A crazed, crank-addled night with Ed Sheeran and Danny Boyle

A heinous voodoo drive through the black heart of Eastern England…

We were on our way to Poe’s place in Gorelston-on-Sea, on England’s Norfolk coast. But first we had to get out of Norwich. And this wasn’t easy given the levels of traffic. Fortunately the nootropics were kicking in and I was feeling relaxed and at ease with the world.

This was not a good sign, however. I was a little too relaxed. And this proved to be the calm before the storm – not to mention a portent of the terrible things to come when we ran into Ed Sheeran and Danny Boyle, who are currently filming a new movie in Gorleston-on-Sea.

But we’ll get to that.

The initial problem I had to deal with was to make a right turn to get to the main highway east – the A47. But I’d got an amoeba-head in front of me at the stop light who was not signaling right; he was signaling left. Clearly he wanted to go straight ahead and wanted to get in the correct lane to to this. Thing is, he wasn’t moving to let me past.

I turned to author and hoodoo witch Pip de Belfry, who was coming with me on this insane odyssey to Gorleston-on-Sea. “What’s that goddamn meat-head doing?! Why won’t he move?” I said.

“Calm down,” she said.

“Calm down?!!!!,” I screamed. “What do you take me for? Some sort of peace protester or Jeremy Corbyn supporter?”

With that I edged my car forwards and bumped the back of the guy’s car in front. Putting the shifter into first I began shoving his car forwards into the middle of the junction.

“Oh my, god, let me out of the car!!!” shouted Pip.

“This is no time to bail out, we’re on this mission to the end,” I told her. “And this is just the beginning, ” I added, trying not to let my smile look too maniacal as I needed somebody to keep some sanity to the day ahead.

Once I’d got the guy’s car in front out of the way, I gunned the car into a shrieking, rubber-burning right turn, horns going off all around me. Well, fuck them. Nothing was going to stand in our way.

Pushing 70mph in a 30mph zone it didn’t take long for the cops to appear on our tail. Sirens blaring and blue lights flashing. I kicked down on the gas and got the beast up to 90mph. I also swallowed three more nootropic capsules to bring some more edge to the proceedings.

“Oh my God…” said Pip, “this is going to be the end of my career.”

“Never fear,” I replied. “We can deal with this. I have friends in the top levels of the police force and in the freemasons. This is not going to be a problem. We can either try to outrun the cops or we’ll have to put up with a small delay while we get it sorted out.”

Up ahead was a road block. The cops behind us had radioed in and had it set up. I could either blast through the block or stop. I decided to stop as I didn’t fancy messing up the paintwork on my vehicle.

Cops surrounded the car. I pulled down my window and said, “What’s the problem, officer?”

“What’s the problem?!!!!” said the big, burly and mean-looking cop standing over me. “You were doing 90mph in a thirty zone!!!”

“No need to worry about that,” I said. “I’ve got a license to drive at any speed I want to go.”

He didn’t look impressed.

“Get out of the car, you’re under arrest,” he growled.

I got out of the car, but before the cop had a chance to cuff me, I said, “Before you do anything you might regret, I recommend you call your boss Simon Haley, chief constable of the Norfolk Constabulary. He’ll verify my credentials.”

The burly cop shook his head disbelievingly. Then smiled a very nasty smile. “You’re going to be in prison for a long time…” he hissed through gritted teeth.

Just then another cop car turned up. Out got a police officer in top-brass dress uniform.

It was Simon Haley.

The burly cop stiffened.

“What’s going on here?” asked Simon.

“This guy was doing 90 in a 30 zone.”

“I see,” said Simon. “Well, I don’t think we need to worry about this. After all, we’ve got lots of worse crimes to be dealing with on a daily basis. Leave this with me.”

Although obviously nonplussed, the cops weren’t going to argue with the chief of police. So they dismantled the road block and left the scene.

I said to Simon, “We’re on a mission to Gorleston-on-Sea. Why don’t you join us?”

He thought for a moment, then said, “Why not, Doc. I could do with a day off. And besides I think you need me.”

I gave him a handful of crank capsules, which he swallowed gratefully and with undisguised relish.

“Jump in the back,” I said. “We need to make up some time.”

I gunned the car back up to ninety and headed for the highway east.

A crazed fight on the road to Haddiscoe…

We left the main drag at Hales and drove down the picturesque B-road that leads to a village called Haddiscoe, from where you join the main drag to Gorleston. The road winds through majestic fields of rapeseed. The yellow expanse was so enticing I decided to stop. I didn’t pull over. Just spun the car across both lanes so we had a good direct view of the rolling fields of rapeseed. Sure, I was blocking the whole road. But hey, this was a aesthetic experience. Who in their right mind would balk at being held up for 30 minutes while we enjoyed the view?

Quite a few it seemed. Within minutes there were lines of cars and trucks honking their horns at us. What was wrong with these people?

“Is this wise?” asked Pip.

“Wise?” I said. “These people need to be quiet. They are disturbing our peace.”

I got out of the car and went over to face the annoying mob of rabid motorists.

I waved my arms in a bid to stop them honking. Amazingly they did. Guess they wanted to hear what I had to say.

“We’re on important police business,” I explained. “I have the chief of police for the region in my car. It would be unwise to upset him. I advise you all to sit this one out quietly while we get our important business done.”

The horns started blaring again. I went back to the car. “I don’t think they were impressed,” I told Simon.

“Have you got a firearm in the car?” he asked. “Shoot some of them. That should do the trick.”

Unfortunately I didn’t have a weapon in the vehicle.

“Can’t we just go to Gorleston?” pleaded Pip.

I turned to her and said, “You don’t understand the gravity of the situation. We can’t let the hoi poloi – ordinary people who pay mortgages and hold down regular jobs – dictate terms. We are in charge here.”

“That’s right,” said Simon. “I’m the chief of police so I can close any road I want to. After all, we are not socialists. We are libertarians.”

Then Simon looked at Pip, a deranged look in his eye.

“You’re not a socialist, are you?”

“No,” replied Pip. “I voted Lib Dem at the local elections.”

Lib Dem,” growled Simon in disgust. “You do realize that Vince Cable is a fascist? Andrew Withers, the one time leader of the Libertarian Party in the UK, had to sue Cable for keeping a file on him. And Cable went for Withers like a pitbull. He wouldn’t let go, and probably still has it in for Andrew.”

“I tried to tell her,” I said. “But by then it was too late, she’d cast her vote.”

At that moment, a very large and irate truck driver marched over and said, “If you lot don’t fuck off I’m going to give each one of you a beating like you’ve never had before!”

Simon didn’t like this at all. So he climbed out of the car to remonstrate.

“I’ll have you know that I’m the chief of police,” he barked.

“Pull the other one,” said the trucker and threw a heavy punch at Simon’s jaw, knocking him to the floor. He didn’t stay down. Simon leaped up and went for the trucker, laying him squirming in agony on the tarmac with some heavy and fast kicks to his groin. Next thing, other drivers jumped out of their vehicles to assist the trucker. Things didn’t look good.

So I started the car.

“Time to go,” I told Pip. “Simon can look after himself.”

“But there must be ten or more angry drivers out there, shouldn’t we help him?” She said.

“He’s collateral damage, the price of war,” I replied. “We’ve got a mission to complete.”

Pip looked unconvinced. “And what exactly is that mission? You haven’t said yet.”

“We’ll work that out when we get to Gorleston,” I said. With that I gunned past the waiting cars as fast as I could and headed for Haddiscoe, then hit the road to Gorleston.

We find Danny Boyle and Ed Sheeran…

When we got to Gorleston-on-Sea we made for the Porterhouse restaurant, a regular haunt for us as it is so good. It has a great roof garden which overlooks the sea. Perfect in summer. It being a hot late spring day we’d arranged to meet Poe up there. He was sitting with his feet up on one of the tables, soaking up the sun.

Poe is a successful business guy, but I can’t proffer his real name as he is also a psychopath, and if this became public knowledge his business would fall apart.

He’s very affable and kind. You’d never guess he was a psychopath. Until, that is, you learn that, as a teenager, he killed his sister’s goldfish by putting the goldfish bowl on a massive bass bin, then pressed the lowest note on a synthesizer. The resulting soundwaves killed it instantly, and also made his friends, who were there to watch the proceedings, run screaming from the house. Poe enjoyed that.

Then there was the time in his mid-twenties when he very nearly killed a guy in a road rage incident.

“The guy deserved it,” Poe related. “He was tailgating me. So I slammed on my brakes and blocked the road. I got out of the car, and so did he. First thing he says is, ‘You shouldn’t have got out of your car.’ He was a big guy, and I’m not. But I charged at him. He got the better of me and had me round the neck, pressing me against the hood of my car. But his tactics were misguided. He’d left my hands free so I let out a flurry of heavy punches to his face until he crumbled to the floor.”

Apparently the guy’s face had swollen to the size of a basket ball, and he was groaning, “Get an ambulance, please, I think I’m dying.” So Poe kicked him again, saying, “Fucking pussy.”

When Poe told me this story, I said to him, “You didn’t go far enough you needed to destroy his car, or better still make him destroy his own car…first, that is, before actually killing him.”

Gorleston-on-Sea was unusually busy. On inquiring why, we discovered that Danny Boyle was filming part of his new movie there, provisionally called All You Need Is Love, and that Ed Sheeran had a part in it. Thus the place was crowded with wannabe extras and those wanting to catch a glimpse of Ed.

We however didn’t want to catch a glimpse of either of them. In fact, we were put out that it took ages to find a parking spot. Thus we’d got it in for both Danny and Ed. It was their fault.

But then it occurred to me, a true Eureka moment… Danny and Ed would know the reason for our mission to Gorleston. They would be able to tell us what the mission was.

Pip wasn’t convinced. “You don’t know either of them, so how would they know?”

“It’s one of the mysteries of life,” I replied. “You need to trust me on this one.”

“I could beat it out of them,” cut in Poe.

“You could,” I said. “But we don’t want to be all over the news headlines for killing a well-known film director and famous pop star. Admittedly, we would be doing the world a favor, but they have a lot of fans who would hunt us down for the rest of eternity. They might be misguided, but that’s the way it is.”

Once we’d had a diet coke and something to eat, we set off around the sea front looking for Ed and Danny. Cranes towered above the area with powerful arc lights presumably illuminating locations to be used in shooting the movie. There were also lots of vans running around dealing with crowd control, parking, and the general logistics of a making a big time movie.

Predictably, there were groups of teenagers hanging around hoping to spot some celebrities. A blonde girl from one group approached us asking if we were involved in the movie.

“No,” I said. “But we need to find Danny Boyle and Ed Sheeran. I’m a well-known author and voodoo man and I’m hoping to catch up with them for an interview.” The author and voodoo man bit was true, of course, but I didn’t want to interview either of them, as I felt it would be more fun interviewing a turnip farmer. But that’s me. And might be why no magazine has commissioned me for a piece in some time.

Anyway, the girl was surprisingly articulate for a teenager and she told us that the upcoming movie had the premise that The Beatles never existed and would depict what the world would be like if the Fab Four hadn’t happened.

It struck me that it would be a far better place. Most people wouldn’t agree with me. But they forget that The Beatles brought the Maharishi Yogi and Transcendental Meditation (TM) to global prominence, and that was a big blag, what with being told to keep your “personal” mantra secret, and it turning out that everybody got the same mantra.

Nope, the only good thing about The Beatles was Ringo Starr. He might have only been the drummer, but he was a very good drummer, and he wrote Back Off Boogaloo, which was far better than any of the other Beatles songs.

Apparently Ed Sheeran’s role in the movie is that of a struggling musician who is the only person on the planet to remember the Beatles (you can only feel sorry for him).

We thanked the girl for filling us in on the movie. Then we hunted high and low for Danny and Ed, but got nowhere. So we swallowed another handful of crank capsules and gave up, deciding to head up the steps to the car which was parked on the marine parade.

As we climbed the steps, Pip and Poe noticed the scent of weed wafting from along the cliff. We walked along a side path and spotted a couple of people sitting on a bench. One of them was wearing a brightly colored baseball cap and had red hair, the other was older with glasses. They were sharing a big, fat, celebrity-sized stogie.

“We’ve found them,” said Poe.

And we had. It was Danny Boyle and Ed Sheeran toking up on the quiet, away from the fans and wannabe extras.

Right then I knew what the day’s mission was. So I marched over and said: “Danny and Ed! Good to meet you both! We need to make a citizen’s arrest. Don’t you realize drugs are illegal and this is a public place?!!! Never mind the heinous levels of nootropics we’ve taken which, actually, are legal mind-enhancing drugs, anyway… we after all have a duty to the public to protect them from drug fiends like you two…”

P.S. Although many of the names listed in this article are real, I cannot (for obvious reasons) be 100% certain of the events described, or indeed, who was actually involved. It could all have been a crank-addled hallucination, or even a schizoid delusion, and I’m actually residing in a mental health facility. I don’t know. Maybe none of it happened. Or some of it happened. Or perhaps I simply went out to interview a turnip farmer, and the sun got to me.

© 1999-2020 Jimmy Lee Shreeve. All rights reserved.

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