Blueberry Economics

There’s a man at the door with a pork pie hat and a bee on a string and he wants his money or else.  Listen, I didn’t think things would come to this – when I made the investment I had it all planned out.  You could get a good price for blueberries in those days but, hey, the world’s a changing place.  That’s why there’s a man at the door with a bee on a string and I’m on a train speeding through the blueberried countryside, blueberries growing all over the place, out of control.  Even inside the train there are blueberries.  I’m sick of the sight of them.  I’ve ditched the blueberries now, I’m going back to the biscuit business.  I stayed up all last night dunking biscuits in about fifteen hundred cups of coffee whilst trying to come up with designs for the biscuit tins of the future.  I’ve got those with me, stuffed into a messenger bag which is lying at my feet, blueberries slowly growing across it.  Bloody blueberries.  They are a new kind of problem.  A problem for everyone, some kind of environmental disaster I guess.  Not like the complicated maths problems I have to solve so that I can pay off the man with a pork pie hat and a bee on a string – problems which involve some numbers which I furiously add and subtract and multiply and divide in the vague hope of them forming some kind of friendly shape but which do not to play along whatever I do.  See, you have an idea for a business.  You borrow some money from a man with a pork pie hat and a bee on a string.  You buy an old abandoned factory and you make it into a blueberry-packing joint.  Blueberries are good business – people love ‘em but there’s not many around.  You’ve got a contact who can ship in tonnes at a time, you’ve got the packing equipment, you’ve got places to sell them, you’ve got it all worked out.  Things go well, for a while.  Then.  On a country walk you find blueberries growing all over the shop – in hedges and up tree trunks but also on bus stops and abandoned vehicles.  They’re everywhere and people are eating them and picking them and selling them and god knows what else.  Whatever they’re doing with them, they are not going to be buying your nicely-packed blueberries.  The infestation soon spreads, even in the middle of the city the blueberries are taking over, crawling up the side of skyscrapers, creeping across the pavements, growing like funghi on the back of scrawny urban pigeons.  They are probably growing on the pork pie hat which is sitting on top of the head of the man with a bee on a string and a strong desire to get his money back.  His money is probably covered in blueberries, too.  And I wonder what good his money will do him now, what good it will do any of us as the blueberries slowly take over, growing faster than we can eat them, growing above and below the ground, growing across the sea, blueberries growing on us and inside us and all around us now forever.


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