her father’s acuity.

John used big words like ‘totalitarian’ when discussing the first rugby

team and how it was chosen.

Sour grapes then? Gyles remarked.

He said the places on the team were allocated by a nepotistic dictator.

So the headmaster’s nephew is in the First team then?  The rugby coach

stole Bluebell and Jessie’s prime puppies for himself?!

Dad, John defaced the sports fixture list on the criss-cross board and

when the class were challenged to admit who the culprit had been, six

boys confessed and had to run round the sports field at break.

Excellent!  Just like the hens in Animal Farm!

Tiger didn’t understand her father’s Orwellian comments.  She was

going to be studying Lord of The Flies this year instead.  Let’s just hope

that John, or B-S, isn’t in a group that is going to study Golding for GCSE.

On the other hand, that particular author had been a schoolmaster himself,

so there wouldn’t have been any flies on him either.  Tiger is sure to be

enlightened as to human nature and political systems and their hierarchies.

William Golding 1983.jpgV

Well, a bit of exercise is better than having your neck wrung, I suppose,

quipped Gyles. I’m amazed that Old Snod hasn’t been sent to the knackers’

yard by now.  He’s been doing something in Education for aeons and must be

past his sell-by date.  He’s probably constructed more metaphorical windmills

than I have had hot dinners.  He would produce a fair bit of glue, I am sure,

given that ample paunch.

Tiger thought her father was slightly mad.

Dad, Castor and Pollux confessed just to get the Headmaster to leave

everyone alone.  They were accused of being anarchists.  The Headmaster

wrote to their parents and said that they would never get into a Russell

Group university if they continued to misbehave.

Hah! I don’t think he went to one himself, grinned Gyles.  His eyes strayed

to the screen again.  He didn’t think that the young Montalbano was doing

too badly, in spite of his waywardness and unorthodox approach to crime

detection and force discipline.  Probably B-S would triumph in life, in spite of,

or indeed because of, his individualistic approach.  After all, some animals are

simply more successful than others.  Even in a police cell, some folks will

manage a dalliance with a dumb goddess. Jammy devils!

He watched the credits go up.  Politics is ubiquitous, he mused.  And human

nature involves getting one over the Joneses.

How daft of the Headmaster not to recognise that the jockeying for position

and fight to get to the top of the greasy pole is par for the course of any

aspiring bratlet and its progenitors.

It was then that Gyles noticed that the lyrics to the programme’s

theme music had been accredited to a Davide Camarrone.

Case proven.  Politicians get into everything!  Some animals are simply

more versatile and more equipped than others.  Especially if they have

had the benefit of a private education, such as Jessie and Bluebell’s