Thursday, 5 July 2012

Some metaphors write themselves






There is a plot afoot. The President of the United States is on his way to Westminster Hall to address the great and the good of British politics and international diplomacy. Nearby an ambulance has crept through the cordoned streets of London with a cargo of four Islamic terrorists, a heap of explosives and a traffic warden, bleeding profusely.


The leader of the group, Jones, has come up with an ingenious detonation technique. Each terrorist will wear a jacket packed with six kilos of nitroglycerine, a detonator and a mobile phone. Jones's mobile has the four numbers on speed dial. One at a time he can "get them on the blower", triggering the detonator.


But something is troubling Dean, a young Wolverhampton lad from a troubled upbringing, who has fallen under Jones's spell. His leader can ring the other three but if Jones rings himself the phone will be engaged. How would Jones's jacket go off when nobody can ring him?


"That is secret, Dean."


"Well, I think we should be all in this together."



The above didn't write itself - it's a précis of part of the plot to Boris Johnson's 2004 novel Seventy Two Virgins (the quotes are straight from the book, Harper Collins 2004), predating by six years David Cameron's "we're all in this together" party conference speech.


There are further twists to the plot which give another spin on the metaphor, but which I shan't spoil here. The book is worth reading, it's a fast paced comedy thriller, but Boris doesn't need the cash so pop down to your local library, if such a thing exists.


Other gems between its covers include an MP's voluptuous and American female assistant named Cameron (I kid you not) and an amusing security turf war between Deputy Assistant Commissioner Purnell of Scotland Yard and U.S. Colonel Bluett (how are the Olympic plans shaping up?).


Anyway, some metaphors write themselves.





Illustration by Chris Bienvenu.


André - Twitter @seldonmoore

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