In a post-Brexit, pre-dystopian Britain, the traditional political system has collapsed and Oxford and Cambridge are on the verge of war. Cambridge have captured ex-Prime Minister and notorious warmonger Tony Blair and tied him to a chair in the kitchen. Door-to-door duster salesman and occasional spy Nigel Farage has just returned from his mission to gain information on Cambridge’s plan, to report back to his master Boris, King of Oxford…
Friends are found in the most unlikely of places and none are so unlikely as serial blog commenter, Trenton Babbage. He started out as a sort of casual stalker, but his dedication to providing me with amusing photoshopped pictures of Nigel Farage saw me finally relenting and accepting his friend request on Facebook. It proved to be a good decision, although my social media is now prone to outbursts of random filth, on occasion. In this semi-regular series, Babbage will be sharing with you all his epic tale of a couple of fool-hardy bacon smugglers. He has promised to keep obscenity to a minimum, but if you are my mum I probably wouldn’t read this…
This diary was inspired by a comment conversation with one Lucy Brazier (hi Lucy!); I forget how it started, but it ended with an idea about bacon, and its undoubtedly transformative abilities with regards social harmony and ultimate world peace. As logically follows from this statement, bacon also has the power to divide people and nation states if its distribution is not universal, nor of the highest quality. So follows the adventures of the bacon smugglers Manfred Pear and Perl Ritorg; they also bump into Arthur Browne, because no-one should be going on any trips without a guide such as he; and Trent Lewin, because one isn’t adventuring correctly if one doesn’t come into contact with a crazy moose loving canadian such as he. Thanks to exhaustive research and my own patented algorithm, I have discovered that the optimum WordPress post length in order to achieve both comfort and retention, is 637 words. There will be no deviation. Enjoy.
The Diary of a Bacon Smuggler
The 3.16 from Chester – 3.24pm
Well the train’s late. But unlike a tardy menstrual cycle there will be no alterations to ones life plan resulting from this unwanted delay. I’m standing on platform four, the greatest of all platform numbers; all those famous movie scenes in railway stations? filmed on a platform four; the majority of welcome home and farewell smooches occur on platform four; a station hasn’t made it in the eyes of other stations until it gets a platform four, they look down on it, I’m not saying it’s right, just that it happens; more suicides have been prevented on platform four…although more suicides have been attempted on platform four, so that may just be a statistical thing – train’s here!
I’m on my way to Southampton; gateway to the world, mouth of the ocean, sphincter of the high seas. I’m going like so many have before me; to seek adventure, fortune, fame or infamy it matters not a jot to me, but I will make my mark! together with my partner in porcine crime; a striking blonde danish goddess of a woman going by the name of Perl Ritorg, she is perfectly unfiltered and has a particularly undefinable look in her eye, like a light bulb seducing a door handle…but better.
I am travelling from Cheshire and she from somewhere else, but we have agreed to meet in Oxford in order to blow up a co-op. Specifically the one at 42 Walton Street. The beauty of this store is that it is under a mile from the station: walk south – 220 ft; turn right towards Park End St/A420 – 141 ft; at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Park End St/A420 – 279 ft; at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Hythe Bridge St/A4144 – 0.2 mi; turn left onto Worcester St/A4144 – 0.1 mi; continue onto Walton St, destination will be on the left – 0.4 mi. The other convenience associated with the wanton destruction of this type of premises, is that all bomb making paraphernalia is located under the one roof.
No-one was to be harmed in the bombing, is was merely designed to rid the world of one more bloody co-op…bastards.
But before the delight of seeing Oxford alight could begin, I had to suffer the indignities of the buffet car: specifically the lukewarm muroidal faecal matter the server had the effrontery to call a bacon sandwich…I impaled it…the sandwich that is…on the seat next to me, in the manner of the late 19th century serial killer Johannes Pannerberg: not impaling as one object, but displaying it in its constituent parts; annotated in detail, the organs cursed with the genetic predisposition to fail; that which drove Pannerberg to save any destined offspring from suffering the same fate by butchering the prospective parent…my notes on the degenerative nature of the bacon were extensive.
The tone of the day is given the greatest possible omen as not just one, but both our trains arrive at platform four, twenty three minutes apart; one of the very best amounts of time between two things…but not dinner courses, or twins, or toilet trips. We embrace, tightly – unhindered by our ergonomically designed hats, specifically fashioned for a number of aesthetic and practical purposes, one of which being embracing – inhaling the smells of leather, skin, and of course, bacon. We double check the time and head out onto the mean streets of Oxford: we walk south – 220 ft; turn right towards Park End St/A420 – 141 ft; at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Park End St/A420 – 279 ft; at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Hythe Bridge St/A4144 – 0.2 mi; turn left onto Worcester St/A4144 – 0.1 mi; continue onto Walton St, our destination is on the left – 0.4 mi.
Tinned musac fills every aisle, and the pair of us die a little inside; just a
The other half of the notorious Bursary department, Senior Bursar is something of an anomaly among The Fellowship at Old College. Although impeccably educated by way of Eton and The Other Place, Senior Bursar does not languish in academic titlery, being neither a Doctor nor Professor. Whereas Junior Bursar scaled scholarly heights from the humble beginnings of a local comprehensive, Senior Bursar mingled with the elite when he was still in short trousers.
That is not to say that his prestigious beginnings supplement his intellect – far from it. Armed with a double first in economics, the young Senior Bursar was itching to leave books behind and embark ferociously on making something of himself in the real world. Like any self-respecting young gentleman seeking his fortune, he headed to London with his sights firmly set on taking the Stock Market by storm. He spent most of the 80s in pinstripes and wine bars, steadily amassing a respectable fortune. Never one given to the vulgarity of excess, Senior Bursar eventually decided to make one final trade – that of the frenetic rollercoaster of city life for domestic bliss, in the shape of a charming ex-model-turned-philanthropist and two young sons swiftly after.
Now a family man, Senior Bursar sought employment that would offer both a vehicle for his great experience and intellectual prowess, and also allow him the freedom to be a husband and father. Inevitably, Old College found him and the rest is history.
A tall, powerful man, customarily swathed in tweeds of varying intensity, his cut-glass accent and booming voice quickly silenced any mutterings about his academic integrity. He has a particular penchant for biscuits and without doubt his pre-drinks reception drinks receptions are the absolute last word in refined debauchery. However, Senior Bursar seems to have less salubrious connections within the shadowy under-circles of Old College – which make him potentially a very dangerous man indeed.
The real Senior Bursar is a chap for whom I have tremendous respect. The quintessential English gentleman, he had a rare demeanour that balanced the sort of restrained gravitas one might expect, with a passionate intensity that occasionally erupted into quite unnerving outbursts. He would always apologise immediately and profusely for these often colourful disclosures, particularly to any nearby ladies who may have been caught in the backdraft. Undeniably brilliant, he held all around him to his own exacting high standards, but with a sense of fairness and decency that invariably left one with the intention of upping one’s game considerably. A remarkable fellow, without doubt.