The vanilla milkshake looked at Zeus and sang – ‘I kissed a horse and I liked it. A horse kiss is the final ingredient in my chemical equation to blow my teacher’s retroussé nose right off her face when she reads my essay on the influence of burgers and their music on Ludwig Wittenstein’s Tractatus.’
Zeus got security to bend her straw and poke her with sticks as she performed. He said – ‘To get you used to the abuse girl. Lots and lots of abuse girl. Get used to it and you’ll travel through galaxies.’
She continued singing – ‘If I’ve balanced my equation just right, my teacher’s nose will be no more and hanging from the ceiling of her classroom by paragraph twelve of my essay. And when it drops, I’ve got Steven to baseball-bat it out the window. From a pure physics point of view, a donkey’s kiss would probably work much better than a horse’s, but that was vile and exceedingly sloppy. I don’t think I can go there and do that all over again. Anyway, I’m giving her the essay the next time she says my name in Irish. Why can’t she say it the way it’s supposed to be said? What’s wrong with her?’
Zeus stood up and clapped wildly – ‘That’s fantastic. As Bono would say – I haven’t been this excited since seeing the Dutch tax-rate for non-residents for the very first time. Now sing me your back story Vanilla Milkshake – and big money is on the way – all tax-free.’
She was practically on fire.
‘Who was this dying grandfather in a bed that no one liked because of all the things he had done? Nineties feminism? Surely not? In this song, Zeus, I am a teenager.’
‘I was fifteen and had forced all my friends and family into calling me Miss Pimple, if you know what I mean. On pain of death. Everyone obliged. Even my grandfather. I wouldn’t go upstairs to keep him sick company in his bedroom as he gasped slowly towards his coffin. Eventually, even his doctor agreed it would come soon. He wanted to see his four grandchildren one last time. They persuaded me to go up to him, with my three siblings.
‘Transfixed by this near loss of life before me, I felt bitterly put-upon in having to stand before him like he was some sort of king, not being allowed to say much.
‘But then I was last in the room, left on my own with him, even my mother had gone. All my nicely simmering resentments and the elephant in the room came to a whistling crescendo, molto animato. To the bed I went where he was sleeping, waking up, sleeping, waking up, sleeping. I took a blue biro from my pocket and drew a picture of a penis on his forehead. Check your privilege grandda. Check your privilege.
‘“That feels good, thank you for your kind febrifuge dear. I love you and always will,” he said.
‘I left and in the next few hours he died with my rough-hewn cock on his head. No-one knew what it was, afraid to wipe it off until the doctor did, the next morning.
‘An Egyptian hieroglyph: a descending eagle poking the head of an ox – a truly bad augury in the sacrifices indeed. Is what everyone said. Which was a pity really. Because it was a cock. And not a hieroglyph.’
Zeus stood up clapping and stamping his feet – ‘As my local G.P. would say – I don’t see sick babies waiting in my surgery, I see fifty pound notes. I’ll make you a star Vanilla Milkshake. A superstar.’
He then squeezed her sides making her vanilla-liquid spurt joyfully forth from the top of her bent straw.