Scene: Dark, almost deserted car park in west Trinidad.
Mr Live Wire makes his way towards the lone vehicle in the area. Suddenly, the vehicle switches its high beam light on, almost blinding him.
Mr Live Wire: Hello?! Hello?!
A figure steps out of the vehicle. Mr Live Wire can see the person is wearing a trench coat and appears to be male. But he cannot make out his features.
Figure (in an aggressive whisper): Shhh… Keep your voice down. You think you’re Kes?! Why the hell would I ask to meet here if I wanted everybody to know what was happening?!
Live Wire (in a loud whisper): Shucks. Sorry. Who am I talking to you?
Figure: Steups. Allyuh reporters stupid for spite eh?! What would be the point of all this subterfuge if I was just going to give you my name?! No wonder it took years for Lois Lane to figure out that Superman was Clark Kent without glasses!
Mr Live Wire appears to ponder that for a moment.
Live Wire: It’s about 30 degrees tonight. You’re not hot in that trench coat?
Figure: Man’s not hot… Don’t study me. Focus, young man. Focus. You reporters are so easily distracted by the superficial, that you’re always missing the big story.
Live Wire (in a slightly annoyed tone): Dude, I don’t play Halloween. And I’m not auditioning for a part in the Crying Game or whatever. So tell me what this is about right now or I’m heading home.
Without stepping into the light, the figure in a trench coat proffers an envelope. Live Wire opens it. It is a printout of a newspaper article.
Live Wire: Steups. The Express story on Gary Griffith’s KPMG report?! What happen… You want the password to get behind the paywall or wot?
Figure: Important Ministry of National Security documents are slipped to the media—and a reporter of great interest to the government—at a most curious time. Your job, Mr Live Wire, is to find out the source of that leak.
Live Wire: You must have confused me with someone who gives a s**t. Why would I help you? Stuff gets leaked all the time. Tough rocks.
Figure: Look in the envelope again.
Live Wire rummages through the envelope and this time pulls out a cheque. There are a couple zeros on it.
Live Wire (straightens up and is clearly bristling): Let me tell you something. The likes of you think everyone has a price. That you can just flash money around and get people to dance to your tune. Clearly you don’t know who I am. I don’t have a price. I am a man of integrity; I would never cheapen my profession—no matter how many zeros you put on this cheque! In this time I waste talking to you, John-Williams probably did at least 20 retarded things and I am bong to find out four or five. Let me get back to my work, eh sir…
Figure: What about if I put a “1” in front of those zeroes?
Live Wire: Ahmm… Well, I think I actually do have a little opening in my schedule that I forgot about.
The mysterious man takes the cheque and makes a crucial edit.
Figure: You’re not as stupid as you look then eh.
Live Wire: Thanks… Wait… What?!
Figure: Focus, focus. Something strange is happening here.
Live Wire: How do you mean?
Figure: The Prime Minister won the election after vowing to make the country safer and re-do all the nonsense done by the People’s Partnership national security council. Then after two and a half years of making less headway than Roget in maths lessons, he hires the man responsible for the national security mess under the last administration to begin with. And you know what? People cheer!
Live Wire: Well, that’s an interesting way to look at it…
Figure: Imagine you and the madam hop into the car to go on a night out and you realise you have no gas. So you just hop right out again and say ‘darling, we reach’. And she then says ‘oh gosh, this place nice for true… I always wanted to go here!’
Live Wire: Well…
Figure: Or the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert—a really clever and handsome man, by the way—is robbed of a cell phone; and the police send a small platoon to get it back like it’s Saving Private Ryan or something. The kind of thing they do all the time, I understand. And the heartless media blasts the Honourable Minister and trivialise the whole thing, playing they don’t know the hours you have to spend to get all the right apps and thing…
But then Stuart Young—as National Security Minister, eh—brags about deploying police to get back a van for some dotish reporter; and everybody calling him pro-active and caring. What make Khamal so special? Eh? He is half-Scarlet Ibis or something?!
Live Wire: Well, I admit that’s hypocritical. I feel for Khamal though. They even stole his vehicle a second time in front of the police station. The underworld was passing around that Kia like it was a joint…
Figure: Well, you know the saying: ‘The more you thief, God laughs.’
Live Wire: You mean thief from thief makes God laugh?
Figure: I have a newer translation of the Bible.
Live Wire: What…?
Figure: I swear you have the concentration of a goldfish. Steups. We’re talking about the Express story. They announced Gary and Stuart as the “dream team”—you would swear Rowley just sign Messi and Cristiano! They raised a glass to the little suck-up when he talked about “deploying” police to find Khamal van. Idiot probably couldn’t tell the difference between a baton and an umbrella.
Then, you have Express’ big investigative reporter on Facebook talking about how smart Stuart is. Clearly the clue there is that she found it necessary to mount a defence in the first place…
And then comes the story yesterday which makes Gary look like a pathological liar and creates tensions for the ruling party and her teddybear. So what am I missing?
Live Wire: If you’re so damn smart, why do you need my help to figure it out?
Figure: You want me to go into the mind of a reporter?! To go full dotish? Only a corbeaux could think like a corbeaux. That’s where you come in.
Live Wire: Was that supposed to be a f***ing pep talk?!
Figure: Don’t forget the cheque in your hand. I bet that’s enough to carry all 25 of your readers out for drinks or something…
Live Wire (raising his voice): You think I don’t know the one person who stands to gain from this information in Rowley’s Cabinet?! The one person who would think it necessary to wear gloves to hand me an envelope, so I won’t see his skin tone?! Somebody who is trying to blind me with a bright light so I won’t see he is standing on a foot stool, and that he is about the size of a smurf?
Figure (in an angry hiss): Careful who you calling a smurf… My son has Apps on his phone that cost more than your damn website! You don’t know why your head bald? Is because nothing grows on wasteland!
Live Wire: What do you know about growing?! You look like you had your last growth spurt when you were seven!
The two men clench fists and glare in the direction of each other. Gradually, Mr Live Wire lets some air out of his chest…
Live Wire (sighs): So the Express called Gary and ‘Stewie’ the ‘dream team’ right? Like Ben and Jerry, David Rudder and Carl Jacob, Trump and Twitter, Marlene and Burkie, Sacha Singh and people man…
Figure: What are you getting at?
Live Wire: Who stands to lose out with this budding bromance? Who benefits from putting a strain on the blossoming relationship between minister and top cop?
Live Wire: Who lost their title as the most quotable minister? Who was the star pupil with the blue-chip ministry until Stuart started snatching portfolios like Darryl used to grab secretaries?!
Figure: Wait a minute… You mean…?
Live Wire: You’re trying to figure out who could persuade Asha that this is a story worth publishing, right? Tell yourself what sort of character could ellicit that sort of favour. Remember, we are talking about a reporter who see more legal briefs than the average judge…
Figure: No. No! My head is spinning…
Live Wire: Like you’re at the amusement park? Like you’re on the…
Figure: Faris wheel!
The mysterious figure falls off the stool.
Live Wire: You’ve got your man.
The figure dusts himself off and jumps in his vehicle.
Figure: Go driver! Take me to the Prime Minister’s residence! I’m indispensable again!
Driver: The Prime Minister’s office or home, sir?
Figure: No jackass. The bar by the golf course!
They speed off into the darkness.
Live Wire (muttering to himself): Damn fool. Stuart obviously did it himself to throw everyone off the track and get his reporter back on the investigative beat with a bang. Hahahaha. The only question is: what are they playing at? What is the long term goal?
To be continued…
Editor’s Note: This column is pure satire and all conversations are faked. No offence is meant at parties named; although they probably deserve it.