Every Friday, the Author invites a celebrated guest to interview him about his work as he strives for literary success.
This week: Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick takes a tough line…
CD: Thank you for agreeing to this interview today, son.
Author: Thank you Cressida. I must admit to being a bit nervous today.
CD: And so you should be. I just want to point out at the beginning of this interview that you’re not under arrest. And please refer to me as “Sir” - not Cressida.
Author: Oh good. And shouldn’t that be “Ma’am”?
CD: You’ll call me what I fucking tell you to. Understand?
Author: Err, yes. I think. Can I ask why I’ve been brought here…Sir?
CD: For your interview of course.
Author: Oh, I see. I normally do them at my place…Sir.
CD: Listen to me sonny…drop the attitude or you’ll be in a bloody cell. Do you want your brief present?
CD: Yes, thicko. A solicitor?
Author: Oh, is there a problem?
CD: Of course there’s a fucking problem! Why do you think you’re here? I want to go over your story again. I’m not happy with what you’re telling me.
Author: Ah, it’s about my books then?
CD: You’re beginning to irritate me now. You’re not here to ask the questions. Now let’s get on with it shall we?
Author: Okay, good. Fire away.
CD: Are you being funny?
Author: I’m sorry, I’m not sure what…
CD: That’s all been sorted out. The inquiry cleared me. It’s all in the past. Innocent people get accidently shot by police all over the world. It’s a necessary part of the job that we have to put up with. It’s unfortunate for the officers involved but we have a duty to protect innocent people.
Author: I’m not sure what you’re on about. Can we get on with the interview please sir?
CD: Don’t start getting all pushy, son. I’ve got to be honest. And there’s no other way to put this…I don’t like you Fisher. You make stuff up.
Author: That’s what…
CD: Shut it! Right. Let’s start this interview. Suspect is not under caution. I repeat…not under caution. Now the part of your story I’m not happy with is the portrayal of the police in this so-called series. You seem to make us out as either buffoonish or slightly thuggish. Is that a fair way to treat one of the greatest institutions in the world?
Author: It’s not about being fair. Institutions do enough damage to their reputations using their own stupidity without my input. It’s possibly something I subconsciously picked up from Tom Sharpe at the back of my mind? He will often use the Establishment in the same way. It’s just a writing instrument to create some friction as well as a few absurdities. It’s also a way to remind ourselves of the self-serving nature of institutions rather than any one set of individuals who serve in them. The book is a mixture of the supernatural and the absurd - and institutions are easy prey for creating a backdrop from which to do it.
CD: That’s not very patriotic is it? You’ve even had a go at the church. Especially in book two.
Author: I didn’t have a go at the church. A key theme of the series is belief. And that’s a question of choice. But buyer beware. Like I said…I just use the backdrop of institutions to create absurd scenes which are very funny. If you like that sort of humour of course.
CD: Are you seriously telling me that a Bishop drinking bat’s piss is funny? And on Songs of Praise with that lovely Snowman-boyman, Aled Jones?
Author: You’re taking it out of context…Sir.
CD: Don’t start getting all clever-clever with me, you lefty leaning little scrote. Now. Shall we talk about all the alcohol and drugs?
Author: I’ve covered that with the Prime Minister.
CD: I’ve told you. I’m not happy with your story. I want you to change it. You need to get rid of all the incriminating stuff. We do it all the time, especially in Yorkshire. It’s an effective way of producing a good, clean story – unlike all this drug-riddled absurdist nonsense you keep coming up with.
Author: I’m happy with what I’ve written thanks…Sir.
CD: Where did this Synth…a…tet…
Author: Synthetetramine. It’s a synthetic drug created by James Nayler in book two.
CD: Your story just doesn’t add up. I’ve never even heard of it. It’s fake. We’re well on top of the UK’s drug problem and I’m not having you writer-types suggesting that we’re not. It’s all fake news.
Author: You’ve never heard of it before because I’ve only just made it up.
CD: Aha! There you are then. The Prime Minister won’t be happy with this fake stuff coming out right before an election. She wanted me to check the book for sex and drugs. I have to read out all the bad bits out to her over the phone.
Author: Is that really necessary?
CD: Of course it’s fucking necessary. Imagine if all this got out before an election. I want everything you know about this James Nayler?
Author: He was tortured because he spoke out.
CD: Was it a rival gang?
Author: No, it was Cromwell’s Government.
CD: Ah, that’s okay then. He was probably walking past a riot or on his way to work - or something equally provocative. I like the sound of this Cromwell. Is she standing in the General Election?
Author: Actually, James Nayler spoke out against Enclosure and Slavery. And he wrote some important…
CD: You see! He’s a lefty writer! You’re all the fucking same. Anti-establishment, anti-slavery and pro drugs. You need to grow up, son. When we find this Nayler, he’ll end up doing a lot of porridge. I’ll have him singing like a canary.
Author: You won’t because he’s been dead since 1660.
CD: Here we fucking go! Making stuff up again. Changing your story. Listen. Don’t fuck with me Fisher. One word from me and your car tax will disappear overnight. Comprendi? Capiche?
Author: He’s definitely dead. It’s the stuff about the Synthetetramine that I made up.
CD: To be honest, I don’t believe a single word of this interview. I’m calling Theresa and then you’re going to start from the beginning.
Author: Sir, put that phone down…
Next week: The Queen is not particularly amused…