A Lorry Load of Sleaze
This is part 5 in the satirical series at https://www.abctales.com/collection/pandemic-tales-bojo-and-co
A Lorry Load of Sleaze
“Oh do shove over then.” demanded the Old Etonian. His voice was a bumbling thing, a thing of ums and erms and frequent mistakes.
“Ah yes PM. Of course.” The passenger in the HGV wore a dark, purple cape with high collars, her eyes as black as soot, her lips as red as blood, her heart as black as coal. The reply echoed off the walls of the cab in a dominant, assertive tone that could tear anaglypta from ceilings.
The rotund parliamentarian with shaggy blonde hair shook his head and dust filled the cab, some coming to rest on the large, steering wheel. He was dressed in army camouflage gear with a green beret on his head. He looked ahead and out of the windscreen window.
“I say, what a wheeze of an idea this is. A real jape.” He cranked the gear stick and it gave an almighty scraping noise. The vehicle kangarooed forward, apologetically.
“Are you sure you know how to drive this thing, PM?” the woman riding shotgun looked worried, the last drop of crimson dripping from her left fang. She looked down at her mobile phone. It was safely ensconced in a fake leather cover with a pentagram symbol on the front.
“Don’t you worry about a thing, my dear, Gove gave me a lesson just last week. it….erm…shouldn’t….um…. it shouldn’t be a problem.” He looked dazed as he tried to remember what he had been shown. He could picture Michael Gove’s tyre-shaped body in his mind’s eye and he thought about Michelin the brand, for some reason.
The lorry pulled out and started its journey north replete with AgustaWestland Apache helicopter whirring overhead. A motorbike led the convoy from in front with the rider a police officer wearing a crash helmet and fluorescent, lime-green service wear. The column of vehicles was completed by a black SUV following at the rear with bulletproof tinted windows hiding gun toting secret service agents from view.
Two men lurked in a concrete underpass close by the A1081 St Albans Road. The constant hum of passing traffic could be heard in the distance. One of them was balding with a cunning expression and a nearly permanent sneer. The other wore a constant grin, a smile for schmoozing and negotiating government contracts to those who appeared on his WhatsApp group. His email account was under current investigation. His knew that the second, secret account registered at email@example.com would come in handy. Eventually.
It was a grey, overcast day with storms forecast for later. Both agitators were panting from their exertion. Wearing backpacks was not their usual fayre but this was for a good cause; a noble cause. The vulpine looking man with the thinning pate glanced at his partner and checked his watch.
“We need to make sure we get the timing exactly right.” His voice was quietly spoken with a soft, confident diction that reeked of past power.
“Don’t you worry, Dom, I’ve saved thousands of lives with my heroic efforts during the Pandemic. I am determined to save even more!” Dom’s partner beamed wishing there was a camera crew to capture his latest Herculean efforts for the country.
The former mandarin didn’t look reassured but took stock knowing that they were now committed to taking action. The two men looked out of the passageway knowing that their target – the junction between the A1M and the M25 - awaited history; they would be remembered.
The lorry sped along, its cargo carrying precious items for empty supermarket shelves.
“A damned fine idea of mine, even if I…um…do say so meself.” The blonde man beamed with self-congratulation.
“Yes, PM. Leading from the front. Let’s show the proles what this country is all about. Labour shortages? I think NOT. And all those juicy nec…”
“I beg your pardon.” Chirped the now worried driver.
“Oh…I meant to say juicy nectarines. Like the ones in the truck. Not necks or any reference to beating veins in necks. No PM.” The queen of the undead looked out of the window furtively.
“I make it time.” Said the man called Dom and the activist duo shuffled along in a brisk manner towards the main road. A mole working inside Parliament had leaked the highly confidential schedule for the publicity stunt taking place today involving high profile members of the cabinet. In exchange, Dom had given them free access to his blog for the next twelve months. Both civil servants turned eco warriors had scores to settle; both had formerly held positions of high power, now consigned to scratching around in the undergrowth of the hinterland of politics. This was too much to bear and now was the time to settle scores; in as high a profile manner as possible, of course.
The former health secretary pressed record on his mobile phone and a shaky video started to preserve the events for posterity. Graffiti was daubed in spray paint colours of blue and purple on the passage walls, the writing indecipherable to most. A homeless man sat, wrapped in a tired blanket, on the asphalt path. His clothes were mere rags as he leant forward, looking down at the ground absently. A small, square cardboard sign read “Spare some change” as dreams of home ownership and 2.4 children faded away in a haze of alcohol and drug abuse.
The lorry was making good time from the depot just outside London. A red, Vauxhall Astra car was driving alongside, filming the journey. The mini road fleet would make the occasional, roadside pit stop for a quick voxpop and then carry on.
“This should inflate my waning popularity. Levelling up yet to start, national insurance hikes, fuel shortages, Tory sleaze and general panic across the board can bite my sweet fanny Adam.” The substitute lorry driver declared triumphantly. The articulated carrier cruised along and a set of traffic lights swam into focus. As the colour changed from amber to red, the traffic en route to the circular leviathan of the M25 applied their collective brakes.
At that moment, two men wearing orange, hi-viz jackets and white hard hats jogged across the carriageway, unfurled a banner between them and sat down facing the line of motorbikes, cars, vans and larger vehicles.
“What the bleddy….” The blonde, shaggy-haired man looked surprised then angry.
“I think it’s those Insulate Britain goons again, PM.” Announced his assistant.
“I thought you had sorted all of that out? And isn’t that…..isn’t that Dom and Matt?” Both travellers looked at each other quizzically.
“Should we glue our faces to the road?” Matt enquired in a tentative tone as he looked at Dom with doubt in his eyes.
Dom thought about this. He wanted to make things difficult for his former employer but applying adhesive to body parts might be taking things a bit too far. And getting unglued could hurt a bit as well. He stared back at his fellow agitator and shook his head, slowly.
“I can’t afford to spend the day here. I have things to do. I have already run my normal schedule past 3pm.” The PM declared.
Priti grabbed her mobile phone and fired off a text. Within seconds she had received an incoming call to the dial tone of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” so popular in many horror films.
“Operation Shove ‘Em Back has been initiated my queen of darkness.” The military voice on the other end of the phone announced.
Boris looked up, squinting his eyes and wondered what was happening now.
“Don’t worry, PM. I will sort this in a jiffy. No one messes with The Party.”
They sat there stationary as car horns blared and unspeakable language filled the air from frustrated drivers. It was after waiting for some fifteen minutes that everyone associated with the guerrilla demonstration suddenly heard the dull clanging of metal. Boris and Priti looked in their respective side, wing mirrors as two jet skis with tiny wheels on the bottom skidding across car roof tops came into view. They bounced along with men clad all in black wearing balaclavas, driving the hybrid inventions at high speed. Before anyone had time to realise what was going on, they had both flown through the air and over the heads of the two protestors. The riders looked like latter-day Milk Tray men. They looked at each other as two metal hooks on the end of rubber, retractable leashes wound around each of the rebels sitting behind their makeshift banner separately, snagging their clothing. Boris watched on as the invaders were spun around by the ensnaring tentacles and hurled off the road in a whiplash motion, both tumbling head over heels and onto the pavement. The red and blue banner with the words “INSULATE BRITAIN”, one word on top of the other, fluttered away to land limply on the carriageway a few yards further on.
Cheers rang out from the long queue of traffic and engines fired once more as the motorbike and lorry at the head of the phalanx started to roll. “I say, well done Priti.” The blonde-haired man looked pleased as the woman adorned in dark purple grinned to herself, malevolently. She tented her fingers and thought dark thoughts. The entourage of lorry and accompanying publicity vehicle and security services travelled ceremoniously along the M25 leaving to join the M1 northbound with a blue motorway sign signalling “Luton 30 miles”.
Priti looked out of the passenger side window and grimaced at the darkening sky.
“There’s a storm coming, PM.” She reported sternly.
“While we are on the subject of storms, did we sort those water companies out? You know, all that brouhaha about dumping raw sewage back into the….um….rivers and seas and the like?” The shaggy-haired blonde man tried to recall events as his brow furrowed, inner cogs whirring frantically.
“Ah yes, PM. The various managing directors reported that they were unable to find the funds to fix the problem just at the moment. They did say they would look into it and come back to us at some point. In the meantime, the failsafe of discharging excess water when the antiquated, Victorian infrastructure is overwhelmed will have to continue for now.” The vampiric passenger pictured in her mind the tidal wave of excrement and effluence flowing from rusting overflow pipes and into unsuspecting rivers.
“Ah OK. Can’t be helped, I suppose. Not really in the spirit of COP26 and all those speeches I did. I sincerely hope we don’t bump into…um…erm…Greta whotshername.” The PM watched on as rain started to fall. A few drops quickly turned to a torrent with red brakes lights illuminating the carriageways as traffic slowed. The storm gathered pace soon becoming a maelstrom.
“I think we should take refuge, sir.” Muttered the worried Home Secretary.
Boris snapped on the left indicator and turned the steering wheel to leave the motorway and join the A421 Bedford turn off which would take them all the way to Milton Keynes. They were closing in on the destination depot which would see their cargo unloaded. The roads were perilous by now, wind and rain careening in horizontal sheets making visibility difficult. A roadside sign indicated the presence of an industrial estate and the upper crust lorry driver decided to take a detour and find a place to park up for a while and let the storm pass. He directed the HGV into the labyrinth of concrete buildings, offices and warehouses and found an area of wasteland to stop at.
“It would make a great picture battling against the odds in all weathers to save this great country, wouldn’t it?” The PM bumbled.
“Inspired sir. Pure genius.” Inside, the purple-clad traveller thought that her boss had gone quite mad. Again.
Boris opened the driver-side door and hopped down the truck’s steps. Priti watched as the now rain mac sporting leader fought against the wind to speak to somebody in the car with the TV crew. A man with a shoulder-propped video camera popped out and both he and the PM wandered over to an empty spot on the roadside. The policeman that had been riding the motorbike dismounted and three men from the black SUV got out, all scuttling along to where the impromptu filming was about to take place. There was nobody else about as the spot that had been chosen to stop out was a feeder road that linked the main highway with the offices and factories on the estate. The PM stared at the camera awaiting his cue.
Far away in an operations centre at Anglian water, a man glowered at a large panel of flickering lights and numerous gauges. One of the controls was flashing red. He looked down at a button that said “override” above it. He pressed.
As the crowd gathered awaiting the latest words from the blonde interviewee, a rumbling sound could be heard getting louder and louder. Priti looked out at the scene from her seat in the lorry and noticed that Boris was standing just in front of a storm drain, down which large volumes of water were disappearing. As she continued to stare, the noise grew louder and louder, reaching a crescendo. The metal storm grate flew into the air as metric tonnes of toilet waste poured out in a tidal wave of brown discharge, enveloping the PM as the entourage looked on. The blonde man stood there as the sludge coated his entire being. Using both hands, he wiped the excrement from his eyes so that he could see once more. He looked like the most disgusting panda ever.
“Yes, the water companies will get back to us soon.” The queen of the undead muttered.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents
are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a
fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
Image free to use via WikiCommons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inside_Mack_Granite.JPG