Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
"Strange times we do live in." said Terry the Okapi, as he cantered up the garden path, urinating copiously over my probation officer and holding up the winter edition of the quarterly village news. It's a very attractive little organ, which used to be called The Village Ponderer. Now rechristened, Well Done, You!! it allows all the village artists and writers a chance to review each other's work whilst giving each other a well-earned pat on the back for, well, just being rather super, I suppose.
I'd been sitting idly in our new local cafe earlier. The Idle Bastard. The IB as well as serving excellent nutritious snacks, knocks up the best cup of Nescafe I think I've ever drunk. There's none of this hanging around waiting for the brown sauce, while some daft, rainbow-cardiganned middle-aged hippy dollop witters on about her gluten allergy and stares balefully at the white bread, If Mick the Mod doesn't like the look of her, out the daft cow goes, on her ear. A man after my own wallet, Mick will tolerate only so much art. "If it's a fat bird in a tin bath, a nice landscape, or a deer standing in a glen, it's alright by me." growls Mick. "Anything a bif wafty, or woolly is only gonna drag the posh c***'s in here, innit? And I'm lookin for an altogether more select clientele. I don't want those f***in middle-class b******s taking up valuable space, when my chip monkeys come in. " With that, he punched a chartered surveyor in the face and poured himself a double wazza. "What's a double wazza, Mick?" I asked. He explained to me that a double wazza was a morning-after cure for the particularly hungover turps-nudger. It's a big tablespoonful of Nescafe containing two shots of Toilet Duck instead of just the one. "You won't believe how long it takes some of my staff to get it right," say Mick. " We have to send them for a special one-day course at the factory in Billericay. Costs a f***in fortune!"
"Doing anything for Christmas?" he asked. " Usual stuff." I replied "A Julie Andrews mask, pair of welders' gauntlets, ice bucket, three boxes of executive delay-cream, couple of Thai ladyboys and a barrel of Tozer's Dog-Botherer. That should do me." I said. "I've already booked the shed. But let's face it. If it wasn't for the kids, you wouldn't bother, would you?" How we laughed.
I notice that Well Done, You!! magazine has a new front page feature. It's called All The Little People. Every edition features a portrait and interview with somebody in the village who does a proper job, unconnected with the arts. This edition's interview was with Ron Storey, a local baker, whose job it is to wake up Mr Shut, who runs the empty shop over the road. I thought the text was so illuminating, I've reproduced some of it here for you.
"First, I ring the slack-jawed c*** up, to tell him I'll be making a delivery. I don't arrive too early, cos that just provokes him into takin' even longer. When I first get there, I hoot me horn really loudly and turn the stereo up. If that don't do it, I usually have to throw a stick up at his window. Twenty minutes of that, and he might appear at the curtains I point to the van, which says "Baker" on it and sort of mime rubbing me stomach, while going " Yum Yum." at him. Sometimes he gets it. Sometimes, he don't. If I'm lucky, I'll be on me way by early afternoon. Once, I got so hacked off with waiting, I just backed the van into his window, smashed the f***** and threw the loaves in there. Most days, though, I don't have to do that. He'll generally appear in his underpants, yawning, open the door...then, I suppose he must go back to bed again. Funny old game, innit?"