Truth of Novichok poisoning

Sails-berry cathedral, a major attraction for Russian lovers of Gotistic architecture

Messrs Petrov and Boshirov are getting bad press at the moment, and the only feeble attempt at some balance came from an inept RT interview.

Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor, bungled the discussion by obviously leading the two gentlemen into silly replies.

I don’t know what she was trying to achieve, but teasing out the truth clearly wasn’t it.

A gaping hole was left open, and that’s what I set out to plug. Thankfully, my contacts in Moscow are still good. In fact, my friend Vlad Putin keeps inviting me there as his guest of honour.

“You’ll get the surprise of your life, Al,” he told me the other day. However, fearing that my brittle health ill-prepares me for even pleasant surprises, I respectfully turned his hospitality down.

Instead I arranged for a Skype interview with Pet and Bosh, as they like to be known to their friends of whom they rightly feel I’m one. So here’s the transcript, and I hope it clears up the matter once and for all.

AB: What took you to England, lads?

Bosh: You need to ask? Our handler… I mean friend told us: “Boys, I know how you love Gotistic architecture. But there’s more to it than Chartreuse and Bourget Cathedrals in France. Go west, boys, go to England. And boys? Keep it down at night when you munch on each other in hotel rooms. The Brits aren’t as tolerant as we are.”

AB: And so you went?

Pet: You bet. We saw some fine samples of Early Gotistic at Cadbury Cathedral, took in a bit of Decorated Gotistic at York Minister…

Bosh: And then we went on the razzle in Gay London…

Pet: No, Pet, it’s Paree that’s gay…

Bosh: Gay is where you are, Pet. Anyway, we checked into that fleabag in the East End, all we could afford after we bought some spliffs at King’s Cross and a couple of, you know, toys at that shop in Soho…

Pet: That’s right. The fleabag is where our handler… I mean friend told us to stay. That’s where all poor Russians stay, so, for us to feel at home, the staff don’t even bother to change the sheets or mop up the puke.

Bosh: So we had our shindig, got shitfaced, woke up the next morning, puked and went to Watercloset Station.

Pet: That’s where you catch a train for Sails-berry Cathedral…

Bosh: That’s right. Our handler… I mean friend told us: “Boys, you’ve got to see Sails-berry Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is one of the leading examples of Early English architecture…”

Pet: The main body of the cathedral was completed in 38 years, from 1220…

AB: You should write articles for Wikipedia, lads. And read them. But what about those CCTV cameras showing you walking from the station in a direction opposite to the cathedral?

Bosh: Thought we’d do the city first. And that field around the cathedral had snow all over it, impossible to walk on if you aren’t used to it.

AB: Not used to it? Don’t you have snow in Moscow?

Pet: We used to. But our great leader St Vladimir solved that problem, like he solved all others. You won’t see snow or slush in Moscow now. We’re spiritual people…

Bosh: Oh yes. We also had a bottle of spirits in that fleabag…

AB: Now what about the Skripals?

Pet: Who?

AB: You know, the Skripals. The ex-KGB colonel and his daughter you supposedly poisoned with Novichok?

Bosh: Oh that… Listen, we had nothing to do with that.

Pet: It’s all a terrible misunderstanding. You see, we wanted to chat up those young monks at Sails-berry Cathedral…

Bosh: Novices, they’re called. And remember your Russian, Al? The Russian for novice is ‘novichok’.

Pet: So we walked around town asking passers-by where we could find a novice to chat up. Except that we didn’t know the English for it, so we’d just say “Novichok?”.

AB: But the Cathedral is Anglican. There are no monks there, novices or otherwise.

Bosh: That’s what we found out. So we just admired the spire….

Pet: The large supporting pillars at the corners of the spire are seen to bend inwards under the stress. The addition of reinforcing tie-beams above the crossing designed by Christopher Wren in 1668 halted further deformation…

AB: Thank you, Pet. But what about those traces of Novichok found in your hotel room?

Bosh: We didn’t do a novice that night, honest, it was just us…

AB: Never mind novices. I’m talking about the military-grade poison.

Pet: Oh that? Nothing to do with us, Al. I told you, they don’t even change the sheets at that fleabag. Who knows who stayed there before us?

Bosh: I do, Pet. Our handler… I mean friend told us it was an MI6 agent. He moved out an hour before we moved in.

Pet: That’s right, forgot that. Now that explains it, doesn’t it?

Bosh: You bet your scent spray. The Russian people led by the great genius St Vladimir are peace-loving and highly spiritual.

Pet: British imperialists are neither: they’re money-grabbing materialists, racist colonialists who oppress whole continents and murder their enemies in thousands, using radioactive isotopes like polonium and gases like Novichok, which is really called Novice…

Bosh: The Skripals must have been their enemies…

Pet: So they poisoned them.

Bosh: St Vladimir explained it all to us, and we’re now explaining it all to you.

AB: And I thank you for it, lads. Truth will out, they say. And it has.

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