Local sleep-challenged writer, Walter Dample, reports on the recent Antiques Roadshow at Crunge Hall.
I confess that due to a fitful night’s sleep my rememberings of this glorious day are a little muddled, but never have I seen so much mahogany in both the offerings brought, in hopefulness of an heirloom that would make fortunes, or indeed the presenters.
The beautiful Crunge Hall – so scenic – was the venue for the BBC’s burgeoning celebration of old stuff, be that the visitors, viewers or indeed the presenters.
One of the first surprises of the day was local post-mistress Bufty Von-Giro, who brought in a tiny exploding universe packed carefully inside a turbot. Expert Robert Tilney, resplendent in a moustache made for twirling, advised Bufty that it was from the glory days of Woolworths, when tiny universes were obtainable with Green Shield Stamps. But more surprises were in store as Robert, shrugging off a tweed jacket of pure chips and a yoghurt waistcoat, transformed into a steam-powered automaton and levitated above the table. He spoke of wars, love and tragedy to a rapt Bufty who cried tears of multicoloured lamps and accelerated back in time.
I confess that I appear to have blacked out at that moment, only to be brought around by some kind TV producers. By this time, Mr Tilney had reverted to his human form and moved to the next hopeful in line who had a small porcelain cat.
Feeling a little wobbly, I moved towards a gasping crowd who had gathered around a wonderful silver snuff box that was being examined by expert Bunny Campione. The owner, Frant Shandybass from Great Panhold, explained that her grandfather had brought it back from his time in Kettering and it had been in the family ever since. Bunny explained that the maker had hidden a little surprise inside each of his snuff boxes and proceeded to pull out a giant broadsword that glowed in a colour that no one had ever seen before. And not a moment too soon as a wolf-shaped creature of purest black had swaggered into the hall challenging Bunny to a fight to the death. Bunny, who had in a split-second miraculously changed into a four-story high Japanese Gundam, speared the beast and held him aloft before bellowing “Is no one going to fetch me a bloody sherry then?”
Once again, the shock of this resulted in me blacking out again and I came around in a darkened side-room of the hall sprawled on a small camp bed. After a while, I began to feel better and ventured forth once again into the vintage throng of the hall.
My last and most memorable visit was to the station of ceramics expert David Battie, who was examining a fine Carltonware teapot in the shape of an abstract goose. David explained to its owner, Tring Pushkin, that these were fired in a facility on the star Wolf 359 by floating beings that fed on pure helium. It was at this moment that the hall dissolved into a dense jungle populated by fairy folk with a sharp look in their eyes. I cried out to expert John Sandon for help but he just started laughing and repeating the words “Frazzles are the jauntiest of snacks young chap!”
As a result of this, I ran, but the syrupy jungle floor hindered my progress and the fairies were encircling me. I realised that I was naked in assembly in front of my younger self. It was at that point that my teeth fell out.
For the third time that day, I lost consciousness and was brought back around by a kindly BBC floor runner who I presume had pulled me out of my predicament and returned me to Crunge Hall. I thanked him for rescuing me and fixing my teeth, for which he seemed a little taken aback. Truly a silent hero.
I left, somewhat befuddled by the day’s events, but I commend the BBC for the seemingly inexhaustible array of special effects they have for spicing up a posh jumble sale. It almost felt like a dream…
Right… we’re not sure how accurate that report is, but be assured dear reader that we’ll be ensuring Walter has a good night’s sleep before he’s back out in the community.
Each week we drop into Biffordshire general to get the inside view of their Digestive Department. This week, TV star and top 200 hit singer Shane Richie hopped up to Dr Vern’s table.
“An absolute joy, nice smooth oesophagus all the way down and a wonderfully tight sphincter preventing any acid reflux issues,” Dr Vern said.
Dr Vern’s rating: A very solid 9/10 for Shane
Next week: Paul Weller
Monster wasp – by Gent Thunderblanket and Franz Wotsit
An unbelievable beast it was rarely believed,
Brian’s pet wasp all his friends they agreed,
Such a good pet it was for a young buck,
Though the constant stinging yeah, that did suck
But the wasp was Brian’s for bad and for good,
He cared for it, paid for its education and food,
It wore the best clothes that could be provided,
For invertebrate tailors are often misguided
Stripy it was, bad tempered and surly,
Its owner, dear Brian still loved it most purely,
A habit of jam jars and pub garden cider,
Harsh buzzing of wings and its owner the rider
For Brian you see was a finger-width tall,
For him a matchbox was the size of a hall,
So a wasp was a monster to a man of his stature,
A brave choice of pet and tricky to capture
Yet one day Brian spied in a neighbouring field,
A similar bug but far better heeled,
It was stripy and fluffy so soft on his knees,
It seemed that he’d finally fallen for bees
The sort of pet you could show to your mum,
With it’s nicer demeanour and gentler humm,
All the advantages afforded to wasps,
But none of the stinging or tailoring costs
“I can’t keep them both for I am too little!”
Sighed Brian the height of a badger’s toy skittle,
“Can I abandon my overwrought wasp?”
“It’s not like I owe him. I’ve never been boss.”
So by nightfall Brian rushed out and ran to the hive,
So neat not like wasps nests that were always such dives,
He selected a bee the biggest he’d seen,
Not knowing he’d foolishly stolen the queen
It fought for a while but he resolute,
Tamed the queen bee and escaped with a hoot,
But bees are possessive of their majesty,
The swarm quickly roused and pursued with alacrity
It dawned on him quickly he’d made quite the blunder,
That bees were not pets and would tear him asunder,
The abandonment guilt for his old wasp felt funny,
But not as unpleasant as falling in honey
He’d fallen right off of his striped royal steed,
Into the stuff on which bears like to feed,
It closed round his ankles a sugary glue,
And closer and closer the angry swarm flew
The moral of this as the buzzing grew keener,
Thought Brian is that the grass is not greener,
A wasp is a wasp from cradle to grave,
Angry and surly but incredibly brave
But wasps feel abandonment issues like us,
Although they may hide it not making a fuss,
Too late this epiphany for treacherous Brian,
A thousand stings later he lay there just dying.
Good gardenstuffs! Is this site still limping along? Well I’ll be… More poetry possibly in the next decade only on MonkeyBroth.
The roughage grows dark – by Minty Boffle
Once it may have been true to a point,
That the roughage was rough and the flample was goint,
But when looked down on it’s true that you see,
The flample was pample and goadingly droit
It once looked quite pretty when viewed in the dark,
The roughage, the pample, hung out in the park,
For sitting on swings and going all weeee,
But the droit came upon them and cut them a’grark
The pample did stample and the roughage did yank,
And across the sandpit the pair they did sank,
To rid them both ever of the nether-seen droit,
They pitched up a coodle and had a stout plank
But the roughage not covered beneath the pitch coodle,
Was exposed to the droit right on to his noodle,
And the pample did peek out a safe word to utter,
But the roughage was lost with it’s memory a doodle
The proud, rural shire of Bifford is also home to a surprising number of local industries, doing and providing for the denizens of our fair corner of creamy England. But how do you know what you need without someone telling you in clear, calm tones? Well, put down that copy of Innovations and let MonkeyBroth point you to your perfect purveyor. Go on, we’ll be ever-so gentle poppet…
Pants on fire but not a liar? Then you need Crotch-Quench! We all know that burning feeling when nylon underwear creates a spark and ignites your favourite merkin. So why put up with it? Crotch-Quench puts out 65% of static-sourced undercarriage calamities meaning you can just get on with your day. A small CO2 canister reacts to a 45 degree change in temperature to ensure that your furry prosthetic remains un-scorched. Warning – sudden release of pressurised gas can cause momentary discomfort, unpleasant sensations and rapid frostbite.
Egan’s Vegans Appalled by animal products? Then Biffordshire’s newest vegan restaurant, run by 80’s suave ‘amuse me’ merchant Peter Egan, can cater for your vegetation requirements. Formal dress please. No steak boots to be worn in the premises.
Mike’s Brewers “Ooooold aaaght yor aaaand” and let us put a pint in it. Mike’s Brewers have been making Biffordshire’s finest ales for over 3 months and are holding an open day this coming weekend. Get your annnnds on our prototype new brews including the long awaited Malteaser Malt, Brewwoof, and Sapient Pony Allotment craft ale. Free admission to under 18s. Entry price highly negotiable. Mike’s Brewers is situated in Humpf-in-the-Hole next to Edd’s China.
Captain Corelli’s Mandarin Glump-under-Hill’s premiere fruit, veg and florists. Prefab sprouts, clockwork oranges, black grapes, peppers that are both red and hot always in stock. We also have some smashing pumpkins. Located just behind Egan’s Vegans in the High Street.
Finley ‘Handy squares’ Squirrel-Mash, born Scandal-on-Rye, Biffordshire son of Bunty and Dorf Squirrel-Mash sadly died of break-beat while fixing a leaky arial.
Finley was best known for his time in the Royal Agricultural Paramilitary regiment – having been awarded the green cross by the National Trust for bravery in the face of Japanese Knot weed during the great Boscastle Rocky Valley outbreak. His fearless and innovative approach to eradication involved donning a lightweight poly-tunnel, shouting a great deal and swinging a scythe like he was batting for the Biffordshire under 4’s team.
After service, Finley set his commendable mind towards the running of his father’s business, Squirrel Mash and Pye Inc – a business that was very much the fore-runner to the modern kettle descaler service that has become quite the fashion. Back in the heyday, it was quite unthinkable for a person of standing to have a kettle that was not SM & P Inc-cleansed.
His greatest love, as ever, was his collection of antique spaniels. He was oft seen capering across the Scandal-on-Rye broads with a motley selection of arthritic sad-eyed Cockers. He leaves behind Airfix, Leggy No-Legs, Afterthought and Merry Tail who have been provided for by the Slapton stiff dog rescue.
Green-fingered Hero, canine farther and occasionally faithful husband, he leaves behind his beloved wife Hollyoaks and two children, whose names we’ve forgotten. They’re rotters anyway.
Here at Monkeybroth Towers, Christmas has come early, much like Mike from accounts if the graffiti in the ladies toilet is to be believed. That aside, our festive feelings have been in full overdrive this week with a cornucopia of messages offering items for sale. It would appear Biffordshirians from across the county are clearing out their garages, lofts and, in the case of a Mr G Whippet from Saggy Hole, his underground concrete-clad nuclear bunker.
Mr Whippet wrote to us personally to say his collection of Margaret Thatcher merchandise was up for grabs as part of his massive yuletide clear out so we despatched Rodney to Mr Whippet’s house for a look-see. Rodney tweeted to say he liked the look of the Margaret Thatcher toaster and the coasters, but drew the line at the Margaret Thatcher coal fire. Rodney is the office budgie we should point out, so it was probably out of respect for his got-shoved-down-a-mine-to-see-if-there-is-gas ancestors that he turned his little beak up at the fossil fuel guzzling heat-providing centrepiece.
To his credit Rodney did try and bring back the Margaret Thatcher toaster back from Mr Whippet’s bunker but he got eaten by a cat on Marshmallow Road, just a few metres from the office. The toaster doesn’t work either.
BORDER COLLIES – are your existing collies bored enough? We’ve got border collies. They are so bored they can’t even be bothered to watch the television and instead will spend hours in your bedroom looking out of the window. Our top of the range Border Collies will also roll their eyes at you while picking at their nails on command. Don’t just have bored collies, get border collies. Call Spitonme 334422 and ask for Gavin Hastings.
CHEGGERS PLAYS PLOP – I once saw Keith Chegwin at Whoft’s Otter and Marmalade Summer Roadshow. It was back in that hot summer of 1976. Anyway, I followed Keith into the portaloos and when the park ranger’s back was turned collected some of his faecal matter. No, I would have waited until I got home too. Anyway, as Christmas is approaching I thought I would…wait, how much are these per word? Oh blimey. Keith Chegwin’s 40 year old plop for sale. Call Bangles-on-the-wrist 45333322 and ask for Maggie Philbin
JESUS JONES – Remember them? Well I’ve got 43 Raleigh Mudflaps for sale. Ideal for the cycling mudlap enthusiast and with Christmas around the corner what better time to say that you want your loved one to be mud free in 2016 and beyond. Due to acute angina I am unable to split this collection, so it’s 43 mudflaps or nothing. Call Rashybuttocks on 5444553.
BAND MERCHANDISE – If you are a fan of local rock music then you ought probably to readdress what you are doing with your life. That notwithstanding and havingsaidthat I’ve got loads of merchandise from Biffordshire’s top band ‘Missing Cat’ for sale. You’ve probably seen their posters up and around Rashybuttocks, Climp, Flange and Tittyhole. They won’t play Spitonme or Wheft since the great Salvation Army riots of 1989. Anyway I have five ‘Missing Cat’ posters up for sale, including tabby, ginger, black and white and the rare tortoiseshell. Call Barry Sheen on Fingle 544545 and ask for extension 78. If it rings out, redial and ask to be put through to Charlton, off of Charlton and the Wheelies.
THESARUS FOR SALE – What do you give the man in your life who may also be lost for words as well as being in your life? A thesaurus, that is what is what. It’s awful unfortunately. Really awful and furthermore it’s awful. I had a look through it for inspiration but it is awful, just awful. Call Ed the Duck on Fortiscue 546363633
COCONUT SHAMPOO – Thanks to a recent fire at Austin’s Fish and Sock Bar in Wheft (Mr Clang left the fryer on again!) I have 78 bottles of luxurious coconut shampoo for sale. It brings up the little straggly hairs on a coconut a real treat and will help you get your coconut ready for a night on the town. There’s nothing worse than getting to your works Christmas do with a coconut with its hair looking all unmanageable, so cure your coconut hair concerns by calling Arthur Northern-Ireland on Flimp 78787878855
WHELP LIBRARY – Don’t forget to pop into Whelp Library over the festive season. We’ve got books on kittens, books on turtles and even books on salamanders. Since all our shelves were stolen during the great Salvation Army riots we are having to use animals instead, so catch them while they are not looking in your direction! Be quick though because some of the kittens are looking decidedly weary having to balance all those books. Ooo, talking of which my husband runs an accountancy firm from the cupboard under our stairs. So if you need any accounts done in a very small cupboard under some stairs give me a call. We’re based on Calculator-on-the-rim so we are bound to be local to you.
CALL ME – Please call me, call me, baby, baby call me now. Call me , call on me (baby, baby) Do, do , do it Baby please. Having trouble naming your baby? Don’t know what to call it or him? Call Spagna on Rome 78789090 for all your baby naming needs.