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Greetings Soldiers. 

I think the only way I could have more egg on my face would be if I were to spontaneously turn into an omelette or some sort of cupcake-sized-quiche. I am neither an omelette nor a quiche but that has not stopped my face being covered in the unfertilized chicken embryo. 

This past week has seen a great many revelations not least of which is the unveiling of our enemy. Until recently we have been blindly stumbling around in the dark like a teenage boy trying to work out how the hell to undo the bra he’s secretly put on himself while his mother was out. But now, the lights are on, the trousers are off, and we are thrusting toward victory. 

Our enemy now has a face. Well… he always had a face but now we know what that face looks like… and we are wishing we did not. It is the sort of face that only a mother could pretend to love. It is the sort of face that you expect to see peering back at you when you stand up and look down the toilet bowl.  I mean… this face is ugly!

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen calling “how ugly is it?”)

This face is so ugly he makes Jabba The Hut look like an acceptable coital conquest. 
Oh yeah, this face is ugly. 

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen calling “how ugly is it?”)

This face is so ugly when his mother went into labour the doctors went on strike. 
I mean super ugly. 

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen calling “how ugly is it?”)

This face is so ugly he makes blind kids cry. 
He is ugly! 

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen awkwardly looking at their feet) 

I sad…. He… IS… UGLY… 

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen awkwardly looking at their feet)

Is this because I made fun of blind kids?

(Insert a choir of loyal infantrymen nervously nodding)

Fair enough. T’was bad form wasn’t it? Never mind chaps. Onward and upward. Boiled sweets for everyone! 

(Insert the Captain throwing a handful of boiled sweets into the air)

(Insert the choir of loyal infantrymen cheering and whooping in approval)

(Insert one of the loyal infantrymen taking his best girl, dipping her and kissing her, as his friends cheer and throw up their hats)

My word… Come on guys… it’s just boiled sweets. 

Anyway. 

That face (you know, the face attached to our enemy) is the beard-clad face of Baron Von Schnitzel – a man who until recently I thought to be dead by my hand. I guess I was wrong. Very wrong. In fact the only way I could have been more wrong about this were if I turned out to be Baron Von Schnitzel all along. Wouldn’t that be a turn up! 

Many moons ago, after years of bullet-riddled confrontations, after countless brutish encounters, and after much childish name-calling, Baron Von Schnitzel fell victim to a well-orchestrated plan. 

It was a warm December eve. The moon bounced playfully in the sky inviting all who gazed upon it to dream the dream of dreamers and dance within its warm glow. But there was to be no hippie nonsense from me that night. Just battle. 

Baron Von Schnitzel was a sweaty smear on the world’s radar and the decision was made to clean the smear off. 

So I assembled myself a crack team of specialist operatives with skillsets ranging from explosives to guerilla tactics to mosaic tiling to trout fishing. After months travelling the world following the garlic laden trail we were finally able to pin the Baron down in Istanbul. 

Have you ever been to Istanbul? Don’t. I’m not saying it’s a horrible place… but… it’s… a… horrible… place… Please don’t go there. 

We were poised out the front of Istanbul’s most notorious of nightclubs: The Notorious Cabbage. A fowl venue of filth and degradation where the sinister and evil went to mingle and rub elbows with each other. Drugs, weapons, diamonds, all manner of under-the-table deals went on here. Weapons of Mass Destruction could be ordered from the bar if so was your want.

Intel told us that the Baron was inside bartering with Jalal Talabini, the president of Iraq, for the safe passage of a priceless potato chip (shaped like Idi Amin) across the Iraqi borders and into Syria. 

With technology that I could only pretend to understand, we watched the deal go down from outside The Notorious Cabbage – our presence concealed by an overgrown hedge. I still marvel at how 37 military operatives were able to hide in one shrubbery. I’m glad I hired that expert gardener. Once the deal was confirmed we launched our attack. 

The plan was simple: Infiltrate The Notorious Cabbage. Shoot the Baron. Whiskey and cigars for everyone! 

But alas, fate stepped in and slapped us in our collective groins. 

As we burst into The Notorious Cabbage, a small spider appeared on the floor. My explosives expert, who was deathly afraid of spiders, screamed like a little girl and dropped a large quantity of unpinned grenades. I jumped for cover as the grenades exploded which encouraged parts of my gardener to jump towards me, and parts to jump toward everywhere else. 

Hunks of gardener and gardening tools flew around the place like dollar bills at a bucks night. 

My ears finally stopped ringing and I was able to wipe the blood away from my eyes. It was then that I realized the comfortable beanbag, onto which I had leapt for cover, was none other than Baron Von Schnitzel. I thought it odd to fill a beanbag with Gnocchi and pubic hair but at the time I was thankful to not be exploding. I looked into the squinty eyes of evil and I’m not ashamed to admit I panicked a little. 

I reached for my service revolver. Gone! Thrown to the other side of the room by the explosion! I reached for my dagger. Gone! Thrown to the other side of a different room three months ago by a lover I had wronged (long story). I reached for my collection of commemorative teaspoons. They were there! Huzaah! They were utterly useless to me but by god they were there! 

Death stared into my soul as my soul fiddled with pointless teaspoons. 

From somewhere above me I heard a clattering. I looked up to see a monkey; native to the area, playing with a battery operated band saw. The bloodied and disembodied hand of the now exploded gardener was still wrapped, eerily, around the handle. 

Baron Von Schnitzel looked up with just enough time to watch the monkey cut his own hand off, letting the band saw fall freely. 

It fell, blade still whizzing and whirring, onto Baron Von Schnitzel’s face. 

A spray of garlicky bloody streaked across the room and I took the opportunity to make my hasty escape. On my way out I kicked the body of explosives expert, which inadvertently armed a small bomb he had hidden in his under-trousers. I heard the all-to-familiar beep of a timer. Not knowing how long I had before death stuffed me into a fiery envelope and posted me straight to damnation, I hastily ran out of The Notorious Cabbage. 

I reached the shrubbery from whence I had come with just enough time to pull out a lawn chair, brew a cup of tea, check my emails and pay some bills before the bomb went off throwing bits and pieces of The Notorious Cabbage all the way across the Sea of Marmara – where, much later, I would swim and catch a terrible infection. 

A freakish band saw accident and an explosion like that could surely only mean that Baron Von Schnitzel had finally been killed. 

But that is not the case. It seems as though the ever-slippery Baron escaped the clammy hand of death once again and has turned up to place a flaming bag of dog poo on the doorstep of justice – threatening to burn down our way of life and leave streaks of smelly evil all over the porch of peace.  

So, soldiers, we must double our efforts and seek out this evildoer before he does something evil. 

“But, Captain Oakwood, how do we do this? Where do we start? Should I bring emergency trousers?” 

Excellent questions, my loyal soldiers. 

You must always bring emergency trousers. I cannot stress that enough. No matter what the circumstance or expedition. What if you were out for a nice meal and happened to be dining in the same restaurant as Chris Brown? Chances are, he is going to start mercilessly beating someone to within an inch of their life and you might wind up with blood and police tape all over your lovely trousers. 

How do we find Baron Von Schnitzel? By the steam of my crumpets I will search every dank, vile pit where evil might lay to rest it’s weary head until I find him. 

And you should do the same. Cash prizes given to the soldier who brings me information leading to the capture and inevitable death of Baron Von Schnitzel. 
 My loyal soldiers, I leave you with these final thoughts. If we are to bring down the hammer of justice onto the misshapen head of evil and once and for all put an end to Baron Von Schnitzel, we’ve got to bloody well find the prick first. 

So get looking. 

Fare-Thee-Well

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Take The Istanbul By The Horns

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