Ready Steady ‘Mwaaerk!’

 

The scene is a gaily decorated marquee set up in the grounds of a large country house. Inside are laid out rows of well equipped kitchens, standing behind which are a number of figures. Holding microphones and smiling broadly at the cameras are the Judge Bikle Action Figure and Yolanda, clad in a nice summery cotton frock. Only upon closer inspection can it be deduced from her staring eyes and slightly rictus like grin that she has not wholly recovered from her recent snake toxin based ordeal.

Yolanda:          Hello everybody!” she says cheerfully enough, “and welcome to this brand new edition of ‘Ready, Steady Mwaaeerk’! We’ll be putting our challengers through their paces, losing one every round, until the final two will face each other in a culinary showdown to see who emerges as tonight’s winner! Now, let’s see which of our cooks rises like a well made sponge, and who collapses like a soggy soufflé!” (she chuckles.)

Judge Bikle:     “Siledce id court!” shouts JB. “Lets beet the defendants!”

Yolanda:          Chuckling again. “Certainly, our first cook is Alphonso from the Loire Valley. It says here that Alphonso will be showcasing his own very individual take on classic French cookery.”

Judge Bikle:     “Guilty! Dext!”

Yolanda           “Ha ha. Next up is Johnson, who is currently head chef of the Michelin starred Steamed Hotel in Northumberland.”

Judge Bikle:     “Case disbissed! Dext!”

Yolanda           “Our third hopeful is Michael from Lincoln, who likes to create food that is ‘fun to eat.'”

Judge Bikle:     “I bust say I dod’nt like de look of dat one buch!” (canned laughter.)

Yolanda:          “Now now, let’s meet our next kitchen botherer, Simon. Simon is also from Lincoln. It’s written here that he likes vegetarian food and thinks that the body is a temple.”

Judge Bikle      “Dot guilty by reasod of idsadity!” (canned laughter.)

Yolanda:          “Ha ha ha. And our final contenders are actually a duo, a big hello to Pete and Paul. From what it says on my card, these two will be utilising a wide range of kitchen implements and utensils to create their dishes tonight.”

JB laughingly pops a black napkin on top of his wig,

Judge Bikle:     “Hag deb! By dere decks! Until dey are dead!” (canned laughter.) “Siledce in court! B’im dot jokig. Look at de bastards. Hagig’s too good for deb!”

Yolanda:          Stepping forward, “Anyway, it’s time for our first round, the round known as ‘Too Many Cooks’, in which each of our contenders has to create their own signature dish. So without further ado lets get er… mwaaerking!” reading it off a card uncomfortably

Judge Bikle:     “Bwaaerk!, Whose in de dock first den? Rebember contestants bad taste will be punishable by death, forget about a boo(u)se I’ve got by doose” JB waves a hangmans noose with a flourish “And dose two are top of by list!”

Yolanda:          Stepping in attempting to distract him, “So let’s see what Alphonso is cooking up in his cuisine?”

They walk over to Alphonso’s cooking station. Alfonso looks stressed, he is wearing a stripey pinny with the ready steady mwaaerk logo on and trying to chop some onions. This is giving him trouble

Alfonso:           “’old still you leetle fuckairs, oh chrast why is thees so treecky!”

Yolanda:          “Ho Alfonso a bit less colourful language there, we are on telly you know!”

Yolanda:          “Eh? Quoi? Who are you? And Fuckeeg Chrast what is that theeng!?” Pointing to the Judge Bikle doll which rides on Yolanda’s shoulders

Judge Bikle:     “Siledge id court! We’ll do de talking or b’its de iso units for you creep! Dow what’s de dish fish features and rebember stick to de point!”

Alfonso:           Looking perturbed “Err tonight ah will be cooking ma great grandfather’s old recipe…”

Judge Bikle:     “Birrelevant!”

Alfonso:           “er onion soup with a crusty bunion ah meen onion roll!”

Yolanda:          “Well that sounds lovely and how are you getting on?”

Alfonso:           “Zeese fucking onions won’t chop, and ze knife is blunt, and ah only came on eer because ah lost a bet with the fuckair Leonard!”

Judge Bikle:     “Berd Alors! Lock him up quig! Br Bersierdeaux, you are found guilty of being a prize juggids!”

Yolanda:          “Err shall we move along and leave Alfonso to his cooking, so who have we got here at the dext, I mean next stall?”

Judge Bikle:     “Ho God it’s Johnsod! Leave hib he’ll odly say bwaaerk!”

Johnson:          “Mwaaaerk?” Johnson looks expectantly for them

Yolanda:          “We’ll have to go over JB it’s the show.”

Judge Bikle:     “But by don’t want to!” he shouts in her ear, then pulls her hair

Yolanda:          “Owww! Stop it you monster” She pushes him off her shoulder

Judge Bikle:     “Boohhh!” thump.

Yolanda:          “Now let’s go and see Johnson!”

Judge Bikle:     “Dot likely!” he bawls from the floor “I’b staying here!”

Yolanda:          “So Mr Johnson what will you be cooking for us?”

Johnson:          “Mwwaaaerk!” says Johnson, gesturing to a potato and a potato oven.

Yolanda:          “I see” she says

Judge Bikle:     “Told you!” comes the shout from off camera “a waste of tibe! Dats all those things ever bake!”

Johnson wants to expand but even Yolanda can see it’s pointless

Yolanda:          “That’s nice! Now folks at home we’ll be right back with you after this short commercial break!”

Judge Bikle:     “Don’t go away or I’ll have you barrested!!”

The programme resumes after a perfectly normal advert break. The presenters don’t seem to realise that the cameras are back on them and are bickering in the corner. Snatches of their argument can be overheard.

JB& Yolanda:   “…of my best friends are Johnsons…” “…been part of dis joke as log as bi have oug lady…” “…think we don’t know what goes on with those barbie dolls…” “…beddlig id by private affairs…”

Suddenly Yolanda notices the cameras and switches seamlessly back into onscreen mode.

Yolanda:          “And welcome back to Ready, Steady, Mwaeerk! Let’s move on to our next cook, Michael. What are you going to be cooking for us today?”

Bikle:               “Ho dothig too fancy, Hi thought perhaps a salad?” Spotting the look of pain that crosses Yolanda’s face, he hurriedly backpedals. “Do dot a salad. Did Hi say salad? Silly be! Do do, it’s kedgeree.” (aside, to camera, “Ballegedly. O.O.O.”)

Judge Bikle:     Perking up. “Kedgeree?” He rubs his hands together enthusiastically and smacks his lips. “Dow dat’s by kide of thig! De prosecutiod rests by lord!”

Bikle:               “Well it looks like you’ve impressed one of the judges Michael.” From the slight over emphasis on the word ‘one’, it is clear that Yolanda is not best pleased, “Now lets move on to our next cook, Simon. So Simon, what delicious feast are you preparing?”

Simon:             “Ho, h’im baking a h’goats h’cheese h’tart. H’but hi can’t h’open the package. I don’t h’suppose you could take the h’top off?”

Judge Bikle:     “We should take his tob of! Fetch de guillotede Johnson!”

Yolanda:          “Hahahaha oh JB you are a card!” The action figure looks disgruntled “but Simon I’m not sure you’ve quite understood, you are supposed to make something, not just open a packet”

Simon:             “Ho hI’m h’sorry miss, hI’ guess I’ll cook prawn again! Frole!”

Yolanda:          Looking pained “I don’t see any prawns here for you to cook?”

Simon:             “Hi must have beant the h’alleged prawns ehhhhh?”

Judge Bikle:     “Don’t ged legal wid be soddy jib! Dere’s do prawns, by find you in contempd of court! Off wid his head!”

Yolanda:          “Umm maybe we could just disqualify him?”

Judge Bikle:     “Dere’s do point havig a bore lenient punishbent! Where’s execudioder Johnsod wed you need hib?”

EJ:                    “Mwaaeerk!” from a hooded figure in the audience.

Yolanda:          “Oh, hi EJ! Book club Thursday? I mean, I’m sorry Simon, but I’m afraid you are disqualified. Goodbye!”

Simon:             “Ho this is an h’outrage! H’you’ll be reading h’about this in toborrow’s dewspaper!”

Strongarm Johnson appears and leads him offstage.

Judge Bikle:     “Dod’t worry viewers, dere’s one bore edcoudter wid ad oved waitig for hib!” (offstage there is a whoosh and a despairing scream of “H’aaaieeegh!”

Yolanda:          With a more fixed smile “Anyway, let’s move quickly on to our last two contestants JB. JB?” She looks round, Judge Bikle is theatrically warming his hands in the direction of the scream. As she watches he produces a marshmallow on a stick.

Yolanda:          “JB! Come along. Now, let’s meet Pete and Paul. What are you two going to knock up for us?”

Pete and Paul: “Uhuhuh allow us to knock you up with our tools!”

Yolanda:          “Ew! That’s horrible”

Pete and Paul: “Uhuhuhuh we mean allow us to knock a goose up, uhuhuh ‘youse’ ‘goose’ get It uhuhuhuh?”

Judge Bikle:     “Bi tried to tell you!”

Johnson is also not impressed with the ‘knock a goose’  comment, he comes over to the stall and kicks it over with a loud mwaaerk!

Pete and Paul: “Uhuhuhuh oh no, we have to pick up our tools with our tools uhuhuh”

Yolanda watches  the idiots in stupefaction.

Judge Bikle:     “Pop dem on de fire! Dere impure!”

Yolanda:          “You know JB, I think you might have a point! EJ!”

Executioner Johnson clambers over audience members and grips Pete and Paul, dragging them furnacewards.

Pete and Paul: “Uh huh huh, get off us, with your tool, huh huh huh.”

Again the offstage incinerator consumes its prey.

Yolanda:          Turning back to the camera. “Well, time’s up contestants. It’s time for the judging. Alphonso, please bring up your dish.”

The Comte weaves unsteadily up to the judge’s table and clunks down a bowl of brownish liquid, with roughly quartered onions still with the skin on floating in it. The mess gives off an overpowering aroma of alcohol and is accompanied by a burnt onion haphazardly covered in raw breadcrumbs.

Judge Bikle:     Taking a spoonful of the concoction and immediately spitting it out “Ho god dat’s dasty! Dothig but raw odiods id cheap sherry. Dothig out of ted for you fredchy!”

Alfonso:           “Ah for fuck’s sak! Zat was ma grandpapa’s recipe! ‘an ‘e was ze original Comte d’Bersierneaux!” (audience laughter.) “What’s so funny about zat you fuckairs?”

Yolanda:          “Now now Alphonso, I’m sure you did the best you could. Johnson?”

Johnson places his plate on the table with elan. A perfectly baked potato nestles amongst a wild leaf garnish, its skin golden and crisp, butter oozing yellowly down its sides.

Yolanda:          “Ooh that’s lovely Johnson. Definately dish of the day so far.”

Judge Bikle:     “Hmmph!” Judge Bikle looks less impressed. “It’s jusd a baked potato, banyone cad do dat! Led be try it!” He rudely scoops some out the middle ruining the presentation, he chew thoughtfully for a moment  “beeurgh!” then spits it out over Johnson “Bo dear, Bi ab sorry, Dot! Who’s dat will teach you frob last tibe Johnsod! Bit’s over cooked and dere’s too buch butter, 2 out of ted, eh Ted?” He quips to one his pals, a teddy bear who has sidled up interestedly , he smiles his teddy bear smile “Ted’s a bit simble, but he’s harbless edough, baren’t  you Ted!?” he shouts patronisingly “care in de cobbunity you dow!”

Ted looks on. Yolanda is startled at first but then warms to Ted

Yolanda:          “Oh he’s cute can’t we keep him?”

Judge Bikle:     “Dot likely, or you cad, well you are doig aren’t you look! Ted relentlessly follows you through all daily activities done (none) are too short or too…” he pause “dirdy!” he gives her an evil filthy grin look.

Yolanda:          “JB! Stop it! Anyway I think Johnson’s potato was very good so I’m awarding it 8 out of ted, I mean ten.”

Judge Bikle:     “Boverruled!”

Yolanda:          “You can’t do that!”

Judge Bikle:     “Yes I cad lady, Boverruled ! Dext case please!” And pulling her ear he somehow guides her over to Bikle’s stand, Ted follows, getting under her feet nearly tripping her up “Dow dis is bore like it! What have you got here Bikle!”

Bikle:               “Fri’ts Kedgeree! Ballegedly!” They both join in for the legal term.

Sure enough an unappealing plate of rice with mashed up fish and a somewhat unpleasant smelling white claggy sauce slopped on the top sits on Bikle’s table

Yolanda:          “Good lord! Choke…” Yolanda gags at the sight

Judge Bikle:     “Barvellous! Look at dat! Dis wods through to de dext round!”

Yolanda:          “They’re all going through to the next round you little freak.” she snaps, “Even that French idiot. We’re supposed to lose one contestant per round, and we’ve already burned 3 of them to death.”

NOTE: This scene has had to be heavily edited owing to the unsuitability of its original nature for, well, anyone really.

Yolanda:            “But first, we have a special treat for our contestants, especially for you Alphonso, a mystery chef, all the way from la belle Francaise! Head chef at La Île Dans La Morasse, never heard of it myself, but our researcher Mr Croy says that there is simply nothing like it anywhere. Johnson, draw back the curtains and let’s meet our mystery chef!”

The curtain is drawn back to reveal a kitchen identical to the others. Standing behind it is an outlandish figure, a huge man, clad in a filthy smock and mudstained gaiters, with a doughy, brutal face topped by a shock of matted straw coloured hair, incongruously perched on which is a chef’s hat. The man utters a few uncouth grunts and swings his arms around wildly, sweeping a spice rack and large bottle of olive oil crashing to the floor. Johnson appears, leading a Shetland pony. As they approach, the man throws himself upon the animal with a gutteral cry, and begins making lunches on it. Grabbing it by the mane with one arm, he repeatedly strokes the hand of the other into the hapless creature’s forehead, his knee flashing pillow-soft rubs into its kidneys. Wrestling the stunned creature to the floor, he continues to caress its head with ham and brisket, screaming inarticulately all the while. Blindly grabbing at the utensils on the worktop, he clutches a dishcloth which he proceeds to use as a mopper, sponging it again and again around the eyes of the shrieking pony. Food sprays from the horse’s violated saddlebags and the brute slips and falls on top of his equine victim. A grisly wrestling match ensues as the two slide around the food and oil soaked linoleum, the frantic quadraped desperately seeking to escape the madman’s murderous, greasy embrace. Chonsoix caroms into the oven, causing the door to spring open. Moaning excitedly he tries to force the head of the tired animal into the roaring forties.   The hideous stench of burning armchair and scorched oil fills the marquee. Johnson and Johnson rush in and try to subdue the maniac, but slipping on the foody oil slick floor they end up rolling round in the filthy, glistening mess, only adding to the confusion and horror. The brute’s chemise is torn and he appears to have lost his breeches in the melee. Knocking the Johnsons aside with a blow from his powerful arms, he jumps onto the hindquarters of the stricken animal. His shoulders hunched and legs scrabbling for purchase on the slippery linoleum, he starts repeatedly slamming himself against the back of the horse, uttering incoherent groans of triumph.

Yolanda           horrified. “Stop him somebody! He’s trying to make jam and the put whole of that course into the oven!”

Judge Bikle:     “Berr, do Yolanda, b’im afraid dat’s dot quite what he’s tryig to do.”

Yolanda:          “Then what do you mean?”

Judge Bikle:     “Berr, well he’s, berr, tryig to “bake friends” wid it.”

Yolanda           confused. “What? Make friends?” Slowly the hideous truth that Chonsoix is actually trying to perambulate the smouldering pony’s carcass, dawns on her. “Oh my god no!”

The Johnsons, having recovered from the blow, return to the fray armed with a rolling pin and a sturdy wooden pepper mill. Even the enthusiastic bludgeoning with these fails to dampen Chonsoix’s hideous neck line jumper however, and it is not until Strongarm Johnson arrives with an industrial tazer that the brute finally slumps to the ground. SJ hurriedly replaces the curtain, from behind which the sound of the Johnson’s cudgel blows continue. Eventually there is a sharp crack and the sound of the impacts becomes softer, wetter. There is the sound of something heavy being dragged across the floor, followed by the familiar ‘whoosh’ of the incinerator.

Yolanda:          Imploring desperately “Turn the camera off!!”

There is a noticeable crackling jump in the image. Jerkily and suddenly it returns to Yolanda in the seemingly same kitchen except now there is no mess anywhere. A large figure is presenting a dish towards Yolanda and JB, a similar size to the contestant in the previous clip but strikingly different. The chef’s hat is still there –though it seems cleaner now- the hair seems the same except for a matted brownish/blackish lower edge which covers a rather avian head. He wears a similar chemise and some rubber wellington boots.  The close attending viewer is able to make out that it is in fact Strong-Arm Johnson and not Chonsoix, nothing however is made of this.

Yolanda:          “Hmm so Chonsoix this is all the rage in the Ile dans La Morasse n’est pas?”

The putative Chonsoix looks uncomfortable and gives a kind of weird cough, before saying a muted “Mwaaerk!”

Yolanda:            “Well it looks lovely, braised liver with what’s that sauce?”

SAJohnson:     “Mwaerkoff koff!”

Yolanda:          “Horseradish you say?, Ho Ho”

Judge Bikle:     “By dodn’t dow who you think you foolig?” comes the cry from lower down.

The scene cuts immediately. It reappears with Yolanda, outside on the sunny country house law, evidently she has now drained the Comte’s bowl of adulterated sherry, turns to the camera with a crazed grin, right eye twitching like billy-o.

Yolanda:          “And now it’s time for the dessert round!”

Judge Bikle:     “Hola! Guilty as charged, by love dessert? Don’t you Yolanda?” He sits on a kind of stool that is wheeled around by a Johnson with a barristers wig on “Tell be, what’s your favourite puddig?”

Yolanda:          “Umm well JB, mm I do like a really good trifle!”

Judge Bikle:     “Hmmm bi would dever have guessed dat, by would have had you bore for a fruit salad girl” He sniggers and she goes visibly pale. There is an awkward pause before she recovers herself and shoots him an icy if unsteady glare.

Yolanda:          “Ha ha ha. Yes. And it says here you are fond of a torte!” (silence.) “Oh for heaven’s sake, torte, tort? It’s a legal term!”

Judge Bikle:     “Ho yes. Dat’s right! B’it’s also a glazed tart, eh Yolanda? O,O,O.”

Smiling sweetly at the camera, she bends down out of sight for a moment, there is a slight pop, then another one. JB shrieks. Yolanda throws a couple of pale plastic looking sticks over her shoulder.

Yolanda:          “Very funny M’lud, but I think you’ll find if it came to court, you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on!” (Laughter.)

Judge Bikle:     (from out of sight)“bany way benough banter, talking of trifle its tibe to beet our celebrity judge who joids us for this round, ladies ad gendlben bister Lance Battenburg from Turkey!”

On he trots.

Clancy:            “Blblblbllbp very blbllp pleased to be here today, enjoyable show, always a fan blblllblp! Where are the contestants?”

Yolanda:          “Well Lance, let’s go and see how they’re getting on right now “Anyway, Alphonso, what dessert are you whipping up for us?” The Comte squints at the autocue,

Alfonso:           “Er, a Gooseberry Mousse?”

Johnson           Terrified “Mwaaeeerk!”

Johnson disappears under the bench with a mixing bowl clamped to his head as an improvised helmet.

Yolanda:          “What’s wrong with him?” says Yolanda looking all a bit confused. JB Hoist’s himself onto Ted’s shoulders by his arms and looks at her despairingly

Judge Bikle:     “dearie be lady! Don’d you dow dis joke at all? Johnsod is frightened because he thoughd he said Gooseberry Goose dot boose!” Johnson shudders under the table at the mentioned. The Comte looks alarmed

Alfonso:           “sheet! Gooseberry Goose?! Where is ze fuckair, am not staying round here for zat! Au revoir!”

He starts to run away but strong arm Johnson only lets him go so far before letting loose the newly charged industrial tazer on him “aaaargh!” he screams as he lies there twitching. Yolanda looks displeased “Johnson you could have just stopped him!”

SAJohnson:     “Mwaaerk?” he says pointing off screen to a certain incinerator inquiringly

Yolanda:          “No no! No more in the incinerator!” she screams. “Wait till he comes round then stick back at the cookery station.

Lance Battenburg casts an eye over the proceedings.

Clancy:              “Really! Blblblblblblp! Come along! Different contestant!! Haven’t got all day!” Yolanda:            “Yes Quite!” says whirling round to another station “who have we got over here?”

Bikle is mixing something in a bowl

Yolanda:          “Mmm what’s in the bowl Bikle? Smells delicious!”

Bikle:                 “Bit’s chocolate cake bix! Ballegedly!” She looks confused “Berr dat is, it looks a bit like shit, but its dot, bit’s just chocolate cake bix!”

Yolanda:          Looking at him disgustedly. “Oh well done. Against all the odds, you produce something which potentially might not turn the stomach of a goat, and now, before it’s even baked, it is irrevocably linked in the minds of the audience and myself, with faecal matter. Well you are certainly going all out to win this competition aren’t you?”

Clancy:            “Blplblblp! Has a point though! Resembles dung. Expected nothing more. Man’s a failure. Blplplblp! Next contestant!”

Bikle:               “Ho dow, wait a bobent!”

Clancy:            “Not likely! No time for losers! Blplblblblp! Improperly dressed more’s the point!”

There is a sudden double ‘whissk’ sound

Bikle:               “By trousers! And by aprod! Give deb here!”

Clancy:            “Fat chance. Toodle oo. Moving on.”

Yolanda:          “Er yes, let’s. Now Johnson, what is your dessert?”

Johnson is still a little jumpy, but displays a baked sweet potato with brandy butter. JB snorts derisively.

Judge Bikle:     “Ho I did’t see dat cobig at all. Do good at all. Dext!”

As they approach the final bench however, it is more than apparent that Alphonso is in no fit state to continue the competition, as he lays twitching and drooling in a pool of his own urine. SJ inclines his head furnacewards with a quizzical look.

Yolanda           shaking her head “God’s sake SJ, no. At least not yet.”

Clancy:              “Blplblblp! Next contestant! Next contestant! Time’s money! Blplb!”

Bikle:               “Dat’s right!” chimes in JB. “Deed a dew codtestadt! Oderwise de whole dodsense would be illegal!”

Yolanda:          Sighing “Leonard!”

The Duke of Croy appears clutching a bottle of Special Red and a clipboard.

Leonard:          “Ah don’t worry ma cherie, ah ‘ave a leest of ze available characters raht ‘ere. Now let nous see, ‘ow about Pete, wiz ze peppairs? ‘e’s food related? Or zere’s old Mr Frost? ‘e’s always good for a laugh no? Zen zere’s zat dentist wiz ze sheep?  Zombie Freud? Captain Fleeent? Or zere’s always zat nice Constable?We aven’t seen ‘im since ze village bird show. Failing zat zere’s Jeff Baxter Ashtreagh US Navy (ret’d) Bernard Brown, wiz ‘is old brown trousairs, Ze commercially disastrous ‘Astro Beekle’ Action Figaire…”

Judge Bikle:     “Dot dat flash bastard!”

Leonard:          “Well ‘ow about ze Turkey Vulture?”

Clancy:            “Blplplblp! Certainly not! Blplblplp! Most uncivilised!”

Leonard:          “Fucking ‘ell, geev us a break mes amis, ah’m runneeng out of deadbeats ‘ere. Ow about Old King Cobblair? ‘E was a merry old troll? Aunty Mavis?”

Bikle:               “Do thadk you very buch! Dot dat bitch!”

Leonard:          “Alphonserno de Sponsored Swimming Pool? For fuck’s sake, zat fellow in ze “Unluckiest Man in ze World” sketch? ‘urry up for chrast’s sake, we are approaching ze bottom of ze barrel ‘ere. Zere’s zat fucking mystic onion, Bathsheba? Pat Castor? Mr Cutlair? Zat’s ze lot. Fuck you. Ah’m going for a dreenk. Fuck your steenkeeng cookery show, wankairs!”

Leonard wanders away a few paces before slouching against the tree and taking a heavy slug from the special red bottle. Still the day looks beautiful and the camera chooses the hiatus to meander around the scenery. As the camera panoramas the garden, a tall figure can be seen emerging through a peripheral gate, after him gaily scurry three young fellows. The man has long black hair which sweeps about him gracefully, on his top a neatly fitting short sleeved shirt with a daisy button hole whilst his hosiery is a pair of smart fitting black trousers. The three boys jump around him happily, obviously engaged in some kind of game of imagination, they each wear an identical outfit of smart short sleeved shirts and khaki shorts.

Judge Bikle:     Enthusiastically “He looks like a good sort! brig hib over!”

Yolanda agrees and they send strong arm Johnson over with the caveat that he is to politely invite and not coerce the newcomer over. Strongarm and the figure (who it would seem remarkably resembles Bikle –the original of which has now wrapped an old table cloth round his lower regions and is looking the worse for it). Eventually SJ returns with the figure, whom upon closer inspection is in fact a much nicer, more presentable looking version of our onetime hero. He strides up to Yolanda, the boys crowding behind him

Uncle Bikle:     “A cookery show, bin by very owd local country park? What a treat eh boys?”

Yolanda:          Chipping in, trying to bring a TV feel back to it “and what delightful boys they are too, welcome to the show and what’s your dame, I mean name?”

Judge Bikle:     “It’s Bikle bobviously! Look at him!”

Uncle Bikle:     “Chuckling, O O O dat’s be, though I do prefer buncle Bikle”

Yolanda:          “Well buncle Bikle let’s get on with the show!”

Uncle Bikle:     “It’s dot buncle it Bikle, bit’s just buncle Bikle!”

Yolanda:          “Err that’s what I said buncle Bikle?”

Yolanda:          “Do it’s dot Buncle just buncle!” Yolanda looks confused but can see the risk of losing the new contestant

Yolanda:          “Err yes, so if you go into this work station, we’re making dessert, do you like pudding boys?”

Boys:                “Yaaaay!” scream the boys

Uncle Bikle:     “Frov course they do! Boys will be boys eh boys?”

Boys:                “Yes bun… we mean uncle Bikle”

Judge Bikle:     “I hobe he’s dot goig to keep up wid de ‘boys will be…’ Bi’ll have hib arrested” JB speaks aside to Yolanda but still audible

Uncle Bikle:     “Pipe down dow shorty!” says Buncle Bikle patronisingly “Look boys a partially broken Judge Bikle doll, we’ve got of dose at hobe”

Boys:                “Yeah but this one says more that ‘siledce id court’ it’s cool, can we have it buncle?”

Uncle Bikle:     “Bit’s buncle boys, dow don’t you start! Ho ho band bi’m do sure we deed an anibated evil doll like DAT one!”

Judge Bikle:     Contemplates saying  ‘who are you calling an evil animated doll?’ but thinks better of it and chooses “fuck off pondce!” instead

Uncle Bikle:     “By by he is dasty isn’t he astro Bikle would sood despatch hib don’t you think! Why don’t you play wid dis teddy instead”

UB scoops up Ted and hands him to the boys, Ted looks distressed

Judge Bikle:     “Ted Ted! Yolanda bake hib take Ted off dose bonsters! Strog arb Johnson zap dem wid de taser! Put dem in de oven!”

Yolanda:          “JB we can’t just zap and burn everyone besides we’ve got a cookery program to run.”

Clancy:            “Blblblblblbblp! Certainly have, wasting time, come along! What will you be making sonny? Bllblblbllblblp? Hot ring donut? Swiss roll? Chocolate starfish?! Blblblblblbp!”

Uncle Bikle:     “O ho ho! do do Bister Turkey!”

Clancy:            “Blblblblp Lance Batternburg here!”

Uncle Bikle:     “Berrr yes, Bister Batternburg, Bi’m going to bake by boys favourite apple pie wid custart O O O.”

So saying, the dapper gent slips into an apron and begins work. He appears to be no novice to the culinary arts, his movements swift and assured. As he deftly prepares the apples and rolls out the pastry, he keeps up a constant stream of good humoured, wholesome badinage with Yolanda, who it appears is genuinely enjoying his company. Johnson QC has retrieved JB’s legs from the manure pile and popped them back on as best as he could. As a result JB is now charging awkwardly after Uncle’s boys, who are amusing themselves by throwing Ted from one to another as he approaches. The easy flow of the chat is punctuated by shouts of “Stop id de dabe of de law!” In an astonishingly short time the appetising scent of baking rises from Uncle Bikle’s oven, and a pot of tempting yellow sauce cooks merrily away on the stove.

Yolanda:          “So Uncle Bikle, what’s that you have there?” asks Yolanda.

Buncle Bikle:   “Dat? Ho dat’s just a bit of by hobebade custard.”

Yolanda:          “Not alleged custard?”

Uncle Bikle:     “Dot at all. Dothing balleged about dat!”

Yolanda:          “Well I’m glad to hear it! It all smells very good. I’ll leave you to finish off here and let’s go across to Shit Bikle and see how he’s doing.”

Bikle:               “H’what? H’what did you call be?”

Yolanda:          “Oh come off it luv. Look at the state of you. No trousers, wrapped in an old tablecloth, greasy lank hair covered in flour, smoke billowing from your oven…”

Bikle:               “Bi cake!”

Clancy:            “Blplblblp! Cake burnt! Wasting my time! Also, mouse in your ear. Sad spectacle on all counts.”

Bikle:               “Boh! Get out of by ear you pesky rodedt!” Shaking his head to dislodge the mouse, he opens the oven, only to disappear in a cloud of thick black smoke. “By lovely cake! Ruided!” The smoke clears, leaving him with a black sooty face, clutching a charred disc of carbon. “Bah! Some biscreadt bust have beddled with de therbostat!”

Clancy:            “Blplplblp! Bad workman. Blames tools!”

Bikle:               “By tool had dothig to do wid dis debacle! Dis was sabotage!”

Clancy:            “Bad loser! Blplblblp! Poor sport eh Uncle Bikle?”

Uncle Bikle:     “Dow dow Br Battedburg, I’b sure dat he did’t bean it, did you Shit Bikle?”

Bikle:               “Stop callig be dat!”

Clancy:            “Blplblblplp! New name!”

Bikle:               “Dat’s dot by dabe!”

Clancy:            “All the stranger then that you are sporting that T shirt!”

A ‘whisk!’ sound and Bikle’s shirt disappears leaving his torso clad in a t shirt emblazoned with the logo: ‘Hey there! I’m SHIT BIKLE.’

Bikle:               “H’what? Ho for fuck’s sake! Get dis thig off of be!”

Yolanda:          “Calm down SB! Now if we can just get our other judge back, we can award you all marks.”

Bikle:               “Ho, well at least dis fiasco will have a silver lidig, dis will do doubt get be docked out ad I cad avoid ady bore hubiliatiod!”

Strongarm Johnson has retrieved JB, who is still furious and more than a little redolent of the dungheap.

Yolanda:          “Now then fellow judges, I think we can all agree that Uncle Bikle goes through to the next round?”

Clancy:            “Blplblblp! Certainly do! Fine pie!” Wiping a crumb from his moustache with a starched handkerchief.

Judge Bikle:     “Dot udless bi get by Ted back frob deb hooligads!”

Uncle Bikle:     “Ho cobe dow JB. Boys will be boys you dow!”

Judge Bikle looks daggers at him, but Uncle Bikle claps his hands.

Uncle Bikle:     “Cobe od boys, leave dat dasty old bear alode and have sobe pie!”

Clancy:            “Blplblb! Johnson too?”

Judge Bikle:     “Frobjectiod! Disqualified for repetitiod! Sabe dab thig!”

Yolanda:          quickly checking in a pamphlet “Sorry Johnson, he’s right. We’re going to have to let you go.”

Johnson shrugs and wanders off for a cig.

Yolanda:          “Join us after the break for the grand final: Shit Bikle versus B.. Uncle Bikle”

A muffled angry shout can be made out and the adverts roll. The break again is perfectly reasonable except for the rather synchronistic appearance of a new advert for ‘Astro Bikle’ Star avenger action figure and his brother ‘Astro Buckle’ who comes complete with a set of plastic cheeses.

Yolanda:          “Welcome back to Johnson Manor where the weather is still on our side, next up we’ve got the final round of today’s show, the err breakfast round…?” she looks round quizzically “Who’s idea was that?”

Judge Bikle:     “It was bine, you were in de loo. We’ve had dinner and dessert, b’its all a bit wrog really, we should have started wid starters, den didder, den dessert, but desserds finished dow, so we deed subthig different, bi could oddly thig of breakfast as a legal beal, Ted suggested bicnic but Bi said dot likely!”

Yolanda:          “Umm ok breakfast round it is! Let’s see what our hopeless friend is up to?!” Yolanda goes over to Bikle’s workstation. The poor man labours in a messy disorganised kitchen, nothing has been cleaned up since he burnt the cake. The utensils are all dirty and all does not seem well. His gas cooker burns one bright hob with a sauce pan on it, the contents bubbling furiously, whilst something seems to be burning in the grill. There is no space to lay anything out, so a plate is balanced atop a pile of various detritus on the side

Bikle:               “Bohh! ho fuckig hell!” he shouts.

Yolanda:          Poking her head in “So SB, how’s it goig?, as you might say, what delicious breakfast will you be preparing us?”

He scowls, but cannot be bothered to perpetually argue at the new monicker and thus settles into it.

Bikle:               “Bi’m, ouch! Tryig by hand at beads od toasd but its dot goig too well!”

Yolanda:          “Hmm so I see! Maybe you should have cleared up a little first!”

Judge Bikle:     “Dis place is a disgrace! It should be condembed! By deed a court order!”

Yolanda:          “Hmm well it certainly is a shit tip! But no worse than your crap flat eh SB!”

Bikle:               “Ho god dis is awful!” “Blblblblbp! Man struggling with beans on toast, difficult to imagine but true! Sad sight! Did you spot blblblblp Yolanda, that SB is nearly the same as SOB, Sad Old Ban as Bikle would say, blblblblbp! Like that Mr Frost! Similar kind of character!”

Judge Bikle:     “Band Sod of a Bitch!”

Yolanda:          “Sad bastard!”

Uncle Bikle:     “Sorry bender?”

SAJohnson:      “Mwaaerk!

Clancy:            “Is it Bikle or Buckle? Blplplblp!”

Bikle:               “Ho dow dis is too buch! What have bi dod to deserve dis?”

Clancy:            “Blblblp! Beans on fire now.”

Bikle:               “H’what? Ho for fuck’s sake! By beads!”

Uncle Bikle’s boys have now joined the taunting group and stand there hooting and jeering at the desperate, floundering figure. Their faces have taken on a malign goblinlike cast, and strange to say, there seem to be many more of them than previously, although when anybody tries to count them any attempt to go higher than three makes the enumerator grow dizzy and forget what they were doing.

Bikle:               “Ho at least dothig else cad go wrog dow.”

At this, there is a burbling popping sound and the beans erupt in a mini vesuvius, coating our hapless chef in scalding malodourous leguminous goo. At the same point one of the “boys” hurls a cricket ball which catches him straight in the groin. With a cry he folds up and collapses to the ground.

Bikle:               “Froouuch! By godads!”

Yolanda, having switched back to presenter mode:

Yolanda:          “So on that note, we can declare Uncle Bikle the winner, and Shit Bikle the obvious loser. And so all that remains for me…” Unnoticed, Ted has clambered up onto the worktop. With an imperious gesture he motions for silence, before speaking in an awful hollow basso.

Ted:                 “ALL THAT REMAINS FOR YOU IS TO BE SILENT, WOMAN. THE HOUR HAS `                                  ARRIVED. THE GREAT ONE COMETH!”

Everyone stops, startled, except Bikle who continues to roll around in the beans and flour, clutching his wounded genitals. Ted points with an adorable paw,

Ted:                 “LO! HIS ADVENT IS UPON US!”

Expectantly, everyone scans the horizon. Ceremonial Johnson rushes up out of breath and tootles a wheezy fanfare. Yolanda, who has clearly given up, takes a long swig from a bottle of Special Red she has purloined from Leonard’s trailer. Nothing. Then in the far distance a faint “peep peep” noise is just discernable. A tiny dot appears on the horizon, and slowly grows larger and larger until it can be seen to be a small golf cart being driven in erratic zigzags towards them. As it grows closer a familiar figure can be discerned in the passenger seat. The cart eventually slews to an untidy halt beside the set. Morris jumps nimbly out and high fives the driver, a sleek looking Johnson in an expensively cut lounge suit. He wanders across to the waiting crowd, seemingly a bit cheerier than is usual.

Morris:            “Afternoon. Sorry I’m late. Popped into the 19th hole for a sharpener, bumped into old Rat Pack Johnson here, and you know how it is. One martini leads to another. Like the frock ‘Landa. How’s the dog and pony show?”

Judge Bikle:     “Dot a dog and pody show. Cookery show.”

Judge Bikle:     “Shut it wigface, I’m bored of you now. I was talking in the vernacular. One more peep out of you and I’ll have Astro Bikle down here to give you a raygunning you won’t forget in a hurry.” JB retreats under a table muttering. “So anyway sugar plum, how was it?”

Yolanda:          “Oh, the usual horror and madness.”

Morris:            “Anybody burn to death?”

Yolanda:          “Four I think, not counting the pony.”

Morris:            Patting her approvingly on the arm. “Ho ho that’s my girl.”

Bikle is attempting to shuffle off into a nearby copse when Morris spots him.

Morris:            “Not so fast Captain Beansy. Haven’t finished with you yet.” He raises his arms to the sky, and purple and black clouds roll in to block out the sun.”Tonight is the banquet of the dread Necromantic League! Every twelvemonth, when the stars are alignment, from all points in space and time, the members of this macabre brotherhood gather to feast and revel amongst the charnel splendours of Koth Hotep’s Rolling Hall! From the primeval Swamp Warlocks of ancient Lemuria to the hyper evolved telepathic Mages of Earth’s last dying moments, we gather to glory in past evils and those which have yet to come to pass! Anyway, here is a list of dietary requirements. You can ignore Hermes Tristagenus’ seafood allergy. Slipping that old fool a few prawns in his starter and watching him do the old bloat and gasp is an annual highlight. Oh and it’s Dr Dee’s birthday so he’ll expect a cake.”

Bikle:               “But why be? I’b dot de widder. Why cad’t bister dicey dicey do it?”

Morris:            “Because he’s on the committee innee?”

Uncle Bikle:     “Dat’s right Borris! Just ad old fashioded kide of wizard. Eh Freud?”

Freud:              “Ja Ja mein onkle meister!”

Morris:            “So get a wriggle on gaylord, we’re bleedin’ famished I can tell you.”

Bikle goes pale and starts to tremble. The notion of acting caterer to Koth Hotep’s rolling hall is more than he can take, he collapses to the floor in a pale sweat, clutch a table leg he gibbers and mutters.

Bikle:               “Wake up I bust be dreabig, wake up I bust be dreabig…”

The word ‘famished’resonates through his sickly mind, it’s almost as if he can hear it still, there it is again “fabished fabished fabished!”

Bikle:               “Stob it stob it, by can’t do it!” Screaming, arms flailing hither and thither. Something in the slow machinery of his mind vaguely recognises that the word he hears is ‘fabished’ and not ‘famished’

Buckle:                        “Wake up Bikle, Bi’m fabished!” comes the call again.

Slowly from the hideous terror of wherever he has been, he emerges, into his reclining armchair in his flat, the credits of an old film are rolling before him.

Buckle:            “Cub od Bikle I’b starving! You said you’d bake dinner bages ago and thed fell asleep id front of de telly! De filb was too scary for be so I hid id de cubbard, but its fidished dow.”

Bikle:               “Ho by god Buckle, I’b id by flat, dot on some horrible zombie’s couch, or locked in idsade cookery show, I’b so relieved.”

Buckle:            “Ho, I thought you’d be relieved, banyway where’s by dinner?”

Bikle:               “Ho god go od den, what are you after, bas if I didn’t dow…”

Buckle:            “Berr cad we have bead’s od toast Bikle?!”

Bikle:               Shuddering and twitching “Berr we… berr we could umm…”

Buckle:            “I thought there’d be beads you dow, bearlier today I was thinking.”

His mind whirls and stabs, every mention of the evil haricot dish feels like a tentacular spike in his consciousness. Sweating again, he seeks to distract and looking into the fridge he espies the weapon, brings it forth. Simultaneous to his speech he hears and fears the resonance of the turkeys words ‘is it Bikle or Buckle?’ but too late the phrase escapes his lips:

Bikle:               “Oh I thought there’d be cheese!”

 

 

Published in: on February 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm  Comments (2)