Apparently, Crouch is big threat says Kaka. At least, that’s what it said in big black letters on a stapled bundle of paper I noticed while sitting on a bus yesterday. There was smaller lettering underneath, lots of it, also black on a white background, but I was too far away to be able to read it.
Having digested Kaka’s view of the threat from Crouch, I turned my head to look out of the window at the passing scene. There were all sorts of words to read outside, in all different colours: Tasty Snacks in red on yellow, Cheung Wah Loon red on white, STOP, all in upper case, black on white with a red trim, and Furniture Wanted in gold on green were just some I saw, among many, many others. But somehow I couldn’t get the Kaka/Crouch doo-dah out of my head.
Later, back at home, I poured some boiled water into a cup and added an infusion of something I understood might dampen the fires in my brainpan. The infusion turned the water brown, but had little effect on the spongiform grey blob inside my skull, which was still throbbing away. I assumed that Kaka had good reason to see Crouch as a threat – indeed a big threat – and wondered if I too should feel imperilled, and if so what precautions I could take. The problem was that I did not understand the nature of the threat Crouch posed. Should I barricade myself inside my home, or was it a case of getting some tablets from the chemist? If I did both, I might be overreacting and laying myself open to ridicule, not for the first time, of course, but still…
On the other hand, if I did neither, or if I failed to come up with any kind of defence against Crouch, who knew what might become of me? It is at times of quandary like this that some people turn to God, but I have read my Dawkins and Dennett and Harris and Hitchens and I wasn’t going to fall for that one. Incense and a kneeling posture wouldn’t help me if Crouch came smashing into my life wreaking whatever havoc Crouch wreaked. Kaka would be more help to me than God, I realised, could at least give me some handy tips on anti-Crouch techniques, but I had no idea how I might go about contacting Kaka. Despite its insipid taste and ineffectual brain-soothing properties, I gulped down another cup of the infusion and pondered what to do next.
My first idea was to go out onto the balcony and shout “Kaka! Kaka! Kaka!”, like some kind of secular muezzin, hoping that Kaka might be in the vicinity and would respond to my call. The chances of this were so remote that I swiftly dismissed it as the act of a poltroon. I have read exhaustively on the subject of poltroonery over the years, and believe me, it was not a fellowship I wished to join. Wild horses probably could drag me to a poltroon conclave, I do not think I would be strong enough to resist their demented equine force, but fingers crossed there were no nearby horses of sufficient wildness to do the deed.
Another idea occurred to me, which was that I could arm myself with a hammer and a hacksaw and stalk the streets in search of Crouch. This too I dismissed, partly because I was unsure if a hammer and a hacksaw would be weaponry enough to finish Crouch off in one go, and partly because I did not want to risk getting an Asbo. I had only just got my bus pass and library tickets back after a confiscation order, and that was a road I never wanted to go down again.
Dusk was falling. I spat into my tin spittoon and switched on the bairdboard bombardment box. On the screen, a glassy-eyed noodlehead was shrieking: “Who is the biggest threat? Crouch or Kaka? You decide! For Crouch, call 09567398762543 01. For Kaka, call 09567398762543 02.”
My brainpan whirled in a miasma of chaos. What fragile mooring I had in the here and now was snapped asunder. The hideous import of the noodlehead’s words was that Kaka too was a threat! It was not, as I thought, that Crouch spelled imperilment and Kaka provided sage counsel. It was a twin-pronged attack. How cruelly I had been deceived by the stapled bundle of paper on the bus!
There was only one thing to do. I kicked the knob on the box to silence the still-shrieking noodlehead, pulled on an item of casual knitwear, and strode out towards the cluster of community hubs. Ah, but I carried on past them, not looking back, until I reached the civic pond, and I sat there in the twilight on the damp grass, and a moorhen paddled towards me and fixed me with its moorhen stare, and I stared defiantly back, and the space between us fizzled with silent and invisible sparks, until I was the moorhen, and the moorhen was me.