As I sit reclining in my solid oak-backed chair so kindly provided to me by my parishioners, my thoughts whirl around me like a big earthworm might coil and buckle in pain after it has been sliced in two by the sharp metallic blade of a heavy spade. Coming somewhere from next door’s garden, the sharp barking cough of Arbuthnot rudely jolted me from my creative daydreaming. Arbuthnot I should explain had been hired not two weeks hence by our good neighbours, Hector and Agnetha Flump, to tend their garden and carry out general household chores while they were away visiting their son Grifter in Southern Florida.
I have to confess I was full of admiration for the Flumps when they decided to press Arbuthnot close to their bosom and entrust him with looking after their 18th century sprawling manor. Arbuthnot hadn’t been shy in regaling me with tales of his rather murky past as way of introducing himself to our little community when I bumped into him outside the newly opened Budgens in Moistbury. A former merchant seaman, Arbuthnot had spent many a day and night cramped in a tiny cabin pressed up against his fellow rugged shipmates. I recall Gumpert, my lithe live-in help, had been particularly interested in the on-board conditions Arbuthnot had so vividly described on that blowy autumnal day. So enthralled was Gumpert with Arbuthnot’s tales of tossing on the high seas that he immediately invited the salty former sea dog up to his room to help him fill in his oft thumbed maritime scrapbook which I had acquired for him as a treat from a local bric-a-brac store.
Arbuthnot’s life experiences were certainly rich and varied and I thought poor Gumpert’s eyes would fair pop out of his head when the burly handy man had shared stories of his time spent at her majesty’s pleasure. Apparently, Arbuthnot had been wrongly accused of stealing a kestrel from the local manor house and had had to endure nearly five years of imprisonment among all manner of ne’er do wells. Bunk sharing in order to keep warm at the height of the winter’s frost was not uncommon by all accounts, and poor Arbuthnot told us he often had to spend long evenings in the embrace of his sweaty cell mate just to keep the nip at bay. I could see Gumpert’s eyes widen at the horror of it all.
While I was naturally delighted that Gumpert had a new playmate and, I hoped, someone who could perhaps offer some much needed paternal guidance – my ecclesiastical affairs unfortunately precluded me from playing such a role – Arbuthnot’s rather gruff past life did fill me with trepidation. However, buoyed by the Flumps’ Christian confidence and trust in the man, I decided to let sleeping dogs lie and allowed Gumpert to spend as much time with the muscled gardener-cum-help as he liked. They would often chat for hours up in Gumpert’s room, and I was particularly pleased when Arbuthnot helped my South American assistant recreate the Saucy Calculator, Arbuthnot’s last vessel, up in his room using his bed as the poop deck and pillows for sails. At least, given the banging and moaning emanating from Gumpert’s quarters, that is what I presumed they were doing.
Arbuthnot’s coughing from next door’s garden reminded me that I had some errands to run, including, rather pertinently, the purchasing of some cough drops for Mrs Dropkick’s spaniel, Tony. At Sunday’s Evensong, Mrs Dropkick, who is not as mobile as once she was, came to me in the vestry in tears, claiming poor Tony’s hacking cough and heavy throat was keeping her up at night. As part of my pastoral duties I felt it only right that I should offer to pick up Tony’s drops from the veterinarians in Cleft High Street. It was a fine sunny day so a trip on the bicycle seemed a splendid way to reconcile Mrs Dropkick’s teary request.
Gumpert had moodily taken himself off to his bedroom that morning complaining of a pain in his thighs so I felt it best not to enquire if he wished to join me in my trip. I picked up my helmet from the rather splendid mahogany table in the back passage, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners, and stepped out into the bright sunshine to retrieve my trusty two- wheeled steed. Unfortunately I immediately noticed that the tyres were both flat and sagging heavily. Instinctively I went to call out to Gumpert to assist me, but remembering the great delight he had taken in showing me his purple and blackened inner thighs earlier that morning, I imagined that my beckoning of him would be met with even more of a duller mood than he was in currently.
Suddenly a beam of ethereal light bathed the table on the open shed door. I could just see that this divine light was glinting off a dusty tool resting against some old copies of Hymn and Hers magazine. Squinting against the light I could see that the object was indeed a bicycle pump. Suddenly my path became clear. Why, by just simply pumping the tyres I could resurrect the pneumatics from their slumped torpor and fetch Tony the spaniel’s cough drops as planned. What would have taken hours of panicked bicycle repair man searching had been cured with a few sharp pumps. Verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!
The Very Reverend Dr Robert Carolgees will be hosting ‘An evening with Gary Glitter’ at Cleft Village Hall next Thursday. Please bring a change of shoes and a bag of toffees for the llamas. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.
Rock stars in the morning…
Number 288: Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
CARTER’S MUM: Carter! Carter love? Are you getting up today?
CARTER: Nah, not today mum!
CARTER’S MUM: Oh, haven’t you got school today love?
CARTER: No, free period!
CARTER’S MUM: Oh, I see
CARTER’S MUM: What are you doing up there love?
CARTER: Having some sex Mum!
CARTER’S MUM: Oh…. Are you going to have some breakfast dear?
CARTER: Sorry Mum, can’t stop
CARTER’S MUM: Oh, okay then
More rock icon morning nincompoopery next time folks!
“Ken, Marigold! Come through, we’re on the patio” I don’t think they heard me or if they had they chose to ignore my beckoning as I heard the side gate go before my old friends appeared at the patio from the side garden. Looking back I think it was perhaps Marigold who had been most shocked by my nakedness on that hot summer afternoon. Earlier that morning, spurred on by a most fortuitous weather forecast, I had spent at least half an hour rescuing a pair of sun loungers from the shed at the foot of our two-acre garden. They were stacked up behind my shovel, homemade noose and a rather tatty bag of birdlime, but by moving the bicycle to the side of the wooden- framed building and repositioning my Dionne Warwick vinyl collection I could just about create enough space to rescue the plastic, slatted garden chaise longues.
How pleased I was that my sweaty efforts were now being rewarded as the sun beat down on our, my wife Maureen and I’s, small patch of rural Biffordshire. Dear, loyal Maureen had been a little concerned that my nude sunbathing would perhaps cause some discombobulation with our neighbours for the past ten years, George and Umbinga. However, George and Umbinga had decided to spend the hottest afternoon of the year at the Biffordshire Steam Falcon show, so I felt emboldened enough to go as our Lord Jesus Christ intended. Umbinga, hailing from rural Ghana, had not witnessed steam driven falcons before, so I felt sure they would be away for most of the afternoon if not into the early evening, as she wondered at the steam-powered bird of prey technology on display. Maureen and I had visited the show last year, although poor Maureen vowed never to return having lost an eye in an unfortunate accident with a piston-powered Kestrel. Fortunately, we found her eyeball in amongst some discarded candy-floss and although the team at Biffordshire General were professional and courteous, poor Maureen has never really been the same since.
As I stripped to enjoy my naked sun worship, Maureen quite correctly pointed out the dangers of sunbathing in this way and was, she admitted, fearful that I would get ‘myself’ caught up in the slatted seats of the now wiped clean and fully restored sun-loungers. To protect the ‘colonel’ from such an unfortunate mishap, Maureen had spent most of her morning creating a little rest for the old chap, from an old egg-cup and a pre-used pin cushion. As I sipped a refreshing cocktail, Maureen donned a pair of medical gloves before delicately, and with no great skill, positioned the colonel up and across so that his skinny hood was posed neatly on top of the homemade construction. I couldn’t help but think that the good colonel rather looked like a fleshy pink bridge leading to some dark entangled forest, perhaps with a muddy and swollen Asian river churning and billowing below.
The pin-cushion and egg cup combination did a fine job of stopping the colonel from falling to the plastic surface of the sun-lounger and becoming mangled in the slats of the chair. Marigold, judging by the hot flush coming to her cheeks, was perhaps not as comfortable with the homemade willy bridge as Ken appeared to be, who was by now loudly slipping his gin and tonic and regaling me with the tale of when he took five wickets and made a fifty against Flange CC just last week. I think perhaps Marigold’s embarrassment was heightened when the sun was rather unexpectedly obscured by a bank of heavy cloud. Reacting to the sharp drop in temperature, the colonel had suddenly recoiled and had lazily lopped off his perfectly comfortable egg cup rest to fall almost silently to the slatted chair below. As Marigold rather nervously sipped her cup of tea, I vowed to ensure the colonel, now becoming quite red after nearly three hours of hot sun exposure, would be back on his perch as soon as the clouds passed. It wasn’t long before the sun peeked out from behind the wispy white cotton and with a small cough I managed to reposition the colonel back onto his podium, confident that he would not escape from the cushioned comfort of the egg cup again.
Marigold asked for another cup of tea and a few moments later, dear Maureen returned to the patio area with it. Unfortunately, a few cubes of sugar escaped from the bowl she had been carrying, clumsiness being a cross she had had to bear ever since the loss of her eye. The spillage forced Maureen to place the hot cup down onto the garden table before bending down to retrieve the sweetened cubes. Given Maureen had decided to join me in my nakedness, it was suddenly Ken’s turn to flush hot red and another loud slurp, this time sufficient to drain the last remnants of ice and gin from his glass, indicated to me that perhaps he had decided that their afternoon with us was at an end.
Normally I would have risen to bid farewell to my two old friends, but given the colonel was in such a fine and comfortable position I was reluctant to disturb him. Instead, I allowed Maureen to undertake the hostess duties, which she performed admirably by giving our departing friends a big, fleshy hug farewell. It had been an absolutely marvellous day, especially I suspect for the colonel, who later that evening I noticed had turned a most glorious, nutty mahogany brown as he rested contentedly on a big hairy bag of conkers.
Poetry corner. A bit like one of those yoghurt fruit corner things but with poetry instead of yoghurt. And the fruit corner bit.Posted: 02/05/2014
By Sophie Jumpersforgoalposts
Good morning little lamb have you sent that email yet?
And what about that spreadsheet? You haven’t even started it I bet…
What about that report for the chairman of the board? Come on, get it done!
And once you’ve done that I have some errands for you to run
We’ve got a meeting in an hour, have you prepared the lengthy agenda?
What’s the matter with you today, you lazy little blighter…
Come ON little lamb your appraisal is later today,
We have some feedback for you little lamb, about training and your pay
You need to show your finance skills and that you can work out the VAT
This is low hanging fruit for you lamb! Surely you realise that?
But his hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves,
Are supposed to be used for trotting on grass
Not renewing his monthly security pass
His hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves, so often they do fail
He can’t even open Outlook, let alone send any mail
His hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves
They can’t input data or create a PDF,
Come ON little lamb get it done, my god are you deaf?
Little lamb, little lamb, I want to see you in my office
We thought you were a senior pro, when clearly you’re a novice
Oh little lamb, little lamb to them you are just an ovine resource
Now shut up and get in the oven while we prepare the minted sauce…
Shapely Otter Thighs
By Panda McGuigan
Barry is an otter with a cheeky roving eye,
He’s often down the riverbank checking out a shapely otter thigh
Heaven knows what poor Margaret his long suffering wife,
Thinks of all his lusty acts, it must dominate her life
He’s never really home these days, and ignores his otterlets
I just hope when he’s older this is something he never regrets
To be fair though, the DNA tests were inconclusive
And Margaret herself in her youth was not exactly exclusive
She’d raise her tail to any beefy otter suitor,
Give her a fish head and she’d let you root and toot her
Often behind the bins where the stream it does divide
Otters would cue up for a go and come from far and wide
Things didn’t change when she met our hero Barry
She even flirted with the otter vicar on the day she was supposed to marry
So I guess Barry’s behaviour we can exonerate
As he’s out swimming in his hunky trunks looking for another mate
The pair of them really are awful, the lowest of the low
Perhaps they need to sort it out on the otter Jeremy Kyle show
Aiiieeeee hoof, hoof, hoof… yes folks it’s the biggest night of the year innit! Disco Pig is back with the beats from the renegade master – dey told me I can’t play bass and dat I can’t play drum, but I am ere to tell ya that I’m here actually innit. I’m not a Yankee, I’m a Londoner innit, and on da playground was were I spent most of ma dayze. I got in one little fight and Mrs Disco Pig got scared so she sent me to my Auntie and Uncle’s in Walfamstow innit!
Anyway, der fond trips dahn memory alley asides, Disco Pig is ere to give ya all the bangiest playlist for da bangiest night of the year – Noo Year’s Eve, innit! Disco Pig was in da big demand dis year and as had to turn down some big gigs, including one at dat O2 in his home tahn of Londan innit. Stoked though, cos I is now rocking the bins at Biffordshire’s biggest nightclub – Da Sugar Shed, just outsida of Moistbury on da A67, if you go past der Lamb and Foreskin pub you has gone too far innit. Turn around and hed back a bit, bit more, on da left innit. Yes, da place wiv da big sign up at the front.
Anyways, it’s free Bacardi Breezers all night for da ladies, so get in quick and you might even pull a Bacardi Geezer, that’s me innit!! Nah, don’t fink dat Disco is being all up and unfaithful to da missus and shizzle – she’s out of tahn visiting her poorly piggy gran in Colchester so while da missus is away visiting her poorly piggy gran in Colchester da Disco Pig will play… da top tunes all night innit! Ha ha…
Seriously d’oh Disco Pig is all loved up an dat so it would have to be somefink special to turn his eyes onto anover lady pig innit. Like a couple of drinks and some heavy petting behind da stage innit! Disco knows you ladies will be forming an orderly queue to get ya hoofs on dis bit of quality bacon, but I ain’t bovvered. Da lady I as is da love of me life innit – plus her gran is a lovely lady piggy. She was in da war and all dat. She was an air-raid piggy – ad to squeal when she saw any of dem Nazi planes and dat flying overhead – pwoper hero she was. Her passing, if it should come to dat, would be a sad day in da Disco household innit… mind you she’s facking loaded so let the good times and da turntables roll!
Anyways, listen to me cracking on about nuffink – I has got some vinyl to dig out for tonight’s sugar shed shenanigans! Get der early Pig fans it’s going to be a crackling night of porky phat phun!
Waste of Time ft The Delighted Landlord – £15 just to get into my own local
Eric Pickles and the Cheese Crew – Leave it Barry, let’s just all have a drink yeah?
What’s the Point? – In bed by 10.30
FredMau5 – Right said Fred
Tinnie Tiddly Ft MC Shoehorn – Can’t Make Luv Tonight
Robert Kilometres – Bowl Clutcher (Hold back my hair)
The Over Friendly Strangers – What you looking at (it ain’t got no label on it)
West Street Boyz – Lager on my whities, vodka on my loafers
Phat Boy Phat – It’s raining (door) men
The Checked Shirts – Don’t encourage him, Sandra
Calvin’s Klein’s – Pants up high, trousers down low
The Bog Gropers Ft MC Smarm – Hanging around outside da Ladies
Disorientated Scoundrel (Ft Almond Van Nut) – Conkers
Rogan Josh Project – Infinity Naanty Naanies (time for a Ruby)
The Kebab Krew – You want everything on, boss?
Street Fighters (Ft DJ Punch Drunk) – Oh heavens, Andrea, I appear to have dropped my chips
The Beer Scooters – La, la, la, la, la, lager, bit, bit, bit, bitter, vod, vod, vod, vodka, she, she, she, sherry
The Misguided (Ft MC Testosterone) – Yes, she probably IS a lesbian, Stuart
DJ Morning After – Very dark in colour, but it floats