The Christmas season rattled round once again to Sozzlebury. Quentin Dingleberry, who had honed his skills at The Royal Shaking Spears Rep and Tea Company, each year put on the annual pantomime for the village. Auditions began the day after Saint Ripsnorter’s Day and competition was fierce for a leading part.

Mrs Snottingham Periwinkle, who never forgave Mrs Curmudgeonly, the vicar’s wife, for turning up, uninvited, at the night of the film stars, and Mrs Curmudgeonly, who never forgave Mrs S P for considering herself more socially superior than everyone in the village, had both been cast as the two really, unbelievably, ugly sisters Arabella Grizabella and Saggy Maggie Muffin. Each was determined to outperform the other and win the most accolades in the local rag, The Sozzlebury Snippet.

The evening finished off with both ladies wrestling each other off the stage and the chavs immediately started a book on who would be the winner. Mrs Curmudeonly won the battle when she ripped the head off the pantomime cow, a head which had a rheumy eye and scabby ears and looked remarkably like Mr Mucklethwaite’s grotesque hobby horse which the Morris men use on Saint Ripsnorters day. She rammed it into Mrs Snottingham Periwinkle’s quite ample bosom. The teeth of the thing, made of old cow bone snapped shut and sunk deeply into her breast. The evening ended with Mrs Snottingham Periwinkle, bleeding heavily, being carted off in the boy scouts ambulance, a 1953 Morris Thousand painted white with a crooked red cross and used by Thomas Addlesnarge to house his organic goats during birthing season still with straw and goat droppings on the floor


The performance also included a free gift for every child, which was, this year, due to the credit crunch and the Prime Minister, David Macaroons cutting back on the chavs’ benefits, a clump of poo wrapped in Christmas paper from the show’s Shetland ponies who every time they clopped on stage would release their anal sphincter at the sound of cheering, whooping and applause. I sat on my silk cushion on the front row of the village hall with Lady F, Chulls and Skrowte. It was indeed a grease paint flamboyant night out at the theatre.

Each house in the village had been festooned with lights and bling from ‘Everything’s a Quid’ and ‘The Pound a Pop’ shops. Blow up Homing Simpson and his son Fart Simpson wobbled gently in the breeze, as they had for the past fifteen Christmas having spent the rest of the year in attics gathering dust and spiders and discolouring from brilliant white to a mucky grey. The 99p Emporium had an excess stock of inflatable zebras which went down a storm when antlers were superglued to their ears and prongles brought out a new flavour limited edition especially: Frog whiskers with essence of reindeer farts. 

Christmas Day at Gripewater Grange was a quiet affair. This year’s theme was ‘downsizing’ as we enjoyed turkey twonklers from Greenland with frozen sprouts before settling down to watch the Royal Rattle on TV at 3pm.  Cami Knickers Park Your Bowler Hat asked Flip what the best part of Christmas was. “The Queen farting during her speech” wasn’t quite the answer she was expecting. Then we all settled down on the horsehair sofa to watch Helen Mirrors in a documentary called The Kwin about some old lady following a stag round the countryside, then she found it hanging upside down in her garage. Well odd.

Charades came next, which after a few avocaats and rum, disintegrated into almost fisticuffs when Chulls tried to mime Organic Photosynthesis and Kafkaesque so Skrowte brought out the nibbles, turkey twonklers with prongles  on sticks, which according to the Sozzlebury Snippet, were the must-have, de rigeur Chrimble Day munchie. They were accompanied by cocktails, Lady F had the Sherry Whizbang, Izzy had the Royal Enema with a fabulous tiny brown sausage on the rim of the glass, Cami Knickers Park Your Bowler Hat went for the Pretentious Cow, Chulls had the Orgasmic Pensioner in Waiting and Flip went for the Vocal Twet. I of course had a saucer of cream garnished with tuna, heavenly. Then it was time for presents ……

New Year’s Day

Lady F and her Crinkly old friends decided that keeping fit would be the resolution that kicked the  year off and had bought each other shell suits to look the part

Cami Knickers Park Your Bowler Hat had been on a diet for two days and insisted, blushingly, that her personal trainer, Rod Slammer, had told her should the occasion arise, she wouldn’t need a body bag but a very small snap and seal sandwich bag as she’d lost so much weight

Flip said that they should have themed lunches such as a Biafran lunch. Chulls, warmed to the idea and suggested it could consist of a plastic cup of sewerage soaked water with a dead mosquito floating in it. Skrowte raised his eyes to heaven, Greenland probably did a boil in the bag special already.

They carried puffing and wheezing along the country lane, handing round rose and violet creams from Fartnum’s chocolate department.

Flip said he was thinking of doing the town’s half marathon now that he was so toned.

When asked why by Skrowte Flip told him it was the challenge. “So’s drinking 20 pints of lager Sir,” replied Skrowte.

“Do you know,” piped up Cami Knickers Park Your Bowler Hat, “that when they carry out post mortems on people who have died after eating a chav diet all their lives that nine kilos of shit and fat is embedded onto their colons.”

“In that case I guess tonight’s cocktail of choice at the Rat and Pheasant has to be a double syrup of figs and a Senna pod chaser!” guffawed Flip. Izzy suggested that he might like to try an enema, a chav word for colonic cleansing.

Flip exploded. There was no way he was having a pipe poked up his you know where, even if you paid extra and had Vaseline slathered on it first.

“Ah, but” interjected Chulls, “you can reacquaint yourself with that organic Douche of Cordwalls lovingly slaughtered reindeer burger you ate 5 years ago as it floats by.”

“Yuk …. How gross. Have you ever had an enema?” Lady F enquired of Skrowte.

“Yes Madam, I really was enjoying my coffee enema till the manager of Moontucks Coffee Emporium asked me to leave.”

The five of them carried on slowly ambling round the village.

“If we have a breather outside the convent, do you think they’d give us a bowl of soup from the soup kitchen?” asked Izzy.

“What’s a soup kitchen?” Cami Knickers Park Your Bowler Hat sounded quite puzzled.

After almost half an hour slowly circumnavigating the village the group ended up back at the gates of Gripewater Grange, where to almost everyone’s shock, mine included, there just by the 14th century dry stone wall was a brand spanking new ‘For Sale’ sign ………..

Carol Lake

 

 

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson