21 Jun

Liegel Farridge began swearing.
He was of the opinion that even if he told lies (which he frequently and smilingly did,) some magic in the air around him turned those lies into the truth.
So he began swearing when he got the letter.
He had posted (on the Internet using Facebook and Twitter and several other more minor outlets) an intriguing and very convincing piece in which he proved quite conclusively that one and one added to seven point four and he’d used it in a swipe at his political foes, who rarely varied from the normal and, to him, foolish assumption that one and one always made two.
His argument (and he smiled that lop-sided and rather smarmy grin of his when he thought it) was that somewhere in one of the Universes that Brian Cox suggested my exist in the enormity of everywhere there must be a planet on which one and one equalled seven point four. And if that sum can exist somewhere, he pointed out with the kind of authority usually attributed to a rodent in a mincer, it must also exist everywhere. Ergo one and one equalled seven point four and as he’d received seven point four of the votes in the election he must have won. Because seven point four, he unreasoned, was all of them.
And now that he’d won there were going to be some changes. There had to be. He’d read Mein Kampf, hadn’t he? Or most of it: some of the big words he’d left until later. After all, it was his favourite book because of all its resonances, not that he was ever quite sure what a resonance was. But reading it he knew stuff that most people didn’t know and he was going to put that stuff into being. Like exterminate everyone who could lay claim to Jewish ancestry.
Liegel Farridge was firm about that, and there were quite a lot of people willing to go along with him in just the same way as lots of people had been willing to follow the ideals of the author of that favourite book. There are always lost souls who enjoy bullying, and exterminating a whole race of people is an extreme form of bullying if ever there was one.
And his greatest upset was when a great detective worked out that just about everyone who lived had a tenuous link of sorts to a member of the Jewish race. They had to. Mathematics proved it.
“What? That one and one equals seven point four?” he sneered.
“No,” came Sherlock’s reply, “Though on Alpha Centaura it’s looked on as a positivity useful quantity when trying to reduce pi to a ten volume list of decimal points! No my point is rather simpler. You had two parents, each of those had two and they, in their turn each had two. How many’s that, then?”
“Seven point four,” suggested Liegel, who had never had a brain for numbers if he hadn’t made them up himself.
“You’re not far out,” conceded Jack Frost, who was also talking to him. “It’s eight. And that eight each had two. Sixteen? And that sixteen each had two. Thirty-two? Do you get my drift? You see, go back through the Farridge generations for a couple of thousand years and you know what you have?”
“Two many Farridges,” sneered Tom Barnaby, who was picking his nose.
“There can’t be!” snapped Liegel Farridge. “There’s no such thing! We’re all beautiful! And the answer, Mr clever dick detective, is probably the square of seven point four. It’s got to be. I’ve got it on my brain.”
“Nope,” grinned Endeavour Morse, who had sidled into the group. “I could always work these things out. What you’ve got, my son, is a number that’s bigger than the number of people who ever lived!”
“Quite right!” grinned Liegel, who was as intellectually lost as a cod fish in a frying pan. “That’s a hell of a lot of good guys!”
“If they were all good,” snarled Andy Dalziel, scratching his testicles because he thought they might itch at any moment.
“The point is,” whispered Jack Frost, “the point my son is, a great number of those people were of the Jewish persuasion and they were in your ancestry because of the numbers. So, my son, you’re nicked!”
“It’s not a crime to be a moron,” pointed out Peter Pascoe, coming up behind.
“Then it should be!” snarled Endeavour Morse, finishing seven point four across in the Oxford Times crossword.
Meanwhile Liegel Farridge exploded into a green and rather sticky pool of logic, and dripped onto the floor, which made something left of his consciousness start swearing.
“Yuk!” groaned Hercule Poirot, twiddling his moustache.


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