GREAT-AUNT SOPHIE’S MIDSUMMER FIRE FESTIVAL
Emma called her Great-Aunt Sophie to let her know that Mr. Assange had jumped bail and flown the coop. Aunt Sophie emailed her back:
24 June 2012
I was distraught when you phoned to tell me that Mr. Assange had fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. I hope he brought his laptop and a change of clothes, and there is decent broadband in Quito.
His timing was good, though, as Gertie and Maud had driven up for the midsummer bonfire. We carried a year’s worth of burnables out onto Ilkley Moor, and at midnight we set them alight. There were fires all across the Calder Valley, and we hoped other crones were also doing workings for Mr. Assange.
Maud opened a bottle of Bendover Oil she had purchased on a trip to New Orleans, and rubbed the foul-smelling stuff on James Ball’s column in the Grauniad and upon the nether regions of a poppet with dark red hair and a triangular smile. “I guess Julia isn’t a country music fan,” said Gertie. “Dolly Parton says, ‘If you’re gonna have your face done, tell ’em just take a nip here and a tuck there, so you don’t end up lookin’ like a banjo head.’ “
Maud also brought along her corgi, Little Fudgie, who did not stop yapping until I threatened to roast him over the fire. He ran under the Mini and cowered, whimpering, until we lured him out with a saucer of Gertie’s homemade absinthe.
We imbibed quite a lot of absinthe and ate several of Maud’s brownies, so the circle we cast was a bit lopsided. As at every Solstice, we sang old Steeleye Span songs about sheep, and Maud, who had perhaps eaten too many brownies, channeled Maddie Prior. She hoisted up her petticoat a bit above the knee and nimbly danced round the fire, until she tripped over Nigel the iguana. Once we had bandaged her ankle she grew maudlin, and wept for the fate of an buachaillin ban, the fair-haired boy. Soon we were all clinging to one another and moaning. It may not have been the strongest cone of power we ever raised, but it was the most heartfelt.
It looks as though we shall have to wait until next week to see if our protection spell worked. On Tuesday I’ll take the bus down to London for my annual shopping trip. The Ecuadorian Embassy is behind Harrod’s, where I plan to purchase bathing costumes for Nigel and myself.
I am worried that Mr. Assange is not eating properly. Llamaburgers, potatoes, and flattened guinea pig do not constitute a balanced diet for a man who needs to think clearly, so I hope to drop by the Embassy with a couple of strawberry-rhubarb pies. Little Fudgie, unfortunately, gobbled the last of the brownies. We yelled at him and he was sick on the Gillard doll.
I am also concerned that Mr. Assange may be haunted by the ghost of Princess Diana, or worse, Dodi. If he starts writing thank – you notes, we may have to to do an exorcism.