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The Bunker - Episode 1

by Greg-Goode 

Posted: 29 October 2008
Word Count: 1178
Summary: This is episode 1 of Chateau Goode, the new online blog novel serialised every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am (GMT) from 14th October 2008 until 16th April 2009Ö Go to www.chateaugoode.com to read the latest episode.

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A stripe suited bumbler, all yellow and black,
Escaping the Chateau to plan his attack:
An omen was witnessed - the mission revealed,
When mead was forbidden, his fate became sealed,
With sword at the ready, and blood curdling roar,
The truce finally ended: ďGreg Goode declares war!Ē

Yesterday, I received an omen so abundantly clear; I was almost hurled sideways, Victoriaís words still ringing between my ears:

ďThe Chateau is our home, Greg. I refuse to sanction a swarm of insects, which could sting our kids to death in their beds.Ē

The line was delivered with Olympian heartlessness. I was shaken and about to make my feelings clear, when I saw it: a magnificent bumblebee sailing in through the French widows.

It was 4pm. Victoria and I were in the front sitting room. The light streamed in behind my wifeís head; crisscrossing the bust of Julius Caesar.

The bee cruised straight towards the mantelpiece. It was obvious it meant business. Magnificent in yellow and black, it poised on Caesarís noble cranium.

I faltered on my feet; it didnít stop there. The beeís next port of call was the sideboard. Where, with a deliberation so characteristic of insects, it performed a waggle dance over the cheese platter. This complete, it flew back to rejoin its comrades in the garden.

Victoria looked at me intently - oblivious to what had just taken place. I felt woozy. The bee had consciously chosen to pose on the bust of Caesar. Heíd gone out of his way to demonstrate his complex figure of eight dance round the oozing Camembert.

This must be an omen. An omen not dissimilar from the one witnessed by Caesar himselfÖ before he crossed the Rubicon!

This was a cry for action, a call to arms. It was this message, which spurred me to perform my first act of rebellion this morning. A sign from the firmament, convincing me to come out here and begin this broadcast. So ďHavoc!Ē I cry. Let slip the dogs of warÖ

There are so many things which need addressing. Iím slightly daunted at the prospect. But the only way to tackle them is to start smallÖ and to start immediately. Itís the way of the world. Itís the ethos that gave me thirty successful years in business.

Iím Greg Goode, youíve probably heard of me: until January business was my life. Now Iíve passed the day-to-day running of my Empire on to my sons. Iíve been liberated. Iíve emerged from the hive. But freed from 15-hour days in the office, Iíve discovered the worlds gone mad. Every aspect of life has descended into lunacy.

Since I stopped working my eyes have been opened. Iíve been privy to the world perpetuated in womenís glossy magazines, on television, on billboards across our towns and cities. Like a weed, a pernicious dogma is spreading. Itís choking and strangling honest values and culture.

Ideals, which have existed since time immemorial, have slipped. When did the subtle shifting of manís place in the world occur? This insidious lunacy is tainting everything. Gentlemanís tailoring, for example, has gone berserk. Things canít go on like this. There are strategies we can action, solutions we can implement.

Until yesterday filling The Old Hive and renovating The Old Meadery, which lies directly behind Le Chenil, was the sum of my retirement dream. For years I looked forward to spending my remaining years, tending to the bees, making honey and fermenting it into exciting meads. No more suits, no more meetings or hasty lunches: I envisaged fresh mead, comfortable clothing and a banquet of cheeses.

Now Iíve realised this was a selfish idea. Iíve spent the last thirty years making things happen. I canít just sit on my laurels now that thereís real work to be done!

Nobody else is fighting for good taste and decency. Yet, surely this is all our responsibility? Perhaps people are too busy to notice whatís happening. Until January, I too was wrapped up in other things. But now Iíve had my own eyes opened - Iím going to make sure everyone wakes up and sees the truth!

After I was called to perform my feat of rebellion this morning, I knew the time had come for me to take on the cause. No one else out there is raising an army. This is my mission, my calling, the culmination of my lifeís work. So, here I stand before you Ė Greg Goode, ready to lead you to victory.

This will be a triumph for common sense. A coup for clothing, foodÖ for things that really matter. Together weíll rally in the face of injustice and vanquish this hegemony of wrong.

Now, Iím geared up to unfold my fighting plan I donít want any interruptions. Thatís why I decided to set up camp out here. Le chenil is the perfect place; it was constructed the same year as the chateau, 1789, and was built as the beekeeperís cottage. Buried in the woods, between The Old Meadery and The Chateau, it has a triangular roof, a stable door, and is completely alien from the main house.

Iíve decked it out how I want. A couple of art deco chairs with the stuffing coming out, a scruffy writing desk which belonged to Somerset Maugham, and a battered 1920ís bookcase that once lived at Charleston house. Last night, I released the spare kettle and fridge from the pantry and moved the computer down from my study. Now Iím self-sufficient. This is the best office Iíve ever had. The finest campaign room: my bunker.

I havenít got long! Iím itching to see the expressions later when they discover my defiant sabotageÖ

A whole litre of cream in the celery soupÖ and double cream too. Thousands of extra calories added - just like that. Today, I feel like Caesar on the brink of battle: this is Bellum Civile.

Thereís nothing as fine as good cooking, and nothing so disappointing as the bastardised low fat alternative! Why should we stand for it? Why should we put up with Ďskinny camembertí or pay attention to a media, which hero-worships the malnourished? Weíve got the food - letís eat it!

The sheer onslaught of wrongness is proving too much for some. Millions have been conquered. Like an army of second-rate soldiers theyíre lying down, rolling over and giving up.

My fellow Americans have gone insane! As have the Germanís, British, Italians Ė even the French. Real culture has been replaced by an international obsession with orange skin, awful clothes and the sort of eating habits necessary to wear them.

I canít believe what Iím seeing. Where are the fighters to strike this threat down? Someone must emerge to tackle this culture bully! No one else is stepping forward Ė so I willÖ

I have a plan to action. With the help of a few good men we can tackle this head-on.

Chateau Goode will be coming out twice a week. So, make sure you come back on Thursday and together weíll vanquish this deadly foe!

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