Originally posted on Goonersphere
The brash journalist had put noses out of joint in the past. It was this very attribute that would make obtaining the story of his career that bit more difficult. He wouldn’t let that stop him though. He had risen to the top of sports broadcasting for good reason and with that lofty position came with it some invaluable connections. It wasn’t what you knew, it was who you knew.
The driving rain and constant barrage of wind from the coast left all who were unshielded with an unabashed yearning for their living room and the central heating on. It was those type of days that are always used as a yardstick for Lionel Messi’s talent. ‘ Could he do it on a wet and windy Tuesday in Southampton though?’
The egotist hack made his way to the police tape which cordoned off St Marys stadium, home of Southampton Football Club. After nonchalantly attempting to duck under the tape and being firmly rebuffed by the Officer who stood sentry, he fished his mobile from his overcoat pocket and dialled.
“Yeah, Gary? Any chance you could come to my rescue again? Listen, you KNOW this is going to come out eventually and you don’t want the facts to be lost in whatever bullshit the other guys put out do you? You know I’ll give the people the real facts….yep……y’know I’m telling the truth. Do this for me Gary. Please?………..”
Time for the self-centred writer and mouthpiece stood motionless for those four seconds as he waited for a response. He had covered his fair share of headlines before this, but this story was groundbreaking. No, it was promotion material. The rain continued to pepper his face but it mattered not a jot.
“You won’t regret this Gary”.
He looked up from his phone and looked square at the Officer who had the audacity to stop him from uncovering the truth.
“You can’t stop the news son.” He winked smarmily and made his way back to his silver BMW. He was heading to the Coroners Office.
After roughly an hour of driving and a revolting excuse for a sandwich at a petrol station, the ginger journo pulled up at the Coroners. The details inside would elevate him to the higher echelons of the media world. People would see him as an Ambassador for Truth. He would be a hero. He steadied himself before he got too giddy at this wonderful prospect.
As he entered the building, the familiar smell of powerful chemicals powerfully invaded his ample nostrils. Suddenly he wasn’t so hungry.
Gary the Coroner bustled his way into the journalist’s line of sight. With a white jacket that looked two sizes too big and a stature that was more in keeping with a meerkat, Gary would never make the best Lady-Charmer.
His brain that was encased in that peanut-like head though, was sharper than any silver-tongue. It housed many secrets and truths that had been the ruination of many. To have this man as an ally was his avenue for stardom.
“Gary! Good to see you mate! Thank you again so much for this.”
He laid on the platitudes and compliments as thickly as he could. Whilst his mouth moved however, his mind festered upon the glory of the story.
“Er, yeah, no word of this to anyone until you break the article. This is all about the truth.”
Gary always had the look of someone who was in a rush that he knew he couldn’t quite make the deadline. His beleaguered visage was contradictory to the knowledge he owned. Gary could ruin every man who resided in power.
The writer followed Gary into the autopsy room after awkwardly refusing a handshake. He wanted to refrain from touching Gary as he knew where his hands had been.
The cold, white tiles which adorned the walls were as lifeless as the cadavers that slept their silent sleep on the metal gurneys. The room was lined with these brutal beds but one was reserved pride of place in the centre, surrounded by trays of sterile steel implements the writer could only have nightmares about.
The main double doors swung open and a large bundle of a man ambled through energetically. When he spoke, all surrounding areas were drenched in spittle. If you stood within five feet of his mouth, people called it ‘ The Splash Zone’. He proceeded to speak.
“ Eeeeh, Gary, eeeehm, da boss called. He said can you prioritise the deaths of Jose Mourinho’s integrity, Danny Murphy’s personality and Roberto Martinez’s reputation? That’d be grand!”
The journalist, already familiar with Jamie and his leaky mouth, had sidestepped him and waited until Jamie vacated the room before conversing with Gary.
“Um, of course, tell them I’ll get right on it.” Gary uttered this brief sentence without even thinking about what he was uttering. He was rushed off his size 5’s.
Jamie, after receiving an encouraging answer, bundled once more through the double doors. Not the brightest candle, but he never flickered. An excellent assistant for Gary.
“ OK Adrian, here it is. You can tell I’ve got lots to do so you’ll understand when I say we have to be quick. This body and its details need to be aired to the public. Now, don’t interfere, sit down in the corner and don’t say a word. Oh, yeah, take these.”
Gary handed Adrian two polo mints. He balked at them as the last thing that was on his mind was any form of sustenance but Gary insisted, simply stating, “ They aren’t for eating”
Adrian did as he was bid and sat on the rustic looking wooden chair. He was about eight to ten feet from where the zipped bag that contained his dreams rested.
Gary grabbed a Dictaphone from his large white jacket and opened a brown file, placing the pen in the centre.
Adrian had his pen ready, touching paper.
Gary proceeded to unzip the bag and a smell that seemed like it was borne from Satan’s underwear after a heavy gym session proceeded to make the earlier chemical smell seem like Mountain Fresh Air Freshener. Adrian bit down on his gag reflex and looked at the two polo mints in his hand. He shoved one up each nostril. Slightly better.
Gary had taken a ream of notes already whilst Adrian had been messing around with mints. He then began to speak into the Dictaphone from which Adrian then began taking scrawled notes.
“Victim from first glance appears to have perished from an apparent lack of investment in the appropriate areas. The defence looks atrophied, which is also evidenced by the bluing around the lips.”
Gary had already cleaved open the chest cavity with one of the gruesome looking utensils Adrian noticed earlier. Now he knew how they were used, he would never look at kitchen utensils in the same way.
“Looking inside the chest cavity and the connecting areas, it is evident that a blockage in the windpipe – which appears to be tactical obstinacy – could be another reason why this title bid died. It looks to be the root cause of this but until tests on the internal organs and the bloodwork returns, my findings are inconclusive.”
Gary clicks the Dictaphone and puts it atop the file he is working on. Arms outstretched on the desk and leaning on the furniture, he sighs and speaks to Adrian with his back to him.
“You’ll have to wait until tonight for the full report but it’s a nigh on certainty that this body died from a lack of investment in defence and tactical failings. I can’t see how it could be anything else. Just make sure that my name isn’t mentioned and that the truth isn’t skewed. I mean it Adrian.”
Adrian, now with his head firmly around thirty-six thousand feet up and climbing, shook off the stupor he found himself in and forced himself back into reality. The inevitable success could wait for a while.
“ Ahem, oh, yea, you bet Gary. This story is going to win awards! Arsenal’s demise! Broken Cannon s everywhere! Wenger in a photo mock-up to look like Inspector Clouseau! It’s going to be fantastic!!!”
Gary wheels around to face Adrian. “No, no. That isn’t what I meant. The results aren’t completely conclusive yet, plus it could be a mixture of things……”
Adrian had already skipped off towards the exit.
Adrian drove the long yards back to London with headlines and awards in his eyes. Even when setting foot back into the office, amidst pleasantries and small talk, he was even more ignorant than usual. No matter. It wouldn’t be long before this workspace was but a memory and he had his own show, filled with all his ideas and he would show all the haters how sports journalism should be done. With noxious prevarication and hyperbole. That gets the clicks. That gets the attention and the fans in a froth. Oh yes, his time was coming.
He gleefully typed up his story, ignoring the fact that the full report hadn’t been filed.
After finishing his story, he sent it to the editor of a well known daily rag and then left the office with a swagger, giddy with anticipation for tomorrow and the inevitable invitations and opportunities that would follow.
As he left, his computer pinged with an incoming e-mail.
From – Coroner, Gary.
CC – Jamie, Coronor
DEAD TITLE BID
Adrian, I hope you listened to me as you left. I’ve finished the report and the findings are INCONCLUSIVE. Do NOT go ahead with that story. The body had the atrophied defence and the tactical blockage, but upon inspecting the bloodwork, we found that there was abnormal amount of injury cells in the blood, which could have caused the blockage. It seems that being unable to play the three World-Class attackers in the line-up simultaneously that they possess, in turn caused haemorrhage to vital areas. It appears that they are connected but it is impossible to tell which symptom killed him. Do NOT write that story Adrian. We can’t prove what killed Arsenal’s title bid. You can only assume that tactics were the ending of a launch at the title. It certainly didn’t help that Ozil, Alexis and Theo have NEVER played together. Either way, you can say that something needed to change, but it isn’t our place to say what should change. We just don’t know. Don’t go getting yourself in trouble Adrian. Chase the truth.
Gary Neville M.D