And There Was Ninja Moustache (Chapter 57)

Warwick “Wazza” Merton: That was Queen there with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, here on 91.6. You’re listening to Jane and Wazza in the Morning, helping you to get through another dreaded Monday. [Scream sound effect.] Oh, come on, it’s not that bad.

 Jane Knead: Speak for yourself, Wazza.

 Wazza: Whoops! Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

 Jane: Woke up on the wrong side of eight tequilas is more like it.

 Wazza: That’s just a regular Sunday for you, isn’t it?

 Jane: Oh, shut up! [Wazza laughs.] No, what happened was, a girlfriend of mine who’s getting married decided to have a responsible hen’s night.

Wazza: So, just the two strippers then? [Slide whistle plays.]

 Jane: Oh, trust you to think of that. [Wazza laughs.] No, what I mean is, instead of going out on a Saturday night and drinking way too much, she had all the girls over to her place for lunch and a few quiet drinks on a Sunday.

 Wazza: Oh, I see. A more subdued get together.

 Jane: Yes, well, that was the plan. But a few quiet drinks turned into a few more drinks…

 Wazza: Uh-oh.

Jane: Yeah. The quiet little get-together left us all with hangovers at five in the afternoon.

Wazza: Oh-ho dear. Well, you weren’t the only one who had an interesting weekend. Saturday night there was some action happening outside of town, with loud noises—possibly explosions—power outages, and strange lights in the sky. A lot of people have been calling in, asking what in the world was going on, and a few people have even offered some interesting theories as to what might have caused it all. Well, to help us get to the bottom of this mystery, we have local police chief, Colin Butcher, on the phone. Thanks for joining us, Col.

Senior Sergeant Colin Butcher: Thank you for having me on the show.

Jane: Now Colin, this activity took place up behind Malcolm Creek, is that right?

Snr Sgt Butcher: That’s correct. On Saturday evening, between roughly six-thirty and seven-thirty pm, the loud noises that were heard and the lights many people witnessed all occurred on a property west of town.

Jane: And I’m told you were on the scene.

Snr Sgt Butcher: I arrived there after we received a call around seven-thirty.

Wazza: We’ve had some callers this morning say it was like something from The X-Files. Can you tell us what was going on? Was it aliens? [The Twilight Zone theme plays.]

 Snr Sgt Butcher: Aliens? No.

 Jane (whispered): What are you doing?

 Wazza (whispered): What?

 Jane: So, what exactly was the cause of this disturbance?

 Snr Sgt Butcher: It was just a bonfire that got out of hand, and some homemade fireworks.

 Jane: Is it usual for the highest-ranking police member in the area to be called out on a Saturday night simply to inspect a bonfire? And one lady on a neighbouring property claims to have seen five police vehicles parked there as late as eight am Sunday. That seems excessive.

 Wazza: You want to see a bonfire? You should come over to my place the next time my wife tries to cook a steak! [Wazza laughs awkwardly.]

 Jane: Don’t interrupt.

 Wazza (whispered): I’m just trying to keep it light.

 Snr Sgt Butcher: The call we received simply let us know of loud noises and strange lights, certainly allowing the possibility of a serious situation. It was only once police were at the scene that we found the situation to be simply a nuisance and not a danger to the public. As for the multiple police vehicles at the scene, I can tell you that our station only has two cars, and one of them has not been driven in a week—we’re waiting on a new fan belt.

 Wazza: Oh boy, don’t get me started on mechanics. [Car honk sound effect.]

 Jane: Shut up, Wazza.

 [Indistinct whispering.]

 Jane: Yesterday, I drove past the property where this “bonfire” took place—

 Wazza: Wait, I thought you were getting drunk at your friend’s hen’s party yesterday.

 Jane: Piss off, Waz. Colin, the house on that property looks like it has been half demolished. Does that have anything to do with the events of Saturday night?

 Wazza: Jeez Jane, settle down.

 Snr Sgt Butcher: Police did not conduct an inspection of the house, so I can’t shed any light on that one, Jane.

 Wazza: Uh, ha-ha, well, we all know you’re not just local police chief, Col, you’re also senior coach of our rugby league team, the mighty Bulldogs. How are we looking for the upcoming season?

 Jane: What the [expletive] Wazza? I’m trying to do an interview. Something’s going on, and this guy’s trying to cover it up.

 Wazza (whispered): It’s morning radio, Jane.

 [Indistinct talking.]

 Wazza: Jane!

 [Door slams.]

 Wazza (away from microphone): Bloody hell, it’s FM radio and she wants to be Julian Assange… What?

 [Indistinct talking.]

 Wazza: That’s right folks, our Bulldogs are looking to make the finals for the first time in six years. What are our chances, Col?

 Snr Sgt Butcher: Mate, it’s early days, but things are looking good around the club. Ryan Zest, as you know, had that horrific knee injury in round five last year. That really hurt us. But he’s recovered from surgery and is going to be one hundred per cent for the start of the season. We’ve got a strong forward pack, led by our skipper, big Ollie Taylor. And a new recruit, Les Guinness—he’s come down from Ipswich and he’s going to be a real boon for us at fullback.

 Wazza: Well, there you have it. Could it be the year of the Bulldogs? Make sure you get out there for the season opener in two weeks’ time and support the boys. Col, thanks for your time, mate, and good luck with the season.

 Snr Sgt Butcher: Thanks Wazza.

 Wazza: It’s six minutes to seven. Stick around, after the break we’ve got all the news and weather, and some interesting gossip from Hollywood. You’re listening to 91.6, the home of great music.

    —Transcript of a radio interview with Senior Sergeant Colin Butcher, the third police officer to arrive at Budgie’s place on the night of Rory’s fortieth birthday party. Broadcast 24th February, 2020.

© 2021 MILES VENISON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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