Classic Canaries 5: At The Charity Cats Home Event.

The scene is the interior of a rundown hall. A low stage stands at one end, and rows of stackable chairs have been arranged facing it. A couple of dozen mainly elderly people sit listlessly sipping tea from plastic cups and munching biscuits. On the stage, which has been decorated with tattered bunting, a portly middle aged smiling man is ushering off another man clad in an ill fitting harlequin suit.

Compare:            “Pete and his Peppers ladies and gentlemen!” a desultory ripple of applause dies quickly away. The portly gent beams. “So then, without any further ado, let’s have three cheers for our next act, described here as a comedy ventriloquist!”

 

A grim faced rangy man in the back row turns to his female companion.

 

Morris:                 “A dromedary soliloquist? This should be interesting.”

 

Yolanda:               ” No Morris, a funny ventriloquist.”

 

Morris:                 “No you may not have money to rent ‘Gorillas In The Mist’, I cannot abide Sigourney Weaver at the best of times, and particularly not in that awful piece of claptrap. Though upon reflection I am quite taken with gorillas in the mist, except not so much mist as a foul poisonous smog and less gorillas and more dread denizens of the fabled citadel of h’ruif ouh banjabah, I dare not say more. Hiding in this iniquitous cloak these beings from the hoary beyond seek to trap the unwary comedy ventiloquist and feed his bone marrow to ummm to likes bone marrow on his baked potato Johnson…”

Yolanda:               “Sssh Morris, it’s starting.”

 

Morris:                 “So am I. Why don’t we go get omelette or something. What are we doing here anyway?”

 

Yolanda:               “It’s for charity Morris, for the Stray Cats Home.”

 

Morris:                 “Very well. But if this next turn is of comparable quality to that fellow with the peppers, I have a vivid presentiment that somebody will suffer a sudden and fiery demise.”

 

On the stage, a very tall angular man with long straight hair has seated himself on an orange plastic chair. Dressed all in black he holds a baldheaded doll on his knee. The doll’s face, despite being only garishly painted papier mache, radiates a combination of smugness and imbecility.

 

Bikle:                     “Ho, good evedig ladies and gedtleben! By dabe’s Bikle, and dis is by little chub, Sibod. Say hello to de dice people Sibod!”

 

The dolls jaw clacks up and down.

 

Simon Doll:         “H’what nice people? I don’t h’see any nice h’people!”

Bikle:                     wags a finger of his free hand at the doll. “Dow dow Sibod, play dicely! I bead de audiedce.”

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho hello h’everybody!”

 

Bikle:                     “Dat’s better, dow den ladies and gentlebed,earlier today I popped idto de dewsagedt, “Bordig Bikle.” he said, so I said, “Do, I always dress like dis!” There is silence. “You dow, bordig, bourdig? Ad I wear black garbedts? Ho well, hadyway Sibod, I’ve bought a dew dog, ad he’s got do dose.”

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho h’yes Bikle, and how does he h’smell?”

 

Bikle:     “Ho dot very dice I cad tell you!”

 

Again silence.

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho Bikle, h’what’s your dog’s name?”

 

Bikle:                     “I call hib handy, because he’s always doig little jobs about de house!” Again the silence is unbroken. Desperately Bikle flaps the doll’s jaw.

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho really?”

 

Bikle:                     “Why odly dis bordig I let hib out idto de garden ad he bade a bolt for de gate!” A pepper bounces of his forehead. “ Baybe Simod, you cad tell us what you’ve beed up today!”

Simon:             “H’well Bikle, h’earlier today I thinking h’I was quite h’uncomfortable, so do you h’know what I did?”

Bikle:               “Do what did you do Simod?”

Simon:             “H’I just took my top off and I was 20% more comfortable, perhaps you should h’try it? You look rader h’uncomfortable h’yourself there heeey Bikle!!”

The doll uncannily begins to tug at his top, the effect is unpleasant and vaguely sinister.

Bikle:               “Ho get off be you!”

Bikle wrests control of the situation and settles himself again. The audience look on non-plussed.

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho h’sorry h’about that Bikle, h’keep having these h’strange moments in h’which h’I think I live in the sea.”

 

Bikle:                     “Has it happened bore dan once den?”

 

Simon Doll:         “H’yes in fact h’I often think I’m prawn again!” audience groans

 

Bikle:                     “Ho and where do you work Sibod?”

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho H’I work in a dewsagent, dewspaper h’anyone?” he brandishes a periodical around

 

Bikle:                     “Dow dow Sibod dese people don’t want to hear about your dewspaper.”

 

Simon Doll:         “Dot h’even h’if h’it was Toborrows dewspaper?!”

 

Bikle:                     “H’what but how can dat be? Dobody dows de future?!”

 

Simon Doll:         “h’with by dewspaper h’I can tell you what happens toborrow!”

 

Bikle:                     “Do we believe hib ladies and gentlemen?”

 

The audience are peeved and have had enough of the dullness of it all, they begin to shout “what am I having for tea tomorrow?” “who’ll win the war?” “What will my wife buy me for turtlemass?” and other such question. Unperturbed the manikin opens the paper and begins to read, though now his voice is suddenly flat, grey and hollow in an awful kind of way.

 

Simon Doll:         “the god of spiders wept as she descended into hell and her tears were her children and her children were hungry well they were weren’t they look…”

 

At this phrase Yolanda looks at Morris who is laughing. Thin threads begin to appear behind Bikle out of nowhere and large arachnids with enormous mandibles begin to descend.

Bikle:                     “Sibod why are you saying dat? Dats dot in de script!”
Yolanda:               “Morris, you’ll ruin it for everyone”

 

Morris:                 “No Yolanda you’ll ruin it for everyone! Well you are ruining it for everyone aren’t you, your improvised routine of tap dancing the classic folk song ‘pony from the fens’ is not going down well!”

 

The whole scene has changed and the spiders are sat around Morris’ person watching, Bikle is sitting next to Morris with Simon doll, Yolanda is on the stage in some strange stripey tighted get up singing about the ‘pony of the fens’ whilst tap dancing badly. Les Dawson Johnson accompanies her on the nearby piano but keeps hit bum notes for unwanted comedy effect.

 

Yolanda:               “Oh the fen pony she said to me” tippety tap “how many blackberries make up a tea? I told then and I told her well, but before she could answer down I fell…” tippet tap tap

 

“Booo!” shout the audience “Even worse!” “The event is ruined!” one voice pipes up in particular sharpness “Burn her!” shouts another

 

Yolanda:               “Morris get me off here!” she shouts and in an instant the Simon doll is on the stage dressed in her outfit, Yolanda is back at her seat sitting next to Les Dawson Johnson, whilst Bikle is on the piano.

 

Bikle:                     “Dance sibod! Dance!” and the words ring strangely in his head. Everyone was clearly expecting some kind of tuneless piano farce, yet Bikle strikes up a few ragtime esque chords and is off with a jaunty number

 

Bikle:                     “he bay be a stupid dewsagent and he may have a wooden stadce, ho but when he’s lookig cute id his stripy old suit, hi says dadce Sibod dadce!”

 

The puppet excecutes a furious soft shoe shuffle, capering across the boards with abandon. The audience, finally confronted with something resembling entertainment, clap along enthusiastically. Buoyed up by this, Bikle flexes his long fingers in a maestro like fashion and renews his assault on the keys.

 

Bikle:                     “Ho he might be a bit of a fridiot, ad he bight have adts id his padts,but when I see him shout Frolé, I says dadce Sibod, dadce!”

 

The newsagent puppet now goes into a frantic fury of dancing, as he jives and leaps and twirls, the audience clap and cheer. Suddenly there is a thud and a yowl of pain, and the music stops. Bikle is clutching his fingers together whilst glaring angrily at a large avian figure in black robes and white formal wig, who has just slammed the lid of the piano on his digits.

 

Bikle:                     “By fingers!” A sheepskin coated figure strolls on stage.

 

Mr Cutler:           “Ooh, hurt our fingers have we? What a shame.” he produces a sheet of paper which he waves at Bikle. “Sorry to spoil your little show chummy, but this performance is in clear breach of copyright, see ‘ere? ‘Dance, Monkey Dance.’ melody and lyrics, copyright Dennis Cutler Entertainment Ltd, 2014(see Cleopatra and the Beanstalk). That’s gonna cost you sunbeam.”

 

Bikle:                     “Dat’s preposterous bister Cutler, besides, I dod’t have ady boney!”

 

Mr Cutler:           “Better find some then sharpish hadn’t yer? Unless you want my legal representative here, Barrister At Law, But Still Pretty Tasty In A Bundle Johnson QC,  to garnish yer assets.”

 

Bikle clearly doesn’t fancy tangling with the burly brawling birdman barrister and starts rummaging through his pockets. The Simon puppet skips across.

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho there Mr h’Cutler, dod’t be a piker! H’besides hi dod’t believe dat docubent his h’legally binding! Let be h’see h’it!” He snatches the paper and laughs scornfully. “Ho! H’its signed in crayod! H’i don’t ibadgide for a h’binute dat a real h’judge would do dat, heeey?”

 

Judge Bikle Doll: “Dot a real Judge!” screeches a high pitched voice, “Dat’s codtebt of court dat is!” Sure enough, the Judge Bikle Doll is perched on top of the piano, glaring angrily at the Simon puppet. “Such a grievous slur agaidst de digdity of dis tribudal caddot be allowed to go udpudished! I’b rebandig you into by custody!” Here the horrid doll leans forward gloatingly and leers at the other in an unwholesome fashion. “Ho I’ve got duberous beads of “disciplidig” daughty little puppets, O.O.O. Dow take hib dowd Johnson!”

 

Simon Doll:         “Ho, get off be h’you!” Cries Simon, but to no avail, as he is frogmarched off stage by B.A.L.B.S.P.T.I.A.B Johnson QC. In the meantime, Bikle has managed to scrape together £3:20 and an electricity token, which he eventually prevails upon Cutlerto accept as a down payment. Raising his hat to the audience, Mr Cutler exits stage left.

 

Mr Cutler:           “Get on with it then gaylord.” comes a voice from the rear.

 

Bikle:                     “Berrr, wait a bobedt, berr, I dow! How about a bit of codjurig den boys ad girls? Yes, dat sounds ok, old fashioned kide of wizard you dow, but I’b goig to deed a voludteer…”

 

Morris:                 arises from his seat, “I’m going to volunteer Yolanda!”

 

In a strange moment of aping his confusion Yolanda replies

 

Yolanda:               “You’re going to be a mountaineer Morris? What are you talking about?”

 

Morris:                 “No Yolanda I am going to volunteer for the act, well I am volunteering look, here I am being chosen, basking in the limelight, waving hello to mum from the big screen, being patted on the back by Bob Monkhouse, failing to win a prize, incinerating the set and making off in the speedboat with the novelty tie that was presented to me as a loser, but who is the loser now I ask you? This achieved I return to my seat to the envious glares of my peers, that is Piers Johnson a powerful aristocratic avian whom I am not so fond, though he is also friends with Ratpack Johnson WITH WHOM YOU WILL RECALL I AM QUITE PALLY.  Piers wishes it was he with the speedboat and the novelty tie, a washing machine, a coconut, a fried badger and a top hat, is it time for Doctor who yet?” Morris looks at the stage to see that some attractive middle aged woman has been chosen and is up on the stage with Bikle, who eyes her leeringly “Now look what you’ve done Yolanda, I have missed my volunteering opportunity and Piers Johnson will laugh at me, well I’ll show him, I will burn him to death…”
Yolanda:               “Morris will you be quiet, look let’s see what Bikle’s going to do.”

Morris:                 “Dow den Bodob, what’s your dabe?”

 

Shirley:                 “Shirley.”

 

Morris:                 “And whad do you do Shirley?”

 

Shirley                  “I work as a secretary to a local avian aristocrat.”

 

Bikle:                     “Dat’s dice, dow Shirley do you believe id bagic? You see I’ve got dis rolling pin here, first of all I’d like you to handle it, and bake sure dere dothing, strange h’about it.” He hands her a large pinky cream coloured rolling pin and she inspects it dutifully. “So banything suspiscious dere?”

 

Shirley:                 “No, no apart from the fact it’s quite big”

 

Bikle:                     “Or rader large?”

 

Shirley:                 “Yes or rather large, it seems quite normal.”

 

Bikle:                     “Well bodob, let be tell you dat it is frinfact a bagic rollig pin.”

 

Shirley:                 “Oh really?”

 

Bikle stops at this phrase and eyes the woman suspiciously, but reflecting that it is in fact just a

perfectly reasonable thing to say, he lets it slide.
Bikle:                     “Dow den Shirley do you have any kind of bag wid you? Apart frob your bother in law dat is o o o!”

The audience laugh and Shirley looks a little uncomfortable.

 

Shirley:                 “Umm yes I’ve got by handbag”

 

Bikle:                     “Barvellous, ladies and gentleben let’s hear it for Shirely’s handbag.” There is a round of applause and the bag is passed up to the stage “Dow den Shirley, cad I codfirb dis is your bag?”

 

Shirley:                 “Yes of course it’s my bag” getting vaguely annoyed now

 

Bikle:                     “Right den Shirley, I’b going to put by  big rolling pin in your handbag, what do you think of dat?” She pulls a face but is clearly locked into the act so forces a kind of humourless smile. Bikle puts the handbag on a handy table and stands over it with the rolling pin. “Dow if we just stuff dis ordinary rollig pid in dis bag” but he pushes too hard and there is a ripping sound, the vaguely obscene end of the rolling pin has poked a hole in the bag and is now sticking out the side.

 

Bikle:                     “Boops, looks like by Rollig pin has crippled your bag, Bi’m so sorry.” The woman looks horrified, Bikle though doesn’t seem flustered at all. “what we deed here is a spot of bagic!” and with a flourish he throws his cloak up and over the table with the ruined bag on it. “Frattatata, and through the worbhole, bake Shirley’s bag back to dormal!” There is a kind of ‘boom’ and some smoke and some glitter. When the smoke clears there is still the table covered with the cloak, Bikle looking smug and Shirley looking confused and slightly uncomfortable.  “Dow den ladies and gentleben let’s take a look at dat bag!” he whisks the cloak away “Frole!” “Dow den Shirley take a look at your bag!” Shirley goes over and inspects the bag, picking it up she looks on with astonishment and even happiness.

 

Shirley:                “Why it’s perfect! There’s nothing wrong with it? How did you do dat, I mean that?” Why it’s perfect! There’s nothing wrong with it? How did you do dat, I mean that?” The audience applaud

 

Bikle:                     “A bagician dever lets on, dow if you’ll just pass by rollig pid back.”

 

Shirley:                                She looks again “But it’s not here it’s vanished, that’s amazing!” She is shuffling still uncomfortably

 

Bikle:                     “Are you alright dere Shirley?”

 

Shirley:                 “No there’s something, really uncomfortable…”

 

Bikle:                     “Baybe you should take you’re top off for 20% more comfort?” he quips, the audience roar with laughter, but she jerks away from hib “Ho, dow I think I bight dow de probleb, just turd around a binute dere Shirely!” Embarrassed and pigeonholed poor Shirley has little choice but to comply. Bikle inspects her behind and seems to reach towards the top of the back of her trousers, “What’s dis ladies and gentleben!” He looks faux curiously on at the audience “Well well I dever! Look if I’m do buch bistaken” he grunts a little for effect “it’s nnng… by rollig pin!” and slowly but surely he extracts the enormous rolling pin from the back of a horrified Shirley’s clothing “A little soiled but as good as dew otherwise. A big hand, bor somethig for Shirley everyone!” The audience clap and cheer “And don’t for get your bag, froo fritcha!” and he hurls the bag after her, which she only just manages to catch; there is more applause and laughter. As the applause dies away he stands there looking rather smug. “Dow, for by dext trick, bi deed adother voludteer!” Not surprisingly, there is a lack of enthusiasm from the audience. A forest of hands remain unraised. “Dobody? Cobe, cobe, dod’t let’s be pikers! You dere, de older gentlebad wid de puffa jacket, sittig alode?”

 

Frosty:                  “Fuck off. Very private person. Only here to apply for a new cat basket.”

 

Bikle:                     “Ho well, what about you den sir? The teutonic lookig gedtlebad wid de bodacle ad de lederhosed?”

 

Hansi:                    “Blplblblp! Only too glad to be of assistance! Getting on stage! Blplblplp!”

 

Bikle:                     “Ho dow dat’s barvellous, ad what’s your dabe sir?”

 

Hansi:                    “Blplblp! Hansi Furtenberg! Ordinary German tourist! Everything just as it appears. No nasty surprises awaiting you. Certainly not.”

 

Bikle:                     “Ho dow dat’s barvellous! Dobody likes dasty surprises do dey? Eh Shirley? O.O.O.”

 

Hansi:                    “Blplblb! Certainly not! Reiterate, all as it appears at first glance. Cat lover. Holidays. Volunteered. No secret agenda of turning tables on magic act causing pain and humiliation. Blplplp!”

 

Bikle:                     “Ho good good. So what are you doig od your holidays den Herr Furtenburg?”

 

Hansi:                    “Blblplb! Visiting old friend. Avian aristocrat. Punting. Tea on lawn. Tawny port. Most agreeable.”

 

Bikle: “Yes yes, you’re a bit of a chatterbox are’dt you! Let’s get od wid by dext trick!”

 

Hansi: “Blplblblp! Very well, proceed!”

 

Bikle: “Right, dow if you will just exabide dis cabidet here, do secret doors, slidig padels or, O.O.O, false bottobs!” Hansi bangs the walls of the cabinet.

 

Hansi: “Blplplp! Good solid carpentry! No trickery!”

 

Bikle: “H’excelledt! Well id you get!”

 

Hansi: “Blplplp! Very well! In I go!” Hansi bustles into the cabinet, and Bikle slams the door behind him with a flourish.

 

Bikle: “Watch carefully dow ladies ad gedtlebed! Frabracadabra! Eye of dewt, fried badger’s ear, bake dis Gerbad disappear!” Quickly he undoes the bolt on the door and swings it wide. In truth, the German is nowhere to be seen. In his place is a huge pasty faced, straw haired figure in a peasant smock and gaiters, the ensemble smeared with mud, horse manure and blood. He emits a horrible guttural cry of mindless rage and lust, and tries to fold Bikle in his foul embrace. “Ho God do!” Bikle leaps back just in time and manages to slam the door to, and shoot the bolts. “H’what de fuck? Dat was dot what hi h’expected!”

 

Hansi: “Blblplp! Never mind, try again!” comes the encouraging cry from his elbow.

 

Bikle: “Ho yes, dow thed, Frocus pocus! Wizard’s sleeve ad witch’s hat, bagic powers get rid of dat!” With less of a flourish this time, he flings open the door. From within comes a screeching trumpeting neighing sound, and he is immediately drenched in a gout of murky translucent goo. “Ho fuck off!” he cries as he slams the door. “Dot ode of dose!”

 

Hansi: “Blblplplp! Most unpleasant! Third time’s the charm eh?”

 

Bikle: “Yes yes bi suppose so. Ho god. Here we go den. Lords and basters of creatiod, rid be of dis combidatiod!”

 

Hansi: “Blplplbl! Very good! Sure to be a success!”

 

Bikle: “Well I hope you’re right, dis is dot goig well. I’d give a good deal to dow where dat Gerbad fellow has got to!”The figure at his elbow winks broadly at the audience with his monacled eye.

 

Hansi: “Blplblp! Not seen him! Let you know at once if he turns up!”

 

Bikle: “Ho yes, please do. Dis is bost distressig you dow. By bagic act was goig barvellously til he turned up! Dow it’s id ruid!”

 

Hansi pats him sympathetically on the arm.

 

Hansi: “Blplplbl! Still have to open box! Audience in suspense! Blplblblp!”

 

Bikle: “Hi suppose so. But after dose two bonsters, I’b dot in buch of a hurry to udleash adother blasted dightbare bi cad tell you!”

 

Hansi: “Confident everything fine. Show must go on! Blplplpl!”

 

Bikle: “Ho god den. Hi suppose so. I’ll oped de fuckid box, but if it ends up being Sex Mad Made Of Sewage Flame Thrower Scorpion Johnson or sobethig, dod’t say I didn’t ward you!” Approaching the cabinet with obvious reluctance, he opens the door and leaps backwards. Nothing happens. The audience make a disappointed noise. Bikle peers nervously into the depths of the cabinet. “Ho, it looks ebpty dis tibe! Barvellous!”

 

Hansi: “Blplblblp! Told you! Just to be on safe side. Best have closer look! Possible very small monstrosity!” With which he ushers Bikle further into the cabinet.

 

Bikle: “Hit’s dark id here you dow, adybody got a torch?”

 

Hansi: “Blplplblblp! No torch for you! In you go!” so saying, he gives him a shove which sends him flying into the cabinet with a cry of

 

Bikle: “Boooohh!” Dextrously, Hansi slams the door, padlocks it, and then pushes the whole thing over onto it’s side on a conveniently placed set of trestles.Thud thud thud!

 

Bikle: “Let be out of dis thig! H’what’s goig od? Dis wasn’t in de script!”

 

Hansi: “Blplblp! Nothing to worry about. Little magic show of one’s own!” He reaches under the trestles and draws out a bundle of extremely sharp looking swords. “Blplplbl! Old favourite eh boys and girls! Piercing box with swords! Perfectly safe as long as it’s done by a person posessing skill, finesse and coordination! You sir! Tall gent in the cloak! Up you come!”

 

Buckle: “Be? Ho barvellous!” Beaming proudly, Buckle leaps up and trips over the trailing edge of his cloak. Not a whit abashed, he scrambles clumsily onto the stage, and stands there chortling with excitement. “Ho ho! I’be goig to do bagic! I wish Bikle was here! He’d be so proud of be!”

 

Bikle: “Who’s dat out dere? Ho god do!”

 

Hansi: “Blplplblp! Now just to repeat. Very important! Slightest wobble or mistake, deviation of single milimeter, extreme danger! Terrible injuries!” The audience hoot and cheer at the prospect, as does Buckle. “Now then, no time to waste! On with blindfold!”

 

Bikle: “Ho god dot a blidefold!”

 

Buckle: “Ho ho it’s gone awfully dark Bister Turkey! Isn’t this fun?”

 

Hansi passes him a rapier, and with a cackhanded lunge he rams it into the cabinet, whereupon a muffled cry of “Bouch!” can clearly be heard. This is repeated over and over, with further assistance from other members of the audience who are queuing up to take part. Prominent among them being Parkinson’s Disease Johnson, Delirium Tremens Johnson and Drunken Clumsy Old Johnson. Eventually the end of the queue is reached, and waiting patiently at the end of the line is Shirley.

 

Hansi: “Blplplblp! Game girl! Nice to welcome you back! Sadly, out of swords. Never mind! Find something! Wait a moment!”

 

Bikle: “Ho god let be out! Dis is fragonising! I’b like a fuckig pidcushiod id here!”

 

Hansi has been rummaging in a large bag and with a gobble of triumph emerges with a familiar item.

 

Hansi: “Blplplplpl! That’ll do surely! Blplplpl, I mean Shirley! Just quick joke! All family fun!”

 

Bikle:”Cad adybody hear be? It’s do fuckig fud id here I cad tell you!”

 

Hansi: “Here you go, aim there! Blplblplp! Hard as you can!” *Wunch!* “Frouch!” cries Bikle as the sleek creamy pastry roller improbably punctures the solid wood and embeds itself in the most effective manner.

 

Bikle: “Help be!”comes the increasingly feeble voice, “By think Bi’m dyig id here!”

 

Hansi: “Blblblblblp hardly surprising, dangerous act should know better, blblblblblbp will call for ambulance after the raffle! Blblblblblp ladies and gentlemen, to present tonight’s raffle, everyone’s favourite avian aristocrat, round of applause for Piers Johnson.”

 

Piers Johnson, who has been waiting in the wings (no pun intended) now slowly mounts the stage. Piers is a stately looking Johnson, his looks have the suggestion that he has been quite the gadabout in his youth, now aged with distinction he looks refined and powerful, yet with enough nous of the occasion to soften this internal aristocratic steel his beak breaks to an elegant, warming , yet controlled smile.

 

Hansi: “Blblblblbp hello Piers, blllblblblblp honour to have you with us blblblbp, without further ado, blblblbp everyone waiting, pull tickets out of this plastic container made from recycled cracker packets blblblblblbp!”
Piers:  “Mwaaek!”  to a ripple of laughter around the room, before reaching into a garish bucket held by Hansi. Suddenly Piers shrieks a horrific ‘mwaaeeeeerk!’ of clear pain and distress, whipping his flipper out of the bucket, on the end of it is a kind of coconut lobster combination which grips said flip with such ferocity that blood can be seen to issue forth.

 

Hansi: “Bllblblblblbp!  terribly sorry, don’t know how that got in!”

 

Morris: sat there pissing himself, “Hoho not so much a raffle ticket, more of a snaffle ticket! Eh Yolanda?”

Yolanda: “Eh Morris? Did you do that to poor Piers? He seems such a nice Johnson, so well spoken, I think you’re quite horrid. Anyway what the fuck do you mean a snaffle ticket? How is your horrid coconut thing with prosthetic lobster claws a snaffle ticket? It doesn’t make any fucking sense at all.”

 

Morris:  “Hmm I do not believe you’re quite with the programme here my dear, whilst I can see that pincering and snaffling are not identical activities, it seems a little pedantic to quibble about their similarly unpleasant results for Piers.”

 

Yolanda: “No it isn’t Morris, you’re just wrong, they’re wildly different activities. I think what you meant was something like Snapple ticket which would have worked much better. Then at least you’ve got the ‘snap’ bit still in there”

 

Les Dawson Johnson gives a “Mwaaaerk” of agreement and nods his head, in the process his wig slides off. Yolanda laughs.

 

Morris: “Ho ho got yourself a bit of a laffle ticket going on there ‘landa!”

 

Now Les Dawson Johnson (who is clearly easily amused) laughs at this, but Yolanda is less impressed

 

Yolanda: “That wasn’t funny Morris, a fucking laffle ticket?!”

 

Morris: “If it wasn’t funny then why is les Dawson Johnson laughing my little mincing machine? QED innit.”
At this point on the stage, paramedic and ambulance Johnson have arrived to take the Bikle casket away out of which now emits no noise. They pick it up and carry it solemnly down the aisle of seats. Morris chips in as it goes by

 

Morris: “That’s a bit of an affle ticket, geddit awful  ticket” Yolanda rolls her eyes…

Hansi can be seen meanwhile, gesturing soothingly and attempting to placate Piers Johnson with a large glass of tawny port. Eventually, with a shrug which clearly translates as “noblesse oblge.” the lordly figure tentatively reaches in once more and draws forth a large confused chirping insect.

 

Morris:  “Ho ho!” cries Morris holding his sides, “A baffled cricket!”

 

Les Dawson falls off his chair, such is his mirth. Piers Johnson flings the creature away with a look of disgust, and stalks angrily offstage with a final “Mwaeerk!”, deaf to the entreaties and apologies of a flustered Hansi. As he reaches the edge of the stage, a trapdoor in the ceiling suddenly opens and he is crushed horribly beneath a rain of stout steel tubing. Morris dabs at his eyes, breathless with merriment.

 

Morris: “Oh dear Yolanda, he didn’t expect that scaffold thicket!”

 

Yolanda: “Morris!” scolds Yolanda, that poor man, er bird, er, thing. I hate it when you’re like this. What did poor Piers Johnson ever do to you?”

Morris:  scowling “Do you remember when he was a judge at last year’s Village Bird Show, and he was implacably set against my prize canaries?”

 

Yolanda: “Hmmm, oh yes, I do remember that now you mention it.”

Morris:  “Ho ho, well he doesn’t, as a 2 inch diameter steel pole has smashed through his brain stem.”

 

Yolanda: “Morris!”

 

Morris: “All’s fair in love and war my little aneroid barometer, and it just so happens, in case it had slipped your mind, that the bird show is on again tomorrow and now that Piers Johnson’s cranium is doing a passable impression of a cocktail olive, and old SB, may never ride a penny farthing again, it also just so happens that my two most serious rivals have been somewhat incommoded, and the only thing that stands between me and the prize is that Turkey bastard, wherever he may have got to.”

 

Yolanda:  “What about Mrs Butterworth from the cake shop? She did quite welllast year.” Even as she speeks Yolanda regrets it. “Morris! Don’t you dare! That lovely old lady!” Though it would appear that her remonstrance has come too late, as suddenly outside the hall the clanging bells of the fire engine can be heard rushing past. Looking around she sees LD Johnson is reading a copy of the local paper with the headline “Local Bird Lover Feared Dead In Bakery Inferno Tragedy.” Yolanda sighs. “Do you remember when we moved here Morris, for the peace and quiet? The cottage hospital was just the dear old Matron and a cot in her spare room? And now it has the busiest A&E Department in six counties and the largest Burns Unit in Western Europe.”

 

Morris: “We cannot stand in the way of progress my little jar of liniment, now where is the entertainment?”

 

Yolanda: “Morris that’s the end, the Raffle was the last bit and now everyone is upset due to Piers awful accident.”

 

Morris: “That was no fluke of chance my little peripatetic homunculus, death trap scaffolding Johnson set the whole thing up earlier, I know what we can do, Les Dawson Johnson can get up and give everyone a bit of a show, what do you say LD?”

 

LD Johnson: “Mwaaerk!” nods Johnson affably and once more his wig falls off, Morris laughs loudly

 

Morris: “He’s brilliant Yolanda, get him up on the stage, you can introduce him”

Around the hall now, people are variously milling around, not really knowing whether they should leave or not. Hansi has gone though as mysteriously has what remains of Piers Johnson. Disgruntled looking, Yolanda mounts the stage

 

Yolanda: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, for the last act of the evening I’d like to present a comedy act, err Les Dawson Johnson!”

 

There is some scattered applause as Les Dawson Johnson once more nods his head and his wig falls off. The audience fall about laughing hysterically as with a well timed “Mwaaerk!” and a shrug of his shoulders he picks it up and looks quizzically on. He then turns to the piano to begin a virtuoso performance of bad piano playing interspersed with the hat wig routine. Morris cannot get enough of it but Yolanda is bored.

 

Yolanda:  “Can’t we go now Morris this is getting really repetitive”

 

Morris: “Hoho can’t you see my sweet, it’s the repetition that makes it so funny!”

Yolanda: “No Morris, it’s just tedious, besides which I don’t want LD Johnson following us home again like last night, he ruined two of my good cushions on the couch!”

 

Morris: “Very well my little banquet progeny, let us flee this scene, oh hang on he’s going to do the wig thing again!”

 

Yolanda rolls her eyes and sighs, at length Morris makes to leave.

 

Morris: “Come on then Yolanda stop staring at this nonsense, I’m bored of its repetitive character anyway I have to feed my prize canaries!”

 

Yolanda: “Honestly Morris, I don’t know who you think you’re going to fool, sticking pretty boy, attractive Film star and Narcissus Johnson in a cage in yellow jumpsuits is not going to woo the judges.”

 

Morris: “Do not be so sure my sweet, besides you haven’t seen who the judges are yet, though I did hear a rumour that Danny la Rue Johnson and Liberace Johnson may be featuring this year”

 

Yolanda: “Morris, that’s outrageous,  the Bird Show is a hallowed village institution. You can’t just stuff the judging panel with compliant Johnsons, for a start, the Committee would never allow it.”

 

Morris: “Ah yes my little lateral moraine, the Committee. I had forgotten all about them. Perhaps it is as you say. Anyway you seem to have forgotten that we had arranged to meet the gang down at that new karaoke bar for a night cap, if we do not wish to miss Avatar Of Plague Johnson’s famous rendition of “Hey Big Spender” we had best get our skates on.”

 

Yolanda: “Oh god Morris, do we have to?”

 

Morris:  “Indeed we do my little gravity wheel, indeed we do, or rather you do, I myself would not be seen dead in such a place, I am going home for a few cans of Harp and a bingewatch of CSI: Johnson, give my love to the boys.”

 

Percieving Morris and Yolanda have left, LD Johnson ripples off a final discordant crescendo, leaps up from the piano and executes a low, sweeping bow, which of course once more dislodges his toupeé. Catching it expertly, he jams it back atop his pate and waddles rapidly after the departing duo, accompanied by the loud applause of the audience. No sooner has Morris left than who should huff into view but LD Johnson, now with hairpiece in hand. With an exhausted ‘mwaaerk’ of ‘wait up’, he lumbers up next to Yolanda before carefully replacing the wig. She looks at him and rolls her eyes and has once more a moment of hideous existential reflection about some strange non-existent time before Morris and any of this. LD seems somehow to know about the karaoke promise and now tugs at her sleeve in the direction of the bar. With a huff of resignation she trudges slowly in its direction with at least the relief that she can get a drink there. LD Johnson tries to amuse her with his repertoire of Les Dawson quotes but they all sound strangely similar.  Just two streets later they a seedy looking bar replete with karaoke fig, Les Dawson Johnson looks excited and goes to sign up. Simon is there too and is about to commence a version of ‘hi’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’. Yolanda twitches as he starts warbling to a strangely familiar horrible organ sound and heads for the bar.

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Published in: on December 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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