I have made good my escape, but can’t believe you all accepted Aliya’s word of what had been happening to me. I suppose the last blogpost I wrote, about being tasked with a secret government mission concerning vegetables, which was made under threat of being buried alive in a pile of potatoes may have helped suppress any feelings of suspicion, so I’ll give you all the benefit of the doubt.
But rather than a Playmobil version of Heaven, I have been through Hell. Hell I tell you.
Several weeks ago I feel unwittingly into a trap set by Aliya and her family, who had undergone some kind of group trauma resulting in them all believing the key to the world’s salvation will come in the form of vegetables.
I was invited to their house under the pretence of trying a new recipe Aliya had arrived at due to an odd mix of ingredients in her latest veggiebox delivery. They had far too many tomatoes, and as we all know, not being a true vegetable, tomatoes are things Aliya has little truck with.
I was as much a fool in going as you have been in believing the warped Playmobil fantasies she has been playing out on this blog since my capture. (Incidentally, anyone who knows me would be aware that I’d never write iPhone with a capital ‘I’, even with the inconvenience of U’s for hands and no discernible fingers to speak of. What’s more I feel my reputation as a stern, joyless misanthrope may have been irrevocably tarnished by the ‘Neilio’ sign-offs Aliya used in her fake missives.)
So how did I make good my escape? Ironically, I turned Aliya and her family’s own vegetables against them.
As close readers of this blog will know, Aliya’s hubby is a military man. Recently he—rather than I—had been tasked with a top secret government mission concerning vegetables. But not just any vegetables. Oh no. We’re talking GENETICALLY MODIFIED VEGETABLES.
These are strange, triffid-like creatures that grow in the space of days rather than weeks. During my imprisonment—which, if you’ve ever read The Collector, you’ll have some idea of how Aliya treated me—the only times I was allowed out of doors unsupervised was to tend the GM vegetable patch. This was a sorry scrap of earth (these GM foods will grow pretty much anywhere) surrounded on three sides by fifteen feet high sheer concrete walls, and on the third side by the sad entryway to the stairwell leading down to the cellar where I was kept.
Having overheard conversations concerning a new fridge freezer that had to be ‘just so, for you know what’, I knew I had to at least attempt to escape, even if I was destined to die trying. My plan was simple, but, as you will now realise, given that I’m here writing to you, effective.
I planted my next batch of seedlings in a carefully considered pattern, so that when they had grown to their full size—within a matter of days, the mutants!—they would spell out a rescue plea for me. To whit: Help! Nutters Have Me Locked Up And Are Making Me Grow These Weird Super-Sized Rhubarbs. Send A Shrink.
Although this was quite a lot of veggie-text to fit into the small courtyard, I felt I needed to add something more, to illustrate the urgency of the situation. So did. PS Please Hurry. I Think They’ve Got A New Fridge Freezer On Order.
Now all I could do was wait. Three terrifying days passed. I had a real scare when that leaflet about the second hand fridge freezer came through, but as luck would have it I was granted a reprieve. And with just minutes to spare my rescuers arrived. As I was airlifted to safety by the Waitrose helicopter, I could see a white goods delivery van had parked up outside the house.
As soon we landed I called my good friend Professor Robert Winston and asked for his advice. He picked me up in an armoured truck and we were straight back to the military base, although it petrified me to be there. I needn’t have worried though. Bob’s crew of trained SWAT Psychiatrists had soon overpowered what little resistance was offered, mainly by Aliya armed with Munchie’s Supersoaker 3000 and a dressing gown belt tied round her head.
I’m pleased to report that the Whiteley family are now ensconced in a high security rehabilitation unit in Milton Keynes specialised in the treatment of vegetable obsessives, and are generally making good progress. Aliya’s therapy mainly consists of exposure to Rorschach images resembling squashed tomatoes.