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
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.
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.
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