Famous for Fifteen Minutes
Jóse Prataña was on the prowl for copy. His newspaper, El Trapo Nacional was at a low ebb, not much news and all the improvised stories had led to legal action.
Jóse was on the lookout for a good story and Alqueria usually obliged. However the Village was temporarily out of rioting and disorder due to a general lethargy and seemed almost peaceful, in its own quirky sort of way. Jóse sat forlornly at a table outside the Bar La Casa Devante wondering where his next story would come from. He had been to Alqueria before and developed a love of Remitroot Whisky which he drank in alarming quantities and with alarming speed.
Loco Paco had a habit of engaging people at random in some inane conversation or other. Jóse Prataña was Paco’s target for that evening. Paco’s confused and fanciful utterings seemed quite credible to Jóse. After a bottle of Remitroot Whisky the Tory Party’s welfare plans would seem compassionate or perhaps that is going a bit too far. Paco was talking about Benjy his pet Saharan Dung Beetle which he had raised from a pup and Bert, his one and a half metre tall rodent which accompanied him everywhere. Bert of course was imaginary. Jóse somehow got the impression he was real.
The locals sensing some good sport backed Loco Paco’s story to the hilt. How he was a reclusive genetic scientist and had successfully created this one and a half metre tall rodent called ‘Bert’. To add a bit of colour they suggested that Paco was teaching Bert the rudiments of playing the saxophone.
Jóse made numerous notes, drank more Remitroot Whisky and believed everything he was told. Loco Paco became famous. His fatuous grin adorned the front pages of all the national newspapers. He was hailed as a ‘genetic scientist of colossal proportions’. Some even tipped him for the Noble Prize. Most people who knew Loco Paco however would say that his greatest achievement was riding a bicycle, not well be adequately.
Paco was booked to appear on a TV talk show. Other guests included the inventor of the intergalactic pulse motor with integral cheese board and Pedro Alverez the Abyssinian Goat Shirling champion of southern Spain.
If the presenter, studio crew and viewers had all been heavily sedated with Remitroot Whisky things may have gone smoothly. However when Paco suggested that the presenter’s head may be on back-to-front the plug was pulled, the researcher fired and Paco send packing back to Alqueria.