Thought of the week with the Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees

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…

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: 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!

Marigold’s cup of tea…

“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.

Minted Sauce

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…

Thought of the week with the Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees

As I sit reclining in my solid oak chair, enthused with its leatherback turtle armrests and panda fur cushioning, I can’t help but think of the commercialisation of Easter. Perhaps it’s because it is nearly Easter that I am thinking about Easter, perhaps not. I was discussing the commercialisation of Easter just last week with Jensen Button, the famous Formula One racing car driver, when I bumped into him in Cleft High Street. Gumpert, my sinewy South American live-in help had announced that morning that he was confining himself to his quarters to best combat a nasty injury to his groin he had picked up after a particularly rambunctious evening at the new Otter and Trombone chain pub which opened a fortnight ago. Due to Gumpert’s crippled abdominal area I had been forced to forgo that morning’s Guardian crossword in order to visit Cleft and stock up on the various groceries and goods required to sustain a large parochial house. Given that I rarely venture into the wide world of retail outlets, I did purchase rather more than I had intended too and had bought, quite by impulse, Noel Edmonds’ autobiography, Beards, Jumpers and Anthea Turner On Fire.

So keen was I to get stuck into the tome that I was mindlessly turning the pages while walking and didn’t see the 15 F1 race-winning superstar as he left Snowy’s Tobacconists near the main village car park. Our collision was inevitable and, as we clashed, my newly purchased volume went flying high into the air. Jensen, being bearded himself at the time, was obviously very much in tune with the author of my newly bought volume as he caught it one handed, before it could land on, and no doubt be ruined by, the grimy streets of downtown Cleft.

Obviously one cannot let such an act of kindness pass without comment and the McLaren-backed speedster and I spent a good few hours chatting right there on the High Street about all manner of life’s little nuances. I had no idea, for instance, that Jensen learnt to drive in a Ford P100 pick-up van at the age of three months, nor did I realise that his beloved father, Barry Button, had once lived in a beaver dam in the woods of Wisconsin for a year. Our fascinating and enlightening discourse was rudely interrupted by the muffled sounds of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades coming from my ecclesiastical gown pocket. Jensen was clearly startled by my choice of ringtone and I made a mental note to change my passcode to prevent Gumpert from interfering with my personal equipment.

As if to speak of the devil it was Gumpert himself on the phone, and I had to unfortunately break off my discussion with the gallant Jensen to engage with my live-in help as he demanded extra provisions he had left off his list for me. I had to make my apologies to the Santander advertising hero and reluctantly returned to Tesda to pick up the moistened toilet roll, cigarette papers, muscle emollient, baby oil and something called KY Jelly, all of which Gumpert had rather moodily grunted that he now required during our telephone call.

Once I had climbed the steep hill from the village back to the parochial house I shared with my incapacitated home help, no mean task with three Tesda shopping bags groaning with oil-based provisions, I discovered the front door was wide open and there were muddy paw prints all over the Harrods hessian door mat, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. On further inspection I could clearly see two dark and very flat objects protruding out from underneath the kitchenette door. I called for Gumpert to rouse himself from his groin-injury induced slumber so that we could investigate the strange objects together, which, I noticed, where now very slowly slapping up and down on the parquet flooring, a gift I should add, from Mrs Beagle, a parishioner of mine.

Mrs Beagle had been so grateful to the support I offered her when her hydrangea died suddenly overnight a few months ago, that she insisted on re-flooring the kitchenette for us, despite my eager protestations. Gumpert had also shown great kindness to Mrs Beagle’s nephew, Matthew, and would often invite the downy-faced student up to his room, sometimes quite late at night to help him overcome his grief. Matthew clearly felt the loss of his mother’s hydrangea quite keenly given the low moans and grunts of what I thought must be pure disconsolation emanating from Gumpert’s quarters.

My lithe South American home help had, by now, moodily stomped down the stairs to investigate the cause of my agitation. His injury had clearly done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for his foul smelling cigarillos, the smoke from which pre-empted his arrival into the hallway. Together we crept towards the kitchen and to our surprise and horror we saw two beavers, tails flapping against the newly acquired flooring, each one nibbling on a separate table leg. The North American mammals appeared to be quite unmoved by our presence and continued to munch their way through the mahogany table, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. What a shame that Jensen was not with me! Surely his father’s experience would have stouted our hearts and offered some timely and much-required beaver related advice. After all, what is one to do when presented with beavers in one’s kitchen?

Suddenly a beam of ethereal light came shining through the open front doorway and rested upon the Biffordshire Yellow Pages, kept for emergencies only on the telephone table. As I turned to retrieve the book a sudden gust of wind rustled the pages open until they rested right at the very end of the book under ‘Z’. I do believe the Lord spoke to me at that very moment. That first entry under Z depicted a picture of a large baboon with the phrase ‘Visit Cum-on-the-Nook Zoo’ and a telephone number which zoo-bound day trippers could call to find out more details about their planned visit. Thankfully, Zimbo’s Mystical Tent Experience had closed down many years before as surely theirs would have been the first entry on that particular page.

Suddenly my path become clear. Why simply calling Cum-on-the-Nook Zoo and asking them to fetch the beavers would alleviate our wood-chewing mammal infestation once and for all. A few hours’ later two burly zoo keepers had arrived and had retrieved the errant buck-toothed beasts, which we later discovered had escaped from a local brothel. So glad was Gumpert to be free of the animals that he treated both zoo keepers to a late night buttery crumpet feast in his bedroom which both fellows clearly enjoyed given the shrieks of delight coming from Gumpert’s room. Verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!


The Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees will be guest presenting Biffordshire TV’s new game show panel, ‘Where’s my cardigan? Oh yes, there’s my cardigan’ next Sunday. Audience tickets are available on the day. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.

Poetry rectangle, or poetry corner if you prefer

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

Disco Pig – it’s Noo Year’s Eve, innit!

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 CrewLeave 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 KilometresBowl Clutcher (Hold back my hair)

The Over Friendly Strangers – What you looking at (it ain’t got no label on it)

West Street BoyzLager on my whities, vodka on my loafers

Phat Boy PhatIt’s raining (door) men

The Checked ShirtsDon’t encourage him, Sandra

Calvin’s Klein’sPants up high, trousers down low

The Bog Gropers Ft MC SmarmHanging around outside da Ladies

Disorientated Scoundrel (Ft Almond Van Nut) – Conkers 

Rogan Josh ProjectInfinity Naanty Naanies (time for a Ruby)

The Kebab KrewYou 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 AfterVery dark in colour, but it floats