Aunt Alice and Spot.

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I see you’re back again dear readers. I’d chide you for being so foolish, but I’m the

fool who keeps answering the boy’s letters, so where is my place to

judge?  Sit back then, friends, and brace yourself. It’s breathtaking

the trouble he’s in…

***

Dear Aunt Alice,

I’m sorry to report that I still haven’t got the hang of this stroke and pause thingy, in working out Dickies Time

Traveling Opal Machine. I almost ended up at some sort of rave party the other day. Let me explain.

There I was, happily traveling through space and time, when I touched-down at a place which I think it must have been close to Copenhagen, as the chap I spoke to, sitting on a horse with no stirrups, kept saying ‘easy Copenhagen, easy there.” Maybe he had been smoking the old…Wacky Baccy, eh?

He wore Wellington boots, and looked a bit spaced out if you know what I mean. He kept saying things like: bring up the guns, and where’s the King of Prussia when you need him? A look of utter astonishment came over his face when I told him who I was and, more importantly, that I had seen some friends of his hiding behind the trees on the left. I had flown over them before landing you see. They were dressed in blue, and spoke a strange language which I could not understand but I caught the name of Napoleon, so I presumed they were having a party and drinking brandy. There were a lot of fireworks going off all around at the time. Made quite din actually. If it was a hide and seek party, it wasn’t very good, Auntie. There were thousands, in fancy dress costumes, running on a big field, all playing with each other in front of us. I didn’t see any balls though.

He said he was pleased that I had disclosed their whereabouts, as it had been a close run affair, but to what he referred, I had no idea. The old opal was still warm in my pocket so after a couple of rubs, I buzzed off pretty damn quick before I got involved in the fiasco. Which brings me nicely to Brenda. Bit of an all round fiasco that one.

Spot

***

I managed to catch this conversation, Auntie, recorded by my sweetheart Tracey in her vast opulent studio at Siren FM. More of her later. I’ll save the good bits to last.

Spot 

***

I don’t know what’s wrong with your phone, Myrtle, I get static with every other word you say. Yes, I’m still on the tugboat. Stop talking! Listen to me… I was in that comfy hull for several minutes. The twenty-nine leeks I stored between my buxom bosom didn’t last but thirty-seconds. What did you say? Last me a few days? But they were warm and oh, so very tender. No, I haven’t caught that gum chewing, English Spot! I told you, I’m still on the tugboat! I was in the hull, the scent of warm, moist leeks wafting around me… Knowing they were the only food I would have access to for days, maybe weeks! I fought temptation to devour them, by counting to ten before I allowed myself a single bite. But you know, numbers and time become confused when those things mix together, to send the mind reeling with thoughts of that scent which called to me from my breasts, you see? So yeah, I ate ’em all! No, I’m not going to starve to death, and I’ll tell you WHY:

I swallowed the very last scrumptious morsel I could dig from the hammock beneath my green, military-style, tent-dress, when the boat swayed and then rocked. I climbed to the deck where I saw a man dressed like Ahab. He didn’t speak proper English, so of course I understood his every word. With one hand he clutched the side of the boat while pointing to the sky and shouting, “The Welsh are mad and now we’re all going to die!”

Turning around, I peered toward the sky. Oh, Myrtle, it was a terrifying sight! Daylight hovered above the tugboat, but in the sky, what looked to be a hurricane coming our way, were 2000 squawking pigeons! The wind picked up, I turned to the man, who was really quite handsome, ya know, the tall and very broad type with lips you can taste just by looking at, and huge muscles that— what?— Oh yeah, the pigeons were coming fast, their squawking grew so loud I could barely hear the sexy man say, “There’s a monster in the sky!”

I directed him, “come down with me, Brenda, the soon to be Queen of Wales, into the hull, where we shall cuddle, and be safe and warm.” Well, those dang pigeons were so freakin’ loud, I couldn’t hear what he said, right before he sprang his sexy knees and big round thighs up in the air, and then over the side of the boat he leapt!

I hurried to where he had jumped, and as I grabbed the side of the boat, those damn pigeons released their filthy load! How did Phyllis The Pigeon, teach them to hold it in, and drop it all in unison? Never mind, Myrtle! I don’t want to know! See, poo fell from the sky, it fell all at once, and yet it missed this boat! Landing in the sea, right behind me. A thunderous splash caused one hell of a wake, which pushed the tugboat through the water at about 100 miles per-hour! Yes, I felt panicked, but I recalled the safety drills I learned in school as a child… Quickly I fell to deck, I tucked and then I rolled… Tuck-and-roll… Tuck-and-roll… The boat leaned to the right, and as I rolled, it dipped! I tucked again, and again the boat leaned… As I made my last roll, it did too! Yes, I’m telling you, it capsized!

I don’t know where I am, Myrtle. Last I saw was a tsunami filled with pigeon poo, heading for that province of confused-as-to-what-to-name-something, Greenland. The sun is out. My tent-dress is dry. The pigeons? Well, they needed a place to land and catch their breath. I put thirteen of ’em into my bosom hammock. This tugboat moves over the sea quite well upside down… The scent of warm pigeon is wafting— No, Myrtle, their feathers don’t bother me. I’ve made a pillow, and I like to call it Friend.

That’s enough about me, Myrtle, have you found the whereabouts of Spot? Myrtle? MYRTLE??? I’m sending you a text message! Myrtle: Get yourself a new phone! Find one of these that the Virgins carry! And then find, Spot! I’ve got to go for now… I smell something that tastes like chicken. Too bad the bones only give ya the feeling of chewing something.

***

Well, Auntie,

What can one say about that load of pigeon poo?

Brenda may have a fixation on the pride of the Welsh, those smelly LEEKS, but I believe her brain has a LEAK! I think we can attribute a new cliché to her. Instead of saying;….Away with the fairies, we could say.…..She’s away on a pigeon’s wing. What a joke Spot has just made!

At last I can speak of tales of an altogether higher nature; the wedding. I proposed to my dear Tracey over the telephone. Obviously you have no knowledge of what a telephone may be, but suffice it to say that it’s a method of communication whereby those speaking do not have to be in the same vicinity. They can in fact, as was the case here, be several miles apart. Tracey was in that seaside resort of Grimsby recording her Sunday morning radio broadcast, called incidentally Sunday Girl, such imagination the girl has, and I was on top of Mount Everest composing a love sonnet for my sweetheart. It went like this:

Roses are white, blood is red. 

Your scrambled eggs are delicious, and I always feel fed. 

I know you could keep Spot’s tummy always rumbling.

So let’s get married and start all the fumbling.

Well, Auntie, after I read that to her the conversation became somewhat confusing. I’m not entirely sure what she said as the line started to crackle, could have been laughter of delight I suppose. It sounded like; wowee aren’t I blessed. Anyway, I pressed on and asked for an exact date. There are several things I need to arrange not least the…..Dum dum da dee…..HONEYMOON. She said that she would get back to me after taking her dogs for a walk. That was two days ago. I’m worried as my calls go straight to her message machine. I’ve had no reply.

Do you think that Tracey is busy picking out a dress, Auntie, and have you any suggestions as where that….HONEYMOON….could take place?

***

Dear Spot,

Why do I feel that it shouldn’t even be remotely possible that the only sane person playing any small part in this story is in fact, myself—a woman of a mature age with a minimal household staff, a stubborn lack of small pets to avoid the appearance of any clichés and who, when she glances at the calendar, sees a date firmly set in 1873? And yet, here we are.

I have two very difficult things to tell you, Spot.  First, that you cannot be engaged to a woman unless she is indeed “in your proximity”.  And let me be clear, I mean in your Immediate Proximity and Personal Presence.  You are right in that I do not know what a telephone is but it cannot possibly alter reality to such an extent that a man can omit making such a request in person.

Asking a woman to marry you when she is several continents away is like attempting to watch a cricket match when you are on the moon.  It might be insanely possible, but how in God’s name would you hear the polite cheers and best gossip on the sidelines?  And why would you bother to try?

I won’t even bother addressing the wretched state of your sonnet. Although in light of your very crass and ungentlemanly reference to “fumbling”, perhaps it’s best she wasn’t there to hit you with her fan.

She cannot have said yes. Not if she is a woman of good grace and sense.

And if my instincts are correct, she’s using the money you gave her to employ bodyguards and install some sort of security measures to ensure that you don’t trouble her again.

Poor boy.

Which brings me to my second, very difficult, topic.

Stop playing with your Dickie.  Keep your hands out of your pockets.  You are bound to offend, and even the French are going to take pause if you make a show of that on the battlefield again. Please remember at all times that you are British. British men do not jiggle about their own stones in public. It’s most unseemly.

(Put it on top of a walking cane or something and hide it in plain sight!)

Well, I’d say that’s done then.  Mind you, I’m going to take a tonic to try to forget the mental picture of Brenda, the “Queen of Wales”, looking like she’d fallen into a lime pit….or a pond of pigeon poo.  If that’s even possible to get over a thing like that.

Watch out for vengeful pigeons and the Welsh.  They do have a way of turning up when you least expect them.

Cautiously,

Aunt Alice

PS  You are too young to marry.

Can Spot keep his hands away from his pockets? Where is Tracey? Can Brenda ever be sane? Just some of the questions yet to be answered in our mystifying saga of Aunt Alice and Spot. Turn your radio dial to Female First for further updates.

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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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