Cadbury: So we hear that Ted Fudd is a Fisherman.
The Detection Party had reached its mellow spot. People were seated at their tables, eating, clinking things, shuffling napkins and shuffling other more obtuse items that had been tirelessly laid out by Elfonso Coconautica and his army of maniac minions. Somewhere in between bedazzling mystique, frenetic shaking and ambulance stretchers, was a narrow window of time for gentle discussion, idle probing, and general chewing of the fat and the skinny.
At The Main Table, Ted Fudd wasn’t chewing anything. Firstly, he found the food disgusting. Secondly, he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Earlier that day he had been caught with an illegal load of fish by some undercover Deputy Marine Inspector in a dinghy, then he lost the lottery at odds of 175 million to 174.99 million, and now this. Whatever it was.
Cadbury: Is this true, Ted Fudd? That you are a fisherman?
Ted Fudd responded to every inquiry in life with a 5 second stare, hoping it would go away. He also used the time to calculate the response which, if the inquiry didn’t go away, would subsequently make it do so in the shortest time possible.
Jeb: [After about 3 seconds] Fudd! [Whisky] What’s your raging caper, man!? [Wiping brow] Stop sweating us out!
Just as Fudd seemed about to answer Cadbury interjected.
Cadbury: Broad term that – “Fisherman” – given that “fish” can be both multi-finitive and post-participle – but really the operative point is that we are all Fishing for something. [Glances around the table] However only Ted Fudd pulls the objects of his desire, wriggling in mortal fear, from the depths of the ocean.
Fudd squinted at Cadbury as though he was having trouble seeing him. The others around the table were half listening, half staring into the half-distance and Jeb Smithikins was having stern words to a passing server.
Cadbury: Or the depths of some other body of water… the operative concept being that those desires, they are wet… and pulling wet, wriggling desires from the depths, that is the theme in operation here, and that what Ted Fudd does. And that is why Ted Fudd has joined us today. [Nodding at Fudd, as though to acknowledge his thanking him for something] Either that or there was a mix-up. I had been considering the latter to be honest, however I think I’ve got it worked out now.
Jeb: Never met a fish I liked the taste of! Like eating salty mud and bones! [He had picked up a cube of food from his plate and was inspecting it]
Grigor Xanxes, the Mathematician, had started a conversation with Genotithia LeMan about the Moth Epidemic and its impact on the stock market.
The intricate intertwining of such systems was Xanxes’ central topic, while Gent seemed more concerned about the moths.
Gent: These moths are not coming from the place from which moths normally come.
Xanxes: Cocoons are fascinating.
Gent: My pants are fascinating. As cells from which concepts explode they share many properties with cocoons. But these moths are not coming from my pants. I challenge you to think about who would benefit from all this…
Cadbury: It is time to ask a few hard questions. Each of here has some desire that was once pulled from the depths, and is still to this day wriggling, suffering, twisting for its last breath on the meat hook of your lives. I excuse you Gullet, since you are the blandest person in the world and are here purely for administrative purposes.
Gullet was diligently making notes on three portable devices.
Cadbury: Rafaella Ellison, you are clutched tighter that the manacles that Grigor uses each night with such mathematical precision. Every breath you take is sucked from the wretched gasping lungs of your clients, and stolen from the lips of those that you crush with your actions and your movements and your injunctions. Your life itself is stolen from the wombs of our mothers and you parade before us as though your taut, vice-like mannerisms are saving us from our vices. But, really, we know it’s not getting shackled, but getting released from the shackles, that turns you on. That is your fantasy.
Rafaella was staring at Cadbury wide-eyed, with some hint of a metallic tear in her left eye. Grigor Xanxes was looking under his armpit for something, Eastman Piper was smirking, Phaorette was leaning forward expectantly. Jeb was signalling a waiter.
Cadbury: So tell us, Rafaella… did Mark von Cola not properly follow your orders to give you orders, or was he just bad at math?