Thursday 21st June 2012
Jenny’s advice acted upon
What Guvver Munt had been planning, Brendan informed me later, was something quite different.
Had we remained in the lift and ascended to the fifth floor, as intended, we would have entered a much quieter room and been greeted by a number of dignitaries; Ray Bilton would have arrived; he and I would have been taken to a place called a lecture theatre, there to address the giant Me Dear. The Pry Minister would have spoken briefly to the camera-operators, recording-device-holders and word-scribblers, before asking me to read the statement I had been given. Then we would have left the room. Nobody would have been able to ask me anything.
My accidental arrival at the wrong reception had the opposite effect. There were very many questions. To the silly ones, I gave silly answers:
“What do you think of Englishmen?”
“I have not met them all.”
“Is it true you’re getting a five figure sum for endorsing your favourite breakfast cereal?”
“I do not know ‘endorsing’, but I am getting no sum of any figures for eating Weetabix.”
Questions about Rheta I answered only briefly, telling them it was very far away; that I did wish to return there but thought it unlikely to be possible; that, yes, it was very beautiful.
“Like this world,” I added.
It was difficult to hear and to speak. There was much shouting and pushing. The flashes of light never ceased. The guards struggled to keep the many-headed monster of Me Dear beyond the doorway, often urging Brendan to take me away.
I stopped listening to the rat-a-tat of questions, taking from my satchel the paper with the words written for me to say. Some voices called for silence and the din diminished.
At last I was able to do what Jenny had suggested. I folded the paper and handed it to one of the guards.
“Please. I wish not to say these words. They are not mine. On Rheta there are no giants like your Guvver Munt and Me Dear. I do not think it is right for giants to tell others what to say or what to do. Thank you.”