Episode Three

Scene: a field somewhere near Lahore. A group of young men in grey Lahore PD tracksuits are standing around, yawning

Umar: I can't believe they said we weren't fit.

Afridi: Don't worry bro, the PCB never takes these things seriously. Trust me. A couple of times around the field and then we can sneak off for a pre-lunch burger.

Enter Detective Misbah, jogging. He proceeds to jog on the spot

Misbah: Good morning fatties!

Afridi: What are you doing here?

Misbah: Police Chief Waqar is appalled at the general lack of fitness in this department so he has asked me to get you people into shape.

Afridi: You aren't qualified.

Misbah: Not true. I have a Diploma in Fatty Eradication from the University of Cyberspace, and a badge. Do you know what my badge says?

Afridi: Bite me?

Misbah: No, my portly friend, it does not. It is a special reward from the PCB for being good and for sticking to the official PCB diet.

Afridi: Huh? All you got was a badge? Not worth it.

Misbah: Not just a badge. I got a 10% bonus and this very shiny whistle. Do you know what this whistle is for?

Afridi: To keep the umpire awake when you're batting?

Misbah: No, Detective Afridi. It is to demonstrate my authority. When I blow my whistle like this (blows whistle) you have to do exactly what I say. Now, all of you, on the floor and give me ten.

They groan and attempt to manage a few sit-ups

Misbah:Put your back into it, Afridi. Good grief, I've never seen such a collection of wobble-bottoms and pot-bellies. There has been a dangerous outbreak of lazyitis in this squad and I am going to turn all of you into model professionals.

Umar: I think I'm going to pass out!

Rehman: I can't feel my legs!

Misbah: Right that's enough, stand up all of you. Now, exercise is only part of the solution. Diet is essential. Detective Afridi, what did you have for dinner yesterday?

Afridi: Three kebabs, chicken biryani and two bowls of kheer and ice cream.

Misbah: Good grief!

Afridi: And a quarter-pounder with cheese for supper.

Misbah: Do you have any idea of the nutrient composition of a burger?

Afridi: Yes, it's 90% delicious.

Misbah: Detective Afridi, you are a disgrace. From now on, you will all conform to the official PCB diet sheet. (Hands a pile of diet sheets to Umar). Everyone is to read this paper and inwardly digest. No, Irfan, do not eat the diet sheet, it was a figure of speech.

Rehman: Mine just says granola. What's granola?

Misbah: Granola is your best friend, detective. Now can anyone tell me what this is? (Holds up an apple)

Afridi: Let me see. Looks like a cricket ball. (He takes a bite) Urggh! Doesn't taste like a cricket ball! What is that?

Misbah: That is an apple.

Afridi: A what?

Misbah: It's a fruit?

Afridi: A what?

Misbah: (sighs) Never mind. Let's test your food intelligence. Who can tell me what to do if you find you've put on a few extra pounds?

Rehman: Wear a bigger t-shirt?

Umar: I know this! You should go for vertical stripes, they are far more flattering. My brother Kamran has this really nice striped shirt, swears it takes five pounds off his hips.

Rehman: He does look good in it.

Mutters of agreement

Misbah: Enough! You will all be staying behind for detention. Now give me 20! (blows whistle but no-one moves). Didn't you hear the whistle of authority? (blows it again). No, Irfan, what are you doing? You can't treat me like this!

Irfan picks up Detective Misbah and dumps him head first into a vat of granola

Afridi: Post-training burger anyone?

Umar: Count me in.

Rehman: This exercise business gives you a real appetite!

Andrew Hughes' latest book is available here and here. @hughandrews73