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.
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.
Disclaimer – Here at MonkeyBroth towers, we take our editorial responsibility very seriously and would never stoop towards product placement. The following content is purely a happening that happened; a thing that went on, a shiny sixpence of experience in the chimney-sweep’s ear of life. So with that out of the way….
The other day, while perambulating the High Street of Upper Crunge I started feeling rather peckish, as one does after a heady morning buying reasonably priced, unusual family gifts and gilt cards at Rosemary and Frank’s Unusual Family Gifts and Gilt Card shop, just off of the Glambie Parade next to Next.
I high-tailed it to Mufkins Bakery – I think you’ll agree, the only place for lunchtime comestibles with options for wheat and gluten-free rolls and a variety of delicious fillings made fresh to order. If memory serves, it’s situated at 23 High Street, Upper Crunge, BF74 6NG – Tel 09875 4554 45631. But I digress. I quickly received my order of a Buffalo Mozzarella with Spanish Chorizo from the friendly, efficient staff and tucked into my tasty sandwich.
Alas, after I had devoured half of my enormous but surprisingly reasonably priced treat, I remembered that I had to make an important phone call to Simon Thrombosis; MonkeyBroth’s own resident lifestyle guru, agony uncle and part-time conceptual artist. Not wanting my moreish morsels to go stale during what would be a long conversation on my iRola GTZ-58000 smart phone, (kindly loaned to me by Upper Crunge Carmobiles4you on a very competitive tariff), I decided to pay a visit to one of my very favourite people – Graham Shinysides of Upper Crunge Zip Bags – your only choice for re-sealable food storage.
Located at 42 Drank Lane, just off the High Street, Graham has made the storage of foodstuffs and other spoilable material his life’s work for just over 13 months. Graham prides himself in his ability to find the right plastic sealable bag for you, big or small, no matter the weather.
While chatting amiably to him, he reminded me that he also does emergency call-outs – perfect for that Summer fete cake stall that is suddenly infested by a swarm of wasps. He also pointed out his new Suck-U-Matic vacuum packing machine that is a new service for this year and is aimed at the budget-minded storage shopper. I also recall that he will be introducing a special discount for all MonkeyBroth readers who state the code ADVERTBROTH at point of sale, which is nice.
After but a few short minutes, my sandwich was safely nestled in a beautiful clear zip bag that really could have passed as made-to-measure. “What great service from Upper Crunge Zip Bags of 42 Drank Lane!” I quipped as I bade Graham a reluctant farewell.
I called Simon on time (thanks to such swift service) and, with the excellent call quality of my iRola, had soon bashed out the finer points of his next article.
Afterwards, while I finished my succulent lunch on the banks of the river Crunge, I reflected on the quality of the tradesmen that service the people of this fine market town. Surely, they are a jewel in the crown of Biffordshire commerce, that, because of the diligence and finely-honed prices that they provide, will remain an asset to the local populous of our Shire.
MonkeyBroth would like to thank ‘A-to-B-iffordshire Taxis’ for transport to and from Crunge.
Next Week – MonkeyBroth visits Crunge Retail Village – opening soon on the outskirts of Crunge!
Brrrrdddrup brrrudpt! Yas, is da pig, coming at ya like a bag of nachos, but less cheesy init.
Well, this little piggy jus got back from Somersetshire where I’ve been totally at Glasto’. Me and my mate House Hog borrowed me nan’s Micra and razzed outta da city to get back to nature, although I did take da Nintendo with me. Yeah, we gone done the camping like da bosses. Although, HH did set fire to da tent we ‘borrowed’ from Millets with a stray blim, and we ain’t got a warranty.
It weren’t all peaches and RnB tho, as we wuz told that der’d be a lot of mud for wallowin’ in, but all we got was a dust bath and some sunburn, so wuz a bit of a scam.
Anyway, here’s sum of our top tunz performed at da festival;
SicklyB4dgr – Jumping the left shark
Cayenne East – Vocoder nightmare (where are you all going?)
CTRL-Alt-Delete – This cedar is ravenous
Spotless Highwayman – Relentless advert music
Mark Ronseal – Does exactly what it says on the sleeve
Florida Quivers – I’m just not partial to fisticuffs Nigel
Feral Wilikins – Cheerful (but tomorrow I may not be – I don’t know)
The Moo – Can we have our fields back, stoners?
Cyclebonce – The grace of maids
The Water Bottles – Telescopes offer you unrestricted lunar visuals
Well, more Disco Pig as soon as is most likely, which is possibly never given how long it’s been since the last one.
MonkeyBroth’s own life-style guru, agony aunt and part time goat hunter, Simon Thrombosis helps you with those tricky life decisions and problems. And with no formal training too!
Darby Dale of Flab Corner writes: Dear Si, I’ve recently started having panic attacks when presented with mushrooms and other fungi. For most, this wouldn’t be a problem, but my work with the Forestry Commission means that these things are part and parcel of my day. It’s become so bad that during the scoping of a fire break project in Ashdown forest, I came face to face with a plate fungus and ran for over 4 hours to get away from it, eventually taking up a hiding place under the table of the Red Lion pub in Chelwood Gate. I laughed it off as a prank to my colleagues, but I’m not sure they bought in to my explanation. Please help!
Si writes: Hey Darby, irrational fears are so named because they are both fears and irrational. That’s a fact! But, we have to trace the fear back to its nucleus. I suspect that you had an occurrence such as a break in by burglars disguised as Toad from Super Mario or some such. Without that centre, it’s difficult to help, but can I suggest that you tell your colleagues? You may run the risk of being forever ridiculed, losing your job and the respect of your peers, but needs must eh? You’re welcome.
Dekin Dumpvalve from Leaky Grange writes: Since I was a boy, I always feared that my thumbs are plotting with my spleen to take over my cognitive functions and cause carnage. I swear that I can hear them whispering to one another just before I fall asleep. Does this happen to other people or am I special? I’d love to be special.
Si writes: OK Leaky, this may sound a little strange to you, but usually in these occasions, it’s your bladder that is the puppet master and the thumbs and spleens are just henchmen doing its bidding. I’d say go with it. The bladder is actually quite an astute character and I know number of high-profile celebrities that gave over control and never looked back. They do tend to spend quite a lot of time in the lavatory, but you have to take the rough with the smooth. Happy to help.
Jervis Practicalmouse from Skive writes: Last month, I lost my entire collection of Roy Hattersley signed prints in a house fire caused by a faulty cheese grater. Somewhat understandably, I’m distraught as the collection was both irreplaceable and implausible. Last week, I physically harmed a man who was loudly talking derogatively about Roy’s time working under Dennis Healey whilst shopping in Budgens. I feel it’s now somewhat out of my control. Stop my grief. Make the pain go away…
SI writes: I’m very sorry for your loss Jervis. I’m afraid that the grieving process has to be carried through before you can feel better. But in the meantime, can I suggest you avoid situations that are likely to present Roy as a subject of everyday conversation? Your trip to Budgens was particularly risky when viewed from that perspective. I’d also avoid steelworks. Glad to have been of assistance.
Well, that was concise and well advised as usual. Si will return mainly because we believe he’s found somewhere to live in the heating system and maintenance has been unable to flush him out.
You celestial thing you – by Jenny Hatswitch
Oh moon why is it that,
At evening time you make me swoon,
When you are gibbous it sends me a flutter,
Your colour akin to some slightly off butter.
Your evening display quintessentially lunar,
After which I feel like having a bhuna,
I know that this sounds so strange to you moon,
But that you’re a rock to me is a boon.
So Moon, never leave me here all alone,
I wish for your heavenly body to be shown,
While I’m not quite sure that I’d be suicidal,
I do feel my mood swings are massively tidal.
Bodily terrors – by Gloria Headtorch
There are noses in my dreams,
Snorting and snuffling and tooting and bubbling,
There are noses in my dreams,
The sort of thing that makes sleep so troubling
Knees feature quite prominently too,
Clicking and clacking and knobbly and retching,
Although I’d wish for something new,
It’s knees and not even ones that are fetching
Don’t get me started on the kidneys,
They frighten me most and make waking a pleasure,
They make me sleep-punch my Sidney,
He says that it’s fine and to punch at my leisure
The lobes! The lobes! Oh Christ yes the lobes,
Most often lobes scare me half blind,
And while I’m worrying about them in droves,
Stalking eyelashes sneak from behind
So while my night terrors are full to the brim,
With feelings of dread and foreboding,
Body parts full of most murderous vim,
With arms on the side-lines still goading.