Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Louboutin-Clad Piranha Reveals Her True Colours

God knows what Vicky's been telling The Boss during their cosy tete a tetes. She looks really smug when she arrives at work this morning, but doesn't say anything when I ask her how her meeting with Andrew went yesterday. She just smiles a little, through compressed lips - like a piranha before it bites.

Then Andrew phones and demands to know what is going on.

"What d'you mean, what is going on?" I say. (This is another political trick I have learned from The Boss - repeating the question to allow time to formulate the answer.)

"Are you all bloody incompetent?" he says.

"What?" Does he know about the vodka? I only had one shot during working hours, so I tell myself not to be stupid, while Andrew continues:

"Vicky tells me the whole office is a shambles, and that you lot don't know your arses from your elbows."

"Oh - does she?" I say, and try to fix Vicky with a look. She's hiding under that curtain of hair, so this is less effective than I intended. "And what does Vicky say to back this up?"

"Well, that there are loads of things that Marie-Louise had put into the diary on the wrong dates, and that you and Greg are hopeless at managing constituents. She says that you annoy them."

"Andrew, considering that Greg and I are still in one piece - despite being exposed to nutters on a daily basis with no bloody security - and that your response rate on Write To Them is categorised as very high, I think, with all due respect, that Vicky is talking out of her arse," I say.

"Well, I'm just telling you to shape up," says Andrew. "Or ship out. Now put me on to Vicky."

Bloody, bloody hell! Did you ever hear anything like it? I do as he asks, then gesture furiously at Greg to follow me out of the office. We hide in the surgery room while I tell him what Andrew said.

When I've finished, I expect Greg to get so angry that he will have to be prevented from slapping Vicky, but he doesn't. His knees just crumple a bit, and he looks almost defeated.

"Shit," he says. "Shit, shit, shit. I thought something was going on."

"What do you mean?"

"I don't know. I've just had that feeling in my water." Greg's water is almost as reliable as The Twilight Zone theme, so I accord it the weight it deserves.

"Shit," I say. (Sometimes the same word, oft-repeated, is the best one can do in the circumstances.)

"Well, there've been a couple of things missing from the diary when I've checked them, that I was sure were in there before Vicky started - like the speech Andrew's supposed to be giving at that university next month."

"But that was in the diary!" I say. "I've seen it too, as I attached some other files to the appointment after Marie had logged it."

"That's what I mean," says Greg. "But while you were away, the Vice-Chancellor's secretary phoned up to change the time, and I couldn't even find a record of the appointment itself."

"So what are we going to do?" I say.

"Looks like it's back to the DIY CRB checks, Mol, " says Greg. "But this time not on constituents. We need to find out what that witch is up to, before anything else happens."


Greg looks at me, and says,

"What does 'hmm' mean? Have you no faith?"

"Not much," I say. "The last check we did wasn't exactly a resounding success, was it? We both nearly got bitten on the arse by Mr Beales' dog. And we forgot he had a bloody shotgun, too."

"So we've learned our lesson. This time we'll read up in advance - and be more careful," says Greg. "Go to the library and take out some crime thrillers on your way home. The inside knowledge will come in useful for our careers, anyway."

"I can't see how. It sounds like we won't even have jobs for much longer," I say.

"Exactly. So if - or when - that happens, you and I will be well-placed to set up as private investigators," says Greg. "Especially on the basis of the publicity we'll get for nailing Vicky. Now let's get back to the office and get this operation started."

Well, I suppose Greg's idea is better than nothing - which is all I've managed to come up with so far - but I can't say I'm very optimistic. Dempsey and Makepeace we aren't.

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