The Secret Life of Walt Gritty
Walt watched missiles transform the enemy
weapons factory into a fireball, then took the fighter-bomber
into a turn and set course for the carrier group.
It had been a long day. He had parachuted
behind enemy lines, single-handedly eliminated the Elite Guard,
terminated the countrys evil dictator, destroyed their
weapons of mass destruction and finally hijacked a fighter-bomber
to destroy future means of weapons manufacture and effect his
escape. All in all, however, the day had been fairly routine.
Walt had excelled at school, both
academically and in sporting prowess. His natural gifts had led
to a doctorate at eighteen and international prizes for
innumerable sports. In choosing a career, five generations of
Grittys had served the nations Armed Forces, so Walt had
followed. He had effortlessly won acclaim as a soldier, pilot and
astronaut. He now spent his days in breathtaking heroic
adventures, and his nights having sex with an endless stream of
the worlds most beautiful and intelligent women.
Walt, however, felt he was missing-out.
The flight path to one of his bases in
Southern England passed over a supermarket, and he often looked
wistfully at shoppers pushing trolleys to their cars. Sometimes,
as he microligthted onto the landing pad of his penthouse, he
would glance sadly at the commuters in the bus queue far below.
There, beneath, was an enticing world of middle class tedium of
which he could only dream.
Walt, however, could cherish his fantasies.
The adventures of the day were over, and his plane was locked-on
to a carrier computer. It would return and land without his input.
He closed his eyes and was transported in his imagination to a
semi-detached house in Southern England on an overcast January
He watched drizzle fall from grey clouds as
his wife nagged about the numerous household jobs he had been
avoiding. There was also, of course, the kitchen floor to clean -
the dog having been sick from consuming an entire chocolate
gateau, carelessly left to thaw within its reach.
Then there was the trip to the supermarket
- perhaps a little car park rage as an elderly
shopper who should be in a home - or dead, took the last parking
space. Walt particularly savoured the image of an enormous queue
for a checkout and then the till breaking down just as he reached
With increasing excitement, Walt visualised
scanning TV listings to discover nothing at all he wished to
watch on television and then rescanning the pages to select the
least bad. At least it was past six in the evening and no guilt
was associated with opening the first bottle of economical red
Walt was suddenly aware of a tap on his
shoulder. The plane had landed and the landing crew were
suggesting he left. He climbed from the cockpit, mildly irritated
that his fantasy had been interrupted, but pleased that the damp
patch around his crotch had remained unobserved.