General Fiction: Protest – Janet Gogerty
It started with a bumble bee and ended with the saving of a whale; thousands of signatures on the petition protesting to Sea Worlds in U.S.A. for keeping Killer Whales in captivity. Saving the World from my computer was simple and addictive, till the day the door bell rang.
I thought they were Mormons, two smart young men in suits.
‘Good morning Ma’am… Mrs Katherine Jones?… how are you today?’
I was taken aback they knew my name, but they were so polite and so American I stepped back and they stepped forward, into my house. On closer inspection their black badges did not mention Latter Day Saints and what they were saying did not make sense. ‘… home security…’
I thought they were selling burglar alarms; then they homed in to the extension where we keep the computer. Now their slick talking seemed to include the words ‘national security’.
I realised, when it was too late, I should not have offered them a cup of tea. When I was at the sink filling the kettle they disappeared, with the computer.
CID were at the door one minute after I had called the police, but looked confused when I congratulated them on their speedy response. Imagine, Detective Chief Inspector Barry Smith and Inspector Madeleine Perry, just for one old computer.
‘Mrs. Katherine Jones, are you a member of 38 degrees?’ said the chap.
‘Yes indeed’ I said proudly ‘and Avaaz and GetUp!’
‘So you will know we have come to interview you on a matter of state security’ said Madeleine.
They were obviously going to take it in turns, like they do on telly.
‘May we see your home computer?’
‘No, I told you on the phone, it’s been stolen.’
Now they were certainly taking an interest in the theft, she made urgent calls on her mobile. After I had repeated the details several times they had more questions.
‘We have evidence that you have made threats to the President of the United States.’
I was getting worried now, but I was sure I could explain the mistake. ‘No, you’re thinking of Tony Abbot, the Australian Prime Minister… not that that I have threatened him. But he doesn’t care at all about the Great Barrier Reef or those poor boat people on that island… Ah, I’ve remembered the American connection, it’s those Okras, isn’t it?’
‘Ladies fingers?’ Inspector Madeleine looked puzzled.
‘No, I mean Orcas, that’s their real name, Killer Whales, they shouldn’t be kept in those Sea World Parks.’
‘Mrs Jones, I think we should start from the beginning, or perhaps the end’ said the chief. ‘We believe you have joined a campaign against TTIP.’
‘TT what… is that one of those insecticides that kills bees?’
‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade deal between the USA and the EU.’
‘So what’s wrong with that?’
‘Why don’t you tell us; a lot, according to your 38 degree friends, I hope they can get you a good solicitor.’