Simon Warmsley- Maddock, ( his mother had added the ‘Warmsley’ in a fit of vanity), when a boy of six, was a smooth cheeked young lad whose complexion was eased towards his parent’s idea of perfection by a diet of chocolate, doughnuts and a light sprinkling of multi- vitamin tablets.. He had little to offer the world except unbreakable self confidence and thus, over a career spanning thirty years, morphed into Major-General Sir Simon Warmsley- Maddock, Chief of Staff at the army’s Department of Hygiene and Deportment .
This crucial role, which developed in importance with the growth of television and multimedia, led him to engage in periods of public speaking when the mysteries of his role could be revealed before a sleeping audience. In a hall outside Exeter in the County of Devon, where at least twenty people had gathered to hear his address, Major General Warmsley- Maddock , in a languid imitation of discrete ability, rose to engage the silent crowd.
The para-normal seldom makes itself known to us, but a well-trained and vigorous fruit fly, who had been a classmate of Simon’s in a previous life was in the room plotting his revenge. An unforgiven scone-theft made by the glorious general when the fly was still in our dimension was the cause of the vendetta. The flies early death and transformation to another species had been unfortunate, but the bitterness of some crimes lives beyond a single lifespan, and so it was for that boy, now buzzing before the fearless General.
As the speech began, the well-trained fly landed on his nose and tickled him gloriously. Warmsley- Maddock moved to wave him off, but the smart fly remembered the General’s strategems and ducked neatly to the left before fluttering its wings over Simon’s eyebrows. The physical dialogue continued with growing energy, until the audience realised they were in danger of being entertained: video’s were made.
“Get off me you stupid bugger” screamed the General to the delight of various You Tube enthusiasts until, at last, the fly retired for a rest. The General, now not completely smart, searched for his notes which had fallen under the reading stand. Dignity forgotten, he crawled on his knees to retrieve them, thus revealing a pair of the pink panties which gave him comfort on formal occasions.
Within days, he was a star on many computer screens, and was shifted to a new department, with less damaging public repercussions, as Head of National Security: a role where competence was less required.