By popular demand, our Daft-as-a-Brush Correspondent Citizen Cuddis presents the second tale in an occasional series of reports from the life of timeless private dick Mike Toffee Hammer.
We’d been knocking back Jaegermeister with Carlsberg Special chasers all afternoon. The usual good fellas were there — Rennie the Radge, Rooth the Mooth, Dugster, and yours truly.
I’m Mike Toffee Hammer, by the way. Charmed, I’m sure. I’m a private dick. Interestingly, my ex wife used to play down the ‘private’, telling her lunch buddies I was a dick, or as she put it, ‘a complete Dick.’
I’ve been around the block. And then some. This year alone I’ve had the DWP’s henchmen play 20 xylophone hits on my rib cage with shifting spanners after I told them where they could shove their sanctions.
I’m no stranger to violence either. I’ve been bitchslapped more times than the punchbag in Louie’s gym’s taken right hooks. The upshot of this maltreatment is that I have a fuse shorter than a cheap firework — if I hear about Rennie the Radge’s ‘modest freakin penny’ just one more time I swear I’ll knee him so hard in the meatballs they’ll be looking for his ‘nads in postal districts on opposite sides of the city.
What was I doing drinking my life away in this dive? Good question. Someone slipped a business card under my apartment door in the wee small hours. On one side of the card, a single word — ‘Brexit’. On the other, in a woman’s handwriting, a message smeared in lipstick: ‘WTF is Brexit?!‘
My kidneys told me I was a six pack of Old Hurdy Gurdy short of renal failure, my legs had stopped cooperating with each other, and my gut told me that the note had been written by a woman wearing expensive leather trousers. It was signed, Theresa May. Holy Schmoley, I thought — if she didn’t know what Brexit meant, who did?!’
So I called the dame. She was distraught. Blubbing like a yooner after a landslide SNP bye-election win. ’I gotta know Mike, my life depends on it. There’s a yard in it for you.’
She probably meant a pony or a monkey or an albatross or something (isn’t an albatross a double eagle, Cuddis? Ed.) Whatever she meant, I figured if I earned enough to make rent, my landlord might abandon his earlier promise to give my knees a doing with a pick-axe handle should I fall behind on my rent again. So I took the case. A man in my position can’t afford to walk like Max Wall for the rest of his life. In my line of work you need to command respect.
The dame said she had one suspect — a schmuck called Johnny Furriner. Continental type; chocolate bread for breakfast and coffee blacker than Brent Crude to follow. ’Big deal, Lady,’ I said, ‘You got a suspect. But where’s the crime?’
‘Well, it can’t be right for Johnny Furriner to tell us what we can and can’t have. That’s a crime, surely?’ she said.
‘The point is,’ she said when she’d stopped snivelling, ‘All Johnny Furriner has to do is let us have a fair deal. Is that too much to ask? Let us leave the EU so we can spend what we save dismantling the Human Rights Act and sundry other bureaucratic hinderances to free trade. And let us retain all of the benefits we used to have before our lunatic (but democratic) decision, unburdened by nonsense like the 4 freedoms. Problem is, Johnny won’t play ball.’
I hung up.
It wasn’t hard to work out. Sure, the two crates of Bacardi Bleezers I downed for breakfast, combined with the residual effect of the eight Super Lagers I had for lunch, not to mention the half kilo of Old Holborn I’d smoked since I woke up had conspired to dampen my critical faculties — but I got it.
Brexit was all mouth and no leather trousers — an empty shell of nothingness shrouded in fog thicker than a Slab lister, swirling aimlessly around in the smoke and mirrors of a political vacuum.
But I don’t give up easy, buster. I went right out and spoke to anyone who was anybody — which left out the Liberal Democrats, natch. Nada. I talked to anybody who was anyone. Nada with bells on. I listened to those in the know, but they knew two tenths of eff-all. I even talked to Donald Rumsfeld but he didn’t know what he didn’t know.
Looks like Brexit meant Brexit after all, like the dame said. After that the trail went cold. Brexit was as insubstantial as the grin on the Cheshire cat — though with the imminent filing of article 50, I suspect the smile’s been well and truly wiped off that puss’s puss.