A Fly In The Soup

Teresa is inviting us to explore the world of espionage today in her writing prompt. Espionage hey? That makes me think of only one man – Johnny English!

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore your darker side or sense of justice. Write your take on the thriller subgenre of Espionage and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.


I am so sleepy tired tonight, that my head is very heavy. I am sorry this is all I could come up with. If I had more energy, I think I could have polished this little idea up a bit. But I need to go and rest my painful head on a pillow. But I hope you can see where I was going.

Satellite, Eye, Watch, Optics, Space

Very Special Agent Douglas Foster was working undercover as a waiter at the exclusive dinner reception held at the Embassy, for shareholders who had invested in Crostox, the International Plastic Company that was under surveillance by the Secret Service.

Chairing the program of events that evening was Ambassador Miskalhauv. Foster and his assistant, Agent Adrian Jos had been watching the Ambassador for weeks. The evidence they had gathered pointed to a diplomat facilitating the illegal trade of chemical weapons. Both Foster and Jos had been assigned to pose as waiters the night of the dinner to observe events carefully.

dome.pngThe soup course was arriving from the Embassy kitchens. Foster lifted up the silver dome that was covering the bowl of soup intended for the Ambassador himself. To his horror, there was a fly floating on the surface of the soup.

Quick thinking Foster took the dish of soup and scuttled off towards the hallway outside the huge dining room. On noticing the French doors were open, Foster went to dispose of the soup.

Dog, Portrait, Cute, Mammal, AnimalOn reaching the terrace he was confronted with a deep growl. A rottweiler was licking his lips. Foster carefully placed the bowl of soup onto the tiles and backed away slowly. The dog began lapping up the soup immediately. Foster rushed back to his post in the dining room. Foster made eye-contact with Jos as he entered the dining room with more wine.

“It’s in the soup Sir,” whispered Jos as he stood next to the senior agent.

“The soup? What’s in the soup?”

“The nano-probe Sir.”

Foster was incredulous, “What’s it doing in the soup? How could you be so careless?”

Soup With Vegetables on White Ceramic Bowl“No Sir, it’s been placed in the Ambassador’s bowl of soup. When he eats the soup the nano-probe will attach itself to soft tissue within his body. It contains a highly sensitive bug which will detect conversations everywhere the Ambassador goes.”

“Right. So the first service trolley that arrived in the dining room, the one on the top shelf, that was the Ambassadors soup. That had the nanoprobe in it.”

“Exactly Sir, the soup that you gave to the Ambassador had the nano-probe hidden in it.”

Very Special Agent Foster gulped.

Why People Make Decisions That Others Find Hard To Fathom

I was watching the BBC London news broadcast at around 6:50pm last night. The newsreader interrupted one report to announce that Buckingham Palace had released a statement regarding the decision of two members of the Royal Family. Well, you if you have seen news broadcasts, you probably know by now. I won’t mention them again.

Buckingham Palace, Square, London

The only reason I mention their decision which is going to receive endless analysis and criticism, is that I am disturbed by how many odd opinions I am hearing. Already I can see that there are a baffling array of opinions flying around on the internet and on the television.

Egg, Hammer, Threaten, Violence, FearAll I am going to say is this, they are two human beings, forget titles, wealth, friends and connections. Human beings have minds and emotions. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all have different limits, different breaking points. What one person can endure, another person might not be willing to tolerate.

Each individual human makes decisions, some small and some large. Some of us may feel we have more control than others. There are some people who have been enduring miserable situations for a long time and may not have felt they could change their lot. There are others who perhaps are more articulate and confident at voicing when they are not willing to tolerate a testing situation any longer and they make decisive decisions to change their situation.

fled.pngI don’t judge other people’s decisions. However, I know me. I know that I have been in situations that have been very challenging. Overtime some of those situations became tougher and tougher to endure. Continuous stress has eroded my self esteem and my joy in life. In some cases, I was pushed to breaking point. When I finally realized I had no idea how to escape any more, my implosion meant that I made rather drastic decisions perhaps. I have chosen to flee rather than fight in some instances.

There was one job I had which literally became completely intolerable. I won’t go into it now. But after two years, I gave in my notice and asked Head Office not to inform my colleagues until after I had left. Some of my friends were shocked I did that. But there was a reason I did it. My colleagues may not have realized it, but the accrual of stress, the institutional mentality, the complete unflinching mindset against change, the peculiar spirit within that organisation…I came to a point where I just wanted out. I never looked back.

Fear, Woman, Crack, Notch, FurrowEven the situation with Jack years ago led me to despair. I was crumbling within for so long. Despair to the extent that I lost sight of my own safety. I should not have been on my own in a London park in the middle of the night. That incident yanked me out of a situation that had become intolerable for years, and the way I escaped the stresses and pressure I was under was very dramatic and undesirable.

I personally would not desire to point fingers and play the blame and shame game. All I had to do was recognise that the situation I was in had become increasingly threatening to my emotional health. Nobody knew how distressed I was. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault.

Mental Health, Wellness, PsychologyThat is my point really. The reason I find it unbearable that countless people (who are not particularly connected with these two human beings) are going to discuss and analyse, question and call judgement on a decision that they have made – is that at the end of the day, if two people feel that they need protect their emotional and mental health and their family life, they have every right to do so.

Some people feel trapped in circumstances they cannot control. Others remove themselves from a situation when they find they are unable to maintain their joy. I have admiration for those who endure bitter and long term situations, but I am also impressed by those who change their circumstances before becoming completely crushed.

outIt’s not wise to judge another person based on the limited view we have of them. Physical appearances can be deceptive. Wealth, physical health, possessions, social connections – none of these are an indicator of what is going on in someone’s mind. In fact, it might be scary to know what was going on in the minds of many people. If you knew how many were screaming inside their own heads, how close to breaking point they were, you would be going round hugging all sorts of people.

When someone feels they cannot continue in their present circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that others should be put on trial for contributing to their distress. Perhaps in some cases, individuals should be reprimanded for bullying and cruelty. But sometimes, it’s hard to attribute deliberate intent to drive someone else to despair.

Freedom, Silhouette, Woman, BacklightingWhether you respect the decisions others make, whether you find them hard to understand, or find it debatable how they have gone about making those decisions, it is important to recognise that none of us know what is going on in someone else’s mind and how threatened their mental health is.

In a world where people take the most awful drastic actions when they have reached breaking point, surely we should accept that some people take action before they are at breaking point.

What Is A Whoopsie?

I was telling a colleague about our insane tradition of shopping for “whoopsies” just before closing time on 24th December and before other bank holidays. My colleague asked me “What exactly is a whoopsie?”

I think we first heard the term when a huge ASDA supermarket was built in our hometown. It was the most exciting thing that ever happened (other than the memorable occasion when Sylvester McCoy – a previous Doctor Who – came to visit). That may sound like an exaggeration, but my home town truly had few worldly temptations other than the whoopsie aisle in the ASDA supermarket.

I recall that on the reduced price labels on ASDA products, it had the word “WHOOPS!”, which is why we called the reduced items whoopsies. Other supermarkets may not use this term, but to us, all reduced items are “whoopsies”.

Supermarket, Market, Grocery, StoreWe realized that if you nipped in shortly before closing time, they had dramatically reduced the price of many items. Loaves of bread would be reduced to just one penny! But it is very exciting when you reach the chilled aisles. All sorts of chilled items, hummus, dips, cream desserts, garlic bread, cakes, prepared vegetables, cheeses and meats would be a mere fraction of their original price. The price was reduced to a mere pittance so that they didn’t have to throw all of that food away.

As a family, we came to love the last minute whoopsie dash. Returning home with something special which we had bought for a steal became a source for boasting. When we all left home, well, I guess we lost interest in whoopsies. I live alone. I don’t often feel compelled to go and buy food I won’t have chance to eat.

IMG_20191227_205545.jpgHowever, one of the things I look forward to when I spend time with my family over the holidays is returning to our long lost but slightly insane tradition of shopping for whoopsies. Imagine you are a cashier in the local supermarket, when suddenly a group of around twenty people pour into the store and all head straight to the reduced item shelves. I don’t know what they must think of us!

Then we present our finds to the till and gloat over how much money we saved. This year was a goodan! It was all party food! What a feast we had!!!

It’s not just about the tiny amount of money we spent on food. It’s all about the fun. The whole family having a great time, exulting because we spent so little on our groceries. Yes, we might seem slightly insane. But all that matters is that we are a family with a lot of love, warmth, and fun. We do not waste money on decorations and gifts. We all work for charities – why would we subscribe to what this commercial system tells us to do? We just love being together and having a great time, on a shoestring budget.

I do love my family!!!