Gertie and Maud are once again arguing about the colour of Julian’s armpit hair. Maud goes to her roll-top desk, flips open the Macbook Air, and googles Images – Assange –Brazil – soccer. He’s either putting on the bright yellow shirt or taking it off. You can almost make out his belly-button hair.

Gertie turns red, dashes into the bedroom, and slams the door.

“What’d you do with the vibrator?”

“Which one?”


“You had it last.”

“Did not. Where do you keep it?”

“Second drawer from the top, on the left next to the stash. If you’re not out in fifteen minutes, I’m gonna come in and tear down the photo.”

Over the bed, Gertie has taped a life-size blow-up of a photograph she downloaded from the Net. It’s Julian at Occupy London Stock Exchange. He stands on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in a scruffy brown jacket and jeans, flanked by two grim-faced, balding bodyguards. Julian looks out over the crowd, a microphone in each hand, and he’s got this enormous, this enormous…grin.

Maud has never been thrilled about sleeping under the photo. She says it’s creepy. This makes Gertie cry.

Gertie cracks open the door and slaps up a piece of blue-lined, three-hole notebook paper. In large red letters it reads




“You spelled ‘fascist’ wrong,” says Maud.

“No such thing as correct spelling. You’re oppressing me.”

“Damn straight I’m oppressing you. Sophie’s gonna be here in half an hour.”

“I spell better than Shakespeare,” says Gertie.

Maud pounds on the door. “I’ll tell her what you’re up to.”

“By the time she figures out how to answer her mobile, I’ll be dead.”


The smell of cheap Nepalese incense permeates the living room. Little Fudgie runs in circles, snarling and nipping at his tail.

“I’m practicing sex magic.”

“No matter what you do in there to poor Julian, you’ll still be seventy-five years old.”


“You’re older than his mother.”

“If we were Maasai, that’d be a plus.”

“But you’re not Maasai, and I don’t think Julian is either. I’m gonna phone Dr. Herriot and have him take the testosterone out of your hormone cream.”