A little piece of one of my side-projects. A usually placid man returns home to his shrew of a wife after secretly eating a poisonous scotch pie.
The husband of the ireful woman, whom you may remember from earlier, had just arrived home with an empty paper bag splotted with grease stains. He wiped the flakes of pastry from the corners of his mouth, and screwed up the paper bag into a ball with a satisfying rustle as he stowed in his coat pocket. He chuckled to himself. His only vice was a treat or two from the baker’s every now and then, without his wife’s knowledge. It gave him a kind of naughty pleasure knowing that he was doing something secret just to please himself. Yet, entirely unbeknownst to this gentleman and at that time, to everyone else in London, this was one of Mr McGillicuddy’s special scotch pies.
Now, it can be said that there is already something suspicious about scotch pies. The sponge like consistency, the puddle of oily liquid floating on the top, the grey colour within which suggests to the prospective purchaser that it cannot possibly be actual meat, and of course the heavy spices which are there for the express purpose of disguising the pie’s true hideous flavour. All in all it really is more of a punishment than a lunch. Mr McGillicuddy’s scotch pies were a prime example of the former description, therefore for those who enjoy these pastry encased spongey grey travesties of festering meaty doom, these perversions of pies, these dripping oil-soaked, crust-coated, inedible, porous pieces of minced fat and offal, the things were the most tempting, mouth-watering and eventually delicious treats available in the surrounding area.
Anyway, Mr McGillicuddy had very recently taken to adding a new ingredient to his baked goods which he was fairly certain that no one would notice. He was right. The special ingredient spread quickly throughout the gentleman who was wiping the remaining grease from his fingers into his handkerchief, and by the time he reached his front door, it had consumed his brain. Ire to rival that of his wife was boiling the blood of his veins for no apparent reason. His face contorted with rage, his knuckles white, he burst through the door of his house and confronted his wife.
“Where’s my afternoon tea!?” he exploded as he entered the kitchen, a one-man stampede.
“The kettle’s on the fire you ignorant prat!” shouted the woman, pointing to a large blackened tea kettle which was innocently emitting puffs of steam as it hung over the fire.
“Well!” roared the man, “That just isn’t good enough!”
“Well!” belted the woman, “Why don’t you have a biscuit in the mean time?!" She seized a small plate of biscuits and hurled them towards her husband. The plate shattered on the wall behind him.
“I’ll give you biscuits!” he shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. He took up a nearby frying pan, the same which had made its way onto the street below several times, and swung it purposefully in the direction of his wife’s head. With a hollow bonging noise which rang for a few stunning seconds, the bottom of the pan collided with and bounced off the side of the woman’s cranium. She stood still, she moved no muscle. Her eyes popped with surprise. His anger largely spent, the man let the pan fall to his side. He raised an eyebrow, wondering why she hadn’t fallen down yet.
The wife’s face suddenly seemed to warm up and melt. Her mouth curled up into a cheerful smile, the corners of her eyes creased, and her cheeks tinged a sweet shade of pink. The horizontal lines on her forehead lifted into an arc.
“Good afternoon, dear,” she said in the kindliest voice imaginable, in the fashion of an elderly woman who is someone’s favourite nanna and the nanna that everyone else wishes was their’s, “How was your day? Your slippers are by the chair, go sit yourself down, get comfortable, and I’ll be right in with your afternoon tea. Alright, dumpling?”
The man did a double take.
“Go on through the room,” she urged, gesturing him away with a wave of her hands, “I’ll be right in. Would you prefer slice or a biscuit?”
“What?” he repeated.
“Slice or a biscuit?”
“Oh,” muttered the man, “What sort of slice?”
“Ginger and date, your favourite.”
“Uhh…” He suddenly lost his footing. His head seemed to become weightless. The world spun a circle around him and before he knew what had happened, he was staring at the kitchen ceiling.
“Deary me!” trilled his gentle wife. She felt his forehead.
“Oh my darling, you are not at all well. Get yourself up, go have a nice sit down, and I’ll get onto the doctor.”