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!
As I sit reclining in my solid, oak backed chair in my conservatory-cum-nook I can’t help but think of the impact our Lord Jesus Christ has had on the humble Brussels sprout. The poor, rather rotunded vegetable, is conspicuous only by its absence from our dinner tables for 364 days a year. And yet, on the day of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, the humble brassica is presented to kith and kin all smothered in butter, often arm in arm with some nutty chestnuts in a veritable vegetable feast for the eyes. I often wonder the damnation we would all be suffering if Herod and his evil flying bats had managed to extinguish the life of our Lord and Saviour before he had even managed to get into a pair of short trousers. Perhaps the diminutive sprout would never have been invented, perish the thought. Our festivities would be ruined although, as my friend and colleague the Very Reverend Malcolm Powder pointed out, there would be no festivities to be ruined had Herod’s hordes managed to snuff out the infant Lord Jesus before he had even done his first standing up wee.
As I began to prepare my evensong lecture on that very same subject my vegetable musings were rudely interrupted by what can only be described as a high pitch shriek emanating from the garden outside. Gumpert, my lithe South American live-in help had rather uncharacteristically offered to tidy up the garden log pile that morning which had rested lazily against Mrs Arbuthnot’s side of the fence for many years. So long had the logs lied undisturbed I would often joke with my guinea-pig eating live-in help that perhaps it had become some sort of portal to a lost miniature world inhabited by tiny dinosaurs. I was, of course, trying to interest the tanned domestic in garden invertebrates and hoped that my Jurassic jokings would encourage him to investigate further and become amazed by the woodlice and molluscs that he would surely find within.
My ploy was to divert his interest away from his late night carpentry hobby about which I was starting to receive complaints from my normally insouciant neighbours, dear Mrs Arbuthnot and the rather wild Comely-Smythes. I say late night carpentry hobby as I must confess I have yet to see the results of Gumpert’s nocturnal banging and scrapings which are beginning to irk my dear neighbourly friends. He certainly spends many a sweaty night in his room with a couple of builders from the village, so one can only assume that getting wood to join is the object of their perspiratory endeavours.
That notwithstanding, Gumpert’s clear shriek had jolted me from my thoughts and, deciding that my giraffe fur lined slippers were not the best mode of propulsion across the muddied garden, I reached for my pair of Indonesian rubber gumboots which I keep by my conservatory-cum-nook door in case of emergency. The boots, I should explain, where a gift from one of my parishioners, Huxley Stout, who had fetched the rubber for the boots himself during a guided BMX tour of the Indonesian uplands. Huxley was delighted to be able to present the boots to me after worship one Sunday and had even tied a purple ribbon around each one. To match, he gleefully informed me, my ecclesiastical gown. Huxley was quite the adventurer and as he handed me over the ribbon entwined footwear he enthusiastically explained that there would be a gap on my pews next Sunday as he was off to Lima that next weekend. All he asked in return for the thoughtful gift was the chance to pump Gumpert for information about the sprawling dense continent Gumpert called home. My taut domestic was only too pleased to help and judging by the banging and thumping coming from his quarters the pair had a lively debate about how best to explore dark jungle recesses.
Reaching the garden I saw that Gumpert had now decided to slump against Mrs Arbuthnot’s fence and was squeezing and pawing at his right index finger. His pain had not prevented him from lighting one of his foul smelling cigarillos, which, I noticed, was smouldering dangerously close to his right flip flop. With a face as red as beetroot, Gumpert motioned to his swollen digit and I could clearly see a large splinter from the casually slumped log pile had clearly embedded itself deep into his flesh. With the blood draining from my face I immediately began to prepare my journey to hospital which, given recent NHS cuts, was now located in a shed off the A458 near Whump. Suddenly a strange beam of ethereal light bathed a slightly opened drawer in the kitchenette. There, glinting in the glorious divine light was a pair of tweezers. My path became clear. Why, just utilising the small cosmetic device to pluck the splinter from Gumpert’s dainty finger would save me from hours of highly stressed shed-based medicinal care. Verily the Lord doth move in Mysterious Ways!
The Very Reverend Dr Robert Carolgees will be officiating at the Cum-on-Wye Women’s Institute Otter Hunt next Thursday. Please bring 50p for the Hawiian Luau and a bag of mints for the fish. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.
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.
By Jordan Drysponge-Wetsponge
A decent buffet is really all a chap wants,
Wotsits, sausage rolls and mushroom vol-au-vents
Add in pints of strong continental lager,
And your average Joe will be in a heavenly lather
But for the love of arse don’t just lazily tip out a bag of twiglets,
And expect THAT to constitute a buffet, I’d rather nosh on piglets’
Buttocks or electrocute myself in the bath with a hairdryer,
Or immerse my whole body in a turned on chip fryer,
Or throw myself in front of the 8.46 from Waterloo,
Or stick a fork in my eyes and give myself a Chinese burn. Oooo
It makes me mad these twiglet loving idiots whose brains are clearly dead,
Just going around pouring them out and calling that a buffet instead
of taking some time and care about their savoury presentations
Running around all evil and weird with their nasty twiglet machinations,
I’d rather shove a piglet, yes another one, in my ear than gracefully concede to friggin twiglets PLEASE!
Hello? People? What’s so wrong with a decent bit of pineapple and cheese?
You bunch of howling apes with your stupid savoury trees,
Except they’re not trees are they, Mmmm? They are made of erm, actually…
I’m not sure what they are or what they could be
Marmite? Oh marmite did you say?
I quite like marmite, but I’m still going to stick forks in my eyes anyway
Hah! That will teach you, Mum, for
Not serving me a buffet for my 43rd birthday
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.
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.
Hubbida hubbida, wik, wik, wikki, wha, full on BOOOOM! Ya, da pig return for moar mayhem init!
Disco pig been away on one of dem foreign exchange programmes. Big up to ma main Frenchies Monsour et Madam Porc who bin puttin’ up wiv me for six months while Disco Pig been improving meself. Da ladies love da French talk init! C’est combien mon pretty pretty? Guaranteed pullin’ powwa!
Anyway, me still bin keepin’ up with all da latest choons so here’s ma chart throw down…. Frappant Mélodie!
Peter Fry up and the Desk Clocks – I got that feeling of goat in me
PoorlyR4t – Mocha latta chatter flatter platter
Captain Spoonwright – What’s good for the moose is good for the Flanders
Hurdy-Schmurdy-Glockenspiel – The fox obviously says ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH’
The Dickinson – Tan come, Tan go
Massive Economic Landslide Panda Car Collective – You can’t crack nuts with celebrity butts
The Focaccias – Honestly Betty, I thought it was going to stain the wilton.
Blink One One Eight – Repetitive, irritating, meaningless and moustached
Tiresome – They appear not to be at home Samual
Goodwood Illness – Throwin’ up in a Yaris
The Rubbish Bodgers – A colander does not a good boat maketh…
Literal Steve – This is a song that I wrote about some emotions that I once experienced
Data Moth – Light bulb binary