Gentle reader, whilst it is true to say that we previously left our hero feverishly awaking to the analysis of the animated corpse of Sigmund Freud, we now retain

the world in which the pantomime closed (or was closed by the furnace) and the characters dispersed. Following her encounter with Venomous Snake Johnson, Yolanda of course required medical attention and thus was briskly driven (by paramedic Johnson) to the nearby hospital…




Scene: A hospital ward. White coated staff are milling about, 75 percent are human, the remainder are Johnsons.

Morris, arrayed in his shabby wizardly finery, wanders jauntily into the High Dependancy Ward. Yolanda lies strapped into a bed, twitching and muttering to herself in unknown tongues, her eyes are like two cranberries floating in strawberry milk. Breezily Morris plants himself in an orange plastic chair by her bed. Somewhere downstairs a bell is clanging stridently. With a flourish he produces a bouquet from within his robes.

Morris:                        “Here you go my little wagon wheel, flowers!”

Upon closer inspection, the floral offering seems to be somewhat scorched, blistered and blackened cellophane curling away from charred, wilting petals. Unperturbed by Yolanda’s lack of reaction, he places a bottle of Lucozade on her bedside table, its exterior coated with a sweet smelling greasy soot. He raises his eyebrows and begins to speak in a dry tone.

Morris:                        “Do you know ladies and gentlemen a funny thing happened to me on the way to the hospital today. I popped into the garage for some flowers, chocolates, wagon wheels and lucozade and who should be there but our my old friend captain Johnson. ‘Evening captain’ says I. But he’s having none of it, something about fish and ships. Very well I say.  I will burn you to death, and do you know that’s just what I did. Sadly it has somewhat ruined the quality of the goods I acquired as you can see” Mysterious canned laughter emits from nowhere “you’ll like this my sweet” produces a cauliflower “vegetable dear? Oh I see you already are one!” The same strange laughter. Other officials begin to notice and glance across.”And don’t you worry about that Venomous Snake Johnson, I’ve had him completely retrained. Anyway dear, it must be time for your medication.” Enter Dr Venomous Snake Johnson, mugging comedically with an enormous prop syringe. Phantom audience howl with merriment. “Now my little fruit pastille, don’t be alarmed, he’s only going to change your dressing.” Dr VS Johnson hoses the recumbent Yolanda with the contents of the syringe. Morris wipes a finger across her brow, then tastes it. “You idiot Johnson, this is Thousand Island, I prescribed Vinaigrette!”

VS Johnson:     “Mwaaerk?!” Looks non-plussed.

Morris:               “I said, describe ‘vinagrette’ in under 10 seconds”

VS Johnson:     “Mwaaaerk?”

Morris:            “Sorry I can’t accept that which means I can hand it over for bonus points, Miss can you describe a ‘winning bet’ in the remaining time” holds a curious half cauliflower half microphone to her lips, she rasps some guttural noise “No can’t make head nor tail of that my petal, judge Bikle can you do better?

The evil action figure sits at the end of the bed

Judge Bikle:     “Ballow be of course, it’s a widding bet dat by tool…”

Morris:            “And we’re out of time congratulations Yolanda you have won a trip to France, now where is the rest of that salad?”

It changes to Yolanda’s mind where she sees herself as a giant cucumber covered in vinagrette, Morris towers above with a knife and other Johnsons gather around her dressed as other salad vegetables.Dreamily she lets her hands be taken by Spring Onion Johnson and Peppered Beetroot Johnson, who lead her gently from the shadow of giant Morris. Together they wander through peaceful fields of cress and wild rocket. Eventually they all sit down on sun warmed flat rocks by a deep, dark pool fed by crystal freshets. Spring Onion Johnson produces a small flute upon which he tootles simple pastoral melodies. Peppered Beetroot Johnson is busy folding a sheet of newspaper. Eventually he produces a small origami boat which he hands to Yolanda with a quiet smile. Leaning forward she launches it onto the glassy surface of the pool, and watches as it scuds merrily about at the behest of the warm breeze.

Yolanda:          “I like it here.”

Both Johnsons nod, waving at Balsmamic Johnson as he runs past with his kite.Back in the exterior world, Morris is growing impatient.

Morris:                        “I SAID WHERE IS THE REST OF MY SALAD?”

VS Johnson looks round nervously.

VS Johnson:            “Mwaaerk?”

Morris:                        “SALAD SALAD SALAD SALAD SALAD.” Chants Morris, jumping up and down and punching the air. “SALAD SALAD SALAD SALAD.”

No sooner has he said this than a strange wheeled cart appears pushed by two familiar gangly figures.

Bikle:               “Sombwod say salad?, well we if we don’t have de best salad bar in de business by dame isn’t hupla Johnson!”

Buckle:            “Ber but Bikle your dame is Buckle!”

Bikle:               “Do you ditwit bi’m Bikle you’re Buckle!

Buckle:            “Barvellous am I? Ho I thought there’s be cheese!”

Bikle:               “Well do you Dow what Buckle? There is! Frole!” A rare moment happens in which Bikle produces cheese with a flourish “like bi said you can get it all in a salad bar atatatata!, dow sir what will it be?” They comedically wrap a napkjn round Morris’ neck and pull him up on a stool at the salad bar “large salad bap sir o o o! Pickle with dat? Ho ho its Bikle bactually!”

Buckle             (chiming in)”don’t forget de cheese Borris?”

Morris looks confused, then somewhat excited.

Morris:            “Hmm maybe a salad roll is just what the doctor ordered, eh judge Bikle?”

Judge Bikle:     “Side be up for two!” replies the manikin.

Morris:              “So with that in mind, Dr VS Johnson will have a large salad roll with extra cheese!”

BBB                    “Ho we thought there’d be cheese!” pipe up Judge Bikle, Bikle and Buckle in a chorus. Buckle hands the roll over but DR VS Johnson is not pleased.

Johnson:        “Mwaaaerk!”

Morris:             “No Johnson it is not a baked potato!” He takes a beaky bite, before spitting it out over Judge Bikle.

Judge Bikle:    “Hey bind dat bor bi’ll have you arrested!”

Bikle:                “Dapkin sir?” interrupting helpfully, “just a little wipe around de beak, dere we are all clean!”

Judge Bikle:     “What about be?!” shouts the judicial doll,

Bikle:                “Berr yes a little wipe for you too sir” Bikle looks somewhat perturbed at wiping the figure but does so anyway.

Morris:            “Johnson that’s disgusting and ungrateful, I’m demoting you to veggie sausage Johnson, now grab a costume and beat it!”

Johnson does not comprehend properly and grabs a nearby doctor inside his ‘costume’ (doctor’s coat) and begins beating him with a bedpan. Buckle looks excited

Buckle:            “Ho look Bikle, drubbing, let be do drubbing, ho can I?”

Bikle:               “Hov course Buckle, let de drubbing cobbence!”

Buckle starts to beat an incomprehensible irrhythmia  on various pots and pans, “

Morris:              What is going on here?” says Morris between mouthfuls of tuna salad roll, spitting bits out as he does

Judge Bikle:    “Bi don’t dow, but bi think bi like it! Let’s rock!” and the evil action doll begins to cavort on Yolanda’s bed in an unseemly manner.

Morris:               “Bit too fucking beatnik for my tastes your honour, but if it keeps ’em happy… Not you Johnson, you’re in me bad books as it is. Is this what I pay your celery for?” He looks round waiting for the laugh track to kick in. “Celery? Pun innit? Play on words like. There was a salad thing going on a minute ago. Remember? Salad?”

Nobody responds, the impromptu jam session is in full swing. One of the other medical Johnsons has improvised a tuba from a funnel and a length of surgical tubing. Judge Bikle has located a patient in an adjacent bed whose leg is in traction, and is enthusiastically plucking the wires in a string bass fashion.

Judge Bikle:     “Ho! I cobband you to dadce, id de dame of de law!”

A dangerous gleam can be seen in Morris’ eyes as he rolls himself a cigarette.The lights begin to dim and more Johnsons and patients can be seen milling around and dancing variously. Drug dealing Johnson moves in on the scene peddling different wares. The two Bikle’s and Buckle continue to create strange powerfully beating music with the aid of others.

Inside Yolanda’s mind she stares peacefully across the lake, filled with inner calm. The lake seems somehow wider than before now such the edge stretches on in both directions. The other side cannot be seen as if it were a wide sea. Still the weather is nice and all still seems well. Or does it? A curious mist starts to form on the erstwhile pools now enormous horizon, swelling rapidly. Its gossamer being masses and approaches the meadow with seeming alacrity. Within a rhythm can be heard and a curious chant? Words can definitely be heard. The Johnson’s look perturbed and suggest they should leave but the dream restrains her and she must watch on. At length the mist reaches near the bank and now repeating phrases can be heard at intervals over drumming

Judge Bikle:     “Whed I feel de busic take by feet I say dance Johnson dance” interspersed with the mc like sound bites like  “siledce id court, dot on de dance floor,” “ged funky or you’re going down, froo fritcha, froo fritcha,who’s de fritcha ? You de fritcha!”

Horrified she stares on as what looks like a bed shaped boat begins to land….Looking round, she seeks comfort from the Salad Johnsons. To her horror she sees that Spring Onion Johnson has slumped back against his rock, his flute fallen from his nerveless appendages. As she watches, all expression fades from his face as the radiant sunlight begins to turn to gloom. Dark crimson trickles from his eyes as he vainly attempts to take her hand to reassure her, the rivulets of blood turning his feathers a hideous carmine in the sun’s dying rays. From her left comes a despairing gutteral rattle. Swinging round she sees that Peppered Beetroot Johnson is already little more than a carcass, his skin stretched drum tight over his recumbent bones, a last few feathers clinging to cartilage fluttering in the sudden icy wind. The oncoming disco bed/barge crushes his delicate paper yacht beneath its iniquitous prow. As her consciousness fades with the last gleams of the sun, she sees Balsamic Johnson drift past hanging limply from the string of his gaily coloured kite, his lifeless form silhouetted against the rude garish beams of the strobe lights. Her last impression is one of the pulsing bass.

Yet somehow in the mysterious fading the bass persists. She becomes dimly aware that the sense of fading is an emerging. A certain corporeality seems upon her, yet the hideous din persists. Her eyes flutter slowly open to reveal a ghastly twilight world around her. Images flicker and begin to assert themselves. The ghastly twilight is a nightclub like infrared world through which the noise resonates. Figures move around, some walking, some dancing. Johnsons? Sickly looking folk? What is this place? She realizes she is lying in a bed, to the left of which is a curtain attached to some sort of frame, it runs to the end of the bed after which the spectacle is laid bare. Looking to her right she can make out a seated figure, crooked pointed hat balanced on his head, his left hand drums with the rhythm on the small table top that is attached over the bed.

Yolanda:          “Morris?” she says feebly, then realising he can hear nothing above the cacophony, she tugs at his hand. Instantly he turns to her and is just audible. He leans closely over her and shouts unpleasantly.

Morris:            “Hello my little isotope, glad to see you’re awake and just in time, the party’s in full swing!” he swigs from a pint of something.

Yolanda:          “What is going on Morris?”

Morris:            “You’re in hospital dear, that’s MC Judge Bikle over in the nurses station on the tannoy and some of the other nuisances are making the racket, I rather like it.”

Yolanda:          “Morris this is horrible, get me out of here, I want to go home!”

Morris:            “Do not be such a piker Yolanda, snuggle up and settle down, why don’t you have a drink, look I got you one from mobile bar Johnson!”

He presents her with a cloudy looking pint. She sits up.

Yolanda:          “I don’t feel well Morris, oh and I was having such a lovely dream, what drink is it anyway?”

Morris:            “Ho ho ho, can’t you guess my dear? We’ve all been waiting to get to this moment…”

A pause in the music in anticipatory silence, Morris coughs to clear his throat.

Morris:            “It’s snakebite of course!”

The music stops, the Johnsons, the patients , the various Biklesque creatures all fall about laughing and everything goes pitch black…

Published in: on January 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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