U OK, hun?

Detective Inspector Jose Mundalez knew there was something weird about this one. Just knew it.

He crushed his cigarette beneath his foot and moved one step closer to the body. Matty ‘MJ’ Jacobson had boiled to death in an enormous vat of baked beans, his corpse discovered in a desolate warehouse at just after 6am on a swelteringly hot Chicago morning.

Mundalez had worked some sick cases in his time. He’d been just a rookie when he’d solved his first serial homicide case: a psycho by the name of The Washing Up Liquid Killer (also known as Steve). Tortured by his memories, he’d drank too much, screwed too much, couponed too much. Ordered by his captain to take leave, he’d left Chicago P.D. to rediscover the convoluted sob story that had made him want to become a cop in the first place.

But now he was back, and something about this case had excited him. What was the victim doing out here? And why was he covered in beans?

Matty’s family, friends and co-workers had all confirmed that he didn’t even like baked beans. The CSI squad had recovered no beans from his house. So what was he doing dead in this warehouse, beans all up in his grill?

“Lopez,” Mundalez barked at the young detective examining the vat. “Have we confirmed the time of death?”

Lopez smirked. “In Heinz-sight that would have been a good idea.”

“Get back to work,” Mundalez snapped.

He stepped carefully onto the silver ladder attached to the side of the vat. Peering over the edge, he surveyed its contents.

Beans. Lots and lots of beans.

The smell was rancid. Like tomatoes and entrails and when you pull a load of hair out of the plughole and it looks like a small mammal. At the edge, a puffy face floated helplessly.

Teetering on the top rung of the ladder, Mundalez leaned towards Matty’s face.

“U OK, hun?” he whispered.

THE END 

cropped-blog-drawing-smallest.jpg

It was the year 2023 and the Labour government had released its target that 86% of all school-leavers should be beauty bloggers.

It was Armageddon. The UK had gone completely tits-up. B&Q had run out of white paint, scientists had been forced to cultivate giant mutant avocados to keep up with demand and teens across the country were in counselling.

“I’m just not chirpy and kitsch enough,” they sobbed breathlessly. “I can’t take close-ups of my Benefit cheek palette because I have a moustache, I don’t know my foundation from my arsehole and I have to live in a hazmat suit to keep my room spotless enough to take artistically arranged snaps of my #MAChaul. I can’t go on like this. I just can’t.”

But it was the law. And so engineers, teachers and doctors had been phased out in favour of people who could take 236 selfies per day and use gross words like ‘adorbs’ and ‘totes’.

The population now stood at 1.7 million. Six million people had died of food poisoning after taking 28 minutes to upload pictures of their quinoa salad. It was a pandemic, it was cruel and it was the law.

“It is the law,” said Jeremy Corbyn during PMQs. “The UK will become a world leader in beauty blogging.” He clambered onto his bench, gyrating his hips slightly. “We will not surrender to Tory ideals of literacy and numeracy. Nor will we accept that people should do something better with their lives than make gormless pouty fish faces and then edit the shit out of their pictures. Hashtag effyourbeautystandards.”

As the population dwindled and the English language waned to just nine words – eyebrows, bae, fleek, on, MAC, strobe, NYX, Benefit and haul – the UK ground to a halt.

Eventually there was just one beauty blogger left. Her Instagram handle was @unicornrainbowglitterprincessveganmarilynmonroewasasize16primarkhaul and she was 19 Illamasqua Skin Bases old.

As she lay weak in the beauty section of House of Fraser, her pot of Anastasia Dipbrow Promade fell from her hands and rolled into the distance. With her last dying breaths, she typed a caption for her Instagram selfie.

Eyebrows. On. Fleek.  

*

Two centuries later, her crusty old remains were discovered and displayed in the Natural History Museum. They can still be viewed today for £8, or £6 if you order through Groupon.

THE END

*Please note some of this is not historically accurate.