Auntie Alice and Spot!

The Trouble With Spot.

Part One. You can’t plant your flag in them there hillocks!

Despite a scandalously fun youth, I’m certain I’m past it now. I love living in a modern era of change and my resolution for 2013 is to become a great maven of advice and industry….and if my days of romance are past me, then I’ll just get everyone else matched up! It has been less than twenty-four hours since I started this enterprise… ahem….and a certain young man has sent nearly a dozen inquiries via private message already.

He’s quite sweet really and I decided that rather than drain my life force by addressing every note from every corner, I would set up a place just for him. So here it is, dear Spot. I have poured myself a generous sherry.  I have asked the maid to tell everyone that I am NOT accepting calls and I am…quite frankly…braced for it. Let’s have it. Yours Sincerely, Aunt Alice

Dear Auntie Alice, I am 16 years old and not very good around girls! There is girl at School that I really like. She is 5 foot ten inch’s tall and looks like Madonna. I am 5 foot one inch tall, and 5 foot one inch across, spotty and have bad breath, but a brilliant sense of humour. Should I approach this girl and declare my love? Signed Spot.

Dear Spot, You sound very earnest. I’m sure this girl’s resemblance to the Virgin Mother is quite impressive. (if a bit unsettling….) As for your own resemblance to a globe, it can be challenging. Spots and bad breath are easily overcome by something you may, being a sixteen year old boy, have overlooked. Soap and toothpaste, my love. And with spots, perhaps a little time. BUT Take heart! A sense of humor is the most desirable quality on earth and will make you a very charming and affable partner. So… My advice…. DON’T APPROACH HER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! I fear for your life, dear boy. Aunt Alice

Hello Auntie Alice, Spot again. Unfortunately my friends dad, Danny Kemp, is the only one I know with a computer, so I have to ask him, to ask you, to answer all my problems. (if that makes sense) I’m a bit shy and don’t know how to put words together. Anyway, Jack, that’s my friend, was a mite slow in asking his dad, or his dad was a mite slow asking you (he, that’s Danny Kemp, says it wasn’t his fault)…but it’s now too late… I spoke to her. She hit me and I’m not sure why. I said this…”My friend Jack told me, that one way of getting rid of spots was to have sex, soooooo, (I stutter a bit as well) would you have babies with me? I now have a busted jaw and all my front teeth are missing. Is that a sign that she likes me but is shy as well? I will wait for the new set of false nashers before forking out for tooth paste. Signed Spot.

Oh, my dear Spot, You’ve learned three important things. Firstly, that Jack, your friend, is not to be consulted on any matter regarding women. Or social graces. Or birth control, for that matter. Secondly, that the cliche about “fools rushing in” exists for a reason. Thirdly, that the object of your affection is apparently a very good pugilist. (how wonderful!) But hear me as your trusted and clear headed advisor Spot. Your Madonna is not at this moment impressed with your charms and there is nothing shy in a girl who sounds like Boadicea reincarnated who may very well snap your neck the next time you approach uninvited while making references to her fertility. There are steps, Spot. You cannot win the game by walking up and asking if you can….ahem….plant your flag in her hillocks. Convince your father to spend the extra money necessary on a very good set of new nashers, and send her a note of apology. (feel free to blame your friend Jack in the note and distance yourself from the nightmare of the day….) And don’t approach her again without wearing a cup. Aunt Alice PS. And just in case I wasn’t clear, sex does NOT clear up spots. Aunt Alice

Dear Auntie Alice, I have sneaked into this vast opulent suite that Jack’s dad uses as his office and I’m using his computer, but don’t tell anyone. My mouth is very sore but I gargled with iodine so I should be okay if a little yellow around the gills. It made me feel a little sick actually, but no matter. I am somewhat confused though. Where shall I wear the cup that you suggest, will that protect me from another violent female? Oh, and another question before I’m discovered….As I’m only five foot one inch tall, how can I make myself taller? Signed Spot.

Dear Spot, I need more sherry. But that being said… Let’s tackle one issue at a time. It is very wrong to break into other people’s office’s without their permission. You are a very naughty boy. Oh, well. Who isn’t a bit off at sixteen years of age? All right, next. You are a persistent fellow. Did you write the note of apology that I instructed you to? Send it to her rather than delivering it in person. Toothless and with yellow gums, I have nightmarish visions of the image you’ll make handing over your letter and I fear, she’ll mistake you for one of those zombie apocalypse enthusiasts and your quest for romance will end in yet another injury. Let’s forget the cup for now. I don’t think it will help at this stage….I may have been thinking of sherry at the time. Mail your letter of apology, wait until you don’t look jaundiced or diseased before approaching this girl again…and see if you can find a hobby that doesn’t involve risking your life to take your mind off things. (by “things” I mean girls) Just for a while, dear Spot. As to your height, this we can resolve. You must eat all your meat and vegetables and exercise whenever you can. My cousin tried inserts in his shoes…and he appeared two or three inches taller…before….well, the disastrous incident is hardly worth mentioning. My mother said you could dream yourself taller, but I think she said that just to get my brother to go to sleep when ordered. Spot. Dear Boy. You should get some rest and dream yourself taller. And now your exhausted Aunt Alice will go find some more sherry….Do I need some! Aunt Alice

Dear Auntie Alice, what a wonder you are. My life has taken a turn for the better. I must, however, say sorry. I have not written that letter of apology but I have started it. Here is what I have done so far. ‘Dear Pug,…..(here again Auntie I must praise you. How did you know her name? Is it because you are so ancient and know everything, or does sherry help you?)….. ‘I congratulate you Pug on having such a wonderful right hand. As you come from a famous Hungarian musical composing family, I suppose you must have inherited it. What a beautiful name Pug Liszt, my love for you grows deeper.’ I am please Auntie, that I haven’t sent this, but I seek advice. Should I? Read on and then decide. I have found another girl friend and this one is verrrrrryyyyyy passionate. Her name is Mrytle and I am soooooo….(I always have trouble with that word and verrrrrrryyyyyy)….lucky, or so my Dad says. She has one brown eye and one blue, five foot six, has an attractive lisp and loves kissing. Although I must say, that the fact that she leans to one side, with me being five inch’s shorter, makes things slightly awkward. I have an idea how to rectify that. More on this later. I replaced my missing teeth with three of those small rectangular white chewing gum things, sticking them into place with one already chewed so as to take away the starkness of my yellow smile. She could not stop kissing me Auntie, even though it was the first time we had met! Should I send that letter, with of course more in it, or should I simply forget Pug, and move on to Myrtle and ask her if I could plant my flag in her hillocks? PS. I think I must have swallowed those chewing gum things whole as they have disappeared. Will I live?

How will Auntie Alice, the maven of advice, respond? To be continued………Next Week!

A cross Atlantic production by Renee Bernard and Danny Kemp.

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About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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