Jimmy Gadfly, newly renamed dictator of Libya, welcomes Dai Cameroid into his home - a chip-fat and nicotine stained tent on the outskits of New Gorbals, Tripoli.
Dai taps his nose. "You ain't seen me, right?"
"Right. No worries, Jimmy, I just want a bit of your advice, innit like?" Gadfly cracks open a Tennent's and sits down.
"Not Jimmy. My name is David. We're not all called Jimmy in Airstrip One, I mean the UK, you know."
"Right, Jimmy. I mean, Davey. It's all because of the Magwai, you know, that lumpy bloke you sent back to us. He picked up an accent in that Scottish prison and it's spreading like a bleeding fungus all over this place. I can't even get a bowl of hummous now without five tons of bloody salt in it and there isn't a lamb cutlet in the country that isn't dipped in batter and deep fried in lard. What the hell did you people do to him?"
"Not us, I can assure you." Dai put aside his can of Tennent's, aware that he would have to down it before he left as a mark of respect for his host even though it was, well, a bit common. "The Scots are a strange lot. Their culture is like a virus which is why even the Romans tried to keep them out. They are so strange that hardly any of them vote for me, can you believe it?"
"Aye, I mean nah, Davey boy. Anyway, I called you in here for a bit of a chinwag, ye ken? See me? See my people? They're all bastards, so they are. They want to stop listening to me and they're getting all uppity about it. So how do you do it? How do you keep all those British so docile? Something in the water, is it?"
Dai laughed. "That would never work, especially on the Scots. They never drink any unless it's been fermented. No, we did it by a series of little steps. Things the stupid cattle never even noticed."
"Such as?" Gadfly took out a notebook and pen.
Dai leaned forward. "Right. First you have to disarm them. You can't do it yourself or they'll realise their government is controlling them. So you persuade their family, friends and neighbours to turn them in and pressure them into handing over all their weapons."
"That actually works?" Gadfly scribbled furiously in his book.
"It's worked for us for a very long time. Ours are down to tweezers and dressmaking pins and we won't let them take even those on planes."
"Damn, that's pure dead brilliant, is that." Gadfly underlined his last writings. "Go on. What's next?"
"Okay. Anyone who objects to any directive is mad or an addict. You can make up any addiction you like and if you set up a charity to drum it in, they'll fall for it. The important part is not to have anyone intelligent in that charity in case they notice it's all nonsense, but as long as the message gets pumped out daily, the daft little sods will believe every word."
"Mad or an addict. Man, I knew you were worth the money. Here, have a glass of Bells."
"Um... thanks." Dai accepted the glass, waited until Gadfly was engrossed in his writing and poured it into a potted palm.
"Right, so it doesn't matter what addiction you made up, they'll just believe it?" Gadfly sat, pen poised.
"Not at all. We've used everything from hallucinogenic drugs to coffee and even dairy products. They're scared of their own shadows in my country now." Beside Dai, the potted palm belched.
"Coffee, milk, drugs. Fantastic. Any more?"
"Well, if you really want them scared and begging for your protection, I find Islamic - no offense, mind - militants are a good bet. " Dai shifted away from the palm which had become rather attentive. "We blame just about everything on Osama bin Laden these days. The suckers lap it all up like cats in a creamery. It's really easy."
"Brilliant. We'll have these tubes back in line in no time with all this. Thanks, Davey. How about some porridge before you go? Oh wait, you haven't drunk your can. Go on, man, take a drink."
"Right. Of course. When in Rome, eh?" Dai popped the can and drank as much as he could, spilling most of it over himself in the tradition of his host. The palm made indecipherable threatening noises behind him.
"Rome, Davey boy? We don't mention that place here."
"Of course, I was forgetting. My apologies, General Gadfly." Dai performed a low and disgustingly obsequious bow.
Gadfly blushed. "Only Colonel, so far, but thanks."
Dai took one step towards the door and stopped. "Oh, I almost forgot. We have a special on bullets at the moment. Ten percent discount for bulk orders. If you know anyone who might be interested..."
"Sure, Davey. Just let me take down that web shop address and discount code. Aye, I'll pass it on, just in case anyone's interested. "
"Right, well, I'd better go. I'll see you in London soon?"
"Maybe. I have a house there. I've been thinking of visiting. See you later, pal, and good luck."
Next day, Dai reads the papers and has to call in his official tax-funded forehead-slapper (when you have a forehead like that, you don't have the time to slap it all yourself).
"No, Gadfly, you're supposed to do it over years, not minutes."
Oh well. At least the bullet orders went through.
Now if only he could stop that palm tree following him around...