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3. January 2023

Mr Lush S3E6 – A typical upper class ritual


Daniel Paul Finbar Carey

If you’ve ever spent the night next to a London rubbish bin in typical British weather, you will know exactly how Mr Lush feels. If you have even the smallest amount of imagination, you can imagine how he feels. Lush, sporting a 5-o’clock-three-days-ago shadow, wakes in a side street in Mayfair. He’s feeling a little bit sensitive this morning. CPP Earth host Sir David Kittenborough (known to some online as Catty McCatface) describes Lush’s surroundings thusly:

The habitat of this particular member of species homo sapiens sapiens seems to be located in between the tall, ugly, and dirty façades that so characterise the city. The area is almost entirely devoid of flora and fauna. It is sparse and desolate. Overflowing trashcans, exploded rubbish bags, and empty crisp packets do not provide the ideal living conditions for most lifeforms. This is a territory reserved almost exclusively for two species: the common housefly (Musca domestica) and the overweight, self-pitying barfly of the subspecies homo sapiens sapiens Lushicus. What a pitiable existence this truly is.

As Sir David’s voice begins to trail off, Lush lifts his head and spies two of the aforementioned houseflies engaging in their morning toilette. While one of the flies is lathering up his armpits, he can be heard to groan: “Oh, Fred! D.R. (short for drosophila, of course) Bearris just isn’t what it used to be. It doesn’t lather half as much as it used to.” Charles, as the first fly is called (NB: a surprisingly rare name in fly culture, oddly), throws the bar of soap to Fred. Fred, in the manner of a person whom has said this many, many times before, opines: “You know my opinion on this. The world just isn’t what it used to be.”

Lush stands up and begins to brush some of the dirt off of his black and grey striped double-breasted suit (the last vestige of great cousin Alfred’s famous wardrobe) and then proceeds to use some puddle water to wash his face. As he does this, he has a vague, unsettling memory of something called The Daftman’s Contract (and also that he has somehow managed to lose all of his money [as our American cousins would say: he petered all his green away]).

It will be three days later that he will discover the exact details of what the contract consists of: You begin by squirting a lemon into your eye, then you snort a line of salt, and then you do two shots of Tequila. With the lemon in your eye, the salt in your nose, and the Tequila in your mouth, you then proceed to dive into the Thames and swim under fifteen row boats. At the sixteenth boat, you climb out, you pour the lemon from your eye, the salt from your nose, and the Tequila from your mouth back into a glass, you set the mixture alight, and you down it in one. Once this is done, you are expected to brand yourself with the burning hot glass. This is, of course, as we all know, a fairly standard ritual amongst the British upper class.

It is still unclear to Lush just how many contracts he ‘signed’, although he does count at least 18 brands on his body. That being said, there are areas of his body he believes it wiser not to inspect. After this inspection, Lush proceeds to waddle towards the high street. He feels very far now from the drinking champions, very far indeed from the associated fan club, the furthest possible from the drinking championship groupies. He feels entirely, as he puts it: “Alone.” He continues: “Am I simply destined to be alone? Perhaps I want to be alone. If so, at least I have achieved one goal in my life.” He smiles and then sighs.

He waits at the traffic light. As Lush begins to fall into a deep depression, he muses on whether anyone would mind at all if he just stepped out in front of traffic and was obliterated by a double-decker bus like a fly on the windshield of an 18-wheel truck on the highway. (NB: Incidentally, the version imagined by Lush is eerily similar to how Fred’s uncle Jeff Goldblum [no relation to the Hollywood star] died years ago.) Just as he feels a tear run down his cheek, Lush recalls the lady with the red handbag from the bar. “Wait a minute… Am I wrong or was there a spark there? If there is one thing I have, it’s a keen eye. Everyone says it!” So keen, in fact, is his eye that his ophthalmologist, his optician, his gallerist, and even his best friends all refuse to see him. He recalls the lady with the red handbag making a business proposition of some kind. Something involving a large sum of money. Furthermore, she had complimented him on his various talents (how she had come to hear of these is anybody’s guess). As the light turns green, Lush lifts his foot to continue his depressed walk through London. However, his leg is oddly heavy. He looks down to find Olivier the ocelot has dug his claws into his trouser leg in a desperate attempt to get his attention.

I’ve been looking for you. I got a call this morning from Fred & Charles Fisher (you know, the fly Fishers who have that quaint little place in Mayfair) this morning, telling me that you had stayed in their guest bedroom again. You really must stop intruding on them like that. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day. I heard about the Lady in Red’s offer. The luck of the [insert punchline here], am I right? It sounds like an excellent and politically important assignment. But never mind that. My God, man, you reek. Go take a shower and then… we plan!”


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