Diary from Limousin 26

MondayGemini  May 21 –  June 20 You’re on a different planet today, Gemini, hyperactive and lit up like a pinball machine    7 a.m. Gazelles Inc. have made 2 appointments with Mr Vitale, supreme commander of Limousin Health & Safety and Scumbag-d’Arcy’s boss.  First as Madame d’Arcy, then as Madame Françoise Petit. Decided to leave early, avoid parking problems. Sweep into brasserie, order breakfast for 27, ignore cheeky owner’s comments re Ayatollah letting us free from the harem. If only he knew.   8.45 Horribly hot in bedsheet-robes and veils. Françoise, Bernie and I wearing regular clothes thereunder for second appointment.  Think perhaps was a mistake to recycle old net curtains from one’s boudoir. “Don’t you use fabric conditioner?” Yveline complains, scratching her face behind the makeshift burka.    9 a.m. Mr Vitale looks slightly nervous as we file in. Deduct brownie points for not offering to fetch 24 extra chairs. Have agreed to leave most of the talking to Yvette. She can speak French like she’s lived in Djerba all her life. “We is Madame d’Arcy…..Dat big one over dair,” she says sulkily, pointing at Martine, “is Scumbag’s current flavour of duh month, even though she’s only wife No. 9, She’s expectin’ quads…”   Sneak glance quickly at Martine. Eyes blazing behind burka, think may be genuine fury.    “….duh ting is, our husband is not supportin’ us properly…” Yvette lowers voice. “Hanky-panky with his former seckerterry at Planning, we hears….it’s the kids you see…mighty hard to feed 102 little mouths….”  she whines. “Beh oui…”“Disgustin’….”“Praise duh lawd,” I mumble into my veil.Mr Vitale now rather slack-jawed I notice, his gaze travelling over waves of white, portly wives. Wipes hands on hanky, twists same, laughs nervously  Have urge to join him, cough horribly instead, set off my fellow wives. Sounds like tuberculosis outbreak.  “…maybe apply for attachment of earnings, or involve duh noospapers….. But we’s reasonable wimmin, Mr Vitamin,” Yvette declares, bringing appeal to a close. Think is slightly questionable statement, but sounds good. “We don’ wanta cause no trouble. So we’s tinkin’ perhaps you, as duh big boss, can bring some pressure to bear on Mistuh duh-Arcy….” Ragged cheering from Gazelle-wives.   9.30 Shell-shocked but relieved Mr Vitale ushers us out. “Er, I have another appointment…I’ll do what I can…” he squeaks weakly. Rush to loo, get stuck in door, have collective hysterics. Practice serious expressions in mirror with Françoise and Bernie, throw robes to co-wives. Bolt back to Mr. Vitale’s office, compose ourselves, knock twice.   “Yes?” “Madame Petit,” Françoise says. “And my, er, colleagues,” waving a hand towards Bernie and me.Mr Vitale peers round door, scans corridor, wipes brow, shakes hands. Notice poor man’s palms very clammy. “Someone in your department has cocked up big-time;” Françoise goes straight for jugular, slipping into same chair she occupied 3 minutes ago.  “We have support and funding from the Region, industry, our commune etc, for this brilliant initiative….” Mr Vitale”s hand shaking rather badly as he tries to pour water into glass. Gives up when desk flooded, slumps back. Looks rather ill, to be honest. Fill his glass, hand it to him.“Thank you Madame, you’re very kind. It’s been a terrible day….” Tut sympathetically, smile encouragingly as he pops pills from desk drawer.“Yes, well…” Françoise continues, looking at him disapprovingly. “One of your er… clerks has decided he doesn’t want to see Limousin put on the map….have jobs created….a Mr….” Opens file, reads sheet. “d’Arcy, I believe. Appalling handwriting actually, difficult to decipher.”   Mr Vitale re-slumps, mumbles at desk puddle.. “Bloody d’Arcy….”. Grabs phone, barks thereat. Secretary scuttles in with file. Monsieur V. turns pages rapidly, mouth set in thin line. “Approved,” he mutters, slamming file shut. “Send the usual permit form to these, er, charming ladies, please,” handing the papers to the secretary. “And bring d’Arcy’s personnel file,” he snarls.   Have quick victory dance in street before meeting rest of SWAT team in car park. Contemplate our recent achievements as we drive home in convoy. Have been arrested, appeared on TV, repelled invasion by Darth Ravers, been temporarily and devastatingly wed to Scumbag.   7 p.m. Arlette much better, but still in no mood for gym torture. Gives further gentle instruction in Tai Chi, for which one has developed real enthusiasm. Thump Babette on nose while Parting The Clouds, fall over Yveline whilst perfecting Pushing The Waves Towards The Horizon.   TuesdayGemini  May 21 –  June 20 Get down to finishing some jobs today, but beware of letting your imagination run riot   Open Fatal Throttling Near Limoges, A Novel.doc. Only one page left to write!!!   Apolline really annoyed with that Martin cretin, interfering with her love-life, currently bashing Henri to pulp on floor. Damn.  Will be hell to remove blood stains from carpet. Ap. shouts warning as Martin prepares to crush Henri’s skull with CD player. “That was a present from my sister!” she shrieks. Martin pauses, turns, looks at her quizzically. Henri seizes his chance, whacks Martin on head with fruit bowl (empty, our heroine ate last banana this morning, no time to shop, too busy solving murder mysteries). Now where were we, darling? Henri says, spitting out teeth. Darling. Apolline feels warm glow, even though carpet now a real mess, Henri’s good looks ruined. He…
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