Conspiracy theories or ‘Sticky toffee pudding cures cancer’.
Bernadette has recently taken to hiking with her trusted hound Arthur upon the moors for hours on end. She leaves the château at dawn with nothing more than a quart of rum and a packet of rough shag and is not seen again till supper time. Last night she returned early, flushed of face and breathless, her hair knotted and windswept like she’d been to Wuthering Heights and back. What was I to assume, that my dear Bernadette had succumbed to the wily ways of another? The stable hand perhaps or that damned curate with his blue eyes and elegant- but rather snug –cassock? Perish the thought as I might, Bernadette was a handsome woman with little willpower when it came to the opposite sex. A bounder’s dream, she could be – and had been – swept off her tightly bound lotus slippers many a time with nothing more than the promise of an Indian takeaway and a ‘naked girl scout’ her cocktail of choice….I believe.
I’d only just returned myself with a brace of pheasant when she found me in the scullery, gun half cocked plucking the birds! I asked after her day, in what I hoped was, a neutral, non accusing sort of manner, all the while fearing the worst. Bernadette said that she would tell all over dinner, first she wanted to draw a bath and collect her thoughts.
I have to say that those pheasants were anything but pleasantly plucked, I fretted so, and those poor birds received the brunt of my suspicious mind. Anyhow it turned out to be nothing more than a storm in a tea cup. Over dinner Bernadette unfolded her remarkable tale, incredible as it might have been, it was too insane to be anything but the truth.
She had, it’s true, met a man on her walk that day, he too it seemed, was out to enjoy the embrace of nature, the thrill of the outdoors, the freedom from drudgery and routine. She stopped to exchange a greeting as is common in these here parts and found herself drawn, rather quickly, into a world of fantasy and madness. Crazy as it so obviously was she couldn’t tear herself from his discourse and stood routed to the spot in awe of this implausible, ludicrous doom monger.
He made several outlandish claims he was apparently prepared to stand by even in the face of death. The first claim Bernadette and I discussed over a starter of smoked mackerel and pumpkin chutney was that of the illuminati and the new world order. Apparently according to the stranger on the moor there exists, a secret sect, a small group of men of ancient bloodlines set to take over the world. All the famine, civil war, natural disasters and genocide witnessed by millions, killing hundreds of thousands is all apparently orchestrated by these illusive puppet masters. Their aim is simple, to reduce the world population sufficiently to make it easier to control. Those of us left behind after the cull will wish we weren’t, for we survivors will be shackled into slavery, the plumper minced for burgers; if they’re not already. These princes of darkness lurk in the very echelons of power, the United Nations, The World Bank, The IMF and NATO. It’s rumoured that George Bush is their leader; well good luck with that then. They rely on mind control, social engineering, subliminal advertising and black magic. They own everything worth owning including Hollywood, the entire music industry and the Catholic Church, probably. The very fact that no one knows who they are, where their den is or have any proof of their existence makes them even stronger and, it goes without saying, more secretive.
I have to say I near choked on a stray mackerel bone I laughed so hard and Bernadette had to prepare herself for a manoeuvre Heimlich would have been proud of.
Once I had recovered from what was obviously an attempt on my life by George Bush, I beseeched my muse to continue. As the starter was cleared and the pheasant ragout with curried parsnips arrived Bernadette, easing into her story, picked up from whence she left.
She had the good candour to coyly communicate both interest and disbelief in the same inflection, not an easy nuance to portray. The strange fellow saw this as an encouragement to continue and so with no further ado he accused the North American government of blowing up the twin towers in New York. Yes it seems that the whole thing was an inside job. Despite the many well tutored experts, educated to the highest degree in their chosen field proving otherwise, he wouldn’t have it. It is a white wash, a cover up, a poorly executed illusion and Mr Conspiracy can see right through it. I have to say that I’m easily persuaded when encouraged to believe in the insidious nature of the American machine. I have had my doubts too but Bernadette, having studied structural engineering two evenings a week at the village WO, can explain away my concerns. Of course it goes without saying that the mastermind behind this pointless violence is none other than, yep you guessed it, George Bush.
He’s also responsible I’d imagine for Elvis living, Paul McCartney being dead, man never landing on the moon, Roswell, Kennedy and a host of other nonsense. It was however our very own Queen, apparently – who took care of Diana, a royal assassin of the highest order indeed.
Despite my ferocious plucking those birds were delicious, even my official taster agreed, well you can never be too careful. Not being a pudding person I settled for a fine cognac and Bernadette agreed to eat her sticky toffee pudding with me as I settled by the fire. She then, between mouthfuls of pudding, relinquished the final instalment of her story.
By now Arthur was biting at the bit, eager to explore, he could tell conditions were perfect for bringing down a deer, his favourite past time. But his mistress had no choice but to stay rooted to the spot when the final claim was levelled with aplomb. He knew the cure for Cancer and what’s more was prepared to share the magic formula; it was, get ready, baking soda! Yep, bicarbonate of soda it seems has the exact properties required to cure the big C. The conspiracy is that all the major drug companies are totally aware of this but play it down as a hoax; after all, they’re making a mint out of drugs that don’t actually work.
This was such an outlandish pile of gibberish that it deserved further investigation and investigate we did. Using the internet we launched a search right there and then and by golly we were overwhelmed with the results. Plenty of people out there supported the theory, few condemning it, but then I suppose they have better things to do. The upshot is that an Italian Doctor Tullio Simoncini has decided to cure cancer with baking soda, his theory is that cancer is a fungi rather than an acidic, therefore a good dose of baking soda should sort it out! He runs a clinic in the Netherlands, (he moved there after convicted of fraud and swindling by an Italian Judge) where he treats cancer patients with baking soda for a small fortune. He tells them that they have a 90 percent success rate and low and behold, poor you, you are in the 10 percent. Ho hum chuck us your cash. The lunatic on the moor seemed disgraced that the doctor had been condemned saying ‘he’d only killed one patient’. He had killed the ‘patient’ by injecting bicarbonate of soda into her blood stream! An absolute scandal if you ask me, a charlatan masquerading as a doctor conning innocents out of their life savings because they are vulnerable and frightened.
Well Bernadette could take no more, not a woman to cross, she demanded his name. He looked at her severely but the severity quickly turned to suspicion and while looking about himself in an uneasy manner he said, ‘Bill, just call me Bill’. It was then that a space ship landed and dozens of little green men whisked him away. What an Incredible story; who would have thought, so obviously Bernadette ran hard and fast all the way home.
It was then that I received a call from ‘Balti towers’, the Indian restaurant on the high street, to inform me that Bernadette had absently misplaced her mink muff while at luncheon with the Curate. But Bernadette assures me that it’s just Mr Bush playing mind games with me.