August 20, 2015 by helenwaldron
Lightbulbs flashed as they came down to breakfast next morning.
“Did you call the press?” asked Speakeasy.
“In your dreams,” answered Writewell. “What’s new in the big, bad world today?”
There were huge plasma screens on the walls of the breakfast bar.
Breaking news: “We are not corrupt,” say French, Belgian, Spanish and Portuguese leaders in a joint statement.
“Well, of course they are,” said Speakeasy lazily over organic scrambled eggs and fair trade coffee. “What are they talking about?”
Breaking news: world criticizes British and American government attacks on press freedom.
“Oh, these English speaking nations. They always think they rule the roost,” commented Writewell as she poured home-made yogurt over her fresh fruit salad.
Speakeasy looked at his watch (not a Rolex), then smiled up at Writewell across the table.
“Nearly 45 minutes to go. And today it’s our last day of lessons. And then we send in a big, fat bill.”
Speakeasy always looked on the bright side of life.
“The trouble is,” Writewell considered, “Oscar, Ken and Jean-Claude don’t really need to learn English. They’re successful enough without it. Maybe that’s why they’re not learning anything.”
“Have you been drinking champagne already?” asked Speakeasy. Drinking champagne made Writewell depressed.
Ken, Oscar and Jean-Claude were all in the classroom, smiling, when the two teachers entered. They looked ready to celebrate something with champagne.
“Bebece,” laughed Ken and nodded.
Jean-Claude showed them his tablet with the headlines.
A victory for democracy. British and American press embargo lifted. Now it can be told. The secrets of the G8 summit.
“Oh dear,” exclaimed Speakeasy. “Did they eat too much cake, or something?”
“Leclan,” said Jean-Claude. “’E is stopped.”
He smiled at his completed sentence.
“No permit cut trees.”
“Amazonas,” added Oscar.
“Contract killed.” Ken made a cutting gesture with his hand.
“All the world say Leclan is bad man,” explained Jean-Claude. “Is not new. Leclan is – ‘ow you say..”
“Trapaceiro,” said Oscar.
“Sorry,” said Speakeasy. “We don’t speak Portuguese in the lesson.”
“Criminal,” explained Oscar.
“Mafiya, diktator!” shouted Ken in Russian.
There was a knock on the door. The hotel manager entered. He spoke in Russian for Ken, in Portuguese for Oscar and in French for Jean-Claude.
Finally he spoke in English for the teachers.
“We have a phone call from the President of the United States of America and one from the British Prime Minister. They say they would like to join in with their international colleagues and thank these three gentlemen.”
The three gentlemen were shaking their heads and no longer smiling.
The door opened again without a knock. The Federal Chancellor of Germany entered in person.
Oscar looked quite fierce as he pushed the Chancellor out again.
“Thank you. No, thank you.”
“Well,” said the hotel manager, a little surprised. “That seems quite clear. No disturbances. It’s English time now.”
“You are lucky to have such dedicated students,” he added to Speakeasy and Writewell with a smile.
And so they were.
“Do you have any idea what all that was about?” Speakeasy asked Writewell after they had finished the final day of the seminar.
“Not really,” admitted Writewell. “But I think our three students did something world-changing. And they were really good in class today. Did you notice Jean-Claude was speaking in whole sentences?”
“They’ve booked us for next year, the last week in August. Diana had written it out for Oscar. And we’ve earned enough for a good night out.”
And so the world’s western leaders were forced to bow to public pressure, as the story leaked out about their secret contract with the tycoon Leclan. To save face, they all pretended they had been tricked, and one by one they revoked their permission to grant Leclan unlimited rights in return for a share of his profits.
Oscar, Ken and Jean-Claude did not learn much English, but they saved the environment and were able to sleep well that night.
And as the five hotel guests packed up to leave Berlin, a Happy Dog ran barking into the hotel foyer, and the waiting press laughed so much, they forgot to take their pictures and get their interviews.