Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Episode 18: In case of emergency, do nothing.

from under dark clouds
From Under Dark Clouds

From Under Dark Clouds

'From Under Dark Clouds...' is a Gonzo fictionalisation of current events in Greece as seen through the eyes of our unnamed hero as he fumbles from paranoia to public office, under the mentorage of the shady Socrates.

Each episode is based on real events. Readers are invited to share their experiences for the Under Dark Clouds treatment. Many have been included in cameo roles, can you spot them?




See link below for contributions


Fucked up, again!
Oops, fucked up, again! 
Once again, I was the kid in the corner of the class. Socrates hadn’t made me wear a hat or anything but he might as well. The lawyer's meter was ticking and so far the only value I could gather was that I was a fucking idiot and my wife had told me that for free. I thought Socrates had some leverage over the thieving bastard but since sloping off to Switzerland he had grown some balls and was levering back. Finally I asked him, in his two-hundred-Euros-an-hour opinion what could we do. He shrugged and said, "nothing." My dear blogees, when you pay good money for advice, take it.

I bade my leave and made for home to the wife in the hope that she would still be in a good mood before telling her about the latest developments, on second thoughts I would adhere to the costly advice of our brief and tell her nothing.

She was in good spirits and had cannelloni ready, it was a little al dente but two bottles of wine loosened it up nicely. I continued to follow the lawyer’s advice until bedtime when my dear lady wife took it instead.

The next morning, Socrates called me on the mobile. I was just about to set off for the town hall and he knew how I hated to speak while driving, well to be honest the speaking was the least of the problems, the hearing was the hard bit. I had once taken a hacksaw to my helmet to make it mobile friendly but it kept falling off. He had bought me a hands-free gizmo and had nearly killed myself finding out that it wasn’t compatible with 2-strokes.

Mike the IT guy brought me coffee, why did that man hate me so much? I tried to appeal to the well-assembled secretary but she was making busy with some papers. Mike asked me about the situation with the flats and I told him, in all confidence, that the police would come to evict them and that we could do nothing. He asked me if this was the official council lawyer or a personal brief, I replied the latter and he wafted off leaving a bad smell behind.

The phone rang, it was Socrates, the courts had issued a warrant and soon it would be in police hands. I asked what I could do and he reminded me of the lawyer’s bill and told me not to get in the way. Then he made me promise. I had to go down there, at least, and took Mike the IT guy and Tasos the janitor for support.

The Austerity Wars - on the front line in Greece
Grey Panthers? 2* 
A patrol car pulled up just as we arrived on foot and two officers got out. I asked them what their business was, the elder pulled out a piece of paper and apologised that he was just doing his job. I did nothing. He asked me to tell the residents to pack up and leave the building at once. I did some more nothing and said nothing for good measure. Just then a bus waddled up to the stop opposite and relieved itself of its contents on the pavement. The police entered the building to exercise the warrant. Another bus relieved itself at the stop from the other direction and about 4 tonnes of pensioners and waifs advanced on the town hall plaza. Mike the IT guy began waving and bouncing on his toes, I don’t recall ever seeing him quite so lively. I looked him in the eyes, which was not easy considering that they wouldn’t stay still, his face was all cheshire cat as he mouthed Facebook.

Soon the corridors and passage ways of the building were sardine-packed with all manner of derelict and dispossessed, some had found unoccupied apartments and had thrown down boxes and blankets to stake their claim.

The officers, failing to use authority to navigate the building found an open window and shouted down, “Mr. Mayor, you must do something about this, we are exercising a legal warrant to evacuate the premises.”

I asked him how much he earned. He huffed and told me that this was a very serious situation, I asked him again. He shrugged and told me around €800 a month. I asked him if he worked more than 4 hours a month. He huffed again, over 40 per week, “But please, Mr. Mayor this is no time—”

I did the maths, which wasn’t difficult and told him I could do nothing.

Through the open window I heard a walkie-talkie squalk and some unintelligible yelling. Mike the IT guy was tapping at the screen of his phone.

The officers arrived at the entrance in quite a state and proceeded to undertake a full audit of the equipment hanging from their uniforms.

It wasn’t long before a dark-blue coach equipped with meshed windows pulled up at the bus stop opposite and spewed out two dozen helmets and plastic shields. Socrates was going to be livid, fortunately not with me as I had done exactly as instructed but I knew he would be mighty pissed.

They were now ordering themselves into a rank on the pavement ready to take on 4 tonnes of waifs and strays. A Vespa pulled into the narrow street of the town hall plaza and a portly man alighted from a bare-foam saddle. He removed his helmet revealing a rather red face and smiled, not one of the locals, I presumed. Just behind him a herd of cars and mopeds were strewn and their occupants heading towards us. I looked to Mike the IT guy, he shrugged and shook his head, it was Tasos the janitor who answered my unasked query, Twitter, he said. The red-faced man pulled a gas mask and a camera from his bag and turned it on the now advancing heavy brigade snap snap, then disappeared into the building, “How do? Mr. Mayor,” as he passed me. I continued doing as I was told.

police vs pensioners
Police vs Pensioners 3*
One of the paramilitaries pulled a bull horn and addressed the building. The building answered with jeers and some domestic projectiles. The sergeant repeated his demands and was once more answered with jeers, a few domestic projectiles, supplies were obviously short, and a corn field of wrinkled, liver-spotted fists. A half-eaten bread-stick struck one of the helmets sending a spray of crumbs and sesame seeds over his confederates. At the opposite end of its arc was a giggling boy, Despina’s boy, things were taking a desperate turn.

It struck me that if there was any time for the black-shirts to show their solidarity with tha pippel this was it, but they remained conspicuous in their absence.

The ranks advanced and I continued to follow legal instructions, I had no idea then, how that would change.


Images 2* & 3* by kind permission of TeacherDude


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