Beetroot & I #5

February 23, 2011

Beetroot & I is a weekly column/diary piece that I write for
February 23rd, 2011

“I don’t think so, Judge” said Garrison, pulling the cape and wig from the Barrister’s corpse. “I’m going to represent myself!” The courtroom gasped and the Taoiseach turned white.

“I call to the stand, my one and only witness… this cow!” The courtroom’s double doors swung open and there stood a black and white Friesian cow. She strolled through the courtroom and towards the bench. She eyed the people she passed as she trotted on with disappointed accusing eyes that seemed to say ‘I’m going to put the whole damn system on trial.’

The Taoiseach’s Barrister rose and shouted “Objection, your Honour, this is highly irregular; a cow can’t be a witness” but as the Judge peered down at the infant boy sitting on his mother’s lap in the front row who was lifting a bottle of milk to his two year old lips, he banged his little wooden hammer once more and boomed; “Denied! I’ll allow the cow’s testimony!”

Garrison smiled and stared at the Taoiseach. ‘I’ve got you now, you evil, evil dick.’

Chapter twelve of ‘Tainted Milk’, my sci-fi adventure spy romance novel was coming along very nicely. It’s an uncompromisingly bleak view of the future about a journalist who uncovers a government plot to use the milk supply to control the population. But I wasn’t supposed to be writing a novel during office hours so I minimized the window as Danny, the editor, approached my desk. He plonked a mock-up of this quarter’s cover of ‘Dairy Tales’ on my desk.
“So… what do you think?” he grinned.
The cover was a large photograph of a glass of milk with the headline ‘2011 – A MASSIVE YEAR FOR MILK’ in large, dark bold print. But we had already discussed and agreed upon the cover story. Danny was pointing at the sub-heading, very pleased with himself. He read it aloud.
“Cheese Louise… Louise Redknapp’s cheddars to eat before you die.” He looked at me. I looked back. “Well, what do you think?” There was an air of desperation to his voice now.
“Any idea on how to get a hold of her?”
“Right. Cool. Well. Get on that.” He started to walk away.
“I think I read somewhere that she’s lactose intolerant.” Danny span around at this.
“So what? You write the piece. Stick her name at the top. Celebs shift units.” And he was walking away again.
“My Mum’s friend knows Maggie Smith. She knows lots about cheese.” Danny turned around once more. He looked a little annoyed now.
“Cheese Louise. Maggie Smith’s cheddars to eat before you die?!” he tilted his head “Anything sound wrong with that?”
“Well… it wouldn’t be Cheese Louise. It’d… it’d be something else.”
“Look” he said “Just get me Louise Redknapp or any other Louise of equivalent fame. OK?”
“OK” I replied. I picked up the phone and read one of the other sub headings. “Here come the goats?” I muttered. “F**king hell.”

I arrived back to the flat at half past eight. Louise Redknapp was interested in doing the piece. She was keen on debunking what she called “ugly rumours” that she was lactose intolerant. Her agent seemed to think that it was these lies that had led to the demise of her pop career.

I opened the front door and the stench hit me like a hammer. I turned white as I looked down. There was Beetroot, sitting on the bloody corpse of a middle-aged man in a suit, looking up at me proudly as if he had killed a troublesome mouse. There were election leaflets strewn all over the floor of the hall and the man had a large rosette pinned to his jacket. Despite the many scratch marks, I could straight away recognize the man from his own political literature that were now entirely soaked in blood. I picked one up and scanned his main issues – civil partnership, carbon taxes – just as I thought. Beetroot is surprisingly right wing for a cat. He’s done this before. I always dread election time.

“I’ll just nip down to the hardware shop….” I stepped back out the front door “…get some black sacks… and a saw.”



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