A small engineering factory, April the first, just after half past one in the morning. Three men are just sitting down, taking a half hour mid shift break. Two are old friends and have worked together for twenty years, the other in his first year of employment.
“Every time I’ve looked at you for the last couple of hours, you’re either looking at the clock or your bloody phone, it’s four and a half hours ‘til clocking out time, you on a promise or something?”
“No, I reckon it’ll be a couple of weeks before I get any if my revenge has worked.” Colin answers with a grin.
“Oh yeah, it’s all fools day, getting your own back for last year I suppose, come on, what have you done?”
“Nah, keeping it to myself for now, it should have happened an hour ago so I thought she would have been on the phone by now to chew my bollocks off.
“What did she do to you last year?” asks the teenager.
The two older men burst into laughter just as the canteen door opens. “Here Col, there’s a couple of coppers outside, they’re saying they have to talk to you and you’re going to have to go with them,” another man says, poking his head through the doorway.
“Fuckin’ hell, she’s got you strippers.” Alan says still laughing.
“Don’t think their strippers Col, not unless your missis thinks you’re a secret shirt lifter, besides, they ain’t in uniforms.”
Colin is no longer laughing, feeling concerned he makes his way to the factory entrance, Alan begins relating the tale of last year’s prank played on Colin by his wife.
“You know that VX800 he sold just after you started working here. Well he had it stripped and were just putting it back together. He’d done the gearbox and were just lifting one of the barrels on when Monica, bless her, walks in with a dry powder fire extinguisher and lets him have it. Stupid bloody thing to do but the silly bitch did it.”
Getting a puzzled look from the young man, Alan continues. “If you’ve never seen one of them set off you’re lucky. That shit goes every fucking where. He was sooo pissed off, it took him days to get his garage usable again and then he had to strip the engine down again. Fuck me I think he must have got more blowjobs in the month afterwards than he’d had for as long as they’ve been together.” Alan sniggers, “once he managed to stop the powder getting inside his drawers, which must’ve been about a week after he got the engine back together.”
Outside Colin, convinced that this is a prank, manages to negotiate with the two men that he follows them to the police station.
Although unconvinced they are real policemen, he rides to the station, his concern growing as he gets nearer to the destination.
He is taken through to an interview room almost immediately, as he is led through a number of corridors and hallways he is certain he catches a glimpse of his wife being shown through another doorway. His relief when they confirm it was her is apparent.
Eventually he finds himself in a small room with no windows, he is told to sit and he asks again what is happening, one of the men asks him why he did it. Thinking that his wife’s prank has panicked his wife and she had called the police, he is now certain the prank has been misunderstood and starts to explain about his wife’s prank with the dry powder extinguisher.
Once he is finished with his tale, he is asked whether a poisonous bomb is an appropriate response.
“Huh? What do you mean poisonous? It was only flour.”
“But it wasn’t flour, was it Mr Bull.”
“Yeah it was, I got it out of the Tupperware™ container in the kitchen cupboard.”
The two police officers mutter a conversation and one of them leaves the room.
Colin Bull and the other officer sit in silence until he returns, again they mutter a conversation and one of them queries, “Are you telling me you were unaware what type of flour you used?”
“Well no, it was some gluten free shit she bought to use a while back and I didn’t think we ever used except once a couple of years ago, because her mother got the shits for a couple of days and convinced herself that she had developed a gluten allergy.”
“Yes, but what kind of flour?”
“Haven’t got a clue, she used it once for yorkies, they were horrible, as far as I know she’s never used it since,” he says, “shit twenty years ago nobody knew what gluten was unless they were a celiac now there’s more people with so called gluten allergies than there are hay fever sufferers. I think it’s all bollocks.”
“It was peanut flour Mr Bull.”
“Yeah, that’s another one of these so called allergies that’s become a fad, you know some schools have banned peanuts because some little shitbag might get a rash. Shit we never had any of that when I was a school, you two too no doubt. No, now you come to mention both of them together, that’s it isn’t it? People start thinking they have a peanut allergy so the peanut market suffers, so they retaliate and have a go at the flour market by pushing what was a very rare and real condition to get sales for imitation flour made from nuts. That or vice versa.”