The Chattering Classes
By Jane Hyphen
‘Hello and welcome to tonight’s edition of The Chattering Classes, I’m Marina Fudge.’
‘And I’m Tristram Trinkleblouter.’
‘This evening we have a special guest, author of last year’s Preposta Prize winning novel, Meredith Plinth.’
Meredith shifts in her sat and flicks her long frizzy hair. ‘Hello.’
‘Hello Meredith,’ Marina speaks with a cut-glass voice. ‘Welcome to the show. Now...many people will have read your book, Mushrooms For The Bystanders, can you explain the metaphorics behind the story, so to speak.’
‘Well it’s really about how the common man has grown used to being drip fed bullshit, to digesting it into the intestines of his consciousness.. but recently we’ve taken a further and more worrying step in that direction and we’re now being fed the fungus which grows on the bullshit. The question is how are we going to be able to develop the mucus of resilience necessary to break down this stuff..without turning completely acidic I mean.’
Tristram interjects, twirling his biro. ‘Of course. And it’s a sequel to Tiffin At The Arachnid’s Tea Party?’
‘Actually it’s a prequel.’
‘Oh but you wrote Tiffin five years ago..’ snaps Marina.
‘Ya,’ Meredith leans back in her seat, touches the back of her head. ‘Tiffin was a reflection on how they entice you with the prospect of fanciful luxuries but then they launch a jugular attack.’ She grabs at her throat. ‘Of course it also addresses the sexual deviants which have a tendency to dominate the party in power. I think I’ve mentioned before that the crushed biscuits represent our broken dreams and the chocolate topping the sugar coating with which they use to dupe us, oh and the caramel, the sticky substance which ultimately traps us and weakens our resolve... but….going back to your question, I already had this gestating in my literary womb so I think of it as a prequel.’ She nods slowly.
‘And the bystanders Meredith, can you explain to our viewers exactly who are the bystanders in your book?’
‘Yes Tristram, of course the bystanders are all the people out there who are simply too busy working and feeling bloated from ingesting bullshit and its resulting fecal blooms to do anything other than stand by and let them take over. The question is, who will fight back and how will our existing probiotics cope with this new strain of feculence.’ She raises her hands in a shrugging gesture and lets them drop in her lap with a loud plop. The producer gestures with an angry shaking index finger.
‘Ahem, indeed.’ Marina clears her throat. ‘Some critics have labelled your work puerile, maladorous propaganda and that you’re spreading miasmas of doubt among the masses, what do you say to that?’
‘I would like, if I may, to go back to a quote from Mushrooms For The Bystanders and say, “The belches which result from the consumption of bluffer’s deposits are too weak to blow in the face of the wind of nefarious agglomerates.”
‘Yes quite.….you have spoken about how the populus are at risk of turning acidic, can you shine a light on what exactly is meant by this?’
‘People are angry Marina, they are souring inside, in here,’ Meredith thumps her heart, ‘We are curdling and the result will be an explosion of pestilential gases which even the fleshy pharisee will be forced to breath.’
‘Okay,’ Marina lifts her clipboard and frowns. ‘We’ve been tweeted a question from Jeremy Butthurtface. He says,‘Hi Meredith I love your books but I wonder does their popularity risk provoking a climate of unrest and ultimately an explosion within civilised society.’
Meredith fiddles with her bead necklace. ‘I would argue that it’s the turbines of imposition which have created a methaneous atmosphere allowing latitudes of torment. All I have done is boil it down into a duck soup paste which people can assimilate.’
‘Okay….Meredith Plinth, winner of the 2017 Preposta Prize, thank you so much for joining us.’
Meredith nods. ‘Thank you.’
Producer - ‘It’s a wrap, thanks everyone, that was great.’
Mariner Fudge gives Tristram a hard nudge. ‘What?’ he says.
‘You! You owe me three hundred pounds.’
‘Because I asked all the question while you just sat there like a blunt tool!’
Meredith glides towards the exit, turns to the runner and asks, ‘Is my limo ready? I have an appointment which a Root Chakra healer in an hour.’