Jed, l'incompétent

by James

Hey guys, I need some help here. It’s about Jed. Well, I’m at my wit’s end.

The first time Jed tried to kill himself, and even then, that wasn’t real attempt – it was a spoon in the microwave. Or, as his mother called it, mee-crow-wah-vay. She had airs you see, ideas above her station. They had a posh house, this three-storey townhouse kind of place, grand and imposing, but crumbling away. His parents bought it in a pretty bad way before the property market took off, but they could never afford to do it up properly. So that was them, fifty years in that same house, watching the city gentrify around them as they, well she, left brochures for the QE2 around at coffee mornings.

Is it any wonder that Jed left one of her silver-spoon bests in the mee-crow-wah-vay the day after her funeral? He said it was disappointing, a few blue sparks, so that’s when he whacked in a Fray Bentos steak and kidney without taking off the lid and blew the bloody door off.

But like I say, that wasn’t a real attempt – Jed had wandered into the sitting room to stick on Midsummer Murders when the bomb went off.

But the second time around? I still have my doubts. The whole thing was just plain weird. He said the reason that the paramedics found him in her wheelchair was just that he felt a bit tired, he saw the chair, he sat down. He said the reason he was wrapped in her shawl was that he felt a bit chilly, fair enough. But…the underwear, and the false teeth?

Attempt number three involved a noble attempt at self-improvement. He joined a local foraging group. He became versed in the details of local flora and fauna, and mushrooms especially. Which ones you can safely eat. Which ones will blind you, which will kill you with a whisper, which will choke you with a song?

There’s this mushroom called Dryad’s Saddle. Absolutely one hundred percent fine for human consumption – it probably adds lustre to your hair and a shine to your eyes. He went a-foraging, he made himself a lovely risotto.

Yep, that’s right. Chucked out all the poison ones, filled this thing with nothing but Dryad’s Saddle mushrooms. The worst thing that happened? Too much salt, so he went to get himself a drink of water. He did spill some on the floor tiles, thus turning them into a slip hazard, but by the time he went back out into the kitchen it had dried and all was well.

Left the gas on? No chance. All electric.

So there are the details, angelhelpine.hev. What about I supposed to do? This guy’s a bloody incompetent, and I am bored shitless. Would it be…so bad if say, someone were to accidentally sling a length of razor wire across the stairs, or I don’t know, sneak a live hand grenade into someone’s sock drawer?