Gonzo, Independence

Mr Dahling’s Big Debate

Legal notice: The following is a work of fictional satire.

And so, when Dahling appeared for the first time in front of the TV lights, Salmon noted with a flicker of satisfaction the damp stains on his trouser legs, and the traumatised look in his eyes. Dahling’s first act was to blink several times, and take a big swig of water from the glass on his lectern. Salmon’s smile broadened…

Getting hold of the pig’s head had been relatively easy. It was getting the right shade of lipstick that proved tricky…

“Close the feckin door Dave, we’re on a schedule!” I bundled into the back of the FM’s car and hi-fived Salmon. “Package is in the boot!” George the driver revved the engine, and we sped off in the direction of the Russian Consulate to pick up the other packages for our evening’s endeavour.

Sergei Borisovich was a useful fellow in the diplomatic corps in Edinburgh. He could produce a bottle of vodka, a tin of caviar and gorgeous multilingual male or female specimens as if they were all ready to hand from his consulate’s fridge. As we drew up outside the door, it opened, and a tall, athletic, and disturbingly handsome young man walked purposefully towards the car, followed by a shorter, more nondescript companion, both wearing mics and earsets and smart dark suits. I opened the door and signalled them in. “Valeri. Fully briefed. This is Dima.” “Otleechno, Valeri, Dima. Davaitye!” I shook their hands, and motioned to George to hit the road, nodding to Sergei Borisovich’s sly face which had appeared momentarily at the window to the consulate.

The journey to Glasgow was uneventful, but we ran through the plan one more time just to make sure it all fitted together. We stopped in Cambridge Street to disgorge Dima and hand him the bulging suit-holder from the boot.

George drove around the corner to Renfrew Street and stopped outside the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I did my security gopher act, and leapt out to open Salmon’s door and play with my earpiece. Valerie appeared first and did a mime of checking for assailants as he stepped out. Salmon followed and smiled towards the front of the building. A small reception committee, which had hurriedly assembled after a minute’s delay,  shuffled towards us. Valeri and I fell into position on each side and adopted the expcted dour, suspicious expressions. “Sorry if I’m a bit early – traffic was lighter than expected!” smiled Salmon.

Within two minutes we were inside, and were shown towards the dressing rooms. At this point Valeri’s target made her first appearance, a willowy and nervous lassie with a clipboard and a headset with mic attached. “Ah’m Alison Clark. Ah’ll be looking after getting you made up and to the stage, Mr Salmon!” Valeri stepped forward, stood too close to Alison, and spoke briefly. “I am in charge of Mr Salmon’s security. I’ll need to check the room and the route with you immediately Miss Clark. Please lead on”. Alison’s eyes glazed slightly, and travelled briefly but comprehensively over Valeri’s upper torso. Her tongue appeared for an instant before disappearing as she hesitantly said. “Oh yes, em, this way…” and she indicated along the corridor.

Valeri kept far too close to her at all times, making sure to ask casually to confirm where Mr Dahling’s dressing room was as we were shown into Salmon’s quarters. “Toilet in here too, Miss Clark?” asked Valeri, leaning in too close to her again as he opened the door to the WC area and flicked on the light. The colour rose visibly in her cheeks. “Oh yes, en-suite, as it were!”

I held a finger to my ear as if receiving some missive, and said: “Your change of clothing has just arrived, First Minister. I’ll have it brought to your dressing room. Miss Clark, we will be ready for make-up in ten minutes. Please will you show my colleague the route to the auditorium?”.

Valeri subtly pressed his lapel Saltire to release the pheromones, and leaned in, again, too close to Alison. The girl’s eyes rolled across Valeri’s body, and her clipboard was suddenly limp in her hand. “Shall we, Miss Clark?” he smiled, and let his hand gently touch her forearm. They headed off, with Valeri checking every door on the route. He already knew exactly which room he’d be going in to double check…

Salmon winked, and sat down to grab a bottle of luke-warm water to help get his vocal cords modulated for the debate. Dima appeared with the suit bag and carefully closed the door behind him. He removed a large builder’s refuse bag from its base, and we waited for the signal from Valeri through the earpieces. “Miss Clark. Please come here – this room did not feature in my advanced briefing…


I led Dima to Dahling’s dressing room and stood by the door as he moved into the toilet with the plastic bag. He removed the grisly severed pig’s head and lodged it neatly down into the WC. “We need to add lipstick to really weird him out” I said, producing a Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet, and tossing it to Dima. He generously applied the make-up around the grimacing lips of the pig, then grabbed a chair and reached up to remove the light-bulb and replace it with our own model.

Next, we injected LSD into the top of the three bottles of water in the room beside the fruit and snacks. The dosage was perhaps too extreme, but who knew how much he’d drink? It was more a question of getting the right dilution. Dima flicked the light switch to off, nodded, and we were done. A quick check the corridor was clear, and we headed to Salmon’s room again.

A few minutes later, Valeri and Alison appeared. Her cheeks were highly flushed, her lipstick smudged, and she self-consciously tugged at her skirt. Her eyes barely left Valeri, who was smiling gently. “All clear on the route Dave. Everything is just perfect.”, the latter two words accompanied by a none too subtle squeeze to Alison’s arse. She suppressed a shriek and then held up a finger as her headset squawked.” Ooh – Mr Dahling’s party has arrived. I’ll see that your make-up artist is with you within a few moments.” She swept off with a lingering glance at Valeri.

We took up our standard positions, and I stationed myself outside the door. I nodded courteously as Dahling walked in ahead of his security team. We knew how long his journey here would be, and were hoping his impatience would make him first to the toilet. We were not wrong. I heard the light switch clicking on and off, a muffled ‘Bloody light’s broken” then heard door to the WC area shutting. Our own light bulb was designed to only light up after about 23 seconds, by which time we estimated our victim would be mid-flow, with the flash of sudden light in the darkness revealing a pig’s head staring up at them as they emptied their bladder into its lipsticked maw.

It was not so much a shout as a scream that followed, accompanied by effing and blinding, and the security brief on the door’s eyes widened and he reached for his sidearm instinctively and entered the room. I followed swiftly and took position by the door. Inside, Dahling was staggering out of the WC closet, his right hand still grasping his dribbling dick, a look of horror in his eyes, and liberal amounts of piss all over his trousers and shoes. His left hand pointed to the WC –  “A fucking pig’s head – a pig’s head! And it’s wearing mah wife’s shade of lippy!”

There followed a few minutes of confusion, running feet, security radio traffic, and rapid re-checking of all doors and access points. During this busy time, I took the opportunity to add a wee scoosh of lysergic acid diethylamide to Dahling’s lectern water jug in the auditorium. When I next passed his dressing room and enquired with his team as to the status, I could see Dahling had settled down slightly with a towel across his lap, and was being poured a generous glass of our carefully prepared bottled water by an apologetic Miss Clark. I spoke into my mic: “Inform Mr Salmon that there is five minutes to go before the debate begins…”

And so, when Dahling appeared for the first time in front of the TV lights, Salmon noted with a flicker of satisfaction the damp stains on his trouser legs, and the traumatised look in his eyes. Dahling’s first act was to blink several times, and take a big swig of water from the glass on his lectern. Salmon’s smile broadened…