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andrea's (andrea on UKA) UKArchive
74 Archived submissions found.
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Windmill. (posted on: 29-05-15)
Er...this is about the Windmill theatre in London. It opened in 1931 and didn't even close during the blitz! Windmill theatre The pic, of course, is moi in my dancing prancing days...(that's why it's in 'autobiography' innit).

WINDMILL I wish I'd been a Windmill gal, way down in Piccadilly, showin' off to all them gents (must've bin quite chilly!). I'd hold me own, so I would, in nude tableaux vivants Flashin' off me lissom bod, sportin' just me pants! Made of satin so they'd be, or maybe soft batiste. Scarlet, frilly, svelte, a lily - moi, a true artiste! Round them toffs I'd bend and sway, skin as smooth as honey ('Course what I'd really want would be their soddin' money). Mrs Henderson Presents (at least she did in '31) Living statues based upon 'Annie Oakley Get Your Gun'. 'We never closed' the Windmill boasted, during London's blitz, Gawd save the Queen, stiff upper lip, you can't keep down the Brits! Bit too old for prancing now, tho' a gal can dream of what was slender long ago, now broad across the beam. ''Just goes to show, you never know,'' (so said me dear ol' dad), ''be grateful for it at the time, be glad of what you 'ad.'' Everything's gone sarf, alack, both buxom boobs and poutin' lips I'll never, ever get 'em back, they've settled on me bulging hips So if you think you're perfect, and rub your hands in glee Don't give out stick or take the mick, one day, by God, you'll look like me!
 photo 14_zpsl5w2hcbq.jpg

Archived comments for Windmill.
Gothicman on 29-05-2015
Windmill (sort of)
*Great tits!* (Looks back from the garden) The art of frozen nudity, if it moves it's rude! How I remember seeing you well! I was your most admiring stage-door Johnny, cost me a fortune in flowers! Hahahaha!

Author's Reply:
Haha, thanks Trevor - I remember you, too!

Mikeverdi on 29-05-2015
Windmill (sort of)
Errrr... not sure if you will remember but... you were doing this about a couple of weeks ago, on the tables outside the Irish Pub, after a lunch time session.
As Trevor says ..."great tits" πŸ™‚
Mike
XxX

Author's Reply:
I musta had some sort of blackout, I don't remember a thing! Musta been all that Guinness *sigh*

Weefatfella on 29-05-2015
Windmill (sort of)
Everything’s gone sarf, That's one thing the cabs won't do. They won't go sarf a the river. Not Taday mate.

Nice pome deha!
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Bloody hell, ain't it just! Ta muchly for the read and comment, WFF!

pommer on 29-05-2015
Windmill (sort of)
Great poem,also liked the illustration.I agree, great tits, as others say,but I have always been a legman.Peter xxx

Author's Reply:
Haha, thank you Peter, appreciate the observation!

deadpoet on 30-05-2015
Windmill (sort of)
You're only a year older than me- I thought you acted mature- one year makes a difference πŸ™‚

fantastic poem Andrea- a cracker- now onto the Windmill and have a look-see.

Author's Reply:
Ah, age is but a number, DP πŸ™‚

Ta for the comment πŸ™‚

amman on 01-06-2015
Windmill (sort of)
A luverly pair of...legs! etc. A rollicking poem' made me larf.

Author's Reply:
Glad it did, Amman!

jay12 on 21-12-2015
Windmill.
Just reacquainting myself with UKA and was so glad I came to this post. Nice picture, in fact Great picture!

And nice writy wordy things too.

Author's Reply:
Hi Jay. Wow! How lovely to see you back. And thanks so much for your kind words πŸ™‚

QBall on 14-02-2016
Windmill.
Hard to keep abreast of modern literature, init? The poem titillated moi!
Me breasties feel bruised and sore
They keep bouncing off the floor,
Like guitar strings, thrum, thrum, thrum
The same thing happens wiv me bum!

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 14-02-2016
Windmill.
Haha, thanks Q - appreciate it πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:


UKELELE (posted on: 06-04-15)    
Not a lot to say about this one, really πŸ™‚

Cedric loved his ukelele passionately – he played it daily interspersed with ol' Bill Haley. Ced was quite a rocker! Ede, his missus, loathed the uke, the sound of it quite made her puke her and secret lover Luke much preferred Joe Cocker. So Luke 'n' Ede bashed in Ced's 'ead hard, to make sure he was dead (poor ol' bloke he bled and bled), then stashed him in a locker. The cops were called and took some prints But Ede and Luke ain't been seen since (they legged it quick, to Port-au-Prince), their murder quite a shocker! POOR OL' CED!
 photo Cedric_zpsfbfdgtjp.jpg

Archived comments for UKELELE
sweetwater on 06-04-2015
UKELELE
Intolerance in all walks of life, but the beat goes on, sadly the wrong sort of beating for Cedric! Great fun poem I liked the way each last line rhymed. :-)) Sue.x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sue, appreciate the read. There's a name for it (the rhyming thing) but buggered if I can remember what it is πŸ™‚

pommer on 06-04-2015
UKELELE
I liked it .Poor OL'Ced looks overfed must have been some locker they stashed him.Great fun to read.Be lucky, Peter.xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Peter, glad you liked πŸ™‚ Have a happy Easter x

Mikeverdi on 07-04-2015
UKELELE
Well that's about as random as it gets HaHa! Nothing for a year and then this.... where the hell did that come from??? If things like this just 'pop' into your head, maybe you need to see someone πŸ™‚
Mike
XxX

Author's Reply:
It actually 'popped' into me head a while ago πŸ™‚ But you're right, I think I need a shrink *sigh*
xx

deadpoet on 11-04-2015
UKELELE
Oh Golly- a shrink won't bash in yer head but something similar- Nope this could be a good way to get rid of that somebody- I am glad now I at last got back here on UKA and was greeted by this- I think it's funny! Not bad at all Andrea- sounds like old doggerel you! Pia xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pia, glad you thought it was funny! And so glad to see you back!

xx


DECORATING (posted on: 24-10-14)
For all you DIY'ers out there (and their nagging other halves)

'Let's decorate!' cried Ida gaily (the junk made her despondent daily). Fred of course could not care less (A bloke, he rarely noticed mess). But Fred loved Ida, so agreed, bought paper, paint, with wond'rous speed, and Ida sploshed with great aplomb, but when she surfaced, Fred had gone! The fumes of emerald, glossy paint had made poor Ida feel quite faint, she searched for Fred for many hours and found him glued behind the flowers embossed upon the pasty paper (what a mad, disast'rous caper!). So Ida peeled him off and said 'I'm quite wore out, let's go to bed! Too much hard work, can't stand the stress, we'll have to learn to love the mess…'


Archived comments for DECORATING
Mikeverdi on 24-10-2014
DECORATING (and how not to do it)
That's my morning laugh taken care of πŸ™‚

Weirdly there was a thing on the TV as I was reading this to Lesley...two blokes trying to decorate; made it even more funny HaHa! great clip as well πŸ™‚
Mike
XxX

Author's Reply:
Ta, Mike. I remember that song from when I was a kid, in prehistoric times. Made me laugh then and I reckon that's what inspired my doggerel...

Read it to Lesley? Blimey! Poor gal πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 25-10-2014
DECORATING (and how not to do it)
Decorating? Not suitable for married couples. It is one of the main causes of divorce.
As always an entertaining doggerel written in your inimitable style. I enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:
Indeed you are correct, Luigi - leave it to the ladies. eh?

Ta for reading - appreciate it πŸ™‚

Bozzz on 25-10-2014
DECORATING (and how not to do it)
Oh what a lovely mess. A cheerful rhymer - good for the soul these days. Well Anthea - I have no doubt you would have sloshed words all over the page, but still with immaculate rhythm - well done and thanks for the laugh.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the read David, and glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

sweetwater on 26-10-2014
DECORATING (and how not to do it)
Great fun write, I never trust wallpaper it falls on you, decides on a sideways lean, pretends to be stuck then gracefully peels down from the ceiling when you turn away, or falls out with itself and breaks in two as you reach up to hang it. I just paint, that way you only have a small brush and paint tin to fight with.
Thoroughly enjoyed thank you Sue xx


Author's Reply:
Completely agree! I don't do wallpaper, never have - painting's already hazardous enough! Thanks for the read and appreciation πŸ™‚

holsen on 06-02-2015
DECORATING (and how not to do it)
I like your poem, I love to decorate and create themes. But, my husband tries to take over and makes me want to scream......lol.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Holsen - the read and comment are much appreciated!


The Return of Mrs Brown. (posted on: 01-09-14)    
I was just reading an article about a woman who entered 100 competitions a week, and had accumulated 30,000 quid in prizes. Reminded me on one of my tales, so I thought I'd resurrect it πŸ™‚

Dorothy Murdoch ended up inexplicably and inextricably entwined with Maude Brown. It had all started off as a bit of a joke, really. When Dorothy reached pensionable age, she'd decided to up stakes and move to a small Cornish village, full of enthusiasm at the prospect of a quiet, tranquil retirement in the country. 'It'll be just like The Good Life,' she told herself happily, 'I'll raise chickens, grow lots of prize-winning veggies and enter all those silly flower shows you see on the telly. Felicity Kendel, here I come..." And she set about putting her London flat on the market and searching for a suitable country residence. The flat was sold with gratifying speed and at an exceptionally good price, thus leaving Dorothy with a sizeable nest egg with which she bought the tools deemed necessary to embark on a comfortable and contemplative rural life. Chickens were duly purchased, as was an Aga and a vast array of spades, hoes, rakes, secateurs and a lawn mower. Numerous packets of seeds were naturally vital, and promised an abundance of healthy crops such as 'delicious giant pumpkins', 'savoury, succulent leeks' and 'tasty, tender turnips'. Determined to relegate all the stresses of city life to the past, Dorothy decided to forego the telly and surrounded herself instead with illuminating books. The Prophet, Bhagavad Gita and Teach Yourself Yoga were among the literary masterpieces now gracing her shelves. She considered getting a pet, but cats were guaranteed to pee on the parsnips and dogs, though more continent, needed far too much attention. Dorothy threw herself into her project with gusto. In virtually no time at all green shoots were sprouting magically in neat rows and the hens were laying double-yolked brown eggs that would have brought a smile of satisfaction and approval to Delia Smith's face. Dorothy was popular with the locals, too. Soon, her homemade jams and pickles were quite legendary and the village shop even agreed to stock some of her produce, albeit it on a trial basis. "Got any more of that there delicious strawberry jam, Mrs Murdoch?" Edna the shopkeeper would ask when Dorothy went in to buy her groceries. "How about a few more jars of yer lovely pickled cucumbers, then?" Ray the butcher grinned, handing over two juicy lamb chops for her tea. Now this was all well and good, but the more organised Dorothy became, the more bored she was. After a while, things were running so smoothly that there was precious little left to do. Dorothy needed a distraction to fill those long, cold winter evenings. She found it one day when she was idly leafing through a magazine she'd picked up while waiting to be served in Edna's shop. 'WRITE A SLOGAN AND WIN A CRUISE!' cried the caption. "I could do with a cruise, that's for sure." Dorothy told Edna, showing her the ad. "Ooh, they're in all the mags these days," said Edna, "My sister does 'em all the time and wins loads of things. I've lost count of the number of toasters she's got!" So Dorothy bought a copy of every mag in the shop and trudged home to study them. They turned out to be full of competitions offering prizes ranging from luxury holidays, to vacuum cleaners, to a year's free supply of loo paper. Dorothy, after much thought, entered them all. She posted off her coupons the next day and promptly forgot all about it until her first prize, an electric kettle, arrived a few weeks later. This was rapidly followed by an oven, an electric blanket, six months supply of washing powder and a 200 quid cash prize. Dorothy was hooked. She began travelling to the surrounding villages and buying copies of every magazine they had in stock. Prizes kept flooding in and she soon found herself barely able to move for fridges, vacuum cleaners, toasters, hairdryers, towels and every kind of electrical gadget and appliance ever invented. It got to the point where Dorothy couldn't look at anything without a slogan popping, unbidden, into her head. "NO PEAS FOR THE WICKED." she'd think as she purchased her packet of Bird's Eye, and "HOME IS WHERE THE HARPIC IS," she sung, on spying the trusty loo cleaner. After a while though, even this began to pall and Dorothy, after spending several solitary holidays marvelling at the Pyramids, the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Rockies, decided to invent someone with whom she could share her good fortune. And so Maude Brown came into being. Maude's immaculate conception had several obvious advantages. For one thing, the magazines themselves were beginning to be curious as to how just one little old lady managed to win so many competitions. There was even talk of interviews and television appearances to investigate the phenomenon which was Dorothy. Maude Brown, who would henceforth enter, would hopefully take off some of the heat. Furthermore, Dorothy had always had a penchant for dressing up and the prospect of appearing in public clothed in floral frocks and a blue-rinse wig was most appealing. Mild deception was also one of Dorothy's little pleasures in life and the thought of fooling nosy old Edna tickled her pink. Eventually Maude, too, became quite a hit with the locals and, although she was ostensibly sharing the cottage with Dorothy, no-one seemed to think it strange that they were never seen together. "Mornin' Maude," Edna would say, wrapping up butter and cheese, "An' how's our Dorothy this fine day, then?" "Couldn't be better, thank you. Fit as a fiddle." Dorothy, alias Maude would quaver, tucking her purchases into the copious pockets of her flowery pinny. "Mornin' Dorothy. Maude alright, is she?" Edna would ask the next day, reaching for the digestives. "Picture of health, picture of health." Dorothy would reply brightly, stuffing the bikkies, together with the latest mags, in her wicker basket and smoothing down the folds of her neatly pleated skirt. The cottage became full to bursting and it was just as well that Maude was merely a figment of Dorothy's imagination, for it would have been impossible for them both to have squeezed in, such was the prize-winning clutter. Dorothy was interviewed for the local rag. Maude made an appearance on local TV. Dorothy wrote an article on 'How to win Competitions,' and Maude, now a celebrity in her own right, opened the flower show. Life, Dorothy decided, was a barrel of laughs. Maude agreed wholeheartedly. Dorothy's search for entry forms was taking her further and further afield. Poor Edna simply couldn't keep up with demand. One day, on returning from a particularly long and gruelling search, Dorothy noticed water seeping suspiciously from under her front door. Inside, the floor was awash with electrical goods, none of which, thankfully, were plugged in. "Bloody hell," said Dorothy out loud, "I've been flooded!" and she called the Water Board forthwith. "Well, Mrs. Murdoch," said the Water Board inspector gloomily, "Looks like you've got a serious leak. We'll have to replace the pipes..." and he turned off the stopcock and called on his mobile for reinforcements. This was all dreadfully inconvenient, as Dorothy had some in-depth coupon studying to do, but she bore up well and left the poor chaps, stumbling and bumping into various large and cumbersome prizes, to rip up her floorboards. "Er, 'scuse me missus," stammered the chief ripper some time later and just as Dorothy had come up with a particularly brilliant slogan. "but there appears to be some trouble. "The lads've have just discovered a skeleton under your floor..." and he whipped out his indispensable mobile in order to alert the law. Dorothy was flabbergasted. "It's impossible!" she cried. "No it ain't!" retorted the grass. "But who is it?" shrieked Dorothy. "Ain't got a clue! We'll have to wait for the cops!" came the reply. The forces of law and order duly arrived and the skeleton was carted off to be examined. "We'll be in touch..." growled Dan the village bobby, hitherto a friendly soul and normally not averse to a bit of gossip himself. Dorothy, distraught, quite lost her appetite for study and awaited further developments with intense trepidation. They came with alarming speed and in the intimidating shape of Inspector Bixley from Bude Constabulary. "Now then, Mrs Murdoch," said the inspector sternly the next day, "What we want to know is what you know about a Mrs. Maude Brown...?" and he consulted his notepad, pen poised. "What?" said Dorothy, aghast. "Mrs. Maude Brown." repeated Plod darkly, "The owner, or previous owner I should say, of the skeleton unearthed, so to speak, under your floorboards." Dorothy gaped, speechless. "After making extensive enquiries," continued the relentless sleuth, "it is our considered opinion that you 'ave been impersonating Mrs Brown, after doin' her in like, with a view to making fools of us all..." Dorothy gasped and gibbered, stunned. "We therefore 'ave no alternative, Mrs. Murdoch," said Sherlock sternly, "but to arrest you on suspicion of murder...."
Archived comments for The Return of Mrs Brown.
pommer on 01-09-2014
The Return of Mrs Brown.
Hilarious Andrea, couldn't stop laughing. A beautiful little tale.Poor Mrs.Murdoch,I hope they treat her well at Bodmin prison.She could plead insanity,and have herself transferred to St.Lawrence Psychiatric Hospital at Bodmin, if it still exists.Thank you for sharing this lovely little story.Be lucky,
Love,
Peter.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Peter, really appreciate the read, and glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

Mikeverdi on 03-09-2014
The Return of Mrs Brown.
Oh yes! the 'none poet' has shown her true vocation....as a writer of excellent fiction HaHa!
Nice one Boss.
Mike
XxX

Author's Reply:
Well it ain't poetry is it?

Ta, appreciate it, Mike πŸ™‚

amman on 05-09-2014
The Return of Mrs Brown.
Ha ha. She might have to flog off all 'er various prizes to raise the bail dosh. Very entertaining.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Amman - appreciate it πŸ™‚


Summer (posted on: 04-11-13)
To see us through the winter.

Cuthbert moaned to missus Fay 'This winter's bin a bummer'. So now the kids have gorn away, let's leg it for the summer! Perhaps somewhere in southern France? (I've 'eard it's nice in Nice). Or where they do that funny dance, oh yeah, that's right, it's Greece. Or Sicily, or Oz or Spain!' (Cuth was quite excited) 'Someplace where it doesn't rain!' (Fay was, of course, delighted). But when they checked their hard-earned savings alas, the funds were somewhat low. And so despite all Cuthbert's ravings they ended up in Felixstowe.
Archived comments for Summer
deadpoet on 04-11-2013
Summer
Thanks Andrea- you think of everything and everyone. If I could just get to Felixistowe I'd be happy. πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Well, Felixstowe's not all it's cracked up to be πŸ™‚ Thanks for the read and kind comment, DP.

x

Mikeverdi on 04-11-2013
Summer
I've 'eard it's nice in Nice'... love it! Mike XxX

Author's Reply:
Ta Mike πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 04-11-2013
Summer
Beggars can't be choosers. A delightful doggerel, in the best Andrea tradition.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Quite. And thank you very much, Luigi πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 04-11-2013
Summer
 photo 89f4a5d0-5f15-4509-881e-443a08debcc5_zps272a8411.jpg
A style all of yir ain Hen!
Thoroughly enjoyed all the Andreaisms.
Cheered me!
Weefatfella.xx

Author's Reply:
Awww, ta WFF - and where are you these days, eh?

pommer on 04-11-2013
Summer
Made me laugh. I've never been to Felixstowe,Ain't going there either,I like jellied eels in Soufend.Well done Andrea.Love pommer x

Author's Reply:
Well, I've never bin to Felixstowe either πŸ™‚ And after that pome, I hope I never do. Ta for reading and commenting Pom! x

amman on 05-11-2013
Summer
Ha ha. nice one. Poor old Cuth! Shouldn't have spent all their hard earned dough on booze and fags.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Chavs both! Ta for reading Amman πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 05-11-2013
Summer
 photo 89f4a5d0-5f15-4509-881e-443a08debcc5_zps272a8411.jpg
As strange as it may seem, the Weefatfella has been to Felixstow. I lost my innocence to the Fair Betinna, and her Mother.
I still have the nightmares.
Although the tablets are helping.Sniff,
Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
Did you really? Well, I suppose we've all got to lose it somewhere πŸ™‚ Lost mine in the Lickey Hills, at the tender age of...well, you'll have to guess.

stormwolf on 05-11-2013
Summer
haha good one!

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Ta Alison πŸ™‚

x

Kipper on 05-11-2013
Summer
You've got everyone laughing - can't think why.

Michael from Felixstowe!

(Long silence)



Great stuff. I too thought nice in Nice was brilliant!

Michael





Author's Reply:
Are you really? Do you know Cuthbert?

Ta muchly for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

barenib on 05-11-2013
Summer
I'm just about to book somewhere nice for next year, so with the best will in the world I hope it's not Felixstowe! Done in your always inimitable style Andrea, John xx

Author's Reply:
Felixstowe's probably not cold enough for you πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, John, appreciate it.

x

Bozzz on 06-11-2013
Summer
I think it's worse than that this year. Perhaps Cuth should take a new job as a public lavatory cleaner - then he would receive a letter from the Council telling him he can take a holiday at his own convenience - ya boo sucks....Tight lines ...Bozzz.

Author's Reply:
Ooooooh, 'convenience'...cringe πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting, Bozzz, appreciate it!

Pronto on 08-11-2013
Summer
Ah yes it's always a bummer when the dreams get ahead of the bank account! It's a scenario I know well Champagne tastes on beer money!

Nicely told tale Andrea.

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much, Pronto πŸ™‚

ParsonThru on 26-04-2014
Summer
A tale of expectation management. πŸ™‚
Just noticed the comment from John, reading down. Very sorry to hear about him passing.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the read, Parson. Yes, very sad about John - he was a good friend and I will miss him.


It's a Dog's Life (posted on: 21-10-13)    
An ode to smelly hounds. (It's also a formatting test, but don't tell anyone)

Boris the basset, known to his mates as Farty, looked up at Arthur with soulful, sorrowful eyes and, whining apologetically, let off a corker. "Bloody hell!" said Arthur, whipping out a hankie and covering his nose hastily, "He's at it again. What we need, my boy," he mumbled to Vinnie through the grey cotton, "is a garden..." "Yeah," choked Vinnie, eyeing the explosive mutt with disgust, "to bury him in. It's either that or a cork." "Farty needs a garden where he can fart to his hearts content," said Arthur, waxing lyrical and frowning at his son reprovingly. This priceless nugget of unintentional elegy was lost on Vinnie however, as he was too busy dragging the protesting animal into the loo. The trouble was that the more poor old Farty matured and mellowed, the smellier, louder and more frequent his explosions became. Arthur and Vinnie had discovered Farty in Battersea Dog's Home where they'd gone with their mate Teabag. Teabag had carelessly mislaid Petal, a mongrel of indeterminate parentage to whom he was totally and hopelessly devoted. A be-whiskered, beer-bellied bruiser with arms covered in tattoos so dense it looked like he was wearing a psychedelic jumper, the distraught Teabag had been devastated by his loss. Quite overcome with grief, he'd persuaded Arthur and Vinnie to accompany him on his quest in case he should suffer an emotional breakdown. Happily Petal, only slightly the worse for wear, was discovered safe and sound. Teabag, overwhelmed with gratitude, had donated a fiver on the spot. Vinnie meanwhile, idly peering into the adjacent pen, had spotted a large, slumbering pooch with droopy jowls and a dribble. "Woof!" he said conversationally through the bars. The comatose canine raised a head framed by ears the size of an old lady's bloomers and grinned before nodding off again. Vinnie was impressed. This was obviously a fellow creature after his own heart. He, too, found sleeping one of the greatest joys in life, especially if he could do it all day. "Hey, Pa!" he called to Arthur, who was proffering his ubiquitous hankie to Teabag in order to mop up the tears of joy Teabag was shedding at Petal's safe deliverance, "Look at this one. Ain't he cute? Shall we take him?" Arthur peered dubiously into the pen. Boris, suddenly alert, grinned and drooled hopefully. "He's a bit big, ain't he? What would we do with a thing that size in a council flat, I ask you?" He turned to the kennel girl, a pretty young thing with a pink scarf covering the lower half of her face. Arthur failing, understandably, to notice the warning sign asked, "How long's he been here then, love?" "A year," muttered the mouth behind the muslin, "It's a real pity. He's got a lovely temperament, that one. Really gentle he is, but no-one wants to take him." "What a shame..." sighed Arthur, who always had a soft spot for the underdog. "Not ill though, is he?" asked Vinnie, concerned. "Oh no, not exactly. He suffers a bit from flatulence, that's all..." "Blimey," said Arthur, under the impression that flatulence had something to do with fallen arches, "Is that all? Well, we'll take him then, shall we Vin? He looks really friendly, don't he?" Thus it was that Boris, soon to be christened Farty, was duly examined and, having been given the all-clear by a masked vet, took up residence with Arthur and Vinnie. The true extent of Farty's miasmic digestive disorder did not, however, become fully apparent until all three found themselves enclosed in the cramped confines of a council flat. "Maybe we're giving him the wrong grub," said Arthur faintly, watching Farty wolf down a bowl of tripe and expelling wind like a deflating balloon, "We'd better take him to the vet." The vet, green and gasping, could find nothing wrong with Farty's rations, other than they were, perhaps, slightly on the generous side. "Right," said Vinnie to a dismayed Farty, "We'll cut back a bit, then." It didn't help. Quite the contrary in fact because Farty, possibly in protest, became windier and more pungent than ever. Arthur and Vinnie, in despair, took to opening the windows wide in all weathers, even in the depths of the direst winter. They purchased aerosols of sea-breeze air freshener by the dozen and ended up spending a fortune on pot pourri. Nothing worked though and even Petal, initially a staunch and faithful admirer, refused to enter the putrid portals. Teabag had to leave her at home when he visited for their weekly poker sessions. By this time, Farty had been in residence for almost three years and Arthur and Vinnie had naturally become quite attached. They finally had to concede however, that it was a toss up between suffocation or relocation. Which was when Arthur, in a rare flash of inspiration, had come up with the brilliant idea of a garden for Farty to fart in. This solution would, hopefully, save father and son from certain asphyxiation. The council was duly contacted and bureaucratic wheels put in motion. Farty meanwhile, sad and lonely, languished in the loo for the duration. "Brilliant!" cried Arthur and "Cool!" whooped Vinnie the next week, after postie had delivered an official letter informing them that a house had been found and they could move in the following month. Farty was allowed to spend his last night in the living-room. "After all," pointed out Vinnie, "It don't really matter if he stinks it up now, does it?" and they all went to bed dreaming of a house smelling sweeter than a field of mimosa. Arthur was snoring gently and Vinnie was dreaming of the acres of illegal plants he was going to cultivate in their lovely new garden, when they were awakened by an almighty crash followed by much barking and yelping from Farty. "Bloody hell!" shouted Arthur, still half asleep, "What's that?" and shoving in his dentures, he grabbed his boxing trophy. Never having been a man who shirked confrontation, he prepared to do battle. Bumping into Vinnie in the hall, the two made their way cautiously towards the living-room where Farty could be heard whining and snuffling. A terrible stench pervaded. Arthur and Vinnie, relatively used to Farty's expulsions, gasped nevertheless as they threw open the door. There, lying on the floor and out like a light, lay a supine form clutching Arthur's telly under one arm and Vinnie's video under the other. Farty stood over him, breaking wind furiously and dribbling like Niagara Falls. "Blimey," breathed Vinnie in awe, "Farty's managed to knock him out without raising a paw!" "This dog," grinned Arthur, nudging the intoxicated intruder with a bare foot and patting the proud hound on the head, "Is a bloody miracle worker..."
Archived comments for It's a Dog's Life
Weefatfella on 21-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
 photo 89f4a5d0-5f15-4509-881e-443a08debcc5_zps272a8411.jpg
Ha! Good ol farty.
The Bowels move in mysterious ways, their wonders to perform.
A super smelly submission Andrea.
Much enjoyed.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
They do indeed, WFF. Thanks very much for reading and commenting and thanks too, to the mysterious nibber!

roger303 on 21-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
Particularly relevant as Alf the Labradoodle has just sneaked out a silent one before slipping out of the room!
Great read!
Roger.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roger, appreciate it πŸ™‚

Mikeverdi on 22-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
You've seen my dogs, so you know this is SO relevant in our life, nice one Boss. Mike

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Mike - yeah your hounds must make a whiff πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 23-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
Aye! Found that if ya feed 'em pizza scraps they're better off outside dogs. πŸ˜‰

Missed yer funny 'uns!

Sorry for my absence. I'm sure you would forgive me if you but knew...

Greg πŸ™‚

 photo Gunspincowboy.gif

Author's Reply:
I expect I would (forgive you), but I missed you, too. Glad to see you back and thanks for reading and commenting on my little tale (pardon pun).

bo_duke99 on 23-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
psychedelic jumper, whole piece mucho cool

Author's Reply:
Awww, ta, Bo - - perhaps a touch more acid?

deadpoet on 23-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
velly smelly tale Andrea- see the formatting is formiddable..
Pia

Author's Reply:
Ta DP - formatting didn't work as required, but who's counting, eh?

MrMarmite on 23-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
What an hilarious story bloody love it.
Thanks for making me laugh so much !
More please.

Author's Reply:
Awww, ta Mr M! There's lots more in me profile, doggerel an' all πŸ™‚


Nomenklatura on 27-10-2013
Its a Dogs Life
Hahhaha! I enjoyed this one.
Have you noticed how the turn and look at their arse when they drop one? As if they're surprised!

(also for test, which is quite appropriate!)

Author's Reply:
Yeah, my dog always used to do that too, as well as looking sheepish πŸ™‚

Ta for reading and commenting, Ewan - appreciate it!



At a Snail's Pace (posted on: 11-10-13)
I just read this --> Snail Farms on the Rise in Britain in the DM, so thought I'd resurrect this oldie of mine πŸ™‚ Actually, escargot in parsley and garlic butter are mouth-wateringly delicious πŸ™‚

One night Edith, Luther King-like, had a dream. She did not, of course, have a faithful following with whom to share her revelation, but it was a vision, nevertheless, which was destined to change the course of many lives and not, some would argue, for the better. Actually, this was the second of Edith's life-changing nightly ramblings, the first having occurred when she was a young schoolgirl trying to hold her own on a Camden housing estate. Shoving slimy, bulging binliners down the communal rubbish chute, she'd smell not the stench of rotting cabbage and putrid Pampers but, instead, would breathe in the heady aroma of newly mown grass and lavender. Wading through puddles of pee in the graffiti-adorned lift, she'd see not 'Eminem suks', or 'Randy Andy is a bitch' scrawled in black felt-tips on grey metal, but envisioned instead fields of poppies and sunflowers nodding sleepily under a glowing golden globe.             Edith's first dream was fairly simple and straightforward and should have been well within the reach of a snotty-nosed schoolgirl, even one from Camden. It was surprisingly simple, really. She wanted an expansive garden. There wasn't, of course, much in the way of greenery on the council estate. Mr Patel, who ran the corner shop, did quite a nice line in coriander and mint, but that was about as good as it got. Edith determined at any early age that she was going to Better Her Lot. Thus it was that Edith, canny but no great shakes in the academic department, opted for a path that many a young and reasonably attractive girl had chosen before her. She married Bert, her senior by 20 years. Bert had been relatively easy to find, especially as Edith wasn't too bothered about age, appearance or even virility. 'Financially secure' took precedence over 'gsoh' and 'tall, dark, handsome and sporty'. The local papers were full of lonely Berts on the lookout for youthful, energetic Ediths. A kindly chap, though, was Bert. No looker, certainly, but well-endowed in the wallet department, being the proud owner of a thriving haulage company, thus ensuring that he spent most of his time either on the road or in the office. This suited Edith admirably who, although she grew to be rather fond of Bert, had no great desire to spend every waking moment in his company. And along with Bert came a house in Hertfordshire, surrounded by a large but sadly neglected garden. Edith's dream had, at least partially, materialised. ''Oooh, I'll do it up lovely…'' cried Edith to Bert, bathing in glorious visions of rose-beds, pergolas, arbours and water features a la Charlie Dimmock, ''I'll grow all our veggies, too.'' A trip to the garden centre was planned forthwith, the first of many. Alas, Edith, who'd blossomed on a council estate much like a stray daisy thrusting thinly through a rubbish tip, had sadly underestimated the power of nature. Hitherto, her gardening had been restricted to thyme and basil in a window box and Alan Titchmarch on the telly. ''Blast!'' she'd say, gloomily contemplating her spindly roses, leaves blackened as though struck by the Plague. And ''damn!'' she'd sigh, plucking yet another snail from her delphiniums. Her carrots lacked crunch, her spuds were blighted, her wisteria wilted and her dahlias drooped dismally. Grass seed, strangled by weeds and gasping for air, refused point-blank to germinate and her honeysuckle crawled rather than clambered. Bert, needless to say, engrossed as he was in his own personal area of logistics, was no help at all.     ''Don't be daft, love,'' he'd say, poking a soggy sprout, ''what d'you you need to grow veggies for? They're dirt cheap down at Sainsbury's. Yours cost the bloody earth! Cost the earth, see? '' and he'd chortle with glee, much amused by his own wit.     Edith, understandably, was not amused. ''All I want to do, Bert,'' she frowned, gazing upon a lacy lettuce leaf with loathing, ''is to grow something we can actually eat.'' Edith's trips to the local garden centre were legendary. She'd return laden with sprays for blackspot and white fly, grass seed, moss killer, compost, week killer, hydrangea food and caterpillar killer. All to no avail. ''It must be the soil,'' she lamented, ''It's got no nutrients. Needs feeding. I'll be off to the garden centre again tomorrow, then.'' Bert knew better than to point out that Mr Poppit's garden next door rivalled Kew Gardens and that he had a nice little earner flogging plump pumpkins and massive marrows at the local farmers market. Edith, undaunted, dug, hoed, weeded, planted and shovelled diligently. Alas, her peas persisted in perishing and her cabbages crumbled under the weight and voracious appetites of hordes of starving gasteropodous molluscs. Edith developed quite a snail phobia. Crushed eggshells were mixed with sawdust and strewn around plant bases. Bert's finest brew was sunk in plastic cups in strategic places around lettuce and cabbage. When this failed to alleviate the problem, a pungent solution of water and garlic powder was sprayed liberally over the entire garden. When all these tried and trusty remedies failed, she took to going out after dark armed with a torch and spike and impaled as many of the creatures as she could, clattering them into an enamel bucket before flushing them down the loo. The ones she hadn't managed to kill outright crawled back out, leaving a trail of glistening slime in their wake. The rest, fatally stabbed, inconsiderately blocked the pipe. Bert and the local plumber, called out on each occasion, were not best pleased. At least those drowned in the beer had dissolved. Edith, organically inclined but desperate, finally threw her principles out of the window. ''There's nothing for it, Bert. It'll have to be pellets.'' she announced sadly, pulling up a putrid parsnip and waving it at an astonished Bert. Edith's snails, however, appeared to be impervious to poison. True, she did, on occasion, come across the odd empty shell, which she brandished aloft in triumph, but in general the snails marched on like an invading army, demolishing everything in their path, much to Edith's despair.                                                          ************ Alas, there came a day when poor Edith was left to face this monumental problem alone. Bert was inconsiderate enough to succumb to a massive heart attack aided, in all likelihood, by his constant consumption of mouldy vegetables. Not only that, but to Edith's horror, it transpired that the business was in such dire straits that it seemed that the only solution was to sell the house and of course with it, the garden of which Edith had so long and lovingly dreamed. ''I refuse to go and live in a poky flat!'' she wailed to Mrs Smythe at the Post Office, ''but what can I do?'' ''Pity your veggies are so awful,'' sniffed Mrs Smythe unkindly, ''otherwise you might make a nice living selling them locally, like old Mr Poppit does.'' Edith, nothing if not resourceful, reflected long and deep on Mrs Smythe's words. A solution, she felt could, nay must, be found. And thus it came about that all was revealed to Edith as she slumbered. 'Hmmm, I can't grow veggies and flowers, it's true,' she mused, 'but I know what I can grow…' An idea began to form, taking root and sprouting as, indeed, her flora should have done in the past. Unlike her brassicas, however, Edith was determined that this seedling would flourish and bear fruit.                                                      ************ Edith gazed at her pristine rows of neatly stacked jars with satisfaction. All beautifully labelled, their lids encased in ochre cheesecloth and tied with a twist of colourful raffia. Edith had worked hard on her presentation. Appearances were, in certain cases, of the utmost importance, as Edith had finally discovered. Market days were Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and she'd hired the stall, on a regular basis, for all three. Today was Saturday. A beautiful, mild spring May morning with a gentle southerly breeze. Sales were going swimmingly as, indeed, they had on the previous two occasions. Edith felt content and much gratified. This was going to be a cinch. She picked up a jar and regarded its contents lovingly. The olive oil was, naturally, extra virgin. The sprigs of rosemary swam within, glistening greenly. Dainty black peppercorns sat on the bottom, next to a single, creamy-white garlic clove. Edith shook the jar gently. The contents swirled gracefully. ''Marvellous,'' she sighed, smoothing her red check pinny and, once again, admiring the black gothic lettering on the label. 'EDITHS EXQUISITE ESCARGOTS ' it pronounced proudly.
Archived comments for At a Snail's Pace
deadpoet on 11-10-2013
At a Snails Pace
Always a pleasure to read your work Andrea-very good with all the aliteration . Very funny indeed.Thanks for an enjoying read.

Author's Reply:
Oh, I completely forgot I'd posted this, DP. Thanks so much for reading and rating.

x

Weefatfella on 12-10-2013
At a Snails Pace
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Aye agree with deadpoet, enjoyed the alliteration.
Especially at the end.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much WFF!

And thanks to the nibber, too πŸ™‚

Mikeverdi on 12-10-2013
At a Snails Pace
I see there's more to a 'none poets' bow than just Doggeral. nice going boss. Mike

Author's Reply:
Ta muchly, Mike πŸ™‚ Oh yes! Not just a pretty face, me...

mageorge on 13-10-2013
At a Snails Pace
Bloody hell, I once had a market stall, it was nothing like this one πŸ™‚

Great read, indeed, A.

Mark.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Mark πŸ™‚


Blue (posted on: 13-09-13)
Just a little ditty πŸ™‚

Preggers our ol' Maureen was, she hoped it weren't a gal. A happy little bunny 'cos for Bert, at last, a pal! So blue the bootees and the bed, no candy pink in sight. Blue too, the mood of daddy Fred, itching for a fight. A lass was what he wanted now, to spoil and dress in pink. And what did Maureen know, the cow? Slappers cannot think! So tho' the sprog sported a dick Fred had it christened Fay. With parents so God-awful thick Small wonder, then, that Fay was gay.
Archived comments for Blue
Bradene on 13-09-2013
Blue
I'm feeling rotten with another UTI, so when /I read this it made me laugh so hard and long I just had to get off my arse and comment, Sorry I haven't been in evidence much but I feel pretty miserable. Thanks a million for cheering me up Love Ya! Valx

Author's Reply:
My pleasure, Val - feeling a bit ropey myself with a heavy bout of 'flu. Have you tried extra strong cranberry?

deadpoet on 13-09-2013
Blue
Reminded me of Johnny Cash's A boy named Sue- but this is funnier. Pia

Author's Reply:
Probably had that in mind DP πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

franciman on 13-09-2013
Blue
Ahh Boss,
A philosophical gem, clothed in an Eastenders' Sweety wrapper. Funnier than Johnny Cash and more genuine than David Cameron.
Love it.
cheers,
Jim xx

Author's Reply:
Ta Jim πŸ™‚ Anything's more genuine than CamerClegg! Ta muchly for reading (and rating)

x

Mikeverdi on 14-09-2013
Blue
Oh dear, the none poet strikes again! You'll never get to heaven boss πŸ™‚ Mike xxx

Author's Reply:
Believe me, I'd never want to get to heaven. What a bluddy boring place that must be, full as it is with saints, do-gooders and angels πŸ™‚

Ta muchly for the reading and rating!

x

Weefatfella on 14-09-2013
Blue
 photo 89f4a5d0-5f15-4509-881e-443a08debcc5_zps272a8411.jpg
So that's how it happens.
As queer as a bottle of crisps.
Gaun Yirsell Andrea. x

Author's Reply:
Nowt so queer as folk, eh?

Ta for reading WFF πŸ™‚ x

stormwolf on 15-09-2013
Blue
LOL

Alison x

Author's Reply:
LOL back πŸ™‚

x

roger303 on 15-09-2013
Blue
Good fun and clever!

Can't bring myself to award a sychophantic 9 though!

I'd better abstain I may never get published again! πŸ˜‰

Regards

Roger

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks for the read and comment, Roger πŸ™‚

pommer on 15-09-2013
Blue
Loved it, Andrea.Another good one, Pommer xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks pommer, appreciate it!
x

Buschell on 01-10-2013
Blue
Andrea, I had to look doggerel up....great word...I reckon any poetry I might attempt would file under boggeroll...you however have a knack. B?

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Buschell. It's a great genre, isn't it, and the only one I seem to be able to write πŸ™‚


So who wants to be published, then? (posted on: 02-09-13)
Read on to find out how...

Okay, so now I have your attention (hopefully)... As you know the content of the UKA Anthology 'Voices from the Web 2014' has been announced. You can read the list of authors and pieces here --> UKA Voices from the Web 2014 Content List Please, all included authors take note of the first (very important) para : Will those authors listed please indicate their permission to publish their work by providing a bio (not more than 50 words, and as soon as possible please!) and any header comment(s) on the piece/pieces to the email address below. Any plugs for the author's work/website may be included. Both may be trimmed if space demands. All work will be proofed and copy edited ready for print publication. If you wish to provide an updated version of the nominated story or poem, please inform and send in the email. Updating on the site may not necessarily be valid as compilation has already started. Please title your email with your site name only. Send to anth2014ed@gmail.com Thanks. Despite sending out several newsletters, posting a HUGE RED notice on the front page and a forum post, we are still missing quite a few bios and the 'permission to publish'. Please bear in mind that without this permission, we cannot publish your work. Please send in your permission and bio as soon as possible, preferably before 15th September 2013. We are still waiting for a response from the following authors. Albermund Alphadog1 Aurelio Bo_duke99 Bozzz Butters Caliban CVaughan Dylan Expat Franciman Ifyouplease Japanesewind JohnShade Lallylelo Leila Madmary Nemo Niece Orangedream Popeye Pennywise Roger 303 Romany Roy Bateman Simon Stormwolf SugarMama34 Woodbine Constructive crit only, please πŸ™‚
Archived comments for So who wants to be published, then?
Bradene on 02-09-2013
So who wants to be published, then?
I just fell about laughing you clever crafty so and so!! Valx

Author's Reply:
Moi? As if! Really, Val!!

x

mageorge on 02-09-2013
So who wants to be published, then?
Too cute, Andrea! I'm sure you will get the desired response from this piece.
Regards,
Mark

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much for the rating MG! This has got to be my best piece yet!

TheBigBadG on 02-09-2013
So who wants to be published, then?
An excellent and biting satire on the decline of the steel industry during the 70s. Deserves the nib IMHO.

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much, BBG - so glad you, at least, understood the piece.

*sigh*

Nomenklatura on 02-09-2013
So who wants to be published, then?
Samizdat,
that's all I've got to say to you!
And if you don't like it,
you can just Bul Ga Kov!

Author's Reply:
Charmed, I'm sure! And I thought you woz a gent!

Nomenklatura on 04-09-2013
So who wants to be published, then?
A Gent, me?

I hope your post woke people up. A shame to miss out on being in print for failing to give permission. A shame you couldn't put a 'Publish and be damned' button at the bottom of the post. (Joking).



Author's Reply:
Thanks, Ewan πŸ™‚

Unfortunately we're still missing quite a few...


Frogs (the human kind) (posted on: 26-08-13)    
In response to something Franciman said on the forum, about onions and berets and Frenchmen πŸ™‚ (You 'ave to read avec le French accent)

Squashing baguettes under sweaty armpits and balancing beret on tete, our intrepid Frog on a bicycle sits, shouting to traffic 'arrete!' Oignons like pearls strung round his neck, aptly called 'Onion Johnny'. They ferried their veg to the UK, by 'eck, then greedily counted le monet Le Frog's got a rep as an amant to keep, (most of the ladies cry 'oui!') Wine 'em and dine 'em , then with 'em he'll sleep, (pretending to be a marquis) So let's swig a verre or two of le vin, no matter if rouge or blanc. You might not like 'em too much to a man, but there's nothing quite like their plonk. And ah! The lights of ol' Gay Paree La Seine et Les Folies Bergere. To stroll in Le Bois with a dapper Grenouille, Nothing on earth can compare.
Archived comments for Frogs (the human kind)
orangedream on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Thanks for making me smile, Andrea.

And speaking of onions, we have a bumper crop this year, and not a beret in sight;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Crikey, I'd completely forgotten I'd posted this! Thanks for the read and comment, Tina πŸ™‚

Nomenklatura on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Très drôle, Chef!

Author's Reply:
Mucky buckets, mon ami πŸ™‚

barenib on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Very bien, je think! John x.

Author's Reply:
Ta John - fab to see you so perky πŸ™‚
x

And thanks to the nibber too!

Bradene on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Ha! Ha! I love it, Sounds great when recited out loud. 1st class. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, appreciate it πŸ™‚

franciman on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Ainsi va La vie, ma douce cabbΓ ge.
j'aime beaucoup La dapper grenouille.
cheers,
The Jock Frog XX

Author's Reply:
Oi! Who you calling a brassica then, eh?

I like Frogs too - me youngest's pater is one πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 26-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
 photo Voltaire_zpsf690f201.jpg
We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.

Voltaire. Silver plate. Seeing as yie liked the buggers face, well yie can huvit. I was just thinking. a coupla letters in the right place in that quote and one could get into troubell..; I E.
Weefatfella.


Author's Reply:
Ah, yes, well, y'know WFF, you can't have everything, eh? Horses douvres et al *sigh*

Romany on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Tres bien cherie! I love the 'monet' line x

Author's Reply:
Ta Romany πŸ™‚

stormwolf on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Gave me a right laugh (as always!!!) πŸ˜‰
Fab
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Awww, ta. And believe moi, je have le experience πŸ™‚

amman on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Ha,ha. Tres amusant. Particularly like the caricature of the Englishman hopping back across the channel with e string of onions around his neck.
Given my surname..Cheers from the Welsh Frog.

Author's Reply:
It was the French (Bretons) who hopped across the channel selling their onions in the UK, Amman - hence the name Onion Johnnies. See here --> ONION JOHNNY

And here's the man himself (well, one of them, anyway :))

 photo download_zps524bd797.jpg

Corin on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Oh La La!

Madame tu es trop mΓ©chant,
Ta poésie est très risqué
Mais je t’adore, tu es mon amour
Parce que tu es très gai!


Author's Reply:
Crikey! En fin, un admirer!

Corin on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Oh La La!

Madame tu es trop mΓ©chant,
Ta poésie est très risqué
Mais je t’adore, tu es mon amour
Parce que tu es très gai!


Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Jim, the Jock Frog, called you ma douce cabbΓ ge. Just to carry on the franglais banter can I call you mon petit chou?
A very amusing dissertation on onions and onion sellers.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:
Call me wot you liked, Luigi. I'll aime you regardless.

x

mageorge on 27-08-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Andrea, I can honestly say that I didn't understand a word of it. Lol, uneducated 'lout' am I.
Regards,
Mark.

Author's Reply:
Hah! And I thought that je suis was parfaitement clear!

pommer on 01-09-2013
Frogs (the human kind)
Cher Andrea,selon moi c'est humoristique.I thought I would use a bit of my rusty French,Which I have had no chance to practice for the last 60 years. Had a good laugh. Well done.Pommer.

Author's Reply:
Mucky buckets, Pommer - tres gentle πŸ™‚


Absinthe (posted on: 29-07-13)
My take on the P&P challenge. The word was Absence so...er...a little poetic licence. Anyway I was disqualified as it was too long. I this a bovvered face?

 photo download_zpsd2ab6cd5.jpg Wormwood, green anise and spand, was called the holy trinity. The French artistes they thought it grand, it led you to infinity! Degas, Vincent, Wilde and Twain, Green Fairy drove them crazy not a lot of cells remain, (recollection hazy). Nineteen fifteen, banned in France Nineteen six, Brazil. And Belgium, Holland, took a stance (they said it made you ill). Lots of myths and many a lie with every drug that's known to man. Everything that gets you high, the 'powers that be' they try to ban. Whatever ghastly things you think (and this should make you ponder) about the dreaded demon drink, Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.
Archived comments for Absinthe
mageorge on 29-07-2013
Absinthe
I really enjoyed reading this piece, Andrea.
La F'ee Verte.... Think I might stick to Stella Artois though.. πŸ™‚
Disqualified? Not fair!
Regards,
Mark

Author's Reply:
Well, it was, really - I exceeded the limit, so to speak πŸ™‚

Thanks muchly for the read and comment.

Weefatfella on 29-07-2013
Absinthe
 photo 915e0b75-fce7-4fc2-9921-556099197c13_zps1f6b3c50.jpg
Absinthe I had a lot of them at Thchool.
Abthenthes.
They thay Thats why I'm taxi thlave now.
Surprised it was banned in Holland. Not now I would venture.
Thoughtful pieth.
Weefatfella.



Author's Reply:
Reminds me of one of Richard Gordon's 'Doctor' books

Doc to girl 'Big breaths now'
Girl: Yeth and I'm only thixteen'

Ta for reading WFF and apologies for lack of comments on my part - so busy with anth, comp and Paul's (Footsie's) book...

pommer on 29-07-2013
Absinthe
Used to like the colour when I was a child,
But when I had a little sip '
I found it wasn't mild.
Hence drinking Scotch only..
A great poem, that should not have been disqualified
Well done Andrea.

Author's Reply:
Fair enough, Pom, I broke the rules - I'm good at doing that πŸ™‚ Ta for reading...

Mikeverdi on 30-07-2013
Absinthe
Ha ha! Yes it was a drop too far, but it was good! Mike

Author's Reply:
Ta Mike, appreciate your comment muchly πŸ™‚

barenib on 31-07-2013
Absinthe
I was just about to read your poem when you popped up with mine! Anyway, reading your verse always gives me a tonic but I'll have to stay off the absinthe for a while! Cheers Andrea, more pomes please!

Author's Reply:
Thanks, John, Must say you're sounding a lot perkier, thank the lawd!

x

stormwolf on 31-07-2013
Absinthe
As always made me chuckle. Is this not mean to the powers that be?

Everything that gets you high,
the β€˜powers the be’ they try to ban.

Need some of that Absinthe myself if it's all it's cracked up to be. πŸ˜‰
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Arrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh - why didn't someone else point it out? Thanks Alison πŸ™‚

Glad it gave you a larf, anyway

x

ValDohren on 31-07-2013
Absinthe
Never tried the stuff Andrea, but its a great poem as per your usual ability to amuse.

Val

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much, Val - it's pretty heavy stuff - I on'y got sad far as Pernod πŸ™‚

Pernod Ricard is a French company that produces distilled beverages. The company's eponymous products, Pernod Anise and Ricard Pastis, are both anise-flavoured liqueurs and are often referred to simply as Pernod or Ricard. The company also produces several other types of pastis.

After the banning of absinthe, Pernod Ricard was created from the Pernod Fils company, which had produced absinthe. It is now a worldwide conglomerate.


x

Ionicus on 01-08-2013
Absinthe
How daft! Not your poem, Andrea, but the fact the lenght of the piece should change from one week to the next. The limit of 400 words for prose and 40 lines for poetry, as it was originally, seemed OK and people got used to it.
Anyway, I digress. Good and informative verse.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Well, it's because some people prefer longer pieces and others shorter pieces, I expect.

Ta muchly for reading, Luigi πŸ™‚

x

Corin on 02-08-2013
Absinthe
Great fun Andrea, LOL

Dave

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Dave πŸ™‚

franciman on 05-08-2013
Absinthe
If you, as you habitually do, consider your work doggerel; then it is doggerel of Olympian standard.
Puer. deid, brullient, by the wey!
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Wow! Thanks Jim! And thanks to whoever nibbed me, too!

Pronto on 09-08-2013
Absinthe
Great fun Andrea Nowt like a bit o' nonsense to cheer folk up!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Pronto - glad it cheered you up, but shame you needed to be πŸ™‚


Gurning (posted on: 19-07-13)
Takes all sorts...

When Ernie he twisted his face in a gurn Ethel, his missus, she took quite a turn. 'Bloody 'ell, our Ern, you gave me a fright!' she said as she struggled with all of her might to put her Ern's face back to how it should be (with his gob stuck up there, how would he eat tea?) Alas and alack, Eth had little luck poor Ernie's big mush, it seemed to be stuck! His nose was over his ear, looked most odd! And his mouth flipped and flapped like a wet, stranded cod. Poor Ethel was gutted, but what could she do? What with Ern's ghastly face awry and askew. By this time as well for some love she was yearning, and so she decided she had to learn gurning. 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, but gawd, life is cruel,' she sighed as she signed for her local gurn school. It took her six a months to get it just right, but after much practice she looked quite a fright. 'Lovely!' cried Ern, who held his wife dear, for now, she too, had her chin by her ear! And thus the pair, whilst not the most charming, at least didn't find each other alarming. So whilst most people they recoiled in fear, they enjoyed wedded bliss for many a year.
Archived comments for Gurning
Corin on 19-07-2013
Gurning
That is lovely Andrea - amusing and poignant at the same time, I am going to nominate this one and can you get someone to consider tagging this as a Great Read? It thoroughly deserves it. If my recommendation is of any influence please pass it on to whoever (apart from yourself) awards the precious NIBS.

Dave

Author's Reply:
I say, thanks very much Corin, and also for the fave read. I am honoured, although 'lovely' isn't quite how I'd describe it πŸ™‚

I can't really influence anyone, re the nib, not really kosher, is it? We'll have to wait and see...

x

deadpoet on 19-07-2013
Gurning
Ha ha is that what 'gurn' means? funny- two gurners or gurns.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, DP, for the read and comment πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 19-07-2013
Gurning
Couldn't nib ya, but I can "rib ya".

Had to come back for a little Andrea wit and charm. πŸ˜‰

Greg πŸ™‚

 photo ribs.jpg

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Greg - lovely to see you πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 19-07-2013
Gurning
 photo 5031cf9b-61d2-4fbf-912f-998c505fb4bc_zpsd7cccd97.jpg
Aye. I enjoyed this cheeky wee romp.
That's the secret of a long happy marriage.
Love is what you would give up for someone else.
It seems Ethel gave up her looks.
Weefatfella.


Author's Reply:
Thanks WFF πŸ™‚ And I got a nib too! Thanks to secret nibber...

Savvi on 19-07-2013
Gurning
Ha Ha, I entered a gurning contest at Butlins in the 70's and got runner up, I also quite fancied the winner so I'll read this as a lucky escape. very good. S

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, did you? How odd πŸ™‚ thanks for the read and generous rating...

Gee on 20-07-2013
Gurning
I am so envious of you for being able to do these pieces!
I loved it, Andrea. Brilliantly funny, as always.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Gee - and lovely to see you back, too!

x

Ionicus on 20-07-2013
Gurning
Hilarious, Andrea. Deserving of the nib and of Greg's rib.
Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Luigi - praise indeed coming from one such as your good self!

pommer on 20-07-2013
Gurning
Hi Andrea, another good piece of workmanship.I loved it.The continuing story of Ernie and Effel (that is how I would have
pronounced it. I congratulate you. Be lucky, Pommer.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pommer. Glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Pronto on 22-07-2013
Gurning
Well I wasn't gurning after reading that I was giggling.
Great wit displayed here poet!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Pronto!


LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum) (posted on: 12-07-13)
I wrote this a while ago for Droubbles. Droubbles are pieces of exactly 200 words. Harder than you might think, but great fun! Have a go here, Droubbles is back! -->Droubbles.com

When Ernie took Gertrude to wife he had the notion 'twas for life, but didn't bank on all the strife a spouse could often be. She didn't understand it seems his lust for love ('In yer dreams!') what sausages and bacon means and kippers for his tea. So after fifteen years of this he'd had enough of wedded bliss and found himself locked in a kiss with next door neighbour Lee. Lee was masterful, with muscle! And Ern tried desp'rately to rustle up excuses – go, sans tussle, but Gert would not agree. A Christian, Ern (and most devout!) he couldn't very well come out the closet, though he had to clout poor Gert most grievously. So having had enough of Gert (he'd toyed, briefly, with fireman Bert) the only thing to do was hurt her hard, despite her plea. But what to do then, with the bod? Bury it beneath the sod? And so he did (and prayed to God), deep beneath a tree Thus Bert and Lee, happy and gay, tied the knot and moved away, settled down in San Fran bay, awash with sex and iced Chablis (which bright spark was it who said crime doesn't pay?)
Archived comments for LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
Mikeverdi on 12-07-2013
LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
OMG! You've been in Amsterdam tooooooo long, come in number 69 your times up! Mike

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, dirty git πŸ™‚ I did have to prune it a bit to fit the 200 words thingy. You should have a go, it's fun!

Ta for huuuuuge rating πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 12-07-2013
LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
 photo 5031cf9b-61d2-4fbf-912f-998c505fb4bc_zpsd7cccd97.jpg
Oh Deha!
mind yie, anybody called Gertrude deserves a swift buriel.
I like the cheeky wee lassie feel tae yir stuff Andrea.
I can see you smiling as you write.
Thanks for this, had a wee giggle!
I might have a go at them there droubles.
Weefatfella.


Author's Reply:

pommer on 12-07-2013
LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
Lovely, had quite a giggle,especially as one of my names is Ernest, and I had a cousin called Gertrude.I can see you writng this. Loved it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Pommer πŸ™‚ Have a go at the Droubbles too πŸ™‚

deadpoet on 12-07-2013
LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
Quite a nut to crack Andrea- I think it is a masterpiece

Author's Reply:
Awwww, thanks DP. Hardly a masterpiece, but good fun, I hope πŸ™‚

bethybob on 06-12-2013
LIFE (or Being a Beach Bum)
Made me laugh so much. And actually gives a humorous impression of a matter seemingly delicate. I like it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, BB - appreciate it!


FAITH (and Hope and Charity) (posted on: 29-04-13)
Posted this on the Prose and Poetry Challenge forum. The word was 'Charity'. Bit of an oldie, but it fits. Sort of πŸ™‚

Faith believed in not a thing apart from men 'n' grog 'n' bling. No Jesus, God or prayer for her, life passed by, a boozy blur Hope despaired her entire life of being some footballer's wife (she wanted fame and frocks and dough) - she topped herself not long ago. Charity began at home by nicking her young sis' phone and flogging it to little Giles to fund a night out on the tiles. So when it all was said and done, all three sisters loved their fun. Inaccurately named, 'tis true, they made the most of life - do you? (Well, except Hope perhaps, who cut hers somewhat short. She's the one in the middle)  photo Charity_zps44d4c73b.jpg
Archived comments for FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
amman on 29-04-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
Ha Ha. Nice one, Andrea, in your own inimitable style. Clever character reversals with 'Faith' not believing, 'Hope' despairing (and topping herself) and 'Charity' nicking stuff.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Awwww, thanks Amman, glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

ValDohren on 29-04-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
Very good Andrea, loved it.

Val

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much Val - appreciated πŸ™‚

Savvi on 30-04-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
This was my favourite Andrea, great job with the meter and its always hard to tell the story, you make it seem easy. Oh and love the word Grog it reminds me of Monkey Island (an addictive PC game from the 80's/90's)

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Savvi. I got 'grog' from Expat (it was originally 'booze') who's always on about it on the forums, and drinking it too!

Weefatfella on 18-05-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
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Aye, very good indeed.
Great wee twists with the names n all.
Thank you Andrea.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Ta WFF. Much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

pommer on 21-06-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
A very lovely description.I too like the twists with the names. Pity about Hope, she was the best looking one in my opinion.
Thank you Andrea, Be lucky. I really like this. Pommer.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pommer, much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 23-06-2013
FAITH (and Hope and Charity)
I liked this 'un a lot, Andrea. Though it speaks of "to each her own" which people should respect, it shows their true lacking, (IMO). 'Course you know me...I find fulfillment through living for others.
B.T.W. Your book was sent out last week. πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks a lot for reading and commenting, TG πŸ™‚

Hoorah! I'll let you know the minute it arrives - really looking forward to reading it!


Cuthbert, the ol' poacher (posted on: 05-04-13)    
Wrote this for a challenge on Another Site. You had to write a pome or story with 'I could not believe what came in the door' as the first line.

(to be read in Benny Hill-type voice) I could not believe what came in the door, t'was Cuthbert, the poacher, who'd brought me some more rabbits and pheasant to cook for me tea. A fine-looking cove, our Cuthbert, was he. We met long ago when lust blossomed still (both Cuthbert and me are now over the hill) He'd wooed me right 'ard with a nice tasty stew Rabbit 'n' pig, there was goat in there, too. Me and my Cuth, we got stuck right in, (washed nicely down with a bottle of gin). And after our nosh, feeling greatly repleted away to the sofa we went, to be seated. Now Cuthbert he looked like a mighty fine gent, but alas, his poor *snake was decidedly bent. Try as he might, it just would not rise, So I looked poor ol' Cuth right in the eyes. 'Cuthbert', quoth I, by this time frustrated, ('twas eons ago since I had last mated) 'Never mind tryin' to go through the motion, get thee online and purchase some potion. So Cuthbert he bought some Cialis right quick. (amazing the difference it made to his dick). So now no more poaching, take it as read, we're spending our time in the bedroom, instead. * Ref to Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's ' one-eyed trouser snake', for the uninitiated.  photo one-eyed-trouser-snake-269x300_zpsa49e658c.gif
Archived comments for Cuthbert, the ol' poacher
ChairmanWow on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Ribald and fun verse Andrea. Old Benny Hill, I remember those skits. When we were teenagers my sister hated him and made me change the channel.. I've always needed anti-cialis myself. Could have kept me out of a lot of trouble.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Haha, he was a card alright πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading Ralph πŸ™‚

Fox-Cragg on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Oh yes Andrea, can remember well old Peter and Duds and of the one eyed trouser snake, great read.
Of course today we have advanced to the 'little blue pill'
Thanks for sharing.
Paul

Author's Reply:
Thanks Paul. Haven't written anything for ages - gratifying that you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

amman on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Ha Ha . Tickled my fancy. Definitely needs a Benny Hill type voice. Glad to hear that Cuth turned out to be an upright gent in the end.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Yep, straight as a die, our Cuthbert πŸ™‚ Ta for the read, Amman.

cooky on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Very entertaining and funny. Excellent write.

Author's Reply:
Thanks cooky, much obliged πŸ™‚

OldPeculier on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
I was expecting an in depth description of the ol' poacher's character, his attitudes to society and his place in the hierarchy of country life.

But this was better by miles!

Author's Reply:
Haha, ta OP.

pommer on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Ha Ha , very funny, I can hear Bernard Miles reading this as well as Benny hill.A lovely example of performance poetry. Pommer

Author's Reply:
Thanks pommer, much obliged

*Dashes off to Google who Bernard Miles is*

Cor blimey, just looked him up - thanks pommer, what a compliment!

Weefatfella on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
 photo 6476617c-792a-4c7b-a60f-b80676cd1938_zps5eb0b534.jpg

It's an awffiie thing yie huv tae dae.
Tae git a pesinus forced oot tae play.
Wie chemnicals, and ungents as well.
Tae try tae git that wee dick tae swell.
When aw that's needed is swell creators
Them that's called"phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Well it's the best I could do at short notice. Bloody Good larf Andrea. Hud a wee giggle there! Weefatfella.
 photo 019b876a-c55d-4f4c-bf00-d1b186824833_zps6e1f6e92.jpg

Author's Reply:
You are a very naught boy WFF - for shame!

ValDohren on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Ha ha ha, very funny Andrea - just great, what more can I say !!

Val πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Val, glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Rupe on 05-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
A fine, rolicking read. What's impressive about this is that you make it look so easy, and yet it's anything but. The metre and rhyme are perfect, no words are wasted, the narrative licks along at pace, and the punchline at the end is superbly judged.

For some reason, I imagined it being narrated by Julia Deakin, who played the landlady in Spaced.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Wow, thanks Rupe, muchly obliged and flattered. Will go look Ms Deakin up now πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 06-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
I find this hilarious, Andrea. Your writing never falters and it appeals to my sense of humour. It is surprising that people on the other site don't seem to appreciate it (so few reads and no comments!). "Γ€ chacun son goΓ»t", I suppose but one would expect some feedback.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi πŸ™‚ As regards The Other Site, it's probably largely my fault, as I never have time to read and comment much on other people's work - enough to do on here!

Ta again
x


stormwolf on 06-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
OOOOH you are awful....but I like you! Okay, okay that's ole Dick Emery but seemed fitting. πŸ™‚
I was able to read it right through with my Benny Hill voice as I can recite 'Ernie, the fastest milkman in the west' complete.

Built up to a crescendo of anticipation and the last stanza was pure brill (so was the rest)
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Good ol' flithy Benny, eh? Don't make 'em like that anymore. alas. Glad it made you titter and here he is!



(ta to whoever nibbed me as well!)

Mikeverdi on 06-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
Truly wonderful, Its taken me a while to get here but I glad I caught this one; for a 'none poet' your bloody good! Mike

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Mike. It ain't propah poetry though, just a bit o' silly verse πŸ™‚

shadow on 06-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
This gave me a really good laugh - thanks, I needed that!

Author's Reply:
Nothing like a good laugh, I always say πŸ™‚ Ta for the read and comment...

freya on 08-04-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
So Andrea, you take up challenges on other sites too, huh? Bet the web meister there had no idea what was coming in the door from you! Funny stuff, boss. Must say I was smitten by the look in the eyes of your one eyed snake. Reminds me of someone.... er...maybe the organist at the Kinema in the Woods???

Author's Reply:
They don't seem to like my stuff much on The Other Site, but is this a bovvered face?



Ta for the read, Freya, much appreciated πŸ™‚

rcc on 12-05-2013
Cuthbert (the ol poacher)
"We met long ago when lust blossomed still
(both Cuthbert and me are now over the hill)"

that is just the best!!! gfp,,,,,,,a great lyrical read. thank you-.........peace-robert


Author's Reply:
Wow, thanks Robert for the read and very generous rating!

Texasgreg on 20-06-2016
Cuthbert, the ol poacher
Probably put too much tea in his gin. Just shake it straight and it should fit right in. 😉

Funny 'un, Andrea!

Greg

Author's Reply:
Awwww, thanks, Greg. And lovely to see you! How's that kid of yours doing?

x

Texasgreg on 22-06-2016
Cuthbert, the ol poacher
How nice of you to recall! Thorn in my side and arrow in my heart, he is...gotta love 'em lest ya get a boot caught in their hind end. Apple and tree, you know. 😉
Do hope all is well with you and yours also...

({})



Author's Reply:
Not too bad thanks, Greg. Curious about that election of yours in November!


Fields (and what you can grow in them) (posted on: 14-01-13)
Shoved up again, only slightly amended, as a dry patch strikes...

Vinnie's ma she loved to hoe, and weed and prune and plant. Her parsnips were a sight to see (tho' not too sweet I'll grant). A mater diligent and kind, she loved her boy to bits, and always saw his diet filled with protein, carbs and vits. A pioneering cook she was, her spag bol can't be beat. But tender as the carrots were, the onions and the meat, what made the dish were the herbs, alkanet and borage, she had her herb patch in the ground, in which she loved to forage. Now Vinnie, though he loved his mum and thought her cooking splendid, had a herb patch all his own which lovingly he tended with great attention and a lot of deep thought and devotion, a herb which, mixed with other things, became a potent potion. Alas one day when Vinnie's ma was gath'ring for the dinner (and thinking that he looked quite pale and definitely thinner) she came upon our Vinnie's patch, and plucking quite a bunch off she headed to the kitchen, bent on making lunch. 'Come on luv, eat it up!' cried Vinnie's ma with passion, and she and Vin scoffed the lot, like grub was out of fashion. Now Vin was used to the effect, but ma she felt quite funny, 'Bloody 'ell!' quoth she, bemused, 'I'm feeling faint, cor lummy!' Now Vin he loved his ma to bits and realised with a cry, she'd picked the herbs meant for his smoke and baked it in their pie. 'Not to worry ma,' he quavered, tucking her in bed, reflecting sadly that his ma'd become an old pot head. When she woke the following day she felt as right as rain, resolving though, not to pluck those pungent herbs again. 'I'll stick to parsley!' she declared, 'and rosemary and thyme! Vin can keep his bloody patch and me I'll stick to mine!'
Archived comments for Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Weefatfella on 14-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Made me smile, I haven't read it before.
The verse skips along pleasantly.
Much enjoyed.
Thank you for posting.
Weefatfella.
Photobucket

Author's Reply:
Thanks WFF - and great to see you commenting again!

amman on 14-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
An enjoyable, wryly amusing poem, Andrea. High in the humour stakes. Enjoyed.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, amman - much obliged πŸ™‚

franciman on 14-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Hi Boss,
'stick to your own patch' would seem to be the perfect dictum for life.
Loved this and suspect I would really like Vinnie's Mum. Great Stuff.
cheers,
Jim x

Author's Reply:
Thanks , Jim πŸ™‚ Vinnie's Ma is moi! Well, sort of - alas my smoking days are over - makes me feel quite faint, cor lummy! Ta for generous rating too...

Ionicus on 15-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Read it before but it still makes me chuckle. You are the Pearly Queen of humorous poetry, Andrea.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Luigi - hitting a dry spell at the mo, alas, so greatly appreciated your comment πŸ™‚ x

butters on 15-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
pam ayres'd be proud, she would *nods*

always good for a giggle, Andrea - even moreso because i keep picturing vinnie jones in this πŸ˜€

Author's Reply:
Vinne Jones - crikey! Er...maybe πŸ™‚ Ta for the lovely comment butters - Pam is one of me faves πŸ™‚

Bozzz on 15-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Good rhyming stuff to boot and (V6, L4 apart) a steady beat and rhythm to cradle the flow of humour. Right up my street - dogs of the world unite - er els. David

Author's Reply:
Hmmm, yes, I tend to agree re V6, L4 - thanks Bozzz! D'you reckon it's better now?

Bozzz on 16-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Yes Andrea, the bobble removed makes it right. LOL ..David

Author's Reply:
Grateful for observation πŸ™‚ TA.

Mikeverdi on 16-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Brilliant! Like you my smoking days are long gone but the memories linger; like the smell of freshly 'mown' grass πŸ™‚ Mike

Author's Reply:
Ah yes, that grass eh? Ta Mike, appreciate the read and comment πŸ˜‰

stormwolf on 16-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Can you ask Vinnie if he sends to Uk?
I have alarmed my son by announcing I would like to start.....never really got into it before......

Great fun
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Ta Alison πŸ™‚

Blimey - I'm stopping and you're starting - funny old world, innit?

CVaughan on 16-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)

Terrific comic piece, and chirpy rhyming to go with the jolly theme borage and forage is ace.

Author's Reply:
Awwwww, thanks Frank πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 17-01-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Hehe...reminded me of the time my mother found a plant growing in my room. Suspicious, as she knew that I wasn't interested in horticulture, my "tomato plant" disappeared for not being "fruitful".

Good funny stuff as I've come to expect from ya.

Superduper!

Greg πŸ™‚

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
Ta Greg - perhaps your Ma took it away and smoked it πŸ™‚

ChairmanWow on 11-03-2013
Fields (and what you can grow in them)
Oh, what fun it used to be. When i was a teenager we heard animal dung from the zoo made the best fertilizer. Never found out because the snails and deer ate my whole patch. Enjoyed the rhymes!

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph - yes, horse shit is the best πŸ™‚ Those snails 'n' deer must've been rockin'! Ta for reading πŸ™‚


Herbert (should be knighted). (posted on: 19-11-12)
My entry for the P*P challenge over on the forums.. The word was 'benighted' but I'm a bit fik, so I had to improvise πŸ™‚

Herbert, a lad who was most philanthropic, alas had a vision somewhat myopic. He wanted to see his whole family right, so took to robbing posh shops in the night. Prada for Shaz, his cousin in Deal, whilst Ma got Louboutin, Versace and Zeal. Pater was showered with liquor and fags, and little bro Marvin wore Hugo Boss rags. Even Herb's hound, a pit-bull called Bing sported a collar awash with flash bling. (he had to be extra ferocious though, too, mauling the hoodies in next postcode's crew) Herbert was proud of his filial care, but sadly for him he was quite unaware of the envy aroused by consumerist might and was dobbed in by neighbours both jealous and tight. Such was his pride that he thought he'd be knighted. Think, after all, of the wrongs he had righted! Alas, he'd mistaken the signals he'd read, and ended up banged up in Brixton instead. Photobucket
Archived comments for Herbert (should be knighted).
Texasgreg on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
Hehe...sorry to the others, but I personally like this 'un best so far. O'course, i'm a sucker fer the lighter side...

Love yer funnies, (only part of the newspaper worth reading πŸ˜‰ ), Andrea.



Greg πŸ™‚



Photobucket.





Author's Reply:
Ta, Texas πŸ™‚ Amazed you 'got' the English expressions ('hoodies' 'banged up' etc)! Much obliged for the lovely comment...

Ionicus on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
I am amazed at the easy way you can knock up your 'doggerels', Andrea. Lovely humour. I am in agreement with Greg, I prefer your entry to all others (including mine).
Thanks for the read.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Oh ta, Luigi! Gosh, I'm blushing! And me a mature 25 year old, too!

Ionicus on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
Quote: And me a mature 25 year old, too!

Ripe for the taking?

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
You might regret saying that πŸ™‚

x

orangedream on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
As one mature 25 year old to another, great stuff, Andrea πŸ˜‰ Thank you for making me smile

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind comment, Tina πŸ™‚
x

stormwolf on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
You caught it ALL!!!

Alison x
9 and /3/4

Author's Reply:
Ta Alison - much obliged πŸ™‚

x

ValDohren on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
Excellent Andrea - you are very good at the funny stuff. I regret to say I am not 25 !!

Val

Author's Reply:
Don't worry, Val - I'm not 25 either πŸ™‚

Ta for the kind words.

Mikeverdi on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
written with your usual wit and brilliance. Mike

Author's Reply:
Dunno about 'brilliance' but thanks awfully Mike !

butters on 19-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
with the exception of L4 v1 which I had to re-read several times to get the emphasis on 'so' (my problem not yours), this fell off the tongue smoothly as creamy porridge.

seems Herbert thought himself a bit of a Robin in his hood, and I'm still smiling about Bing and his having to compensate πŸ˜€

verra fahnee

Author's Reply:
Ooooh, high praise indeed, coming from one such as yourself (as it were).

That Herbert, eh? What is he like...

peg on 20-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
Hilarious ! Read it 3 times now and it's still making me laugh. Britain is full of Herbert's !...Maggie

Author's Reply:
Thanks Peg - glad it made you laugh πŸ™‚

Harpie on 23-11-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
Being the grandmother of an eleven month old chav (they dress her in tracks and hoodies and it breaks my heart because she's a little angel) this one made me wince ... but funny and bloody good, as always. You've really got these down pat.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Harpie. Tracks and hoodies for an eleven month old? Oh dear...

Miel on 28-12-2012
Herbert (should be knighted).
So many Herberts around the world..This one had me in stitiches. Thanks Andrea

Author's Reply:
thanks Miel, much obliged - don't bust those stitches now!

Nemo on 25-05-2013
Herbert (should be knighted).
Just picked one at random - an amusing piece, with the right jaunty rhythm. Nemo. (I only knew about your message because I logged on to UKA a few minutes ago.)

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Nemo - notification email safely received πŸ™‚


Marriage (or not, in this case). (posted on: 09-11-12)
For last weeks P&P challenge. Suggest those of a delicate and/or religious disposition look away now...

Stan couldn't get Mary out of his head, but the problem was luring her into his bed. For Mary alas, was most pure and devout, so praying was in, but bonking was out. Until, that is, she was safely spliced and sanctified in the eyes of Christ. In many ways Stan, he couldn't fault her, but give in she wouldn't, 'til after the altar. He'd tried it all, (both the blood and the wine). 'Oh Christ!' he'd wailed, 'Please Mary be mine!'' But Mary, oblivious to poor ol' Stan's needs was too busy counting her rosary beads. She begged and she prayed for help from the Lord while Stan hung around getting more and more bored. Until in frustration he gave up the ghost and had to decide what he wanted the most. 'Well, I ain't gonna manage to drag her to bed, so I'll go and bonk Maggie the Hooker instead!' Photobucket
Archived comments for Marriage (or not, in this case).
Harpie on 09-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
I'd choose Maggie over Mary every time, she sounds like much more fun. I know that I can always count on coming away from your stuff with a grin. You're turning into a right Victoria Wood, only without the iffy vocals.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Harps - yep, gimme Maggie Magdalene over Mary the Virgin anytime, eh? Ta for the luvverly comment πŸ™‚

Bozzz on 09-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
All in the cause of art - yes - but Stan was not quite artful enough. On Monday I shall post a story from en route to Canterbury - it is called "The Lecher's Tale". Technique is all. Where did you learn yours? LOL ... Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Hi Bozzz, I didn't 'learn' it at all - it just sort of arrived, all by itself πŸ™‚ Ta for the comment.

Granddad on 09-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
That's great. I feel for the poor man. Thank goodness for Maggie.

Harry

Author's Reply:
Ta Granddad. Maggie's a godsend, eh?

ValDohren on 09-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Poor Mary wouldn't fit into the 21st century would she !! Loved it Andrea, great fun. Spelling error - second line, second verse: alter should read altar methinks.

Val x

Author's Reply:
Oh bloody hell (so to speak)! Thanks for pointing it out, Val - and there's me whinging and moaning about grammar and spelling, eh? Poetic justice, I call that. Ta muchly for the read and comment πŸ™‚

deepoceanfish2 on 10-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Oh, Andrea! This was brill! Gave me a right chuckle. A fav read for me, luv. Cheers!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Adele πŸ™‚ And thanks for the fave read, too, highly flattered!

Corin on 10-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Brilliant Andrea, what a laugh!-)) this should go in the Anthology. Stop people thinking we are too serious:-)

I think I may have a similar piece somewhere not previously posted on UKA. I will try and find it on Creative Poems - The tone is definitely lower on there:-)

Dave


Author's Reply:
Thanks, Dave πŸ™‚ And thanks for the rating and 'fave read' too!

Ionicus on 10-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
I know someone who says he writes 'serious poetry'. I am not of that ilk and for me the greatest enjoyment is to read a fun poem which is witty and amusing. Needless to say, your 'pomes' fall into this category, Andrea. You have scored yet another bull's eye.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Gosh, thanks very much Luigi - you are too kind!

amman on 10-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Hilarious. Made my day.

Author's Reply:
Thanks amman πŸ™‚ And thanks for adding it as a fave, too!

butters on 11-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
blimey, thought i'd already left a comment on this one but that must have been over on the forum

as meaty as a meat pie, as corny as a cornish pasty, as filling as a hot pot

more than a seven (d'ya like my len goodman impression?) as you go that extra mile to serve up a good 'un.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, butters πŸ™‚ Yep, Goodman eat yer heart out, eh?

Mikeverdi on 12-11-2012
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Simply brilliant (for a none poet) I loved it !! Mike πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Awwwww, thanks Mike πŸ™‚

GESimons on 29-01-2013
Marriage (or not, in this case).
Maggie May?

Maggie Will here!

Loved this.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, GE, much obliged πŸ™‚


(my kind of) Spirits (posted on: 02-11-12)
My entry to last week P&P challenge - amazingly, I won!

Whisky, cognac, vodka, gin, make a lovely tipple. My beverage of choice, they've bin, since I left the nipple Hemochromatosis beckoned, dryin' up the river. Alas the specialist he reckoned t'is fuckin' up me liver. Got to stop he says, and now! Afore more damage done. Tea and coffee, juice of cow, guess I've had me run. But wait! I had another thought! (it has occurred before). Life, alas is just too short, so gimme one glass more… Photobucket
Archived comments for (my kind of) Spirits
roger303 on 02-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Party on Andrea!
Have started the day with a laugh!
Thanks.
Roger

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Roger!

peg on 02-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Love it !...hic !

Author's Reply:
Hahaha - thanks peg!

butters on 02-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
dry as a martini, shaken not stirred - made me do this -> πŸ˜€

Author's Reply:
Ta butters, much appreciated. Shaken is right πŸ™‚

ValDohren on 02-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Well, you've got Christmas to look forward to now Andrea, all those parties !! Good one.
Val

Author's Reply:
I don't do Christmas Val, but I might consider doing the boozing that goes with it πŸ™‚

Granddad on 02-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Andrea,

Thanks for putting a smile back on my face. You've put it into perspective for me. Life is short and must be lived.
I've just poured myself a double brandy and coke.

Regards, Harry

Author's Reply:
Hit the nail right on the head, Harry - proost, my friend!

Ionicus on 03-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Tell me your secret, how do you keep making hilarious 'pomes' like this? I haven't noticed before the category 'doggerel' - that's a new one on me - but 'plain just daft' it ain't.
Congrats on your Golden Egg (you must have quite a collection).

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi πŸ™‚ I added the 'doggerel' category last week, as it seems to fit my...er...doggerel best...ta for the rating, too!

Bozzz on 03-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
I guess you and Popeye could have a good evening together and it is perhaps convenient that he won't even remember sleeping with you on his "Awakening". Pomes indeed, do you, like me, have to take Clopidogrel? The rich man's aspirin.
Loved it Andrea - and your innovative style. Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Bozzz πŸ™‚

Crikey - me and Pops!? I don't think so, I'm probably twice his age πŸ™‚

amman on 03-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Very funny. Had to look up hemochromatosis - very apt. Got to go now, the pubs are open.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, amman. I've got it (hemochromatosis) and it's a bloody (haha) nightmare, I can tell you!

Harpie on 03-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
We are so overdue a catchup and a chance to sink a few, it's been too long. Loved this, made me smile big.

Author's Reply:
Okay, you naughty gal, I've sussed you! Should have known by the diary, but must say it's ages since I read anything of yours. Hope your lot up there are all well πŸ™‚

Cinders on 20-11-2012
(my kind of) Spirits
Hilarious write Andrea. Thoroughly enjoyable.- Cinders

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Cinders πŸ™‚

chant_z on 28-02-2013
(my kind of) Spirits
Somewhat hilarious πŸ™‚ but tremondously funny indeed. Flawless. It provides me with perfect excuses πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much CZ πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 28-02-2013
(my kind of) Spirits
I came across this courtesy of Fredrik, Andrea. He had just commented and I saw it in the "recents".

Aye! Have come to that very conclusion myself. *hic*

Greg πŸ™‚

 photo pinkelephant.jpg

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Greg - I'm also fond of a spot of the ol' Jimmy Beam πŸ™‚


Muscle Malone's Savage Hound. (posted on: 26-10-12)
I know I can't be judged (so to speak), as I set the challenge (Prose and Poetry on forums) but I thought I'd write one anyway, for fun πŸ™‚

Muscles Malone, king of the gym, decided he wanted a hound. Alas, not too bright (but boy! could he fight!) there were too many flavours, he found. He Googled and Googled until his brain frazzled but all he saw was a mist of Peke's, and Pitbulls, his senses were dazzled so off he went to get pissed. Down at Ye Olde Rose and Crown he met Heather his old mate of 20 years. 'Fear not!' quoth 'Ev, 'We'll do it togevver!' and attempted to allay his fears. Pitbulls and Staffies, Alsatians, Sardesco, Mal wanted one fierce and ferocious to scare all the kiddies and make him feel macho (his ego was truly atrocious). So after much search and work, as a team, for a pooch most fearsome, with power, he finally found the mutt of his dream, Poppy - his mini Chihuahua. Photobucket
Archived comments for Muscle Malone's Savage Hound.
stormwolf on 26-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
You crack me up! (in the best POSSIBLE taste) as good old departed Kenny Everet would say!

Nobody does this type of work better....although I could never attempt it...I know it's a subtle mixture of Monty Pythom coupled with fact and people's insecurities.
A sure-fire winning combo.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Awwww, ta, Alison. Good ol' Kenny, eh? I dunno where it comes from, to be honest, it just...er...comes out (so to speak :))

I couldn't attempt your stuff, either πŸ™‚ Variety is the spice, eh?

(see you managed to login okay, then :))

japanesewind on 26-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
that photo is a class ending....JW

Author's Reply:
Thanks, JW πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 27-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
Muscle Malone? Not only do you find the funniest lines, you also come up with names that Charles Dickens would envy and that's saying something. I enjoyed this as I always do your work and it's a pity you couldn't be judged in the Forum but here you are: free to be scrutinised by the cognoscenti.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
'cognoscenti.' Blimey - wossat, then?

Not sure Dickens would have come up with 'Muscles Malone, but thanks anyway πŸ™‚

Appreciate the read and comment, Luigi...

amman on 28-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
Ha ha ha. As Luigi suggests, 'Muscles Malone' inspired choice of names that sets the tone of the hilarity that follows. I'd have voted for ya.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, amman πŸ™‚ Why don't you join in, then? It's great fun!

Mikeverdi on 29-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
Great stuff from you, I love it!! Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Mike - much appreciated πŸ™‚ I made a new category, just for me (since I'm the only one wot seems to write it ) - doggerel - did you notice? πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 29-10-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
Sorry so slow to respond to this one, oh judicious judge.
Gosh you know a lot of dogs & not talking about your girl buddies, better not go there. Anyway Andrea thanks again and boy did I get lucky you weren't at the race so to speak. Good doggy stuff by you for sure, as others said, what's a Sardesco when it's at home?





Author's Reply:
Ah, my literary friend - this is a sardesco. A nasty piece of work if ever I saw one, Muscles was well, out of it (so to speak).

Dogo Sardesco

One hopes it wouldn't be at home anywhere...

Sooz on 05-11-2012
Muscle Malones Savage Hound.
You really are getting into poetry... good at it, too. This is brilliant, as a big dog lover (that's in lover of all dogs not just big ones) this one really hit the spot. Even better than spirits and as a vodka lover, I liked that as well

Author's Reply:
Ta Sooz πŸ˜‰ Wouldn't exactly call it poetry though. Still, keeps me off the streets, eh? That Muscles, all talk and no trousers, eh?


Bertie the Sybarite (posted on: 22-10-12)
This one was for last weeks Prose and Poetry Challenge - it won! The word was...well...'SYBARITE'

Our Bertie (not the brightest spark) woke up one day and for a lark decided that the time was right to become a sybarite. He'd read it in his Mabel's Best 'bout Posh and Kim and all the rest living lives so packed with leisure, languishing in pits of pleasure. (being just a trifle thick he'd had to rummage in the dic. 'Sybarite' writ loud 'n' clear, 'lots of posh, expensive gear!') He made a start by nicking cash from his and Mabel's hard-earned stash of fivers, saved up for their hols (Skegness was one of Mabel's goals). On he hopped, bus 43, hell-bent upon a shopping spree. 'Brent Cross here I come!' he purred (he'd had a few, so somewhat slurred). First Armani, then some Boss Maharishi, posh Lacoste Shoes from Timberland and Vans Ted Baker lotion for his hands… Bert swaggered home just like a dandy, all that shopping made him randy. Mabel, he was sure, would see 'The new, exotic, stylish me!' The missis, though, was not best pleased. She grabbed his balls and squeezed and squeezed, until he yelped and howled in pain and promised not to stray again. So now poor Bert is soundly grounded all his clobber well impounded. And even worse than posh lost gear, is no more sex until next year… Bertie Taking Tea

Photobucket
Archived comments for Bertie the Sybarite


Mikeverdi on 22-10-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
Wonderful imagery and brilliant verse, I loved it! Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Mike πŸ™‚

barenib on 22-10-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
By heck Andrea, you keep turning out some right goodun's! John x

Author's Reply:
Thanks, John. Been having a bit of a dry spell, actually. Not to worry, it'll come (so to speak) when it's ready, eh?

x

Ionicus on 23-10-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Dry spell? You keep churning out brilliant side-splitting stuff. Bert and Mabel deservedly got you the Golden Egg. Well done.

Author's Reply:
Awwwww, ta Luigi - what a gent you are!

japanesewind on 25-10-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
smiling I am........JW

Author's Reply:
That's good - I do like a smile πŸ™‚

Capricorn on 25-10-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
Haha! Brilliant Andrea! I find it so difficult to write humorous poems - you have the gift.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Eira - I can't seem to writer serious ones!

Sooz on 05-11-2012
Bertie the Sybarite
Another goodie and reading yours is like reading an illustrated book because I know we're going to get a picture at the end. If I read one and don't get the picture I'm going to sulk... you've started something now and you've got the added task of finding piece appropriate pictures for every one.

Author's Reply:
Awwww, don't sulk! This was for the prose and poetry challenge on the forums. You should join in, it's great fun, and stimulating too (in a literary way, of course). It's here --> PROSE AND POETRY WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Hekkus on 03-04-2013
Bertie the Sybarite
Happy to reciprocate your review...especially with a fun piece like this. Amusing of course, but I think you also said something about expectations and class difference in Britain. Nice one.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Hekkus - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚


A Tribute to Amphoe Hot (posted on: 19-10-12)
Amphoe Hot is in Thailand, where poor ol' Arfur met his untimely end. (bit of an oldie, but inspiration has deserted, alas)

Arthur's missus had popped her clogs, respectably aged 74, and tho' 83, a spring chicken still, Arthur he pined, madly, for more. But slippers they beckoned and Arthur he reckoned 'twas time to go easy and rest every second. His pecker, however, it didn't agree 'What good is it for, 'cept stirring me tea?' grumbled poor Art in a deep fit of gloom, as he paced up and down in his sparse, lonely room. So Arthur decided afore 'twas too late, he'd go off and find him a suitable mate. Alas there were none in rainy Redcar, so his thoughts turned to climes away and afar. 'Thailand!' he gurgled, and booked like a shot (he'd heard that the girlies were spicy and hot). So armed with his bankbook, designed to disarm, he set out Apsara and Arthit to charm. Apsara was slender and youthful and flighty, so Arthur resolved to bring her to Blighty. Ensconced she decided to bleed Arthur dry in order to forgo all things that were Thai. Poor ol' Arthur, his ticker tho', just couldn't take it (what's more his Thai bride would lay back and fake it!) So after six months of heavin' and tryin', old Arthur now in his grave he is lyin'. House, car and dosh, Apsara did rob, whilst Arthur was lying cold under the sod. But if you are feeling well past it and grotty, you could do a lot worse than some hot Thailand totty. ********* You can see why... Apsara Photobucket Arthur Photobucket
Archived comments for A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Mikeverdi on 19-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Oh Dear! again lol xx ps where did you get my photo? Mike

Author's Reply:
Well, I have updated it πŸ™‚ Your photo's all over the web of course!
x

BATEMAN on 19-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
I loved this poem Andrea very witty, stange how blokes are always lead by their peckers lol. xxxx
P.P i loved the old bloke photo, gave me a laugh xxxx

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Bateman, glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 19-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Men, eh? They don't know when to give up. I suppose that there'll come a time when the only thing we'll be able to raise is the white flag of surrender.
Mind you, Charlie Chaplin was siring children well in his seventies.

Author's Reply:
That's no excuse, Luigi! I reckon poor ol' Arfur had had it at 40 already πŸ™‚

Ta for reading...

Weefatfella on 19-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Photobucket



Ha! Wee Heid always rules the big heid. Maybe Arthur had a tack?

Had a larf.

Thank you for sharing Andrea.

Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
Glad you had a chuckle WFF - I aim to please (as it were) πŸ™‚

RoyBateman on 20-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Well, I hope that I'm still thinking about it (at least...) at 83. What an optimist! Good on Old Arfur, at least he went out trying...mind you, I'm sure he could have struck lucky in Redcar: it must have its good points. And I must point out, young lady (Liked the top piccie, by the way!) that most, if not all, of the male sex use a teaspoon for stirring. Only a pervert would choose otherwise... Great laugh, though - I hear that you can satisfy most tates in Thailand, though of course I wouldn't know personally. You knew that already, of course. Right, I'm off...
ps Did you know they used Redcar prom as "Dunkirk" in "Atonement?" Amazing what these film types can do, eh?

Author's Reply:
Did they? No, I didn't know that - it was a good movie, too. I went to Redcar once, I seem to recall it was rather uninspiring πŸ™‚

Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting, Roy.

ValDohren on 20-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Fantastic Andrea, loved it. They say that when the 'you know what" is full, the brain's empty. LOL

Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Val, much appreciated πŸ™‚

Nomenklatura on 21-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Hohoho... still very funny.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Ewan - your ho is much appreciated πŸ™‚

expat on 21-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
First two lines were a bit of a mouthful (eyeful).
'Still' comes up twice in the second:
and tho’ 83, a spring chicken still, Arthur still pined, madly, for more.
That's got the gripes out of the way. πŸ™‚

A comical and all-too-true tale of superannuated skirt chasers and wallet-chasing wenches.
Nice one!

Author's Reply:
Yes, I changed the first 2 lines - it all depends on how you say them and the emphasis, though. Agree re the 'still' hadn't noticed, will work on it!

Ta for reading and crit - appreciate it πŸ™‚

Bozzz on 21-10-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
Rate it or fake it, some men will take it. But poem nearer truth than fantasy - humour not nonsense. Loved it - good read. Thanks... David

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the read and comment Bozzz!

Sooz on 05-11-2012
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
You're one of the best comic poets that I've read. the 'voice' is just right.

Author's Reply:
Really? Blimey, thanks, I'm blushing now πŸ™‚ Well, not really (I haven't blushed for 40 years!), but I am very flattered...

pommer on 04-01-2016
A Tribute to Amphoe Hot
I really enjoyed this one, cheered me up no end.How did Arfur know he didn't have a "Thai-boy"? Still, like the old saying goes:"there is many a good tune played on an old fiddle"A lovely cheerful story Andrea,Sorry I am so late with my comment.Be lucky, Peter.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind comment, Peter. He was a canny one, that Arfur!


Randy Ron (posted on: 12-10-12)
My entry for last weeks prose and poetry challenge. The word was conp...comco...concusp...er... 'In its widest acceptation, concupiscence is any yearning of the soul for good.

He was a kind soul, was Ron... Randy Ron was truly fickle, never could make up his mind. Indecisive, in a pickle, but no wish to be unkind. The problem was twins Jo and Mo, identical they were. But should Mo go, make room for Jo, which one would he prefer? ''Should I toss a coin?'' he mused (to lose one he was loath). But that would leave him too confused, and so he wed 'em both!
Archived comments for Randy Ron
Mikeverdi on 12-10-2012
Randy Ron
Not bad for a 'none poet' lol x

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Mike - just as bit o' fun, really πŸ™‚

ValDohren on 13-10-2012
Randy Ron
He didn't lose his mojo then !! Good one Andrea.

Author's Reply:
No indeed! In fact it had to work twice as...er...hard. Thanks for reading, Val πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 13-10-2012
Randy Ron
You nearly made it, Andrea. I loved it and I was torn between yours and Q's.

Luigi x

PS Haven't you got a smiling picture? You look too severe in this one. (A nude one wouldn't go amiss).
xx

Author's Reply:
Ta Luigi, you cheeky sod! It's an ancient passport photo. Me topless one wouldn't fit on the page πŸ™‚

expat on 14-10-2012
Randy Ron
Aye, I saw this one in the challenge.
I don't understand nuthin' about no dithyrambics, quatrains, hexameters or sonnets but a bit of well-written doggerel always goes down well. ;^-)

Author's Reply:
'...I don't understand nuthin' about no dithyrambics, quatrains, hexameters or sonnets ...' - me neever πŸ™‚

Ta for reading, Ex πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 14-10-2012
Randy Ron
Your additional humour on the difficult word concupiscence in your preamble adds to this sub. which was good fun in the first place Andrea. Good idea the link by the way to plug the forum comp. The off rhyme loath/both is a killer. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Frank. Yes, it would be good if more people joined in. It's a good (writing) exercise, too!

Capricorn on 15-10-2012
Randy Ron
Love this Andrea!

Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Eira - much appreciated πŸ™‚

Sooz on 02-12-2012
Randy Ron
Well it was be plain cruel to separate them. Saw the end coming but that didn't detract for the story at all, another chuckleupagus

Author's Reply:
Ta Sooz πŸ™‚

Buschell on 06-10-2013
Randy Ron
Kooky little number, I like it...that was big 'o me!

Author's Reply:
Ta very much Buschell - much appreciated πŸ™‚



Mother-in-Law (posted on: 17-08-12)
This is in response to a prompt ('Massive achievement' and 'unbelievable') on That Other Site Which Shall Remain Nameless (ABC). I didn't manage the 'massive' but I did include the 'unbelievable' πŸ™‚ Cor, I see it just got a Cherry!

When old Maude pegged it, instead of bereavement Chard considered it quite an achievement. She loathed her ma-in-law with a passion and cursed her like it was going out of fashion. Since she'd got hitched to Maude's youngest sprog, Dwight nothing she did was ever quite right. Her name, for a start – Chardonnay -wtf? her stars, at her birth, had been down on their luck! Either that or her ma was a chavvy ol' slapper with a penchant for swigging the white in the crapper. She'd met Dwight one night whilst pissed at the boozer, and thought to herself 'One who ain't such a loser!' Alas she was destined to find out quick smart, that Dwight was a right mummy's boy in his heart. 'Chardonnay?!' quoth he, 'Oh no, that won't do! My mater and me, we'll just call you Sue'. And Maude she just grumbled and mumbled and whinged 'til Chardonnay thought she'd become quite unhinged! Ma blasted her nails and her clothes and her hair, 'til Chard wanted to strangle her, right then and there. 'Shut up, you ol' bat!' she screeched in frustration, 'I swear you can whine and moan for the nation!' So when Plod called one day to tell 'em she'd croaked, it was dιjΰ vu time, at school when she'd smoked that dope in the loo, all happy and gay 'When you taking the silly ol' fuckwit away?' she asked somewhat unkindly and Dwight was not pleased (it was no way to talk about loved ones deceased). At the funeral Chard made things that much worse by giving the finger straight to the hearse. She cried out flippantly, 'Un-bee-lee-vable!' (for at last happiness looked vaguely conceivable). Poor Dwight, on the other hand found it hard to recover from despondency caused by the passing of muvver.
Archived comments for Mother-in-Law
amman on 17-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
Hi Andrea. You've cheered me up no end with this. 'Either that or her ma was a chavvy ol' slapper/ with a penchant for swigging the white in the crapper', and 'by giving the finger straight to the hearse'. Brilliant. How about something like this..'Chard thought it a massive achievement/when she heard of the old cow's bereavement'. Just a thought.
Cheers

Author's Reply:
Glad I made you laugh, amman πŸ™‚ Thanks for the suggestion, too - I'll certainly give it some thought!

SugarMama34 on 17-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
What a fun poem! Made me laugh in quite a few places and I guess there are some Dwight's and Chard's of this world...great story and loved the lines:

When old Maude pegged it, instead of bereavement
Chard considered it quite an achievement.
She loathed her ma-in-law with a passion
and cursed her like it was going out of fashion.

and:

And Maude she just grumbled and mumbled and whinged
β€˜til Chardonnay thought she’d become quite unhinged!
Ma blasted her nails and her clothes and her hair,
β€˜til Chard wanted to strangle her, right then and there.
β€˜Shut up, you ol’ bat!’ she screeched in frustration,
β€˜I swear you can whine and moan for the nation!’
So when Plod called one day to tell β€˜em she’d croaked,
it was dΓ©jΓ  vu time, at school when she’d smoked
that dope in the loo, all happy and gay
β€˜When you taking the silly ol’ fuckwit away?’

Loved it all, brilliant.

Lis xx

Author's Reply:
Ta Sugar glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚ Poor ol' Maude, eh?

WendyJ on 17-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
Hi Andrea - this is what I call a poem! It's fun and it rhymes and I loved it! I struggle with other, darker forms or poetry but this is just what most people need. It kind of reminded me of a Pam Ayres poem we had read at our wedding and this really made me laugh. Thank you!

Author's Reply:
Wow! Thanks, Wendy, what a wonderful comment! And thanks too, for the generous rating, and if it was you who nominated it, thanks for that too πŸ™‚ Other people have mentioned my doggerel in conjunction with Pam Ayres and, although I'm in no way in her class, I'm always very flattered as I LOVE her stuff .

*wanders off, dazed*

Texasgreg on 18-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
LOL, hope I'm not the only one that saw a mother-in-law there. She didn't bring a doctor home and it was all my fault...

I'm seeing that you're quite the clever one!
Photobucket
Good job and congrats on the nom. Can't nib ya, so I may as well rib ya...

Photobucket.

Greg πŸ™‚

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Ta Greg, suitably ribbed!

Texasgreg on 18-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
LOL, looks like I'm stuttering again...

Author's Reply:
Stutter away, me ol' mucker (er... English terminology), stutter away !

Ionicus on 19-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
A double gold medallist: a nib and a cherry! Well done Andrea.
You should celebrate with Chardonnay.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:
Ta Luigi, and thanks to the nibber and nom, too!

*swigs white*

CVaughan on 19-08-2012
Mother-in-Law

Very funny Andrea, I could say chavtastic and just did, 9 plus like an extra A grade due I think at least.

Author's Reply:
Awww, thanks Frank πŸ™‚

stormwolf on 19-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
You've excelled yourself, Boss.

Nearly had an accident πŸ˜‰



Author's Reply:
Ooooer, time for Tena Ladies? (or whatever they're called there) πŸ™‚

niece on 22-08-2012
Mother-in-Law
You just have to watch the daughters-in-laws and their m-i-ls on our soap operas...one would wonder, when most housewives have similar fiends in their own homes, why they'd want to spend their little free time watching another one on telly (that too with the said fiend :D)...a fun read...some things are so universal ...

Regds,
niece

(My mum-in-law was an angel...I am guessing I was the demon here :D)

Author's Reply:
I must have missed this comment - so sorry Niece! Thanks so much for the read and comment πŸ™‚
x

ValDohren on 17-09-2012
Mother-in-Law
Great write Andrea, very amusing LOL πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Val, glad you enjoyed. And welcome to UKA!

Pelequin23 on 18-09-2012
Mother-in-Law
very good poem and very amusing too πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Pel, much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

ValDohren on 26-09-2012
Mother-in-Law
Marry someone called Dwight - never !!
Very clever and amusing poem, well rhymed too.



Author's Reply:
Thanks, Val - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 01-10-2012
Mother-in-Law
Photobucket
Absoverybloodylutely Brilliant. I was in fits. Actually laughed out loud and spilled ma reputation. Andrea, loved it. I'm sorry it's taken me forever to post on your page but ......It's like lookin in the teachers desk.
So here's a prezzie Miss. well done and Thank You For sharing.
Photobucket

Author's Reply:
Cor (or should that be 'core'?), ta for the apple WFF πŸ™‚ Glad I made you laugh and I hope you get your reputation back!

Sooz on 02-12-2012
Mother-in-Law
Oh God I was that Sue. I had that Mother-in-law and the spineless husband ... the old bitch refused to die though and probably still goes strong today ... but I did get a full novel out of the family. I thought this one had a bit of a ropy beginning but once you found your feet with it... away you shot.

Author's Reply:
Ta again πŸ™‚ A novel is good - most people get nowt!


FAT (or 'Men don't like it') (posted on: 06-08-12)
Another entry for the P&P challenge on the forums. The word was 'Fat'. Bit of an odd take, I know, but mine own πŸ™‚

In these climes of mad pc you must not call a person fat. You have to say 'obesity' how ridiculous is that? In the good ol' days of yore when a spade was just that you didn't have to think before you spoke - how very cool was that? So when his missus said to Bert 'Does my bum look big 'n' fat? And he said 'Yes!', was she hurt? Au contraire! (but kicked the cat) But when she said he'd got a belly and better stop his beery ways, was he pleased? Not on your Nelly! He went away and sulked for days. Which goes to show that blokes can't take it when you criticise their fat. Like orgasms, they can't fake it, how hilarious is that?
Archived comments for FAT (or 'Men don't like it')
Corin on 06-08-2012
FAT (Or β€˜Men don’t Like it’)
O I think that this needs a riposte!

You can call a woman what you like
A big fat slug, a slag a dyke,
It's all water off her back;
You're just a bloke, it's tact you lack,
But if a woman should happen to say
"What on earth is that she's wearing today?"
And if that other should happen to hear
Such a terrible slur, such a vicious smear,
You can be sure the fur will fly
And one of these cats is sure to die!

Thanks for the laugh and the inspiration SAndrea

Author's Reply:

Corin on 06-08-2012
FAT (Or β€˜Men don’t Like it’)
O I think that this needs a riposte!

You can call a woman what you like
A big fat slug, a slag a dyke,
It's all water off her back;
You're just a bloke, it's tact you lack,
But if a woman should happen to say
"What on earth is that she's wearing today?"
And if that other should happen to hear
Such a terrible slur, such a vicious smear,
You can be sure the fur will fly
And one of these cats is sure to die!

Thanks for the laugh and the inspiration SAndrea

Author's Reply:
Blimey, how did I miss this? So sorry, David! Made me laugh anyway, and appreciate the read πŸ™‚

Corin on 06-08-2012
FAT (Or β€˜Men don’t Like it’)
O I think that this needs a riposte!

You can call a woman what you like
A big fat slug, a slag a dyke,
It's all water off her back;
You're just a bloke, it's tact you lack,
But if a woman should happen to say
"What on earth is that she's wearing today?"
And if that other should happen to hear
Such a terrible slur, such a vicious smear,
You can be sure the fur will fly
And one of these cats is sure to die!

Thanks for the laugh and the inspiration SAndrea

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, lovely - thrice, even πŸ™‚

niece on 06-08-2012
FAT or Men do not Like it
πŸ˜€ Agree with you totally, Andrea...women do not get upset with honest opinions...as long as there is something alive (and capable of a feeble protest) in the vicinity to kick... a funny poem indeed !!! Had a good laugh...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Niece, glad I gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

amman on 06-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
Ha Ha. Pity you can't give yourself a Great Read. I wouldn't dare tell a woman she's got a fat arse; life's short enough as it is. Can't believe women fake orgasms!!
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Well, I ain't the only 'nibber' - hint hint πŸ™‚

Apparently the orgasm thing isn't that uncommon - can't see the point meself - either you did or you didn't πŸ™‚

Ta for reading and commenting.

Texasgreg on 07-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
Can I say that was a phat poem? Sure I can!
P.S. A little "junk in the trunk" helps ya get yer traction.
Photobucket

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Cheeky sod πŸ™‚


Weefatfella on 07-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
what is it with woman and the size of their arses?
The sexiest woman of all time was Marylin.
She is stiill recognised as such.
In my mind anyway.
I believe she took up a fair bit of space.

Keep the clothes hangers in the wardrobe.(Weefatfella)


Author's Reply:
Never had a problem with the size of my arse, Wff :). Agree re Marilyn! Size zero, eh? Who needs it...

Weefatfella on 07-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
I have tried to make a nib For your piece.
It's the best I could do.Enjoyed the piece, As for fat I don't mind. I'm secure in who I am............I...Think.
()()
<> <<---Nib.
+

Author's Reply:
Ooooohhhh, ta WFF! Am honoured!

Weefatfella on 07-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
http://www.kamakurapens.com/PenImages/SailorStubNib1.jpg

Author's Reply:
Oooh, lovely! Looks a lot like the Parker my daddy bought for me when I was a kid πŸ™‚ Proper ink an' all that...

sunken on 08-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
How rude. I'm sure men can take it. Of course it's not an issue I've had to deal with. I'm of the slim persuasion you see. It's just a cross I have to bear I guess. And anyway, some men like a big fat arse. So don't you worry about having one, Ms. Andrea. Has this helped? Did I miss the point again? Hello?

s
u
n
k
e
n

missing the point since 1995

Author's Reply:
'Fraid so, Sunk *sigh*, point well and truly missed. I don't actually have a big, fat arse πŸ™‚ Some might say that's a shame...

Your comment, however, despite being somewhat on the obscure side, is most welcome.

Ionicus on 08-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
I have been watching Olympic tennis. Two girls were playing, Big Boobs versus Big Bum. I loved it. I forget who won.
I am one of those people to whom Sunken refers but I am not fussy, any size will do.
Do women really fake orgasms? What is this world coming to?

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Apparently it's not uncommon for women to fake orgasms. As I said, couldn't be arsed (so to speak myself :))

Thanks for reading, Luigi - enjoy the B&B's πŸ™‚

whatacutebum on 11-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
this made me laugh out loud. And I hate to say it, but I agree whole heartedly. I hate if someone says I've put on weight.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading WCB, glad it made you laugh πŸ™‚

dylan on 11-08-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
You are rapidly becoming the Pam Ayres of UKA!
As gravity and slowed metabolism take their toll, we must maintain our dignity.
Or not give an eff, as the case may be!
Well done again, HR.
xxx
D.


Author's Reply:
Ta Dyl, I LOVE PA, what a compliment!

*faints*

xx

ValDohren on 24-09-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
All this talk about fat is giving me a complex - think I'll go on a diet !!
Very funny write Andrea.

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, no diets for me! Thanks very much for reading and rating, Val. Appreciate it!

Sooz on 02-12-2012
FAT (or Men dont like it)
Perfect .. from a fattie. Loved it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Sooz - you've been busy while I was away!


Murder (posted on: 03-08-12)
My entry for the prose and poetry challenge. Word was MURDER πŸ™‚

Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes (a quirky bloke), had lots of plots to foil. To shake his brain, he'd shoot some coke (and so did Conan Doyle). Doctor Watson, silly man, much preferred his tea. But solving crimes with best mate Sher was elementary. Jane Marple Miss Marple sleuthed both high and low screaming bloody murder. She should have stuck to knitting, though, for sadly no-one heard her. Her garden wilted, dead and grim, the veg all went to seed. And tho' she always caught the crim, this irked St Mary Mead. Everywhere that our Jane be, somebody got killed. To be where she was, was to be somewhat less than thrilled. Hercule Poirot 'ercule Poirot, a foreign chap, a dick from Spa, most neat, helped put Belgium on the map (and spats adorned his feet!). 'Nothing's ever gained,' he said, 'by chaos and disorder. 'arrange facts neatly in your 'ead in rigid temp'ral order.' Oh yes, his sidekicks, Hastings, Japp, valet Georges, Miz Leemon. Declared him a fastidious chap (tho' something of a demon). Liked nothing better than a crime, and no-one was more clever. Ze leetle cells worked overtime locked murd'rers up forever. Alas, alack, The Final Curtain, ** poor Poirot has pegged it. Method, order, nowt more certain afore he fin'lly legged it. ** Poirot's last case
Archived comments for Murder
cooky on 03-08-2012
Murder
Loved the Hercule part of this. You really captured his presence. Excellent write.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Cooky, much obliged πŸ™‚

amman on 03-08-2012
Murder
Very good my dear Watson (I mean Andrea), very good. Like the clever way you used apostrophes to get rid of excess syllables. Did you win?
Regards.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, amman - and no, I didn't πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 03-08-2012
Murder

A lovely compendium of prominent star characters of detective fiction Andrea, ace. With Taggart this comp. nearly covered the gamut. Amusing as always funny as ever very enjoyable of course.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Frank, am honoured πŸ™‚ All we need now is Inspector Morse and Foyle, eh?

niece on 04-08-2012
Murder
Good one(s), Andrea...though these days, think Holmes and a rugged looking R.Downey Jr stares back at me...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Yeah, that version was very good, and Richie's in the middle of making another one! I thought the modern Cumberpatch one was pretty good too, and that's something coming from a purist like me πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting, Niece, much appreciated.

sunken on 04-08-2012
Murder
You're spoiling us, Andrea. Three for the price of one. You're like the Superdrug of Uka. I got three cans of deodorant for the price of one from there last week. I like to smell fresh in case I get run over. Has this comment helped? Enjoyed all three. Poems I mean. Not the deodorants. Though they are pleasant. Lynx Temptation I got. Bloody stupid name if you ask me. They're just asking to be shoplifted. Idiots. Thank you.

s
u
n
k
e
n

panda Olympic hair technician

Author's Reply:
My dear, departed Auntie used to say 'always wear clean knickers' for the very reason you mentioned, Sunko.

Personally, I prefer men's deodorants...the one I'm currently using is called 'Beast' and has an exotic musky stench/ most gratifying.

Glad you enjoyed my little foray into the murky depths, Mr Sunk. Your comment, such as it is, is much appreciated.

dylan on 04-08-2012
Murder
Absolutely effing brilliant!
Just effortless!
Y`see prose specialist like yourself and Mr Gardiner can write poetry really well too.
Keep going,please.
XXX

Author's Reply:
Blimey! I'm taken aback! High praise indeed, coming from you, me ol' mucker! Ta very much πŸ™‚

*picks self up from floor*

Texasgreg on 05-08-2012
Murder
Aye! Liked 'em all, but had forgotten about Holme's taste fer coke. Dr. pepper fan, myself. -joke-

Good job, Andrea!

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Yep he liked a good...er...sip, did the ol' Sherlock. Ta for reading and commenting, Greg, appreciate it.

stormwolf on 05-08-2012
Murder
Laughed out loud all the way through...(and that is quite an achievement) πŸ˜‰

Alison x

Author's Reply:

barenib on 09-08-2012
Murder
Sherlock is my favourite here - very funny indeed! But you know I'm a fan of your witty verses, so keep 'em coming! John x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting, John, much obliged, as ever πŸ™‚


Kant and Co. (posted on: 13-07-12)
Reflections about philosophers...

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant liked nothing better than a jolly good rant about metaphysics and epistemology, sometimes Enlightenment, often teleology. I did have a go at the transcendental, but, to be honest, it left me quite mental. Aesthetics was better and somewhat less taxing But I wouldn't call Critique of Judgment relaxing. I also tried Hegel and Hume and Descartes (tho' Schopenhauer's a boring old fart) Metaphysics of Morals left me specs misty So I think all in all I'll just stick with Miss Christie.
Archived comments for Kant and Co.
Texasgreg on 13-07-2012
Kant and Co.
Had time for only one this morning as I need to leave early for work, and since you're ever the faithful, you're first...



Aye! You are what you digest, (read). Good reminder that it's nice to just "enjoy" from time-to-time to keep the 'ol brain from overheating, LOL.

I liked it much, Andrea...

Photobucket

Greg πŸ™‚



Photobucket.

Edit in reply LOL, must be a mind reader 'cause ever since I've begun to read your posts, I've thought you a scream, (not to mention your witty responses), but I was referring to all that thinkin'. Kinda makes me feel like that thar feller in the picture book. πŸ˜‰
Always been told I think too much. If only they knew...you ever heard the sound effects from this guy thinkin' ?

Photobucket

Author's Reply:
Cor, ta Greg, it ain't often I'm first πŸ™‚

Glad you think I'm a scream πŸ™‚


amman on 14-07-2012
Kant and Co.
Ha. Ha. Very philosophical. How about J P Sartre/the commie loving martyr. Got to be better than A. Christie.
So, Greg is the billionaire American who bought Munch's scream pic, eh.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
I have to say I'm rather fond of Agatha. Not quite as taxing to the brain as Sartre and Co. Even Simone had her moments...

Ta for reading and commenting, amman πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 14-07-2012
Kant and Co.

Ah the extraction of the Michael from the philosophical Andrea, likee very muchly. Loved the Descartes

(tho’ Schopenhauer’s a boring old fart) couplet a lot and the whole's wickedly funny. A good collection of pertinent brains you have chosen and utilised amusingly. Well done indeed methinks.

I can't help recalling an old favourite Monty Python moment that I relished as a football fan, if you don't mind the link here. I can replay it when I revisit this page if you can make it clickable as you do. They complement each other as I compliment you Andrea. (see what I did there?)

http://youtu.be/i2TicMbH4OY


Author's Reply:
Absolutely, Frank, I remind myself of that, too πŸ™‚

Not sure if this'll come out in replies...



Either way, ta v much for the read and comment, and glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 14-07-2012
Kant and Co.
Nothing wrong with Miss Christie who initiated me to the exploits of her sleuths Poirot and Miss Marple. I didn't think much of the detecting efforts of Messrs. Kant and Schopenhauer. Amateurs really.
Lately I was fond of that unlikely pair of Dalziel and Pascoe and was sorry to hear of their author's, Reginald Hill, demise.
But I digress. Enjoyed the ditty.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Ta Luigi, I like Aggy too - a fave read as a kid, and Poyrot is still a good egg.

That Dalziel bloke is..er...not too pretty, is he?

Ani on 20-07-2012
Kant and Co.
This is really humorous, love it. Thanks for the read.
Fureya

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind words, Fureya πŸ™‚


TIMBUKTU (or On Safari) (posted on: 06-07-12)
Bit of an oldie, this, but I removed it when my book came out, ages ago. Entered for last weeks prose and poetry challenge,. (no, it didn't win :))

'Cedric dear, must we go to bloody boring Felixstowe?' Ada how she'd scrimped and saved, 'twas excitement that she craved. No Punch 'n' Judy, bleedin' donkeys, beaches crammed with bloated twonkies. Azure seas and graceful palms, bulging six-packs, well-toned arms, this now was our Ada's dream, one more beach hut and she'd scream! Cedric though'd made up his mind. Whilst trying not to be unkind, he's always longed, nay craved to be a second David Bellamy. 'I know!' he cried, to Ade's dismay, 'Let's go to Mali straight away!' And so without more ado, he booked a flight to Timbuktu. Not quite what Ada wanted, granted, however, Ced the seed had planted, and thoughts of apes and cats galore catching prey in bloody paw started to appeal at last, and so she packed her suitcase – fast! The flies were swarming, sun was hot so Ada chose a shady spot and dreamed of rain and rushing streams, fruity cocktails, watery dreams. But leopards circled, lions growled, hyenas laughed and she-wolves howled. And in a trice, afore his eyes and much to Cedric's great surprise, the very beasts they'd come to see had gobbled Ada up for tea! Now Cedric, although quite upset Thought he'd make some money yet. So he shot Ada being eaten and took the film back to Nuneaton. There he put the vid on show and watched his money swell and grow. Armed with beauty queen and Merc Cedric's mush sported a smirk. Displaying wealth for all to see (the film was out on DVD), alas our Ced had turned quite rotten, hapless Ada long forgotten. So if your hubby wants to go off to the desert, just say 'No!' And if it's beasts you want to see, whilst still preserving sanity, don't be fooled and/or misled, go to Whipsnade zoo instead.
Archived comments for TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
cooky on 06-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Wander lust. my wife is like that. Very entertaining write.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Cooky, much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

amman on 06-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Very Funny. Poor old Ada; should have stayed with the bleedin' donkeys. (Do you need to lose the apostrophe in donkey's)? Budding entrepreneur our Cedric! By the way, what are twonkies? Never heard that term.
Regards.
.

Author's Reply:
Bloody hell, Amman - all done! Ta πŸ™‚ As for 'twonkies' see here --> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Twonkie

Basically...

'twonkie:
an overweight female, whose major interests usually include chocolates, television and laying around.'

Texasgreg on 07-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Ever the funny evil genius, you are...I'm gonna hafta keep my eye on you, LOL.
Photobucket.
Really good stuff!

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks for reading and commenting, Greg. Poor Ada, eh?

ChairmanWow on 07-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Videoing your wife getting eaten? This Cedric is something else, no role model he. A cautionary tale for sure. Another Andrea poem another smile.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Well, yes, some weird characters populate my head πŸ™‚ Thanks for the read and comment, Ralph...

Ionicus on 08-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Re-read with a lot of pleasure; funny as ever, Andy.
Sorree, Andrea, we mustn't mention that name, must we? It conjures up a miserable face.

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, almost time for the match, Luigi. GO FEDERER!

(ta for reading and commenting :))

RoyBateman on 08-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Great laugh - made me realise that if poor Albert got chomped by that dratted lion nowadays, his parents would simply get it all on their mobile phone hand have it up on utube within the hour. Never mind that magistrate chap!
I agree, it's tempting to get away from this so-called bloody "summer" - can it BE as bad over there? But, this is quite a wise cautionary tale - be careful what you wish for, eh? The rain might royally bugger up your picnic, but it's not usually fatal. (Although - silly me - some poor bugger DID get drowned in the floods last week, only a couple of miles from here.) Holidays? I'd recommend staying in bed with some choccies and a crate of brown ale.
Great write, Andrea - how come this didn't win?

Author's Reply:
It didn't win 'cos the other stuff was better, Roy πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting. No summer at all here, still pouring, cold and gloomy. That crate o' ale sounds tempting πŸ™‚

Ani on 08-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Could not stop my giggles, great.
Fureya

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ani - much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

niece on 10-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Love your twisted sense of humour...always have...:) Lucky Cedric had his camcorder...atleast he can watch his wife's last moments again and again...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Twisted? Moi? Surely not!

Thanks for the read and comment, Niece, much appreciated...x

Weefatfella on 22-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Aye. A hearty meal indeed. Why Federer, whit aboot oor Big- Andy?
Amusing read, like me it's good to tip some strange and weird thoughts oot yir heid.
Enjoyede it tremoundously. Thank You.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, WFF - much appreciated πŸ™‚

Weefatfella on 22-07-2012
TIMBUKTU (or On Safari)
Sorry aboot the spelling wiz in a hurry.

Author's Reply:
No probs πŸ™‚


Violet (posted on: 21-05-12)
My entry for last weeks prose and poetry challenge - the word was ALTERCATION (well, I almost got it right :))

Violet had a sister, known to all as Rose. No man could resist 'er, which got up Violet's nose. Violet had tried everything to copy Rose's looks. Make-up, hair and lots of bling, studied fashion mags and books. Dressed even in the poshest tat Vi looked as drab as ever. Add to this the sad fact that she wasn't very clever. So incensed was she one day, as Rose just shone and shone, she bashed her with a huge ashtray and poof! Poor Rose was gone! So next time that you think you're posh, and positively 'it', remember Violet and her cosh, when good looks don't mean shit.
Archived comments for Violet
Bradene on 21-05-2012
Violet
Another monday morning giggle, you and Roy between you cheer me up no end. Thanks for that Andrea. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. Glad you had a little chuckle πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 21-05-2012
Violet
That must have been a one-sided altercation! Poor Rose didn't have the chance to put her point of view.
A good portrayal of a fierce woman, put across with humour.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Luigi - glad you enjoyed!

Romany on 22-05-2012
Violet
Ouch! Your characters often have violent leanings I note. Remind me to stay on your good side!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Fear not, I'm a pussycat really πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Romany.

amman on 23-05-2012
Violet
Hi Andrea. Very funny. Poor old shrinking Violet sure packed an ashtray. Also, I'm with Romany; sorry if I've ever offended you!
Regards

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks for reading amman πŸ™‚

stormwolf on 23-05-2012
Violet
Up to your usual standard of funny story with a message attached,YES! A modern day fable. πŸ˜‰
Poor Rose but that'll 'learn' her to think she was all that.
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Thanks, Storm. Nice to see you're still here on main site at least. I do wish you (and everyone else) would learn to steer clear of/ignore obvious personality clashes πŸ™‚ The forums will be a much less interesting and fun place without you πŸ™

CVaughan on 23-05-2012
Violet

T'riffic stuff, much to my taste for the not-so-plain-daft. Very colourfully mailicious and deliciously black if I can say that in humour terms. Frank

Author's Reply:
Crikey! Thanks very much Frank, am hugely honoured πŸ™‚ Ta muchly for reading, commenting and (hopefully) chuckling...

Capricorn on 24-05-2012
Violet
LOL! What a chuckle!
I'm quite envious as I find it really difficult to write humorous poems. This one has a great message too.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Eira πŸ™‚ Odd, innit, I can't seem to write anything serious!

Texasgreg on 25-05-2012
Violet
Lol...finally came across one of yours in the tweet box, (sorry guys and gals, still working on getting time to go to your profiles and dig in). Didn't really suspect your sense of humor, Andrea. It was fresh, funny, and fine as frog hair! Thanks for the grin on my chin...

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Ta very much Greg πŸ™‚ Didn't realise frogs had hair, must go and inspect my murky pond...

JackKoozie on 06-06-2012
Violet
Hi Andrea, thought I'd pop over and visit. Very amusing poem/verse with neat rhyming pattern. Clever clogs! Much enjoyed. I must read more of your stuff.

Jack

Author's Reply:
Ta very much for read and comment, Jack - glad it gave you a chuckle πŸ™‚

Corin on 05-07-2012
Violet
A good giggle Andrea. I'm not quite sure about the last line, its the word 'when' that seems ambiguous.

"So next time that you think you’re posh,
and positively β€˜it’,
remember Violet and her cosh,
when good looks don’t mean shit."

Normally good looks are an advantage except, as you are trying to say, in certain situations, but the situation is not brought about by the fading of the power of good looks but by some other circumstance, eg jealousy, so I think the last line should say:-

'then good looks won’t mean shit.'

Am I a pedant or what:-?

David








Author's Reply:
Hmmm, no, I think you may be right, David - see what you mean. Will change it probably, thanks!

ChairmanWow on 05-07-2012
Violet
Hilarious, Andrea. I think I'd like to hear your stuff read out loud. Ever thought about posting audio?

Ralph



Author's Reply:
Can't say I have, Ralph - but I might now! Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

soman on 11-07-2012
Violet
Not sure for whom to feel more sorry -- the victim or the victor. Gripping read.
Soman

Author's Reply:
Awww, poor Rose though, eh?

Thanks for the read, Soman πŸ™‚

ValDohren on 21-09-2012
Violet
Love this one Amdrea, great humour πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Val, much appreciated πŸ™‚

Pelequin23 on 02-10-2012
Violet
funny poem with an important message!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading, Pel.


Interview with author Eddie Summer (posted on: 18-05-12)
This is an interview I did a few years ago with quadriplegic author Eddie Summer. I was reminded of it by a discussion we're having on the forums here --> UKA Forum discussion (with some, including me, saying we'd rather be dead) and thought you might be interested - and perhaps moved.

Biography. When Granddaddy Ralph died in 1965, we moved to the country and into the house with Granny Garner. We'd often visited Chappells, the surrounding area, and both sets of my grandparents during my previous eight years, but I never suspected how much country life would affect me. School exerts more influence on a young person's life than anything outside the family does. I saw the difference between city children and country children from my first day in school. City children always tried to make themselves feel important by shrugging everything off as no big deal. Country children never did that. They always maintained a sense of awe. Their sense of awe had to have been contagious because I soon had it. Granny Garner lived about two miles from the Saluda River. My brother, Dennis, and I used to explore the roads toward the river every summer on our bicycles. Big trucks used to haul mud from the swamps to Southern Brick Company. Dennis and I spent some of the best hours of our lives watching those old trucks strain to pull heavy loads up from those river bottoms As much as we would've liked for those summers to have lasted forever, they never did. School always started and we'd resort to our more traditional pursuits. Dennis liked to fish and I liked to hunt. The killing of game never appealed to me as much as the other aspects of hunting. I loved the outdoors. When I first saw the cutoff bottoms, I felt as if I belonged to the ancient tribe of Israel and was seeing the Promised Land for the first time. Hunting dogs also left me awestruck. Major injuries seldom stopped them and minor injuries only annoyed them. They let nothing keep them from the life they loved. I hope I live as honourably as hunting dogs. After I took final exams at Lander College in the spring of 1976, life as I knew it ended. I stayed in Richland Memorial Hospital from early May until the middle of July. They kept me in a partial coma for the first six weeks. When I finally became aware of my surroundings, I had no control of my voice and body. My parents eventually got me an eye-controlled computer. I then volunteered to write short stories for my local newspaper. I needed to express my awe for a world I once belonged to. I needed to express my awe for a world I wish I could belong to again. My short newspaper stories have now been made into a book. I hope everybody can now enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing them. Interview. Q: Your book, Seedlings, is due to be published shortly by Publish America. This is a major achievement by any standards, let alone by someone as severely disabled as yourself. How does it make you feel? A: I don't think anything in my life will compare to the feeling I get when I complete a story and make it say exactly what I want it to say. No amount of success can equal that feeling for me. Q: I understand Seedlings is the second book you've had published. Can you tell us a bit about the first? A: It was also called Seedlings. It contained seventy-six short stories. My parents helped me self publish several hundred copies of it. Between twenty and thirty of the best stories from it are in my new book. Q: Both your books are collections of short stories and it is said that the short story is the most difficult form to write. Would you agree? A: Short fiction is difficult to write, but short non-fiction comes easily to me. Q: Obviously the computer has made a huge difference to your life. Can you tell us something about that? A: I got my first computer in 1985, but computers only started making a huge difference in my life in the early 90s. I dedicated my book to Al Morris. He was the local computer dealer that gave of his own time to install Windows for me and connect me to the Internet. He also taught me much. About a week before he died, Publish America contacted me. I told him. I only hope he realised the hugeness of Publish America. Words-plus in California made my eye switch. It works by scanning the different functions of a computer and I blink on the function I want. Q: How do you spend a typical day? A: America has a library of taped books for the disabled and blind. I belong to this library for the disabled and blind. I spend on average five hours each day listening to taped books. I also have two machines that give my body some therapy. I then spend four hours working on my latest writing project and end the day by answering e-mail for three hours. I can't use my computer as fast as you use yours, but it's more rewarding than watching television. Q: Can you tell us who your favourite authors are and how they've influenced your writing? A: My favourite author is John Steinbeck . When he won the Nobel Peace Prizes, he said that young writers should write about what they'd do as heroes. I might not have the wording right, but I try to follow his advice. I also like his writing, but his advice means more to me. Q: Are there any subjects that you consider taboo? Things that you most definitely would not write about? A: I'll write about anything to further the theme of a book or story, but I always want a Christian theme. People don't seem to realise that much of the Bible contains information about killers, perverts, and criminals. The Bible's theme is that people can be redeemed. I'll write about any person to show that he or she can be redeemed, but I don't enjoy describing raunchy sex scenes. Q: In these days of the Internet, what are your views on e-publishing? A: I know little about computers and less about the Internet. If it were not for the help of my true friend, Dale, I'd have never got my stories on the zip drive the way Publish America asked. Q: You also write for your local newspaper. How long have you been writing for them and what sort of things do you write? A: I believe it will be six years in August. After I took three writing courses from the University of Tennessee through the mail, I wanted a place to apply my craft. The owner of my local newspaper let me write for the newspaper. I write about friends, memories, and things I read. Q: Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction and why? A: It's easier to write non-fiction because I can plan what I want to say, but I have more fun with fiction because it lets me create. Q: Do you ever suffer from writers' block and, if so what, in your opinion, is the best way to overcome it? A: The only thing I can do that I love is write. When you truly love what you do, you never suffer a block. I never have. Q: Finally, what are you working on at the moment? Do you have plans for another book? A: I'm now working on a Western novel, but I always have plans floating around in my head for new short stories and new books. If this publishing experience is good, I'll try it again. Thank you very much Eddie, and I'd like to wish you very success with your book. Eddie's book 'SEEDLINGS' can be found on www.publishamerica.com as well as in most major bookshops in the US and throughout Europe. It is also available from many Internet bookshops such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters.ca and Borders.com. Eddie also holds a Guinness world record for being the most published author using an eye control computer. Eddie can be reached at: Email:         esummer@greenwood.net Telephone: 864-995-3530 © Andrea Lowne
Archived comments for Interview with author Eddie Summer
Bradene on 18-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
What an interesting and inspirational character he is. I suppose he proves that all kinds of life is precious and can be as usful as the individual wants to make it. It also must take great courage and stoutness of heart to want to continue to live no matter what the obstacles may be. Thanks for letting us read this Andrea. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Val. Of course we had endless email exchanges too, what a lovely guy he was (and still is, no doubt).

Romany on 18-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
Very interesting.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Romany.

Ionicus on 18-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
An interesting interview which shows the resourcefulness and courage of quadriplegic people. Nowadays we hear more of such cases and in sport the para Olympics are well established.

Author's Reply:
Yes, of course, it was a while ago. Remember though, that this guy could only move his eyes, so no para Olympics for him, sadly.

amman on 19-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
Hi Andrea. Inspiring!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, amman.

stormwolf on 19-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
Very moving. The contrast beyween the young fit man and the tetra-plegic was heart-rending. His biography shows a real insightful man.
I am so happy he found a niche in writing and friends to help him. At the end of the day, creativity is the great gift, money cannot buy.....like fitness.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Yes, you could say he was 'lucky' he had the gift. I expect he would πŸ™‚

Ta for reading, much appreciated.

Capricorn on 20-05-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
This is not just interesting, but heart rending and thought provoking. I'm so glad you shared this with us. I've always felt writing is therapeutic and this proves it.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind words, Eira.

CVaughan on 21-06-2012
Interview with author Eddie Summer
Hello Andrea, I'm impressed you met with a Guinness World's record holder. No seriously they get ascribed for some daft reasons. Mr Summer desrves all praise and of course kudos to you for the fascinating and moving sub reportage and interview. When facing one's own frailties and crosses how this throws them into true perspective. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Frank. Eddie certainly is one helluva inspiration, that's for sure πŸ™‚



Rose (by any other name) (posted on: 20-04-12)
For last weeks challenge. The word was 'change' - well, it sort of fits πŸ™‚

Shaz gave birth when just a teen a boy it was, no less. The ugliest brat you've ever seen, Shaz too, had to confess! She twittered on her Facebook page, 'I've got this ugly sprog, and now it's got to 'ave a name, I thought I'd call it 'Dog'. Her mates, of course, were all aghast! 'You can't do that, our Shaz! You'd better change your mind right fast and call it Kyle, or Bas.' But Shaz had listened to Miss Lame, (her Lit teacher in school). 'A rose by any other name…' she thought was rather kewl. Put on the spot, a name she chose, and with no more ado, she called the scrawny midget 'Rose' (she had considered 'Sue'). So alas, tho' he's a bloke, who should be Bill or Will, he's Rose, now grown, he's six foot two, and sadly suffers still…
Archived comments for Rose (by any other name)
Bradene on 20-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Loved this one on Wednesday, rather hoped it would win. Shades of Johnny Cash. Valx

Author's Reply:
Yes, the ol' Johnny's Boy Named Sue, eh? That poor kid, though, with a mater like that - doomed!
Thanks for reading and commenting, Val...

Ionicus on 20-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very amusing and not at all unrealistic. Many parents lumber their sprogs with the most unsuitable names which follows the poor mites all through their life.

Author's Reply:
I know, Luigi, and I am one of them. I mean would YOU want to be called 'Andrea'? I know it's Italian, but for the male of the species. WW11 (Pater in RAF in Italy) has a lot to answer for *sigh*

Corin on 20-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very amusing Andrea. Perhaps he should have just have changed it to Ros!

Author's Reply:
Perhaps she should, David - would have undoubtedly saved the kid a lot of grief πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

Corin on 21-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very amusing Andrea. Perhaps he should have just have changed it to Ros!

Author's Reply:

amman on 22-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very funny. As for yer own name, be thankful. Your folks might have chosen Andrew.
Cheers

Author's Reply:
Too true, amman, I am suitably chastised πŸ™‚ Thanks for the read, comment and rate..

sunken on 22-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Hello Ms. Andrea. I heard of a fella in America (where else) who was named Adidas. Perhaps his folks thought they'd get free trainers and shit from the publicity. It's not a bad idea. If I ever have a sprog I'll name him/her iPad. Sounds like a plan to me and no mistake. Clever and witty as ever.

s
u
n
k
e
n

pooper scooper, lights are gonna find ya... (from my flinstones/abba musical - yabba dabba poo)

Author's Reply:
Gawd, Sunk, poor kid. Still better than my eldest who wanted to name his kid Hasdrubal. Good job he never had any! Can you imagine being a Granny to that? The shame... iPad sounds positively conservative by comparison...

Ta for the read, matey πŸ™‚

cooky on 25-04-2012
Rose (by any other name)
So refreshing when you can say the baby is ugly. I like this. My dad nearly called me Titus in honor of a race horse called Titus Oates. Mind you it could have been a conversation starter when chatting up girls.

Author's Reply:
I like the name Titus, always reminds me of Peake's Gormenghast, although the real Titus Oates was the perjurer who fabricated the "Popish Plot". Yes, quite a convo starter!
Thanks for reading and commenting, cooky, much appreciated πŸ™‚

JackKoozie on 12-06-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very funny and witty, Andrea. Nice one.

Jack


Author's Reply:
Thanks, Jack - much obliged for read and comment πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 12-06-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Discovering this as I hit on recent comments, a lazy method I know. Funny as intended and gigglesworth as I found And' (Frank)

Author's Reply:
I do it all the time, Frank (as it were). Glad it gave you a gigglesworth πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 13-06-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Andrea,



Originally posted some interesting facts about a famous man here in the U.S. by the name of Rosy, but didn’t want to dilute your poem. Good thing we can edit our responses. πŸ˜‰



Cracked me up, it did. Grew up listening to the man in black.



Good stuff, mate!





Greg πŸ™‚ Photobucket. Photobucket

Author's Reply:
I got your original, unedited version, Texas, and very interesting it was too! Yep, JC was a star alright, and no mistake (as Sunk would say). Surprised you can understand my stuff actually, peppered as it is with English-isms (sprog = child) and street slang (kewl). Much obliged for the read and the info on ol' Rosey Grier πŸ™‚

butters on 04-11-2012
Rose (by any other name)
for someone who claims to only pen doggerel, you have a neat hand, a twisted mind and you're clearly an observer of humanity.

did I mention I liked this? πŸ˜€

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, ta muchly, Butters, I'll take all the compliments I can get, mate πŸ™‚ As for being an observer of humanity, I've had a lot of practice...

deepoceanfish2 on 05-11-2012
Rose (by any other name)
Very amusing...nice take on the 'Boy named Sue' angle...well done!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much dof, glad I managed to amuse you πŸ™‚


Easter Bunny (posted on: 09-04-12)
Slightly late (for Easter) and an oldie, but who's counting, eh?

"Ooh Stan, look at this!" cried Bunny, chomping happily as she perused the 'Your Health' page of her favourite mag, "It says 'ere that chocolate's good for you!" and she crammed the remains of a decimated Mars Bar into her mouth, licking sticky, pudgy fingers with relish. Stan, who'd heard it all before groaned, but decided to humour her nevertheless. "Let's have a butchers, then," he said, cracking open another can of Special Brew. Bunny handed over the article and dug out the packet of Maltesers she'd hidden beneath the cushion. "No it don't," grinned Stan, between swigs, "It says that it ain't bad for you if eaten in reasonable quantities. Well, your quantities ain't exactly reasonable, are they?" and he eyed the pile of empty wrappers littering the living room floor meaningfully. "Bit like your booze consumption, then," muttered Bunny, stung. She popped in another Malteser for comfort. "It also says," she continued, "chocolate contains iron, protein, potassium and vitamins. That's healthy, innit?" "Might as well just live off Milky Ways then, mightn't you?" retorted Stan unhelpfully, turning his attention back to Match of the Day, just in time to see Beckham score a spectacular goal. Bunny snorted and deftly removed cellophane from a box of succulent soft centres. She was happy because it was almost Easter, her favourite time of year since it involved munching her way through mountains of eggs with relatively little guilt. Bunny had, over the years, become progressively larger and not a little lethargic, a fact that Stan didn't hesitate to point out. "Blimey, woman," he'd snort, peering at his wife's vast proportions from beneath The Mail on Sunday, "If you don't watch out, well have to get the doors widened!" and he'd chuckle richly from the depths of his own over-stuffed armchair, before turning his attention back to the sports page. True, Bunny's bulk sometimes proved somewhat inconvenient, but who needed to weed the garden or go to the cinema? Much more pleasurable to stay at home and munch choccies in front of the telly. And weeds had a comforting and convenient habit of expiring in winter, anyway. Bunny had, on occasion, tried to break her addiction and had once delighted Stan by a whole week's abstinence. What he didn't know, however, was that when withdrawals kicked in Bunny would raid the secret stash she'd hidden in a cupboard under the stairs, to which she had the only key. "What's up? Got a bladder infection?" Stan would enquire unkindly, as Bunny left the room hurriedly for the tenth time in an hour. Eyes glued to A Question of Sport, he'd fail to notice, on her return, her billowing cheeks and sticky-brown mouth. Spots, too, were becoming something of a nuisance. Bunny's face was erupting all over the place and nothing seemed to work. Nose patches removed the skin alright, but the pimples persisted. Vitamin E cream which, she'd read, worked wonders for the epidermis, clogged her pores and Clearasil bought her out in an unsightly rash. "Bloody hell," Stan remarked, "You're starting to look like an elephant with measles!" Bunny, in defiance, prised opened a family-size tub of chocolate ice cream. She'd bought all her Easter eggs well in advance and stashed them in her cupboard. Only the two official ones stood on the mantelpiece like psychedelic bookmarks, framing the lemon-plastic daffs. To say that Bunny leaped out of bed on Easter Sunday would be something of an exaggeration. She did, however, heave herself to her feet with more alacrity than usual and waddled down the stairs as fast as she could, in gleeful anticipation of the feast to follow. Stan, fortuitously, had decided to spend most of the day down the boozer with his mates, thus leaving Bunny free to consume at her leisure. After unwrapping her eggs, she plonked herself down in her armchair and lined them up in front of her. White, plain, milk. Left, centre, right. She began her marathon on the left. Milk, her favourite, she always left until last, like a kid conserving chips. When Stan arrived home later half-cut, he found Bunny fast asleep in her chair, her face streaked like a chocolate ripple. "Jesus H!" he breathed boozily, regarding the pile of cellophane, silver-foil wrappers, empty boxes and his comatose wife with astonishment, "you've really gone and done it this time!" He covered the gently snoring Bunny with a blanket and staggered off to bed, leaving her to sleep off her excesses. He was disturbed from a dreamless sleep by the sound of yelps, thumps and scrapes from below. A man not afraid of confrontation, he grabbed his old cricket bat and crept downstairs to confront the intruder. "About bloody time!" yelped Bunny as he crept cautiously into the room, bat aloft, "I can't get out of the bleedin' chair...!" and she flailed her arms around like a windmill in a hurricane. Stan, highly amused but prudently silent heaved, pushed, pulled and yanked, but to no avail. Bunny was well and truly wedged and it was clear that nothing short of microsurgery was going to extricate her. "Well," he said finally, out of breath, "there ain't no two ways about it. You're just gonna have to go on a diet 'til you're thin enough to shift..." Bunny wailed, wept, moaned, and groaned bitterly, but there was no alternative. She was going to have to go cold turkey. It took two days for Bunny to lose enough weight to be able to squeeze and wriggle free, during which time Stan was allocated the awesome task of attending to her every need. "I need to go to the loo, Stan." Bunny said miserably and, in a flash of unprecedented inspiration, Stan managed, with considerable difficulty, to cut a hole in the armchair. Beneath it he placed a floral, porcelain potty, an heirloom from his granny. "I'm awful hungry, Stan..." groaned poor Bunny, when Stan presented her, yet again, with a minute bowl of beef broth. "Can't be helped," said Stan grumpily, "You wanna get out of that chair, don't you?" Bunny did, but suffered dismally in the process. Finally, just when she'd convinced herself she was going to die of starvation and Stan was thinking murky and murderous thoughts, she managed to squirm free and fell with a mighty thump onto the carpet. "Oh, Stan!" cried a considerably thinner and much chastened Bunny, "Thank the Lord! I'm never going to touch another chocolate as long as I live, I swear...!" "Good, that's settled then," said a smug Stan. The proud owner of power tools that would have cut through the chair like a cheesewire through Cheddar, contemplated his contrite spouse sternly. "I hope you've learned your bloody lesson this time..." he said. Bunny, sprawled inelegantly among the debris, surreptitiously slid her hand into the pocket of her pinny. The cold metal of the cupboard key warmed reassuringly in her palm. "Too right, I have," she muttered, "From now on I'll eat me choccy in bed..."
Archived comments for Easter Bunny
Bradene on 09-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Well I don't know about where you are, but this Easter has been cold and miserable here this year, So it was lovely to have something to really chuckle about this morning. Mind you just the thought of all that chocolate in one fell swoop did make me feel a bit sick especially as I was just enjoying morning coffee! Really enjoyed the read. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, it's pretty miserable her too, weather-wise. On the other hand, the garden needed a good soak. Glad you enjoyed!

amman on 09-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Very funny. I was actually munching on chocolate meself when I read this. Started feeling me face for spots. You've created a right pair of plonkers.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, amman - oddly the majority of my silly tales seem to feature plonkers πŸ™‚ Wonder why?

Ta v much for the read and rating!

Harry on 09-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Bunny has risen! But unlike our Savior, it appears she is about to fall again. Thanks for a chuckle Andrea.

Author's Reply:
And thank you for reading and commenting, Harry πŸ™‚

cooky on 09-04-2012
Easter Bunny
A rather clever love story this. A devoted couple who accept each others devices. I found it rather touching and the atmosphere created by the writing reminded me of something out of Coronation street
Characters Like Stan and Eddie the binman came to mind.

Author's Reply:
Never watch Coronation Street, cooky, but thanks very much for the kind words!

Ionicus on 09-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Who's counting? We are. We expect nothing but the best from you but considering that it still raises a few chuckles we are prepared to forgive you for posting an oldie.
Just joking Andrea. It is entertaining and timeless.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks a lot, Luigi - but I had to change The News of the World to The Mail on Sunday! Shows how old it is πŸ™‚


TheBigBadG on 10-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Gah, c'est horribile! But also rather sweet. *boom-tish*

Cooky's right, there's a nice love story at the heart of this. It's like if The Twits hadn't been such misogynists. The slapping on of tinctures and remedies made me do one of those smile/groans as well; it's a good little morality tale.

Author's Reply:
Oh ta, BBG πŸ™‚ Can't say I ever thought of it as a love story though! Or a morality tale πŸ™‚ Still, live 'n' learn, eh? Ta for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

Icequeen on 10-04-2012
Easter Bunny
I'll never eat chocolate again! I nice story and I loved how her husband stuck by her, no matter how big and spotty she got. Not many men would!

Author's Reply:
No, they probably wouldn't, although he wasn't much of an oil painting either πŸ™‚ Thanks very much for reading and commenting.

ChairmanWow on 10-04-2012
Easter Bunny
Well, (dark)chocolate does have antioxidents. I like Bunny and her old man. The French have a saying "Everything in moderation including moderation." Made me smile.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Ralph - pity our Bunny didn't speak French πŸ™‚

Ta for the read and comment.

jaudrey on 23-04-2012
Easter Bunny
wow, you have a lot of material on here, so I jumped in with this one and glad I did... very funny, but enjoyed the invite into their relationship more than anything...

Author's Reply:
Well, thanks very much, jaudrey! Glad you enjoyed, and much thanks for the read and comment.


Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues. (posted on: 30-03-12)
My entry to last week's Prose and Poetry Challenge (with a nod to my hero, Mr Zimmerman). The word was, unsurprisingly, 'Subterranean'.

Underneath the earth Fat Irma found a dearth of things to eat (she craved a treat) to aggravate her girth. She'd died from too much scoffin', and lying in her coffin, her heart did ache for gloopy cake at very least a muffin! Alas, she could do little (her bones had gone all brittle) but lie and dream of mounds of cream, (producing lots of spittle). She felt she paid her dues, as she watched her organs ooze 'Just one more pie, before I cry, and plunge in Subterranean Blues!' And here's a toon to go with it -->
Archived comments for Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
Bradene on 30-03-2012
Subterranean Blues.
I thought it was so funny anyway. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val πŸ™‚ And for the rating, too!

Ionicus on 30-03-2012
Subterranean Blues.
Carrying on the tradition of comic verse. Lovely.
Here is to the 'real' poets like us, Andrea.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Cor blimey, no-one's ever called me a 'real' poet before! Thanks Luigi, made my day πŸ™‚

amman on 31-03-2012
Subterranean Blues.
Never mind fat Irma; what a treat for the rest of us.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind words, amman!

sunken on 31-03-2012
Subterranean Blues.
Hello Ms. Andrea. A smashing write, full of wit - unlike myself - who's full of shit. That said I'm currently heating up some homemade soup. Well... i opened a can and poured it into a saucepan. That's homemade innit? I feel I'm going off topic, Andrea. This happened during the 90's once and it took me three months to get home. Top stuff. Well done missus.

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fashion, turn to the left - fashion... hang on - has anyone seen my tank-top

Author's Reply:
Ta very much, Sunks. Full of shit? You? Never!
Hope you enjoyed that soup - was it minestrone?

RoyBateman on 31-03-2012
Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
Most amusing - but don't say these cravings carry on after they've nailed the lid down? Crikey...I reckon cremation's looking more inviting! (Not quite yet, obviously, despite what some folk might want...)
ps I do remember this coming out, though I didn't buy the album personally. It caused one hell of a stink from the purists, didn't it? Yeah, just goes to show that the guy was a flash in the pan...

Author's Reply:
Yeah, the ol' Bob, eh? A one-hit wonder...

Dunno if they carry on, Roy, I ain't dead yet, thankfully πŸ™‚

Thanks very much for reading and commenting, anyways...x

sunken on 31-03-2012
Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
Chicken, Andrea. I'm still eating it. It's a bit too hot. I've had to take my jumper off due to overheating. It says nothing about the removal of knitwear on the can but sometimes you just have to make ya own rules up in life. Ahem. I'm just rambling till it cools. Thank you.

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one flew over the oven-glove

Author's Reply:
Delicious Sunko - but how did they get the chicken into the can?

ChairmanWow on 31-03-2012
Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
Very funny, Andrea. You just need a guitar and harmonica. We all have our weaknesses.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Ah yes, we do indeed, Ralph. Mine is me vin rouge πŸ™‚ Ta muchly for reading and commenting, appreciated as always,,,

dylan on 31-03-2012
Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
Great stuff, HR.
Oh and the pome is good too!
(Only jesting-well written and v. funny.)
XXX

D.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Dyl - he's not bad that ol' Bob bloke, is he?

JackKoozie on 19-06-2012
Subterranean (Homesick?) Blues.
I’ve not listened to the β€˜toon’ yet, Andrea, but I will. I’m not sure if Bob Dylan did write or record any limericks, but I’m sure he would have been proud of this one. I love the verse form and certainly, Mr Zimmerman was (and still is) one of my heroes. Very well done, entertaining too.

JK


Author's Reply:
Ta ever-so, Jack, your comment (and read) are much appreciated πŸ™‚


Competition (meme no2)... (posted on: 09-03-12)
This was my second entry - an afterthought really, just a bit of fun πŸ™‚ PROSE AND POETRY CHALLENGE - the prompt was Meme.

Weirdest meme… Winning team Primal scream Psychic dream Eat ice-cream Esoteric theme Reflected gleam Refracted beam Curdled cream Cruel regime Fizzling stream Fatuous theme Biggest bream Brightest sunbeam
Archived comments for Competition (meme no2)...

No comments archives found!
Meme (posted on: 09-03-12)
My first entry for this weeks PROSE AND POETRY CHALLENGE - the prompt was Meme, quite a toughie!

Beryl thought 'Just one more meme, I swear I'll lose the plot and scream! One more Oscar Angie's pin, * pussies emptying the bin, babies crying, crawling, crapping, parrots dancing, Dachshund's yapping One more meme, in my mail will send me right beyond the pale!' Her brain descending into spiral, Beryl's temper went quite viral, 'til she reached a tough decision and with incredible precision, for one so scatty normally, vowed to un-friend her PC. Hammer blows rained thick and fast and Beryl felt quite free at last! * For the uninitiated (and/or probably uninterested), here's more info on Angie's pin --> Angelina Jolie's leg
Archived comments for Meme
ChairmanWow on 09-03-2012
Meme
Freedom from memes. Memes are like cultural DNA, passed down, mutated, etc. A.J. reference is something i'll have to look up. We all used to gather around the television camp fire and now we are all in our little computer world. Enjoyable romp.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked the romp, Ralph πŸ™‚ I've now made Angelina's leg clickable (so to speak)...

Ta for reading and commenting.

Bradene on 10-03-2012
Meme
Of course this is sophisticated!! it reads like a propper piece of humourous poetry like wot the professionals write :-; mine sounded like it was written by a five year old. This should have won. Valx

Author's Reply:
It's very kiind of you to say so Val, but we shall have to agree to differ! Maybe a joint egg, eh?

Ionicus on 10-03-2012
Meme
My hat to you Andrea for producing this piece of humorous poetry.
To my shame, I didn't write anything as I didn't know what the prompt meant.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Tsk tsk, Luigi, you should have looked it up!

'..The term Internet meme ( /ˈmiːm/ meem)[1] is used to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet.[2] The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although the latter concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information. The earliest known usage of the word meme is in the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins published in 1976...' -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme

Ta for reading and the kind words πŸ™‚

Ax


amman on 10-03-2012
Meme
Hi Andrea
Very funny. Sorry for being so late posting. Been away for a few days climbing small mountains. I would have interpreted meme as 'look at me, look at me'. Sort of fits the Angie pose dunnit. Love the line.. babies crying, crawling, crapping (amongst others).

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much amman!

Here's another explanation:

'...A meme ( /ˈmiːm/; meem)[1]) is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena...' i.e. Viral YouTube vids and so on. Like Angie's leg πŸ™‚

Hoped you reached the summit of them thar mountains! Sadly, mountains are in short supply here...




amman on 10-03-2012
Meme
Me again. Would like to rate this. Never done it before but here goes.

Author's Reply:
Wow! Ta very much πŸ™‚

stormwolf on 12-03-2012
Meme
Loved it! O'il give it 9 πŸ˜‰
Alisonx

Author's Reply:
Cor. Much obliged, dear lady. Innit.

sunken on 14-03-2012
Meme
Lol. Nice poem, Andrea. I found Mr. Luigi's comment just as funny. I think he and I are on a similar wavelength. Meme? I must look it up. Tip top S ever.

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inverted nun dot com. for all your inverted nun needs

Author's Reply:
Ta very much for comment Sunk, even if you are a bit of an eejit πŸ™‚
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all about the meme.

JackKoozie on 25-06-2012
Meme
Hi Andrea, thought I'd pop over to your side of the fence again. You really are good at rhyming poetry and this one is a good example. I think you're very clever! Much enjoyed.

JK

Author's Reply:
It's very kind of you to say so, Jack, and glad you enjoyed my effort πŸ™‚


Maps (and the reading thereof) (posted on: 02-03-12)
Alas, we're not all good at it. (my entry for last weeks P&P challenge)

Hilda got in such a flap when she had to read a map that hubby Henry got quite cross (Henry liked to be the boss). 'Silly cow!'' He'd say, all vexed, ''We'll end up in Caerphilly next!'' One day a trip was planned to Devon (Hen's idea of cream-tea heaven). 'Now Hilda, try to concentrate, otherwise we'll be too late!' Hilda, downtrod, thought ''up yours!' whilst Henry drove across the moors. 'Hang on!' Our Hen had spied a tree, 'I'm pulling over, need a pee!' Henry jammed the brakes on hard, And Hil, who loathed her lump of lard (he put her down at every turn) resolved to freedom she'd return. As Henry leaned towards the tree, trousers down and willy free, Hil without a second thought, accelerated, caring nought! Back home, sans spouse, she sat and pondered O'er hill and dale her mind it wandered 'til she decided what she'd have, the latest cutting-edge SAT NAV!
Archived comments for Maps (and the reading thereof)
amman on 02-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Very funny and deliciously salacious. The revenge of the downtrodden.
Mind you, when you've got to go, you've got to go. So Henry went and Hilda went too!
Cheers
Amman

Author's Reply:
Glad you had a laugh amman πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting!

dylan on 03-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Pam Ayres is alive and well and living in Clogland!
Great rhythm and gloriously funny.
Really enjoyed it, HR.
Orrabest,

D.

Author's Reply:
Ta very much Dyl - quite a compliment, coming from you! Glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Bradene on 03-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
I love humorous poetry, I love to try and write it but I'll never be a quarter ans funny as you are Andrea. I wish sometimes I could hear you read your stuff, I'm sure I would be in fits. Great stuff. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Val. We all have our strengths - I couldn't write serious stuff! Dunno why, I suppose I just fine life too absurd to take seriously πŸ™‚ Thanks for the rate, too!

Ionicus on 04-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
There is a bit of Hilda in all of us map-reading passengers, always rebuffed and put down at the slightest tiny mistake.
Mind you, having to go round the roundabout several times before finding the exit can test the patience of a saint. I think our girl had the right idea in considering a SatNav.
Nice comic poem, Andrea, that tickled my funny bone.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Glad your funny bone was tickled, Luigi πŸ™‚ Tbh, I was always rather good at map reading. Now, of course, we have Sheila (as we call Jesse's Oirish SatNav :))

RoyBateman on 04-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Wonderful - most amusing. I'm not sure which is the greater menace, a slightly out-of-date road atlas from The Works with the odd road-number buggered up (Try finding the A45 when some joker's just rechristened it the A14, or navigating the Magic Roundabout in Swindon* and you'll see what I mean...), or the satnav that sends forty-ton Rumanian trucks up six-foot wide ancient byways. It's certainly a guaranteed argument-creator, or at least it is in our motor. I dunno about satnavs - they're so bloody bossy, aren't they? Just like...whoops, I didn't say that! Mum's the word, eh?
* Eventually, you'll lose the will to live and simply take the next exit,then put your foot down, desperate to escape. You might end up anywhere from Berkshire to Bristol, but I guarantee you won't care.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 04-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Wonderful - most amusing. I'm not sure which is the greater menace, a slightly out-of-date road atlas from The Works with the odd road-number buggered up (Try finding the A45 when some joker's just rechristened it the A14, or navigating the Magic Roundabout in Swindon* and you'll see what I mean...), or the satnav that sends forty-ton Rumanian trucks up six-foot wide ancient byways. It's certainly a guaranteed argument-creator, or at least it is in our motor. I dunno about satnavs - they're so bloody bossy, aren't they? Just like...whoops, I didn't say that! Mum's the word, eh?
* Eventually, you'll lose the will to live and simply take the next exit,then put your foot down, desperate to escape. You might end up anywhere from Berkshire to Bristol, but I guarantee you won't care.

Author's Reply:
Haha, thanks for the comment, Roy πŸ™‚ Yes, our Sheila (SatNav voice) is very bossy, possibly because she's Oirish. She get confused, too, and keeps telling us to 'make a u-turn' when we should go straight! Typical, eh?

ChairmanWow on 04-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Funny funny funny. Can't help but feel sorry for old Henry, left out there flapping in the breeze. Next time take the keys.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Poor ol' Henry, eh? Served him right though, really πŸ™‚ Obnoxious git! Thanks for reading, Chairman, much appreciated...

ruadh on 04-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
Loved this. Thank you for a much needed giggle.

Author's Reply:
Glad you had a bit of a giggle, ruadh - that's what it's all about, eh?

CVaughan on 24-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
A chortling-worthy journey with your characters Andrea, in this battle of the sexes, a divided couple in couplets so-to-say. As others remark terrific scansion and rhythm I thought. Good one. I'd give your meme one a positive comment too but not wishing to shock you, a new word to me, so UKA is educational innit? Frank

Author's Reply:
Hello frank, haven't seen you for a while - lovely to have you back and with such kind words too πŸ™‚
Ah yes, you live and learn eh? I only knew what it was 'cos I'd read an article about it/them a week or so before the challenge. Coincidence or what? Thanks for reading and commenting Frank, appreciate it πŸ™‚

e-griff on 24-03-2012
Maps (and the reading thereof)
I used to use an australian sheila on my satnav. she was quite pleasant. the main point, though, was making her say all the french names - hilarious! we used to be in fits at some of the things she said ...

Author's Reply:


An Ode to Bacchus (posted on: 24-02-12)
Bacchus the Roman name for Dionysus, god of wine and intoxication. He is also the Liberator, whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus

There's a lot to be said for H2O, add salt and call it brine. Be that as it may, tho', I prefer me wine. Drinking water every day flushes out yer system. But gimme them fermented grapes, gawd, I can't resist 'em If you want a skin like silk, per day drink sev'ral tots (of water though, no booze or milk) away with all them spots! But life's too short to worry much about a bitta mottle. Or yer waistline, legs an' such, So down another bottle! Photobucket
Archived comments for An Ode to Bacchus
orangedream on 24-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
Loved this, Andrea;-) It bears your usual hallmark of 'unbridled wit', and the illustration is vulgarly wonderful!!

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Tina, glad you enjoyed! Needless to say the illustration is not mine πŸ™‚

sunken on 25-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
Witty as ever, Ms. Andrea. I've yet to get pissed this year. I'm a disgrace. By the way, did you know that four popes have died whist having sex? It makes ya think. I hope this has helped. Just say if it hasn't. I can take it.

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now with add storage

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much for reading oh great Sunko! Them popes have got a lot to answer for, especially that Ratzinger bloke! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Ionicus on 25-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
In vino veritas, it is said, and I can see that you are speaking the truth, dear Andrea, as far as tipples are concerned. And why not? Let's indulge.
Aren't you curious about the names of those popes? Dirty scoundrels.

Author's Reply:
Not really, Luigi, one pope is much like another to me. Deluded men in silly frilly frocks...

Sadly I am forbidden by docs to indulge (but I do anyway :))

Ta muchly for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

ChairmanWow on 25-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
Drinking and carrying on is such a scandal. Not me nope i have a daughter am a single dad i have to set a good example yup but a little Captain Morgan with Coke (a cola) or a little of the good tequila helps my constitution. A great tribute to everyone's fav Roman god.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
I know - dreadful, innit? Stick to the wine me (mostly) although a tasty shot of Jim Beam doesn't go amiss on occasion πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Chairman...

amman on 26-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
Very witty. See what the demon drink does for yer figure. Glad it's not really you. Cheers anyway!

Author's Reply:
Down the hatch, amman! Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ And ta muchly for the Hot Author thingy!

Nomenklatura on 26-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
This is top doggerel, and I mean that as a great compliment. Great rhythm and tight structure.

The picture looks like me on some days, I think.

Author's Reply:
Great Scot! That's some praise, coming from vous! Thanks so much, meant most sincerely!

(I actually thought it was one of my feebler efforts)

Bradene on 26-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
only just caught up with this, it's hilarious, you really are the mistress of the humourous poem.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - much obliged to you!

RoyBateman on 26-02-2012
An Ode to Bacchus
Oi, you're using that piccie of me at the Nottingham Beer Festival last year without permission! Hang on, it's a wine glass...sorry. My mishtake (hic), but a chuckle-inducing read without doubt. As someone pointed out recently, the definition of an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than his/her doctor, and I don't think I'm there yet.

Author's Reply:
Yeah, that's yer twin, Roy πŸ™‚ Doubt I drink more than MY doc, either...ta muchly for reading and commenting x


The Return of Mrs Brown (posted on: 20-02-12)
Everyone has a doppelgδnger, right?

Dorothy Murdoch ended up inexplicably and inextricably entwined with Maude Brown. It had all started off as a bit of a joke, really. When Dorothy reached pensionable age, she'd decided to up stakes and move to a small Cornish village, full of enthusiasm at the prospect of a quiet, tranquil retirement in the country. 'It'll be just like The Good Life,' she told herself happily, 'I'll raise chickens, grow lots of prize-winning veggies and enter all those silly flower shows you see on the telly. Felicity Kendal, here I come..." And she set about putting her London flat on the market and searching for a suitable country residence. The flat was sold with gratifying speed and at an exceptionally good price, thus leaving Dorothy with a sizeable nest egg with which she bought the tools deemed necessary to embark on a comfortable and contemplative rural life. Chickens were duly purchased, as was an Aga and a vast array of spades, hoes, rakes, secateurs and a lawn mower. Numerous packets of seeds were naturally vital, and promised an abundance of healthy crops such as 'delicious giant pumpkins', 'savoury, succulent leeks' and 'tasty, tender turnips'. Determined to relegate all the stresses of city life to the past, Dorothy decided to forego the telly and surrounded herself instead with illuminating books. The Prophet, Bhagavad Gita and Teach Yourself Yoga were among the literary masterpieces now gracing her shelves. She considered getting a pet, but cats were guaranteed to pee on the parsnips and dogs, though more continent, needed far too much attention. Dorothy threw herself into her project with gusto. In virtually no time at all green shoots were sprouting magically in neat rows and the hens were laying double-yolked brown eggs that would have brought a smile of satisfaction and approval to Delia Smith's face. Dorothy was popular with the locals, too. Soon, her homemade jams and pickles were quite legendary and the village shop even agreed to stock some of her produce, albeit it on a trial basis.                                                  "Got any more of that there delicious strawberry jam, Mrs Murdoch?" Edna the shopkeeper would ask when Dorothy went in to buy her groceries. "How about a few more jars of yer lovely pickled cucumbers, then?" Ray the butcher grinned, handing over two juicy lamb chops for her tea. Now this was all well and good, but the more organised Dorothy became, the more bored she was. After a while, things were running so smoothly that there was precious little left to do. Dorothy needed a distraction to fill those long, cold winter evenings. She found it one day when she was idly leafing through a magazine she'd picked up while waiting to be served in Edna's shop. 'WRITE A SLOGAN AND WIN A CRUISE!' cried the caption. "I could do with a cruise, that's for sure." Dorothy told Edna, showing her the ad. "Ooh, they're in all the mags these days," said Edna, "My sister does 'em all the time and wins loads of things. I've lost count of the number of toasters she's got!" So Dorothy bought a copy of every mag in the shop and trudged home to study them.                                          They turned out to be full of competitions offering prizes ranging from luxury holidays, to vacuum cleaners, to a year's free supply of loo paper. Dorothy, after much thought, entered them all. She posted off her coupons the next day and promptly forgot all about it until her first prize, an electric kettle, arrived a few weeks later. This was rapidly followed by an oven, an electric blanket, six months supply of washing powder and a 200 quid cash prize. Dorothy was hooked. She began travelling to the surrounding villages and buying copies of every magazine they had in stock. Prizes kept flooding in and she soon found herself barely able to move for fridges, vacuum cleaners, toasters, hairdryers, towels and every kind of electrical gadget and appliance ever invented. It got to the point where Dorothy couldn't look at anything without a slogan popping, unbidden, into her head.                                              "NO PEAS FOR THE WICKED." she'd think as she purchased her packet of Bird's Eye, and "HOME IS WHERE THE HARPIC IS," she sung, on spying the trusty loo cleaner. After a while though, even this began to pall and Dorothy, after spending several solitary holidays marvelling at the Pyramids, the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Rockies, decided to invent someone with whom she could share her good fortune.                                              And so Maude Brown came into being. Maude's immaculate conception had several obvious advantages. For one thing, the magazines themselves were beginning to be curious as to how just one little old lady managed to win so many competitions. There was even talk of interviews and television appearances to investigate the phenomenon which was Dorothy. Maude Brown, who would henceforth enter, would hopefully take off some of the heat. Furthermore, Dorothy had always had a penchant for dressing up and the prospect of appearing in public clothed in floral frocks and a blue-rinse wig was most appealing. Mild deception was also one of Dorothy's little pleasures in life and the thought of fooling nosy old Edna tickled her pink.                         Eventually Maude, too, became quite a hit with the locals and, although she was ostensibly sharing the cottage with Dorothy, no-one seemed to think it strange that they were never seen together. "Mornin' Maude," Edna would say, wrapping up butter and cheese, "An' how's our Dorothy this fine day, then?" "Couldn't be better, thank you. Fit as a fiddle." Dorothy, alias Maude would quaver, tucking her purchases into the copious pockets of her flowery pinny.                                          "Mornin' Dorothy. Maude alright, is she?" Edna would ask the next day, reaching for the digestives. "Picture of health, picture of health." Dorothy would reply brightly, stuffing the bikkies, together with the latest mags, in her wicker basket and smoothing down the folds of her neatly pleated skirt. The cottage became full to bursting and it was just as well that Maude was merely a figment of Dorothy's imagination, for it would have been impossible for them both to have squeezed in, such was the prize-winning clutter. Dorothy was interviewed for the local rag. Maude made an appearance on local TV. Dorothy wrote an article on 'How to win Competitions,' and Maude, now a celebrity in her own right, opened the flower show.      Life, Dorothy decided, was a barrel of laughs. Maude agreed wholeheartedly. Dorothy's search for entry forms was taking her further and further afield. Poor Edna simply couldn't keep up with demand. One day, on returning from a particularly long and gruelling search, Dorothy noticed water seeping suspiciously from under her front door. Inside, the floor was awash with electrical goods, none of which, thankfully, were plugged in. "Bloody hell," said Dorothy out loud, "I've been flooded!" and she called the Water Board forthwith.             "Well, Mrs. Murdoch," said the Water Board inspector gloomily, "Looks like you've got a serious leak. We'll have to replace the pipes..." and he turned off the stopcock and called on his mobile for reinforcements. This was all dreadfully inconvenient, as Dorothy had some in-depth coupon studying to do, but she bore up well and left the poor chaps, stumbling and bumping into various large and cumbersome prizes, to rip up her floorboards. "Er, 'scuse me missus," stammered the chief ripper some time later and just as Dorothy had come up with a particularly brilliant slogan. "but there appears to be some trouble, "the lads've have just discovered a skeleton under your floor..." and he whipped out his indispensable mobile in order to alert the forces of law and order.                                          Dorothy was flabbergasted. "It's impossible!" she cried. "No it ain't!" retorted the grass. "But who is it?" shrieked Dorothy. "Ain't got a clue! We'll have to wait for the cops!" came the reply. The rozzers duly arrived and the skeleton was carted off to be examined. "We'll be in touch..." growled Dan the village bobby, hitherto a friendly soul and normally not averse to a bit of gossip himself. Dorothy, distraught, quite lost her appetite for study and awaited further developments with intense trepidation. They came with alarming speed and in the intimidating shape of Inspector Bixley from Bude Constabulary. "Now then, Mrs Murdoch," said the inspector sternly the next day, "What we want to know is what you know about a Mrs. Maude Brown...?" and he consulted his notepad, pen poised. "What?" cried Dorothy, aghast. "Mrs. Maude Brown." repeated Plod darkly, "The owner, or previous owner I should say, of the skeleton unearthed, so to speak, under your floorboards." Dorothy gaped, speechless. "After making extensive enquiries," continued the relentless sleuth, "it is our considered opinion that you 'ave been impersonating Mrs Brown, after doin' her in like, with a view to making fools of us all..." Dorothy gasped and gibbered, stunned. "We therefore 'ave no alternative, Mrs. Murdoch," said Sherlock sternly, "but to arrest you on suspicion of murder...."
Archived comments for The Return of Mrs Brown
Bradene on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
Get out of that one Dorothy! Lol loved it. Love a good laugh on a Monday morning. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val πŸ™‚ Bit of a lad the ol' Dot, eh?

RoyBateman on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
Oh, neat - I certainly didn't see that coming! Mind you, "being" two people at the same time has its advantages, especially if there are two pensions to be picked up. Hmm...I wonder?
It's always good to read a tale that skips along, with such well-drawn characters and yet still has the capacity to surprise: great stuff!

Author's Reply:
Thanks a lot, Roy! Don't think the old biddy needed two pensions where she was going though πŸ™‚

Nomenklatura on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
well done Andrea, a good story and well crafted too. Is it 'up stakes' though? It makes more sense than 'up sticks' which is what I thought it was. Must investigate.

Author's Reply:
Hmmm...will investigate too - you may well be right (in which case I'll change it) - thanks muchly for the read!

Nomenklatura on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
http://www.americanidioms.net/Up-sticks/

I've got the OED on my PC so I'll have a proper look later.
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Seems it can be either... UP STAKES/STICKS

Nomenklatura on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
no US/UK indicators? Like I say, up stakes actually makes more sense, given it's meaning.

Author's Reply:
Well, I think it originated in the US anyway...

'...To move home. Sometimes also given as 'pull up sticks'.
Origin
The first thing that the English settlers to America did after landing in Jamestown in 1607 was to set about building a palisade to protect the settlement. In less than a month they had erected a triangular wooden fort, bounded by a palisade of wooden stakes...'


Ionicus on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
A good one Andrea and this time I didn't guess the ending.

Author's Reply:
Oh good! I must be improving, then πŸ™‚

orangedream on 20-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
I'm with Luigi on this too, Andrea. I didn't guess that ending either.

Very much enjoyed;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina - glad you enjoyed!

bluepootle on 21-02-2012
The Return of Mrs Brown
This is lots of fun! Gave me a laugh. I went through a competition-entering phase and won a Barry Manilow DVD. Could have done with a holiday...

Author's Reply:
Could have done with anything rather than Barry M, I would have thought! Thanks for reading and commenting, Pootle - much appreciated πŸ˜‰


A Knife in the Back (posted on: 17-02-12)
This weeks prose and poetry challenge prompt is 'Antiques and Curios' which prompted me, in turn, to re-post this oldie here, as it's way too long to enter in the challenge πŸ™‚

'...When Cyril’s dad finally pegged it after a long and fruitless battle with old age, Cyril thought he had it made...'

When Cyril's dad finally pegged it after a long and fruitless battle with old age, Cyril thought he had it made. ''I've got it made!'' he chortled gleefully to Bogroll, ''the old goat was loaded. I'll be in for a packet, you mark my words…'' and he resolved to visit the travel agent forthwith, in order to begin planning his world cruise. ''…an' a Merc'd be nice, too…'' He added Ron, the car dealer, to his list. ''…and a flash pad in Putney.'' He jotted it down, ''Whaddya think?'' Bogroll who, frankly, was not much given to thought and didn't give a toss about anything except where his next meal was coming from, scratched his balls and farted. ''Stupid mutt,'' growled Cyril, so lost in a reverie of riches, however, that he failed to notice Bogroll hooking the remnants of last night's double cheeseburger from the draining board with a grubby paw. Cyril, after much soul-searching over the years, had come to the conclusion that his dad owed him big-time. For one thing, he'd had the temerity to saddle him with a handle that had made his schooldays a living hell and, for another, he'd been foolish enough, after 10 years of matrimony to lust after, and eventually take to wife, his blonder and more youthful secretary, ousting Cyril's long-suffering mother in the process. Cyril's ma, devastated by his pater's unseemly demonstration of raging male testosterone, had promptly done a bunk with postie, leaving young Cyril to the tender mercies of the newly-enamoured pair. ''Let them bloody-well look after you, then,'' she'd said, ''I'm off…'' and she and postie had merrily and without further ado, departed to the sunnier climes of Clacton. Understandably distressed at this ignominious desertion, Cyril began to display signs of rebellion or, as it's now referred to, Attention Deficit Disorder. Their local GP however, unfamiliar with Ritalin and the dubious benefits thereof, had prescribed a good thumping instead, and this was administered accordingly and with much enthusiasm by Cyril's new step-mum. Needless to say, step-mum (henceforth to be known as Shirley) and Cyril's pa, love-struck as they were, couldn't cope, and he was duly shunted off to his Uncle Albert's where, fortuitously, he was suitably subdued enough to have managed, thus far, to avoid confrontation with the forces of law and order. Nevertheless Cyril, perhaps with some justification, figured that the old man, now defunct, owed him one. It was, therefore, with high hopes and much anticipation, that he awaited the reading of the will. ''…and to my beloved wife Shirley…'' droned the solicitor, ''…I leave my entire estate…'' Cyril glared at Shirley, who was demurely decked out in black togs and lace veil. A grin could vaguely be seen forming on ruby lips behind it. Her bosom heaved with delighted emotion and the thought of an idle life on the Riviera. ''…and to my dear son, Cyril…'' the solicitor continued, Cyril's eyes swivelled greedily. He gulped audibly in anticipation. ''…my set of silver fish knives.'' ''Eh?'' Squawked Cyril, horrified, ''Is that it? Bloody knives? You scheming ol' cow!'' and he had to be unceremoniously bundled from the office, much to Shirley's obvious delight. Cyril, however, not a man easily deterred in a crisis, especially where matters of the wallet were concerned, decided to investigate further. ''Might be worth a bloody fortune them knives, you never know,'' he informed Bogroll that evening. Bogroll, whose interest in knives was limited as to whether they were sharp enough to chop up his tripe into bite-size chunks, dribbled gently and whined. ''The Internet! That's it! All them antique sites…'' cried Cyril, an avid Antiques Road Show fan. And, quite excited at the prospect of his knives having, perhaps, been instrumental in slicing succulent sea bass at the notorious table of Henry V111, he dashed off to his local Internet caff forthwith. Unfamiliar with the marvels of modern technology however, it was a good half hour before he discovered Ask Jeeves. ''Bloody stupid thing,'' he muttered, as he laboriously typed 'Mister Jeeves, where can I find sumthing about anteek fish nives please?' into the search box. Cyril stared in mounting horror at Jeeves' polite replies, formulated thus: 'Where can I find recipes for grilled fish?' 'Where can I read about Irish fish?' 'Where can I go fishing in England?' ''Bloody grilled fish?'' squawked Cyril, gobsmacked, ''Bleedin' Irish fish? Fishin' in England?'' and he hopped off his stool furiously, determined not to let such ignominy pass lightly. '''Ere!'' he yelled to his fellow punters, all clicking busily and with much concentration, ''Ask fer yer dosh back! Them machines don't work, do they?'' and he stomped out in high dudgeon, determined never to enter the portals of such a disgraceful establishment again. ''Bloody rip-off, that's what it is,'' he muttered darkly to Bogroll, ''We'll have to find another way…'' Thus it was that Cyril and Bogroll took to viewing as many antiques programmes on the telly as possible, in the hope of spotting knives the same, or at least similar to, those bequeathed to them by Cyril's doting but sadly departed dad. Cyril became particularly fond of Going for a Song. ''Oi, that Mariella bird's a bit of alright, ain't she?'' he smirked, poking Bogroll painfully in the ribs. Bogroll squealed and nipped Cyril's finger. Mariella peered at a Victorian porcelain doll lasciviously. ''Beautifully proportioned,'' she purred. Cyril could not help but agree. ''Two hundred pounds, I think,'' she said decisively. ''Two hundred quid? For a bloody doll? Imagine what me knives must be worth then!'' cried Cyril, ecstatic. Logic had never been his strong point. After several weeks of intensive viewing however, Cyril and Bogroll were becoming increasingly disheartened. Cyril's eyes, puffed and painful, had been tested by his local optician and spectacles were prescribed for strain. Bogroll, bored with the whole enterprise, had taken to sneaking out as soon as the telly was switched on, in order to renew his flagging romance with next door's poodle, whom he'd cruelly neglected of late. It was on his return from one such rendezvous that he was astonished to see Cyril capering merrily, and in a state of advanced inebriation, around the living room. ''I've seen 'em! I've seen 'em!'' he yelped. Bogroll, exhausted by his hitherto unsuccessful endeavours in the lust department, growled in understandable frustration. ''The knives, you stupid mongrel, the knives! They were on 'Ageing Antiques, large as life. Worth a bloody fortune, too!'' and he kissed the unfortunate Bogroll squarely, and at great risk to his own personal safety, on a slobbery muzzle. Cyril spent the next few days mulling over his next move. He finally resolved to take the knives to the Antiques Road Show which, fortuitously, was scheduled to take place the following week at a stately home a mere fifty miles away. '''Cos then I'll be on the telly, see?'' he informed Bogroll, ''And with a bit of luck, that ol' cow Shirley'll be watching.'' And he rubbed his hands together gleefully, in anticipation of the forthcoming momentous event and Shirley's impending downfall. Cyril spent the night prior to his departure lovingly polishing his fish knives with spit and fag ash until they gleamed. They looked positively regal lying in a neat row on the blue felt. Cyril, satisfied, went to bed a happy man and dreamt of purchasing a luxury apartment on that new liner for billionaires he'd seen reported on the Beeb news that very morning. ''You can't come. No dogs allowed. I checked. They're afraid you'll pee in the peonies I expect,'' he informed Bogroll the following morning. Bogroll, looking forward to another blissful bonk with the poodle, waggled his jowls disconsolately and did his best to look disappointed. Arriving at Harringay House at the appointed hour, black box clutched lovingly under his arm, Cyril eyed the queue nervously. ''Flippin' 'eck,'' he muttered, positioning himself behind a tweedy lady bearing a remarkable resemblance to Maggie Thatcher, ''I'll be 'ere all day! 'Ere, wot you got, then?'' and he poked Ms Thatcher most unceremoniously in the small of her back. ''If it's any of your concern, young man, which it isn't, I'll have you know that I am in possession of some rather fine silver snuffboxes. Great, great grandfather. Very old. Most precious.'' And, digging out a handful of blackened receptacles from the depths of her patent leather handbag, she thrust them under Cyril's nose proudly. ''Silly ol' bat,'' muttered Cyril scathingly, ''I keep me false teeth in boxes wot look better than that,'' and he cheered up considerably, much aided by frequent nips from his hip-flask, a souvenir purchased on Southend seafront. It was fortunate that he'd had the foresight to pack some sandwiches, for the wait was long and the day a warm one. Eventually, however, and by now somewhat less than sober, he laid his box carefully before his designated expert and opened it with a flourish. ''Hmmmm…'' said The Expert, eyeing the knives. ''Hic…'' replied Cyril, eyeing The Expert. ''Ten thousand pounds,'' whispered Mrs Snuffbox in his ear with a smirk, heading for the exit. ''Cripes!'' yelped Cyril, furious. ''Er…'' crooned The Expert, holding a knife aloft and scrutinising it closely. ''Well?'' croaked Cyril. ''You'll observe the mark here?'' asked The Expert, pointing to a crest on the handle. ''I ain't blind,'' said Cyril, affronted. ''Woolworths, I'm afraid, circa 1990,'' sighed The Expert, ''Next?''

****
The lady at Cyril's local Help The Aged, was delighted. ''Oooh, thank you sir, they're lovely. I'll put them in the window straight away. Might even be able to get a tenner for them!'' and she bustled away quite flustered and obviously overcome by Cyril's unexpected generosity. Cyril, a man whose vocabulary, whilst not a large one, nevertheless contained every expletive known to man was, for once, unable to utter a word such was his disappointment and distress. Bogroll, sensing trouble and himself on the point of exhaustion after an extended afternoon catering to an apparently insatiable bitch, crept under the sofa and did his best to make himself invisible. It took Cyril quite some time and many bottles of Ireland's finest, to finally come to terms with his sad loss. Life, however, must go on, and he eventually returned to relative normality and his vocabulary reverted to its former level of crudity. He even, on occasion, ventured a trip to the Fox and Hounds, where he elicited much sympathy for his plight from his fellow tipplers. Bogroll, somewhat less rotund, ventured out from beneath the sofa. One evening the two of them, bored with Neighbours and the news, sallied forth and entered the Fox and Hounds only to be greeted by whispers and sniggers from the assembled multitude. ''What'll you 'ave then, Cyril, fish 'n' chips?'' bellowed Bert the barman, beergut wobbling dangerously. ''Wassup with you lot, then?'' growled Cyril warily. ''Oh, nowt really, Take a look at this though, Cyril me ol' mate,'' and he thrust a copy of the local rag under Cyril's nose. Cyril fumbled for his specs. He focussed. ''There!'' smirked Bert, and pointed. FAKE EXPERT INFILTRATES ANTIQUE'S ROAD SHOW! ''I was only having a bit of fun!'' protested Harry Harper, of no fixed abode, before being led away in handcuffs… ''And 'ere!'' Bert thrust forward another dirty digit. HELP THE AGED SELL SET OF FISH KNIVES FOR £150,000! ''Oooh, ever such a nice young man donated them last month,'' gushed Mavis, who's worked for over 35 years in the shop. ''They belonged to Henry V111, you know…''
Archived comments for A Knife in the Back
orangedream on 17-02-2012
A Knife in the Back
Well this one was certainly 'new to me' and I really enjoyed it. The rather dubious habits of Bogroll had me in stitches...and some.

I guess the moral of your masterfully told tale would be, that most of the time, life sure can be a bitch;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Tina - so glad you enjoyed!

And yes, it certainly can...:)
x

ruadh on 17-02-2012
A Knife in the Back
Poor Cyril. Great read Andrea.

Author's Reply:
Serves him right for being greedy πŸ™‚
Thanks for reading and commenting ruadh...

Ionicus on 18-02-2012
A Knife in the Back
You jumped the gun, but you are right: it is a bit too long for the challenge. You have to feel sorry for Cyril though. Not only he had to contend with Jeeves - I never ask that blasted butler any questions as invariably I get similar silly answers - he was unfortunate enough to be at the right place but at the wrong time. An amusing tale.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Poor ol' Cyril. but he shouldn't have been so greedy, as I said πŸ™‚ Jeeves was awful, no wonder he was superseded by Google πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Luigi πŸ™‚


Bradene on 18-02-2012
A Knife in the Back
Loved Bogroll and his antics. Poor old cyril, you have to feel sorry for him don't you. Made me laugh out loud, Thanks for a very funny and entertaining read andrea. Valx

Author's Reply:
Wow, thanks for the rating, Val! Not to mention the read and comment πŸ™‚
xx


THE GREAT DIVIDE (posted on: 13-02-12)
A happy tale of two blissful relationships...

You'd have thought that having spent most of their lives trying to assert their individuality, the last thing Charlie and Robin would have wanted was a relationship with another set of identical twins. A set of twins moreover with whom, on the face of it, they had absolutely nothing in common. "Ain't they cute!" their mum used to sigh rapturously to no-one in particular, as she waved them off to school, the twins scowling and knock-kneed in their identical school uniforms. Jess and Evelyn, attending a more alternative (and very expensive) school at the other end of town, didn't have to wear school uniform, but their mother used to dress them in identical clothes all the same. "Don't they look adorable!" she'd exclaim to her husband James, who was something high up in banking and didn't take much interest, his thoughts being far too preoccupied with more important matters, such as high finance and the stock market. Charlie and Robin, safely out of mum's sight, would rip off their ties, roll down their socks and have a good kick-around on the waste-ground with the football that Charlie had enterprisingly produced from under a baggy, navy-blue jumper, thus ensuring that, by the time the bell went, they were comfortingly muddy and dishevelled. By contrast, Jess and Evelyn, sitting neatly, meekly and quietly in the back of the Rover, entered their portals of learning as fresh, white and pristine as spring snowdrops. Puberty, when it inevitably arrived, hit Charlie and Robin hard. Their dad, something low down in the council, had decided he needed a break from family responsibilities and disappeared with Mrs. Johnson from the flat next door, his mind preoccupied with women and booze. Mr. Johnson, left with three kids under 10, was not best pleased and rows ensued, especially when he'd had a skinful. Mum, devastated, took to Valium and Charlie and Robin took to bunking off school, drinking alcopops and smoking illegal substances. Jess and Evelyn meanwhile, neat, clean and tidy as a hospital ward, were still being chauffeured by mother, only music and dancing lessons had been added to the curriculum. Father, now something slightly lower in banking, due to a tendency to over-indulge his passion for malt whisky, was thinking of retiring. As time went by, Charlie and Robin, having calmed down somewhat decided, on the principle of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', to open a pub catering, mostly, to the local football team and their supporters, with the occasional rowdy stag night thrown in. Jess and Evelyn, saturated with music, museums and metaphysics, decided to go for something a little more up-market and opened a wine bar which catered, in the main, to local lawyers, businessmen and their wives and/or mistresses. It became Charlie and Robin's policy, on their quietest night, to leave the pub in the capable hands of Wayne, an ex-rugby player hailing from the Antipodes, in order to sally forth and suss out the opposition. Which is how they came to stumble on Jess and Evelyn's wine bar. "Bloody hell, look at that!" said Robin to Charlie on spotting the two busily pouring and polishing "Identical twins, just like us. Fancy!" For although neither set of twins now wore identical clothes or even had the same hairstyles, their relationship was unmistakable. Despite feeling somewhat intimidated by the prissy fresh flowers in engraved glass vases, the canapιs in elegant dishes and the be-suited clientele, Charlie and Robin decided to strike up a conversation, out of curiosity. Having got the niceties of their various establishments out of the way ("A pub! How unusual. Oh, in George street! Isn't it a bit of a rough area, though?" and, "A posh place you've got here then, innit?"), the talk turned to things of a more personal nature. "Do you mean that secondary modern on the council estate...?" "Blimey, I never met anyone who went to that school before. Snobby or what...?" "I think my favourite lesson was definitely music..." "Mozart? Nah, I was more into footie, myself..." "...lobster with a good bottle of dry, white wine..." "...steak and kidney 'n' chips for me, any day..." Despite their obvious differences however, they decided they liked each other sufficiently to arrange what Evelyn coyly called 'a double date'. Besides, the novelty of two sets of twins from such totally opposite ends of the social spectrum going out together, appealed to their sense of the bizarre. When Charlie and Jess moved in together six months later, Robin and Evelyn decided to follow suit, despite loud protestations and cries of 'It'll never work!' from their respective mothers. All in all though, the arrangement worked very well. Charlie and Robin still ran the pub and Jess and Evelyn continued to manage the wine bar. After a while, deciding they needed more time together, Wayne was roped in on a more permanent basis, and Evelyn found two wonderfully competent girls to take over the running of the wine bar on its less busy evenings. More leisure time did not, however, mean changing a way of life. Charlie and Robin still went to the pub (albeit another one) and downed pints with the lads. On Sunday mornings they went to the park and played footie before dinner, returning scratched, mud-streaked and hungry. Jess and Evelyn, quieter creatures altogether, preferred curling up with a good book, glass of wine in hand, or whipping up Delia Smith recipes in their respective kitchens. The two sets of twins usually spent Saturday evenings together, alternating between flats. Charlie and Robin went to the pub to watch a match or have a game of snooker, while Jess and Evelyn prepared dinner. When they came back, hungry after a few pints, the table was laid, the candles lit, the wine poured and delicious aromas wafted from the kitchen. All agreed they had a wonderful and fulfilling relationship. "Lovely grub," Robin said, patting a replete stomach and belching appreciatively. "Beats pub grub. Especially ours!" Charlie grinned, "What's for pud?" And Evelyn and Jess produced a baked alaska, light as a spring cloud, with a flourish. Later in the evening, stomachs settled and wine-mellowed, Charlie and Robin prepared to go out for their evening pint. "See you later, love," Charlie said to Jess, kissing a forehead still damp from culinary exertions. "Won't be too late, Ev. But don't wait up, just in case." Robin told Evelyn, waving cheerily from the doorway. And leaving the two men to clear the table and wash up, Charlie and Robin strolled, arm in arm, in the direction of the pub, congratulating each other on their luck. "Aren't noughties men smashing, Rob?" "You bet...!"
Archived comments for THE GREAT DIVIDE
teifii on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Clever. I didn't suspect.

Author's Reply:
Oh good! Thanks for reading and commenting Daff πŸ™‚

ruadh on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Nice play on names Andrea, had me fooled to the end πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Excellent! That was the intention πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting, ruadh.

Romany on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Very clever use of bisexual (for want of a better word!) names. Nicely drawn characters too, especially the rougher lot!

Not twins I know, but two of my sisters married two brothers. That has been, erm, interesting over the years.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
I think it's unisex πŸ˜‰

I bet my lot had an interesting future in store for them too πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting, Romany.

Romany on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Of course it's 'unisex!' Giggling my socks off now. Blimey, I am not blonde so don't tell me that was a senior moment?

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Well! Holy smokes, I didn't expect that ... Lord help them, I hope everything works out.

Author's Reply:
An unlikely pair, 'tis true, but they seem to be doing okay thus far πŸ™‚

Thanks for the read, Harry.

orangedream on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
I don't think I can follow our Harry here, Andrea...except to say, 'Well, I'll be blowed'! You certainly pulled the wool over my eyes. Smashing stuff;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Tina - glad you enjoyed!

Bradene on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Not much left for me to say really except that you had me completely fooled. Nice one. Valx

Author's Reply:
Fooled you,eh? Well who'd have thought it! Thanks for reading, Val πŸ™‚

TheBigBadG on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Yup, you had me going as well. Deftly done.

Author's Reply:
Quite the compliment, coming from you! Thanks for the read πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 13-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
A fine tale, Andrea, but why in the 'Just plain daft'?
You didn't fool me though. Not because I am cleverer than the others but because I used a similar device, i.e. the ambiguity of a name that could be either masculine or feminine, in one of my short stories (http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2205).
At the time, back in 2003, I was rebuffed with the following comment:
"I thought the attempt to mislead the reader was a bit heavy-handed."
I am not sure whether that objection was on moral ground or literary style.

Author's Reply:
Didn't fool you? Bumholes (as Dennis Potter would say). Off to read your story now Luigi (will see if I can make it live... READ LUIGI'S STORY IN SIMILAR VEIN HERE --->

Thanks for reading and commenting! Much appreciated.

jay12 on 15-02-2012
THE GREAT DIVIDE
This isn't "just plain daft" it's a nice piece Andy. (See what I did with your name there?) I love the twist, and why not too! Blokes can cook and clean up. I'm all for equality. πŸ™‚

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading Jay πŸ™‚ Yeah, maybe I should put it in another category - but what??

Weefatfella on 19-02-2013
THE GREAT DIVIDE
 photo 615f3747-f93a-4017-925a-493d3a9cd963_zps9cdcaec0.jpg
Ha! I had copped a snatch at a coupla previous comments before reading this and you still gubbed me!
very well done and a good bloody story to boot. Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Cor blimey, it's an old one WFF! Thanks for the read an' comment. Innit.


Delicious Dolly (posted on: 30-01-12)
My entry for last weeks prose and poetry challenge - I won! (the word was 'rain', so it sort of fit, even though I've posted it before (I think))

I once had a pet sheep called Dolly, who I had to kit out with a brolly. If it pelted she'd bleat, and re-fuse to eat the poor gal went right off her trolley! One day we were out on the farm, when she looked at the sky with alarm. The sky it was black, so Dolly ran back, and shivered and shook in the barn. Dolly's phobia centred on water, so one day I went out and caught her and led her inside, where sadly she died like a lamb going off to the slaughter. Poor Dolly, such was her unease, that no-one her fear could appease. And if nothing she ate, she was best on a plate, with taties 'n' gravy 'n' peas But Dolly did not die in vain, for despite her abhorrence of rain, she boiled up a treat, yielding plenty of meat, ...in my heart she will fondly remain.
Archived comments for Delicious Dolly
stormwolf on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
You cruel fiend, you!
Loved this! haha ha You write wonderfully funny poems and your rhyming is spot on (as befits a writer of your stature) πŸ˜‰
Writing rhyming poetry, (to my mind,) is very difficult.
So many mangle the sentences and the meaning in a vain attempt to have everything rhyming. With you, it's so natural and only enhances the poem on all fronts.

I will never look at a field of sheep again without wondering how many have phobias ;-((( but then again....to me a good poem stays in my brain (what little I have left ;( )

I love sheep and will never forget when I stayed in the country, I passed a field where the new lambs lined up and took it in turns to jump off the compost heap in the corner, while the mothers stood by patiently waiting, like mothers in a playground with toddlers trying out the swings.

It would have made Larson, my favourire cartoonist proud http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Larson

Alison x

Author's Reply:
'Writer of your stature'? Ooooooo-er, I say!
I have to say I don't have too much trouble finding a rhyme, although sometimes I have to change the whole bloody pome around πŸ™‚

Poor ol' Dolly, eh? I shall always remember her with love in me heart (and a fully belly)...

Ta for kind words - had to look up Larson...here he is with you and Dolly ALISON, SHY AND POOR DOLLY

stormwolf on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
PS tatties has 2 t's but I excuse you as you are a sassenach.;-)

Author's Reply:
Ah, well, see (does a Griff) - I'm a Lundiner, and we say 'taties' (as in tayties - not to be confused with 'titties') πŸ™‚

stormwolf on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
The day I mistake my titties for tatties will be the day I will ask Shy to take me to the glue factory!!! hehehehehehde

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
well, since my name has been taken in vain, I agree I give amazingly circuitous excuses for things - but -- I do change them having done that. πŸ™‚

I've heard of taties, but that is Irish (similar form to praties (oi met her in the garden where the ...) ) - although tatties would be scottish of course, again a language to be shunned by gentlefolk *looks saintly* I've heard of 'taters which is the common form. But as you say it may well be a 'Lunnon thing' *ahem* (or Lunnon Oirish?). My big dic tells me that taters and tatties are words, but not taties. Amen.

Author's Reply:
Reckon your big dic is in error for once (once?) - or maybe it's an Andreaism (I rather like that). On the other hand, maybe it's cockney, as it's pronounced without the 't' (so tay-ies').

Take your name in vain? Is if! It's almost as good as 'doing a Delia'...(which, incidentally, is now in your big dic).

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
sorry! forgot to say - very nice poem.

(apart from the two minor glitches: 'that no-one her fear could appease./ and if nothing she ate' - horrible backwards grammar, especially that second one) πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Can't see what your problem is - it's positively Shakespearian!

Harry on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Liked your sad little ditty, Andrea ... glad everything turned out for the best. Delightful way to remember the dead.

Particularly liked the circuitous line ... "that no-one her fear could appease."

Author's Reply:
Well, thanks very much Harry! (sniff at Griff).

Yes, poor Dolly was more use dead than alive, that's fer sure.

ChairmanWow on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Loved it. People raised on farms are a little different and have a much more mature outlook on life and death because of it, I think.

Author's Reply:
Well, I wasn't raised on a farm, Chairman, far from it (North London :)) - but I do like a nice lamb chop!

Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Ha! That Harry!!! πŸ™‚

a search for 'taties' brings up the words 'did you mean tatties?' and other definitions are about 'taters' .

there is a round chip that puffs up when cooked (in New Zealand) and their brand name is Taties

'do a delia' is NOT in my big Dic. (I don't really know what it means) . 'Delia' is - as the name of her style of cooking - such as 'a Delia dish'

Author's Reply:
Must be an Andreaism, then - at last! I've invented summat!!)

Nah, just meant Delia is in yer big dic. Maybe one day you'll join her...

'Ere: taΒ·ter (ttr)
n. Upper Southern U.S.
Variant of potato. See Regional Notes at holler2, possum.

'Tis but a short hop to 'taties' πŸ™‚

or

β€˜taties
Digging potatoes is physically demanding but rewarding work. (The Kitchen Garden) - maybe I should put an apostrophe in front.

or

Twice Baked Bacon & Cheddar Taties (some recipe site)

or

Taties
Taties is British slang for potatoes.
Found on http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/brow

[Shortening and alteration of potato.]

Can I rest my case now please?



orangedream on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Made me smile, Andrea. You do have a way with words, and no mistake;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading (and smiling!) Tina πŸ™‚

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Griff has always been in the dic!

look, you can find any misspelled word with google if you try hard enough. as I said 'taties/praties' is Irish. But where does 'spud' come from? *ahah!*

Author's Reply:
It wasn't misspelled, it's a legitimate abbreviation! Bet you didn't even look at the link.

Spud's easy:

Spud origin controversy solved

Molecular studies recently revealed new genetic information concerning the long-disputed origin of the β€œEuropean potato.” Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of La Laguna, and the International Potato Center used genetic markers to prove that the remnants of the earliest known landraces of the European potato are of Andean and Chilean origin. They report their findings in the May-June 2007 issue of Crop Science.
-- http://www.physorg.com/news98415643.html

πŸ™‚

Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
I saw that on my own (first) google. it's a marginal reference with no back ups

er, didn't we all know potatoes came from south america? that they were orginally poisonous and were bred to drive it out, but the leaves still are?

but where does it come from? spud= narrow bladed digging tool so transferred to potato.

Author's Reply:
I posted that as a little jest. It actually has nothing to do with the origin of SPUD (which, from what I can gather, has uncertain and basically unknown origins), as you cleverly surmised πŸ™‚ The little roots wot grow on old taties are in fact also (slightly) poisonous, yes, are the leaves and flowers. But then so is oleander and foxglove...

Please refer to my last sentence (re acronym). Oh, happy days!

e-griff on 30-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
your probert one, incidentally, doesn't know tatties or praties. It gives no references etc, so I wouldn't trust it at all. It also knows 'taters' and says (taters) is Cockney rhyming sland for cold: 'taters in mould'

Author's Reply:
Probert wasn't the only one though, I expect I could find loads more if I could be bothered, as well as a few thousand cockney's to back me up πŸ™‚

RoyBateman on 31-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Well, this was a hilarious romp - the whole idea of a sheep being afraid of the rain is genuinely funny in itself: apart from inhabiting the naturally wetter uplands, they seem too bleedin' dozy to know whether it's raining or Wednesday. And yes, they are delicious on a plate...in fact, I make a point of shouting "mint sauce" at 'em whenever possible. It's daft, really, because they never understand me.
We need more like this to cheer us up on a very dull, cold winter morning!

ps I ain't gonna join in the great irrelevant spud debate. I spell it "chip" personally...

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 31-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Well, this was a hilarious romp - the whole idea of a sheep being afraid of the rain is genuinely funny in itself: apart from inhabiting the naturally wetter uplands, they seem too bleedin' dozy to know whether it's raining or Wednesday. And yes, they are delicious on a plate...in fact, I make a point of shouting "mint sauce" at 'em whenever possible. It's daft, really, because they never understand me.
We need more like this to cheer us up on a very dull, cold winter morning!

ps I ain't gonna join in the great irrelevant spud debate. I spell it "chip" personally...

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, from now on, I am determined to do the same (mint sauce) - not that I see many sheep in Amsterdam.
Thank 'ee kindly for the read and comment, Roy - best to your lovely lady wife.
x

Kat on 31-01-2012
Delicious Dolly
Hi Andrea

Thoroughly enjoyed this... haha. You do do a great humorous rhyme.

? 3rd line wee typo and should be 'it' and not 'is.'

Yes, I did want to go with tatties, as in haggis, neeps and... ! hehe... but my Devonshire Gran used to use the word the way you are pronouncing it... have no idea of the spelling, but I trust you implicitly... ! :^)

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for pointing out the typo, Kat! No-one else did or maybe, like me, they didn't notice - all fixed now.

Such a controversy over a few spuds (great fun, though!). Just to be awkward, I'll leave as is πŸ™‚

Ta for reading and commenting, much appreciated!

moogster on 03-02-2012
Delicious Dolly


Author's Reply:
lost for words, eh? πŸ™‚

moogster on 03-02-2012
Delicious Dolly
poor sheep how could you! a really enjoyed this funny piece, until the end bit. a great story and very well written.Enjoyed it. Take care. Pete. LOL .

Author's Reply:
thanks very much for the read and comment Pete!

Bradene on 05-02-2012
Delicious Dolly
Love this, made me laugh out loud, I love Spring lamb with young tatties and mint peas. Made me quite look forward to Spring.Valx

Author's Reply:
thanks, Val - roll on spring, eh?

Alphadog1 on 05-03-2012
Delicious Dolly
finally found it... I have only found this site recently so navigating is a problem. Very funny poem... stanza 3 had me in giggles... (a black sense of humour I inherited from my father.) this is no doodle... a good piece of work.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Alpha! Yes, we are not so simple as ABC (on which I also have some stuff, although not very much, admittedly), but we do have a lot more facilities. Try the forums, too - fun and workshops!

Alphadog1 on 05-03-2012
Delicious Dolly
I certainly will. I have used abctales for a couple of years now; and have loved reading the work there, and made some valuable connections. However, finding another site to post work on and having workshops where I can meet fellow writers is something I will use.

Author's Reply:
Yes, ABC is a good site - me and Tony have known each other for many years now. The more the merrier, we always say! Nothing wrong with posting stuff on more than one site - I, myself, use about four πŸ™‚

Lindylou on 25-05-2013
Delicious Dolly
Loved this Andrea, poor Dolly indeed!
Linda

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Linda - much appreciated!
A

pommer on 06-12-2014
Delicious Dolly
A lovely very funny poem.Poor old Dolly finally served a useful purpose. I have only one Question,Andrea:"Where is the Mint Sauce? I am sure Dolly would have liked that.Ha Ha,your poem made me smile.Thank you for sharing >Love Peter xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for the commment, Peter! Glad it gave you a chuckle. I'd quite forgotten this one πŸ™‚

Mint sauce- yes indeed, a dreadful omission!


WRITE (or We're Not All Cut Out For It) (posted on: 20-01-12)
I managed one at last! For last weeks Prose and Poetry Challenge. Didn't win (Elf's did, and it was BRILLIANT!), too rushed and brain seems to be fried, currently.

Myrtle knew that she could write, but all she crafted came out shite. She writ large and she writted small, but nothing good emerged at all. Until one day she hit the booze, grabbed her pen and found her muse. Myrt scribbled frantically and madly, forgoing meals and outings gladly (just thrilled that she'd composed at last) 'til happy, to the next world passed. Then Gert, her sprog whilst sifting papers came across her ma's lit capers. Spuds, it said, and bogroll too, sprouts and smelly spray for loo. Alas, poor Myrt whilst sadly pissed, had managed but a shopping list.
Archived comments for WRITE (or We're Not All Cut Out For It)
bluepootle on 21-01-2012
WRITE (or Were Not All Cut Out For It)
Ah, writing while under the influence of gin has never done much for me. Couldn't even manage a shopping list. Love this!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pootle - high praise indeed, coming from one such as your good self! Much obliged for the read and comment πŸ™‚

Ionicus on 21-01-2012
WRITE (or Were Not All Cut Out For It)
I envy you, Andrea, for creating these colourful characters and sharing their idiosyncrasies with us.
A sure sign that booze does not encourage the Muse is the outcome: a shopping list.
But at least it rhymed. Hilarious stuff.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Luigi - they just seem to pop into my head. Must have been my strange upbringing πŸ™‚

Ta muchly for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

Leila on 21-01-2012
WRITE (or Were Not All Cut Out For It)
ha ha Andrea the first two lines did it for me! Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for the read and comment, Leila!

sunken on 22-01-2012
WRITE (or Were Not All Cut Out For It)
Hello Ms. Andrea. A tip top poem indeed. Even shopping lists can be poetical. Mine, I'm afraid, are more diabolical. Meals for one, chocolate, pizzas and other unhealthy fare. ...there's a thought - chocolate pizzas! Wow. My eureka moment has arrived. I better go and get one of those patents. I hope this has yelped. Yelp! Nice one.

s
u
n
k
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n



Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Sunko - your comment has inspired me to dash off and scribble some doggerel about chocolate! See? Every cloud, etc...

x


NERD (posted on: 13-01-12)
For one challenge or another I expect (but have forgotten which). A short, technological ditty.

Ernest now was quite the nerd and whilst of course, he'd never heard of skydiving, or messed with cars, much less played darts, or propped up bars, the importance of bits and bytes. kept him up 'til late, most nights. Mave, his missus, technophobe, preferred to booze and then disrobe in hope that Ernest, bored with LED would join her in the bed, instead. Alas, she saw 'twas not to be, and thought dark thoughts most un-pc! Then in an effort to be cool Mave attended techno-school 'I'll show 'im yet, the nerdy git!' 'Or else I'll CLOB, the silly twit!' But whilst researching IM and URLs she came across Ern's webcam girls. Found Ern (in role of Power User) had been an online gal abuser! Mave knew by now how to disable and swiftly yanked his modem cable. 'Learn 'im I will!' she cried with glee, 'to mess with online baud's, not me!' But Ern was flaming, not amused to see his database abused! He kicked Mave's BIOS, taking the risk of damaging his floppy disk! And so their marriage swiftly ended as Mave was totally unfriended.
Archived comments for NERD
Ionicus on 15-01-2012
NERD
Beware of a woman scorned. If only Ernest had shared his dongle with Mave she would have been more user-friendly.


Author's Reply:
Well, quite. Silly old fool. As it is all he's left with is his software.

Ta for reading, Luigi πŸ™‚

deed on 15-01-2012
NERD
It is a great skill to write a comedy poem which can be read out at some gathering - I have never been able to achieve this - so well done I had a good laugh with this one.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Deed, although I'd never dare read it (or any of my stuff, actually) out loud. Glad it gave you a chuckle, though, much obliged for the read!

ChairmanWow on 16-01-2012
NERD
Ha-ha, secrets exposed! Software indeed. But at least no viruses.


Author's Reply:
Well, I dunno, he might have been keeping schtum about those πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting, Chairman, much appreciated.


barenib on 16-01-2012
NERD
Andrea - just seen this, very amusing! Jx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting, John - much appreciated!

stormwolf on 16-01-2012
NERD
There's a lesson there and a moral and all. You had me in stitches I hope she kicked him in his floppy disk when she got the chance.
Nib worthy if anything is.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Ta very much, Storm. Glad it ticked yer DOS πŸ˜‰


AUTUMN (in Oz) (posted on: 25-11-11)
Best read in strong Aussie accent wearing an outback cork-infested hat

The Aussie's seem to have it right. As well as swapping day and night, they change the bloody seasons too, and winter grey turns summer blue. Esky's on the beach, December Surfing Burleigh Head, November. Tinnies downed on Christmas day, 'Fair dinkum, mate,' an Oz would say whilst hunting crocs in billabongs and turning macs with barbie tongs. Slurping plonk on Ningaloo Reef fit as a herd of Mallee beef Bruce 'n' Sheila hit the crest, followed by a corroboree fest. Boomers, wallabies and possum walkabout the wattle blossom. Tired of hail, rain, snow and thunder? Why not emigrate down under!
Archived comments for AUTUMN (in Oz)
TeflonTaff on 25-11-2011
AUTUMN (in Oz)
Nice pome, Andrea. Particularly liked the possum/blossom rhyme.

I see you've started actually writing poetry now, and embracing the joys of metre...

Author's Reply:
I have? Oh, I didn't know that! Have to say I don't call it 'poetry' meself πŸ™‚ But much obliged for the comment and compliment, Taff!

Elfstone on 25-11-2011
AUTUMN (in Oz)
Enjoyed this muchly!
"Tired of hail, rain, snow and thunder? " - oh yesssss (whispered with a weary sigh) Elf

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Elf - it's pretty cold and miserable here too at the mo!

Harry on 25-11-2011
AUTUMN (in Oz)
I've got to say you've almost convinced me, Andrea. But I still feel no one down under would understand anyone up above.

Author's Reply:
Ah well, you don't know unless you give it a try, Harry. Which I'd love to do, but it's looking increasingly unlikely, alas.

Cheers for reading and commenting, always an honour from such a fine teller of tales as you πŸ™‚


Ionicus on 27-11-2011
AUTUMN (in Oz)
I can find a cork-infected hat but I cannot produce a strong Australian accent I'm afraid. If I stay silent do you think they let me in? I am so tired of bad weather!
Nice pome by the way.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Gawd, you want it infested, Luigi, not infected! But fear not, Mr Stallion, just drawl in Italian, I'm sure no-one but an Aussie will notice the difference πŸ™‚

Ta for reading! x

moogster on 21-01-2012
AUTUMN (in Oz)
G'day. Andrea. Great poem. Makes me want to run down to my local billibong. about 4,000 miles away from sheffield. I love Australians, but why do they always talk as they are asking a question with every sentence they speak.? know what I mean. Pete. LOL .

Author's Reply:
G'day Moog (or should that be Bruce?), thanks for the thumbs up, mate. Dunno why they do the question thang, maybe they're just curious?

Capricorn on 22-01-2012
AUTUMN (in Oz)
Enjoyed this Andrea - reminded me of my school friend who went to live in Australia. It always seems strange that she should celebrate Xmas in the summer -- kinda nice though!
Eira

Author's Reply:
Yes, it does seem odd, doesn't it? Thanks for the read and comment, much appreciated!


GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE (posted on: 14-11-11)
There's a lot to be said for Feng Shwee

Unlikely as it may sound, it was Freddie Mercury who was instrumental in changing Gertie's life. She'd been cleaning out Manky's cage, asphyxiating in guinea-pig shit and slimy lettuce. Manky, bored with expelling pellets and nose twitching madly with manic curiosity, had decided to ingest the telly cable. "Get lost, yer barmy git, or you'll end up in the pot!" wheezed Gertie, choking on the ammoniacal gunge that had begun life as sweetly scented straw, "You'll electrocute the bloody lot of us!" "Whe-eep, whe-eep," sang Manky, who knew an idle threat when he heard one. It was as she lobbed the dripping dishcloth (with astonishing accuracy), that she spotted Freddie. MTV was not a channel that Gertie usually resorted to, preferring more illuminating viewing such as Vanessa and Jerry Springer, but she'd forgotten to zap after Maisie had stormed off to bed, in high dudgeon, the previous evening. Maisie, to whom MTV was as vital as a dog collar to a cleric, had been glued glassily for hours hoping to catch as many glimpses of her current heroine as possible. "I was born to make you happy..." warbled Britney for the umpteenth time as she flitted across the screen like a demented butterfly. "I wuz born ter make yer 'appy..." howled Maisie happily, scratching her infected navel piercing. "Not me, yer weren't," screeched poor Gertie, finally snapping, "Bugger off to yer room and do yer 'omework!" Thus it was that Maisie had despondently departed and thus it was that Gertie had accidentally, or possibly by divine intervention, depending on your point of view, witnessed Freddie's blast from the past. "I wanna break free-ee...," lamented a stunning Fred, tarted up to the nines in ebony wig, leather mini and black tights. "Bloody hell!" breathed Gertie, halting in mid-scrub, "Me, too." "...free from your life, you're so self-satisfied, I don't nee-e-eed you..," continued Freddie convincingly, hands on hips and pouting provocatively. It was at this point that Gertie had her revelation. "Bloody hell!" repeated Gertie, no great shakes in the vocabulary department, "Me neither. In fact," and she grabbed Manky by the scruff of his neck and thrust him unceremoniously back into his cage, "the bloody lot of yer can go to 'ell. From now on, I'm gonna look out fer number one!" She put her plan into immediate action by grabbing a Special Brew from the fridge and turning off the simmering spag bol. When Stan came home from the bookies, he found Gertie firmly ensconced on the sofa, beer in one hand, fag in the other and a growing pile of mags gathering at her slippered feet. "Wot's for dinner, then?" he enquired by way of greeting. "Nowt," replied Gertie, "Ain't got time to cook. I'm studying Feng Shwee and aromytherry-pee." "Can't we 'ave that tomorrow night?" groaned a famished Stan grumpily, "I'm fed up with that takeaway muck." It had been, after all, a tough day. First he'd lost all his dough at the bookies, then he'd had to compensate by bumming a few jars down the boozer. Gertie studiously ignored him. Feng Shui, she read, was about harmonizing energy. Enhancing one's personal space. Encouraging positive and productive vibes. Drastic changes, she concluded, needed to be made. The bed, for example, must never face the door, since the Chinese removed their corpses feet first. "Yuk!" said Gertie and rearranged the bedroom forthwith. She dangled pristine crystals from the ceiling, just to be on the safe side. The loo seat should always be down, in order to keep negative energy in the bog where it belonged and to prevent positive energy from escaping into its fetid depths. "Well, that's too bad for Stan, then," muttered Gertie, banging the lid down firmly. Stan, despite constant reminders and a photo of Maggie Thatcher floating in the bowl for him to aim at, was a notoriously bad shot. Maisie, meanwhile, complained bitterly about the lack of mirrors which, improperly positioned, were not in accordance with the Feng Shui concept and thus had to be removed. "But Ma," she moaned pitifully, "How'm I s'posed to put on me make-up?" "A sixteen year-old girl don't need make-up," declared Gertie, who'd been reading Germaine Greer and was becoming positively militant. "You ain't taken Manky's mirror away," pointed out Maisie sulkily. "He don't wear make up. He's a guinea pig," scoffed Gertie, who was nevertheless feeling guilty. She'd caught Manky chewing Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and had regaled the unfortunate creature with horrific tales of his giant Peruvian brothers, whom the natives barbecued and ate with peanut sauce. Gertie had also discovered the wonders of aromatherapy and nothing short of the Apocalypse was going to shift her from the bathroom. Lavender oil helped one relax, so Gertie soaked for hours in gallons of water that reeked like a pensioners cottage garden. St. John's Wort was nature's Prozac. Gertie took it every morning in case she got depressed. Tee Tree oil was a positive miracle, a germ exterminator that disposed of practically everything, including headlice. Gertie added it to her growing list of natural necessities. She scarcely noticed when Stan and Maisie moved out, engrossed as she was in finding her Self in particular, and the meaning of life in general. "Blimey," she said one morning, waking up in her lavender- scented bed. She gazed, hypnotized, at the refracted light from the crystals, reflected on the sea-green calm of the bedroom walls, "it ain't half quiet. Wonder where everyone's got to...?" She vaguely recalled Stan exiting furiously, yelling something that sounded suspiciously like "...and I ain't never coming back, yer stupid ol' bat!" "Silly sod," Gertie had said, unconcerned and engrossed in 'How to keep Ageing at Bay'. Stan's departure, Gertie decided, was a blessing undisguised. "All the old bastard ever did was drink an' gamble, anyway. I'm better of without him, an' at least the loo seat problem's sorted," she told her new-found mates at her Assertiveness for Women group. They all nodded sympathetically, the inability of the male to aim accurately uniting them in a common bond. Maisie, though, was a different proposition altogether. Gertie was well-versed in the area of mother/daughter conflict because she'd been reading Nancy Friday. Besides, she missed Maisie's lip. She even missed the blaring telly, the mountains of dirty undies and those funny-smelling fags, the swirling smoke of which caused Manky to curl up and snore peacefully in the bottom of his cage. Gertie resolved to track down her errant offspring and request her return to the bosom of her family, or at least what was left of it. She found her on her third try. "Come 'ome, love," pleaded Gertie plaintively, "I miss yer." "Well, I dunno, Ma. You've gone a bit potty, if you ask me," said a cautious but calculating Maisie, "I could, I s'pose, but there's conditions..." "What, then?" asked Gertie, brightening at the prospect of imminent victory. "Well....fer one thing I want me mirrors back." "Done!" said Gertie. "...an' I wanna be able to get in the bathroom regular..." "Agreed!" cried Gertie. "...an' no more moaning about me dope smoking..." "Yer on!" sang Gertie happily. She'd been known to take a toke herself in her time. This was easier than she thought. "...an' I want me tongue pierced..." "I'll give yer the dosh," promised Gertie. "And," finished Maisie triumphantly, "You've gotta buy me that new Britney Spears CD!" Gertie came to a momentous decision. This was clearly no time for procrastination. "We'll go to Virgin on Saturday," she sighed, defeated. "Wicked! Cool! Pukka!" yelped Maisie, who'd been watching that sexy young Jamie bloke seductively kneading dough, "I'll see ya tomorrow then, Ma. Oh, an' Ma, I'd like spag bol for me tea..."
Archived comments for GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE
Ionicus on 14-11-2011
GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE
'A blessing undisguised'. Hilarious. Made me laugh.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Liogi πŸ™‚ That Feng Shwee eh? Make sure yer bog seat is always down, lest the mal odours arise...

sunken on 16-11-2011
GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE
Dear Ms. Andrea. This is more than one thousand words. I need to be in the 'laying down' position to read a piece of such magnitude. I shall therefore return to your, no doubt, excellent write at a time more conducive to the aforementioned position. As Jackie Collins once said, "cold, innit?"

s
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n
k
e
n

tumble dry on low setting

Author's Reply:
I'm so sorry Mr Sunken. If I'd thought for one sec that you'd be along, I'd have cut it by at least 500 words and no mistake. I do hope your horizontal position is more conducive to reading and that you will return refreshed and reading!

sunken on 16-11-2011
GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE
Lol. That's a great idea, a picture of Maggie Thatcher in the bog to help with aim. I doubt I'd ever miss the bowl again. Not that I do of course. I read whilst waiting for my oven chips to ovenate, Ms. Andrea. I actually managed it without laying down. You don't need me to tell ya how talented you are at this writing lark. It's obvious from the first few lines. Inventive and witty. You make me sick. And now, if you don't mind, I've a Tesco microwave curry to microwave. Convenience food is so... Convenient. The beagle named Bernard, he say Woof.

s
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k
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Author's Reply:
So glad you came back Mr Sunko. Mind you, you wanna watch those Tesco Curry's, or you'll most definitely miss that Thatcher woman!

A
N
D
R
E
And no mistake.


Sticking with Agatha (posted on: 11-11-11)
Me and Luigi were having a discussion about Miss Marple and Poirot...

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant liked nothing better than a jolly good rant about metaphysics and epistemology, sometimes Enlightenment, often teleology. I did have a go at the transcendental, but, to be honest, it left me quite mental. Aesthetics was better and somewhat less taxing But I wouldn't call Critique of Judgement relaxing. I also tried Hegel and Hume and Descartes (tho' Schopenhauer's a boring old fart) Metaphysics of Morals left me specs misty So I think all in all I'll just stick with Miss Christie.
Archived comments for Sticking with Agatha
Nomenklatura on 11-11-2011
Sticking with Agatha
Ah, the School of Python - a splendid approach to philosophy.
Some of the best philosophers did/do actually have a sense of humour though.

I enjoyed this one

Author's Reply:
Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting, Nom, much appreciated πŸ™‚

woodbine on 11-11-2011
Sticking with Agatha
Very amusing. Where are we if we don't laugh? Have you noticed how similar the TV Poirot is to Jeeves and Wooster; they are both written by the same man and immaculately produced.

Best wishes,
John X


Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting, John, it's much appreciated. I love the TV Poirot (David Suchet, although Peter Ustinov was pretty good, too.). Margaret Rutherford made a good Miss M, but Joan Hickson is my favourite. Wodehouse was devoured avariciously when I was a kid - loved him!

xx

Kat on 11-11-2011
Sticking with Agatha
Enjoyed this muchly. It is so not easy to rhyme this classily... haha.

Kat

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Kat - glad you enjoyed my little foray into the mind-boggling world of philosophy...

Ionicus on 12-11-2011
Sticking with Agatha
Good on you, Andrea. I bypassed all those egg-heads and went for Agatha straight away; I saved myself a lot of headaches trying to understand all that highfalutin nonsense.
I know my place, as Ronnie Corbett used to say.
I enjoyed your poem very much, not daft at all.
Oh BTW, I was a fan of Jeeves and Wooster too. Hilarious.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Luigi. You're right - sometimes Descartes just doesn't cut the mustard, does he?


Romany on 13-11-2011
Sticking with Agatha
Bravo - me too! And even the esteemed Miss Christie left me scratching my head more than once.

Loved David Suchet as Hercules Poirot - or Herculeez Poyrot as my mum calls him.

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, that's wot I call him too (although I do really know how to pronounce it :)...

Thanks for reading and commenting Romany!


Modesty (for the weekly challenge) (posted on: 12-08-11)
My contribution to last weeks PROSE AND POETRY challenge on the UKA forums...I WON! And got a Golden Egg - the absolute ultimate in literary prizes! (why not join in?)

Kylie's youngest, Chastity lacked a certain modesty. She pranced around in tops too tight, her skirt hitched up – looked quite a fright. Tats galore on arms and legs, drinking Bulmers to the dregs, on the razz our Chas would go, hitting boozers, even though she knew she'd age before her time and no doubt die when in her prime. Eventually went on the game and gave herself another name. Henceforth to be known as Rose she got herself a plastic nose. Boobs enhanced, thrust to the fore (just about squashed through the door) Our Chas (as was) earned lots of cash and using it to buy her stash of booze 'n' fags 'n' crack 'n' speed, with sadly ever-increasing need she upped 'n' upped her daily dose until, alas, she came quite close to pegging it and had to go to dry out where the junkies know that if they don't, they'll wind up dead and in the bloody morgue instead. 6 months in rehab Chas had been, eventually she came out clean. So circumspection finally won And lo! our Rose is now a nun! (the ultimate in modesty, surely).
Archived comments for Modesty (for the weekly challenge)
Ionicus on 12-08-2011
Modesty (for the weekly challenge)
You must have heard 'from one habit to another' and 'nun but the best' many times, so I'll refrain from using those expression.
I limit myself to say: hilarious and well done on the Golden egg.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Luigi (and for the rating!), much appreciated. x

sunken on 14-08-2011
Modesty (for the weekly challenge)
Well I can see why you got egged, Ms. Andrea. I've not read all the entries yet, but they'd have to go some to beat this. Deserves more reads/comments. I blame the slow agonising death of summer. Nice work indeed. Have a Bernard! Go on, have him! He's doin' my head in. I think he needs castrating. I couldn't do that to a dog though. It's just cruel. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. (I do have two eyes, but only one is prepared to show emotion). I hope this yelps. Yelp! Nice one.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks so much for the comment and smelly Bernard, Sunko! I do hope your other peeper gets better soon!

stormwolf on 17-08-2011
Modesty (for the weekly challenge)
Fab! You are a hoot! and me old mum thinks too!!!
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Ta, Alison...as for your mater... bless 'er cotton socks, eh?


rashima on 23-10-2011
Modesty (for the weekly challenge)
I liked this expression:

"Henceforth to be known as Rose
she got herself a plastic nose."



Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Rashima for the comment and the rating. Much appreciated - and welcome to UKA!


Scandal (posted on: 29-07-11)
I can't remember whether I've already posted this one - no doubt someone will tell me if I have πŸ™‚

Sharon couldn't get a handle on what it meant to a-void scandal. She thought it perfectly alright to go out on a Sat'day night, get rat-arsed in the Pig 'n' Poke then go back home and shag a bloke, thinking she was on a roll and living pretty on the dole. Sadly neighbours got to hear 'bout excesses of wine and beer. Tempers flared and coppers came (next door thought Shaz was on the game sent piles of letter of complaint to which Shaz screeched 'I bloody ain't!). But Shaz was told she had to leave and had no time to gripe and grieve. for sadly it was all too late, liver mangled, nothing ate poor Sharon, ill, took to her bed and ended up quite dead, instead.
Archived comments for Scandal
sirat on 31-07-2011
Scandal
Could have been played as a tragedy as a easily as a comedy, but then that's a mark of good comedy. A nice little ditty, amusing and unpretentious.

Some day I would really like to see you write a serious piece, either poetry or prose.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, David, much appreciated. I have tried serious pieces, but I can't seem to write them for some reason. In fact I would go so far as to say that the few I have attempted have been ghastly failures which I'd never show to anyone, frankly πŸ™‚

RoyBateman on 31-07-2011
Scandal
Well, I've not seen this before, anyway - and I'm glad I have now. A tale for our times, right enough, and maybe it's better to try to see the funny side - it'd be too depressing otherwise, wouldn't it?

Author's Reply:
Yep, thought I'd throw in a bit of pathos πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting Roy, much appreciated, as always.

eddiesolo on 31-07-2011
Scandal
I like this Andrea, as the guys have mentioned, great use of wordage, tragedy or comedy, clever writing me thinks.

Si:)

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, Si (and lovely to see you back). I see to remember writing it for the prose and poetry challenge a while back but, marbles not being what they were, I may well be mistaken.

Albermund on 01-08-2011
Scandal
funny sad with a good beat. An easy read, ta. A πŸ™‚
PS - like s, said, it would be interesting to see you write something in a different style (don't mean you have to lose your humorous outlook though)

Author's Reply:
Ta for reading, Al. Well, In The Beginning I wrote mostly shorts - doggerel is a fairly recent foray. What sort of style did you have in mind? πŸ™‚ Am a bit brain-dead at mo, alas.

Greenwood on 01-08-2011
Scandal
I'm still pondering your poem about plastic surgery (and other beauty aids). Though I can't find it anymore on ukauthors, and can't remember the title. Anyway this poem has a touch of whimsy about it. (With an unfortunate ending!)
Greenwood

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Greenwood. Can't remember what pome that was now - wasn't a short, was it? Seem to remember a short story about plasticity...might have written a pome too and taken it off as it was in book.

Greenwood on 02-08-2011
Scandal
It was an average length poem, about a girl getting cosmetic enhancements. Just made me think about what people did in say, the 19th century, used cucumber face packs? I don't know. I did download a copy a while back, but I gave it to a neighbour and didn't make a copy for myself. When I checked your submissions list again it was no longer there.
Greenwood


Author's Reply:
Can't think which one it would be, Greenwood, sorry. Maybe will repost the short story though...

Yes, all sorts of fruit and herbs will have been used pre-plastic πŸ™‚ During the war, women used to use gravy browning on their legs as there were no stockings to be had, and eyebrow pencil to draw the lines (seamed stockings in those days).

sigurros on 02-08-2011
Scandal
Dear Andrea/ I used to write here under hulda but I lost my password and my personal status here. I can not access my poems and I want to keep writing under hulda and I miss having access to my poems. I do not want to be someone else. I am hulda not sigurros and I have no clue what to do or turn to get any help. Help me, I miss you guys and I want to be me here like I was and am. My best to you, Hulda. I will be glad to comment on any poem of you guys under my name. I do not want another user name and my poems are under my name hulda/ I desperately need help. love to you all. your sincerely Hulda

Author's Reply:
Hulda, I've emailed you at both your Hulda and sigurros gmail accounts.

e-griff on 02-08-2011
Scandal
hulda, nice to hear from you again! πŸ™‚ welcome back. you are not registered on the forum, so can simply register there anew as 'hulda' if you wish.

You are in the member list of the main site and your personal page and list of works is there. Have you just tried logging in as hulda and ticking the forgotten password box? If you've changed your e-mail address though, the replacement password will go to the old one. I don't know if Andrea can change that or not. no doubt she'll be on it soon ...

Author's Reply:

Hulda on 04-08-2011
Scandal
thanks John and Andrea for helping out. I am already posting. About this poem Andrea! It was surely something different coming from you/ I nice, fresh change. I would not want to be this woman in the poem. Too complicated, sad and confusing character in it but life is exactly so too real like the person fighting its demons in the writing. A raw and direct style, I like.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for the comment and rating, Hulda - and so glad you're all sorted now!

Albermund on 05-08-2011
Scandal
Would be nice to read something short or something prosey yet still with a rhythm. But Just *anything* you fancy that's a bit different. Your 'doggerel's' real cute but variety/spice of life etc.. cheers Albert πŸ™‚


Author's Reply:
Well, doggerel is fairly recent for me - what I used to write was short stories. I've still got quite a few on site. Here's one PATRICK AND THE POT - still in humorous vein though (at least I hope so!).


VENGEANCE or 'Revenge and the tea is Sweet' (posted on: 25-02-11)
Entry for last weeks prose and poetry challenge. The word was 'Vengeance' . Someone mentioned that there was a 'slight hiccup' in the first line. I put the emphasis on 'to', in which case it sounds alright to me, but maybe I just can't hear it - advice/observations welcome!

Poor mild-mannered Edwin was shocked to discover that Myrtle, his missus, had found a new lover. He pondered and plotted to find a safe way to escape from the law, but still make her pay. After much careful thought as to what he could do, (he'd polished his plan whilst ensconced on the loo) he decided to poison our Myrtle's next dinner (Ethylene glycol he chose as the winner). Meticulous planning was needed of course, much thought and due care, no feeling remorse. But Ed was hot-headed and went right ahead (he'd found nasty traces of lust in their bed). So he sploshed the whole lot into Myrtle's hot tea, 'Gawd, what 'ave you put in me nice Rosie Lea? It tastes bloody awful!' cried Myrt all aghast, after stopping her coughing and choking at last. That did it, her Ed had stepped over the line, so she snuck to next door and dialled 999. Ed should have remembered what mummy had told, 'Revenge is a dish that's served better when cold'. Photobucket
Archived comments for VENGEANCE or 'Revenge and the tea is Sweet'
Ionicus on 26-02-2011
VENGEANCE (or β€˜Revenge (and the tea) is Sweet’)
No, first line reads all right as does the rest of the pome. Very amusing.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Luigi - a great honour coming from such an accomplished bard as your good self!

RoyBateman on 27-02-2011
VENGEANCE (or β€˜Revenge (and the tea) is Sweet’)
Hi there - now, be fair, it's not often that I stick my oar in but I could see what that unknown critic meant about the first line: I really know little about the technicalities of verse form, but I think that "flow" is the most important thing, especially for comic verse. Trouble is, everyone reads and hears things differently. I think that it virtually always sounds better with a strong single opening syllable, and "Edwin" doesn't do it - I really don't know why, it's just the way I read it! I think the rhythm bounces along merrily in most of this, with 11/12 stresses per line, and it's a great idea to bring the tea idea in...after all, wasn't this chemical the stuff that got added to wine a few years back and nobody noticed for years? If not, I apologise for my crass error...it was something like it, anyway. Most amusing ending, as with so much of your stuff - always end on a larf, eh?
I always think that the original author ultimately knows best, so I'm reluctant to make unwelcome suggestions - but, here goes. I'd add "that's" to the final line after "dish" - the extra syllable makes it sound more natural to me.
That first line of the first verse, I think, needs to be longer - the third line is the ideal length...I just thought something like

Poor mild-mannered Edwin was shocked to discover
That Myrtle, his missus, had taken a lover!
He pondered and plotted to find a safe way
To stay inside the law, but still make the bitch pay.

But, we all read things differently. I did enjoy it, though - a chuckle's always welcome on a Sunday morning!

Author's Reply:
Wow, thanks Roy, that's really detailed and helpful. I see what you (and other kind person) mean about the first line now, and like your suggestion, so have implemented it! Also added 'that's' after 'dish' as you're right there too, it does scan better. Left last line in first verse as is (you can't have it all your own way, y'know!). Seriously, thanks again, your help is much appreciated.

teifii on 02-03-2011
VENGEANCE (or β€˜Revenge (and the tea) is Sweet’)
Certainly reads fine now anyway and is really funny. But then you always are. I still reckon you shopuld publish a whole book of comic verse, especially if you know anyone who could do equally funny illustrations.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff! Already done, last year, see here >>> IN A WORD



And second book due out in a week or two πŸ™‚



ISOLATION - and how to avoid it (posted on: 10-01-11)
My entry for last weeks Prose and Poetry Challenge πŸ™‚

Cedric felt so isolated, had done all his life. 'Twas imperative, he thought, to find himself a wife. After searching high and low, for many a solitary moon, he came across our Mavis in a Google singles room. Mavis seemed just perfect, her profile ran like thus: Sense of humour, splendid cook, no zits (at least no pus!) Now Ced he was intrigued, and registered forthwith, (some trouble with the Captcha, but managed on the fifth) They ROFL'd and they LOL'd a lot, and then arranged to meet (Mavis lived just up the road, in seedy Cockburn Street). 'I'll wear me frilly knickers!' cried Mave with face dead-pan, You'll recognise me straight away and know I ain't a man!' Ced thought this was hilarious and LOL'd for all his worth He chortled, chuckled, choked and cackled, clutching at his girth. On went his suit, his hair well oiled and after-shave was splashed, Tempus fugit, getting late, so out the door he dashed. And there stood Mave, all tarted up, waiting by the pub, 'Oh good!' thought Ced (who, truth be told, loved his stodgy grub). Mave's lips were red, as were her cheeks, but something else was scary. Her frock, quite short, exposed her pins, muscly, rather hairy! 'Good Lord!' quoth Ced, he felt quite faint, in dire need of a smoke, and as he lit his ciggy up, he twigged Mave was a bloke! But rather than spend his life in splendid isolation, Ced decided to ignore 'Mave's' bizarre creation. And ten years on the happy pair, still LMAO'ing madly, remembered how it could have been, and might have ended badly. 'ty' said Cedric gratefully, to his lady 'wife'. 'np' said Mave, 'I'm sure that we'll be glued as one for life!' Photobucket
Archived comments for ISOLATION - and how to avoid it
stormwolf on 10-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
LOVED IT! The storyline good the writing hilarious and the rhthym perfect.

They ROFL’d and they LOL’d a lot, and then arranged to meet
(Mavis lived just up the road, in seedy Cockburn Street).

ah, a perfect modern romance! No wonder I do not submit my stuff to the weekly challenge The standard is too high πŸ˜‰
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, thanks Alison. I wish you would have a go though, we could do with some more participants. And fear not, I couldn't write anything as lovely as you do - I sometimes wonder if I have a romantic bone in my bod *sigh*. Taking the piss is about as much as I can manage πŸ™‚

Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment - much obliged. x

Ionicus on 10-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
"They ROFL’d and they LOL’d a lot, and then arranged to meet"
Top notch, Andrea. You have a wicked sense of humour which appeals to me. I never fail to appreciate your contributions. It isn't easy to describe hilarious situations effortlessly as you seem to do.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Luigi. That Mavis is a cracker, ain't she?

shadow on 10-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
Ah, the perils of online dating! Still, nice that it ended happily - certainly gave me a laugh.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Shad - glad it gave you a chuckle!

barenib on 11-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
Always love your pomes Andrea, can we expect a second volume any time soon? J x

Author's Reply:
You can indeed, John. If I wasn't so busy with the Anthology and other things, it would already be published. It's all complete, I just need the time to edit and format...

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

x

geordietaf on 13-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
Hmmm - and to think that all poetry is supposed to come from personal experience... Great read

Author's Reply:
Thanks Taf - as you can see, I've branched out into doggerel since you were last here πŸ™‚ Lovely to see you back by the way, and thanks for the read!

Gee on 14-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
I absolutely love your poems. They always bring a smile to my face and they're always so cleverly done.
I wish I could write something like this. Your humour, your wording, the rhythm, there's nothing at all to find fault with.

Author's Reply:
Very kind of you to say so Gee, much appreciated, thanks!

Jolen on 18-01-2011
ISOLATION (and how to avoid it)
OMG, this had me rolling! Too funny, Andrea. You slay me!

Author's Reply:
Ta muchly, Jolen - I'd hate to be responsible for slaying you though!


BONES (and how not to dispose of them) (posted on: 17-08-09)
Last week's Prose and Poetry challenge πŸ™‚

When Sydney decided to do in the wife, he knew that he wanted her under the sod, (she'd caused him, he moaned, a lifetime of strife), but he couldn't think how to dispose of the bod. A fan of John Haigh, the MO was writ large, so sulphuric acid it entered his mind. But would it dissolve all the pieces of Marge or leave some traceable bits behind? Syd plotted and planned for almost a year. 'How's about, Marge, we get us a hog?' he said to the wife, 'just the ticket, me dear, to go with the chickens and Brutus the dog!' Marge was delighted (she'd always loved hogs), and thus with no qualms she quickly agreed. So armed with a drill, lots of screws and some logs, Syd constructed a snug little sty as decreed. 'Lovely!' cried Marge, eyeing Fat Bill, envisaging bacon and bangers and brawn. Every morn she went out to feed him his swill (for dinner 'tween trotters and ham she was torn) But one day whilst admiring her ungulate friend as he wallowed and snuffled in muck and the mire, Syd crept up behind her and kicked her rear end, and over she toppled - the future looked dire… Plod, called out to the scene the very next day, could only shout out 'bloody hell!' and 'good grief!' for after much prodding, and to his dismay he had to concede there was nothing but teef! For Syd in his hurry to kill Marge the Pest, had forgotten the most vital thing, in the heat. Pigs'll eat all the flesh and the bones (and the rest), but they'll never consider the choppers a treat.
Archived comments for BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
stormwolf on 17-08-2009
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
lol loved it.Gave me a right laugh!
loved the pic too..that sure looks a well fed pig.
Alison

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Storm!

Yep, looks like Marge was a tasty morsel alright πŸ™‚

barenib on 18-08-2009
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
Hello Andrea - I see you've strayed from doggerel onto piggerel now πŸ™‚ Very amusing and love the rhyming of 'grief' with 'teef'. John

Author's Reply:
Well, one has to progress, doesn't one? Onwards and upwards, I say! Be catterel next, no doubt...

Ta for reading πŸ™‚

sunken on 18-08-2009
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
Lol. Piggeral. I like it. Do you know, Ms. Andrea, it's far harder to dispose of a body than you might think. I heard of one bloke who shoved his wife in a vat of acid. She dissolved ok, except for her fat. From said fat the clever forensic people were able to deduce that his missing wife had been murdered to death... Can you be murdered to life? Ahem. He should have married a skinny bird. I hope this helps. Muchly enjoyed and no mistake. Thank you. Hello?

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capital, my dear fellow, capital

Author's Reply:
Precisely. And the piggy bit is true - they'll scoff everything except the teeth, Many a moider has been sol-ved thusly...

(should have taken her dentures out first)

shackleton on 20-08-2009
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
You're getting a bit good at this anarchic rhyming, Andrea. Could actually recognise your style, 'cos you display the same anarchy as you do in your humorous story telling. Oh yes!

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones... now hear de word of de lord.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mr Shacks, very kind of you to say so indeed!

Romany on 21-08-2009
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
Made me think of Snatch and that very scary character who fed his victims to pigs! Very amusing ilittle read yours though and i love the pic!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Romany! And yes, Snatch was a great movie πŸ™‚

ChairmanWow on 02-07-2012
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
The murdering swine knew little about hogs, it seems. Serves him right. Love the rhymes (but i envy people who make rhymes work). Fun stuff Andrea.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Yep, a bit of a pig himself, our Syd πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting, Ralph.

Texasgreg on 03-07-2012
BONES (and how not to dispose of them)
Aye! The swamp is the ticket. Gators eat it all, er, so I hear. πŸ˜‰

Photobucket





You're funny, good one!


Photobucket.





Greg πŸ™‚
Edit in reply: Always one for details, aren't you? Can't pull the pigskin over your eyes... πŸ˜‰

Author's Reply:
Not many swamps (or 'gators, come to that) in the UK though, Greg. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚


Rules Must Be Obeyed! (posted on: 27-07-09)
I only managed four. My entry to last week's Prose and Poetry Challenge. And before you ask no, it didn't win πŸ™‚

Rule No 1: Don't be smug Daisy from Doncaster knew the rules, but she thought that all coppers were ignorant fools. So now she's in nick behind walls a foot thick, while her penchant for robbing she cools. +++++++++++ Rule No 2: Be kind to animals 'Rules're meant to be broke,' opined Cyril, as he scuttled out poaching for squirrel. 'Delicious!' quoth he, 'I'll roast some for tea!' Now he's doing his porridge in Wirral. +++++++++++ Rule No 3: Be yourself at all times Never a one to conform, eccentricity being his norm, Maurice pierced all his lobes and wore feminine clothes, his ditties in style to perform. ++++++++++++ Rule No 4: Always respect a man of the cloth – you never know when it might come in handy. Father Patrick McCormack squirmed on his stool, tired of following monastic rule. 'No more prayers, or doing what I'm bloody well told, I think I'll go fence all that bright altar gold!' So instead of sore knees and a dank, dark cell, with just crumbs to eat, and drink from a well, Paddy's living it up with a ponce called Percy, giving thanks to the Lord for his bountiful mercy.
Archived comments for Rules Must Be Obeyed!
cat on 27-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
Excuse pls *she is busy laughing* hi πŸ™‚

And why did this not win pls tell? Would it be wrong to shout fix? To demand a recount, a rethink and something else beging with re?

Loving no 2, cat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Cat πŸ™‚

Nah, there were loads better than this this week - you should have a go sometime, it's fun!

sunken on 28-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
Did you win, Andrea? Hello?

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its not the same without the foot-pump, she sighed as I blew with all my might

Author's Reply:
Nope, said so above πŸ™‚ Not one of my better ones, I have to admit...

Ta for reading Sunk


Ionicus on 28-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
What do you mean, not one of my better ones? Number 4 is an absolute classic. I seem to remember I liked them and said so at the time.

Author's Reply:
Ta Luigi, much obliged πŸ™‚

Actually, just realised he wouldn't 'fence' it, would he? He'd nick it, or pinch it and give it to a fence to flog on. Ah well, 'poetic' license and all that, eh?

macaby on 28-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
very funny stuff, I loved the 4th one it made me laugh most, must be my cathoilic upbringing. Nice indeed.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac. Nothing I like better than cocking a snook at the clergy πŸ™‚

RoyBateman on 29-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
Most amusing...mind you, I think you've gone TOO far with that last one. Whoever heard of a bent Catholic priest?? Get away!
ps A thought occurs...

Rule Number 86: Always Defer to Your Social Superiors.

It really is hard to determine
How "Lord" Mandelson got to wear ermine...
Some would say he's not fit
To be shovelling shit!
But then, I'd classify him as vermin.

Author's Reply:
Yes, you're right of course. Bent Catholic priest? Never! I shall do penance and recite 200 Hail Mary's forthwith!

At least your Mandelson one is more...er...circumspect.

Ta for reading Roy πŸ™‚

Romany on 30-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
Limericks might be short and sweet but they're not easy to write - I notice you are good at them Andrea (you've done a few over the years, haven't you?) Very enjoyable, my favourite being number 2.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Romany - much obliged!

e-griff on 30-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
there's a wee bit of spelling that needs to be altared! πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Whare?

Bollox! Just seen it - ta!

shackleton on 30-07-2009
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
You've obviously got a talent for anarchic, comic verse and no mistake, Mizz Andrea. Great fun!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much Shacks - praise indeed from one such as your good self!

Texasgreg on 10-06-2012
Rules Must Be Obeyed!
Why I never view your stuff is beyond me. I changed my rule and took a look-see. Since I have a natural aversion to them, I chose this 'un.

As is the last of yours I viewed, I love the humor. I have also taken note of the format so that I may hopefully flatter you sometime with imitation.

Rule No 3: Be yourself at all times



Never a one to conform,

eccentricity being his norm,

Maurice pierced all his lobes

and wore feminine clothes,

his ditties in style to perform.

Only in the privacy of my home.

Egad! I think my mind has sunken, lol.



Good stuff!



Texasgreg πŸ™‚



Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
I'm rather fond of the last one meself. Dunno if it's the same in the US, but a 'fence' is someone who sells stolen goods πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting, and I love yer gun totin' cowboy πŸ™‚


Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady) (posted on: 10-07-09)
This was my entry for last weeks prose/poetry challenge. Needless to say it didn't win (but it was fun to write). Quite obviously, the word was 'Oddity'

Stan the Man was short of dosh although he liked to live quite posh. And so to meet a genteel crowd 'I'll need a plan!' he cried out loud Now his wife Bertha, quite an oddity proved a lucrative commodity. For on her chin (and this is weird!) she sported a luxuriant beard. 'I'll charge 'em loads to come and see!' Stan rubbed wet hands in hideous glee. And so he put his wife on show, did ever a man sink so low? The money started rolling in 'I'll be rich!' Stan cracked a grin. Poor Bertha's feelings mattered little as his wife he did belittle. But Bertha now, let nothing faze her, she simply went and bought a razor. Clean-shaven, svelte and looking trim she slung our Stan clean in the bin. Gath'ring up the dosh she said' 'By Gawd, I 'ope you end up dead!' And yachted to the Caribbean with a millionaire called Ian. The moral of this story, then, is never mind the bucks and yen. Berth says it's brains wot saved the day that's why she lives rich on Rum Cay.
Archived comments for Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
cat on 10-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
Oh I love Bertha - go her I say. What's so wrong with a beard anyway? I am told they keep you're chin warm lol.

Thank you for giggle love to you cat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Cat - glad it gave you a chuckle!

Sunken on 10-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
That picture still disturbs me. She a fine set or norks on her though... I hope this has helped. Hello?

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in case of emergency 'comb your hair'

Author's Reply:
Not a lot Sunks, but thanks anyway πŸ™‚

CVaughan on 10-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
I found this a funny and good entry in the comp. where it was graced by the before and after pics. The story plays well from set-up to pay-off I thought originally, still do. Frank


Author's Reply:
Thanks CV, comment much appreciated. A good-looking gal, Bertha, to be sure!

artisus on 10-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
There's nothing disturbing here! What a lovely beard! Is it a ceremonial beard I wonder... Kumu wears her ceremonial beard quite often, but almost never at ceremonies!
πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
I quite agree! I sport quite a luxuriant growth myself! Not a ceremonial one, however...

Ta for comment Nic, much appreciated.


Ionicus on 11-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
Oh, how I would like to see your luxuriant growth, Andrea!
Beneath that beard Bertha looks quite a dish. Is it a self-portrait? A very funny and enjoyable poem made more interesting by the addition of illustrations.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Alas, no, not a self-portrait - a gal can only dream!

Thanks for comment Luigi, much appreciated πŸ™‚

RoyBateman on 12-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
Hilarious, Andrea - though you gotta admit, there aren't many avenues of opportunity for a bearded lady these days, what with the demise of freak shows and cheap circuses. In Victorian times, she'd have made a mint! So poor old Stan could have done worse, I suppose... Anyway, as long as a girl's got a tame millionaire in tow, it doesn't matter how much she spends on razor blades. You've probably given some folk an idea there!
ps Whatever Bertha used to put on her chin (Miracle-gro?), could I order a crate for the other end of my head?

Author's Reply:
Well, most of those bearded ladies in them days were fakes! Can you credit it!! The very idea! Not like our Bertha at all - that gal's got integrity (and Ian, which no doubt helps).

Ta for commenting, much obliged I'm sure.

Albermund on 13-07-2009
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
I loved the Carribean/Ian couplet. Would have been a lovely daft ending. Fun poem which works fine without the moral stuff. cheers, Albert πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Well, it IS a very tongue-in-cheek moral πŸ™‚

Ta for commenting Al, much appreciated...

Texasgreg on 01-07-2012
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
Almost forgot it was a funny whilst reading of his ridicule. It returned in the end though.
Aye! Good for her and him, both.
Photobucket.

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Can't say I have much sympathy for him, Greg πŸ™‚ Ta muchly for reading and commenting - always greatly appreciated!

ChairmanWow on 01-07-2012
Oddity (or Bertha the Bearded Lady)
Oh Andrea,
What mental pictures you put in my head. Hilarious cautionary tale. Love the rhymes.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Haha, as if you need any more pictures in your head πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Ralph, as always...


Saving Grace (posted on: 27-10-08)
Bit of an oldie this, but slightly tarted up (and, more to the point, an 'edit' test :-))

Grace peered into her bedroom mirror and winced. Her reflection stared back at her smugly. Grace gave herself the finger and groaned. The reason for Grace's distress was not, as one might think, the fact that she was, to put it kindly, somewhat on the tubby side. Or even that her face seemed to have erupted, yet again, in pustules doing a fair imitation of Krakow's craters. Hair, lanky as a pubescent youth, flopped listlessly over her forehead and no amount of face paint quite managed to disguise the scarlet scar furrowing her chin, the result of an altercation between Grace, whose sight left something to be desired, and an inconsiderate and apparently invisible lamppost. All this Grace felt she could cope with, at least most of the time. No, Grace's current dissatisfaction was caused by something of a far more fundamental nature, namely her handle. ''Why the hell did she have to call me Grace?'' she'd wail plaintively and on a regular basis, to Quasimodo. Quasimodo, perfectly content with his own descriptive moniker yawned and, bored with futile and fruitless attempts to figure out the mystifying machinations of the human brain, would limp off in search of more interesting and less self-pitying company. Grace's Ma, now residing peacefully under the sod was, of course, quite unable to answer. Had she, however, still been in the land of the living, this rhetorical question from her one and only offspring would have rendered her uncharacteristically speechless and not a little hurt. So delighted had she been with the arrival, albeit prematurely, of the infant she'd tried for so long to conceive, that she'd failed to notice the poor child sprouted ears like Dumbo, had eyes so close together as to be almost one and was in possession of a nose which bore a striking resemblance to that of Miss Piggy. This, coupled with lanky limbs that flailed like a windmill in a force 10, made for an infant so singularly unattractive, that even the midwife had trouble finding a kind word to say. ''Er…well…um…a healthy pair of lungs!'' she'd finally managed. ''She's just perfect, ain't she?'' enthused Grace's Ma, gazing lovingly at the hideous bundle gnawing hungrily at her left mammary. ''…and such an appetite…'' marvelled the midwife, agog and trying her best to make it sound like a plus, ''What are you going to call her then?'' ''Well, Grace, of course! What else? Have you ever seen anything so beautiful…?'' and she'd painfully prized her newborn from her throbbing boob in order to gaze rapturously at her daughter. The newly christened Grace, eyes screwed tightly shut and mouth flapping like a stranded cod, wailed desperately at having been so unceremoniously removed from her food source. Ma hastily exposed her right breast and Grace attached herself to it like a limpet. ''Ah, Grace, yes, lovely choice,'' said the midwife, already concerned for the future of such an unappetising sprog and making a mental note to pop the name of a reputable child psychiatrist into Grace's records, should such a service become necessary in later life. Grace, however, smothered as she was in motherly adoration, remained blissfully unaware of her shortcomings throughout most of her childhood. The cruel taunts of unkind fellow-pupils rolled off her back like mercury spilling from a broken thermometer. Adolescence, however, came as something of a nasty shock. Grace couldn't fail to notice, for instance, that her best friend Gertrude's budding boobs attracted much flattering attention from the male contingent in the school, Grace's own chest, needless to say, remained as stubbornly flat as a Dutch landscape. Gertrude's glittering blonde locks, sparkling white teeth, wispy waist, cornflower eyes and languorous limbs seemed to have a similar effect. In short, Gertrude had something for everyone, whatever their penchant. ''Well, why don't you do something about it then?'' asked Gertrude, a kindly girl and one with just sufficient brains to realise that modern surgical techniques could, for a price, work miracles in the looks department. ''Like what?'' ''Like get your ears pinned back. Or your boobs made bigger. Or, for a start, your hair done…'' ''Ma won't let me,'' Grace would reply gloomily, ''she says I'm perfect as I am. Too young for all that nonsense, she says. And I ain't got any money of me own, have I?'' All this was undisputedly true and thus it was that poor Grace was, for the foreseeable future, destined to remain the slightly less desirable half of the duo. When Grace was 20 and rather larger than she should have been, due to an overindulgence of comfort eating, her Ma, inconsiderately succumbing to a nasty bout of pneumonia, was sadly, and amongst much sorrow, laid to rest. Grace, understandably distraught, failed to realise for quite some time that she was the sole beneficiary not only of the bad-tempered feline Quasimodo, but also the tidy little sum of ten thousand quid. Ma, it appeared, had been squirreling money away over the years in order to ensure a secure future for her beloved offspring. Thus it was that Grace, now regarding herself sadly in the mirror and only vaguely aware that Quasimodo was surreptitiously supping lamb leftovers in the kitchen, was faced with something of a moral dilemma. ''What shall I do with the dosh, then?'' she asked Gertrude, who was sprawled elegantly on the bed filing her nails, ''Ma wanted me to save it for me future…'' ''Well, as I see it, you won't have much of a future unless you tart yourself up a bit. It's either that or change your handle to Butch or something.'' Grace, aware that Gertrude's heart was more-or-less in the right place, took no offence and conceded that this, however unpalatable, was probably true. ''Change your name or change your image, is my advice…'' continued Gertrude, applying scarlet nail polish with furrowed concentration. ''Yes, but how?'' wailed Grace, who was beginning to think that the former was the simpler of the two options. ''Tell you what,'' said Gertrude, suddenly inspired, ''we'll both write a list. I'll write what I think you should do, you write what you think you should do and then we'll compare notes and decide, ok?'' ''Er…ok, then,'' agreed Grace dubiously and a date was duly set for a week hence. ''Right then,'' said Gertrude the following Sunday. She produced two crumpled sheets from the depths of her bag with a flourish and smoothed them out on the bed. Grace laid one crisp and barren sheet next to it. ''Is that it?'' yelped Gertrude. ''Yep, 'fraid so…'' said Grace contritely. Gertrude sighed and they both bent over to scrutinise Grace's future. Gertrude's list was as follows: 1. GET TITS MADE BIGGER 2. GET EARS PINNED BACK 3. GET ON A CABBAGE DIET 4. GET A FACELIFT 5. GET HAIR AND NAILS DONE 6. GET EYES DONE 7. GET NEW CLOBBER 8. GET LIPOSUCTION 9. GET BELLY TUCKED 10. GET LAID Grace's contribution ran thus: BUY NEW SHAMPOO ''Is that all?'' squealed Gertrude, horrified. ''Couldn't think of anything else…'' Grace, an avid watcher of Kilroy and therefore convinced of the painful pitfalls of plastic surgery, eyed Gertrude's list with mounting trepidation. ''I ain't doin' it!'' she said finally, ''What, none of it?'' ''Er…'' Grace read through the list again, ''I ain't doing any of that plastic stuff, that's for sure. I'll go for three, five and seven, though. Only not the cabbage diet. Gives you wind an' I hate cabbage, anyway. Just a normal diet, with fruit an' veg an' stuff will do nicely, ta.'' Gertrude, a girl not averse to giving nature a helping hand if at all possible, was deeply disappointed by this unfathomable obstinacy but, despite a prolonged and somewhat heated discussion, during which both parties became rather irate, Grace refused point-blank to be swayed. The list was therefore amended thus: 1. BUY WONDERBRA 2. GROW HAIR LONG TO COVER EARS 3. GO ON FRUIT 'N' VEGGIE DIET 4. GET NAILS DONE 5. GO TO HAIRDRESSER 6. BUY NEW MAKE UP 7. HAVE FAKE FACELIFT 8. GET NEW CLOBBER 9. GET DE-FUZZED 10. GET LAID Both agreed that the last item should remain, as a goal to work towards. The next few weeks saw Grace and Gertrude in a flurry of frantic activity. Quasimodo, who'd never watched telly and was therefore blissfully unaware of Al Quaida, was nevertheless convinced the world had finally gone mad. Hideously confused, he spent the duration of the transformation skulking under the bed, alternately purring and growling and praying that some kind, animal-loving soul would swiftly invent and manufacture Prozac for cats. Grace's hair, newly razored, styled, volumised, coloured and coiffed, rapidly grew to cover and disguise her elephantine lobes. Her faithful daily consumption of the obligatory five portions had resulted in a remarkable weight loss and glowing complexion. Her nails, now unbitten, filed and professionally manicured, were decorated with the latest shade of burgundy. Diligent and careful application of expensive, allergy-free make-up successfully hid her scar and outlined pouting, ruby lips. The non-surgical facelift, albeit only temporary, smoothed her chin admirably and accentuated her eyes. Careful choice of the latest togs and tasteful, colourful accessories further outlined her bodily attributes whilst concealing yet-to-be-discarded flab and her painfully de-fuzzed legs were now as smooth and tanned as an Italian gigolo. She twirled in front of the mirror, brimming with unaccustomed self-confidence. Gertrude gazed in awe-struck admiration tinged with not a little jealousy. ''Blimey,'' she gurgled, ''you look fantastic!'' ''Ta,'' grinned Grace, grabbing her lippy and stuffing it into her new Gucci. She picked up her keys. ''Where're you going, then?'' asked Gertrude, mystified ''Well where d'you think?'' smirked Grace, '' I'm off to sort out number 10, ain't I?'' © Andrea Lowne 2002 1632 words Originally published in Writers' Muse (CK Publishing)
Archived comments for Saving Grace
Sunken on 27-10-2008
Saving Grace
Disgraceful! I didn't even get past the first line! How I dearly wish Ms. Whitehouse was still alive. Grace giving herself the finger is all well and good, but this is a family site for family people! I hope your experiment worked and that we can all move on from this terrible incident! And now, if you do not mind, I need a wank. Good day!

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she said her fee was negotiable, so he offered her a chip

Author's Reply:
Well, really! You're a fine one to talk! I can see I'm going to have to change it, so that illiterate peasants such as yourself (who can't even make mushroom sauce!) don't go blind!

Dunno what the youth of today's coming to, I really don't...

And me with the vicar coming to tea! Whatever next!

Doughnut on 27-10-2008
Saving Grace
liked the sense of humour and the main idea which is (correct me if I am wrong) that if somebody loves you for who you are you can achieve anything

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Doughnut. Not sure I wrote it with much idea at all, tbh, except a bit of fun. Or possibly to indicate the shallowness of external appearance?


RoyBateman on 28-10-2008
Saving Grace
Ooh, the naughty girl...slap on the wrist, I think. Mind you, dropping the cabbage diet was VERY wise. Ripping one off when least expected is very much a male preserve, I fear. Great read - and the message, surely, is that there's hope for all of us yet? Not that I'd think of doing anything wicked, you understand. Wouldn't dare...

Author's Reply:
Quite right! Never been on a cabbage diet meself (or any diet, come to that) but must be MOST unpleasant for those around you, I would think.

Ta for reading and commenting Roy - much appreciated πŸ™‚

discopants on 03-11-2008
Saving Grace
I have to say that Gertrude comes out of this rather well- not because of her glittering blond locks or cornflower eyes or...anyway, it's because she's eveidently the cool girl in school but still sticks by her mate who's the subject of ridicule. I bet that pesky Grace will pay her back by sleeping with Gertrude's boyfriend!

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, yep she probably will - thanks for reading Disco


maliagirl87 on 15-07-2009
Saving Grace
This was amazing! It made me smile and it made me feel better about myself. I am Grace... I look like Miss Piggy :D. I absolutely loved this

Author's Reply:
Oh, thanks Malia - so glad you enjoyed it. I'm well chuffed πŸ™‚



Pretty as a Picture (posted on: 29-08-08)
Some things are not as they seem.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE

Rembrandt was the only object in the entire house that was worth any dosh and Grant was desperate.

"More tea, Ma?" he enquired, carefully arranging his features into a solicitous smile. Flo gave him her teacup, using her other hand to pull the woollen shawl tighter across slender shoulders. It was the end of September and the evenings were getting chilly. Frost threatened to nip and logs crackled merrily in the grate, casting warm, amber shadows on the painting hanging imposingly above the mantelpiece.

Grant poured steaming mahogany brew into white china. He'd spent several agonising weeks concocting complicated schemes with a view to getting his hands on that painting and thought he'd finally cracked it. Today was the day, he'd decided, for Mother and Rembrandt to part company and go their separate ways. And not, in Grant's opinion, a moment too soon.

Grant, whose appreciation of art was limited to leering lustfully at page three, glared at the painting with hideous distaste. Rembrandt glowered back stonily.

"Bloody gloomy thing," Grant muttered, thankful that Flo was a trifle deaf, "Depressing, if you ask me."

Rembrandt had been radiating cash for as long as Grant could remember. Flo, who seemed inordinately fond of him, had positioned her rocking-chair in such a way as to be able to admire the self-portrait constantly as she knitted endless multicoloured blanket squares for distribution to the worlds less fortunate souls.            

Grant swore that she and Rembrandt (who'd been a wedding present from an obscure second cousin) smirked idiotically at each other across the expanse of the ancient Axminster.

"Nutty as a chippie's toolbox," sneered Grant. He was referring, of course, to his doting parent and not the second cousin, now deceased, to whom he was, he hoped, about to become forever indebted.

"Listen Ma," said Grant aloud, slick black hair glinting metallic blue in the lamplight, "I've come up with a great idea. You're going to love it." He handed Flo her tea and waited.

Flo smiled at him brightly and sipped.

Grant glanced impatiently at his fake Rolex.

Flo tucked a stray wisp of silver hair behind her ear.

"Yes, dear?" she said.

This was where it could get tricky. Grant's plan was designed to appeal to his mother's vanity. The trouble was, Flo didn't seem to posses any. Apart from a few outrageously expensive holidays, the only thing Flo spent any money on was her garden. And those awful wishy-washy pastel watercolours that she daubed at endlessly in what she was pleased to call her 'art studio'.

They hung prettily all over the house, jostling for space. Rembrandt was incongruously surrounded. Bloody silly he looked too, thought Grant, framed as he was in all his sepia solemnity by delicate shades of primrose and pink.

They were even plastered all over the loo. The last thing Grant wanted to see when he did his business, was a multitude of saffron blobs poking cheerily through jade stalks, waving against a backdrop of cinnamon stripes.

When Flo wasn't pruning pears, potting petunias or slaying slugs, she was locked away in her 'studio' producing yet another 'masterpiece'.        

Running out of available walls, she'd even resorted to giving them away at weddings, birthdays and garden fθtes.                                        

Wheelie bins for miles around must be overflowing with the stupid things, thought Grant sourly.            

Still, as gardening and painting seemed to be Flo's sole raison d'θtre and Kew Gardens wasn't, as far as he knew, for sale, Grant had decided to attack the latter.

He took a deep breath, cleared his throat nervously and launched into his spiel, "Your water-colours are really stunning, Ma. I've always thought so." He gulped tea, fervently wishing it was gin.

Flo eyed him warily from behind foggy bi-focals.

"Cake, dear?" she beamed, indicating a burnt offering sitting grimly on a teak coffee table that looked about to buckle under the weight, "I baked it myself."

"Christ, no!" groaned Grant horrified, but before he could stop himself, "I mean no, thank you Ma, I've already eaten. Now, about your paintings. Don't you think it would be lovely if more people could see them? Such a waste of a brilliant talent. They need to be admired, appreciated, enjoyed..."

Flo glowed at the flowery compliment and Grant, encouraged, pressed on, "What you need, Ma, is a gallery of your very own to display them in!" he rubbed sweaty palms together in nervous anticipation, "Well?" he wheedled, "What d'you think?"                                    

Flo's wrinkles rippled and her eyes danced with delight, "Oooh," she exclaimed, " what a brainwave! Why ever didn't I think of that myself?"

Then her face crumpled, "But Grant love, where would we get the money?"

'Gottcha!' sniggered Grant, who was a Noel Edmonds fan. He prepared to deliver his coupe de grace.

"Now don't you worry about a thing," he smirked, "I've got the perfect solution. We'll sell the Rembrandt and buy a shop with the proceeds! Turn it into the best art gallery ever!" He held his breath, itching to throttle the old trout and make off with the painting there and then.

Grant, of course, had no intention of buying his mother a shop. He did have every intention, however, of paying off his huge gambling debts and buying Miranda that mink she'd been whining about for months. He'd worry about explanations later. Old bag'd probably be dead by then anyway.

Flo, meanwhile, seemed to be in a terrible flap. Her own gallery would, of course, be a dream come true. Elation, doubt, joy and indecision flitted in quick succession across creased, rosy cheeks.

"But whatever would your dad say?" she finally asked plaintively, "He loved that painting. And it was a wedding present. D'you remember when I sent it off to be restored? He was terribly upset. Missed it dreadfully, he said."

"Pa's been dead for 10 years, Ma," said Grant sarcastically,

"so I'm sure he won't mind. Besides, your water colours are much more eye-catching. And just think, you might get famous!"

Flo twisted her hanky between knotted fingers. She looked at Rembrandt doubtfully. He winked back at her in the flickering firelight.    

Flo seemed to make up her mind. "Alright, then. Why not? I've always wanted to do something really silly. I'm sure your Dad'd understand. Just think, my own art gallery! Will Rembrandt fetch a good price, d'you think?"

"You bet! In fact, I've a buyer in mind already," cried Grant, elated. Whipping Rembrandt from his perch before she could change her mind, he wrapped him carefully in the sheets of bubble-wrap and brown paper he'd had the foresight to bring with him.

"Wonderful..." sighed Flo, as Grant scuttled out, Rembrandt tucked tightly under his arm. He couldn't believe his luck. Almost too easy...

Flo sat immobile for a while and stared at the bare square that had been Rembrandt. The wall looked empty. The pastels faded into it and became one. Then, picking up her cane, she made her way slowly to her studio and unlocked the door.

She wondered sadly what dastardly deeds she'd committed in a previous life to be saddled with such a revolting offspring in this one.                        

Still, she had to admit the gallery idea was brilliant. Pity she'd spent all the money on those trips to France and Italy, educational as they'd undoubtedly been.

She looked round lovingly at the easels, the brushes, the paints and the palettes. Shelves heaved with books explaining how to 'Daub with Degas' and produce 'Stunning Sunflowers at a Stroke'.

Canvasses were stacked neatly against the walls. She drank in the golden sunflowers, revelled in the nubile dancing girls, sympathised with the sodden absinthe drinkers, admired the rainbow Haitian maidens and sighed. Shame, she'd been rather fond of Rembrandt. He'd been her best effort yet.

Still, it'd probably only take her a couple of weeks to knock up another one...


Archived comments for Pretty as a Picture
Jolen on 29-08-2008
Pretty as a Picture
LOL!!!! This had me wondering all the way through and what a great twist it produced. I enjoyed this look into the world of two con artists.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen - nasty piece of work that Grant, ain't he? Ta for reading and commenting

x

Doughnut on 29-08-2008
Pretty as a Picture
Great sense of composition, visual presentation and what goes on inside people's minds. I liked the irony of the situation and not being able to guess until the end what will happen in the last paragraph. Maybe the son's motives should look less obvious at the beginning of the story? Thoroughly enjoyed. Duncan

Author's Reply:
Cor, thanks for the rating Doughnut! Glad you enjoyed

Bradene on 29-08-2008
Pretty as a Picture
Oh that was great I loved the twist at the end, Great piece of writing Andrea. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your kind words, Val - glad you enjoyed!

Sunken on 31-08-2008
Pretty as a Picture
What an utterly horrible man and no mistake, Ms. Andrea. I enjoyed your piece (the story wasn't bad either). You even managed to mention sir Noel of Edmonds. He's my favourite Deal or No Deal presenter of all time. I'll have a 'P' please Noel. I hope my in-depth analysis of your sub has given you something to think about. And now, if you don't mind, I have snails to train. Good day.

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woolworths - where all your shop-lifting dreams come true

Author's Reply:
Yeah, nasty piece of work alright - can't stand him meself.

Ta for reading Sunky Munk - tres useful crit

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who once worked at Woollies when she was 15 and nicked all the choccies

discopants on 01-09-2008
Pretty as a Picture
I didn't see that one coming at all although Flo had to have something up her sleeve! Funny, but for all his grand paintings, my favourite Rembrandt works are the small pencil sketches he did...

dp


Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Disco - glad you enjoyed


AlexClay on 04-09-2008
Pretty as a Picture
great twist, I was well suckered. there should be more old folks as heroes/heroines.

Author's Reply:
Ta for reading and commenting Alex, much appreciated. Actually a lot of my heroes/heroines are wrinkl...er...of the older persuasion.

pencilcase on 05-09-2008
Pretty as a Picture
What a scheming bastard! Grant, I mean, not you...!

I found this a very enjoyable read that holds together pleasingly and finishes with old Flo getting the upper hand in the end. I liked the lively and colourful language (throttle the old trout and many more) and the attention to detail that enriches the piece (the fake rolex, for example, and the notion of Rembrandt being incongruously surrounded by wishy-washy pastel watercolours), Have you visited the Rijksmuseum? That bloomin' 'Nightwatch' is huge, innit?

Anyway, an altogether enjoyable piece of good writing. Suitable for radio, I think.

All the best,

potlood

Author's Reply:
Hello Pot, thanks for reading and the comment. Yep, been to Rijksmuseum many times, in fact Alexis (eldest) loved it so much he went dashing around (he was only about 4 at the time) oooh-ing and ahhh-ing and almost knocked a priceless Ming vase off its pedestal. That would have been HIS pocket-money stopped for while then...

Ta again

Ax


Saturday Night Fever (posted on: 29-02-08)
Things, and people, ain't always what they seem...

"Another Saturday night and I ain't got no bo-dee...," warbled Finnie throatily, squirting a ball of styling foam the size of a grapefruit into a soft and pallid palm. "...got some money 'cos I just got paid...," he carolled, arranging long greasy locks into fantastic and fabulous shapes that would have delighted a topiary connoisseur. "How I wish I had some chick to talk to..." he snickered, squirting breath freshener into his mouth whilst simultaneously spraying deodorant under a hairy, but sweet-smelling armpit. He admired the finished product in the bathroom mirror, turning his head hither and thither, in order to admire both perfect profiles. Preparing for his regular Saturday night outings was a lengthy and meticulous process and one that required most of the afternoon to complete to Finnie's satisfaction. Finnie spent many happy and productive hours in his bathroom, which contained more beauty products than the Body Shop. The window-sill was packed with numerous jars of exotically scented bath oils. Shampoos and conditioners containing dead sea minerals jostled for space and countless bottles of deodorant abounded, all tantalizingly promising, at the very least, '24 hour protection'. Paco Rabanne and Armani after-shave sparkled expensively on the shelves and the medicine cabinet housed his most prized possession, an overflowing box of strawberry flavoured condoms, which he bought by the gross. Not a man overly blessed in the grey-matter department, Finnie had little choice but to rely on his appearance to pull. And pull he did, with startling regularity and much smug satisfaction. Finnie didn't so much require a bed-post on which to notch up his conquests, he needed scaffolding. Not that any of his amours lasted very long. After all, bonking a guy who, during those most intimate of moments is busily admiring himself in a strategically placed mirror, is not particularly conducive to orgasmic nirvana. This suited Finnie admirably however, as he had no desire whatsoever to enter into a deep and meaningful with anyone. "Lay 'em and leave 'em, that's my motto," he frequently boasted in the boozer to such mates as could still tolerate him. For Finnie was rapidly becoming an anathema to even the most hardened and persistent of lechers. Not that he was too bothered about that either, since the only company Finnie really enjoyed on a long-term basis was his own. "Time to get me leg over, lalala," he trilled now, opening another shirt button the better to show off his gold medallion which peeped, coyly, through the chest fuzz. Finnie's favourite hang-out was conveniently close to home, thus saving him the expense of having to fork out for a taxi or worse, lowering himself to the peasantry of public transport. The club was crammed, as usual, with wall-to-wall sweaty bodies gyrating in smoky gloom to the strains of the brothers Gallagher. Finnie leaned nonchalantly against the wall, lit a fag and eyed up the available talent. He dismissed instantly the skirt with partners. He might be brainless, but he wasn't a masochist. Besides, he couldn't risk messing up his hairdo. Juvenile fluff too, had no chance. Not that Finnie had any moral objections to under-age crumpet, but he was mindful of his hero, that poor, persecuted bloke Gary Glitter. Prosecution left him cold. Finnie had heard too, that there was a dire shortage of the fair sex in nick. Likewise, ladies over a certain age were given the metaphorical finger. They might, God forbid, be bra-burners, and what little brain he did possess informed him, no doubt correctly, that he wouldn't stand a monkey's. Finnie finally spotted a prospective candidate and, homing in like a dog detecting aniseed, he swaggered across the dance floor, mentally gearing himself up for the kill. His chosen victim was a tall girl alright, but then Finnie liked 'em big. A brunette she was, too, but Finnie wasn't much concerned about hair either, at least not the hair on their heads. She was dressed fetchingly in a silver crop-top, red mini and shiny, thigh-length, black, leather boots. False eyelashes fluttered and glossy lips gleamed invitingly, a hint of pearly-whites just visible. All signs which, to Finnie's discerning mind, smacked of an easy lay. He pasted on a charming leer. "Yo!" he purred eloquently, "Come here often, do you?" This was Finnie's best and, as it happened only, chat-up line. "Yeah," replied the vision, picking an escaped eyelash from a powdery cheek and winking erotically. "What's yer name, then?" enquired Finnie, being a man of few words, mainly because he didn't know many. "Maisie," answered Maisie, grinning and revealing lipsticky teeth. "Wanna come back to mine, then?" crooned Finnie, having found out all he needed to know and not a man willing to waste time on unnecessary niceties. "OK", said Maisie, "I'll go get me coat," and she left forthwith to retrieve it from the cloakroom. 'Blimey,' thought Finnie, flabbergasted, 'I'm well in there! Wot a tart!' He'd always prided himself on being a fast worker, but Maisie's swift acquiescence was astonishing, even by his standards. Back at the flat, they cracked open a bottle of cheap plonk 'to get in the mood', as Finnie delicately put it, making sure that Maisie swigged most of it. He didn't want a hangover in the morning, after all. "The bedroom's that way," said Finnie, impatiently pointing in the direction of his boudoir, "I'll just go and freshen up. Be with you in a minute..." and he skipped gleefully into the bathroom for more breath freshener and his silk kimono. Tiptoeing into the bedroom five minutes later, he could just about make out Maisie by the light of his red strobe. She seemed to take up an awful lot of bed, but what the hell! They were all the same lying down... Member expectantly erect and all a-quiver, Finnie threw off his robe and, leaping lustfully under the silk sheets, prepared to get the boring but apparently necessary business of foreplay over and done with. "Oh, yes!" groaned Maisie in ecstasy. "Jesus H Christ!" shrieked Finnie in horror. And, leaping out of bed completely starkers, prick now shrivelled like an old prune, he yanked down the bed-clothes. Trembling in fright at what he'd been about to do, he began yelling at poor Maisie hysterically. "Why the fuck," he screamed, face pale as a pot of emulsion, "didn't you tell me you were a bloody bloke in the first place...!" Originally published in RUE BELLA Magazine
Archived comments for Saturday Night Fever
discopants on 29-02-2008
Saturday Night Fever
Ah yes- I saw that one coming, so to speak. The clue was that she was so tall- immediately set off the alrm bells, not that I've been in such a situation of course. Having guessed that, it just made me want to read all the quicker through to the end to see Finnie get his comeuppance.

I particularly liked the line about him needing scaffolding for his 'notches'.

dp

Author's Reply:
Did you? Oh dear, you weren't supposed to see it...er...coming. Maybe I ought to...um...cut that bit out.

Thanks for reading and commenting Disco - much appreciated πŸ™‚

red-dragon on 29-02-2008
Saturday Night Fever
Oh dear - I saw it coming, too and yes, it was the height...
BUT, I still loved it!! Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann πŸ™‚

e-griff on 29-02-2008
Saturday Night Fever
You'll have a pretty hard time disguising the end. It's not the 'tall' necessarily. Look, we know it is going to have a humorous twist. We know it's not just gonna be another notch on the bedpost, so what else can it be? Any other possible twist options (I can't think of any others) come a long long way behind the most obvious one, I guess.

Author's Reply:
Hmmm...yeah, you're right. I've amended slightly now (to 'a trifle on the large side') but reckon I'll have to leave it at that. *I* can't think of any others offhand, either πŸ™‚

Ta for reading.

pombal on 01-03-2008
Saturday Night Fever
I enjoyed this too - but also saw the ending - but I think I would have been disappointed if it was anything else - I think the humour is in the character Finnie more than the punchline

Author's Reply:
Ta Pom - still, not a very good sign of a very good tale if everyone can predict the ending, is it?

*wails*

pombal on 01-03-2008
Saturday Night Fever
dunno - i think this kind of thing can be used to your advantage i.e. The reader is expecting a transvestite in his bed and knows or strongly suspects that the story is building up to this punchline - what if it turns out that finnie is a woman instead ....

Author's Reply:
Cor, that's a thought! Ta Pom!

len on 01-03-2008
Saturday Night Fever
I hate to be a "me, too", Andrea, but it was pretty hard not to see the end coming, since it was obviously building up to a hook, and that's the only one I could think of. It was still very fun to read. I kept seeing John Travolta, for some reason. :o)
Maybe a snappy come-back from the "girl" would make the somewhat predictable ending less important.
For example..."I was going to tell you about that later, luv. You seemed in such a hurry, I didn't want to confuse you with details."

Author's Reply:
Yeah, I know, will have to have a serious re-think - thanks though, Len.

Hahaha (re Travolta) - wasn't really meant to be anything other than a light, fluffy tale, although I'm sure all us women have met a Finnie at one time or another.

Ta for reading, muchly appreciated πŸ™‚


Keeping Up With The Joneses (posted on: 25-05-07)
A Christmas tale in May. Apologies to the Two Fat Ladies, one of whom is no longer with us, sadly. (And never know whether it should be Jones' or Jones's. Have had advice, but conflicting)

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
Despite the fact that Phil had had a bit of a run-in with the law, Schumacher had an in-growing beak and Sharon's latest piercing appeared to have gone gangrenous, Sheila Jones was determined that this was going to be the best Christmas ever. "This is going to be the best Christmas ever!" she informed Ron as she dished up her latest culinary experiment. "Oh yeah?" said Ron, dubiously eyeing his plate of pink soup. There seemed to be lumps of marshmallow floating forlornly in its depths. He warily poked one with his fork. It disintegrated instantly. "What's this, then?" "Boeuf bourgignon," said Sheila indignantly, "It's one I got from Anthony Worrall-Thompson." "Oh, right. Beef stew," said the long-suffering Ron with relief, sopping up greasy liquid with a crust. Sheila ignored him. "I'm going to cook," she continued, "the best Christmas dinner on the whole estate. I've been watching Delia. We'll have a slap-up feed!" Ron masticated bravely, Phil choked on a bit of gristle, Sharon scratched her navel and Schumacher, zooming around the room in ever-decreasing circles, squawked in horror, spraying birdseed. Sheila's efforts in the kitchen were legendary. "But Ma," groaned Phil, "Your cooking's bleedin' awful. You even burn boiled eggs!" "Yeah," giggled Sharon, "And what about the time you put that cayenne pepper in the icing, thinking it was food colouring? Dad nearly pegged it..." Ron, the lucky survivor of that unfortunate mistake, mouth full however and thus unable to comment, nodded vigorously in agreement. "Thanks for the vote of confidence," said Sheila, stung. She whisked a deflated soufflι out of the oven and plonked it unceremoniously on the table where it sat like a crusty pancake. Cookery was Sheila's latest passion. She'd done the decorating bit (colour-washed lime and orange living-room walls), the DIY (a wardrobe bearing a close resemblance to the leaning tower of Pisa) and the gardening (wilting basil, thyme and chives on the window-sill). She was in need of a new challenge. She'd found it in the shape of Ainsley, Delia, Anthony, Jamie, Gary and all the other miraculous and multi-talented creatures capable of whipping up gourmet delights using no ingredients whatsoever in the space of twenty minutes. Sheila was hooked. 'I can do that,' she thought, 'Piece of cake,' and she chortled appreciatively at her own wit. The fact that her deep-fried rocket ended up burnt to a cinder and could easily have been mistaken for the contents of Ron's overflowing ashtray, and that she'd foolishly poached the monkfish with mint believing it to be rosemary ('Rosemary goes wonderfully with fish...' one of the Fat Ladies had authoritatively informed her), didn't deter Sheila in the least. The Two Fat Ladies had been one of Sheila's favourites. Being of a similar size she felt a close affinity, and their ingredients had the added advantage of coinciding comfortingly with her own. Pounds of lard, pints of double cream and gallons of goose fat were Sheila's idea of heaven. 'One should only eat yoghurt if one's poorly, or if one doesn't eat meat. Nothing beats real cream...' quoth Jennifer, waving a wooden spoon at an invisible vegetarian audience reprovingly. Sheila, busily stirring lumpy custard containing half a pint of the stuff, couldn't agree more. Her new hobby had other distinct advantages, too. When that copper had called for instance, to say Phil had been caught outside the chippy smoking a spliff, Sheila had been able to offer him a plate of her freshly baked scones, thus considerably reducing the possibility of prosecution. Phil, highly impressed and not a little grateful, began taking a lively interest in her gastronomic efforts. She had even, on occasion, allowed him to help with the baking until one day she'd caught him crumbling a sticky, brown substance into the cake mix, after which she'd banished him from the kitchen forever. "Aw, but Ma," Phil said, crestfallen, "It's not as if you'd even taste it. Anyway, I bet that Jamie Oliver bloke smokes..." "Smokes it, maybe. Eats it, no," said Sheila, horrified, "Whatever would your dad say?" The day before Christmas they all sat down in front of the telly and waited for instructions from Delia. Sheila had notepad and biro at the ready, Ron opened a can of Special Brew, Sharon rubbed ointment on her infected piercing and Phil lit up a spliff. Schumacher, beak tucked safely under his wing feathers, perched on the box and blinked wearily. He'd witnessed dead birds before, usually served up steaming, glazed, crackling and surrounded by roast potatoes. The whole affair depressed him dreadfully. "I'd like to show you three kinds of stuffing," began Delia, encircled proudly by pristine pots and sporting a spotless pinny. Sharon snickered audibly and Ron muttered something that sounded very much like "Wouldn't mind three kinds of stuffing meself..." "Shut up," said Sheila crossly and turned up the volume. "This is a 14 pound turkey..." continued Delia, lovingly stroking a gigantic, pasty, headless fowl with one hand and yanking giblets from its depths with the other. Schumacher screeched and hopped under the sofa, faint with fright. "Blimey," said Ron, impressed, "She don't 'alf make it look easy, don't she?". He opened another Special Brew in salute, as Delia bustled about basting, boiling, peeling and poking simultaneously. Sheila groaned as if in agony. "Now we don't want a dry turkey, do we?" smiled Delia, cool and unruffled as an early spring morning. She shoved sausage meat up the hapless bird's nether regions with remarkable finesse. "Too bloody right," grinned Phil, giving her the finger. Delia zipped around the kitchen tirelessly glazing parsnips, stirring mincemeat, rolling pastry, reducing sauces and decorating cakes with sprigs of unidentifiable green stuff. Sheila was exhausted. Now that the worst appeared to be over, Schumacher crept out from under the sofa and resumed his perch on top of the telly, feeling slightly less queasy. "What's the matter, love?" asked Ron as Delia, every hair in place and surrounded by a resplendent repast large enough to feed Brixton nick, sipped a well-earned glass of wine. "It's no good," said Sheila in despair, "I can't do it. The kitchen's too small, so's the oven and I haven't got nearly enough saucepans. It'd take me a month of Sundays to get all that together..." "Looks like fish and chips for Christmas dinner again, then." muttered Phil ungratefully, not yet having forgiven Sheila for banning his magic ingredient from the cake mix. "Ooh, look Ma," giggled Sharon gleefully, pointing first at the unfortunate budgie and then at the television screen. "Schumacher's gone and shat all over Delia's dinner...!"
Archived comments for Keeping Up With The Joneses
delph_ambi on 25-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joness
Rambling, chaotic, and very funny. If I were to be hypercritical, I might point out that the leaning tower of Pisa imagery has been a clichΓ© for centuries, and maybe you needed something a bit fresher. Apart from that, and a few typos, I thought this was excellent. Highly entertaining.

Oh, and it's usually written Joneses.

Author's Reply:
Hi Delph, thanks awfully for reading and commenting, I'm much obliged. Agree the Pisa thing is dreadful, and will try to come up with an alternative.

Typos? Gawd, where, can you point them out? Glad you enjoyed though.

Romany on 25-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
I enjoyed this too. I found that I had more sympathy with Schumacher than the humans though - must be some deeply rooted psychological thing with me! Good fun,

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Romany, so did I πŸ™‚

I usually prefer my animal characters to the 'human' ones as well. Glad you enjoyed.

delph_ambi on 25-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
In answer to your question, Andrea, the typos I spotted were 'bourguignon' (a 'u' missing in your version) and Worrall not Worrel- for the chef. I also wasn't convinced by the budgie spraying birdseed; I reckon he should be spraying birdseed 'everywhere' (or some such word) because otherwise it reads as if he is spraying it pee or something, if you see what I mean.

Author's Reply:
Oh, thanks, Delph. I think you can spell the boeuf either way, though, having lived with a Frog for 10 years (who not only made a mean boeuf but also contributed to an enfant *sigh*). You are absolutely right re Ant Worrall - very remiss of me, I must say! Will correct immediately, if not sooner. Will look into birdseed. Thanks awfully for help - much appreciated.

sirat on 25-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
An enjoyable read and a good bit of fun. I also identified strongly with the budgie. I always insist on cooking the Christmas dinner myself as it just isn't the kind of thing you can entrust to underlings.

The only (very minor) typo I spotted was: The Two Fat Ladies had been on of Sheila's favourites (one)

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading David. Gawd, another typo - I'll dash off right away and correct. Shameful, really, especially as the bloody thing was pubbed in a mag - hope the ed of same spotted them and corrected.

Do agree re the underlings πŸ™‚

Sunken on 26-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Dear Ms. Andrea, I haven't read this yet as my contact lenses dry up if I stare at the screen too long. I know I should blink, but sometimes I forget. I shall return when I have found my glasses. It starts good. Thanks. Do you like my in-depth crits then?

s
u
n
k
e
n

ps. I abused myself last night - do I need to report it?

Author's Reply:
Shall expect something more sensible when you've located yer bloody specs - or maybe not *sigh*.

Yes please report ALL abuse IMMEDIATELY and in graphic...er...I mean with as much info as possible and I will apprehend the miscreant forthwith! You, in this case...


wfgray on 26-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Hi Andrea, a nicely dished up little story. I'll bet this never took twenty minutes like the T.V. Cooking shows. Our tenty minutes of cook depends on the writings on the frozen foood we get from on of the large stores. Just come off holidays and the mat courses they were like leather. I could have mended my shoes with some of the Beef, lamb and pork. I won't be going back there no more. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Will, and glad you enjoyed. Hope you enjoyed your hols, too (sounds like it was in Brixton nick) - at least your shoes will be spiffing!

Sunken on 26-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Dear Ms. Andrea, I have now read it all and have come to the conclusion that you are a peanut short of a snickers bar. I hope this helps, and that my in-depth critique goes some way in assisting you with regards to future submissions. Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

what he thought to be a lump... turned out to be his knob

Author's Reply:
I am, indeed, deeply touched by your unexpected but most welcome compliment Mr Sunken. Ta from the bottom of me 'eart.

orangedream on 26-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
I really, really, enjoyed this Andrea. Am trying so hard to write prose myself and having read this, think I'm going to give up! Have just finished reading it out loud to Mr. O and he fell about laughing and I do not joke.

regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Awww, thanks Orange, please don't give up. It ain't THAT great, y'know, just one of my silly tales, is all.



Thanks hugely for rating, although undeserved I'm sure.



(Psssst...hope Mr O has recovered)





Cor, someone gave me a nib! Thanks awfully, kind person, whoever you are...

RoyBateman on 27-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Thoroughly entertaining and a great laugh - as I'd expect, of course! Mind you, I never noticed Schumacher expressing his opinion in that forthright way - but then, maybe I wasn't in the podium at the time. A great read.
ps You got it right on the main title, but not the second time...if you see what I mean? Yeah, we've been here before, but Jones' can't exist as anything (Jone's as in "Bridget Jone's Diary" exists as a signwriters balls-up on the outside of the "Globe" SE1, where scenes were filmed. What a hoot!) Jones's is the possessive form as in the correct title - "Bridget Jones's Diary", and Joneses is the plural of Jones. I'm sure that both Lynne Truss and Fowler agree!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Roy - we do so like each others yarns, don't we?

Ta, have now corrected 'second time' and checked Blood book which, thankfully, has it printed correctly.

Cor, did it? (Bridget Jone's) - even *I* wouldn't have made THAT mistake! Ta for help. much appreciated πŸ™‚

No chance of you and Chris making the 'do' I suppose? Would be lovely to see you both again (how's the garden growing?)

discopants on 31-05-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
For a follow-up, you could have Sheila appearing on some Gordon Ramsey show, causing a few sparks to fly, although the language might be unprintable. I think even I'm a better cook than Sheila.

A fun read.

dp

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting dp, much obliged - and glad it tickled yer fancy...

JeffDray on 15-07-2007
Keeping Up With The Joneses
None of the nit-pickers picked up on "Sunday's"

Author's Reply:
Oo-er, thanks Jeff. How was Greece??

len on 20-02-2008
Keeping Up With The Joneses
"Yeah," giggled Sharon, "And what about the time you put that cayenne pepper in the icing, thinking it was food colouring?"

That is SO precious, Andrea!!!...This is a wonderful Christmas story..Detail, detail, detail...You got it pegged, gal...I'm still chuckling...len

Author's Reply:
Oh thanks Len - so glad you enjoyed. Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚


A Knife in the Back (posted on: 07-08-06)
It doesn't do to be greedy...

When Cyril's dad finally pegged it after a long and fruitless battle with old age, Cyril thought he had it made. ''I've got it made!'' he chortled gleefully to Bogroll, ''the old goat was loaded. I'll be in for a packet, you mark my words…'' and he resolved to visit the travel agent forthwith, in order to begin planning his world cruise. ''…an' a Merc'd be nice, too…'' He added Ron, the car dealer, to his list. ''…and a flash pad in Putney.'' He jotted it down, ''Whaddya think?'' Bogroll who, frankly, was not much given to thought and didn't give a toss about anything except where his next meal was coming from, scratched his balls and farted. ''Stupid mutt,'' growled Cyril, so lost in a reverie of riches, however, that he failed to notice Bogroll hooking the remnants of last night's double cheeseburger from the draining board with a grubby paw. Cyril, after much soul-searching over the years, had come to the conclusion that his dad owed him big-time. For one thing, he'd had the temerity to saddle him with a handle that had made his schooldays a living hell and, for another, he'd been foolish enough, after 10 years of matrimony to lust after, and eventually take to wife, his blonder and more youthful secretary, ousting Cyril's long-suffering mother in the process. Cyril's ma, devastated by his pater's unseemly demonstration of raging male testosterone, had promptly done a bunk with postie, leaving young Cyril to the tender mercies of the newly-enamoured pair. ''Let them bloody-well look after you, then,'' she'd said, ''I'm off…'' and she and postie had merrily and without further ado, departed to the sunnier climes of Clacton. Understandably distressed at this ignominious desertion, Cyril began to display signs of rebellion or, as it's now referred to, Attention Deficit Disorder. Their local GP however, unfamiliar with Ritalin and the dubious benefits thereof, had prescribed a good thumping instead, and this was administered accordingly and with much enthusiasm by Cyril's new step-mum. Needless to say, step-mum (henceforth to be known as Shirley) and Cyril's pa, love-struck as they were, couldn't cope, and he was duly shunted off to his Uncle Albert's where, fortuitously, he was suitably subdued enough to have managed, thus far, to avoid confrontation with the forces of law and order. Nevertheless Cyril, perhaps with some justification, figured that the old man, now defunct, owed him one. It was, therefore, with high hopes and much anticipation, that he awaited the reading of the will. ''…and to my beloved wife Shirley…'' droned the solicitor, ''…I leave my entire estate…'' Cyril glared at Shirley, who was demurely decked out in black togs and lace veil. A grin could vaguely be seen forming on ruby lips behind it. Her bosom heaved with delighted emotion and the thought of an idle life on the Riviera. ''…and to my dear son, Cyril…'' the solicitor continued, Cyril's eyes swivelled greedily. He gulped audibly in anticipation. ''…my set of silver fish knives.'' ''Eh?'' Squawked Cyril, horrified, ''Is that it? Bloody knives? You scheming ol' cow!'' and he had to be unceremoniously bundled from the office, much to Shirley's obvious delight. Cyril, however, not a man easily deterred in a crisis, especially where matters of the wallet were concerned, decided to investigate further. ''Might be worth a bloody fortune them knives, you never know,'' he informed Bogroll that evening. Bogroll, whose interest in knives was limited as to whether they were sharp enough to chop up his tripe into bite-size chunks, dribbled gently and whined. ''The Internet! That's it! All them antique sites…'' cried Cyril, an avid Antiques Road Show fan. And, quite excited at the prospect of his knives having, perhaps, been instrumental in slicing succulent sea bass at the notorious table of Henry V111, he dashed off to his local Internet caff forthwith. Unfamiliar with the marvels of modern technology however, it was a good half hour before he discovered Ask Jeeves. ''Bloody stupid thing,'' he muttered, as he laboriously typed 'Mister Jeeves, where can I find sumthing about anteek fish nives please?' into the search box. Cyril stared in mounting horror at Jeeves' polite replies, formulated thus: 'Where can I find recipes for grilled fish?' 'Where can I read about Irish fish?' 'Where can I go fishing in England?' ''Bloody grilled fish?'' squawked Cyril, gobsmacked, ''Bleedin' Irish fish? Fishin' in England?'' and he hopped off his stool furiously, determined not to let such ignominy pass lightly. '''Ere!'' he yelled to his fellow punters, all clicking busily and with much concentration, ''Ask fer yer dosh back! Them machines don't work, do they?'' and he stomped out in high dudgeon, determined never to enter the portals of such a disgraceful establishment again. ''Bloody rip-off, that's what it is,'' he muttered darkly to Bogroll, ''We'll have to find another way…'' Thus it was that Cyril and Bogroll took to viewing as many antiques programmes on the telly as possible, in the hope of spotting knives the same, or at least similar to, those bequeathed to them by Cyril's doting but sadly departed dad. Cyril became particularly fond of Going for a Song. ''Oi, that Mariella bird's a bit of alright, ain't she?'' he smirked, poking Bogroll painfully in the ribs. Bogroll squealed and nipped Cyril's finger. Mariella peered at a Victorian porcelain doll lasciviously. ''Beautifully proportioned,'' she purred. Cyril could not help but agree. ''Two hundred pounds, I think,'' she said decisively. ''Two hundred quid? For a bloody doll? Imagine what me knives must be worth then!'' cried Cyril, ecstatic. Logic had never been his strong point. After several weeks of intensive viewing however, Cyril and Bogroll were becoming increasingly disheartened. Cyril's eyes, puffed and painful, had been tested by his local optician and spectacles were prescribed for strain. Bogroll, bored with the whole enterprise, had taken to sneaking out as soon as the telly was switched on, in order to renew his flagging romance with next door's poodle, whom he'd cruelly neglected of late. It was on his return from one such rendezvous that he was astonished to see Cyril capering merrily, and in a state of advanced inebriation, around the living room. ''I've seen 'em! I've seen 'em!'' he yelped. Bogroll, exhausted by his hitherto unsuccessful endeavours in the lust department, growled in understandable frustration. ''The knives, you stupid mongrel, the knives! They were on 'Ageing Antiques, large as life. Worth a bloody fortune, too!'' and he kissed the unfortunate Bogroll squarely, and at great risk to his own personal safety, on a slobbery muzzle. Cyril spent the next few days mulling over his next move. He finally resolved to take the knives to the Antiques Road Show which, fortuitously, was scheduled to take place the following week at a stately home a mere fifty miles away. '''Cos then I'll be on the telly, see?'' he informed Bogroll, ''And with a bit of luck, that ol' cow Shirley'll be watching.'' And he rubbed his hands together gleefully, in anticipation of the forthcoming momentous event and Shirley's impending downfall. Cyril spent the night prior to his departure lovingly polishing his fish knives with spit and fag ash until they gleamed. They looked positively regal lying in a neat row on the blue felt. Cyril, satisfied, went to bed a happy man and dreamt of purchasing a luxury apartment on that new liner for billionaires he'd seen reported on the Beeb news that very morning. ''You can't come. No dogs allowed. I checked. They're afraid you'll pee in the peonies I expect,'' he informed Bogroll the following morning. Bogroll, looking forward to another blissful bonk with the poodle, waggled his jowls disconsolately and did his best to look disappointed. Arriving at Harringay House at the appointed hour, black box clutched lovingly under his arm, Cyril eyed the queue nervously. ''Flippin' 'eck,'' he muttered, positioning himself behind a tweedy lady bearing a remarkable resemblance to Maggie Thatcher, ''I'll be 'ere all day! 'Ere, wot you got, then?'' and he poked Ms Thatcher most unceremoniously in the small of her back. ''If it's any of your concern, young man, which it isn't, I'll have you know that I am in possession of some rather fine silver snuffboxes. Great, great grandfather. Very old. Most precious.'' And, digging out a handful of blackened receptacles from the depths of her patent leather handbag, she thrust them under Cyril's nose proudly. ''Silly ol' bat,'' muttered Cyril scathingly, ''I keep me false teeth in boxes wot look better than that,'' and he cheered up considerably, much aided by frequent nips from his hip-flask, a souvenir purchased on Southend seafront. It was fortunate that he'd had the foresight to pack some sandwiches, for the wait was long and the day a warm one. Eventually, however, and by now somewhat less than sober, he laid his box carefully before his designated expert and opened it with a flourish. ''Hmmmm…'' said The Expert, eyeing the knives. ''Hic…'' replied Cyril, eyeing The Expert. ''Ten thousand pounds,'' whispered Mrs Snuffbox in his ear with a smirk, heading for the exit. ''Cripes!'' yelped Cyril, furious. ''Er…'' crooned The Expert, holding a knife aloft and scrutinising it closely. ''Well?'' croaked Cyril. ''You'll observe the mark here?'' asked The Expert, pointing to a crest on the handle. ''I ain't blind,'' said Cyril, affronted. ''Woolworths, I'm afraid, circa 1990,'' sighed The Expert, ''Next?'' The lady at Cyril's local Help The Aged, was delighted. ''Oooh, thank you sir, they're lovely. I'll put them in the window straight away. Might even be able to get a tenner for them!'' and she bustled away quite flustered and obviously overcome by Cyril's unexpected generosity. Cyril, a man whose vocabulary, whilst not a large one, nevertheless contained every expletive known to man was, for once, unable to utter a word such was his disappointment and distress. Bogroll, sensing trouble and himself on the point of exhaustion after an extended afternoon catering to an apparently insatiable bitch, crept under the sofa and did his best to make himself invisible. It took Cyril quite some time and many bottles of Ireland's finest, to finally come to terms with his sad loss. Life, however, must go on, and he eventually returned to relative normality and his vocabulary reverted to its former level of crudity. He even, on occasion, ventured a trip to the Fox and Hounds, where he elicited much sympathy for his plight from his fellow tipplers. Bogroll, somewhat less rotund, ventured out from beneath the sofa. One evening the two of them, bored with Neighbours and the news, sallied forth and entered the Fox and Hounds only to be greeted by whispers and sniggers from the assembled multitude. ''What'll you 'ave then, Cyril, fish 'n' chips?'' bellowed Bert the barman, beergut wobbling dangerously. ''Wassup with you lot, then?'' growled Cyril warily. ''Oh, nowt really, Take a look at this though, Cyril me ol' mate,'' and he thrust a copy of the local rag under Cyril's nose. Cyril fumbled for his specs. He focussed. ''There!'' smirked Bert, and pointed. FAKE EXPERT INFILTRATES ANTIQUE'S ROAD SHOW! ''I was only having a bit of fun!'' protested Harry Harper, of no fixed abode, before being led away in handcuffs… ''And 'ere!'' Bert thrust forward another dirty digit. HELP THE AGED SELL SET OF FISH KNIVES FOR £150,000! ''Oooh, ever such a nice young man donated them last month,'' gushed Mavis, who's worked for over 35 years in the shop. ''They belonged to Henry V111, you know…'' © Andrea Lowne 2006 1926 words.
Archived comments for A Knife in the Back
qwerty68 on 07-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Another great tale, life's just so unfair sometimes. My favourite character has to be Bogroll (great name) and the only likeable human being was the nice lady at help the aged. Bless.

Author's Reply:
Awww, thanks Qwert. I have to confess to being rather fond of Bogroll meself, although Cyril's a bit of a pain, I admit. But then he had a hard childhood. Wonder if the Help The Aged lady got a cut of the booty?

Ta for reading and commenting.

RoyBateman on 07-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Now that DID catch me out...no matter how I tried, I couldn't see thst ending coming - congrats! Obviously, I realised that it was going to be something ingenious, but I was had. If you know what I mean. And Bogroll was the undoubted star - it was a few lines before I realised that he was a dog, as his natural behaviour was so reminiscent of the home life of our own dear chavs. Great story, pace and characterisation - as expected!

Author's Reply:

admin on 07-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
I say, that's odd, me 'Reply from the author' thingy has disappeared, so will have to resort to answering thus:

Oooooh, ta ever-so, Roy - took me quite a while to work out the ending meself πŸ™‚

I do tend to give my...er...furry and feathered friends odd names - Loobrush the cat and Schumacher the budgie spring to mind.

Do chavs scratch their balls and fart then? Have to confess to not being quite sure what a chav is, see, as they materialised well after my departure from Blighty.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Roy - much appreciated.

Author's Reply:

juliet on 07-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Andrea, i love the understated humour in this and the wonderful characterisations of both Cyril and Bogroll,as well as the side characters who you give enough of a flavour of.

I thought i might find the voice in this irritating - but you don't over do the asides and it is consistent and fits the way the reader is laughing at Cyril as if they are much cleverer than him.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Juliet, it's much appreciated. And lovely to see you so active on UKA in such a short space of time πŸ™‚

shadow on 07-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Love Cyril and Bogroll - but what a sad tale of human duplicity! And I never realised fish knives were that valuable (rushes off to dig Grandma's set out of the attic).

Author's Reply:
Crikey, who rated it a 10! Thanks awfully, whoever you are πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, Shad. Well...er...neither did I, actually, but if they belonged to ol' 'Enery, who knows?

Must be a moral in that thar tale somewhere...


Kat on 08-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Andrea, that ending was priceless! ;o)

Enjoyed this very much - it's great to see you posting!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Well, not quite priceless, only a few thousand quid πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and commenting Kat, glad you enjoyed.

niece on 08-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Andrea,
This is really very very good:D...enjoyed myself!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Niece, it's much appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed my little tale πŸ™‚

Gerry on 08-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Andrea, enjoyed this read very much--nice one πŸ˜‰

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for commenting, Gerry - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

soman on 11-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Andrea,

It has been a long wait, and it was worth it : a laugh in every line!

Soman

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 11-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Thanks, Soman , for reading and commenting, it's much appreciated πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 12-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Cher Andrea, this was a thumping good romp, and I especially loved the Bogroll who seemed to be the one who always came out on top. Very nice, and very deserving of the nib.
*Admiringly*
Griffonner

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griffoner. Just a silly tale, really, but fun to write. Thanks again for commenting and for your kind words.

Salut!

eddiesolo on 14-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Most enjoyable my dear. Laughed until I wet myself...no honest, I have wet meself.

I liked the ending, very good.

I shall now say bye-bye as I need to get some clean pants.

Si:-( dripping.

Nib...well done. Did E-griff bung ya it... he'll be after summat. Not that it doesn't deserve it...*waffle*. Right, off now as I'm beginning to get sore.



Author's Reply:
Thanks Si πŸ™‚

No idea who gave me the nibby OR nommed it for the anth, but thanks to whoever you are, anways.

No go off and change them pants, there's a good chap!

Momo on 17-08-2006
A Knife in the Back
Cool!;)
I liked this story!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Momo, much appreciated πŸ™‚

len on 10-10-2006
A Knife in the Back
"Understandably distressed at this ignominious desertion, Cyril began to display signs of rebellion or, as it’s now referred to, Attention Deficit Disorder."...:O)...Ain't that the friggin' truth?? LOve the tongue in cheeck banter and the odd ending..Very clever stuff, Andrea...len

Author's Reply:

SugarMama34 on 04-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
Hiya Andrea - This was a good humerous write. Great story and what a twist! I liked the characters, very beliveable and loved your name for the dog, Bogroll lol.
Cyril didn't have much luck did he, but it's what you get when people expect too much. Loved the ending, it's unexpected and unusual. The dialogue was good throughout, and I couldn't help but laugh when Shirly had the lot.
The only thing I would suggest is to cange the line "Cyril thought he had it made" on the very first line at the start of the story, as you have repeated it in the next line down. Maybe word it a little differently.

Cheers From Sugar. (Lis'.) x

Author's Reply:

admin on 13-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
Sorry Len and Mama, I didn't get any notifications for your comments, but do appreciate them very much indeed!

Thanks!

Author's Reply:

admin on 17-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
Just testing. Please ignore me (you usually do anyway)...

Author's Reply:

admin on 18-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
...and here comes another one...

(test I mean)

Author's Reply:

admin on 29-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
Oh, a true literary masterpiece!

(pssst...actually testing comments notifications, but mum's the word, eh?)

Author's Reply:

richardh on 30-11-2006
A Knife in the Back
a test comment.

Author's Reply:

richardh on 07-12-2006
A Knife in the Back
another test comment

Author's Reply:
Thanks v much Richard - much appreciated *sigh*

Andrea on 26-12-2006
A Knife in the Back
Thanks v much Richard - much appreciated *sigh*

Author's Reply:

richardh on 26-12-2006
A Knife in the Back
Testing 26th dec 2006 at about 22:26

Author's Reply:
Answering your test as per...

Andrea on 29-12-2006
A Knife in the Back
And here's another test...

Author's Reply:
And yet another one...

It's strange I do this quite a lot, write from the masculine viewpoint. It seems somehow, to come naturally.
Crazy mixed up kid that's me I guess - dunno. Anyway, thanks so much for what you said - it was much appreciated, Rupe

len on 09-03-2007
A Knife in the Back
" Cyril began to display signs of rebellion or, as it’s now referred to, Attention Deficit Disorder. Their local GP however, unfamiliar with Ritalin and the dubious benefits thereof, had prescribed a good thumping instead."

I LOVE that, Andrea.. This is a delightfully funny story. It's just chock-full of poetic justice. Loved it...len

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting, Len - much appreciated πŸ™‚

len on 09-03-2007
A Knife in the Back
BTW, Andrea..Your photo looks a lot like my first girlfriend from Jr. High Shcool..Yer a cutie, kid..:O)

Author's Reply:
Not anymore I ain't sadly, but thanks anyway πŸ™‚

Jolen on 01-09-2007
A Knife in the Back
I loved this too, Andrea... Yes, indeed, your characters are well written and funny. I loved the little nuances, like the fish knives and what Len quoted too. Clever stuff. Poetic justice, indeed.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for reading and commenting Jolen - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚


A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE (posted on: 05-12-05)
Yet another of my silly tales...

Rumour was rife. Gossip abounded. People huddled in groups muttering and speculating. Neighbours who hadn't spoken to each other for years discussed and dissected. All agreed that nothing like it had occurred within living memory. Even old Mr Pickles' living memory. Mr Pickles, at 97, is the proud owner of the longest memory in the village. Mrs Postlethwaite of course is 98, thus beating Mr Pickles by a full year, but as she's senile and can't remember anything at all after 1956, she's considered out of the running. It all began a month ago, when we were informed by means of an official letter that the Water Board planned to replace and renew the village water mains. "Not a bloody moment too soon," snorted Colonel Blankett (Ret,.) after scrutinising his missive. He was deftly decapitating dead blossoms from his roses. They grew, in regimental order, on either side of his straight and narrow garden path.                                 Straight and narrow, I thought. Bit like his brain really. Gleaming secateurs glittered wickedly in the early morning sunlight as he snipped and clipped. The Colonel's my neighbour and whilst having nothing, in principle, against the armed forces, I couldn't help feeling mightily relieved I wasn't The Enemy. "Going to make a dreadful mess of the road, though." I replied, eyeing a fat slug with distaste. It was making a slimy beeline for my cabbage patch. I squashed it in shamefully un-Christian fashion, making a mental note to dispose of the crushed corpse before James, my hubby, spotted it. He has Buddhistic leanings. Colonel B raised a bushy eyebrow in disdain and stomped indoors, no doubt to plan a strategic military campaign in support of the Water Board, should any of the natives dare to rebel. I sighed and flattened a family of woodlice. Digging was scheduled to begin right outside my garden gate and I wasn't looking forward to the inconvenience. The trucks arrived early one Monday morning, right on cue, driven by muscular morons with pot bellies and ill-fitting trousers.                                     Village brats danced behind, grinning and pointing grubby fingers at the fleshy expanse.                                                  Undeterred and apparently oblivious to their taunts the men, wielding hefty pickaxes, set to work. "Mornin' luv," they cried in unison, as they spotted me attacking greenfly, "Lovely day, innit?" They discarded sweaty t-shirts with a flourish, exposing matted hair and fat, flabby bums. I agreed that it was and went indoors to make tea. Glancing out of my window an hour later, I was met by a curious sight. The workmen were huddled together in a group swigging cans of beer and gesticulating towards the sizeable hole they'd just dug. A group of nosy villagers stood in silent puzzlement. I spotted Mrs Cotton the postmistress, deep in discussion with Miss Pendelberry, our librarian. Both are due to retire next year after many years faithful service as scandal-mongers-in-chief. Kids sucked thumbs, picked noses and stared. The Colonel, in self-imposed role as head of crowd control, stood in front of the excavation, arms folded over flabby paunch, defying anyone to pass.                                 A cop car, blue light flashing, was parked on the other side of the street. Young officer Wirral, who comprised our entire force, was hastily covering the hole with a large, brown tarpaulin.                                     I hurried outside to get a better look. Never one to pry, I headed straight for the old Colonel who was puffed up like a randy peacock due, no doubt, to the importance and solemnity of the occasion. "What the hell's going on?" I asked breathlessly, "What's happened?" "Damned if I know! Found something in the hole I think. Ancient coins, maybe. Or an unexploded bomb, perhaps." He brightened visibly, obviously relishing the thought of possible army intervention. "Keep away! Stand back! Don't crowd the police!" he barked. He scowled menacingly at an urchin who, overcome by curiosity, had ducked under the barrier that young Wirral was frantically erecting around the offending orifice. The urchin gave him the finger and swiftly retreated. Poor Wirral. His training had obviously not equipped him to deal with unexpected emergencies of this sort. He was perspiring profusely and a large, yellow spot on his neck throbbed painfully. He mopped his brow with a sweaty hanky.         "What's going on?" I asked for the second time. Wirral surveyed the onlookers nervously. They stared impassively back at him. A skinny brat in a dingy dress poked out her tongue and swore most impressively. "Between you and me, Mrs D," he said, sotto voce, "there seems to be a body. Been there quite a while, too, by the state of it. Not very pleasant at all. I'm waiting for someone from Scotland Yard now." The poor lad seemed most upset. He'd turned quite green. Apart from his spots, of course. It was getting on for lunchtime and people began drifting away, apparently losing interest now that nothing could be seen. Besides, stomachs were rumbling and bangers and mash beckoned. Colonel B and I decided to stay put and see what developed. He in case his military skills should be required, and I out of morbid curiosity. We didn't have too long to wait. Twenty minutes later a cavalcade of cop cars screeched into view, sirens wailing. The workmen whistled and raised empty beer cans in salute as a tough-looking bloke in plain clothes tentatively approached the tarpaulin. Uniformed officers trailed behind. It looked for all the world like a mother hen leading her chicks. This should be interesting I thought, edging towards the barrier. I had an excellent view of the tarpaulin. Mother Hen directed a couple of the chicks to remove it. Cautiously they drew it aside. I craned my neck. We all gazed into the muddy depths, transfixed. "Well, I'll be damned!" blustered the Colonel, quite lost for words. There lay James, just as I'd left him. He was still clutching the gleaming army pistol I'd pinched from the Colonel when the old idiot was out playing golf. James looked and indeed smelled, much the worse for wear, but was still quite recognisable. I wrinkled my nose in disgust. I always did have an antipathy towards Buddhist philosophy. 1041 words © Andrea Lowne 2000 Originally published in Splizz Magazine
Archived comments for A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Jen_Christabel on 05-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
This is MY kind of story, loved it!
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 05-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
A new one on me - and, as always, a thoroughly well-crafted and enjoyable read. Trying to put us all to shame, eh? Shocking behaviour.

Author's Reply:

admin on 05-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Thanks guys, much appreciated. Glad you both enjoyed. It's actually a pretty old one, as you can see by the copyright date.

Must knuckle down to some serious (serious??) writing soon...

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 05-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
you said it, boss, you don't post often; still, knocking off hubby must take up some of that precious writing time. a jolly read, well-timed for the festive season. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Anthony. I wouldn't really knock off hubby of course. Mainly because I haven't got one πŸ™‚

niece on 06-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Hi Andrea
Good one, tho' I ended up feeling pretty much like Wirral did 'coz I had just finished my lunch before reading this ...by the way, do you need help squashing all those insects(not the human kind)?...My son is pretty good at it...!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, Niece. Nah, I don't really squash insects except, possibly, the odd mosquito πŸ™‚

shadow on 06-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Dear me! That seems a rather drastic step to have taken over a philsophical disagreement - obviuously you start by squashing innfensive woodlice and end ... Very good read.

Author's Reply:

admin on 06-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Ah well, she is not A Nice Lady. Thanks for reading, and glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Kat on 06-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Hi Andrea

I enjoyed this - some great use of language and some great images - good rhythm too!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 08-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
An entertaining read, Andrea! Playful stuff - like a lot of the comment, such as...

Both are due to retire next year after many years faithful service as scandal-mongers-in-chief

Yes, on the hole (groan), I enjoyed it!

Steve

Author's Reply:

admin on 09-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Thanks Kat 'n' Pencil, glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:

Abel on 11-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Thoroughly enjoyed this, Andrea. You are such a gifted writer.

Best,
Ward

Author's Reply:

admin on 11-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Awww, I wish Abel πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading though, and thanks too, for the 10 (it doesn't deserve it, y'know :-))

Author's Reply:

Lare on 11-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Hi Andrea...wow...this was so much fun to read...I LOVE this. So packed with detail and the characters are so visibly alive in what I call "the theater of the mind". I hadn't a clue of how this was going to end. Quite honestly...I was concluding that everyone would soon disapait and that would be the end of that. But...oh my...you got me at the end. Whoa! My only question left is..."Now what?" It would be really nifty if this was an ongoing series...'to be continued'...this is perfect...I salute your writing...this is very, very good...

Just me, Lare

P.S. This is definitely a 10!!!!!!!!!

Author's Reply:

admin on 11-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Thank you very, very much Lare, for your kind comment. I am deeply honoured.

Not to mention dead chuffed πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

soman on 12-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Hi Andrea, I wonder where you have been hiding all these months (16 since I joined)! However it was well worth the wait, even in replay. Penned in true Brit tradition -- whom I consider to be the greatest humormongers on earth!

Soman

Author's Reply:

admin on 12-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Thanks very much Soman - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:

subluxed on 12-12-2005
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Bugs and Death! Good Stuff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sub - glad you approve!

len on 21-02-2006
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
You really spin a fine yarn, Andrea..I could see the scenes and I liked the way you personalized the view of the village with terms like, "Village brats" instead of village children and "Scandal mongers"..Very pro stuff, kid..Now we know at least where ONE of the bodies are buried...len

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting, Len - so glad you enjoyed:-)

eddiesolo on 09-03-2006
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Hello Andrea my dear.

Wonderful yarn.

Enjoyed very much.

'muscular morons with pot bellies and ill-fitting trousers.' You been spying on me?

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Haha, how'd you guess Si? Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

richardh on 27-07-2006
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Andrea did you get the email notification for this comment?
let me know via email

Author's Reply:

admin on 20-11-2006
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
No, didn't πŸ™‚ Testing again...

Author's Reply:

richardh on 12-12-2006
A HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE
Test for 12th December 2006

Author's Reply:


Kissing Mistletoe (posted on: 21-02-03)
Mistletoe’s ma, sadly deceased and therefore unable to defend herself, had seemingly been in possession of a somewhat dubious sense of humour.

''Poisonous, that's what it is, poisonous!'' Mistletoe could often be heard muttering darkly. She was not, however, referring to the famous and much-favoured white-berried flora after which she had been named, but rather to the handle itself.

Mistletoe's schooldays, seemingly endless, were a period in her life which she would much rather have preferred to obliterate from her consciousness, distinguished as they were by bullying of the most dastardly and dismal kind.

''Oi! Sod off, Toe-rag!'' and '''and over yer marbles, then, Toenail!'' were the raucous requests bandied about with alarming frequency and ferocity in the playground, much to teacher's distress. Trying to extricate the guilty culprits from within the sweaty depths of a tightly- huddled band of sniggering, fag-puffing pupils, was a task of almost gargantuan proportions and one quite beyond teacher's limited capabilities.

''Never mind, love…'' her pa would say on Mistletoe's mournful return from school, as he diligently decimated stir-fry for their tea. He delicately dropped a soupςon of Golden Virginia ash into the wok, ''…yer mum always did 'ave a bit of a screw loose.'' Which, although kindly meant, nevertheless failed to alleviate Mistletoe's understandable distress.

''But why 'Mistletoe' pa?'' his distraught daughter would wail, quickly whisking the ash into the beansprouts, where it dissolved nicely, ''Even 'Holly' would've been better…''

''Think yerself lucky, my girl, she could've called you 'Santy','' guffawed Pa, adding a subtle touch of spittle to the sizzling veggies. ''Yer ma,'' he intoned reverently, ''was very fond of the festive season…'' and he added a sad, salty tear to the mixture, along with the pepper. A forgiving soul, he'd long ago suspended hostilities with the driver of the milk float that had caused Ethel's sad demise, but nevertheless retained fond memories of his dear-departed spouse and mater of his only offspring.

As Mistletoe grew older and having, by a minor miracle, managed to survive the trauma of her youth and land herself a job stacking shelves in her local Kwiksave she had, with great and unexpected resourcefulness, changed her name, by deed-poll, to 'Missy''.

This worked reasonably well with new acquaintances and work colleagues but, needless to say, didn't fool her numerous and ubiquitous relatives. They, to a man, not only remembered her ma with great and lasting fondness, but also rejoiced in the fact that, come Christmas, Mistletoe was there to remind them, if only by association, of the defunct Ethel.

''Oooh, you look just like yer ma, don't she Albert?'' quavered Auntie Nelly, false choppers sunk in a walnut. She fixed her other half with a steely eye and waited.

''Yup,'' agreed Uncle Albert hastily, simultaneously swigging his fifth G&T and flicking lumps of congealed gravy from his moustache with a grubby fingernail.

''…an' such a lovely name, Mistletoe, innit Albert?'' sighed Nelly nostalgically, spitting shell delicately and with astounding accuracy, into the rum punch.

''Yup,'' groaned Albert, by this time so thoroughly plastered he wouldn't have noticed if Mistletoe had suddenly metamorphosed into Anne Widdecombe.

''Now then, Mistletoe!'' cried Auntie Nora, flushed and thrusting a well-padded bosom to the fore. She waved the parsons nose at her unfortunate niece, 'tell us all about yer new job then. In Lapland, is it, eh, eh?'' and relatives en masse collapsed into hysterical and inebriated laughter.

Thus it was that, every festive season Mistletoe, unavoidably ensconced in the midst of the Yuletide Family Gathering, found herself the recipient of cruel and deeply distressing jests about her moniker.

And thus it was too, that at the ripe old age of 20, when most girls had long since mislaid their cherries, Mistletoe had never experienced the joys of unprotected sex. In fact, she'd never experienced sex of any sort. The blame for this, she felt, lay firmly at the door of the well-loved but quite loony Ethel.

''As soon as I tell 'em me name,'' she'd wail to her best mate Germaine, who'd been blessed with a devoutly feminist mother and thus a good start in life, ''they crack up, pinch me arse, gurgle a bit and bugger off…''

Germaine, a worldly girl well versed in the pleasures of the flesh, had never encountered this particular problem. She tried, nevertheless, to sympathise accordingly, as female friends are obliged to do in a crisis of this sort, ''Well, why d'you tell 'em, then?'' she'd ask, reasonably enough.

''Because they bloody-well ask, don't they?'' wailed Mistletoe, distraught and exasperated at the apparent denseness of her best mate. A well-brought-up girl, not given to lying, she had great difficulty in practising the art of deception, even on blokes.

This particular Christmas, she was convinced, was destined to be the worst yet. Stacking 'no frills' on the shelves as if her very life depended on it, she contemplated with mounting horror the imminent birth of Cousin Hilda's first sprog and what it was going to mean to a family already, in her view, on the brink of collective insanity.

''Me and yer Auntie Nora have decided to have a santy this year…'' her pa informed her a few days before the dreaded event. They were doing their Christmas shopping in Kwiksave as Mistletoe, an employee on a pittance, got a discount. Pa chucked a large pud in the trolley, ''…be nice for Hilda's kid, we thought,'' he threw in two packets of sage 'n' onion, ''Whaddya think, love?'' and he scrutinised a net of sprouts, with the air of a man expert in these matters. ''It'll be a great do. Better get plenty of booze in, you know what yer Uncle Albert's like.'' and he made a mental note to add three extra bottles of gin to the list, not wishing his brother to go short.

Mistletoe, mortified at the memory of a Selfridges Santa whose beard had fallen off due to an unfortunate attack of excessive mirth when he discovered the name of the little girl perched on his knee, glowered at a packet of gooey dates,

''I hate bleedin' Christmas!'' she growled, eyeing mandarins malevolently.

''Awww, come on, love!'' wheedled her pa, squinting at a packet of brandybutter mix, ''It'll be fun. Remember that time I took you to Santa's Grotto…?'' but Mistletoe had legged it, leaving a trail of custard powder in her wake, thrown to the floor in a tearful tantrum.

''It's gonna be a bloody nightmare!'' she wailed to Germaine the next day, as they swigged Bud from the bottle in the local boozer, ''the whole bloody lot of 'em are coming…'' and she swiftly purchased another in order to drown her not inconsiderable sorrows.

''Well, you'll just have to grin and bear it, won't you?'' retorted Germaine unhelpfully, eyeing up the local talent that had just sauntered in, ''After all, it's only once a year, innit?'' and she fluttered black spikes in the direction of the tattooed, leather-clad pitbull. Pitbull raised a be-ringed paw in drunken salute.

Christmas afternoon found them all stuffed, sozzled and slouched on sofas, awaiting the imminent arrival of Santa.

Auntie Nellie's bright, white teeth rested fetchingly beside her on the pouffe. Uncle Albert dribbled gently in front of the telly. Auntie Nora, eyes glazed as a chocolate log, wielded nutcracker and brazils in menacing fashion and Cousin Hilda's newborn, ensconced starkers on a tatty tartan under the tree, puked over the presents.

''HO! HO! HO!'' cried Santa theatrically, as he strode in, ''Er…the front door was open…'' he mumbled apologetically to the assembled crew. He staggered over to the tree, beard bobbing and bent double under his sack of goodies ''Ah! HO HO HO! So is this the little boy then?'' and he peered myopically at the squalling infant.

''Girl,'' asserted Hilda, affronted.

''Oh, right, sorry,'' squinted Santa, contrite, ''hard to tell in this light.''

''Ain't she cute?'' asked Auntie Nellie, hastily shoving in her teeth.

''Our pride an' joy!'' beamed Pa boozily.

''Yup,'' drooled Uncle Albert, reaching for his gin.

''Oooh, look, I think she's gone an' done summat!'' cried Auntie Nora happily as baby, in abject terror, expelled a steaming stream of brown liquid, '''Oo's a clever girl then, eh? Look you lot, she's shat!'' and she gazed gleefully at the gaping congregation.

They all stared, transfixed, at baby's nether regions, failing to notice, lost in admiration as they were at this amazing feat of human achievement, the sudden absence of Santa and Mistletoe.

Mistletoe, a kindly girl at heart, had noticed Santa sloping surreptitiously off, obviously unimpressed at baby's remarkable expertise in the waste disposal department. She finally, by a clever process of elimination, discovered him sitting disconsolately, head in hands and rumpled, on her unmade bed.

''What's up, then'' she asked, ''I thought you were s'posed to be jolly. The life an' soul, like.''

''It's no good. I try hard, but I can't do it. I bloody-well hate Christmas, but I need the dosh, see?'' sighed Santa, wrenching off his fake facial foliage dramatically.

''Coo…'' breathed Mistletoe, stunned. Santa exposed, divested of belly-cushion and scarlet togs askew, was the stuff of her dreams and hitherto unfilled desires.

''What's yer real name, then?'' whispered Mistletoe, overawed and breaking out in a clammy sweat. She'd suddenly come over all woozy and weak at the knees and felt a sudden urgent need to park her posterior, as closely as etiquette would permit, next to Santa on the bed.

''Rudolph,'' groaned Santa in despair.

''Christ!'' screeched Mistletoe, delighted.

''See?'' wailed Santa, ''everyone pisses 'emselves when I tell them!'' and he wiped away a glistening tear.

''Did they take the piss out of yer in school, an' all?'' asked Mistletoe, waiting for the answer with fearful trepidation, hideously aware that her whole future hung in the balance.

'''Course they bloody-well did, 'specially at Christmas. 'Rednose' this, 'Reindeer' that, an' 'you pullin' the sleigh tonight, then?' It was a bleedin' nightmare.''

''Yeah, I know…'' said Mistletoe, taking a deep breath, ''My name's Mistletoe. So I know, see?''

''You're kiddin'!''

''No I ain't!''

''Wicked!'' gasped Santa, who was an Eastenders fan.

''Respect!'' yelped Mistletoe, who was into Ali G.

They stared at each other, astonished and astounded by this fateful but fascinating meeting of the minds.

The rest of the family, gazing mesmerised at Cousin Hilda as she wiped, washed, wheedled and whisked out Pampers, looked up sheepishly as Rudolph and Mistletoe, flushed and blushing, hand in hand, entered the room. They all gaped speechlessly at the unlikely pair of lovers.

''Never mind that bloody baby's crap 'n' stuff,'' quoth Mistletoe, awash with newfound confidence and the cognac she'd had stashed under the bed, ''Me an' Santa 'ave got an important announcement to make…''



© Andrea Lowne 2001

1791 words

Previously published by CK Publishing.

Archived comments for Kissing Mistletoe


e-griff on 2003-02-21 06:01:09
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Well written, humorous, nice observation. Problem for me is I didn't believe it - ie. Mistletoe is an unusual name, but I don't believe it would attract so much hostility or put boys off (absolutely not - quite the opposite I would guess). And Rudolph is an even less unusual name, not really funny in any way for me, except possibly in the Santa context. So I guess I felt the plot a little 'stretched to fit' in this one. Sorry! πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

CLJ on 2003-02-21 10:40:26
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Please tell me this is a repost and I'm not going barking...I know I've read this before

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-02-21 11:10:45
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Nope, not a repost and not even on ABC. Might be on another site (although I don't think so) or you might have read it in Writers Muse.

Author's Reply:

Pioden on 2003-02-21 13:08:01
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
I've also read this before too Andrea - its not on your own site by any chance ?!

By the way I enjoyed it then as now

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-02-21 13:19:38
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Oh yes, so it is! Silly me....

Sorry guys, totally forgot πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Pioden on 2003-02-21 13:33:31
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
am amused - its allowed Andrea - nice one - goes to show whose been on your site don't it!

Author's Reply:

nibs on 2003-02-22 16:14:56
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Ahhh! A good ole Christmas Tale - I wouldn't fancy reading it before dinner tho', especially if it was a stir fry!

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2003-06-28 14:36:52
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Just "luvved it our kid" everything was in its place.
Wish I could write things as funny as this piece.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-06-28 14:45:30
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Awwww, thanks Frenchy πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

bilko on 2003-11-02 17:45:02
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
A good story and well written with excellent dialogue. Why shouldn't some halfwit call their kid Mistletoe? There are plenty of dafter names than that. There was one guy who had his daughter christened after the entire Liverpool football team. While the human race exists there will never be a lack of stupidity. One nit-pick, Andrea. There's a mistake in the first sentence. And one grumble - how is a myopic old sod like me supposed to be able to see what you look like in that picture?
bilko

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-11-03 04:52:15
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Ah, Bilko, dear boy - use a telescope.

Author's Reply:

len on 2004-01-23 02:29:19
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Missplaced cherry! I liked that
,a lot.A very amusing and well told story.I can tell you tho',if she was even mildly attractive,her name could be Hitler,and we guys would be after that cherry....len

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-01-23 15:59:22
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Hi Andrea. I saw this story pop up in 'Recent story comments' earlier today while I was at work (don't tell the gaffer). I often have a look at stories/poems on the site while I'm at work although I don't ever comment at those times (I do have my principles, you know). I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this story of yours - in fact, I've actually fallen deeply in love with Mistletoe (please don't tell either my missus or Rudolph). I just have a fear about this story of yours - I envisage a nightmare scenario, 10,000 years in the future. I see a future archaeologist opening up a sealed container (sealed up in the early years of the 21st century) - in the container is a copy of your story and a video of the 'Royle Family'. Can you imagine what these future folk will think of us after they've sampled these two snippets of 'our times'. Good story Andrea - very enjoyable. Bye now.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-02-06 12:24:40
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Great write..I can say you have the making of a great writer..

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-02-06 12:27:02
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Well, thanks Pen - much appreciated πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

davepick on 2004-04-08 12:40:46
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
I enjoyed this. For me 'Rudolph' brought the whole thing together - a nice ironic twist. One small niggle though, Nora's, Ethells and Hilda's seem to be forcing the humour a little. I think a couple of name changes would raise the story to the heights it deserves.
Nice One.
Dave....

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-04-08 13:26:17
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Thanks Dave, I'll certainly consider it!

Cheers:-)

Author's Reply:

chrisk on 2004-04-09 04:38:21
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Andrea Hi
Like a few others here I also read this now , a second time and liked it just like I did, the first time. However Since then, why haven't u posted any stories or poems or anything? I wanna know!(u cant be that busy?)
Regards
Chris

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-04-09 04:41:19
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Thansk Chrisk,

No, haven't posted anything for ages and yes, too busy to write, alas πŸ™

I'll see what I can dig up from the dim and distant past...

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-13 10:10:31
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Andrea, have started to read some of your work this afternoon. This was fantastic. I did laugh at the prosperous names and really felt for Mistletoe and Rudolph through their growing years. Hope they weren't stupid enough to name any of their future children silly names to match the mother and father's names. I really enjoyed this story.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-07-13 11:57:12
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Awww, thanks Betty - I do like to give people a chuckle or two πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2004-08-12 05:46:00
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Was sure I had commented on this piece...never mind must be my age.

A lovely well written read Andrea, I really enjoyed it.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-12-09 12:44:54
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Andrea,

Getting in the spirit of the season, I just read this. What a hoot! Gave me a wicked laugh (one I really needed too!) Great read!

Cheers,
Adele πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-12-09 12:54:09
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Thanks hugely, Adele,

I am wondering though, why there are 2 pics of me on here, both more or less the same!

Author's Reply:

steadyeddy on 2005-04-10 20:43:02
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
good write I thoroughly enjoyed reading it , so I salute you

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2005-04-10 20:46:28
Re: Kissing Mistletoe
Thank you, Steady - much appreciated πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 07-03-2006
Kissing Mistletoe
Andrea,
I have to tell you, I laughed all the way through this. You have given so much detail and color to this story that it is alive! From the dialogue to the great fun of baby excrement and the shop and save, it kept me totally engaged. You are one very clever writer. I will be thinking of this for awhile. Thank you. lol
blessings
Jolen (mistletoe is optional)

Author's Reply:
Awwww, thanks Jolen, much appreciated and glad you enjoyed.


The Other Side of the Tracks (posted on: 24-01-03)
"Shopping," announced Lowri sweetly, her toothy smile engulfing the screen, "is fast becoming Europe's number one leisure activity..."

Andrea

The camera panned to hordes of happy shoppers, mostly female, rushing gaily hither and thither, credit cards burning holes. A few miserable males hung around dolefully, hands in pockets and clearly wishing they were downing pints in the boozer next door. "Leisure activity my arse," grumbled Beryl, who'd just done three rounds with a geriatric queue jumper in Tesco's, "It's alright for her, with all her dosh. I bet you don't get trolley rage in Harrods." And she plonked two bags bursting with groceries on the kitchen table. "The trouble with you, Ma," said Jimi, formerly known as Maurice, "is that you're too uptight. You should chill a bit." Lowri's teeth disappeared as he zapped to another channel. Beryl, still known as Beryl, selected a nice hefty cabbage and chucked it at her son's head.                                              ..."Tony Banks said in the House of Commons that Margaret Thatcher was a sex-starved boa constrictor..." said the telly conversationally, as Jimi ducked. "Peace Ma, peace." he grinned, scrubbing ash from the front of his Ban The Bomb T-shirt. The cabbage, sailing gracefully through the air, landed with a thud on Castro's tail. Castro, as laid-back as any lab could be, merely raised his head sleepily and yawned. "Peace my butt," retorted Beryl, whose posterior had a strange habit of insinuating itself into most of her conversations, "If you don't get off your backside a bit more Maurice, and give me a hand, it'll be war, I can tell you." "Don't call me Maurice," said Jimi, deeply offended, "You know I hate it. It's Jimi now, remember?" "Jimi, shimmy," replied Beryl, "I christened you Maurice and Maurice you'll always be. Jimi who, anyway?" she asked as an afterthought. "God, Ma, get with-it. Hendrix, of course, who else?" said the born-again icon, grabbing an imaginary guitar and dancing around the room plucking madly, much to Castro's delight. "...all along the watchtower," yelled the virtuoso as Castro howled the backing vocals lustily, tail revolving like a Dutch windmill.                                      The trouble with Jimi, thought Beryl moodily, was that he was born into the wrong era. Instead of being into designer gear and raving it up at house parties high on E's, like a normal 20-year-old, he ran a commie mag inspiringly called Guevara, wore T-shirts advising the proletariat to 'Smoke the Russians out of Afghanistan' and refused point-blank to eat his liver. "Meat, especially offal," he told his mother reprovingly, eyeing her bloody plate with disgust, "is totally poisonous and packed with dangerous hormones." Beryl, who could do with a hormone boost, having reached that time of life when such things matter, shovelled in another goodly mouthful and glared at her son defiantly. Jimi's room was like a flashback to the 70's. The shelves were groaning under William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and Alan Ginsburgh. The walls were papered with posters of Dylan, Henrix, Che, Joplin, Floyd and Dali. The window ledge was completely concealed beneath packets of incense, patchouli-scented candles, greenly fermenting yoghurt culture and bongs from every corner of the smoking globe.                              "A bong a day helps you work, rest and play." Jimi told his ma cheerfully, puffing away. He blew smoke at Castro, who never inhaled but seemed to enjoy it nevertheless.                                                  Beryl sometimes feared for her sanity and, in more maternal and charitable moments, that of her son and heir. Beryl was stressed, there was no doubt about it. Since the old man had been fatally struck down with the male menopause and had left to pursue Pamela Anderson look-alikes, life had never been the same. No matter how many times she tried whipping up fantastic floral bouquet's from bits of string and coloured crepe like Jane Asher, or knocking up mouth-watering three course gourmet delights in 20 minutes as did Brian Turner, nothing seemed to work. Her attempts at budgeting would have given Gordon Brown apoplexy and her DIY efforts would have curled poor Laurence's cuffs. Ironing brought on her hot flushes, hoovering gave her backache and dusting aggravated her asthma. "You'll have a heart attack if you're not careful," Jimi told her, as Beryl rushed around emptying ashtrays, "Here, have a spliff. Be cool..." and he and Castro staggered off for their Sunday afternoon tree hugging session. Poor Beryl, now wrestling with a bowl of soggy sage and onion with one hand, removed the other from the nether regions of the unfortunate fowl she was attempting to stuff and, cursing roundly, gave them both the finger. That afternoon, Jimi and Castro were in contemplative mood as they sat under the shade of an oak sharing a smoke.                  "I'm worried about Ma," confided Jimi to the faithful hound, "She's really freaking out..." Castro, droopy-eyed and doleful, raised his head and dribbled in agreement. He, too, was concerned, especially since it looked suspiciously like burnt chicken for dinner again. They cogitated upon cloud formations in sombre silence for a while. "Come on, mate" said Jimi finally, heaving himself to his feet and brushing grass from his velvet flares, " Let's go see how the old girl's doing..." When they arrived home and opened the front door, they were deafened by the silence. No hum of food mixers, no whine of vacuum cleaners, no whistling kettles disturbed the eerie calm. Jimi and Castro sniffed in unison. A familiar smell pervaded. Cautiously they made their way to the living-room and, quietly opening the door, peered tentatively inside. There, lying on the sofa and attired in one of Jimi's favourite tie-dye caftans reclined a bare-footed Beryl, eyes closed and smiling beatifically. Smoke spiralled from incense and Donovan warbled from the turntable. Jimi and Castro stared, stunned. '...they call me mellow yellow...' crooned Donovan.                                              "Hi, you guys," said Beryl, languidly waving a hand from which a fat joint dangled, "Had a gas of a time, then?" "Bloody hell, Ma" breathed Jimi, highly impressed, "You look like one hip chick..." Castro, eyes swivelling and tongue lolling, panted agreement. "Tell you what, Jimi," grinned Beryl, taking another satisfying toke, "you were right all along. Bugger the stresses of modern day living. This, my boy, is definitely the way to go..."                                                                                                   END © Andrea Lowne 2002
Archived comments for The Other Side of the Tracks


e-griff on 2003-01-24 04:54:41
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
Ah, andrea! Now we know it all! Who is Beryl then ? (winks). What a family you have! I'll never be mean to you again, you bear a cross! and why does your pic look like somebody or something's creeping up on you from the side? By gad, you're a handsome woman, though!

Seriously, very nice polished story, funny. I enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

(ps. - 'bouquet's' ?)

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2003-01-24 05:47:33
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
Brilliant! I totally agree, life's too short for housework and all that nonsense. Now I'd better take the dog out for a tree-hugging session (at least, I hug them, he pees on them).

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-01-24 06:18:10
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
hug the dog, and he'll pee on you!

Author's Reply:

Pioden on 2003-01-25 04:45:27
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
I wonder how daughter would react .......... would they notice the difference, you think ?

Author's Reply:

Easyray on 2003-01-26 01:18:11
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
Β I found this a very funny and well written story. I can relate to the characters (even Castro) and hope there's more to come.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-01-27 08:40:39
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
The way to go is right.

Author's Reply:

nibs on 2003-02-04 14:36:48
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
I think crafty old Beryl has been at it for years but decided to stop hiding it from Jimi. Jimi had better watch out - what next? There is more I hope.

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-14 07:00:00
Re: The Other Side of the Tracks
Excellent! I loved this story, hope there will be more. Maybe I should adapt to what Beryl did. Had that attitude before my baby daughter came along, not any more though. Working full time, doing everything for her (at least until she is old enough to do things for herself), housework, washing, ironing, stress levels to the high sometimes.

Author's Reply:


Patrick and the Pot (posted on: 11-11-02)
'When you ain't got nothin', you ain't got nothin' to lose...' growled Janis Joplin as Patrick combed his beard in front of the kitchen mirror, scrutinising the prolific, crinkly, grey growth with immense satisfaction.

PATRICK AND THE POT Andrea Lowne      'When you ain't got nothin', you ain't got nothin' to lose...' growled Janis Joplin as Patrick combed his beard in front of the kitchen mirror, scrutinising the prolific, crinkly, grey growth with immense satisfaction. Janis' sentiments reflected Patrick's attitude towards life admirably.

His tiny cottage had no electricity (which would cost too much to install), no telephone (ditto) and precious little furniture. It was heated by means of a stove, which he fed with logs collected from the woods that nudged the fence at the bottom of his small garden. A saucepan of grains and vegetables usually bubbled merrily on top, filling the room with an appetising smell of leeks and parsnips.

Patrick liked nothing better, on a cold winter's evening, than to settle down in his overstuffed leather armchair with a good book which he read by the flickering light of an oil lamp, his legs comfortably stretched out toward the flames. When his eyes, glazing behind glasses, became too tired to follow the words, he'd take himself off to bed, curl up under his patchwork blanket and sleep the dreamless sleep of the truly untroubled soul.

Sometimes, he'd put an old record on the turntable and whistle tunelessly to Bob Dylan as he rolled a joint and daydreamed of the good old days, when he'd been young, full of vigour and enthusiastic enough to make the effort to drive a psychedelic Volkswagen to festivals in Glastonbury or the Isle of Wight.

Patrick's garden, small enough for easy maintenance, but large enough to provide him with much of his nutritional requirements, was a source of great delight. He'd haphazardly planted carrots, leeks, onions, parsnips, lettuce and beans, enough for most of his yearly needs.

Being a child of the 70s, he was a vegetarian and anything he couldn't grow himself, he purchased with money earned by doing odd jobs around the village. There was always someone who needed a fence fixing, or a kitchen cabinet mending and as long as Patrick had his music, his books and his smoke life, as far as he was concerned, was wonderful. In short, Patrick was a happy and contented man.                                              There was, however, one small fly in Patrick's ointment and it manifested itself in the looming shape of Ivy Bottomly. Ivy lived in the adjacent cottage and was everything that Patrick wasn't. Blue-rinsed Ivy considered herself to be a pillar of the community and, to her way of thinking, this included knowing everything there was to know about everyone and, if possible, reporting any lapses in community spirit to the relevant authorities. Unfortunately for poor Patrick, the community was somewhat small and largely conventional so he, by default, became Ivy's prime target.

Thus it was that Patrick frequently found himself on the receiving end of letters from the council demanding that he remove his old bikes from the front porch as they were 'lowering the tone of the village', or requesting instant extermination of the dandelions sprouting happily between the grass, as they'd inconsiderately 'spread to neighbouring gardens.'

Ivy, floral-frocked and ensconced on her patio surrounded by grinning garden gnomes and bright, nodding dahlias, would watch with a smile of smug satisfaction as Patrick sadly plucked the offending weeds from his lawn. 'You've forgotten one, I see.' she'd call out gleefully, pointing to a particularly sorry specimen trying vainly to hide behind the magnolia tree.

Once, Patrick had been visited by the village copper, called out to investigate a 'funny, acrid smell', reportedly emanating from Patrick's open window. Young constable Perth, not unfamiliar with illegal substances and partial to a toke himself on festive occasions, was highly embarrassed, especially since Patrick had mended his son's puncture only the week before.

'It's her next door again,' he said to Patrick, red-faced and apologetic. 'You'd better keep your windows closed for a bit. We don't want her complaining higher up, or you could be in real trouble. You haven't got any plants growing in the garden, have you?' 'Don't be daft,' grinned Patrick, who knew better, 'I lived in London during the 70s, remember?' Constable Perth who didn't, being too young, nodded sagely and left, troubled.

Patrick, an honest chap, was telling the truth. His garden was as pot-free as any garden could be. What he'd neglected to mention however, was that every spring, post crocuses and pre daffs, he planted a nice little crop of marijuana in the woods, which he tended faithfully all spring and summer. If he was careful it provided him with a lovely winter stash, which lasted him until the following year. Patrick's pot plants were his pride and joy. Currently, they were about four feet tall, laden with fragrant flowers and beautifully bushy. They nestled comfortably in a clearing, surrounded protectively by ferns and wild rhododendrons. It promised to be a heart-warming and cosy winter.                                                  In early autumn Patrick, in anticipation of the approaching cold months, spent his time rummaging around second-hand book shops for reading matter and, hair tied back in an untidy pony-tail, began digging up onions, carrots, parsnips and leeks under the watchful eye of Ivy Bottomly, whose blindingly white nets twitched with ever increasing frequency. He noted, with uncharacteristic satisfaction, her brown-petalled roses and wilting geraniums.

The day arrived when Patrick deemed the time right to harvest his less legal crop. 'Everybody must get stoned...' he sang tunelessly as, armed with spade and binliner and clad in his warmest afghan and wellies, he headed jauntily towards the clearing.

The sight that met him there was enough to make him weep. His two bushiest and most succulent plants were missing, cut down in their prime. All that was left were two sorrowful stumps, oozing with sap, as though crying with indignation at the assault. Patrick, puzzled and not a little nervous, harvested the rest of his crop quickly, keeping a wary eye out for the old Bill, who might be lurking in the undergrowth hoping for a bust.

On re-entering his garden, he was greeted by the sight of Ivy peering curiously over the garden fence, bifocals askew and her normally pallid face flushed and unusually animated. 'Been out for a walk then, have you?' she asked Patrick, swaying slightly and hiccuping tipsily. 'The old bat's drunk,' he thought in awe. 'Who'd have thought it?' 'Um,' he said out loud, somewhat put out by Ivy's erratic and unconventional behaviour. 'Went for a walk myself yesterday,' Ivy continued, blue hair waving wispily in the slight breeze. She hung grimly onto the fence for support. 'Um,' said Patrick again, conscious of the bulging binliner slung over his shoulder and wondering where all this was leading. Ivy had never been so garrulous. 'Found ever such a pretty clearing.' continued Ivy chattily, 'Never seen it before. Full of wild sage, it was. Smelled lovely, it did. I brought a couple of plants home to dry. See me all through the winter, they will. Nothing like sage and onion stuffing to bring out the flavour. Used some of it for the roast chicken last night...' And Ivy, amazingly, giggled and blushed like a schoolgirl... Wordcount: 1195 © Andrea Lowne 2002 Originally published in Asphyxia Magazine (Aus).
Archived comments for Patrick and the Pot


e-griff on 2002-11-11 10:53:42
Re: Patrick and the Pot
To be Frank, Andrea, I think you should persevere with your writing. I have the feeling that you could get something published one day! (smiles patronisingly).
seriously - a light little tale. The only niggle is I felt the stacatto paragraphs at the beginning uncomfortable. When we get to Ivy, and some dialogue etc to break it up, it is fine. You might try running some paras together in the first bit to add a bit of continuity to the flow. G πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

sirat on 2002-11-12 01:37:20
Re: Patrick and the Pot
Well, this one has obviously done all right for you and who am I to criticize? But I will anyway. No, I liked the way it was written and Patrick's character came over well, but I felt that instead of dwelling on the conversation with the policeman it might have been better to set up an altercation between Patrick and Ivy which would show us how they relate to one another and make us aware of their turbulent history without so much direct telling. Then we would see the change in her attitude at the end and hopefully it would be all the more effective. I would also lighten the clues as to what had brought about the change without removing them entirely. Maybe end with Patrick casually enquiring what she had had for her lunch that particular afternoon. Those are only suggestions, it's a good comic tale as it stands.

Author's Reply:

Skytrucker on 2002-11-12 08:04:24
Re: Patrick and the Pot
Well, I loved it. It is a good story well told. I would like to know where I can obtain a record player powered by oil? I plan to spend a year on a desert island, you see! Well written A.

Trux

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2002-11-12 10:19:14
Re: Patrick and the Pot
Thanks guys,

All comments gratefully received and inwardly digested. Much like Ivy's stuffing πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

bryan on 2002-11-12 22:02:30
Re: Patrick and the Pot
I thought the basic plot was very good but that maybe you hadn't exploited all of its possibilities. I would like to have seen a good fight between Patrick and Ivy at the beginning so that we could see the contrast after she had eaten her wild sage stuffing. Not saying I could do any better though. It's a good story with good strong characters.

Author's Reply:

matt on 2002-11-13 19:58:42
Re: Patrick and the Pot
An entertaining read - thanks Andrea. But was Ivy in love with Patrick all along? Opposites attract....!

Author's Reply:

Pioden on 2002-11-13 20:06:25
Re: Patrick and the Pot
I like this Andrea - bit slow to begin as it gradually takes you into it - having said that it certainly did made me giggle

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2002-11-13 21:52:12
Re: Patrick and the Pot
Enjoyed the story very much, but I do have one question. Can you really grow smokable pot outside in this climate? I thought you had to line the loft with cooking foil and buy special lamps and stuff.

Author's Reply:

Jesse on 2002-11-13 22:24:55
Re: Patrick and the Pot
If you don't want the super-strength of today(which Patrick wouldn't, being a child of the 70s), you can most definitely grow smokeable stuff in this climate. Have done it many times πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

sirat on 2002-11-14 11:06:41
Re: Patrick and the Pot
A report has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Author's Reply:

Jesse on 2002-11-14 11:10:37
Re: Patrick and the Pot
That's nice. Not a lot they can do, though, I live in the Netherlands!

πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-03-09 11:51:29
Re: Patrick and the Pot
A sweet gentle little tale - I found it had great charm.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-03-09 12:18:40
Re: Patrick and the Pot
Well thank you kindly, Topsy πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-14 07:17:15
Re: Patrick and the Pot
I really enjoyed this story too Andrea. Although Ivy comes across as a very nosey neighbour, it didn't seem to me that her and Patrick had ever had a falling out as such, just her nosiness that gets on his nerves. Well done, like this story

Author's Reply:

Poet on 11-04-2006
Patrick and the Pot
Hi Andrea,

I think this story is well-told and gives a lot of reason for smiles. I did. Enjoyed it a little too well I guess since I am also a child of the 60's/70's so the relationship of Patrick to his passions was not so foreign.
I suppose there could have been a battery-powered phonogragh...no?
Glad I read this and will look forward to seeing more of your work. Wow, what if they actually fell for each other as if under the spell of some new-age incantation? Hmm...

Cheers and thanks for the very enjoyable read.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Poet, that's very kind. Well, it could have been one of those wind-up things, y'know, wot played 78s - I actually used to have one as a kid, can you believe it?

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting, it's much appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed the tale πŸ™‚

Andrea on 06-05-2007
Patrick and the Pot
PS. Patrick could never have seriously argued with Ivy - he was too into Peace and Love (man).

Author's Reply:

len on 08-03-2008
Patrick and the Pot
Ivy lived in the adjacent cottage and was everything that Patrick wasn’t. Blue-rinsed Ivy considered herself to be a pillar of the community and, to her way of thinking, this included knowing everything there was to know about everyone and, if possible, reporting any lapses in community spirit to the relevant authorities. Unfortunately for poor Patrick, the community was somewhat small and largely conventional so he, by default, became Ivy’s prime target.


I can't tell you how much I loved that part, Andrea..Such good humor and really good writing. Everybody must get stoned, including Ivy...Let's hope the herbal nedice mellows her out in the futrue...Just a marvelous story, Andrea....

PS....What power ran his turntable???

Author's Reply:
Thanks Len...:-)

The power of luuuurrrvvvvvve, of course!

len on 08-03-2008
Patrick and the Pot
Pleas uxcuse the typos below..I'm a little STONED!!

Author's Reply:

len on 08-03-2008
Patrick and the Pot
plese axcus the typoes ABUVE...hee hee

Author's Reply:


Yes, Dear (posted on: 19-08-02)
''Yes, dear,'' I said irritably to Roger, annoyed at having smudged my lipstick and in a hurry to leave.
I say 'Yes, dear,’ to Roger all the time. It keeps him happy and it’s no skin off my nose, after all.

''You didn't even hear what I said, Elly!'' he protested mildly, pulling at his earlobe in that irritating way he has.

''Yes I did, dear,'' I replied, struggling with shimmering silver tights, ''You asked where I was going and would I be late?''

''And you said 'Yes, dear.' Tug, tug.

''Well, I probably will be, so you needn't wait up.''

I squeezed into a sexy little red number with difficulty, squashed my feet into black high heels, planted a perfunctory kiss on Roger's balding dome and headed for the door.

Poor old Roger. I quite like him, really. It's just that he's become so boring. Things had been very different when we first met 30 years ago.

But then they always are, aren't they? He was 20, I was 18 and all we wanted to do was have fun. Parties, concerts, dances, you name it, we went. We saw the original stage version of ''Hair'', danced to The Stones in Hyde Park and swayed giddily to Pink Floyd on Hampstead Heath, mesmerised by psychedelic lights.

I worked in a bookies then and seemed to have a knack for picking winners. Roger was a photographer. He took some great shots of me in full hippie gear. All silk, satin, velvet, beads and smooth, creamy complexion. Wonder what happened to them?

To be honest, I don't think I've changed all that much. Not looks-wise, anyway. I dress more sexily, that's all.

Roger's changed, though. A lot. All he's seemed to want to do for years is sit at home and watch telly, or listen to ancient records. He's got a huge record collection which he's ridiculously proud of, and refuses point-blank to buy CDs.
Newfangled rubbish, he calls them.

''Records have always been good enough for you before,'' he'll say, blowing dust off a Donovan, ''Besides, they're probably worth a fortune now''.

At least I've progressed to Oasis and am hoping to do better.

Ten years ago, Roger had a heart attack which left him more or less housebound and, as I was still working, we got a cleaning lady who comes three times a week to dust, vacuum, polish, wash and mop, or whatever it is that cleaning ladies do these days. All the stuff that I hate, anyway.

A pleasant, homely, motherly woman, Mrs. Watson, but almost as boring as Roger, if that's possible. Not that I speak to her an awful lot,
because I'm not often there when she is. Seems to get on alright with poor old Roger though, which is a blessing.

Anyway, after Roger's heart attack, he went from bad to worse. Instead of the occasional night out at the local, he never wanted to go out at all!
The evenings became an absolute riot of pyjamas, slippers and cocoa. And after a scintillating evening watching Eastenders, Ground Force and
the news, it was time, as far as Roger was concerned, for a good nights kip. I ask you!

Honestly, I couldn't stand it. I took to going out on my own, or with mates. After a while we progressed from pubs to clubs and that's where
I met Bill.

Bill's 15 years younger than me, although I think I look pretty good for my age and scrub up treat, even if I do say so myself.

Even more important, he's game for anything and a great laugh. The sex is pretty good too. Poor old Roger can just about manage once a month. Providing he doesn't have a headache, that is.

Not that I plan to leave Roger, of course. After all, he doesn't seem to mind me coming in at all hours and hardly ever asks me where I've been. Then there's the house to consider. And Roger's pension. No, I'm far better off staying where I am and having Bill on the side. You could say I'm having my cake and eating it too.

Tonight Bill and I'd been invited to his boss' house-warming. It promised to be a great laugh, with loads of booze, food and dancing. I'd bought
the sexy red number specially and thought I looked particularly glamorous. Bill thought so too.

''Blimey, you look fantastic,'' he said when he sawme, patting my rear end with enthusiasm.

''You too,'' I kissed him and thought, but only fleetingly, of poor old Roger sitting in his arm-chair sipping cocoa and reading Irving Stone.

The party lived up to its promise. The music was blaring, drinks flowed, the dancing was frantic and I got pretty sozzled. Bill and I necked in a
corner, like teenagers.

It was pretty late, or early rather, when I got home, so I was surprised to see the lights still on.

I let myself in and went into the living room, where Roger still sat reading. He looked up as I came in and put the book down.

''Had a nice time?'' he asked, glasses perched on the end of his nose.

''Yes, thanks, dear,'' I giggled, still under the influence but starting to feel uneasy all the same.

''Good,'' said Roger, ''Because I think it's time we had a little chat,'' he yanked his earlobe, ''Or rather, I've got something to tell you. You must
think I'm really stupid, Elly. Well, I'm not. I know perfectly well what you've been doing all these years, and I've had enough.''

Roger paused for breath and I stared at him in amazement, suddenly sober and wondering where mild-mannered, wimpish poor old Roger had gone. I didn't like this one at all.

What I'm trying to say, Elly,'' he continued, dome gleaming in the lamplight, ''Is that it's over. You and me. Our marriage. I'm leaving with Emily. She loves me and I love her, too. A lot. We've decided to move in together and make a new start.''

''Who the bloody hell's Emily?'' I cried in astonishment.

''If you stopped thinking about yourself for once and started thinking more about other people, you'd know damn well who Emily is. Mrs. Watson, that's who she is. Our cleaning lady. The kind and thoughtful person you keep telling me is so boring. Well, now you won't have to be bored with her any more, will you? Or me, either, come to that. You do understand what I'm saying to you, don't you Elly? I'm leaving you...''

I gazed at Roger in horror.

''Yes, dear,'' I said faintly.

THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2000

1123 words

Originally published in Interludes magazine (CK Publishing)

Archived comments for Yes, Dear
Skytrucker on 2002-08-20 08:24:25
Re: Yes, Dear
Another goodie. You either have a great imagination or you are a Very Naughty Girl! (Upper case completely justified!)

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2002-08-20 10:36:40
Re: Yes, Dear
Awww, it's both, Trux, natch πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Carol on 2002-08-21 15:27:23
Re: Yes, Dear
I saw a bit of myself (minus the affair) in Elly! And a bit of my husband (minus the decision to leave me for the cleaning lady) in Roger! You have a knack of combining very human traits into a very human story.
'There but for the Grace of God go I...' was my first thought!
Excellent! I really enjoyed this - even if it was a BIT close to home!

Author's Reply:

fecky on 2002-08-22 18:58:50
Re: Yes, Dear
Now you've given us a taste of your autobiography, can we have the rest pleeeeze, Andrea? We want it all, warts an' all, not the sanatised version! πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2002-08-22 19:05:12
Re: Yes, Dear
I assure you, dear Fecky, there was NOTHING autobio in that! Perish the thought!

Just a product of my (sometimes) fertile imagination...

Author's Reply:

geordietaf on 2002-08-23 14:22:19
Re: Yes, Dear
Is this a journal entry? Great comeuppance.

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 2002-11-15 18:28:23
Re: Yes, Dear
AS I say to my wife: that's nice dear.

I enjoyed this , I saw the ending coming from about 2 furlongs out but it didn't matter. you got my vote

Author's Reply:

womanofwit on 2003-10-06 05:23:26
Re: Yes, Dear
Yes, I saw the ending coming too, but it was still an entertaining piece! Loved the musical references and the mention of the hippy gear, really took me back. Actually, no, it depressed me. I want to wear those things again, I want a cow bell round my neck and clackers in my hand. I don't wanna be OLD. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2003-10-06 05:51:23
Re: Yes, Dear
Well, you still *can* wear all those things - I do πŸ™‚

Thanks for all the kind comments...

Author's Reply:

bilko on 2003-11-17 11:02:38
Re: Yes, Dear
Yes, it was obvious what was going to happen, very early in the story. But does that matter? Do we have to be surprised with twists in the tale? It was an enjoyable read just the same.

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-14 10:38:58
Re: Yes, Dear
I really liked this story. I did guess what was going to happen at the end though. Maybe a more fuller description of Elly would have been nice, I just couldn't quite imagine what she looked like (although mutton dressed as lamb came to mind [as the saying goes] but not her face/hair/body size etc). A thorough enjoyable story though.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-07-14 10:55:22
Re: Yes, Dear
Gosh, you are having a good day, Betty! That's the third one of mine today πŸ™‚

Thanks for the kind comments...much appreciated

Author's Reply:

Jen_Christabel on 2005-02-18 06:31:15
Re: Yes, Dear
I've been tootling round trying to catch-up after an 18 month absence and happened across this little gem!
A fine read Andrea.
JayCee

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2005-02-18 07:01:14
Re: Yes, Dear
Thanks JayCee - much appreciated!

Ax

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-24 22:17:22
Re: Yes, Dear
And that's how it happens too, isn't it? Yes, dear!

oh what a nice little bit of realistic humor. Most enjoyable...

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2005-04-24 22:21:15
Re: Yes, Dear
Thanks Jolen - glad you enyoyed it πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:


Pumping Iron (posted on: 09-08-02)
It wasn't that Primrose had particularly minded being poor although it had, on occasion, occurred to her that a few more shekels wouldn't go amiss.

So when Aunt Irma kicked the bucket, considerately leaving her a few thousand quid, Primrose had been pretty pleased.

"Dear old Auntie Irma," she'd said to Albert, shedding a sympathetic tear for the dear departed, "What a way to go. Still, I s'pose she had a bloody good innings..."
"'Dear old Auntie Irma' my arse," snorted her husband from behind page three, "That woman was a demented dragon! And as for 'what a way to go', the old bat was 93 and popped off peacefully in her bed. Not that she deserved to..."

"Oh, Albert," said Primrose, a kindly and forgiving soul, "How can you say that? When she's gone and left me all that money, too."
"Probably the only decent thing she ever did in all her miserable years on the planet," observed her spouse uncharitably, "You can bet your sweet life she'd have taken it with her if she could. Besides, who else would she have left it to? Even her moggy couldn't stand her..."

Let's not speak ill of the dead, Albert. Besides Auntie wasn't all there, as you very well know."
"That's putting it mildly, that is," retorted Albert, remembering the aged relative's irrational ramblings with horror, "Mad as a hatter, she was. Anyway, now that we've got the dough, what are we going to do with it?"
"Dunno, I'll have to think about it. Gotta go love, or I'll be late for me Bodypump class. There's leftover casserole in the oven if you're hungry..."

"Bodypump!" cried Albert, momentarily distracted from mammaries, "What the bloody hell's that?"
Primrose sighed. She was very fond of Albert, but he could be exceedingly dense at times.
"I told you twice already, cloth ears," said Primrose, "It's a non-aerobic workout which emphasises posture," she enunciated carefully, lest she muddle her words, "They've just started a new class down at the gym."
"Emphasises posture?" yelped Albert, gob-smacked, "You don't need posture at your age, woman! You'll end up pegging it, like batty Irma and then where would we be? You should be at home knitting like a normal pensioner, not acting like a bloody Chinese contortionist. And what happened to your Pirates lessons, then?"
"Pilates, Albert," corrected Primrose, tucking grey wisps of hair into her pink, woolly hat, "That's on Wednesday..." and pulling on her wellies and mittens, she disappeared into the November sleet.
"The woman's gone barmy," muttered Albert, putting down his paper and heading for the casserole. He determined to spend the rest of the evening dreaming up delightful ways of spending old Irma's dosh. After Eastenders, of course.
He was just sitting contentedly by a river baiting his hook, the sun streaming through the trees and hordes of rainbow trout frolicking gaily in the icy, crystal water crying out to be caught and gutted, when the phone rang.
"Ummm?," said Albert, who'd just landed a whopper.
"Hello, Dad? It's Myrtle," said his offspring crisply, "Is Mother there?"
"Don't be daft," said Albert, jerked unceremoniously back from his fishy vision, "Is she ever? She's out pumping up her body for Chrissake."
"Pumping up her body?" squawked Myrtle, parrot-like, "Whatever for?"
"Blessed if I know," grumbled Albert, "That's what she does on a Monday..."
"Honestly Dad," said Myrtle severely, "You've got to put a stop to it. It's not natural at her age. She'll have a heart attack!"
"That's what I keep telling her," said Albert gloomily, "But you know your Ma. She never takes
"Well, she'll have to take notice of me!" said Myrtle ominously, "Besides I want to talk to her about Aunt Irma's money. I've had a wonderful idea. Tell Mother I'll pop in tomorrow and we can discuss it..."
"But tomorrow's Aeroboxing night..." groaned Albert into a dead phone and wondering what dastardly sins he'd committed in his last life to have been saddled with such a stubborn wife and overbearing daughter in this one.
It had been a year since the doctor had informed Primrose that unless she lost weight and did some exercise she'd be in serious trouble, "Gentle exercise and diet, Primrose," he'd said, "After all, you're 71 and no spring chicken..."
> "No spring chicken, my foot," snapped Primrose who had hitherto been under the impression that she was immortal, "Gentle exercise my arse. I'll show him!" and she'd enrolled at the local gym forthwith.
The trouble was, that having once started, Primrose couldn't stop. At first she'd felt a bit of a prat gyrating creakily between lithe young bodies squeezed into luminous lycra but Primrose, not a woman easily daunted, had bravely persevered. She gave up fags and booze, cut out fatty foods and informed an astonished Albert that she wanted a set of barbells for Christmas.
Poor Albert, not a man overly fond of his own company, soon found himself alone every evening staring morosely at the HP and Delia. Monday was Bodypumping, Tuesday was Aeroboxing, Wednesday was Pilates, Thursday was Bikram Yoga, Friday was Contact Yoga and Saturday was swimming. On the seventh day Primrose rested.
When Albert told Primrose about Myrtle's proposed visit, her lips pursed like a cats bum and she frowned in irritation, "But it's me Aeroboxing," she said, "An' I don't want to miss it. There's a new teacher starting."
"She's coming early," Albert informed her, "She wants to talk about the old bag's inheritance. Come to that, so do I. How about," he cleared his throat tentatively, "putting down a deposit on a nice bungalow by the sea? Get out of the smoke. You could swim as much as you like, too..."
"'cept when it's ten below," snorted Primrose, who was into fitness, but didn't fancy freezing, "Besides, I've got ideas of me own..." and she winked wickedly.
Myrtle whirled in tarted up to the nines in tweed and enveloped in a cloud of Poison, "Ah, knitting. Good." she said approvingly to Primrose, who was fighting a losing battle with balls of knotted wool, "Now listen Mother, about this inheritance from Aunt Irma. I've decided you ought to invest in the stock market. We'll get a professional stockbroker to advise, of course. You'll probably be able to live quite comfortably from the interest..."
"And leave a goodly chunk to you when I pop off, no doubt," muttered Primrose, under no illusions about her daughter's motives.

"Really, Mother," said Myrtle, stung, "I'm only trying to look after your best interests. What do you say?"
Primrose adjusted her bi-focals and stared stubbornly at her conspiratorial clan.
"So," she said sweetly to Albert, "you want to buy a bungalow so's you can potter around the garden and go fishing?" Albert nodded eagerly. "And you," she turned to Myrtle, "Want me to invest it so's I can leave you a fortune when I shuffle off?
Well, both of you can go take a hike! Gardening's boring, I hate fishing and life's too short to stash. You want to know what I'm gonna do with my money?"
They nodded in unison.
"I'm goin'," said Primrose triumphantly, wrinkled face wreathed in a huge grin, "to start up me own gym for all us old dodderers who refuse to be dictated to by conniving relatives. Wouldn't Auntie Irma be pleased...?"
THE END © Andrea Lowne 2002 1237 words
Archived comments for Pumping Iron


shadow on 2002-08-09 16:03:41
Re: Pumping Iron
This made me laugh - loved the ending!

Author's Reply:

Skytrucker on 2002-08-10 09:16:37
Re: Pumping Iron
You spend too much time worrying about UKA and not enough time writing. Everything you write is just a brilliant read. Wonderful stuff.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2002-08-10 17:27:28
Re: Pumping Iron
Couldn't agree with you more, Trux (re UKA I mean).

Ta lots...:-)

Author's Reply:

CLJ on 2002-08-10 22:57:17
Re: Pumping Iron
Simply fabulous!

Author's Reply:

richardh on 28-12-2006
Pumping Iron
Yes fantasic stuff. πŸ˜‰

Author's Reply:


YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD (posted on: 08-07-02)
"Grub's up!" yelled Eileen, taking a swipe at Fatcat, who was furiously lapping a congealing blob of gravy. Fatcat hissed and dug his claws deeply into the red plastic tablecloth, tail lashing like a sadists whip.

"Bloody pest," muttered Eileen, whacking the unfortunate moggie on the rump with her wooden spoon. Fatcat yowled and, falling onto the floor with an almighty thump, waddled into the kitchen in search of less painful sustenance. Eileen deposited a steaming saucepan neatly between the HP and ketchup dabbing sweat, not entirely caused by slaving over a hot stove, from her forehead with the corner of her pinny. "Come on! I ain't got all day!" she shouted again, justifiably annoyed that her culinary efforts were being ignored. "Comin' love," cried Barry with trepidation. Eileen had been known to burn boiled eggs.                                          "What's this, then?" he asked, dipping his fork suspiciously into oily, amber liquid. Fatcat, back on the table, poked a grubby paw into the dubious depths. "***** oh van," said Eileen proudly, "It's one of them Jamie bloke's recipes. Only as I've decided we're going to give up eating meat, it ain't got no ***** in it." "Well, that's a bloody relief, then," said Barry who, despite a vocabulary severely limited to cockney slang, recognised a threat when he heard on. He crossed his legs in order to protect his vital parts. Fatcat, who'd been busily tending his scalded paw, looked up in dismay, totally devastated at Eileen's decision to forgo the pleasures of the flesh. Animal rights were all very well, but he drew the line at vegetarian cuisine for felines. "...plenty of protein in pulses," Eileen was saying, "think of all them poor, defenceless animals pumped full of hormones to make them grow faster and...." Barry, who occasionally considered Eileen's own hormone level to be somewhat on the low side, groaned. Fatcat, to whom only ginger toms were entitled to come under the heading of 'poor, defenceless animals', mewled woefully. Both foresaw lean times ahead. Diet, though, was not what was uppermost in Eileen's thoughts as she went into the kitchen to wash up. Fatcat, feeling an urgent need to graze on empty plates, wound himself round her ankles. It had always been one of life's unsolved and unfathomable mysteries why humans insisted on immersing plates in hot, soapy water, when you could just lick 'em clean. Eileen, meanwhile, up to her elbows in greasy suds, was wondering how best to break the news to Barry that Maude was coming to stay. He, normally as laid-back as a 70s hippie, was unpredictable when it came to the delicate subject of Eileen's mother. In short, they didn't get on. "Nosy, interfering, over-bearing old bat," he'd frequently been heard to observe. Eileen, a loyal spouse and no ostrich, had to admit that this was true. Maude, for her part, was equally venomous. "Lazy, scruffy good-for-nothing!" she never tired of telling Eileen. Eileen, a dutiful daughter, conceded that this was true as well and was thus torn between the two. Barry's reaction to her news was suitably volatile. "Why can't you just stuff the old bag in a home?" he yelled, startling Fatcat out of a deep, mouse-filled dream, "It'll be a nightmare! You know we can't stand the sight of each other..." "I know, love," sighed a tormented Eileen, "but she is me mother, after all. Can't you just give it a go? I didn't have the heart to say no..." and she patted brimming eyes with a Kleenex. "At least you've got a heart, which is more than can be said for her..." muttered Barry, who could never resist his wife's tears. He finally agreed to 'give it a go as long as the miserable old trout keeps out of me way'. Maude, due to arrive the following Sunday at six, naturally turned up at two, thus neatly foiling Barry's carefully conceived plan involving scarpering down to the boozer, downing lots of pints and playing a leisurely game of darts that would see him home way past Maude's bedtime. Eileen's Eastenders Omnibus was similarly scuppered, and so it was that Maude managed, much to her satisfaction and with very little effort, to disrupt the domestic harmony. "Well, you're early, Mum. Catch the earlier train, did you?" said Eileen, one eye on Maude's three suitcases and the other glued to Sonia's childbearing efforts. "Yes," said Maude, "Got a taxi from the station." Sonia screeched in agony. "Right, well, you'd better come in then." Sonia moaned in terror. Maude fixed Barry, skulking in the hallway hastily donning his coat, with a steely eye. "And where," she said, removing her hat and stabbing it viciously with a glinting hatpin, "d'you think your off to, then?" Barry paled and, as if waiting for a penalty, crossed his privates. "Er..." he stammered, "thought I'd go down to the chippie. Get us some grub for our tea, Ma..." "Bit early for tea, ain't it? Always have me tea after Songs of Praise, I do." And Maude virtuously patted a blue-rinse corkscrew in honour of the Lord and all His mysterious ways. Fatcat, who didn't give a flying fig about his Maker was nevertheless delighted by Maude's arrival. He remembered, as felines are wont to do, that the strange and grating utterance 'Mawd' was synonymous with chicken, steak, gravy and cream. Besides, it was nice to have someone around whose girth, relatively speaking, was a match for his own. He therefore wound himself ingratiatingly around Maude's blue, woolly-knitted calves and yowled plaintively. "There, there, kitty," said Maude, stroking Fatcat's arched back. She glared at Barry balefully, "Cat's starving again I see..." and she whipped a redly dripping plastic bag of innards from her Thatcher handbag and headed for the kitchen. Fatcat smirked and tiptoed after her. "Bloody hell!" quoth Barry, "I can't stand it! The old bag'll see me in me grave. How long's she here for anyway?" "Dunno, love," sighed a martyred Eileen, "She's got nowhere else to go..." "No-one'll 'ave her, more like. Tell yer what, I'll give it a month, and if she's still here, I'm off! Silly ol' cow." And Barry, hitherto unknown for such eloquence, departed to drown his many and diverse sorrows down the Rose and Crown. Maude moved in. Nay, Maude took over. Gone were the days of Neighbours, The Royle Family and The National Lottery. In came, instead, Today at Westminster, Carol's from Kings and The Antiques Road Show. "Bit of culture, that's wot you lot need," said Maude doing a fair impression of Hyacinth Bucket. Fatcat, who's only confrontation with culture had, until now, consisted solely of the green furry stuff fermenting on top of his milk, remained undismayed.                     The same could not be said, however, of his long-suffering owners. Eileen took to tranquilisers and knitting in front of the telly after Maude had retired. She sneakily videoed Eastenders. Barry took to pints and darts down at the local, commiserating with his mates. He cunningly devised plans to rid himself of his obnoxious mother-in-law. Fatcat waxed steadily stouter and was content. On occasion, such as mealtimes, their paths crossed. But instead of sitting in front of the telly watching Noel Edmonds, with their fish fingers and chips balanced precariously on their laps as had been their wont, they now sat stiffly at the dining room table, staring morosely at a vase of yellowing plastic lilies. "We thank the Lord for what we are about to receive," Maude would intone piously. Fatcat, fervently praying for his fair share of the manna too, sat salivating on her tweedy lap.                          "And if she could receive a good dollop of poison in her Horlicks, Lord would I be bloody grateful," pleaded Barry devoutly. "Amen to that, Ma," sighed Eileen, glaring at her hubby and grateful that Maude's hearing-aid was switched off. The bathroom was no longer accessible, festooned as it was with bloomers large enough to launch a catamaran and bras copious enough to contain two of Alan Titchmarsh's prize pumpkins. Knitted stockings wound themselves, snake-like, around the bathtaps and the cabinet was full to bursting with rollers and arthritis cream. A spare set of dentures sat grinning in a glass. The only respite Barry and Eileen got from Maude's relentless nagging was that every Tuesday Maude departed to her bingo night. Barry, determined to spend this blessed time fruitfully, perfected one of his cunning plans while Eileen guiltily munched choccies and caught up with Corrie. Barry started his campaign proper by surreptitiously snipping holes in Maude's bloomers. ''Look at that, will you?" said Maude, holding on high knickers that, if it wasn't for the pink roses, bore a strong resemblance to swiss cheese, "What's 'appened here then, eh?" and she glowered at Barry accusingly.         "Must've been the cat," said Barry, aiming a well-directed kick in the direction of his unfortunate pet. Fatcat, visions of venison fading fast, yowled pitifully in protest. Where's me dentures then?" wailed Maude the next morning, mouth pursed like a duck's arse, "How'm I s'posed to eat me bangers?" "Suck 'em," muttered Barry, his hand comfortingly encircling the choppers hidden in his pocket. Maude's hot water bottle was easily sabotaged. A few pricks with a fine needle did the trick admirably. "Me bloody bottles leaking!" lamented a soaked and soggy Maude, winceyette pajamas plastered to saggy boobs. "Blimey, what a sight, talk about wet tee-shirt night!" snickered a delighted Barry. He delivered his coupe de grace the following week. Maude marched into the sitting room, pale as froth on a pint, "Where's me pads!" she hissed. "Pads?" asked Barry innocently, raising bushy eyebrows. "Pads?" queried Eileen, puzzled                                                 "Me incontinence pads, you pair of twerps!" screeched Maude. "Oh, them pads," said Barry, "Dunno..." "If you think," gasped Maude, seemingly having cottoned on, "that you're gonna get rid of me, you've got another think comin', I can tell you! I'm off to me bingo, pads or no pads!" and out she stormed, slamming the door behind her. Barry and Eileen stared at each other. "Tee hee," snickered Barry. "You're wicked, you are," said Eileen. "Serves the old bat right," said Barry, who was, nevertheless, slightly downcast at the apparent failure of his campaign. "Have you noticed anything different about Ma, though?" asked Eileen. Barry, being a man and therefore from Mars, hadn't. "Old bag'll never change," he scoffed. "Well, that's where you're wrong," smirked Eileen, well clued-up regarding the unobservant nature of the male, "She's begun tarting herself up. Her hair's not blue anymore, for one thing. An' she's started wearing makeup. Other day she even had nail varnish on..."                                          Barry, on refection, saw that this was true. "What d'you think it means, then?" he asked in fright. "No idea," said Eileen, "P'raps she's going through her second childhood." "God forbid!" groaned Barry, horrified at the thought of a juvenile, geriatric Maude. They were just dozing off at then end of the news when they heard Maude's key in the lock. "Oh, bloody hell, she's back already," groaned Barry, rousing himself with difficulty. "I heard that!" said Maude, striding into the room, Pat Butcher earrings clanking, "But I ain't back for long. And it wasn't you that got rid of me, neither. It was Bert!" "Who the bloody hell's Bert?!" cried Eileen and Barry in unison. Bert's a bloke I met at me bingo," smirked Maude in an inspired bit of alliteration, "e's a lovely man, is Bert. Wants me to marry him..." "Blimey," said Eileen, sotto voce, "I wonder if the poor sod knows what he's letting himself in for?"                                      "Who cares," whispered Barry to his bemused spouse, "Good on yer," he said aloud to Maude, "Salt of the earth, Bert. Great bloke." "But you've never met 'im, Barry," Eileen pointed out. "Don't need to," grinned Barry, raising his can of Special Brew in salute to the absent but dearly-beloved Bert, "he's just made me the happiest man alive. An' you can take that bloody cat with you, an' all..."                          END © Andrea Lowne 2001
Archived comments for YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD
Skytrucker on 2002-07-08 17:58:31
Re: YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD
Nice one Andrea! enjoyed that, Oi did!

Author's Reply:

Carol on 2002-07-08 19:01:29
Re: YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD
Highly readable and as hilarious as usual! I loved the characters - and Fatcat, who reminds me of my own dear moggie.
It's a tale to cheer you up after a miserable day!

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 2002-07-10 16:05:41
Re: YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD
Ditto to what Carol said, just the type of story you need after a trying day at work. I've met so many Maud's and so many long suffering families so I can laugh at the humour in this story but still know the truth of what these people have to suffer πŸ™‚ Nice one Andrea.


Author's Reply:

admin on 04-12-2006
YOURE NEVER TOO OLD
Yet another test

*sighs heavily*

Author's Reply:


ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT (posted on: 05-07-02)
Going to the loo had become a major problem.

Not because Lily suffered from any medical deficiency in the bladder department, or even as a result of excessive fig roll consumption. It was simply the number of obstacles she had to negotiate to get there.

Getting out of bed in the morning, she'd invariably land on Ben's discarded hot-water bottle, the stopper of which he always neglected to screw in properly.

Sloshing towards the door in soggy slippers she'd encounter balled-up boxers, sweaty socks, tea stained t-shirts and jeans stiff enough with dirt and grease to walk to the washing machine on their own.

"Christ!" fumed Lily without fail, though not to Ben since he'd usually scarpered by that time, "What a bloody mess." and aiming a kick worthy of Beckham at the offending objects, she'd wade off to do battle with the bathroom.

After scooping bristly, black, whiskers from the plughole with the last sheet of bog roll, Lily scraped congealed toothpaste from the mirror with her fingernail and stared blearily at her reflection.

She occasionally managed to run a bath, providing the tub wasn't full of Paris' undies, left soaking and floating greenly in Fairy.

"Why can't you put yer smalls in the machine, like I do?" Lily would ask in despair, "Besides, they ain't going to get clean in washing-up liquid, are they?"

"But Ma," Paris would pout, fluttering eyelashes inky and spiky as a Black Widow's legs, "They're too delicate! The machine would rip 'em. And we've run out of soap powder."

"Well, why don't you buy some more, then? It wouldn't kill you to do a bit of shopping now and again, would it?"

"That's your job!" a dumbfounded Paris would cry, fairly bursting out of her crop-top with indignation and clearly horrified at the thought of having to enter the alien confines of a supermarket.

The kitchen was even worse than the bathroom and not a place recommended for those with a delicate constitution.
Dishes swam greasily in the sink, the floor was crunchily carpeted in cereal, soggy teabags oozed brown dregs into the sugar bowl, the draining board was liberally decorated with broken eggshells and the cat had, as usual, puked in the corner.

Lily made herself a cup of tea and took it into the living room, doing her best to ignore the empty lager cans, overflowing ashtrays and Paris' smelly bong.

She switched on the telly to watch the news and scowled moodily as a chastened Gary Glitter legged it hot-foot from Bristol nick pursued by panting paparazzi.

"French lorry drivers," droned the Beeb as Gary faded, "have gone on strike for the seventh time in two years, and are blockading the ports, causing chaos..."

Lily stared, mesmerised, at the queues of stationary trucks and their fag-puffing drivers shivering in shaggy sheepskins on the freezing motorway. She wondered idly what they did when they needed a pee.

"Bloody hell! That's it!" breathed Lily, suddenly inspired and highly impressed by the determination and doggedness of her Gallic compeers, "I'll go on strike!"

Lily, something of a Francophile since the honeymoon bonk in the Bois de Boulogne that had resulted in the birth of Paris, raised her empty teacup in silent salute to solidarity and the future success of her revolutionary brothers.

Not wishing to waste a moment, she decided to begin her new life of inactivity forthwith.

A hitherto easy-going and gentle soul, Lily had finally revolted.

"I'll watch Kilroy after the news," she said with relish, "And after that comes Maternity Hospital and, ooh goody, Real Rooms with that nice Smillie woman. Or is that Changing Rooms?"

Lily, her days usually spent performing endless and thankless domestic tasks, was a trifle out of touch. She decided to rectify this sad state of affairs immediately.

When Ben arrived home from work, Lily was seriously contemplating moving to Darwin with Phil and Ruth.

"Ooh, what a shame," she sobbed, ignoring her hungry hubby, "Fancy having to leave all your mates like that..." and she wiped away a sympathetic tear.

'Everybody needs good neighbours...' sung the telly lustily as Ben stared, horrified, at his maudlin spouse.

She was clutching a half-empty wine bottle and her feet, encased in pink pom-pom slippers, rested comfortably on an aggrieved moggie.

"What the bloody hell d'you think you're doing?" yelped Ben, used to coming home to spotless serenity and delicious culinary delights.

"I'm on strike, like them froggy lorry drivers." hiccuped Lily tipsily, pouring herself another generous glassful.

When Paris arrived home after a hard day's graft bunking off school, she found her father sitting in the kitchen, head in hands and staring, trance-like, at the untouched wreckage.

"Where's Mum, then?" she asked, puzzled, "Is she ill or what?"

"She's in the living room. Says she's on strike," mumbled Ben sorrowfully.

"On strike? Wicked!" whooped Paris, not quite realising the full extent of the disaster, " Christ, I'm starving. What's for dinner, Ma?" she yelled.

"Dunno, I've lost me episodic memory," shouted Lily, who'd been watching Horizon, "Forgot to do any shopping..."

"Lost her marbles, she means." groaned Ben, his face a mask of comic incomprehension.

"No I ain't," shouted Lily her hearing, if not her memory, sharp as a stalactite, "I've been saying for years I'm fed up with clearing up your mess and I ain't doing it any more!" and she turned up the volume on the telly in order to drown out any potential cries of pitiful protest.

"And cooking tonight, we have Brian Turner...!" exclaimed Fern joyously, clapping her hands. The audience applauded enthusiastically.

"What about our dinner!" howled Ben and Paris in famished unison.

"Cook yer own!" retorted Lily happily, beginning to settle down nicely into her new role.

This, she said to herself, is a bit of alright.

Lily took to sending out for takeaways which she'd tuck into whilst watching the tennis.

"Cor, he's got a lovely bum that Sampras has," she'd observe to the cat appreciatively, stubbing out her fag in cold chow mein, "and his legs ain't bad, either..."

Ben and Paris cajoled, wheedled, groaned, moaned and shouted, but to no avail. A militant Lily, sticking up for her rights, stayed put.

After a couple of starving and sockless weeks Ben, taking his life into his hands, mustered up enough courage to plug in the Hoover.

Paris, once-pristine knickers now a grimy, mottled grey, finally came to grips with the intricacies of the washing machine.

Ben started emptying ashtrays.

Paris took out the rubbish.

Ben, after several burnt offerings, produced a reasonable facsimile of scrambled eggs.


Paris donned Marigolds and tentatively washed some dishes.

Lily sat and blithely watched telly.

"It's a bleedin' miracle!" she said one evening as Paris proffered a cup of tea and Ben bustled busily in the kitchen. She sniffed the fragrant air approvingly.

"What's for dinner, then? I'm starving!" she shouted, switching on the news.

Paris appeared, as if by magic, at her elbow, "Another cup of tea, Ma?" she enquired solicitously, "Dad's making chicken and rosemary casserole..."

'The French lorry drivers strike has finally been resolved amicably...' beamed Anna Ford.

"So's mine..." chuckled Lily smugly.


THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2001


1203 words

Archived comments for ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
Skytrucker on 2002-07-05 08:04:38
Re: ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
Andrea, If She reads this I am doomed! Some of the phrases that you use are priceless. (..resting her feet on an aggrieved moggy...) Excellent!

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 2002-07-08 22:54:50
Re: ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
I want a man, I want a man, I want a man. How can I go on strike properly without one? Andrea this is BRILLIANT 5/5 (9/10) loved it. Of course any woman knows it's fiction. We've all done it haven't we? How long did you last last time? A day? Three? The last time I did it the world conspired against me. I think we were on day three, possibly four believe me, my lovely house looked like a cyclone advert. Mark dear, sweet, darling got pushed off a wall at school, I of course was on the internet and incomunicado, so no less than the head master himself brought child home. there was I still in my jim-jams at one-thirty, fag in hand delicately flicking ash on the mountain over spilling the ashtray and wondering if the next flick would be the one that would topple the heap. Even the dog had the good grace to look ashamed as he came in. so great story. In theory great idea .. in practise it aint never going to catch on long term. Just remember they hate it .. but not half as much as you do!

Author's Reply:

Carol on 2002-07-13 15:35:36
Re: ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
Brilliant!
How many times have we women wanted to do what Lily did?
You have captured the imagination of millions and set it down in a story that reflects their fantasies!
Loved it!

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 2002-11-15 19:20:52
Re: ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
Where do I send the cheque? It's worth a tidy sum to keep this out of my wife's sight. I try to be good but there's always so much to do..........

Author's Reply:

Eccles on 2003-07-29 15:54:04
Re: ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT
Fanatastic story andrea

Author's Reply:


The Big Issue (posted on: 26-06-02)
When Dot and Winston won the lottery, they understandably expected their lives to change for the better...

                     THE BIG ISSUE When Dot and Winston won the lottery, they understandably expected their lives to change for the better. Not that Winston, technically speaking, had won anything at all. Still, he'd put in 15 years of faithful service and Dot thought it only fair that he should share in her good fortune. "No more Pal for you, my boy," Dot gleefully informed him, "from now on it's only the best. Liver an' steak, that's what you'll be scoffing from now on. I'll buy you a posh new collar, too. An' a brand-new blanket instead of that chewed up bit of old rag you always sleep on!" Winston, who'd never tasted liveransteak and was, moreover, extremely partial to tinned meaty chunks, looked dubious. He wondered, too, how Dot would ever find a collar large enough to circumvent his capacious neck, hung as it was with a multitude of pendulous fatty folds. As for the blanket, he was perfectly content with his 'bit of old rag', especially since, though stiff as an ancient corpse, it reeked comfortingly of sweaty dog and dried dribble.                                         He was offended, too, that as a mere canine his opinion was not considered relevant. Winston felt like a second-class citizen. Dot, blithely unaware of his resentment, was still revelling in her daydream. "...no more tea, we'll have champagne! An' I can try out all those lovely, expensive recipes we've seen on the telly." Winston groaned inwardly, lost in hideous visions of truffles, crab, caviar and a half-cut Keith Floyd. "...an' a new winter coat," finished Dot, flushed and excited at the prospect of a worry-free shopping spree. She donned her woolly hat and unhooked Winston's lead from its peg. "Come on, let's go and buy some real grub..." Winston, whose idea of a workout was waddling from his basket to his food bowl, wagged his stump feebly and drooled. They'd barely opened the front door before flash bulbs started popping. Winston, terrified, tried to hide under Dot's coat. Dot, momentarily blinded, tripped and fell down the steps. "Morning, Mrs Braithwaite," yelled a spotty hack who, from the look of his stubble, had been camped out all night.                                  "Congratulations on your win! One and a half million, wasn't it?" and he danced around the lawn, clicking furiously.                 "Any idea what you're going to do with the money, Mrs B?" shouted another, "Care to say a few words to the press?"                      "Buy lots of grub for my dog. No, I wouldn't," muttered a confused Dot, desperately trying to retain her dignity. Winston, rushing round in circles and growling menacingly, had wound his lead around her ankles in an abortive attempt to sink his gnashers into a paparazzi limb. By the time Dot and Winston arrived home, they were both exhausted. At least those journalists have gone, thought Dot with relief. An old lady and a fat bulldog, however wealthy, did not she presumed, make riveting copy. Dot, a shy and retiring soul, had never conversed with so many people in her life. She'd been congratulated and questioned by the butcher, the grocer, the fishmonger, the postmistress and that Posh Spice look-alike with acne who usually sat filing her scarlet claws at the supermarket check-out. Winston had a bald patch on top of his head from an overdose of patting. The only bright spot had been that nice young lad who stood outside the chemist selling the Big Issue. He'd grinned at her cheerfully as always and asked if she'd needed help with her bulging bags. She'd given him a tenner, for which she'd received two copies and a grateful hug. "Blimey," said Dot, plonking her bags down on the sofa, "time for a nice cuppa, then we'll see what we've got, shall we?"                                                  "Oysters for me..." she said, taking them out of the bag and eyeing the grey, crinkly crustaceans warily. She wondered how on earth to cook them, "...and liver for you." She flopped a large, bloody blob of pigs innards into Winston's bowl and put it on the floor.                                                          Winston struggled to his feet and approached the bowl cautiously, tail rigid as a penis on Viagra. It looked revolting. He poked it with a tentative paw. The liver wobbled. Winston howled in horror and legged it. Dot, meanwhile, had problems of her own. She'd finally managed to separate the champagne bottle from its cork with the aid of the kitchen scissors. The cork, shooting across the room with the force of a bullet expelled from a Kalashnikov, hit her favourite butter dish, an heirloom from her granny, knocking it onto the floor where it shattered into hundreds of sharp shards. Dot poured what was left of the champagne into a coffee mug and gazed at the oysters gloomily. They, unresponsive, stared back at her. Dot picked one up and stuck her tongue into the watery shell. "Ugh!" she grimaced, and took a gulp of champagne, "'orrible!" she groaned, as the bubbles shot up her nose, making her sneeze. Dot gave up and got out the baked beans. Winston, whining pitifully and glancing with nausea at the liver, heaved a sigh of relief as Dot relented and reached for his tin of Pal. When Dot opened her local rag the next morning, she couldn't believe her eyes. "Look at this!" she cried to Winston, waving the page under his nose. Winston, whose reading abilities left much to be desired, licked his rump and farted. 'DEMENTED PENSIONER WINS MILLIONS...' screamed the headlines, '...AND INTENDS TO SPEND IT ALL ON FAT POOCH. 'Mrs Dorothy Braithwaite, who last week won 1.6 million on the lottery,' the article continued, 'refused to talk to reporters yesterday, saying only that she intended to spend her winnings on food for her already seriously overweight bulldog. Animal rights activists are scandalised...' "A fat pooch! Seriously overweight! Animal rights!" sobbed Dot, deeply distressed. Winston regarding his immense girth with consternation, thought maybe they had a point. Dot was still dabbing her eyes with her hanky when there was a loud knock at the door. "Mornin' Mrs B," said postie, barely visible under two bulging sacks, "here's yer fan mail. Bloody heavy it is, too," Dot, whose post usually consisted of a few bills and a lot of junk mail, was flabbergasted.                              Before she had a chance to open anything however, the phone rang. "Hello?" said Dot tentatively, wondering who on earth could be calling so early.                 "Dorothy, it's Maude," said a crisp, strident voice. "Heavens," said Dot to Winston, covering the receiver with her hand, "It's Maude. Wonder what she wants..."                                              Winston, who had a pretty good idea, whined and thumped his stump. Dot, who hadn't spoken to her sister for over ten years, following a dispute concerning rightful ownership of Dot's ex, was astonished. "Now listen, Dorothy," continued Maude, coming straight to the point, "about this win of yours. Naturally you'll give me half. Blood's thicker than water, after all..." Dot, who doubted Maude had any blood at all, thick or otherwise, was speechless. "...and I'll expect a letter to that effect in the next post." Maude hung up and Dot, dazed, decided to take her mind off things by reading some fan mail. Winston, helpful as always, had already chewed open one of the sacks and letters lay scattered all over the floor. Dot picked one up and opened it. '...and if you could possibly see your way to sending me a cheque for £10,000, I would be able to purchase new Nikes for my poor, deprived children.' wrote Charles Rathbone-Jones, Chelsea.                                              '...£50,000 would go a long way towards paying for my sick old granny's cancer treatment.' pleaded Fred, writing from Tower Hamlets Rehab Centre. '...surely £5,500 is not too much to ask to save these endangered, misunderstood creatures.' demanded P. Smythe, Save The Rat, Finchley. "I just can't believe it!" said Dot to Winston for the third time that morning, "What am I going to do?." Winston, snoozing on his back with all four paws in the air, snored gently and made no reply. The first thing that Dot did was to cram all the letters back into the sacks and chuck them into the wheelie bin. Then she poured the rest of the champagne down the sink and gave the oysters to next doors cat. She made herself a pot of tea and a cheese 'n' pickle sandwich and sat down to contemplate her future. She was just munching her way blissfully through a particularly juicy chunk of Branston when the phone rang again. "About that letter confirming my half of the winnings," said Maude primly, "I want to know when, exactly, I can expect it..."                                          "Never," said Dot, choking on Cheddar. Winston, suddenly aware of an new assertiveness, struggled upright.                                                  "What on earth do you mean, Dorothy?" demanded Maude querulously. "I mean," said Dot, "That you're not getting any money." "Well, honestly..." gasped Maude, scandalised, "I always knew you were a bit funny upstairs, but this is too much. I really think the time has come to..." "Oh, shut up, Maude," said Dot, cutting her off in mid-sentence, "I've had enough. I don't want the money. I've decided to give the whole lot away to that nice young lad down the road who sells the Big Issue..." © Andrea Lowne 2000 1551 words
Archived comments for The Big Issue
Skytrucker on 2002-06-26 15:45:13
Re: The Big Issue
I chuckled all the way through that Andrea. Killer stuff! Dogs and money are my favourite things (apart from UKA and airplanes of course)

Allen

Author's Reply:

Carol on 2002-06-30 15:00:44
Re: The Big Issue
As always the characters are both believable and hilarious!
What makes it even better is the moral!

Author's Reply:

richardh on 24-07-2006
The Big Issue
testing testing 1 2 3

Author's Reply:

admin on 24-07-2006
The Big Issue
Well, thank you Richard, for that truly illuminating crit!

Author's Reply:


Mind Over Matter (posted on: 30-05-02)
Shirl admired Josephine enormously.

Not that Josephine was particularly brainy, because she wasn't. Or even because she surrounded herself with enervating and illuminating books on yoga and meditation, although she did.


MIND OVER MATTER

Shirl admired Josephine enormously.

Not that Josephine was particularly brainy, because she wasn't. Or even because she surrounded herself with enervating and illuminating books on yoga and meditation, although she did.

No, Shirl's awe stemmed from something far more prosaic, namely Josephine's svelte and slender physique.

"How the bloody hell does she do it?" Shirl asked Falstaff morosely, as she lay on the sofa sucking in her belly and fighting to zip up her jeans.

Falstaff, himself on the portly side, regarded his furry girth contentedly and purred. He couldn't see what all the fuss was about. At least Shirl could still see her feet, whereas his paws had disappeared from view years ago.

"It's alright for you," said Shirl irritably, losing the battle with the zip and reaching for a safety-pin "You've had 'em chopped off, so you don't care what you look like."

Falstaff, stung by this reference to his sad lack of masculine appendages, waddled into the kitchen in search of a crunchy beetle.

Shirl had always been a bit on the expansive side, even as a child.

"Nicely rounded," her Ma used to say kindly.

"Big boned," sighed Pa, less kindly but more accurately.

"Bloody elephantine," whooped her brother joyously, inordinately proud of this newly acquired addition to his hitherto somewhat limited vocabulary.

Shirl and Josephine had met in Tesco's. She'd been closely inspecting a slab of tofu and wondering if it was marzipan.

"Great stuff." said a voice at her elbow, "Full of protein and no fat. Delicious deep-fried."

Shirl, who'd never heard of deep-fried marzipan, even on Ready, Steady, Cook, looked up in amazement.

"I only ever use it in cakes." she said, eyeing the sylph in the crop top with hideous envy.

"Yuk!" said Josephine, appalled, "How can you put tofu in cakes?" and she stared at Shirl, who looked as if cakes were the only thing she ever ate, in horror.

Thus began Shirl's search for gastronomic nirvana.

She began by studying articles on health and nutrition.

"You can go on a diet, too. You're far too fat," she informed a dismayed Falstaff, "I bet they have low-fat catfood these days..."
She decided to make a list of all the foods considered vital to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Fibre, she read, is useful in preventing bowel cancer and constipation.

"That's one for you, then. You're always stopped up" she told Falstaff as she wrote wheat, corn, pulses, brown rice and oats on her notepad.

Onions, leeks, chives and garlic are excellent for coughs, colds and bronchitis, she was informed authoritatively. Half an onion a day was essential to help prevent osteoporosis and blood clots. She wrote it down carefully.

A balanced diet must contain daily portions of broccoli, nuts, oily fish, cabbage, carrots, pasta, grapefruit, oranges...

Shirl ran out of paper and had to dash out to buy more.

Exhausted, she began on the 'valuable supplements'.

Melbrosia for relief of menopausal symptoms. Shirl crossed that one off for later.
Porosis D to build strong bones.
Glucosamine sulphate for joint problems.
Guarana an energy-boosting herb from the Amazon.
Selenium-ACE, a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease and is particularly effective in the prevention of prostate cancer.

"I'll add some to your Whiskas," she told Falstaff, wondering if, since his operation, he still had a prostate to protect.

She visited Boots and bought vitamins A,B,E,C and, just to make sure, a large bottle of multi-vitamins and minerals.

Josephine, delighted with her convert, came armed with miso, seaweed, barley, millet and umiboshi plums (to aid digestion).

Out went the pies, chips, bangers, burgers and chocolate puddings. Shirl found herself barely able to enter the kitchen, inundated as it was with enough organic produce to feed Ethiopia.

Josephine, who considered herself something of an expert on nutrition, magnanimously offered to give Shirl her first cookery lesson.

"What's that?" enquired Shirl, pointing at a saucepan full of bubbling, boiling oil, in which floated some unidentifiable white blobs.

"Tempura," replied Josephine unhelpfully, as she vigorously stirred seaweed into the nettle soup, "Very nourishing and practically fat free."

Shirl stared transfixed at her plate piled high with the requisite five portions of veg almost lost amongst the beans, brown rice and burnt tempura.

"I can't eat all this!" she wailed, "It's twice as much as I normally eat! How's this going to make me lose weight?"

"Twice as much it may be," said Josephine severely, crunching raw cabbage with relish "But it's got twice the goodness and half the fat. Much better for you than all the rubbish you usually eat. No more doughnuts and chocolate! It's a case of mind over matter, Shirl."

Shirl's mind boggled as she bravely attacked the matter on her plate.

Over the course of the next few weeks Shirl did, indeed, lose a considerable amount of excess flesh.

So did Falstaff, since he refused to eat Whiskas spiked with vitamin supplements, preferring the comparatively tasty, but not so nourishing spiders he hooked out from behind the fridge.

Josephine continued to hover like a demented butterfly, making sure that Shirl didn't cheat.

Twice a week she dragged her to the local gym, where she was strapped into tortuous contraptions obviously designed by Torquemada and left to peddle madly, getting nowhere.

Swimming was also a must "to firm the breasts", as was cycling "to tone the leg muscles".

"Is all this really necessary?" asked Shirl petulantly, who'd always been rather attached to her large, if pendulous, mammaries.

"Course it is," replied Josephine who, seal-like, had just surfaced from her thirtieth length, as fresh as a spring crocus.

The trouble was though, that the more weight Shirl lost, the more miserable she became.

The problem was compounded by the fact that she now had nothing to wear and was reduced to two pairs of black leggings and a few baggy sweaters.

Falstaff, who naturally didn't have this problem as his fur coat shrank or expanded as required, was nevertheless as morose as she. Besides, the spider supply was rapidly drying up and life was looking decidedly grim.

"I'll have to rename you Anorexia," said Shirl gloomily as they sat together on the sofa watching Vets in Practice.

Falstaff, seeing the lucky inmates scoff overflowing bowls of succulent fare, yowled dismally in agreement.

Shirl's friends were thoroughly fed-up as well.

"You're no fun anymore," complained Gerry, after Shirl had declined her third invitation to dinner, "You never want to do anything these days..."

"But I haven't got anything to wear!" cried Shirl in despair, having spent all her money on fodder and thus unable to fork out for new apparel.

"I'll phone Josephine and see if she wants to see a film." said Shirl one evening, as she and Falstaff sadly contemplated a wilting salad no doubt bursting with vitamins and vigour.

Josephine though, when she finally answered, sounded distinctly nasal.

"I can't," she snuffled, voice as thick as pea soup, "I've come down with a terrible bout of 'flu. I feel awful..."

Shirl stared at the receiver, dumbfounded.

"Lots of onions and garlic and plenty of fresh orange juice..." she told Josephine prissily, replacing the receiver and winking wickedly at Falstaff.

"Can you believe it?" she asked the famished feline, "All those vitamins, all those veggies, all that pasta, and she's come down with a bout of 'flu! Well, that's it, I've had enough! Tofu's tasteless, beans are a bore, exercise is excruciating and umiboshi defies description! You and I, my boy, are going to have a decent feed!"

She picked up the phone again and dialled.

"I want to order," she cried gaily, "two large pizzas with double cheese, three portions of chips and five slices of Black Forest Gateau. Oh yes," she grinned at a drooling Falstaff, "and a whole roast chicken for my cat..."


THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2001

1319 WORDS

To be published in Carillon Magazine

Archived comments for Mind Over Matter
Carol on 2002-05-31 19:48:22
Re: Mind Over Matter
I really enjoyed this! How preoccupied are many of us (not me, I hasten to add) with our figures and health! So much so that the joy of living has disappeared. This story sums it up wonderfully. So glad that in the end Shirl saw sense.

Author's Reply:

Skytrucker on 2002-06-20 12:56:52
Re: Mind Over Matter
I simply cannot imagine why I didn't comment on this on first reading when I joined this site. I just loved it. You have a terrific ability to insert throw-away one liners at precisely the right moment. The very best of comedians have that talent too and that, plus timing is what makes them stand out from the rest. It is almost impossible to read your stuff without admiring the timing. Awesome! Love it.

Author's Reply:

davew on 2002-10-26 21:26:58
Re: Mind Over Matter
I want more on what Falstaff gets upto...what a great little story

Author's Reply:

Lare on 16-12-2005
Mind Over Matter
Very good, Andrea...very good...ya know...sometimes it really all comes down to "enough is enough"...you can only ride the elevator so many times...then it's time to get off...that elevator will be waiting for you tomorrow...tomorrow...

Just me, Lare

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 17-12-2005
Mind Over Matter
Thanks Lare - gosh, this is ancient - nice to see people trawling through the old stuff though.

Spacing's a bit odd - have to try and fix that.

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:


Keeping Up Appearances (posted on: 27-05-02)
Albert had always had a penchant for pliant, tender, young flesh...

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

Albert had always had a penchant for pliant, tender, young flesh.

Lisa, his current bit of fluff, was a shapely 18 year old with sly eyes whom he'd spotted at Sainsburys check-out whilst doing his weekly shop.

Scanning Albert's groceries in desultory fashion, she'd looked up vacantly to find him gazing, transfixed, down her V-necked crop-top. She, equally mesmerised, goggled at Albert's gold watch and diamond tie pin. Thus love, spawned by mutual desire, was born.

Lisa's dad was pleased no end, partly because Lisa was the eldest and most troublesome of his four daughters, but mostly because Albert, though perhaps a trifle aged, appeared to be rolling in the ready.

"One down and three to go," he'd cried jubilantly, "and a bloody millionaire, to boot. Well done, girl! When're you gonna get spliced, then?"

Contrary to all appearances, however, Albert was anything but a millionaire.

His rent was overdue by six months and he was being threatened with eviction. His wardrobe, usually home to designer gear which he'd discovered languishing dustily in charity shops, badly needed re-vamping and the number of genuine antiques lurking amongst the fake Hepplewhites and Rembrandts was rapidly diminishing, reluctantly flogged to the local pawnshop.

Albert had discovered, much to his dismay, that upon reaching 60 his ability to pull was all but gone and he'd therefore decided to re-invent himself.

Fortunately he was blessed with robust health, a fine head of luxuriant silver hair and a mouthful of sparkling choppers that would have caused any self-respecting dentists heart to swell with pride. All he'd had to do was tart up the externals.

Charity shops were a Godsend. Albert, who became quite the expert at bargaining, often kitted himself out royally for little more than a tenner.

Those admirable blokes selling phony jewellery, watches and aftershave were frequently included in his nightly prayer of gratitude and the quality of counterfeit artwork was a constant source of wonder, admiration and delight.
Naturally, to the discerning eye, these imitations would be speedily spotted and thus it was that Albert prudently limited his lustful prowls to those possessing somewhat less than perfect academic qualifications.

Besides, he wasn't the slightest bit concerned with conversational skills, provided the legs were long, the hair blonde and the knockers massive.

Lisa, following in the footsteps of her predecessors, had been predictably impressed and overawed by Albert's lavish lifestyle. Her eyes widened with a lust not unlike his own as she beheld the 'Persian' carpets, the 'Waterford' crystal and the 'Royal Doulton' displayed neatly in the 'antique' Welsh dresser. Impressive, carved 'solid-oak' bookcases displayed Yeats, Shakespeare, Lawrence, Wilde and the Encyclopaedia Britannica under the covers of which, had Lisa been the remotest bit interested in literature, she would have discovered his extensive and much prized Playboy collection.

"Oooh, Albert," said Lisa, gingerly holding a sea-green jade Buddha between crimson claws, "It's smashing. I ain't never seen nothin' like it!" And she hadn't, which was what Albert was counting on.


"A woman of taste, I see," crooned Albert, silver locks swept back elegantly and attired his best Oxfam Armani. He leaned nonchalantly against the 'marble' fireplace, "And now, a little champagne, I think..."

Lisa, who wouldn't have known champagne from Asti Spumante (which was what, in fact, Albert had given her), sipped delicately, leaving a pursed, scarlet imprint on the rim of her glass.

Albert, of course, might be penniless, but he certainly wasn't stupid and was well aware of what Lisa was after.

In fact, fickle Albert had, for purely practical reasons, already decided to give Lisa the boot.

He had not, as yet, become totally bored with her ample charms, but concerns about his depleted wardrobe and dwindling funds loomed large. Worse, he was down to his last two heirlooms.

Albert therefore decided that what he needed was a wealthy wife. Someone with means. Someone able to keep him in the style to which he would like to become accustomed. And although he oozed charm from every pore, he knew he could not rely on this alone. He needed to find a walking chequebook before his threads, not to mention his bank balance, finally disintegrated altogether.

Thus, much to her dismay, Lisa was given her marching orders, the flashing neon dollars cruelly extinguished from her large, vacuous, blue eyes.

"I'm much too old for you, my dear..." sighed Albert sorrowfully. And gazing at her smooth, white thighs, bountiful boobs and pouting lips, Albert did, indeed, feel truly regretful.

The venue that Albert chose for his treasure hunt was the local tennis club renowned, he'd heard, for its glitzy clientele.

Albert's knowledge of tennis was restricted to armchair Wimbledon, but this didn't deter him in the least. It was not, after all, his prospective bride's skill with a racquet that was paramount. Moreover, he intended to spend most of the time
nursing a gin and tonic at the bar, considering this the best vantage point from which to spot the brass.

So having fortuitously found suitable togs in Help The Aged, he reluctantly sold the jade Buddha in order to pay for the fees and joined forthwith.

It was two weeks before he spotted Iris. Albert had begun to despair and thought perhaps he'd chosen the wrong location. He couldn't afford more than one drink per session and it was a dreadful bind having to spend so much time each day primping, perfuming and preening. Fortunately, the threadbare patches on his clobber were in places not immediately apparent.

Iris would not have been Albert's first choice, had he had one. For one thing, at 42, she was a little on the oldish side for his liking. For another, she was somewhat plump and Albert liked 'em slender, at least from the waist down.

Still, on the plus side, she was blonde and she did appear to be extremely well-heeled, dressed as she was in Chanel and
enveloped cosily in chestnut mink.

Albert noted the flashing diamond earrings, glistening pearls and absence of wedding ring with satisfied glee.

He decided to make his move.

"Good afternoon," he crooned suavely, sidling up to her, "I was wondering if you'd care for some company? Perhaps I might buy you a drink?" He'd prudently waited until Iris had ordered and was therefore almost certain to refuse. Funds, after all, were desperately short.

"No, ta," chirped Iris, giggling tipsily, "I'm just waiting for me third, but you can stay an' chat if yer like."

Things, from Albert's point of view, were looking decidedly rosy. Iris, though rolling in it, was obviously a bit on the dim side and thus far less likely to rumble him.

Iris was a widow (at this she wiped away a sorrowful tear with a lace hanky. Albert patted her hand sympathetically), her hapless hubby having popped his clogs following an unfortunate altercation between his Rolls and a long-distance lorry transporting calves to the Continent.

"A self-made man, he was," sighed Iris woefully, "Heart of gold, he 'ad. Left me a fortune, bless him..." and she brightened considerably. So did Albert, who blessed him wholeheartedly as well, for much the same reason.

Albert and Iris' romance blossomed with dizzying speed and after a mere three weeks she, succumbing to Albert's not inconsiderable powers of persuasion, agreed to move in. She, too, was dazzled by Albert's sumptuous surroundings and he, equally, was thrilled by her seemingly endless collection of furs and jewellery.

They tied the knot simply, since neither wanted any fuss. The ceremony took place with haste almost bordering on the indecent, mainly because Albert couldn't wait to get his hands on Iris' chequebook.

On their wedding night Albert bravely tried to ignore Iris' stretch marks and pendulous breasts and she, for her part, closed her eyes to Albert's prodigious paunch and varicose veins.

When they'd finished heaving, puffing, panting and thrusting, Albert deemed the time right to bring up the delicate subject of finance.

"Now that we're married, my love," he began authoritatively, "I think we should consider opening a joint bank account..."

"Spot on!," agreed Iris happily.

"...then there will be no quarrels as to which money is whose, so to speak," continued Albert, smiling smugly. This was a going to be a piece of cake.

"Yer won't get any argument from me there," grinned Iris, "because I ain't got no money!"

"What?!" gasped Albert, dumbstruck.

"I said," repeated Iris slowly, "I ain't got any money! I thought you was the one with the dosh!"

"But...but..." stammered poor Albert, "What about the diamonds, the furs...?"

"Fake!" snorted Iris, "What abaht the paintings, the furniture...?"

"Fake!" groaned Albert, feeling an apoplectic fit coming on.

And they stared at each other in hideous horror as the full extent of the calamity began to sink in...

THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2000


1470 Words

Archived comments for Keeping Up Appearances
Carol on 2002-05-31 20:00:53
Re: Keeping Up Appearances
Oh! Wonderful retribution!!
Don't they deserve each other?
Lovely insight into the greed of human nature

Author's Reply:

womanofwit on 2003-10-01 05:13:25
Re: Keeping Up Appearances
I did guess the outcome ... good story, though!

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-22 06:27:00
Re: Keeping Up Appearances
Another great story. I really liked this one. They certainly deserved each other and they are both well suited. Great.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-22 06:50:17
Re: Keeping Up Appearances
I just knew what was coming but you carried it off with style and I had to laugh at Iris, I could picture her sitting all pink and frill in bed looking for all the world like Joan Simms. An enjoable read.Love val x

Author's Reply:

pommer on 14-09-2014
Keeping Up Appearances
A very amusing little story. Like others I also guessed the outcome,but that did not stop me from reading an excellent piece of story telling. Bravo,Andrea. Peter xx

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much Peter - appreciate it!

Ax


Hattie's Ghost (posted on: 23-05-02)
"It seems to me," the ghost had said to Hattie right from the beginning, "that you're making a right bloody mess of things. It's about time you got off your lazy bum and pulled yourself together."

HATTIE'S GHOST


"It seems to me," the ghost had said to Hattie right from the beginning, "that you're making a right bloody mess of things. It's about time you got off your lazy bum and pulled yourself together."

"I know," sighed Hattie, lighting a fag and inadvertently blowing smoke rings in its face.

"...and I wish you wouldn't smoke those things when I'm here," reprimanded the apparition sternly. "You know they make me cough." It wrinkled its nose and spluttered histrionically to illustrate the point.

"How can they make you cough?" grumbled Hattie petulantly, "You're not s'posed to have lungs and things. You're dead, remember?"

"Dead I may be, dumb I'm not. Besides I don't want to get cancer, do I? Once was enough, for Chrissake. It's what did me in in the first place. And unless you wanna end up the same way, I suggest you buy some nicotine patches and get sticking..."

Hattie inhaled guiltily. She knew this to be true, but would have preferred not to have had it pointed out to her quite so bluntly. Especially by someone with whom she always seemed to be at such odds. Advice offered by a friend, Hattie had discovered, always seemed easier to ignore.
She reluctantly stubbed out her fag and brushed ash from the duvet, leaving smoky stripes on the pink and blue roses. The colours blended together rather nicely, she thought.

"You're gonna set fire to yourself one of these days," observed the ghost grumpily, "I'm off. I don't fancy being cremated as well." It dissolved slowly from the waist up, finally disappearing altogether and leaving nothing in its wake but an etheric gossamer cloud where its head had once been.

Hattie's ghost had materialized one night quite out of the blue. Unbidden, unexpected and of its own volition.

Although, on reflection, she knew it had always been there, hovering irritatingly on the periphery. Nagging, niggling and nit-picking, questioning her every thought. A warning voice which she'd usually chosen to ignore.

It was only during the last couple of years, after she'd made a conscious decision to become more receptive, that they'd become properly acquainted and the ghost had begun to materialize on a regular basis.

Sometimes they got along quite harmoniously although, more often than not, it was far too critical and over-bearing for Hattie's liking.

"Why," Hattie had once asked it curiously, "didn't you put in an appearance much sooner?"

The ghost had regarded her with condescending pity. "I did, sort of. You just didn't want to acknowledge me, that's all. Too busy playing the martyr. Besides, you didn't have much to say back then, did you? And no-one, least of all me, wants to be bored to death, do they? I'm only human, after all."

The ghost liked to perch precariously on the end of Hattie's bed of an evening and chat about such mundane matters as the meaning of life and the nature of the universe.

Having little use for lower limbs it had prudently decided, after much deliberation, to dispense with them altogether. Manifestation was a tricky business at the best of times. It therefore concentrated solely on its upper torso, leaving its nether regions to fade away gradually in a swirl of iridescent cosmic particles that dispersed wispily and mingled with the dust balls that scudded daintily underneath the bed.

Its facial features, too, were somewhat blurred and tended to dissolve disconcertingly, merging together like jelly not quite set.

"Sorry," mumbled the ghost apologetically, when Hattie had pointed out this peculiar and disturbing phenomenon. "'Fraid I haven't, as yet, quite mastered the fine art of externalization. But I'm working on it."

Hattie found the whole business very confusing and not a little taxing.


"Are you male or female, then?" she'd once enquired. This was not immediately apparent, since the ghost's features never stayed immobile long enough for her to make an informed guess.

"Gender doesn't come into it when you've kicked the bucket," declared the phantom loftily, "just think of me as sexless." It sniggered behind a translucent hand. "I used to be a man, though," it added as an afterthought, "If that's any help at all."

"Not much," said Hattie gloomily. "They've been my problem all along..."

"Aren't they always?" sighed the ghost sympathetically. Now a being of indeterminate gender and thus free from prejudice, it felt qualified to pontificate with authority. "Tell me about it..."

Hattie decided to take this literally. "Nothing but trouble from beginning to end..." she sighed forlornly.

"Never mind, the end is often more nigh than you think," giggled the ghost, mouth and nose becoming momentarily united. "Better luck with your next incarnation, eh?"

"If you're not going to take me seriously," said Hattie, affronted, "you can bugger off. What's the point of me telling you anyway, since you're one of them..."

"Used to be, used to be," corrected the spectre, holding up pellucid hands in supplication.
Through them Hattie could clearly see the turquoise-blue of the opposite wall. "I assure you I am now totally and utterly impartial. Promise."
"Hmmm," said Hattie, not completely convinced. She lit a fag. The ghost coughed theatrically. Hattie stubbed it out.

"I'm getting better, though," Hattie said brightly, after a moments pause.

"Oh, good," encouraged the ghost enthusiastically. "Er, better at what, precisely?"

"Choosing them. Men. And don't be so bloody obtuse, it doesn't become you at all," scolded Hattie, annoyed at its apparent lack of compassion.

"Ah, I see" said the ghost, baffled.

"The first one," continued Hattie, studiously ignoring it, "Well, the first serious one that is, used to use me as a punch bag."

"I have to admit," said the ghost gravely, "that is, indeed, pretty serious. Why didn't you just leave?"

"Typical male response! That's always your answer, isn't it? Just get up and walk away..." scoffed Hattie forgetting, momentarily, its sexless state. "I bet you've never been in love, have you? Besides, he was always sooo sorry afterwards. They always are. Promised to change, but he never did, needless to say.
"I left eventually, of course. Good job, too. He'd probably have killed me otherwise."

"Ooh," cried the ghost, enchanted, "If he'd done you in, we'd be dissolving harmoniously together even as we speak!"

"Oh, shut up," said Hattie rudely. "Anyway, after that I lost all my self-confidence. I felt useless, worthless, ugly. Didn't know what to do. Couldn't cope."

"Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes, after all."

It wasn't a mistake, you idiot. It was a bloody way of life," cried Hattie, even more ungraciously, "and as a consequence, I let the next two get away with murder."

"Not literally, I hope," grinned the ghost irreverently. "I used to know a murderer. They hung him. You should see the state of him now. Dreadfully sad. He can barely string two words together..."

Oh, very amusing," sniffed Hattie scornfully, "I mean, as you must be aware, since you claim to know me so well, that I lost my own identity. I allowed their personalities to swallow mine. If they liked mountain climbing, I suddenly wanted to conquer Everest. If they were into minimalism, out went all the clutter forthwith. Bungie jumping? Piece of piss. Shooting the rapids? Show me the canoe... Well, not literally, of course, but you get the general idea. Pathetic. I just moulded myself into whatever I thought they wanted me to be. "Subconsciously, you understand."

"Yes, of course" said the ghost, doing its best to arrange its features into an expression of concerned concentration. "I see what you mean. What a nightmare... I thought you said you'd seen the light, though? Strikes me you went from bad to worse."

"Ah, well that's just where you're wrong, smart arse," snorted Hattie smugly. "At least the last two didn't kick the shit out of me. Well not literally, at least. I have to say the second one had a charming way with words, though. Talk about putting you down..." she paused and sniffed woefully, then brightened,
"Still, as I said, I'm older and wiser now. First the physical and the mental, then the mental but not the physical. I was doing quite well until the unrequited love bit came along..."

"Oh, bloody hell," groaned the ghost, "not that as well...?"

"'Fraid so," sighed Hattie sadly, "took me a while to get that one sorted, I can tell you! But you'll be delighted to hear," she stared at the ghost defiantly, "that finally and after much bitter conflict and internal struggle, I've reached the stage where I'm completely content with my Self! I've decided to go it alone! Who needs 'em?" She thumped the duvet triumphantly, knocking over the ashtray, which shattered on the floor, spraying dog-ends.

"Well, thank heavens for small mercies," sighed the ghost with evident relief, "because it's all somewhat academic, now."

"What d'you mean?" yelped Hattie, crushed, "After all your tedious lectures on remaining 'true to oneself', not to mention the endless self-analysis sermons, I'd have thought you'd be pleased..."

"Well I am, of course," said the ghost soothingly, "but unfortunately it doesn't look like you've got much choice any more. I'm afraid it's my painful duty to inform you that you've just gone and pegged it. I kept telling you those fags'd finally be the death of you..."


THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2000

Originally published in GENTLE READER magazine

Archived comments for Hattie's Ghost
on 2002-05-25 17:49:42
Re: Hattie's Ghost
I always find Andrea's stories amusing but this is my favourite.

Author's Reply:

admin on 13-12-2006
Hatties Ghost
Loved this!

Author's Reply:


Neighbourhood Watch (posted on: 23-05-02)
The first time I set eyes on Mrs. Babcock I knew there'd be trouble.

The first time I set eyes on Mrs. Babcock I knew there'd be trouble. The flat next to mine had been empty for almost a year, ever since poor old Mr. Reid had popped his clogs and we'd all been wondering who the next tenant would be. "Well, I hope whoever it is likes kids!" said Mrs. Perkins, who had six, "You know what my lot are like. Not exactly angels, are they?" We did, and they're not. "They'd better be into music," grinned Tony from the first floor, leaning against the wall and rolling a joint. Tony sleeps during the day and plays drums all night. Phil Collins eat your heart out. Nobody really minds though, what with Mrs. P's six screaming all night long and the doorbell ringing at odd hours for Chris. Chris is an artist and entertains an endless stream of what he calls 'models', usually leggy blondes in skimpy clothes. He's a good-looking bloke Chris, at least what you can see of him through the long hair and beard. Mrs. Babcock seemed to move in overnight. One day the place was empty, with that forlorn and gloomy look that un-lived in places seem to have and the next sparkling net curtains appeared, whiter than any Persil ad on the telly had ever produced. We all hung around and eyed the nets warily. Mrs. Perkins, bless her, barely had time to wash the kids, never mind the curtains and Chris wouldn't know a curtain if it jumped up and bit him. Tony had a sort of blue batik thing held up with drawing pins and tied back with a grubby tassel. So here's the layout. I'm on the ground floor next to Mrs. Babcock. Above me there's Tone and above him there's Chris. Mrs. Perkins and her lot are above Mrs. Babcock, God help her and none of us know who lives on top of her because none of us have ever seen him. Sometimes there's a light on, but however hard we try, we can never see anything. Anyway, because I was the one with the new neighbour, I was the one everyone wanted to grill. "Hey Ron, what's she like?" Chris wanted to know, coming into my garden uninvited, where I was tinkering with an old bike. "Dunno," I said, "Oldish, about 60 I'd say. Grey hair. Fat. Looks pretty posh." I dunked an inner tube into a bucket of water to find the puncture. "Have you spoken to her, then?" He took a swig from his can of beer and wiped away froth with the back of his hand. "Nah. Snotty old bag, if you ask me. I said 'good morning' and she didn't say a bloody word. Just looked at me daggers and went back inside." It wasn't long, though, before we all knew what Mrs. Babcock was like. She started off by sticking up notices in the hall. They appeared as if by magic, printed in black felt-tip on white cardboard. 'PLEASE CLOSE THE DOOR QUIETLY' one said. Another one demanded 'NO NOISE AFTER 10PM'. Yet a third said 'DO NOT LEAVE TOYS IN THE HALLWAY'. We all gazed at them, stunned. "Silly old cow," said Mrs. P, clouting her youngest, who was busily picking his nose, round the head. "What does she expect with six kids?" The kids thought it was a huge joke. As soon as Mrs. Babcock stuck up a notice, one of them promptly ripped it down again. It didn't deter Mrs. B, though. Up would go another one, quick as a flash. They got larger and larger too, until the whole hallway was papered with the stupid things. Not that anyone took any notice. Chris' leggy blondes still rang his bell at all hours, the hall was still cluttered with rusty bikes and roller skates and Tony still murdered his drums all night. We didn't actually see very much of Mrs B, except sometimes she'd stand in her garden, fat arms on hips and stare up at the balconies, a sour look on her face. After a while, poor Tone gave up sitting out for his evening coffee and smoke and the leggy blondes started covering up a bit. After a few months, though, things started to go really bad. Tony had a visit from the landlord who said Mrs. Babcock had written him a letter complaining about 'the funny smell' coming from his landing. Mrs P had a call from social services wanting to know if it was true she had a part-time job as a barmaid, and I was blessed with a letter from the council telling me I had to get rid of all the rusty bikes and old car tyres from my front garden because I was 'lowering the tone of the neighbourhood'. We all knew who was to blame. Poor Mrs P was in a right state. "What'll I do?" she wailed, "They might take the kids away!" Tony was furious. "Jesus H Christ! The old bag'll put me in nick if I'm not careful," he fumed, flushing his stash down the loo. We all agreed that something had to be done, but none of us knew exactly what, all of us being a bit dodgy ourselves, so to speak. We decided to have a meeting at my place the following Wednesday, to discuss strategy. Tony turned up clean as a whistle for once. Chris arrived with two bottles of cheap plonk and a blonde. Mrs P dragged in her three youngest. We were all sat round the table, mugs filled and ready to start, when we heard a terrific commotion outside. We rushed en masse to the window and even Cyril, Mrs. P's fourth in line, stopped wailing and whinging. We all gawped, speechless. There stood a huge paddy wagon, out of which sprung at least five cops. Tony, poor sod, went deathly pale, but it wasn't him they were after. They thumped and kicked and bashed Mrs. Babcocks's door until it gave way and dashed inside yelling, as cops do on a raid. For about an hour all we heard were a few muffled shouts and bangs and the occasional triumphant "Bingo!" Then the door opened again and out they all trooped, each carrying two large rubbish bags crammed to the brim with gold candlesticks, silver plates, furs and God knows what else. The last cop, looking mightily pleased with himself, was attached to Mrs. Babcock (who wasn't looking so snotty now, I can tell you) by means of a pair of wicked-looking handcuffs. After they'd thrown everything, including Mrs. B, into the back of the paddy wagon, they screeched off, leaving her battered door swinging on its hinges. "The old bat's a fence! Can you believe it? Bloody hell!" breathed Chris in awe. We all stared at each other in amazement, mouths open. Then, raising our mugs full of plonk in a toast, we all began to grin... © Andrea Lowne 2000 1168 Words © Andrea Lowne 2000 1168 Words Originally published in FAN THE FLAMES magazine
Archived comments for Neighbourhood Watch
Sooz on 2002-08-28 12:56:49
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
The characterisation is fantastic .. bloody brilliant 5/5 10/10 95/100 Brilliant writing. Loved it.

Author's Reply:

Skytrucker on 2002-08-28 13:09:14
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Great story Andrea. I agree with Sooz about the characterisation stuff too. I just forget about all the technical stuff when a story is just a buddy good READ. That's what all this is really about innit???

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 2004-01-28 06:02:20
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Controlled and vibrant piece of writing. A modern day Dickens with all the boring details cut out.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-01-28 06:04:57
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Thanks Pilger and all πŸ™‚ Much obliged...

Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-01-28 10:18:06
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
So why is the rating just a little above average? It should be higher.
Gifted narrative, colourful believable characters. The only points it lost with me dealt with the denoument. It seemed too abrupt an ending for so brilliant a beginning.
I was as curious about Mrs Babcock as her neighbours (a Mrs. Babcock lived next to us briefly, notes all over the cars in the streets, but these types don't stay long in one neighbourhood) what I can put my finger on here is that people who are involved in something illegal (eg: pot growing, drug dealing, murdering people & burying them in the garden), have been consistently described as the nicest quietist souls in the world, greatest neighbours "my I never would have suspected...never made any trouble" so the discovery of Mrs Babcocks activity is not convincing. Incongruity jars that ending and pricks the balloon of tension you have created and while that is what a denoument is supposed to do, sum up, it's too glib. the great AH HAH! becomes a WHAT?
You have the skill of Agatha Christie in creating a convincing atmosphere with characters we all know and love (even the baddies) Now if that mysterious fella on the top floor had a strange odour emanating from his pad I could believe it.
We have three pot growing operations on our street and drug dealers just moved in across the street from me (sweet people always ready to lend a hand) it is the predictability of their habits that allow police (and neighbours) to discover them
Whew this is long winded!!! Anyway I hope you take this as the constructive criticism it is meant to be, I really admired the piece and was hooked right away, also your neat paragraph arrangements made for easy digesting of information.
Oh yeah, but one more thing, the wording which describes the positions of the apartments to each other confused me as you introduced Mrs. Babcocks name and I hadn't put a face to her yet. For me it would have been easier to understand if you had labeled the flat next to you as the empty one, now I can't look back at the story to see if I missed some information earlier than that, I did read that section a couple of times and I can read too too fast, which is why your writing organiziation appealed to me. not intimidating, clean easy to see in a blink, so maybe it's my muddled brain at fault. ANYWAY this is a keeper. Ciao

Author's Reply:

Bettyboo on 2004-07-22 09:20:38
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Excellent! I really liked this story. It is also so true on some estates/flats about everyone knowing one another and what they get up to and then being weary when a new person moves in to the block. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the ending was predictable.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-07-22 09:28:50
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Thanks, Betty (and for all your other kind comments) - even *I* quite like this one πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-21 13:21:19
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
dear andrea, i too enjoyed this one. reminded me of early rene clair films. i'm not sure if i agree with sabrina or not but perhaps there could have been a clue or two along the way. however, as it has been published then it is already complete. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2005-01-21 13:31:09
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Thanks, Anthony, for your kind comment.

And Sabrina, I see I didn't repond to yours! I am soooo sorry, and very appreciative and grateful for your time. All suggestions have been thoroughly taken on board. Thanks again.

Author's Reply:

KevTheRev on 2005-02-24 02:32:07
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
This is great stuff, solidity and visual.
One question; why the hell have you not written in so long?

Awaiting submissions because your doing well!

Respect

Kevin


Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2005-02-24 02:46:38
Re: Neighbourhood Watch
Thanks Kev - much appreciated.

Afraid I don't get a lot of time to write these days, which is kinda sad, I agree. Last year my internet connection went down for 3 weeks and I actually managed to write (or finish, rather) three stories!

Perhaps pulling the plug is the amswer πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:


Who Wants to be A Millionaire? (posted on: 22-05-02)
"Ooohhh," groaned Al, clutching his posterior theatrically, "I've got this terrible pain, love. Right here..." and he thumped the offending buttock with his fist.

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

"Ooohhh," groaned Al, clutching his posterior theatrically, "I've got this terrible pain, love. Right here..." and he thumped the offending buttock with his fist.

"Been sitting on it too long, that's why" muttered Irene, swotting Tyson off the kitchen table where he'd been busily snuffling for anything vaguely green.

The unfortunate mammal squeaked, grabbed a discarded pea in mid-flight and, expelling a few pellets for good measure, scampered behind the fridge to devour his find in peace.

"Dozy rabbit" said Irene, as she tried to shovel a spoonful of soggy broccoli into Billy the Kid's pursed and uncooperative mouth. The Kid, cunningly waiting until the last moment, turned his head sharply and got an earful.

"Crafty little bugger, ain't he?" grinned Al proudly, before remembering that he was supposed to be in dire agony. He whimpered loudly and with conviction.
"Lazy little fart," said Irene sotto voce, although it wasn't clear whether she was referring to her husband or her son, both of whom seemed bent on giving her grief.

Al had, over the years, been suffering from continuous mysterious complaints that seemed to have drastically affected his ability to obtain gainful employment.

Backache was always a good one, although now becoming somewhat repetitive. Then there were his swollen knees, capable of retaining more water than a reservoir, arthritic hands still strangely able to wield a bottle-opener, migraines that didn't stop him perusing Playboy and food poisoning that cleared up instantly on hearing the magic words 'curry and chips'.

Once, he'd even gone deaf, although Irene put that down to listening to too many dirty jokes in the pub. On good days, he just had pneumonia.

Al was a great believer in self-healing, thus conveniently eliminating the need to visit a doctor who might, perish the thought, diagnose malingering.

His favourite method of treatment was to slump in the comfiest armchair ("what about your back, dear?"), open a bottle of lager ("destroys the liver, that stuff does."), switch on the telly and gawp, mesmerised, at bulging Baywatch boobs.

These cures were truly miraculous, especially in the evenings when it was too late to scour the job section.

Another sure-fire way to alleviate agonising aches was to take himself and his dole money down to the bookies. It was a source of constant amazement to his mates how, when he'd backed a winner, his knees drained with such astonishing speed and became capable of dancing a joyous jig.

Irene, too, was not averse to a little flutter, although the most she ever managed was a lottery ticket, usually at the expense of a jar of instant or a pound of spuds.

At least Sharon had a job, albeit in the local chippie. True it wasn't exactly Harrod's, but it brought in a bit of extra dosh nonetheless.

"Bloody hell, Dad," she'd say, coming in from work and eyeing her paternal parent with disgust, "Ain't you got a job yet?"

Al, who at that time of day usually entertained himself trying to teach Tyson to box, would smile sadly as he gave the hapless bunny a right hook, "Can't love, it's me migraine you see..." and he'd gaze up at his daughter soulfully.

Tyson, nose twitching wildly and squatting on his haunches, would grab his chance and give Al a well-aimed nip before scuttling rapidly away, leaving a trail of smelly pellets in his wake.

"Jesus Christ!" yelped Al, sucking blood and apparently mortally wounded, "The thing bit me!"

"Serves you right..." chorused Irene and Sharon unsympathetically, probing the depths of the fridge to see if there were any leftovers worth resurrecting.

Irene and Sharon had, with much practice, perfected a strategy. Al moaned, groaned, wept and wailed about his various ailments and they ignored him.

It worked quite well, especially as Al, seemingly oblivious to their lack of sympathy, ranted away to himself quite happily, thus leaving Irene free to perform more important domestic duties, like hoovering up the rabbit droppings that had become an integral and vital part of Billy's diet.

"Look, Ma!" Sharon would say, on spying her brother cramming in as many pellets as possible and chewing with determination, obviously under the impression that they were raisins, "The sprog's eating rabbit shit again!" and Irene would try to prise open a mouth closed tighter than an overdrawn bank account.

Irene who had, out of necessity, become as expert on budgeting as Gordon Brown, finally gave up on Al altogether.

The dole money didn't go far, but coupled with Sharon's wages they just about managed, even if it did mean shepherds pie three times a week.

Al didn't seem to mind though, as he usually had a sore throat and had taken to consuming vast portions of porridge which, he said, was easier to swallow.

"Not like his excuses, then," Irene observed to Sharon as she tried to devise yet another method of transforming mincemeat into a three-course gourmet delight.

This frugal existence however, was shortly to take an unexpected turn.

On returning home one evening laden with shopping and sweating buckets, Irene entered to find Billy glued to the box and Sharon standing rigid in the middle of the room, face white as a virgin's wedding dress and mouth flapping like a starving goldfish.

"What's up, love?" asked Irene, booting Tyson, parked hopefully in the doorway, up the arse.

"You're not going to believe it, Mum!" said Sharon faintly and apparently suffering from lock-jaw, "You've won the lottery! 1.8 million! Yippee..." and she grabbed hold of her startled sibling, plastering him with lipsticky kisses.
"Yuk!" said the Kid in disgust and "Christ!" said Irene, quite flustered and overcome.

The enormity of the event began slowly, however, to penetrate through the fog.

"We can buy Tyson a luxury hutch!" cried Irene, blissful visions of that furry and incontinent beast, safely incarcerated at last, floating before her eyes, "A new washing machine, a freezer, a colour telly, a video..." Irene's enthusiasm knew no bounds.

"Don't be bloody daft, Ma," said Sharon, thoroughly exasperated, "It's 1.8 million, not a tax refund. Think what we could do! Think where we could go..."

"D'you know, I think you're right," breathed Irene, myriad possibilities jostling for space, "Where's your old man?"

"Down the boozer, where d'you think?"

"Well, that's it then, innit? Grab yer coat, love, that's all you'll be needing! We're off!" and tucking a protesting Billy under one arm, a recalcitrant rabbit under the other, she headed towards the front door, bearing a striking resemblance to the Cheshire Cat...


THE END
© Andrea Lowne 2000

Originally published in PIFFLE Magazine.



Archived comments for Who Wants to be A Millionaire?
Skytrucker on 2002-08-29 09:03:26
Re: Who Wants to be A Millionaire?
Great story Andrea! I love some of the phrases you use.

Author's Reply:

womanofwit on 2003-10-01 06:09:15
Re: Who Wants to be A Millionaire?
Well, I read the whole thing and couldn't find Chris Tarrant anywhere. Great story, but I'm not sure why she wanted to take that rabbit!

Author's Reply:


Casper and the Exterminator (posted on: 22-05-02)
"Don't be daft," said Ted, his nose buried in the sports page, "whoever heard of a ghost in a council house? The bloody thing was only built 15 years ago. Nothing's had time to die yet."

CASPER AND THE EXTERMINATOR

"Don't be daft," said Ted, his nose buried in the sports page, "whoever heard of a ghost in a council house? The bloody thing was only built 15 years ago. Nothing's had time to die yet."

"Well, maybe it moved in from down the road then," retorted Doris, glaring at the newspaper, "Maybe it likes central heating and magnetrons."

"We haven't got a magnetron," Ted pointed out reasonably, "'Ere, look at this! Mike Tyson's retiring! Blimey..."

"Fascinating," snorted Doris with heavy sarcasm, dropping a lump of marge into bubbling baked beans, "I s'pose you think all them thumps and bumps is rats then, do you?"

"Could be, could be...," answered the newspaper, obviously more concerned with things of a more down-to-earth nature.

Doris sighed and cracked eggs into the frying pan, where they swam glutinously for a moment before congealing. She fished out a bit of shell, burning her finger in the hot oil and wishing she'd married Anthony Worrell-Thompson.

He was a nice bloke Ted, she thought, but dull as tarnished pewter. Pottering down the allotment all day growing slug-chewed cabbages and getting all het up because Damien Hill was in pole position was not Doris's idea of an exciting existence.

So when the ghost had moved in Doris, bored with bingo, had brightened considerably.

Doris's first encounter had been during the early hours about two weeks ago. A light sleeper, she was lying in bed trying vainly to recall a recipe she'd seen on the telly that afternoon, when there was a distinct thump from the loft, reminiscent of young Ollie falling out of bed. Only Ollie, Doris recalled, still somewhat groggy with sleep, was now 19 and had mercifully moved out a year ago.

Ted, of course, who wouldn't wake up if a bomb exploded in his denture glass, didn't hear a thing. Doris had elbowed him sharply in the ribs, but he'd merely grunted and snored even louder.

Doris, a sterling woman of vast proportions and afraid of no man, had heaved herself out of bed and thrust her feet into fluffy slippers. Grabbing Ted's brolly from the corner, she'd padded down the stairs as quietly as her bulk would allow and prepared to do battle. No intruder was going to get the better of her!

Trouble was, there was no intruder to be seen. Creeping into the kitchen, though, Doris beheld a sight which upset her greatly.

The fridge door was swinging open and, splattered on the lino in front of it, was a gooey mess of broken eggs, spilt milk and the remains of a chocolate cake she'd baked only that afternoon.

Doris, justifiably proud of her housekeeping skills and not a woman to be trifled with, was incensed.

"Bloody cheek!" she whispered, fortuitously remembering to keep her voice lowered and brandishing the brolly, "You just wait 'til I get hold of you!"

She never did manage to get hold of anything however, even though she subsequently conducted a thorough search of the house.

When she told Ted the next day about the ghost, he'd just laughed at her.

"Ghost," he snorted, stirring his mug of tea, "Don't be silly, woman. Besides, ghosts don't eat. They don't need to. Or maybe you think it was trying to make a chocolate omelette?" and he left to weed the allotment, chuckling richly.

Doris, undaunted by this display of male skepticism, decided to name the ghost Casper, after Ollie's favourite cartoon character. Besides, it seemed to be a friendly enough spook, if a bit messy.

Doris became quite fond of Casper. He set her apart, distinguished her from the common herd. Besides, her status shot up no end with her mates at the bingo hall.

After his initial banquet, however, Casper seemed to have lost his appetite, although he wasn't averse to pinching the occasional scone or rock cake should Doris forget to close the pantry door properly.

He took, instead, to running up and down the stairs all night and appeared to find the central heating oppressive, as he left all the doors open on his nightly prowls.

Once, as she lay sleepless, Ted comatose as usual, Doris heard grunts and scrapes from above, as if Casper had decided to rearrange the furniture.

Casper, a mischievous ghoul had, for some reason best known to himself, decided not to reveal his presence to Ted, who was getting progressively fed up with Doris's tales of ghostly comings and goings.

"Rats," he said one morning, spooning sugar onto his cornflakes with vigour, "That's what it is Doris, rats. I've called in the exterminators. They'll be here this afternoon."

"Rats my arse," muttered Doris indignantly. She was curious, nevertheless, to see what the exterminators discovered.

The spotty youth who presented himself at precisely three o'clock that afternoon, found himself somewhat daunted as he confronted Doris on the doorstep, arms akimbo and her chin thrust stubbornly forward in defiance.

"You'd better come in then, Mr. Gone." she said, warily eyeing his white van which had 'VERMIN VANQUISHED! B. GONE & SON.' emblazoned in scarlet letters on its side.

"Oh no, it's not really Gone," said Gone junior, blushing, "That's just a joke. A play on words, see. It's Brown, really, Terry Brown. 'Gone' was my dad's idea." he finished lamely, visibly wilting before Doris's formidable scowl.

Ted, hovering in the background, grinned and rubbed his hands in gleeful anticipation.

Doris and Ted waited nervously in the living room while young Terry conducted his room-to-room investigation.

Strange scufflings and yelps were soon to be heard from above, followed by the reappearance of Terry, sucking a bleeding finger. He was scarlet, dishevelled and carrying a large cane basket.

"What's the verdict, then?" Ted wanted to know, looking smug as he eyed the basket. He nudged Doris painfully in the ribs.

"Fox," said Terry, "Bloody thing bit me too. Must've come in looking for food and couldn't get out again. I'll take it down to the sanctuary if you like."

Doris regarded the basket, crestfallen. Ted, of course, was positively prancing with delight.

"See?" he cried triumphantly, "Told you so, woman. Ghosts indeed! A bloody fox all along. Blimey, the lads're going to love this one! I'm off to the pub to tell 'em all about it.." and he and Terry ambled off down the path, all chummy and chuckling as they bonded together, discussing the fancifulness of the female.

Ted still hadn't returned when Doris was settling down much later with a cup of tea and a packet of digestives to watch Rolf Harris save the animal kingdom.

Just as Rolf, glasses askew, was struggling to contain a suffering salamander and she was about to dunk her bikkie into her mug, there was an almighty crash from the loft, followed by a series of scrapes and thumps. The stairs creaked as Casper made his way clumsily downstairs.

"Bloody fox, indeed!" grinned Doris contentedly, as she munched a soggy biscuit with superior satisfaction...

THE END

© Andrea Lowne 2000

Originally published in ASWELLas Magazine

1174 words

Archived comments for Casper and the Exterminator
on 2002-05-25 17:57:09
Re: Casper and the Exterminator
Another amusing story but I do worry about Andrea...what is this thing she has about ghosts?... Is she a tortured poor soul?

Author's Reply:

Smellybaby on 2004-03-27 06:22:38
Re: Casper and the Exterminator
I really liked this story, I didn't want it to end. Will you be adding to it?

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 2004-03-27 08:49:44
Re: Casper and the Exterminator
Thanks Smellybaby (what an odd name!). I must say I never thought of adding to it, but I might give it a go sometime. Thanks again.

Author's Reply:

calisto on 22-05-2006
Casper and the Exterminator
I do so enjoy a good ghost story - and the humour is beautifully judged.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Calisto - much appreciated.

admin on 30-11-2006
Casper and the Exterminator
Testing again...(s'posed to be fixed now)

Author's Reply:


A Fishy Business (posted on: 22-05-02)
Ruby had no idea how to tell Poppy, in the nicest way possible of course, to get lost.

A FISHY BUSINESS

Ruby had no idea how to tell Poppy, in the nicest way possible of course, to get lost.

She'd tried the usual ("Gosh, I'd love to have a bigger house, wouldn't you, Poppy?" and "Wouldn't it be nice to have more privacy?"), but Poppy had only gazed at her vaguely, stubbornly oblivious to hints of even the most blatant kind, before launching into the intricacies of her next major project.

"I think I'll go to China," she'd announce, "To buy silk. What d'you think, Ruby? Silk's very cheap in China. I could build up an import business."

Ruby sighed and reached for the biscuits. Poppy had weird and wonderful dreams that never developed into anything concrete. She was going to China to import silk. She was going to Tunisia to buy pottery. She was going to Mexico to buy jewellery.

Twice a year she went to France and picked grapes.

"Great. Good idea," mumbled Ruby, chewing her nails along with the Jaffa and wondering, for the hundredth time, how to broach the subject of Poppy's desperately desired departure.

Poppy had moved in six months ago, after Tony had cracked her over the head with a jam-jar following a 'minor dispute'. Off they'd driven to the local hospital, Poppy driving (as Ruby couldn't), blood dripping onto the steering wheel.
Afterwards, duly shaved and stitched, Poppy had asked if she could move in for a few days 'to sort my head out'. Ruby hadn't had the heart to refuse.

The trouble was, Poppy had never left.

Ruby was very fond of Poppy but, after a month, the arrangement began to lose its novelty.

For one thing, Poppy did not possess Ruby's neat and orderly mind, nor her penchant for sustenance both sweet and sticky. Large boxes of junk were already gathering in corners, containing anything from books to screwdrivers to open and festering tins of cat food. Poppy, should she be lonely, had moved in with her moggy, a huge, male tabby of vast proportions, appropriately called Butch.

The kitchen looked like a bombsite. The sink was constantly cluttered with unwashed dishes and the plughole plugged with remnants of Poppy's latest culinary creations.

To be blunt, they were as incompatible as Samson and Delilah.

Once, in order to thank Ruby for taking her in, Poppy had decided to treat her to a meal. Ruby, visions of coq au vin and cheesecake swimming before her eyes, was devastated to discover that Poppy was a confirmed vegan.



She'd squeezed her considerable bulk between a painting of Buddha and a bare, scrubbed trestle and stared morosely into her plate of bean curd, bean sprouts, brown beans (in sauce), green beans and salad and wished to hell they at least served beer.

Ruby's dearest wish in life was to strangle Poppy's cat. Butch had just polished off her packet of cheese and onion, and Ruby was gutted. Poppy, though, was enthusiastically active in the animal rights movement and a self-proclaimed pacifist, so that was out.

Furthermore, Ruby found Poppy's idealism intensely irritating.

A murderer would be, for instance, 'not very nice'. A stalker 'could be a bit strange, sometimes.' Thus a conversation might run as follows:

Ruby: "I read an article in the paper the other day about this guy who used to entice women to his house, chop them up, and flush the bits down the loo!"

Poppy: "Gosh, that's not very nice, is it?"

Ruby: "Yes, and he blocked up all his neighbours toilets with body parts. That's how they caught him..."

Poppy: "Wow! He must have been a bit strange then, poor guy!"

Ruby was in despair. She couldn't concentrate at work, the flat was a tip, the fridge was overflowing with lettuce and beetroot and the wretched Butch, looking extremely pleased with himself, had puked all over the kitchen floor.

"Serves you right," growled Ruby mutinously, "for pinching all my doughnuts."

Even worse though, was that Poppy had started to preach.

"You eat far too much meat, Ruby," she admonished, "so I've chucked out all the sausages and bacon and bought some nice healthy packets of lentils and plenty of fresh fruit and veg."

"I hate lentils!" wailed poor Ruby in despair.

Poppy studiously ignored her.

"...and you're pounds and pounds overweight. You really must stop scoffing all that junk food and get some exercise."

"I hate exercise, too..." groaned Ruby.

Poppy had responded by dragging here off to a tortuous session at the local gym.

Ruby, muscles aching and stomach rumbling, spent most of her evenings devising various methods (some positively illegal) of getting rid of Poppy. Strangulation, perhaps? Maybe she, too, could carve up bodies and flush them down the loo...

At the end of many sleepless nights and by now considerably thinner, she'd constructed a plan so perfect that, if executed properly, would not even destroy their friendship, tenuous though it now was.

A week later, as Ruby was settling down to an evening comfortingly filled with Eastenders and crisps, Poppy came into the living room looking puzzled and slightly bilious.

"There's a terrible smell in my room, Ruby. Any idea what it can be?"

"Can't smell a thing," sniffed Ruby, who had a cold.

Two days later, Poppy cornered Ruby, red-nosed and inhaling eucalyptus, in the kitchen.

"It really is an awful stink," she said, "It's making me sick. Are you sure you can't smell anything?"

"Not a thing, honest," said Ruby, "Have you looked everywhere? Perhaps it's some rotting tofu?" she sneezed violently.

"Don't be silly," said Poppy and left, looking positively green.

The following evening Ruby came home from work to find Poppy's hold-alls stacked neatly in the hall.

Poppy emerged from the toilet, a hankie held over her nose. She looked at Ruby, red-eyed and green-gilled.

"Sorry, Ruby," she groaned, "I know you're going to be disappointed, but I've decided to go back to Tony. Said he's going to change. Want's to get married, even. I'll call you as soon as we're settled. You can be my bridesmaid..."

And without further ado she picked up her bags in one hand, handkerchief still clamped firmly to her nose with the other, and left.

Grinning wickedly and thumbing her nose at Butch who, tail puffed like a fluff-ball was yowling desperately, Ruby made her way to Poppy's room. She climbed laboriously onto a chair and, carefully un-hooking the curtains, gingerly removed the rotting shrimps from inside the rail.

THE END



© Andrea Lowne 2000

1080 Words

Originally published in PLUME magazine.

Archived comments for A Fishy Business
fecky on 2002-08-13 19:04:34
Re: A Fishy Business
I enjoyed this it made me smile. Andrea's characters always remind me of people I know - my family!

Author's Reply:

Lare on 27-02-2006
A Fishy Business
Yes, Andrea...I can PROMISE you...rotting shrimp would most definitely do it...I bought some jumbo shrimp at the supermarket recently and when I got them out of the package the next day....WHEW! And that was just in one day!!!! Bravo read, Andrea....greatly enjoyed this one...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Thanks Lare - glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚