Ariadne Grumble played a small if largely unheralded part in the rise and eventual fall of capitalism in the second half of the twentieth century. Without Ariadne’s commitment to creating shortages of inessentials the retail market is unlikely to have been quite so buoyant for so long.
Ariadne inherited a significant fortune from her uncle Mussen Grumble who’s invention of the homing truss gave new hope to all herniated agrophobics. She used her new found wealth on the excessive acquisition of products as diverse as scented candles, nodding dogs and disposable fire irons. By so doing she created panics in certain sectors of the consumerist economy, leading to scurrilous and sensationalised headlines by bored tabloid business writers that induced other panic buying with initial boosts to the economy but eventually creating the conditions for a spiralling decline into debilitating financial despair.
Governments flailed against her malign influence of which she was initially largely unaware. When, after the thirteenth Grumblebust as the collapses of economic activity were known she was banned from shopping she became a recluse and went online using a series of cunning aliases.
The public, who initially saw her as a sort of Robin Hood – George Soros combo turned against her. Campaigns were launched to ‘Get The Grumble’ but these were unsuccessful until a persistent hack, Fay Queues uncovered her lair. Fay, a chain smoking lay preacher for the Church Of Curious Intolerants set up her hide to study Ariadne in her natural element before determining the best strategy for her expose.
It took a while to realise that Ariadne had a weekly plan of concerted purchasing then disposal of whatever it was she had bought before the buying started again.
Faye reported to her editor who, appalled at the gratuitous waste involved told Faye to contact a film crew to capture the moment when Faye confronted Ariadne with her crimes against consumerism.
And so it was that Faye, her trusty assistant Corpulent Fossil and the film crew camouflaged themselves and crept into position for that week’s wanton disposal.
‘Here she comes’ hissed Corpulent as he wiped his boss’ visor of the blackout paint and held back the branches to allow Faye a passage towards the heinous evildoer.
Ariadne, for her part, was unaware of what was transpiring. As Faye crept stealthily forward and the cameras rolled Faye extracted her lighter and flicked the wheel with a practiced roll of her thumb to light up the twenty ninth cheroot of the day. At that same moment Ariadne released the pressure on two hundred and seventy boxes of salon hairspray.
The resulting conflagration vaporised Ariadne, scorched Faye and in the process removed from her the need ever again to depilate her top lip and created the most effective health and safety campaign video on the dangers of naked flames near lacquer that had ever been devised.
And the economy? It tanked anyway because that’s what economies do.
This was written in response to this week’s #writephoto prompt