A Clance Encounter

Mr Ledley got the dog lead and put it on the excited Wuffles (a cocker spaniel). “I’m off to take the dog round the park dear!” he shouted up to his wife “Ok dear, see you in a bit” came the reply and with that he and Wuffles left the house. They turned left down the road then left again down the footpath that lead to the large park. There was a natural circuit that lead round the expanse. Left again curiously enough (Mr Ledley noted this detail), follow the path round past the bench, carry on up to the duck pond, round the pond, over the little bridge, past the bandstand, through the wooded path and back down past the children’s play things to where you started.

This circuit, Mr Ledley often repeated to himself as some kind of soothing mantra that guided his way. And so off he set. As he did so he noted with mild interest a figure sitting down on the bench. The figure was a large set gentleman, or possibly a lady. They sported a rather nice panama hat (so he fancied) and a set of tweeds. All in all he thought, a dignified looking person and he fancied he might give them a polite hello (as a fellow dignified person). As he approached however he realised something more disturbing about the figure. ‘Could it be?’ He said to himself. ‘Can it be?’ He pondered ‘That this figure bears a startling resemblance to a Turkey?’ His mind flipped the perception of  the ‘person’ from having a strange long beard, and a very pointy nose back to it just being a very large Turkey in a set of high quality tweeds and a panama hat. As he got still closer, his ability to make the figure into a human was completely lost and he found himself in something of a cold sweat. There had been rumours in village, and there was that hooha at the bird show. Strange things were around.

He put his head down and hurried on. As he passed the figure he could unmistakeably hear the words “Blblblblbp fine morning!” Seeing rudeness was not called for he managed a “Yes quite”. He then had nearly cleared the bench by a meter or so when he heard an enquiring “Cocker-poo?” Mr Ledley was forced to stop and turn “I beg your pardon?” he said, for he did not process the implication “Blblblp is it a cocker-poo?” He could see the Turkey gentleman was looking at the dog “Umm no, no it’s a cocker spaniel” The feathery man looked on with piqued interest and uttered a distinctive “Really” “Yes, she’s err 5 years old” “Blblblp really!” The turkey continued to peer with full attention at dog and owner. “Blblblp what’s her name?” “Err Wuffles.” “Blblblp, entertaining name but inappropriate, blblblblp, call her Shirley instead.” Mr Ledley was taken aback by this instruction and could not fathom the correct response “Mmm maybe, yes err Shirley that’s a nice name” and strangely the dog seems to agree, it wagged its tail looks enthusiastic “Blblblbp good girl Shirley, come here!”

Shirley didn’t need asking twice, she made towards the friendly avian gentleman. Mr Ledley was surprised because he was sure she was on a short lead but now it seems Shirley or Wuffles is on a long extending lead and has wandered up to the Turkey person and is now receiving a stroke from him. “Blblblblbp, dog lover myself, blblblbp terrible tragedy, all eaten, blblblbp walk with you a while” and then the figure got up from the bench with Shirley beside him and walked to where Mr Ledley is. “Blblblblp let’s carry on up to the duck pond, round the pond, over the little bridge, past the bandstand, through the wooded path and back down past the children’s play things to where you started.” Mr Ledley is about to nod in agreement when he realises his own park mantra has been spat back at him verbatim. He looks at the route, he looks back to the Turkey alarmed “Something the matter blblblbp?” “Err no, nothing, that just my usual route” “Blblblp common route, nothing unusual, haven’t been watching you, can’t read your thoughts” “Oh err that’s alright then” but it isn’t alright and Mr Ledley knows it. He doesn’t know what he’s become embroiled in here but it doesn’t fill him with comfort. “Come along Shirley, blblbp good girl!” and now things take an odder turn as now the Turkey has Shirley on the extendable lead and Mr Ledley is without dog.

Without another word he bustles off at a surprising pace leaving Ledley struggling to catch up. “Blblbp, dog walk, good exercise, beautiful park.” “Yes, yes it is rather” says the non-plussed Ledley. At the duck pond the Turkey stops, “Blblbp, stupid creatures, ducks, blblbp” and without further ado he gets out a shotgun “Blblblblp, hold Shirley would you?” to which the paralysed Ledley obliges. He then watches on in horror as the Turkey fires twice into the pond. Two mallards and a diving duck are rendered dead and various others are wounded. “Good girl Shirley, blblblp fetch!” And before Ledley has a further clue, Shirley is off her lead, in the water and dragging the dead ducks out to the Turkey’s feet. “Blblblbp good girl” He picks them up and puts two of them into a Marks and Spencer’s bag for life and the other into a Lidl bag. This he offers to Mr Ledley “Blblblbp here you are, fresh duck for tea!” Ledley though, is shocked but rather cross about this senseless slaughter, finding a voice he reprimands his new colleague “Now look here, you can’t just come round here shooting birds in the park” “Blblblp, didn’t shoot any birds, your shot gun, dead duck in a bag blblblbp picture to prove it” Now Ledley suddenly finds he is holding the shotgun and has a dead duck in the Lidl bag, the Turkey’s M&S bag is nowhere to be seen and he has taken a couple of snaps of Ledley with his smartphone. “Blblblp know your sort, abusing privileges, park is for all, for shame!” And with this the Turkey bustles off again, at the same pace “Come along Shirley, blblblbp over the little bridge, past the bandstand, through the wooded path and back down past the children’s play things to where you started.” Ledley gives chase, irrationally holding onto the duck bag and gun “Now wait on a minute here, you can’t do this!” he shouts, now irate. Calm as you like the Turkey turns to face him “Blblblblbp, yes, can I help you? Morning stroll, cocker-poo, home for tea and crumpets now.” Ledley is distraught and his anger turns to pleading “Please can I have my dog back?” “Blblblbp don’t know what you mean. Mother said to keep away from strange men with no trousers!” “What do you mean no trousers?!” But now Ledley can feel the breeze on his bare legs. He looks down with horror to find he is indeed bereft of his trousers. “My trousers!” he shouts with alarmed surprise. He looks back up and the Turkey has the trousers. “Give those back! Give me my dog!” “Blblblp not likely! Toodle-oo!” and the Turkey is off. Ledley gives chase again but somehow now the Turkey is now looking up at the German Band at the bandstand with the trousers attached to some kind of stick, blowing in the wind, though there is no wind. Some other people who have come to feed the ducks with their children look with disgust and anxiety at him, especially after they note the blood/feather bath that is still one part of the pond. As he is still clutching the bloody bag and shotgun he sees explanation is futile and runs for all he is worth, not knowing what’s for the best he drops the items and runs towards the bandstand where the Turkey is leisurely taking in the scenery. Not unaware of the spectacle he is presenting, he nonetheless carries on pounding along towards where his tormentor stands, now caressing his dog, listening intently to the oompah noise. Somehow he doesn’t seem to be making much progress, his feet seem enormously heavy. He hears somebody mention something about “ridiculous boots”. Glancing down he sees that he is indeed wearing huge lead soled deep sea diver’s boots. “What the? Where did these come from?” Suddenly the Turkey is back close again “Blplplp! Sad case! Doesn’t know where own shoes came from! No trousers! Blplplp!” He looks round to see the Turkey shaking his head sadly at him, standing next to a figure he recognises with some relief as his next door neighbour Beaufort. “Beaufort! Thank heavens! Grab that turkey! He’s stolen Wuffles and snatched my trousers!” The other looks at him in confusion and with some disdain. “Ledley? For god’s sake man, what on earth are you talking about? Turkey? What turkey?” Next to him Clancy looks theatrically around, before shaking his head to signify that he can see no turkey either. “Him there! In the tweeds! That gobbling monster!” “Goblin monster? Are you drunk man? And where the devil are your trousers?” “Not goblin you fool! That turkey bastard next to you, he grabbed my cocker and won’t let go! That’s where my trousers went!” Beaufort looks at him disgustedly. “Your sort make me sick, parading about drunk and half naked in the park talking about Turkish men grabbing your, well never mind. I always knew that there was something off about you Ledley, but this!” With a disgusted “Hmmph!” He turns on his heel and stalks off. Ledley starts to call after his departing neighbour, but thinks better of it. Looking round wildly he sees the turkey toddling away over the little wooden bridge, Shirley/Wuffles trotting contentedly by his side. Seized with a sudden fury he clomps off after him as fast as his sub aquatic footwear will allow. Somehow, this time he appears to be gaining on his tormentor, buoyed up by this he begins to shout and gesticulate. To his surprise the retreating figure halts, and turning looks quizzically back at him through his monocle. Ledley redoubles his pace, “Give me my Wuffles! And hand over my trousers!” Such is the row he makes that the German Oompah band on the bandstand Tootles to a halt and the mainly elderly and eminently respectable audience turn in their deckchairs to see what is causing the disturbance. Ignoring them he clumps up to what he perceives is Clancy panting and sweating. “There you are you devil! Hand over Wuffles!” Clancy looks at him blankly and makes as if to leave. Enraged beyond measure he is surprised to find the shotgun back with him, but now with a mad glee he brandishes it in the air. “You want me to give you some of this! Rip off my trousers and put these giant boots on me! I’ll rip your trousers off and make you walk funny, see how you like that!” As he finishes yelling, he becomes aware of a hubbub of outraged voices, looking round he sees that the audience are staring at him in shock and horror. “Isn’t that Bryan Ledley? From Lawnswood Crescent?” “Has he lost his mind?” “Good god, what’s that in his hand?” “Did you hear what he threatened to do to the poor vicar?”  Involuntarily, he looks down at the shotgun, or what he thought was a shotgun, now it would appear to be a substantial purple adult toy studded along its length with rubber spikes. Horrified he tries to throw it away, but it somehow it adheres to his hand, and the more he tries to shake it loose, the more it appears to the audience that he is shaking the vile thing aggressively at them. In a fury he whirls to confront the turkey, only to discover that he is brandishing a menacing plastic member at a terrified elderly clergyman, who with a shock he recognises as his own vicar. The fact that he is to all intents and purposes, threatening a venerable and much respected man of god with a lurid purple sex aid, whilst trouserless, and in front of an outraged crowd of local notables, after the bizarre events of the morning, unhinges poor Ledley completely, and he falls to his knees, clawing feebly at the vicar. “Help me reverend! It’s the devil! I can feel him inside me! You must get it out, lay your hands on me!” He continues in this vein, growing louder and more desperate. “Get it out! Get it out! I need you to put your hands on me!” Two of the younger men from the crowd rush over to where the visibly distressed clergyman cowers away from the apparent madman and bustle him away, casting looks of unutterable scorn at the kneeling, pleading figure as they do so. In the depth of his misery, he hears again that awful voice. “Blplplp! Ignore him ladies and gentlemen! Escaped pervert! Police have been summoned. Enjoy band!” With these words the Oompah band strike up a particularly jaunty Black Forest waltz. Peering round, he sees through his tears that the turkey, now clad in a very fetching red military jacket trimmed with gold braid, is actually conducting the Teutonic orchestra. Realising that he can expect no help from the church, or sympathy from the crowd, he staggers to his feet, pulls himself somehow free of those restraining him and stares derangedly about. The tootling, parping music of the Black Forest waltz further distresses his addled brain, but something about it awakens something in him. Black Forest. Forest. Woods. The wooded path! Past the bench, up to the duck pond, around the pond, over the little wooden bridge, past the bandstand, and then along the wooded path, past the children’s play things and BACK TO WHERE YOU STARTED! That was it, if he could only get back to where he started, then he would be safe, and none of this hideous nightmare would ever have happened. Arms and legs flailing, he set off at a run down the gravel path towards where it snaked between tall graceful elms and sturdy horse chestnuts. Behind him he could hear, over the honking music, the sound of approaching sirens.”…over the little wooden bridge, down the wooded path, past the children’s play things…” He gasped out his mantra over and over as he ran. As he careered into the dappled shade of the wooded path he almost collided with a tall grizzled figure in a faded denim jacket and a tall pointy hat. Wild eyed he clutched at him. “Round the pond, over the little wooden bridge, past the bandstand!” The tall figure patted him on the head. “Yes I know, but it won’t be any good I’m afraid.” He smiled at the broken jabbering figure almost sadly, “You see Johnson has already bought the olive oil.” So saying, he patted Ledley again and strolled off with his hands in his pockets.

Published in: on June 20, 2016 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Classic Canaries 17: Yolanda’s Return

Bikle:      “Buckle? Buckle? Ho god, where’s he got to dow?”This time however, Bikle does not have far to seek for his sibling. He is standing forlornly at the Johnson’s baked potato stand. “H’what is it dis tibe you ditwit? I’ve got to get back to by cadary!”Buckle points disconsolately to the laminated menu. “Yes yes, de bedu, tuda ad sweetcord, chilli cod carde, hubbous, baked beads, what of it?”

Buckle: “Ho I dod’t dow Bikle, it just sobehow seebs idcobplete, as if sobethig is bissig. Earlier today you dow, I said to byself, Buckle, I said…”

Bikle: “Give be stredth! Look! Look! There id big letters! De side fradvertisig today’s special!”

Buckle: “Ho! Dow dat’s fuddy Bikle, because, do you dow, I thought there’d be…”

Bikle glances wistfully at a nearby fire extinguisher. “I dod’thave tibe for dis! By cadary! By god, look at de tibe! De show starts id ted bidutes! We’d better get our skates od!” Seeing the worried look on Buckle’s face, he qualifies hurriedly, “I dod’t bead actual skates, I bead we’ve got to get a bove od!”

Again Buckle’s long face brightens: “Ho dat’s good dews Bikle! Because I’b dot very good at skatig, do you rebember dat tibe dat I wedt skatig wid playschool, ad I hurt by dees ad broke by Astro Bikle therbos flask, ad you had to cobe ad get be ad de dice doctor gave be a lollipop?”

Bikle: “Ho Bary bother of god! Dat was last Tuesday, cobe od you bloody edcubradce! If by cadary has cobe to bischief by all dats holy I’ll bloody burder you, you see if I dod’t!”

Grabbing him by the hand Bikle sets off at a headlong runback to the registration tent. As they career past Cutler’s stall he hoots with derision.

Cutler: “In a rush are we? Can’t wait for a bit more freak on freak action can yer? That Hornby had your number, that he did. Bloody perverts!” and shies a pixie boot at them for luck.

Arriving back at the tent, they find a large and expectant crowd has gathered, eager to view the prize canary competition, always the highlight of the bird show. The judges, namely the Constable, The Duke of Croy, and somehow, Mr Cutler, are gathered behind the Judges table. The coveted trophy can be seen to one side, glistening in the summer sunshine. After all the chaos and mayhem, it appears that some kind of bird show may actually be on the cusp of taking place. The covered cages have be enplaced in a neat row, with the exhibitors name on a card pinned to each. Leonard it transpires, has been forced to withdraw his entry, as no other conscious or breathing aristocrat can be found for the judging panel. From his cheerful mien it appears likely that he has negotiated a substantial increment to his judge’s honarium to make up for his potential fiduciary disadvantage as an exhibitor. This supposition is supported by the fact that he is now swigging from a bottle of Scotch rather than the Gold Label he had been guzzling previously. Bikle scurries into line alongside Plenipotentiary Johnson, and a suspiciously smug looking Clancy.

Clancy: “Blplblp! About time! Keeping us all waiting! Very poor sportsmanship! Augurs badly!”

The Constable wags a kindly finger, “Now now Mr Turkey, as a statement of faaact, we be waiting for our Mr Hornby afore the proceedings can rightly begin.”

Clancy: “Blplblp! If you say so Constable! Sure he’ll be along promptly! Reliable chap!”

The officer smiles indulgently, “Thaat he be zurr, a fine upstaanding man is our Mr Hornby.”

For a moment, all is peaceful and calm, then, from away on the fringes of the village green comes a sound of a distant commotion. A raucous voice is yelling something incomprehensible. At first, the crowd ignore the row and keep their attention on the bird show finale, but as the hubbub grows louder and nearer, a few heads begin to turn as people seek the source of the commotion. Something orange and pointy can be seen bobbing about over the heads of the crowd, and the shouting grows louder and louder. More and more people are turning to look now, and a murmur of alarm and disapproval runs through the crowd. “Shocking!” “Disgraceful!” “Shouldn’t be allowed!” Interspersed with the outraged remarks and the yelling, come several yelps of pain. Finally, the mass of people parts like the Red Sea, and a most disreputable tableau presents itself. Yolanda is laboriously pushing a wheelbarrow, with which she is ramming people painfully if she deems that they are not getting out of the way rapidly enough. Lolling helplessly in the wheelbarrow is a massively drunk Les Dawson Johnson, his wig hopelessly askew. Johnson, who for some reason is sporting a tarmac stained yellow hi-vis workman’s jacket, is playing an old shovel as if it was a guitar. Yolanda’s stockings are torn and muddy, her dress rumpled and stained with vomit and tar, and the whole ensemble is topped off with a traffic cone which she has jammed onto her head. Pausing every few steps to take a swig from an ornate bottle of bright green liqueur she is shouting in a drink sodden voice at all and sundry.


Shocked silence falls over the crowd, broken only when Leonard steps unsteadily forwards from behind the judge’s table.Clutching his whiskey, the Duke of Croy, who is incidentally now back in his normal attire, leers at her in a suggestive fashion.

Leonard: “Eh cherie, magnifique! Ah ‘ave been ‘opeeng to see you! Ah was just wondering, seeing ‘as ‘ow ‘eets a bird show, if you will be displayeeng zose “Great Teets” of yours? Eh?” The drunker of the Johnsons laugh raucously. Yolanda looks at him blankly, showing no sign of recognition. Then very calmly takes the shovel from LDJ, and while the Duke of Croy is still sniggering at his own witticism, almost casually swings it two handed, smashing it into his face with a “CLANNNGGG!” dropping him like a sack of potatoes. She peers owlishly at the unconscious hooligan as he lays stretched on the grass.

Yolanda: “Woooo! I will burn YOU to death.”

She continues before retrieving a swan lighter from her pocket, kneeling down near the outstretched aristocrat and attempting to set fire to the cuffs of his sleeve. The wind blows the lighter out and Leonard is saved from a nasty burn. Then seemingly forgetting about this incendiary activity she heaves herself to her feet, staggers over to the wheel barrow and slowly wheels it next to the other contestants, taking her place next to Bikle, whom she smiles whimsically at. The constable tries to return order to the disgruntled crowd but can see nothing to be gained from removing Yolanda, as she is now slumped happily next to LD Johnson humming along to an imaginary tune that he bashes out on the workman’s spade.

Constable: “Noww then lady and gentlemarn, be calming yurselves darn, their be nothing wrong here, ah oi sees Hornby coming now, then we can get this judging started!”

There is some kind of mumbled assent from the mob. No one is quite sure where Hornby has come from, but what they are sure is that there is something not quite right about him. Sporting a near identical hat that was seen on Piers Johnson’s head earlier he staggers towards the judging area, with his eyes sometimes rolling right up so that nothing but white can be seen. Clancy’s head can be seen to turn and as he watches the spectacle a kind of disappointment drifts across it, he shoots a scowl in the direction of the two Johnsons from the beer tent who are hidden behind a near by tent, they seem to fiddling with some kind of device and they look back at him hopelessly as if to intimate that what they are trying to do is outside of their remit. Hornby draws closer and the horror on peoples faces is not difficult to see. The constable either doesn’t spot it or is determined to make a good fist of what is on offer.

Constable: “Naarr then Mr Hornby, we be needin’ you to oificiate loik.” Horby’s eyes roll up again, then back down. The crowd gasp. The he starts to speak: “Good show!” comes the strained, bizarre enthusiastic response. Then his arm raises and he begins to point to Clancy’s bird and grin insanely.

Hornby: “this one!” he starts to say. Clancy looks furiously across at his unwilling helpers who shrug and look anxiously back, suddenly he spots another figure behind them, the dark looming presence of executioner Johnson grabs them each by the shoulder (a copy of ‘Day of The Triffids’ can be seen poking out of his pocket). In a scene that brings back memories of Piers’ antic earlier, Hornby, grin fixed and eyes rolled back lurches towards Clancy and his bird. The Turkey flicks his hand and a trifle lands squarely on the approaching figure, but of course the top hat stays its ability to stop him, aside from which the zombie is clearly not functioning by ordinary sight. “This one!” he cries happily, staggering inexorably on.

Clancy: “Blbllblblp! Constable! do something!” The constable is not quick to act, and begins to huff and puff over. The Turkey though does seem to have an ally in the inebriated Yolanda who using the same spade again somehow leaps to her feet and brings the tool down on Hornby’s head. Hornby crashes to the floor and his hat flies off revealing a strange mechanism that seems to be plugged into the back of his skull. He foams and froths, lying on the grass, before Yolanda brings the spade down again, and again until he moves no more.

The constable finally arrives:”Narr then miss, that’ll do, we’d best be callin’ an ambulance for poor Mr Hornby here!”

Clancy: “Blblblblbp wouldn’t bother, too late, will be a furnace around here somewhere! on with the show!”

Constable: “That’s all very well but now, we be short of an Aristocraat on account of miss Yolanda ‘avin knaarcked the other out!” At this moment who should stagger by but the scraggy, near naked figure of Alfonso de Bersierneax.

Comte: “Ah fuckeeng ‘ell, ma ‘ead, where am a?”

Clancy: “Blblblp serendipity, this man is an Aristocrat, constable!”

The constable looks back at Clancy

Constable: “You be sure of thaat Mr Turkey sirr, woi, he looks like a proper juggins, one moight say the very comte de Bersierneax himself!”

Clancy: “blblblblp! on the money! It is the comte Bersierneaux himself!”

Constable: “Well well, then the prarblem be solved! If we could just make a him a bit less noiked, aah this be the thing!” and the Constable finds a dirty confederate flag from somewhere which he wraps around the confused Comte’s shoulders.

Clancy: “blbllblblp excellent on we get…”

Published in: on June 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment