Magnus Hardon gargled a vocal cord lubricant made of honey and mint. Swirling it around his Crested 3D brushed teeth, he spat into the washbasin. He tossed back his floppy fringe and flicked the elastic band on his wrist. A little pain got his juices flowing and focused him on the interview ahead. Not that he was looking forward to it, but the fact that ‘he’ had caught him in a compromising position with his nubile, barefooted wife, meant that he owed him. The least he could do was to smooth things over.
He sat at his desk, earphones on, and glanced at the man he was about to interview. No wonder your wife looked for a tad of excitement with me.
Alister Gump, checked shirt buttoned up to the neck, shifts frantically in his seat. Fiddling with a thick leather amulet wound tight on his wrist, he tries to look straight at his interviewer, but his strabismus skews under stress.
3…..2….1 You’re live on air, says the radio producer through his headphones.
“Welcome to KBC’s morning programme. I am your host Magnus Hardon and today we have our local sanitation engineer and all-round tree hugger and fern fondler, Alister Gump.”
“Alister, can you tell our listeners why you are here today? What message have you got for them?”
Alister places his lips too close to the mike. He’s on a mission to inform.
“Do you know how many objects, bags of trash and useless machinery we’ve dumped all over?” he says.
“Sorry Alister, couldn’t quite catch that. Can you repeat?”
Alister snorts, his righteous anger creeping up his neck and face in a sweaty flush. Maybe it is the tightly buttoned shirt, Magnus thinks.
“It’s disgraceful. We excoriate landscapes without mercy, fill them with trash and useless machinery.”
“Trash. Machinery. Please elaborate. Our listeners wanna know,” says Magnus, preening himself on the reflective surface of his hip flask before taking a swig.
“Detritus everywhere, estimated to be 500,000 lbs in weight. Faecal and urine samples, oxygen filters, batteries, cameras and vomit bags.”
“Heck, we are an irresponsible lot, aren’t we?” says Magnus.
Alister tightens his fists. “It’s gross and needs to be cleaned up. We are battling to save the planet, and then we did this? Horrendous abuse of privilege, I say. We need to stop.”
“That sounds gross, Alister.”
Alister rises in his chair, eyes focused on nowhere in particular, but his voice conveys a tenacity that the listeners can hear. “Look, Magnus, a catastrophe is awaiting us because of our slovenly behaviour. We override nature without a care, our self-entitlement to plunder and discard has left us in a goddamn hellhole of crap and.”…
“Careful now, Alister. We don’t want complaints about foul language,” Magnus says with a snigger.
Alister settles back into his chair and breathes deep, his eyes swinging towards his nasal bridge.
“Where’s all this rubbish dumped?” says Magnus.
Alister glares at Magnus with disdain. “On the moon, man. On the moon.”
“And who do you think should clean up this mess? The man on the moon, perhaps?”
“You’re being facetious, Magnus,”. The top button on his shirt shoots across the desk.
“You suggest that we use billions of taxpayers’ money to do a trash run to the moon”, says Magnus, looking straight at his interviewee for the first time.
Alister stares with laser eyes at Magnus.
“Why not Magnus? Are we not all duty bound to clear up the messes we make in life?”
Magnus flicks his elastic band with an extra hard twang.
“Yes, indeed Alister, I suppose we are.”