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Grave Mistake by Phil 'Boz' Evans

By Ceri Shaw, 2024-04-22

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Tony Robinson looked nervously at the television camera. This was a first even for the ‘Time Team’ and its archaeologists. The deep scan of the Norman crypt at Morlais Castle in Merthyr Tydfil had revealed a hollow
chamber behind the inner walls and the readings for metal possible gold and silver were going off the scale.

Tony genuinely believed they had discovered a treasure hoard possibly confiscated from local Celtic chieftains in the 13th Century. He felt giddy at the prospect of being as famous as Howard Carter, who had discovered the
unopened the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt in 1922.

What treasure lay beyond these limestone walls that had remained hidden for 800 years?

He wanted to be recognised and not just being remembered as that ‘Baldprick’ from Black Adder who was ridiculed and bullied by Rowan Atkinson.

Tony scraped away at the remaining millimetres of limestone rock concealing the chamber and finally managed to pierce its inner layer enough to get a flashlight in the tiny aperture. He had been excited at the potential find and had in his childlike state put off using the toilet in all the fuss- he wanted to be the one to have the fame. Besides, there were no longer any public toilets in the Merthyr Town centre due to Council

As he peered inside, he suddenly frightened the film crew who feared a booby trap for a grave robber, as he came face to face with a figure of a Norman soldier completely dressed in armour. The shock made Tony piss himself uncontrollably, as the result of a mixture of fear and anxiety.

There was another more welcoming emotion too- relief -as like Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind he had started so he may has well finish.

“ Oi you mind ?...You’re pissing on my suede shoes!” said the hatted figure of Time Team regular Mick Aston.

The warm of the yellow liquid on a cold grey day in a Valleys cave was welcome, but pleasure quickly became misery as he had ruined his expensive corduroy trousers. The cameraman panned down at the front of them to compound Tony’s misery. Ever the professional Tony said to the screen “ Be careful if you go into limestone caves as there is a lot of water around that can splash your clothes indiscriminately- drips from stalactites go down and stalagmites go up!” he said trying to bluff his way out of the embarrassment.

“ Oh and be careful of incontinent television presenters too ....always give them room to go into a dig case they shit on you!” said Mick taking the mick.

Tony looked at his sidekick with a stare that could kill. He concentrated on the task in hand. He continued to gouge at the circle of wet rock in a circular fashion with a small hand drill until he had enough of a gap to get his head in.

When he had done so, he placed the torch in his mouth and shone it around with a jaw movement . If he hadn’t had to hold the light source in his teeth he would have been open mouthed. “ Is the crypt untouched.....the Norman seal intact?” asked Mick impatiently.

Tony withdrew his head and pass the flashlight to Mick.

“ See for yourself!” he said almost whispering.

Mick peered through the hole like an amateur gynaecologist and his jaw dropped. He could see row after row of Norman soldiers clad in full battle regalia like they originally wore in the 1066 Normandy invasion.

“ We have found the limestone equivalent of the Terracotta Army!” said Mick leaping on Tony in his joy forgetting momentarily that Tony had pissed himself earlier.

“ This is a living Bayeaux Tapestry....its priceless!” said Mick punching the air.

“ I have dreamt of finding something of this magnitude and historical importance all my life -even when I was a homeless student archaeologist....looking for ‘digs’!” said the one time stand in for Worzel Gummidge.

The overpowering smell of urine reached his nostrils, as he too realised he now smelt like he had trench foot.

Tony & Mick began hacking at the remaining wall to allow full bodily access all the while watching out for ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ style booby traps for intended grave robbers.

Mick half expected a giant ball to come rolling out of the darkness or for a crossbow to hit him King Harold style in the eye.

There was however, a warning written in French on a plaque above the head of the first soldier which the pair took to be William of Normandy.

They guessed this was the case as the towering figure was well over six feet tall and had a massive Eric Cantona- style nose .

“I assume that is William the CONKeror!” laughed Tony slipping back into character.

“ Can you read that sign in French?”

“ Of CORSE I CANNES!” quipped back Aston purtting on a phoney French accent and talking quickly.

“ It is a warning that if the seal of this burial chamber is broken the nearby Hamlet will suffer 200 years of decline, depression , famine and flood!” replied Mick.

“ Bit late for Merthyr either that or someone beat us to it!” laughed Tony his voice echoing around a chamber not opened for over half a Millenia.

Tony checked to be sure there were no trip wires in front of him before approaching the Norman Warlord.

“Look at that armour...imagine the weight of carrying that into battle every day!” he said looking up and realising he only came up to the nipple line of the historical figure.

“ I wouldn’t have lasted long against someone his size!”

Mick too was in an orgiastic state seeing such historical splendour laid out in row after row stretching back into the darkness almost as if the army was ready to march on the command from their leader.

“ We are Sooo privileged to be the ones to find this lot!” he said.

The eerie silence was broken as a whooshing sound was heard as a projectile hit the wall near the newly created entrance in the limestone rock. The normally bluey-white rock was suddenly covered in an explosion of orange.

“ Don’t move or Baldprick gets it!” shouted a Welsh voice from the Darkness.

Mick Aston suddenly realised the projectile hadn’t come from the crossbow of a Medieval army but a more modern source of a paintball gun.

“ These figures and any gold and silver in their pouches belong to us!” said another voice.
“ Who are you?” asked Tony.

“ We are the guardians of this chamber and these soldiers are our ancestors- we are the Normans from Bramble Close in the Gurnos and you are standing in our family grave.!” said the first voice obviously the leader.

“ We are from Time Team from the television...perhaps you have seen us on the Discovery Channel?” replied Tony.

“ No!” was the straight reply.

“ We found them in the same way we ‘found’ those frozen cod steaks when someone broke into the Merthyr Tydfil Iceland store....we call it ‘Findus Keepers’ or you might recognise it as ‘Treasure Trove’ a rule established prior to the coming of us Normans in 1066 under Edward the Confessor.” said the musclebound Gurnos Warrior.

“ You on the other hand are trespassers!” boomed the voice filled with the sound of aggression.

“ Do you know what we do in Merthyr to grave robbers?” asked the leader, all 6 ft 8 inches of him enjoying terrorising the minor celebrity.

“ No?” gulped Tony.

“ We eat them!” said the Big Boss.....” Bones and all!”

Baldrick’s incontinence flared up again and he promptly shit himself.

A small trickle of a brown rivulet rolled down from his Don Estelle-style shorts into his socks...turning khaki into kak.

“ I wouldn’t eat him now if I were you !” argued Mick.

Mick had heard of some tribes in Papua New Guinea being headshrinkers and cannibals, but didn’t think it still went on at home in England & Wales.

“ Do you know what we call you English in these parts?” asked the Leader licking his lips.

“ Long Pig!” said the Norman.

“ Do you know why?”

“ We bacon?” stuttered Tony.

“ HG Wells Time Machine we are the Morlocks and you the Eloi...!” said the voice.

“ Is that camera on...filming live to the Nation?” asked the Morlock Leader sharpening a barbecue spit knife.

“ Yes...!” lied the spluttering Tony...hoping it might be his Saviour. 

He knew Merthyr from reports in the Sun newspaper was renowned for having the laziest, un-fittest, workshy bunch of scumbags this side of the Great North/South Divide and had a lower life expectancy than Sierra Leone but cannibalism?

He bumped into the first soldier in the ranks and it fell backwards in a domino effect knocking down row after row of priceless historical limestone figures shattering and cracking them as they toppled one by one.

Tony’s heart was pounding and his blood pressure through the roof- if the Normans would eat him for entering their sanctuary what would they do to him in light of this sacrilege? He suddenly noticed another man stepping out of the shadows who had a familiar rubber face.

“ that you?” asked Tony clutching his chest.

The man responsible for Johnny English , Mr Bean and Blackadder bent over with laugh. He was joined by the fake Normans.

“ No... this isn’t Team Team or Not the 9 O’Clock News ...we are filming but a new edition of Candid

Camera as the BBC has run out of ideas....!” laughed Rowan .

“ Smile for the’s called Rowan’s laugh in!”

“ You bastard Atkinson....I nearly went the way of Mel Smith then...!” said Tony picking up his slurry filled pants that were hanging low like an MC Hammer video.

Looking at the grey limestone colour on Tony’s face , Rowan realised how close he had been to sending another member of the cast of Blackadder to that great Comedy Forum in the sky.

“ I think we both nearly made a grave mistake.!” said Atkinson.

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Deaf On The Nile by Phil 'Boz' Evans

By Ceri Shaw, 2024-04-21

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Cast of Characters

Miss Arly Marble- a Septegenarian Tea- Total Lady from Yorkshire England (drinksYorkshire Tea)- deaf as a post – avaricious reader who mishears everything.

(Glenys)Mrs Eira Ray- an Irish Nationalist Poet who is on the Cruise to Map the Tombs & Pyramids.

(Abbie)Mrs Jane Dough - a retired Dental Nurse with an OCD complex and a limp.

(Alison)Doctor De’ath- A Doctor who switches accents at Will.-

(Curtis)Phil Le Delphia- A lawyer who specialises in Wills etc.

(Jack)Mr Rhodes Drage- an Oxford Professor who has anger management issues.

(Ron)Mr Len Scrafter- a former US American Football Referee, who has very bad eyesight.-

(Phil)Mr John Dough- a self- employed baker from Abercynon, husband of Mrs Jane Dough ( newperson)

Mr Nile Rogers - a honeymooner (new person)

Mrs Chic Rogers- a honeymooner (new person)

Omar God- an Egyptian Boat Crewman (new person or second part)

Opening scene- a Dahabiya Dream Boat on the Nile River in 2024

Miss Marble:“What a wonderful Asian country Egypt is- such history going back over five Millenia!”

Miss Eira Ray: “ Actually, Egypt is in Africa!” corrected the Irish Poet.

Miss Marble : “Who is a Freak?” countered the hearing challenged Miss Marble somewhatconfused hearing only part of the word.

Jane Dough : “Turn your hearing aids on Miss Marble-(pointing at her ears) NO-ONE is aFREAK….Egypt is in AFRICA!”

Miss Marble started to rummage in her travel bag and after a few seconds produced a case ofanti-perspirant called Lynx Africa.

Phil Le Delphia : “Well it is damn hot- he said taking the can from the table and spraying hissweaty armpits- “I hate these warm Countries!” he continued.

Rhodes Drage: “ So if you hate this heat that much… why did you book up a Nile Cruise on this Dahabiya Dream cruise boat … August of all times then?”

Phil looked down at his rubber Fitbit which had partially melted in a vain attempt to checkthe onboard temperature.

Doctor De’ath: “96% degrees in the shade- the Doctor said looking at his rectal thermometerwhich appeared to have chocolate still on it- sounds like a Third World record!”

(PoshEtonian accent)Len Scrafter: “Call this heat?.....try officiating at the Pasadena Superbowl in California… was Reffing Hell….96% degrees is nothing compared to that final between the MiamiDolphins and the Buffalo Bill redskins in 1996…….”

Rhodes Drage: “Correct me if I am wrong but I thought it was the Washington Redskins?”

Lens Scrafter: “In that Rosebowl- with no cover- they all had Redskins!”As the sailboat continued its journey from Luxor up river, the party of individuals thrown together on a narrow boat tried to relax but find out a little more about the strangers that they were sat around the wooden table with.

Phil Le Delphia : “ If you must know I am not here on a pleasure trip like most of you….I am here on business at the behest of my client…Mr John Dough…on my left , the Sole Director 28of Pudding Club Limited…. he came aboard this ship at first light….you know what baker’sare like….up at the crack of Dawn!”

Miss Marble: “Who is in the Pudding Club and been up the crack of Dawn?” – a lover of gossip and scandal with her Women’s Institute Friends

Jane Dough : “No… Miss Marble we are talking about my husband - a passenger called JohnDough!” said Jane lifting her hat and speaking into her ancient ear trumpet and pointing ather spouse with a knife.

Miss Marble: “There’s no need to shout….I am not deaf you know!”

John Dough: ‘ Well you are doing a damned fine impression then….you CoffinDodger!” shouted the irritated businessman.

Miss Marble glared at John – she had heard THAT- if looks could kill.

Enter to the breakfast time the newly- wed couple.“Do you mind if we join you?” Asked Nile Rogers.The Egyptian waiter added two more plates to the table.

Mrs Eira Ray:“Could I have some fruit please!”

John Dough : “Three Thousand Pounds each for this trip and I can’t even get a bacon sandwich !” He mumped miserably.The waiter bowed and returned with a platter of selected figs, dates and Palestinian not JaffaOranges.The two new arrivals giggled excitedly enjoying their honeymoon experience.“Pass the sugar… Sugar…!” Asked Nile of his spouse.“Pass the honey…Honey !” Replied Chic passing the Tate & Lyle.The other members of the breakfast club looked around at each other jealously.Mrs Dough sighed looking directly at her much older husband John Dough.“You never talk to me like THAT !”“0kay ….pass me the milk you old cow!” Replied the baker without looking up.Mrs Dough passed the milk alright as she poured the entire contents over his head.John Dough didn’t flinch Like Donald Trump he was used to a golden shower. He continued to eat his porridge with the Asses milk dripping off his bald pate.

“Talk about passed your eyes milk!’ quipped Len Scrafter.Mrs Dough embarrassed by the comment- threw her napkin onto the table and stormed off angrily.

Mrs Eira Ray: “Poetic justice if you ask me….you deserved that you chauvinist pig!”

“So I am pig now!” Replied John Dough milk dripping from his head and porridge smearedall around his mouth.“Somewhat ironic when I can’t get any in this Country!”Omar God looked on at the Westerners upset at the mention of the dirty animal that Jesus had cast a demon into.And looking round at the white devils sat around him he could see the results. Did they really deserve to rule the Planet?

Omar God: “Offendi , please do not mention such a dirty animal on my humble boat….it upsets me and my crew!”

John Dough:“Look Fuzzy Wuzzy…I am paying good money for this floating sieve…and I can say what I pigging well want…..when I want ….and I don’t care what you and Mo Salahover there think about it one jot….”

Omar’s face suddenly changed as the Protective Eye of Horus took on the look of the Osiris -the Ancient Egyptian God of death and the Underworld.He was ‘Thothing’ at the mouth at the arrogance of the Englishman insulting him in his own Country and the boat he had lovingly crafted with his own hands. It was all he could do not to put his hands around John Dough’s throat and squeeze the Pilsbury dough out of him. Lens Crafter pulling a yellow referee card from his pocket and waving it at John Dough.“I am booking you….I think you owe this A-rab an apology!”

Omar God: “Thank you Effendi, but I am not an Arab but a Coptic Muslim!” Replied theboat owner.

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the least pharoahest one of all!” Said the poetic Eira Rayglaring at John Dough.

“Typical Brexiteer, still thinks Britannia rules the waves…..I have a message for you John Bull….the Empire ended after the Second World War….if I had my way I would rid the World of all you arrogant English and unify the Emerald Isle in the process!”“ Cromwell didn’t go far enough with your lot!’ said John Dough without looking up fromhaving his gruel.“Here’s your Orange Order …you bloody banshee !” He said picking up a Jaffa and angrilyslinging one at the Irish Molly Malone.

It was all Eira could do to restrain herself clutching her cutlery and muttering the phrase:“Remember Louis Mountbatten Imperialist Englishman!”Professor Rhodes Rage was now face to face and nose to nose with John Dough so close he could taste the porridge.

Len’s Scrafter reached into his pocket and pulled a different card out this time.“Red card for the red coat …..and you Oxford Don......anymore and you will both be sent offthis lovely boat too”.“

I think we need a Ready Break Boyo!” interjected Doctor De’ath separating the two (Welsh Valleys Accent) .“ I thought there was still a special relationship between the US and Britain!” he said trying to appease the pair.

John Dough: “What do you know…you bloody Quack….I bet those certificates in your offices were printed off the internet and authenticated by Former Tory Party Chairman,Jeffrey Archer!”

Miss Marble: “If there is one Nation I dislike more than the Southern English it is their mutant offspring colonists it is those from the New World!” said the Northern English Female Sleuth.“I haven’t forgiven that lot across the pond for tipping all that lovely Yorkshire tea into thatBoston harbour in 1773….those sons were really taking a liberty!’ said Miss Marble handover the silver tea pot pouring out a cup delicately.

John Dough: “ Shut up you old trout….no one cares what you think….and I have got newsfor you …you need to change those batteries in your hearing aids….that wasn’t a silent fart you let out earlier….with table manners like that you need to be sent back to Richard Branson…. no wonder you are still a Virgin and will be returned to God in a box marked‘unopened’!”

Miss Marble suddenly lost her own marbles and picked up a butter knife and started threatening him with a throat slitting gesture like she was a member of the Bloods or the Crips.“Are you determined to upset everyone on this boat before breakfast?” Interjected Nile Rogers.

“If the cap fits!” Replied John Dough.“And I would put one on with if my Missus looked like THAT!’” he said pointing at his newwife.“I have never been so insulted in my life!” Declared the outraged Chic Rogers.“Surely…with THAT face you MUST have been!” roared John Dough unashamedly.Nile Rogers stood up to punch the obnoxious factory owner but was restrained by Lawyer Phil Le Delphia.“Careful …you don’t want to be charged with assault like that Turkish Football Club Owner now do you?”“And you …John Dough as my client…. I would advise you to tone it down until at YEAST  you have SIGNED your new Will!”

Continued Phil.“Yes …ooh ah…think of your high blood pressure!” Continued Dr De’ath ( SwindonWiltshire Accent )The purple faced Gammon just glared around at the crowd of strangers he had already insulted.He looked like he would catch fire at any second.He loved his ability to upset other people and ruin their lives.It is all he lived for -as his lifetime accumulation of bread had not made him any happier- nor had his unlimited supply of crumpet over the years that his money had attracted.It would be a long week on this Dahabiya Dreamboat which would now probably turn into a nightmare.The guests one by one retired to their respective cabins below deck.

Scene Two

Thirty minutes later a piercing scream was heard from down below.It was Jane Dough- who had suddenly become the latest widow on the boat.

The tourists all rushed towards cabin 13-which bore the name of Julius Caesar.Each of the cabins on board the Dream Boat had names associated with Egypt.Ptolemy, Cleopatra and of course the Bangles. First to the doorway was Doctor De’ath, who complete with black medical bag rushed into tothe cabin to find Jane doing an impression of Edvard Greig’s the Scream - frozen in shockwith her hands over her cheeks like a version of McAuley Culkin looking through theNeverland Ranch window at an approaching Michael Jackson.

The doorway soon became crowded as the rest of the passengers and crew arrived one byone.The body of John Dough lay face down on the bed with a knife lodged in his back wedged between his shoulder blades.

“He’s dead!” Declared Doctor De’ath checking the cadaver’s pulse.As he moved the body slightly, the corpse let out a death rattle of his own which sounded like the horn of a cruise ship on the River Nile waking up Omar God asleep at the wheel with a start.“I think it was suicide and not a Murder!” Pronounced Dr De’ath looking at the entry wound of the knife.( Scottish Accent like Taggart)

“Are you REALLY a Doctor?” enquired Rhodes Drage suspiciously.“Please explain how the Hell he could have stabbed HIMSELF in the back?” said LenScrafter though his thick milk bottle glasses…..”

“I can’t see it myself!- although it is definite foul play!”Eira Ray :‘I agree with Mr Magoo here….what did he do ?……fall on the knifebackwards?….it is impossible - as he is lying FACE down!”.

Len Scrafter said what most of the innocent passengers were thinking“Good riddance to bad rubbish….he deserved to be sent off!”

Jane Dough: “Do you mind….where is your sensitivity?….he may only have been my husband for a year …but he didn’t deserve to be murdered in this way!”

Len Scrafter: “ I am a soccer referee …..we DON’T have any feelings!”

Dr De’ath : “We must inform the Egyptian Authorities immediately of the death….mainlybecause I get ash cash for pronouncing him dead….finder’s keepers!”

Len Scrafter: “ He was a goalie as well as a policeman?”

Jane Dough: “ Not that kind of keeper nor a Policeman-He was a baker !- that’s why Imarried him …. he told me he had loads of Dough!”Len Scrafter somewhat confused having been lost in translation.

Len Scrafter : “ But someone said he was a Pig earlier?”

Miss Marble: “ From experience….best not to involve the Police until we know what has transpired…..otherwise we could be held captive on this boat for days!”

Mr Nile Rogers: “ I agree ….if we tell the Egyptian Authorities they will stop the Cruise and ruin our Honeymoon and we won’t get to see all the Wonders of the Ancient World like Karnak and Abu Simbel “ he pleaded.

Chic Rogers: “ Please- it’s not like he was a good man now is it - you all bore a grudgeagainst him earlier!” The passengers all looked at each other and then back at the lawyer for guidance.

Phil Le Delphia: “ Well we could all be accessories to murder if we don’t report it to the crewbut we all have our individual good reasons for the Cruise to continue!”

Rhodes Drage: “What’s yours?”

Phil Le Delphia : “ His cheque for my services hasn’t cleared yet!….and he said whisperingin the ear of Jane Dough ….”His Will states you must survive him by a week before you get to inherit his fortune!”

Jane Dough changing tack like the wooden sail boat on the Nile she was on replied:“ Perhaps we shouldn’t act so hastily after all ….but we need to keep this quiet from thecrew until in six days time we arrive at the Aswan Dam!”

Eira Ray: “ In times of trouble we should do what they would do at the Stormont Parliament Buildings and have a democratic vote or blow up the boat with Semtex and destroy the evidence….I have a friend called Sean Finn you know!” winking with her eye.

Rhodes Drage: “ We could just wait till dark and tip his body into the Nile and report him missing later?”

Eira Ray: “ We wouldn’t want to give a Rivers of Blood speech to the Egyptian Authorities……besides there aren’t any Nile Crocodiles left this side of the Aswan Dam to dispose of the body!”

Jane Dough: “ We could just prop him up in the bed as if he is ill and tell the crew he is not to be disturbed…..I will bring him his meals to our room until Aswan !” she suggested.

Miss Marble : “ But there still leaves us with one big problem….there is still a murderer present on this boat and it could be any one of you lot!”

Nile Rogers: “ What about you….who do you think you are?....An amateur ColleenRooney?”

Chic Rogers: “ Yes…why are you above suspicion …while you point that bony wrinkled finger at the rest of us?”

Miss Marble : “My Heroine Agatha Christie wrote seventy five novels and fourteen shortstories and not once does an elderly spinster turn out to be the murderer!”

Len Scrafter: “ Not even in that Ku Klux Klan based novel? ….Ten Little ....” he was interrupted by Phil Le Delphia.

Phil Le Delphia: “ Us woke lefty lawyers do not use that word anymore ….but I agree withMiss Marble not even Hercule Poirot would point the finger at an innocent old lady….that would be ageist and flawed logic ….besides the noise of her zimmer clumping on this Lebanon Cedar wood floor would have given her away….!”

Eira Ray: “ Coming from Ireland, I have lived amongst murderers all my life so anotherweek or so won’t bother me….can we go to a vote now!….raise your right hand if you agree with the plan to postpone reporting the missing body until Aswan!”

The shell- shocked passengers raised their hands in turn starting with Eira Ray. Then Jane Dough.Dr De’ath.Phil Le Delphia.Rhodes Drage.Nile Rogers.Chic Rogers.Miss Marble.The only one hesitant was Len Scrafter- they all stared at him.

Len Scrafter: “ What ….I don’t want to be unpopular….but on this occasion I won’t be the one to blow the whistle!” He protested.Jane Dough- thinking off her inheritance started subliminally to hum ‘Crocodile Shoes’ by Jimmy Nail.

Eira Ray: “ It is unanimous….we all plead ignorance ….and pretend John Dough is missing until his partially eaten body turns up just like Steve Irwin and we blame the crocodiles and hippos for his death….we just need to remove the knife first and stem the blood flow….DrDe’ath can you stitch him up?”

Dr De’ath : “ Of course…we doctors took a Hippo- cratic oath…we have long been able to bury our mistakes….look how long it took the authorities to catch Dr Harold Shipman!”

Eira Ray: “ Talking about stitch ups ….my Father was a member of the Guildford Four Pub bombings and served fourteen years in jail for an offence he didn’t commit …so it would be sweet revenge to get one over on the justice system this time….in the interim, I suggest we appoint Miss Marble here to investigate this Death on the Nile!”

Miss Marble: “Who is Deaf on the Nile?”

Jane Dough: “ No one Miss Marble…but just like Jeffrey Epstein’s Black Book we do have a John Doe here and unlike Epstein we can’t afford to hang around!”

Rhodes Drage: “Besides they say that once you lose one of your senses the others are enhanced!” nodding at Miss Marble.

Miss Marble: “ Well my investigative sense is already enhanced….I know exactly who the killer is….but the big question is do you? If we all meet upstairs at the dinner table I will ENDEAVOUR to reveal the answer after we have all had the house speciality soup….having been on this cruise several times….it is to diefor!”

Scene 3 - the dinner table.

Omar God and his crew have prepared a delicious lunch of a local Soup delicacy.

Omar God: “ We have copied each of your passports and will return your original credit cards after dinner today….it is important that you all eat the food at the same time … creates a family atmosphere and bonds travellers on this unique experience!”

Just like an episode of TV show Death in Paradise, the passengers sat with baited breath hungry not only for food but also to find out what Miss Marble had discovered - she seemed so certain she knew the identity of the killer.

Miss Marble: “ I hope everyone enjoyed their meal ….one thing is certain you will never taste a meal like that again!”

Eira Ray: “ That soup was delicious Omar….what was it called?”

Omar God: “ Cleopatra’s Soup….a bowl fit for a Queen on the Nile!”

Jane Dough: “ It was so moreish ….if only my husband was still alive ….he would badger you for the recipe with his rolling pin cocked!”

Lens Scrafter: “ I have travelled the World …been on cruises on the Panama Canal and through the Amazon from Manaus to Puerto Rico but I have never tasted anything so divine….it even beats our home grown five star restaurants of McDonalds & KFC !”

Nile Rogers: “ If my new wife can cook anything like meal I will be a happy man….only this morning I asked her how she wanted her eggs this morning and she replied….Fertilised!”

Chic Rogers: “Omar God…what is the secret ingredient?”

Omar God: “ Ah…now I recognise that voice…I thought you were calling my name from the Honeymoon Suite earlier on!”

Miss Marble: “ If Omar reveals his secret he would have to kill you all as it goes back millennia- he calls it Gordon Ramses Soup because he says everyone swears by it!”

Phil Le Delphia: “ Well Miss Marble don’t keep us in suspense any longer…who amongst us is the murderer?”

Miss Marble: “ I will give you a few minutes to digest things!”The entire table started to belch & burp- just as is the Arab custom when I good Mcmeal has been provided.

Miss Marble: “ Oh that’s easy….it was me all along!” she said leaving go of her zimmer andwalking upright like Keyser Soze at the end of the film the Usual Suspects.Phil Le Delphia clutches at his throat as one by one do each of the passengers.

Miss Marble: “ Omar here and I set up this little venture three years ago now…we lure people to Egypt….take their passports and credit cards and bury their bodies in the Sudanese desert ….the soup you all ate contained a secret ingredient alright…deadly venom from theEgyptian Asp …the kind that killed Cleopatra 2000 years ago …if you had bothered to learn the Egyptian language you would have discovered that Dhabihah means ‘slaughterhouse’in Islamic - the ritual slaughter of multiple animals at the same time!’

Phil Le Delphia : “ But they know our whereabouts at the Hotel!” struggling to talk for the first time in his life before gurling and choking.

Miss Marble : “My friends at the Kempinski Nile Hotel will swear they never saw you and the US and British Embassies don’t care ….ask Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe…when you meet her in the after- life!”

Dr De’ath: “ That explains it….as his head dropped to the table….I wondered why the trave lbrochure was called the Book of the Dead !”

Miss McMarble: “ Deaf initly!”

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On The Job

By Ceri Shaw, 2023-03-11

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“Good afternoon and thank you for finally attending this Job Start Interview!” Said the Civil Servant.

“You’re welcome Mr Isious!” replied the attendee politely-reading the name badge on the Official- with all the charm of a gentleman that had been to Gordonstoun and then Dartmouth Naval College.

“ Mr Andrew Albert Christian Edward Windsor I presume,…do you have any photographic identification on you to prove this fact?” asked the former DSS snooper.

“Sorry…one doesn’t carry a wallet around with me…money is vulgar…hang on …One has a photograph of oneself flying a helicopter in the Falklands War …would that suffice…is that what you are Sea King?” Asked the eighth in line to the throne of England, passing over a tattered old Kodak snapshot, now yellowing with age.

“Not really but it will have to do…don’t forget you won’t be allowed to vote at the next General Election without proper identification documents you know!” replied the know -it - all Government employee reading from the YouGov site.

“ So why is one here….is one in trouble?” asked the disgraced Royal.

“Not compared to recent events….you are here because officially you have not worked since 2002 when you left the Navy!” Replied the jobsworth.

“That’s 21 years to be precise and you are only aged 63 and therefore still of an age that you are eligible to work!” He continued.

The Duke of York gulped nervously but didn’t sweat it.

“So according to our Government records, you are receiving State benefit from the Sovereign Grant , formerly the Civil List, to the tune of £250,000.00 ….the question is are you actively looking for work?” the interviewer said looking over his bifocal glasses.

“Well ….stuttered the Prince….my Mother has only recently died …!” 

“That was over six months ago in September 2022!” Continued the Questioner.

“And what about the previous two decades….were you just F***ing about?” asked the Civil Servant turning very uncivil.

“Look…one told that BBC Lady, Emily Mattress,  in my other interview that one doesn’t  drink coffee and therefore haven’t been anywhere near a Maxwell House!” denied the Duke.

“So what exactly have you been doing since your last recorded job in 1982?” Asked Mr Icious.

“Do you have a first name ?” Asked Andrew.

“Of course…it’s Malcolm!” Replied the Government Employee.

“May one call you Mal?….Mr Icious?” Queried the Duke.

“Most certainly NOT!” Replied the Job Centre Plus Interviewer.

“This is a formal interview to determine if you deserve to continue to receive handouts from the state!” He continued.

“So other than playing around with your chopper for two decades…what exactly have you been doing?”

“Well…one has been waving a lot …!” replied the Royal with absolute sincerity.

The interviewer furrowed his brow and stared at the Duke.

“Mainly from the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia…!” he stuttered.

“ Do you know the song a life on the ocean ‘wave’ is better than going to sea?” Said the posh boy.

“Is that why you are called Handy Andy then?….I thought it was for a different reason!” said Malcolm turning the Royal colour Purple, apoplectic with rage.

“Well we both sponge money off the Taxpayer don’t we?” Said Andrew trying to find ‘common’ ground with the commoner.

“ You mean as a civil servant I am obliged to accept a below inflation pay award and work till I am 67 …five years longer than any Frenchman …whilst you live the life of Riley….it’s complete nonsense!”

“Some would say nonce-sense actually!” Replied the Sniggerer.

“And don’t mention Frogmore please….it’s still a sore point with my family!” 

“So are you claiming too for any dependents?” Asked the Interviewer.

“Yes, for one’s daughters Beatrice &  Eugenie !” The Royal outcast said.

“ And how old they…are they still in school or full time education?” Malcolm pressed harder.

“Let me see Beatrice is 34 and Eugenie 32 and of course Sarah my other dependent is 63!” Andrew continued.

“Don’t any of them have their own jobs?” Asked Malcolm absolutely flabbergasted.

After three long minutes of laughing from Andrew he replied “Are you serious?”

Looking around the whitewashed walls of the Windsor Job Centre, he uttered.

“Come on…who set this up ….Michael McIntyre or Ant n Dec?”

“Can’t be Jeremy Beadle….he is no longer about after all!”

“This isn’t a laughing matter, Mr Windsor…I am here to make sure that you find work or we stop your State ‘benefit’ like everyone else in this Country!” said the official in a more Mal Icious tone.

“So what skills do you have?” Asked Malcolm.

Andrew racked his brain and repeated “Waving?”

“There are several job opportunities available working in the Pizza Express Woking Branch….do you know it?” asked the Interviewer.

“No!” Replied the Duke immediately.

“Never been there in my life….oops…on second thoughts one went there with one’s daughter on the night that one DIDN’T go to Tramp nightclub…!”

“What perks do you get ?”

“Well it is a bit like the Hooters restaurants they have in Canada and the US with young girls serving in skimpy outfits only with different ‘toppings!” said Malcolm luring the new Prince of Darkness in to bite.


The Duke was now leaning forward at the desk.

Malcolm lifted the telephone up and spoke into it.

“Susan…would you be good enough to bring me in the Pizza Express bakery job application forms for the Woking branch….you will find them under the 

P- Dough File!” 

Andrew looked suspiciously at the Official he had heard that word chanted a lot when he was in Buckingham Palace ever since he had innocently paid Three Million Pounds to a charity suggested by a girl he had never met.

“You are aware that the allegations about One and Miss Go Free were never proved in a Court of Law do you? said the Duke rather testily.

“Not my concern really!” Said Malcolm.

“Do you know why One did that free interview with Emily Mattress?” Countered Andrew.

“Former BBC reporter Martin Bashir rang up the Palace claiming he had further evidence….bloody phoney wank statements….how dull does he think one is? …Princess Diana or something?” raged Andrew.

“Oh ‘hang on’….there is also an International Job going as a prison officer at the New York Correctional Centre….sounds like money for old rope…!”said Malcolm looking at his computer screen.

“ Are you still allowed to visit the United States ….?” challenged Malcolm.

“Come to think of it….One does have a lot of Air Miles left on One’s frequent flyer account to Palm Beach , Florida….but on second thoughts best not to go there again…you know with all those selfies of people One has never actually met….!”mused Andrew.

“Sauna Tester in IKEA in Kyrgyzstan?” proffered Malcolm.

“You could do that no sweat!”

The evil eye from the Royal followed.

“Why does one have to get a job anyway …surely with all those people coming over in those small boats ….they need a job more than One does…after all…One’s ancestors created the British Empire especially for people who DO have the ability to break sweat….!” Replied the Royal in a posh voice.

“Oh they are fast tracked to Rwanda these days…so the Post-Brexit fruit is still rotting in the fields without anyone to pick it!” said Malcolm.

“Do you fancy a try?….after all you have a plum in your mouth most of the time anyway!” He continued.

Andrew leaned in and whispered

“One thinks we both know that neither One nor One’s family are ever going to do REAL work as we are too important to the British economy given the amount we bring in from tourism?” Replied Not so Handy.

“How much is that a year?”asked Mal.

“19 Million Pinds!” said the Royal gurning with the pronunciation.

“And the cost to the tax payer for the Sovereign Grant ?” questioned the Interviewer.

“Don’t know or care!” Said Andrew churlishly.

“It’s amazing what you can find on the internet especially with a Freedom of Information form these days…..try £369 Million give or take a few clocks…!” Replied the clear Republican.

“ So what is your point exactly?” Asked the peeved Royal feeling more exposed than Prince Harry at a Las Vegas pool party.

“Everyone in Britain must now pay their way or get deported to Rwanda!” said Mal 

“That’s the most ridiculous thing one has ever heard!” said Andy channelling the late Kenny Everett.

“What about Stanley Johnson up for a knighthood?” asked Mal the inquisitor.

“Point taken!” sniggered Andy.

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Badger Honour

By Ceri Shaw, 2023-03-07


Merlyn Hawke was a predator.

A sick one at that.

He was the ultimate Zooadist- he hated all animals -except that is his two hunting dogs, a lurcher called Addams and a Jack Russell Terrier, named Nipper, because that’s what he did to his Ex-Wife.

Merlyn had a small kennel on some land he had pinched from the Commoners Association on the Penygarnddu Common near Dowlais Top.

He had always been an outdoorsman, with his wrinkled and weathered face making him look much older than his actual  65 years of age.

Merlyn had always enjoyed causing pain to animals, his earliest memory was of his father, Buzzard, encouraging him at the age of four to throw stones at the multitude of rats that inhabited the open sewer of the Morlais Brook, that ran down from Dowlais through Penydarren, carrying the effluent and pollution from a population ravaged by Industrial pollution.

At six, he had already learned the dark art of shooting tree sparrows with his Diana SP50 slug gun.

He enjoyed burning insects with matches and cutting worms in half with a scissors and watching try to regenerate before cutting them in half again.

It was no surprise then that as an adult, he become involved in the local fox hunting scene, not for the Boxing Day pomp and ceremony but he was first to admit for him it was purely to see a defenceless animal ripped apart by a pack of bloodthirsty hounds.

They say that evil isn’t born but made.

Merlyn Hawke appeared to be the exception to this rule.

Merlyn didn’t live like most people in 2023, he lived off the grid- he had made himself a bivouac out of branches and lived off the land in the Taf Fechan Woodland Area.

He had few Earthly possessions but despite this fact he had booby trapped the area around his makeshift home with bear traps to foil the unwary.

His eco-home blended into the woodland with only a Stephen King -style Red Indian ‘Dreamcatcher’ the only evidence of his existence on Planet Earth.

Merlyn didn’t believe in the concept of money- to him it was just a legal fiction- designed to keep the lower classes in economic slavery- he had what he needed from Mother Nature by way of food, foraging for nuts, berries and mushrooms and of course meat from rabbits, voles and fish when he could get them.

He had modelled himself on the Sylvester Stallone character, John J Rambo although without the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Merlyn had never claimed a single penny but spent many a penny marking his scent on the proliferation of hawthorn bushes and ash trees in and around the Taf Fechan River.

Just like a bear, he too shat in the woods and wiped his caked arse on the Dock leaves that were in abundance in his little valley.

Merlyn avoided society like the plague, had never had any form of inoculation as his late parents had not believed in them.

Surprisingly, Merlyn had rarely been ill since he left school at 11 , mainly due to his lack of contact with other humans especially since his estrangement from his ‘wife’, Jane.

They weren’t married in the eyes of the law, but had followed his parents traditions by ‘jumping the broom’ together.

It did however, confuse the Hell out of the Council Street Cleaner.

Merlyn had decided that his dogs were much more reliable and trustworthy than humans and certainly far more loyal.

When they went hunting together, he always ensured that the dogs got a fair share of any catch- both in terms of meat and the marrow from the bones too.

Nipper was very partial to rabbit stew and he would place a bowl out for him once it had sufficiently cooled after transfer from his big metal stewpot.

Merlyn had recently found a little human companionship with a local lad, formerly of Romany extract.

He had taught Merlyn the delights of eating hedgehogs and of course their use as a toothpick.

His name was Perry, which was short for Peregrine and Merlyn had experienced great delight in taking him under his wing.

They both enjoyed hunting together taking Nipper & Addams on long walks to pastures new.

Perry had his own pet , a tame ferret called Flusher- which he had so-named after finding him in an outdoor toilet when he was a kid.

Flusher lived in a side pocket of his camouflage trousers and went everywhere with Perry in his trews.

He still lived with his elderly 40 year old Grandmother, on the caravan park at Glynmil situated between two busy roads on the Slip Road.

He knew that soon he would have to find new ‘digs’ because it was a Romany tradition to burn out the wooden didicoi after the owner had died.

Today, Merlyn & Perry had been up to the kennels early, as they had planned to go hunting together near Brecon and it would be a long days haul, as neither of them drove or possessed a car for any purpose.

As usual the pair followed the line of the River as they headed North.

Not far from Talybont, the dogs picked up the scent of an animal and began to turn in a circle to notify Merlyn of this fact.

They knew that hunting rabbits and small mammals was allowed but certain creatures were off-limits with their dogs, especially when it came to foxes.

Not that the pair had any reservations about the fact- as they would do so undetected anyway.

Lurcher Addams had the keenest nose of the canines - a fact that Merlyn boasted about -claiming that his dog could smell a rabbit fart from five miles away-as long as Perry wasn’t upwind of course.

The pair of dogs took off at speed, as they hurtled up the valley and then pounded up a steep embankment in search of the source.

Perry ran after them but Merlyn being more advanced in years was a lot less light footed.

The pair had stopped near a large hole with the entrance partially obscured by ferns and bracken.

Addams and Nipper were now being restrained by their collars, as they we’re definitely onto something.

Barking and hollering at the hole.

Merlyn suspected that it wasn’t a Warren but couldn’t be certain as to what creature the dogs were sensing.

The hole was larger than an otter’s holt and probably too far away from the river in any event.

He turned to Perry and asked his opinion.

“Not sure ….but I suggest we send Flusher here on a scouting mission!” Said the youngster.

Reaching into the side pocket of his camouflaged trews, he lifted the little mammal out very carefully.

He knew from experience that the little member of the weasel family possessed tiny but very sharp teeth.

Sharper teeth than the zip of the second hand pair of knock-off Levi jeans that he once found in a bin that had taken his foreskin off.

Boy did he curse the bastard that had shat in them and then dumped them.

He lifted Flusher to the hole and he merrily made his way inside.

Flusher wasn’t normally scared of anything.

He had once dispatched eights rats in less than five minutes when he had entered the Waterloo House culvert near Penyard.

The camp had eaten well that night.

Even if the young uns had asked as to why their hedgehog tasted a bit funny.

Perry had laughed it off under the cover of a joke, where two cannibals were in the process of cooking a circus clown.

They agreed that also had tasted ‘funny’ too.

Flusher disappeared from view but suddenly returned as he retreated backwards out of the hole- such an event Perry had not witnessed before.

It literally was a ‘reverse ferret’.

Strange thought Perry.

“I’ll send in Nipper!” said Merlyn.

In through the dark earthen hole went the Jack Russell only to come back out missing his collar and half of his ear.

“Jesus…what’s in there?” Said Merlyn looking aghast at Perry.

It was Addams turn to try and flush out the occupant.

Initially, the second dog made some progress, but being much bigger in size and more muscular, the Lurcher got trapped in the burrow and had to be dragged out by his back legs with blood dripping from his face having been attacked by something.

“Your turn!” said Merlyn barking out an order to his young human companion.

Perry, not being the sharpest tool in the box, felt ‘under pressure’ and despite the obvious risk to his health decided he would squeeze up the narrow tunnel and see what critter was inside for himself.

Like an Egyptian pyramid tomb raider, Perry shuffled his way up the passageway - he was not bothered about being covered in grime or insects -after all he was of Romany stock- but he was apprehensive about what he might be facing.

With a miniature torch in his mouth, he crawled along the earthy tunnel like Charles Branson in the Film the Great Escape-as he reached the end he peered inside and was shocked to see its occupants.

He immediately retreated narrowly avoiding the swipe of a set of razor sharp claws on the end of a furry paw.

Shuffling backwards he made it out of the burrow far quicker than he had entered.

Merlyn was desperate to know what he had encountered.

“Th…th…there is a Q..Q…Queen in there!” Stuttered Perry.

“Queen?…..there are bees in there?” Asked Merlyn looking puzzled.

“No …that bloke from Queen was in there….the one with the frizzy hair and an electric guitar!” Replied Perry.

“How the Hell did he get IN THERE?” Asked Merlyn.

“ How the Hell did he get on the Buckingham Palace roof to play God save the Queen?…I don’t know that either?” Replied Perry.

Merlyn decided the only way forward was that he must investigate the opening for himself.

Perhaps his gypsy friend had eaten too many magic mushrooms and was hallucinating?

As he crawled along the narrow tunnel he began to feel jittery, he was never good with enclosed spaces - he stopped a foot or so before the end of the crawl space and peered into the wider chamber and as his eyes adjusted to the underground gloom, he was shocked to see a rather cavernous drop and even more shocked to discover humans sitting there anticipating his arrival.

There was the original guitar hero, Brian May from Queen and alongside him sat Mike Batt staring back at him with ‘Bright Eyes’ and James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Creatures.

“What the Hell are you guys doing in here?” Asked Merlyn in disbelief.

“Protecting the badgers!” Replied May without hesitation.

“Why?” Continued Merlyn still in shock head protruding into the badger hole.

“See I did warn you….said Bradfield to Batt.

“If you tolerate this then your Wombles will be next!” warbled Bradfield.

Mike Batt just nodded in agreement.

“Aren’t you guys worried about getting tuberculosis in here?” queried Merlyn.

“The link between badgers and bovine tuberculosis has never been proven!” raged May.

“If you continue with this line of questioning….we will…we will …Brock you!” threatened the Killer Queen.

Merlyn’s eyes were suddenly drawn to the fact that there was a huge sharp badger claw rigged on a booby trap wire above his head.

“More importantly what were YOU doing sending your dogs into a badger hole…I believe they call it ….badger baiting? “queried Queen Brian.

In the narrow confines of his earthy coffin, Merlyn found it hard to shake his head in faux denial- as he attempted to do so- loose soil fell from the tunnel ceiling onto his face causing him to appear to nod accidentally, as he tried to dodge the dust.

“Get Sett Go!” shouted May and the claw swished across the aperture and with a direct hit scratched both of Merlyn’s eyeballs at once damaging his optic nerves as it went.

The Hunter had now become the hunted.

“You bastards….,” Merlyn screamed as the blood began to fill up in his eyes.

“ Another one bites the dust!” laughed May and Bradfield ‘manically’

“ Karma is a bitch!” spat back blind as a Batt- Merlyn….” I’ll be back with more female dogs and sort you do gooders out once and for all!” 

“Don’t stop me now!….the show must go on!” May sung theatrically, as he applied a giant mole thumper to the trespasser’s head….shooting Merlyn out of the hole quicker than Mercury.

As the huntsman flew past Perry even the two dogs were silent.

The only faint sound audible to both human and canine alike came from the hole and was a trio singing

“We are the Champions ….of the Worms!”

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

A Big Thumbs Up!

By Ceri Shaw, 2023-02-05


Elliott Thomas was a loner.

He had for the entire sixty years of his life lived with his late elderly Mother, Norma, at their remote log cabin home in the woods near Pontsticill in South Wales.

He had few human friends with his ten year old cat ‘Jonesy’, (named after the cat in the horror sci-fi film ‘Alien’ ) being his only regular companion.

Elliott loved that cat and Jonesy loved him back.

Most evenings Elliott would put his feline friend on a lead and walk him in the 

Taf Fechan woodland for the cat to do his business.

Clearly it is not just bears that shit in the woods.

One thing was certain though Elliott was not frightened of the dark- his Mother had taught him that there were no monsters under the bed and that the same things would be still there whether or not he turned the bedside lamp on or off.

Jonesy had grown accustomed to their twice daily stroll in the pine fresh clean ozone of the Brecon Beacons National Park- once in the Morning at 8am and later each night at 9pm.

Jonesy being a cat, didn’t like to defecate in his own garden but preferred to leave his faeces for someone else to step into his second hand Whiskas supermeat and share the love.

Elliott had been left comfortably off by his late parents, with his only expense being having to have his septic tank emptied once a year.

He didn’t pay Council Tax as his Property straddled the border with Merthyr and Powys and he fraudulently told both sets of Councils that was paying the other one - he felt is was unfair anyway, as if he wasn’t receiving any direct services from either in any event.

At the age of 60, he like most people in Merthyr had never held down a job but unlike the majority had never claimed any Government ‘benefits’.

Elliott spend most of his time reading old back issues of his treasured Americana, such as the now defunct ‘2000 AD’ and looking towards the Heavens with his telescope.

He didn’t possess a television set as the thick conifer and fir trees that surrounded his camouflaged cabin wouldn’t permit a terrestrial signal.

Despite it being 23 years since the title of his beloved sci-fi comic had passed it’s sell-by date- Elliott didn’t possess a mobile phone nor a landline.

He loved the concept of the future but didn’t embrace it.

His electricity and heating came via an ancient oil generator but generally speaking Elliott would turn into bed after his evening ‘catwalk’ and as soon as the sun set through his solitary West facing window.

His only contact with the outside world was the cash in hand, six monthly oil delivery and once a week the postman would deliver Mail always addressed to his late Father.

He hadn’t told anyone that his Father was dead and had assumed his identity and National Insurance Number as he was Elliott Thomas Junior.

Accordingly to official NHS records he was over 120 years of age.

There was a pile of letters from the local hospital inviting his deceased father to attend the ‘well man clinic’ which was somewhat ironic as had been dead for over 50 years, killed and buried in the woods after a single blow from a frying pan had done for him, after his Mother had accidentally killed him mistaking him for an intruder when Elliott Junior was just ten.

He had helped his Mother bury him downwind of the septic tank so as not to raise any suspicions on the rare occasion a lost rambler knocked on the cabin door.

Elliott was not just a loner- he was a Ufologist and believed that the Earth had been visited not just once by aliens but several thousand times over the last millennia believing that the purpose of the Blue Planet was as an Alien Ant Farm.

His one true friend, Mulder Rice, who had emigrated to the USA many moons ago continued to send him clippings of ‘Close Encounters’ with Alien visitors from his Roswell home in the Nevada desert near Area 51.

Elliott didn’t believe the official USA Government’s version of events from 1947 that the famous Roswell incident was in fact the remains of a weather balloon rather than the wreckage of an alien spacecraft.

He was convinced that it was all a big cover up.

Elliott was also dead jealous of Mulder’s claim that he had been abducted by grey aliens and taken up in a spacecraft.

He loved reading about the British version of Roswell - the Rendlesham Forest incident in 1980 - when various US Air Force staff witnessed strange lights around their Suffolk Airbase.

Elliott longed for his own close encounter with a creature from another planet and frequently dreamed of experiencing the same.

The young Elliott had never owned a television-only his late Father’s radio with a very limited signal which had ultimately indirectly brought about his Father’s death.

His Mother had been in the kitchen listening to a re-run of Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds from 1938 and mistakenly believed her prankster husband to be a real alien and whacked him with a Teflon Saucepan across the temple.

Poor amateur astronomer, Elliott Thomas Senior , was seeing a whole universe of unknown stars before his legs buckled from under him, dropping dead to the floor like a version of tragic Merthyr boxer Johnny Owen- only ‘Match(Non)Stick Man- hands closed like a fist.

Such a tragedy had a massive impact on the impressionable Elliott Thomas Junior, as he was instantly promoted to doing all the things ( bar one) that his Father had always done.

It is certain that if Elliott Junior was examined by a psychiatrist, then that would have explained his series of facial ticks and sudden aversion to fried foods.

But after the recent death of his Mother, Elliott’s only companion was Jonesy- the last surviving kitten of a litter of five tabbies who had been adopted by Elliott when found abandoned like Hansel & Gretel in the woods.

He had never forgotten the sound of their mewing in Owl’s Grove and often woke up in a sweat as to what their fate would have been if he hadn’t taken them in that Autumn night.

Every since, Elliott always checked the area around the car park for any strays because he had heard innocently from the local Postman that it was a known ‘dogging’ spot.

Just like the disciples of a Judas goat, Elliott was easily led- except went it came to his body.

Elliott stared at the pile of letters but like most men of PeterPan persuasion, he didn’t want to accept the inevitable in that he was aging quickly.

Nowadays, whilst waiting to urinate at his makeshift wooden toilet, he had become conscious that it was taking longer and longer for his ‘engine’ to start.

And once he was in midstream , he was like Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind in that he had started so he would have to finish.

Unbeknownst to Elliott, he had an enlarged prostate and it was interrupting his rite of passage.

But contrary to posthumous advice from the late comedian Bob Monkhouse,  Elliott was too proud and too scared to have the simple test.

He believed stringently that it was purely an exit and not an entry hole.

Unlike the rock band , Led Zeppelin, he didn’t agree with going ‘in through the out door’.

It was nearly 9pm and Jonesy the cat was rubbing his body against his master’s legs - a sign he was ready to lay some cable.

Elliott grabbed his late father’s Gannex raincoat, last in fashion when Harold Wilson was Labour Prime Minister in the Seventies, put Jonesy on his lead and the pair set off in the direction of Owl’s Grove.

****************************** *(**

“Pass me the paste brush!” ordered PC Wolf Blass of his partner.

Constable Isaac Haynes reached onto the floor of the ‘Jam Sandwich’ police car and dipped the brush into the bucket of Solvite.

Holding onto the paste brush, Wolf Blass grasped the sticky bristles before dropping it on the floor next to the lighting column.

“Nice one!” He moaned, as he rubbed the excess paste onto the grey concrete upright.

He picked up the brush and pasted the Police Notice onto the lighting column next to the Red Cow Public House in Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil.

The headline read:

Police Notice:

Missing Hitchhiker, Woody Stock last seen in this village on Friday May 4th.

Anyone with information please ring Crimestoppers on 666.

There was a photograph of the missing hiker replete in his Hippy outfit taken from his drug arrest charge sheet from Glastonbury Festival 2022.

“666 is that the number for the Australia Police force?’ Asked Haynesy the detective.

“Printer Error …I ‘suspect’…but probably the reason we haven’t yet had any public calls at HQ!” Replied Wolf Blass.

“Went missing on Star Wars day too!” declared Haynesy.

“Star Wars day?” Asked Wolf Blass scratching his policeman’s helmet then his hat too.

“May the 4th!” Replied Haynesy.

“Huh?” Said Wolf Blass not following the reference.

“May the Force be with you? Said Haynesy quoting Obi Wan-Kenobi.

“The Force is always with us?” Queried Wolf Blass still lost in the conversation.

“Never mind….no wonder you didn’t make it to detective grade!” puffed an exasperated Haynesy.

“Perhaps we should consider putting up posters when we retire as a part-time job!” suggested Wolf Blass.

“Become Bill Stickers, you mean?” queried Haynsey.

“ We could call it ‘Old Bill’ Stickers?” He chuckled sarcastically before eating the last of his KFC mega bucket.


About two miles away in the woodland glade near Owl’s Grove, Elliott was excited he could see flashing multi-coloured lights ahead and he knew instinctively that it wasn’t Mr Whippy the usual ice cream van at this time of night.

Tying Jonesy’s leash to a thin sapling, he approached stealthily hoping not to startle the diminutive occupants of the spacecraft, who had descended down the metal steps and gone into the woods.

As he approached he suddenly noticed an unusual smell not normally encountered in the backwoods of Powys.

Unbeknownst to him, it was the Gallifreyan version of chloroform and by the time he had worked it out he was suddenly dropping unconscious to the forest floor.

****************************** ****

“That’s the last poster finished….shall we go back to the station or do you want to chance a visit to Owl’s Grove  to see if that Ice Cream Van is still there!” Asked Wolf Blass.

“ Do they still do alcoholic ice cream?” Asked Haynsey.

“Yes…they do Police ‘special’ versions with 999 flakes…!” Replied Wolf Blass also desperate for a fix.

“Owl’s Grove it is then!” Hands on the wheel trembling with delirium tremens.

****************************** ***

Elliott came round from his enforced slumber and found himself strapped to a medical table.

He was experiencing ‘fifty shades of grey’ alien.

He glanced around the interior of the spacecraft and noticed huge transparent glass cylinders around the perimeter containing many specimens of animal species all floating in a clear liquid.

Suddenly, his nose detected a familiar pungent perfume-like aroma.

Petunia Oill or Junkie Juice to give it its colloquial name.

He turned his head to his right and could see that there was another human male wearing a dirty yellow bandana, a CND tee-shirt and faded blue denim jeans.

He looked out of it - but he gave the impression from his outfit that he was always out of it.

Suddenly, a metallic door slid open and three grey aliens with huge saucer-shaped black eyes and three elongated thumb-like fingers entered the room.

The adjacent Hippy suddenly came alive.

“Not again!” He screamed at the diminutive creatures.

Elliott suddenly began to regret his lifelong ambition to be abducted.

“The name’s Elliott Thomas !” Said the nervous captive trying his best to extend a hand of friendship from Earth to the rest of the Universe from his restrained position.

One of the Aliens ticked off a sheet of paper bizarrely marked NHS with his middle finger.

“ET …I would phone Home if I was you!” Warned the Hippie.

“I don’t have a landline or a mobile !” Replied Elliott.

Suddenly, the table he was lying down on parted and his legs were spread in opposite directions as his lower body was raised.

He could feel his lower garments being removed telepathically and no sooner than they were at half mast then the middle finger of the lead alien began to glow and light up.

The table then turned 45 degrees, so Elliott was now facing the hippie and the smell of Petunia Oil mixed with Body Odour became overwhelming.

The glowing alien thumb like finger then entered Elliott’s rectum and began to burn all as it went higher and higher into the body cavity.

All Elliott could manage to say was:

“Does this mean we’re engaged?

The Alien scribbled something onto the sheet of headed paper before a computer in the corner of the room went into overdrive with more flashing bulbs than a celebrity on a Hollywood red carpet.

“Be Good Elliott…your prostate is fine…but you need to drop 35 pounds…you’re fat!” declared the lead Alien whose white name badge showed he was called Woo.

“Doctor Woo from Gallifrey?” queried Elliott as the straps began to undo untouched by any hand -human nor alien.

“Og ot eerf er’uoY!” Said Woo as Elliott was propelled slowly backwards towards the metal steps.

Elliott had never really reversed himself before, as the Time Lord disappeared from sight as he involuntarily backed out of the spacecraft.

As he reached the sapling still holding Jonesy the cat captive, he was astonished that time seemed to go in reverse.

Jonesy was even more in shock than his human master, especially as the shit he had just laid a few Earth minutes earlier had shot back up his furry feline arse.

The pair then moonwalked backwards like Paedo Pan of Pop, Michael Jackson being led to his cabin by Bubbles the Chimpanzee for their Honeymoon night.

The Spacecraft then simply took off at high speed into the night sky heading in the direction of Exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b.

A few minutes after, the cops arrived at the copse only to be disappointed that the ice cream was no longer in situ.

They were surprised to see however a cat taking its owner for a backward walk on a leash in the woods.

The pair decided that such an unusual event was worthy of further investigation- as they only really walked backwards after a heavy session on the beer at the Merthyr Rugby Club.

As discreetly as two 25 stone policemen could be, the pair followed paw patrol by car until they were forced to park up and follow breathlessly on foot.

Jonesy knew the way back to the log cabin backwards - which was good really - as to the untrained human eye he was in fact leading his human master back to his log cabin home.


At the Queen Camilla Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, the Computer in the Proctology Department run by Artifecal Intelligence (AI) burst into life…printing a series of ‘semi- colons’ and colons on the NHS pages marked Elliott Thomas Senior.

Prostate check complete.

Enlarged but not cancerous it concluded.

The report was torn off and then filed by a Filipino Nurse under T.

Jeremy Hunt’s  much lauded reduction in NHS waiting times using  

private ‘illegal aliens’ had worked to the disappointment of small craft watcher Nigel Farage.


Outside the log cabin the pair of detectives lay in the undergrowth eating the last remnants of their sirloin sandwiches.

They were on stakeout.

“Right…do you want to be good or bad cop this time?” Asked Wolf Blass.

The pair made their way to the cabin door and rapped on the wood.

Inside the cabin, the time warp had rectified itself and Elliott was now moving forward    once again.

As he opened the door, Jonesy slipped outside.

He was desperate to offload his recycled log having been trapped in the environment of the non-log cabin.

It didn’t possess a cat flap but his furry arse did.

He was so desperate to go he could only reach the septic tank area before evacuating his bowels.

“Can I help you Officers?” asked Elliott- face ticking nervously like he held a guilty secret.

“Have you seen this man recently?” Asked Wolf Blass holding up a sticky paper poster.

“ Yes…that’s Colonel Saunders!” replied Elliott innocently.

Haynsey tugged at the front of the KFC wrapper that had become stuck to the front of the Missing Person poster.

“Sorry…not him…HIM …Woody Stock !” Wolf Blass said apologetically holding up the photograph of the Hippie.

Unbeknown to Elliott everything that had happened to him on the flying saucer had been deleted from his memory banks.

“No…!” denied Elliott believing that statement to be true.

“ If you can remember Woody Stock you weren’t REALLY there!’ Quipped Elliott half recalling the strange alien hippy encounter.

Haynsey’s attention was now drawn to where Jonesy was frantically digging trying to cover his shit in his own back yard.

“He was last seen hitchhiking in the nearby village of Pontsticill!” continued the unrelenting Bad Cop, instinctively smelling a deception and second handed petunia oil.

“Sorry …but I don’t drive or own a car!” replied Elliott.

“Are you trying to point the finger at me?” he continued.

Haynsey then pulled his partner’s shoulder and turned him in the direction of the cat and the septic tank area.

Poking through the mud was a bony male thumb.


Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Tanks-very much

By Ceri Shaw, 2023-01-31


“Did you forget something from last time?” Asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Disgraced Former-British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, held out the hand he had previously offered to COVID patients in 2020 expecting the President to grasp it.

He declined.

“What do you want Boris?…..did you come to Ukraine to claim ‘Non-Dom’ status like some of your former Cabinet colleagues?” continued the President in impeccable English.

“Don’t mention that weasel Cummings to me!” replied Boris, still stung by the previous back stabbing from his former aide.

“Are you in trouble again and want to distract the public attention?” Asked the wise President.

“Boris….isn’t that a Russian name…as in Boris Johnson, whose Conservative Party have had multiple donations from Russian oligarchs and likes to play tonsil tennis with their wives?” Interrupted former World Heavyweight boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko.

“Not that one….so honoured to meet you though ….always been a big fan of the Klit !” said Boris switching his hand toward the pugilist.

The handshake was once more declined.

“Friend of two beards …Lord Lebedev of Hampton & Siberia?” continued the boxer.

“Shall I punch his lights out Mr President….we ARE supposed to be in blackout!”

Zelenskyy raised his hand for the Southpaw threat to stop.

“Look at that Chicken Kyiv…he is shaking more than a Russian conscript holding a Molotov cocktail!” Continued Klitschko.

“ Did you bring any tanks with you?” Asked the President.

“No …but I assure you that they are on order….I did however bring a few jars containing tomatoes for your civilians to continue taking down those pesky Russian drones!” Said Boris still shaking like Matt Hancock having a cupboard knee- trembler.

“ You shouldn’t have gone to the trouble!” Said Zelenskyy sarcastically.

“No trouble…I put it on my parliamentary expenses anyway!”

“We have invited ‘Biden’ to the Feast - to finally win the Cold War for the West!…surely then we will get our wish to join the United Nations, NATO and the European Union?” Said Zelenskyy hopefully.

“Of course!” replied the professional liar.

Boris looked more sheepish than a Welsh Hill Farmer.

“Sleepy Joe has agreed to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to add to the German offer of 14 Leopard Tanks so we can decimate the out-dated Russian T72, T80 and T90 tanks on the battlefield and reclaim Donbas & Crimea from Putin the Great Bear!” The Ukrainian President announced triumphantly.

“ And make him more like ‘Winnie the Pooh-tin’ when you, the Victorious Ukrainian Paddington ‘peppers the pigs’ with tank shells?” Replied Boris trying to play to the crowd with his usual unintelligible drivel.

“Any chance you could close the crack in that ‘Iron Curtain’ over there ….as the orange flames from the missile fires are blindsiding me more than Keir Starmer at the dispatch box?”  pleaded the former PM.

“So exactly when will we receive the promised British Challenger 2 tanks, so we can make UK Rain with them ?” demanded Zelenskyy.

“ Or even copy Flybe and impose a no fly zone over our Country!” 

“It will have to be after the release of the Russia Report, the Sue Gray Partygate Enquiry and of course, the inquiry into how so many Gangster Russians have entered the Upper Chamber- the inquiry into the Soviet ‘Crimea’ Lords if you like…!” Continued Boris.

“That goes against the grain!” Replied Zelenskyy.

“Is that a veiled food threat ?” Asked Boris.

“My former KGB contact…oops sorry …that evil Vlad the impaler Putin threatened me too recently ….he offered to send me on a cruise - I thought marvellous…another freebie holiday….but sadly he was referring to the missile !” 

“Did you have any witnesses present to corroborate that claim?” Asked Zelenskyy.

“”Of course not…but you can ask my former editor of the Times Newspaper or Tory grandees Michael Howard and Michael Gove….I never fabricate stories or lie…!” protested Boris.

“Back to the original question Boris….when will we get the Challenger 2 tanks?” Ordered  Zelenskyy 

“Well, the Challenger 2 tanks will take some time but we have some tanks we can offer immediately - they are the Ajax tanks built in the original Donetsk -in the South Wales Valleys!” offered Boris.

“ They are ready to ‘rumble!’ he continued.

“ I have heard of that place….Hughesovska Tydfil ….on a Friday and Saturday nights it is more of a war zone than Ukraine…It is the amateur boxing capital of Wales especially near the Kooler nightclub…I fear to go there on my own!” Said Klitschko.

“Rumble’ alright….those tanks are reputed to suffer excessive noise and vibration and have a top speed of 20mph and no reverse gear !… military advisers have told me they are about as useful as PPE from a Conservative Party Fast track company!” Complained Zelenskyy.

“But what you do is to ‘Putin’ your older more deafer Tank Commanders in them from the Ukrainian equivalent of the Walmington-on -Sea Dad’s Army Home Guard- the most expendable ones…like we did with Liz Truss and hide the better tanks behind them…!” Said Boris.

“Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?” Asked Zelenskyy.

“ I prefer the comparison to Winston Churchill if you don’t mind!” Replied Boris.

“ He wanted to ‘Nuke’ Russia too …if my reading of history on Wikipedia is correct!” said Zelenskyy.

“And ordered the British Army to open fire on his own people- the Tonypandy miners!” Interjected Klitschko.

“Yes …but at least we Brits are more decent …it’s not like we would ever invade the Crimea like the Russians did in 2014!” declared Boris.

“Now that operation would be ‘unthinkable’! “ said Zelenskyy taking the piss.

“Would you take a bullet for your leader?” Asked Klitschko beating his chest.

“For Rishi Sunak?” Chortled Boris.

“ I would die for my Country like thousands of my countrymen have before me!” said the patriotic boxer.

“ I NEARLY died for my Country when I caught COVID in 2020….in my own version of the Cold War….does that count?” Replied the narcissist serial shagger.

“No!” Said Zelenskyy bluntly.

“Sign this commitment to Ukraine!” Ordered  Klitschko.

Boris took one look at the paper containing lots of clauses all written in a foreign language and grabbed a pen.

“ I don’t do detail….as the Brexit deal and the Northern Ireland Protocol proves!”

“Us True Blue Conservatives are diametrically opposed to ‘red tape’ !” boasted Boris.

“ I assume ‘shchytok tila’ means ‘Free Trade Agreement’ in Ukrainian?” laughed Boris knowing that he had no mandate to act on behalf of the British people anyway- in the exact same way that two of his successors Prime Ministers have.

“There….I have signed it….it’s all there in black n white…or more precisely in blue & yellow!……now where can I find those Babushk’s?…I too want to get inside those Russian dolls!”  

“ Shchytok Tila means ‘body shield’ in English in the same way Lonsdale means below the belt in Boxing!” replied Klitschko.

Boris looked more worried than the time Wife Carrie cracked his laptop password.

“Congratulations President you have your Churchill Tank after all!”

Posted in: Humor | 3 comments

Going Spare

By Ceri Shaw, 2023-01-28

“Oh Harry.. you are so gullible!” Protested his Wife, Meghan lying alongside him in the purple Heather of the Balmoral Estate.

“ I’m not meant to be a gull ….I am meant to be a chicken!” His Former Highness snapped back.

The two were dressed in blue and white bird outfits that Meghan had borrowed from a Hollywood backdrop of the Gene Wilder film ‘Stir Crazy’.

“Let me have a look at that invitation again!” she demanded.

He handed her the expensive card with its emboldened heading.

“ It’s not the RSPB ….it’s RSVP which means respondez s’il vous plait - you idiot-!” Meghan complained.

“ Well it does say it is a surprise party for Dada…and that it is Fancy Dress too!” Harry replied.

“Well it WILL be a surprise when you and I turn up …I mean they had to invite us but they don’t REALLY want us there, after your revelations in your book Spare now do they?” Said Meghan.

“Yes…it is almost as if we have become the ‘black sheep’ of the Royal family!” Said Harry sarcastically.

“Fuck Off Ginger!” came the Princess-like reply.

“Look it says here that we are to come on foot - use the tradesman’s entrance- the one Sammy Davis Junior had to use - to prevent any unnecessary press intrusion for a the event-low key after the expensive Coronation in May …it is the correct date is it?” She continued with the attitude of a menopausal woman with haemorrhoids.

“Definitely August 12th !” Replied Harry ….”I checked that bit….it seems to ring a bell for some strange reason but I can’t remember why!” 

“This bloody outfit is too hot to wear!” Complained Meghan.

“ What are you moaning about now? I thought you being an actress would love to dress up….in fact it ‘Suits’ you!” Said Harry.

The Medusa-like stare was enough, as she began to strip down.

“What’s this?” She said seeing the sun reflect off a piece of metal in amidst the Erica.

“Careful …it could be a land mine that my late Mother was always ‘banging on’ about I witnessed a few of them I.E.D devices when I was hero in Afghanistan…have I told you about the time I killed 25 Taliban?” asked Harry.

“Me and the rest of the World …ad nauseam!” Grunted Meghan.

Harry crawled forward like a commando and began to remove the top layer of the Heather from around the metal.

“The closest you ever came was a Telly Ban from the BBC for bring ‘The Firm’ into disrepute!” Replied Harry.

“It’s okay…it is only part of a stash my late Grandmother’s Sister, Margaret kept hidden around here…look it is a full bottle of a sixty year old whiskey….!” Said a delighted Harry…

“Well we are in Glen Fiddich after all!” quipped the former actress.

“ Oh you are Nut Meg!” Said Harry.

“ You too Ginger…you too!”


The golden ceremonial coach pulled up on the gravel driveway of Balmoral Castle.

Inside was King Charles III , Camilla, Duchess of Rothmans and William- the self proclaimed Prince of Wales.

“Do you mind…there are three of us in this carriage!” protested William.

His Father having vaguely heard a similar phrase before somewhere, stopped canoodling with his former mistress and now Wife.

Dropping the King Charles Spaniels’ ears in the process.

“I thought this was meant to be a low key affair a surprise party for you away from the constant hounding of the press!” queried William looking around at the journalists and their motors parked in the grounds.

As the footman opened the day from the outside, William could make out the gargantuan shape of former Rotherham Observer journalist, Jeremy Clarkson and Former Daily Mirror Editor, Piers Morgan chatting outside the Aberdeenshire Country Pile.

“ What are THEY doing here?” asked William.

“It’s not really a surprise party….it is a way of luring your brother Harry and his ghastly bride back to Britain to sort him out once and for all…you know from his Las Vegas days that he can never resist a freebie party!” Replied his alleged Father.

“After all it is in his Hewitt blood!”

“Why is the former BBC journalist Martin Bashir here too?” asked William.

“Are you trying to make a statement?”

Outside, Clarkson now the owner of a Cotswold Farm and Stores was talking to the shining star of GB News.

“Haven’t seen you on TV much lately?” asked Clarkson.

“ I was headhunted by Rupert Murdoch for his new right wing Channel GB News!” Replied Piers.

“ Have you watched it?” 

“No…terrestrial television has had its day….I myself am still in the ‘Prime ‘ of my career!” Boasted the former Presenter resplendent in his Top Gear.

“If there is one thing that I love most, since I became a Class Traitor, its the advent of the Glorious Twelfth and the start of the Grouse shooting season!”  he said lifting his 12 bore shotgun onto his tweed jacketed shoulder, nearly knocking his undersized deer stalker hat off his ginormous cow head.

“What time IS lunch?” continued Clarkson.

“I know from experience you get punchy if you haven’t been fed on cheese and meat platters, so I will hack into the Chef’s mobile phone and find out…after all I wouldn’t your modern day Grand Tour to be spoilt!” Replied Piers.

“When do they expect you-know-who to turn up?” asked Clarkson.

“Well the fake invitation said to be hear before 12 Noon but you know those actresses  they like to make a grand entrance and steal the limelight!” Replied Piers.

“Where did you get the personalised barbour jacket from ?” Asked Jeremy noticing the letter MORON written on the back.

“The Head Gamekeeper gave it to me- apparently the late Duke of Edinburgh used to keep this spare in case I ever showed up….I didn’t receive a gong off him during his lifetime …..I was hoping to be named as Piers of the Realm …but even so I deeply honoured!” Replied Piers.

Clarkson sniggered knowing he had one up on the know-it-all former GMTV presenter.

The shooting party headed for the stables heated by a concessionary cold weather payment from Chancellor, Nadia Zahawi.


“Oh Mellors, Mellors take me!” Cried Meghan orgasimically , as she stood upright against a tree being ravaged by her husband.

“ Are you fantasising again about Tory MP David Mellor?” Asked Harry.

“ No …it is a scene from my new big budget movie Lady Chatterley’s Ginger and just like me …coming soon to Netflix!” She groaned.

“ Time for a third one, as we already have a boy called Archie and a girl called Lilibet it would be nice to have a mixed one and call it after your Uncle Edward!” Meghan continued breathlessly.

“There is no greater feeling than being rutted by a stag in front of a highland herd of deer- take me …my Monarch of the Glen!’ she continued lustily.


“My heat-seeking device has located them Sir” said the Chief Gamekeeper, Clay Widgeon.

“They are at the bottom of the Glen, near where your late Sister-in - Law Margaret keep her secret stash of booze!”

“Can you narrow it down a bit?” Asked the new Bonnie Prince Charlie.

“Near the area where we raise the Capercaillie flock !” continued Widgeon

“Well done that man….you deserve a reward and I promise that the first £1.00 coin minted with my face on it will be yours!” replied the King.

“Gee thanks Guvnor’ said Clay doffing his cap to the Regent.

“Do I take the high road and you take the low road?” asked Charlie innocently.

At that point Clay was considering regicide but then thought against it.

“C’mon lads and bring that trebuchet!” 


“Bloody minge!” complained Meghan.

“How long have you been in Scotland now and still don’t understand the vernacular….these flies are called midges not minges!” Replied Dirty Harry.

“Not the flies….what do they call it at the Palace now ….front bottom….the 

Lady Di Tunnel?” Asked Meghan.

“Ooh you can be so cutting at times Meg…that was my mother…the queen of hearts you were referring to…..besides my Father used to call it the Nicholas Witchell!”

“So can you that frostbitten knob of yours has caused me more damage to the Windsors than the Netflix series ‘the Crown!” Replied the Throne Wrecker.

Their conversation was suddenly interrupted as the August Sun went dark.

In a split second, Harry puzzled if there was a solar eclipse but as the dark cloud landed with a splat.

“Let them eat kak!” Declared Camilla as the Trebuchet full of Highland Cow manure landed on the recently copulating former Royal Couple become the Duke & Dookies of Sussex.

“Bullseye- !” Declared Fi Calmatter, the new Groom of the Stool, to the HRH and the gathered cabal of former muckrakers.

“I hate that woman on a cellular level !” Declared Piers…”not just because she opted for Oprah over me but because I couldn’t hack her phone!”

“This is the part I have been dreaming about -parading the new Wallis-Simpson through the streets of Aberdeen naked covered in excrement!” Replied Clarkson.

Dripping in slurry and smelling worse than Gary Lineker’s 1990 World Cup caught shorts, Meghan was fuming.

With steam coming out of her bejewelled ears she wasn’t the only one going ‘spare’.

A new chapter in the Meghan Markle debacle.

As King Charles III muttered from his elevated position.

‘Suits’ you Luv!”

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Trail Blazing

By Ceri Shaw, 2022-07-14

trail blazing.jpg

The young apprentices at Hoovers in Merthyr Tydfil looked on in awe.

They had heard the phrase, ‘necessity was the Mother of all invention’ and this was in fact the ultimate Mother.

Sat in the now empty Pentrebach Factory, that had once employed thousands of local people, was a brand new car- the like of which the World had never seen before.

If the Sinclair C5 Electric trike produced in the 1980’s was to be the saviour of Hoovers- then this new invention was bound to clean up.

It was the brainchild of local man Ian Venter, who had used the discarded scrap parts of old washing machines, tumble driers and vacuum cleaners to create the ultimate ‘Hoovercar’.

The apprentices could not believe their teenage eyes- it was like something from an episode of Futurama.

A vehicle that could hover above ground – just like the vehicle driven by Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine in the first Star Wars film – it really was a ‘New Hope’.

A new hope alright to employment in the small but historic, South Wales Valley Town that had been in recession for over two hundred years.

“I don’t believe it!” said local lad Vic Meldrew.

“There is something in the Air!’ expressed open-mouthed Aled Jones Junior- singing out in his dulcet Valley tones.

The car was not surprisingly made up of metal from white goods and had two vacuum hosepipes as the exhaust to filter out the gases.

To limit the effect on the environment, the patent holder, Ian Venter had it linked to a tank of Lenor, which gave it a softness and a freshness that people just couldn’t ignore.

It had a twin tub engine, which was fuelled by a new secret biofuel which Ian Venter didn’t want revealed to the World, unless he was to mysteriously Die Son.

“Does it really float of its own accord?” asked Vic- doubting even more than his mate Thomas standing next to him.

Ian produced to the apprentice a skipping hoop acquired from the local Afon Taf school.

Just like a magician’s assistant, he passed the hoop over the car to show that it was not being held up by invisible wires attached to the Factory ceiling.

“Unbelievable!” said Chris Kamara Junior.

“There is a lot less Bovver with a Hoover!” said Ian proud of his creation.

“When are you going to reveal it to the general public?” asked Thomas sceptically.

“I plan on a big publicity splash soon and seek to recreate the original bet between Ironmaster Crawshay and Richard Trevethick but this time have a sponsored race with an Tesla electric car retracing the original route from the Tramroad at Penydarren to Abercynon- but using the existing road network- I will of course stick to the Taff Trail- so it is a Musk Win for me!” Ian continued.

“Sounds great!” the wide-eyed teenagers felt like they were witnessing an important event in human history.

A vehicle that was not only eco-friendly but might offer one or two of the acne brigade a chance to impress teenage Scandinavian green Viking warrior Greta Thunberg.

“How did you come across the formula for your bio-fuel?” asked Victor.

“My Grandfather was a soldier in the British Army that liberated Berlin in 1945- he came across a famous German Physicist, Otto Von Jizzmark, who had unfortunately just taken a cyanide capsule rather be taken alive by the Red Army- in his laboratory coat pocket was a series of algebraic equations that Gramps had not seen before and which the dead scientist had been testing on a metal bell which apparently floated in the air unsupported- only the Nazi Swastika symbols could he recognise- but when he came home he gave it to Grandmother who kept it safe- it had weird alien spray writing on it too!” continued Ian.

“Do you think it has extra-terrestial origins?” questioned Victor further.

“Either that or my Grandfather found the original ‘Banksy’… Ian replied.

“But first, I need a volunteer pilot to test drive the car!”

“Any takers?”

All three teenagers shouted ‘Me’ at once.

None of them had full driving licences but both Chris and Vic both had passed their theory driving tests on Glebeland Street and held provisional licences.

Chris had the advantage though, as he was much lighter than Vic and had driven his Father’s milk float around Galon Uchaf on more than one occasion- as his Father needed someone to ride shotgun.

Not to just sit on the front passenger’s seat but also to ward off ‘the Humphries’ or milk thieves that lived near the Frontier Town’s Wild West Trading Post.

The ‘last straw’ for him was watching the Humphries ‘cream’ off all his weekly profits by pinching his ‘white goods and cheeses’ from the back whilst distracting him at the front of the vehicle.

He had got one of them back by reversing over his head whilst he ‘supposedly’ reached under the milk float for his football.

It didn’t kill the young soccer thief but it was very ‘Messi’ and his new triangular shaped head had earned him the nickname ‘Dairy Lee’ locally.

Chris didn’t know it at that juncture but being appointed the first ever test pilot of the Hoover Car would secure his place in history and of course the Guinness Book of Records.

Ian lowered the car to the ground and switched the engine off.

Chris moved quicker than an England Football Fan without a Euro 2020 ticket at Wembley.

As he clambered aboard, Chris was reminded that unlike Princess Diana, he must wear his seatbelt.

Chris looked at the series of dials on the dashboard.

There were red buttons, green ones and amber ones too- but was more scary than the ‘Squid Games’.

“Whatever you don’t press that button with the ‘Red Arrows logo’- or the one emblazoned with the faded words ‘Spin Cycle’….as it turns the car upside-down’ and is only to be used on an official fly past above the Queen of England!”

“Press the circular one to start the engine!” instructed Ian.

“The one marked ‘Up’ is what you press very slowly…if you press it too hard you would shoot up like a Harrier Jump Jet and will be crushed by the asbestos ceiling tiles!” the creator explained.

Chris did as he was told and raised the car three feet up off the factory floor.

All he could manage to utter was the word ‘cool’.

He hovered there suspended in mid-air like a fart in a vacuum.

Whereas he was in fact a fart in a different kind of vacuum.

His pals looked jealously on at the chosen one.

“What is its top speed? Shouted Chris from mid-air of the designer.

“Don’t know yet!” Ian replied.. but I have the ideal test track on the former Hoover’s cricket pitch..I should be able to discover its ‘run rate’ then easily!” he continued.

Schrodinger’s Chris was encouraged to return to Earth and landed like an expert.

“When is the test scheduled for?” he asked excitedly.

“Saturday, so be there promptly for 7am, I don’t want too many of the HGV lorry drivers to see my invention as they should all be stuck in Dover post-Brexit by then!” Ian declared laughing.

The students went home each fantasising about joining the Mile High Club with the young Thunberg for ‘Swede Dreams’.

When Saturday came, Chris was dressed to impress his Teacher.

Dressed in a Second World War jump suit obtained from the Army & Navy Stores bearing the word ‘Stig’ written in Sharpie Black pen on the top he stood with his Uncle’s Helmet ‘borrowed’ from his Vespa Scooter.

In his eyes he felt he was wearing ‘Top Gear’, whereas in fact to all and sundry he looked like a complete pillock, as he ambled down Pentrebach Road past the long red-brick building.

Ian was waiting for him as he entered the ‘Field of Dreams’.

As a child Chris had not been breast-fed but raised on Formula One and felt that this race was his destiny.

His shot to be the new Lewis Hamilton and move all his assets and domicile to Switzerland- where he would live the good life in the land of milk and honey surviving on Milka bars & Toblerones to keep his big race energy up between Groupies.

Chris climbed into the cockpit feeling just like Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder or Steve McQueen in Le Mans.

He was familiar with the controls and upon the lowering of the chequered flag by Ian, he set off in a clockwise circular direction around the field.

His trusty steed handled like a dream.

He felt cocksure with the arrogance that comes with youth that he could beat any mortal in a fair race.

Even a Tesla.

The Morning of the promotional race came around and Chris was sat in his prototype whilst he had learned that his rival was Malcolm Campbell Junior, Junior, from Pendine Sands Carmathenshire- a very religious driver who had christened his Tesla ‘Sunbeam’ in the hope of getting approval from his big boss upstairs.

As everyone knows Jesus loves a Sunbeam.

He genuflected before putting on his helmet, clutching the steering wheel theatrically and revving his silent engine, just like Marcel Marceau would have done.

Chris started to get nervous- looking at the model of Trevithick’s Engine in Pontmorlais he said a silent prayer of his own but given his green credentials to the Greek Earth Goddess Gaia.

The race was on.

Whilst the Tesla sped away silently like a chapel fart, it soon becoming entrenched in Merthyr Town Centre’s demonic one-way traffic system which must have designed by Chris Rea.

Malcolm Campbell didn’t like having to stop at the Pontmorlais ‘Circus’ zebra crossing as high above his head was the red-and yellow brick former Young Man’s Christian Association building once listed now just listing and looking like it could collapse at any moment.

Even the pigeons that roosted there would confirm that it was no longer ‘fun to stay at the YMCA’.

On the other hand, being much narrower and more flexible, the Hoovercar could use all the escape lanes known only to local taxi drivers and car thieves to get ahead as it sped down the Tramroad behind the Red House, Old Town Hall, whilst the Tesla was still log-jammed at the top of Town.

As it sped along, Chris suddenly realised what the environmental benefits the Hoovercar could bring to South Wales.

As it went along it sucked up all the discarded fly-tipped plastic bottles and containers and used them to burn away the air miles.

It was a real shame that Erin Brockovich wasn’t present, as the plastic fumes from the twin tub exhaust filtered upwards and started the fill the hole in the ozone layer as it solidified.

Used discarded syringes were no trouble for the Hoovercar, in fact they gave Chris’ vehicle an ‘injection’ of pace and left the Sunbeam ‘Chasing the Dragon-Park Silver Machine’

Sweeping and cleaning as it went, it would have saved the Council a fortune in street cleansing- if only they hadn’t stopped street cleansing due to austerity measures five years before.

Flying across the junction markings without stopping, just like the average Audi driver, Chris sailed on passed the temporary car park at Tesco that has been up for over two decades.

Using the pavements and side alleys he flew on without impediment as he made much swifter progress than the conventional cars gridlocked and frustrated by streets and lanes designed for horses and carts.

Being faithful to the route taken a few centuries back in Victorian Times, he was cheered on by a time-travelling member of the Conservative Party replete in Top Hat, tails and pin stripe trousers all laid out for the Right Honourable Member for Somerset North by his Nanny that Morning.

He made good time whilst his race rival was trapped in the Wacky Races behind the Merthyr Tydfil version of Penelope Pitstop, busy putting on her make-up in the rear-view mirror.

Sounding his steering wheel horn, Campbell received a dirty look that would have put Medusa the Gorgon to shame.

Chris had now reached the Rhydycar zebra crossing and floated across the road, narrowly dodging myopic pensioners who only passed their tests when accompanied by a leading man with a white flag and cyclists from the Taff Trail who refuse to dismount or slow down.

Complete cycle paths the lot of them.

As he passed over the River Taff, he admired the number of migratory supermarket trollies caught up in the torrent, that hadn’t yet reached the Merthyr salvage yards in Penygarnddu.

Now on the Taff Trail behind the Rhydycar Leisure & Swimming Pool which sadly had built too small to host Olympic Competition, he began to become worried that he would run low on fuel but fortunately there was plenty of nitrogen and methane available thanks to irresponsible dog owners in the form of discarded dog-shit.

Chris had once thought that dogs were dumb animals but realised that he had never ever witnessed a dog stepping in human shit.

His machine, originally modelled on the Sinclair Trike, had a top speed of 20mph and floating above the tarmac he didn’t need to worry about lumps or bumps unlike the Tesla, who had to negotiate the surface roads with less tarmac than the ones in Kiev during the Russian Invasion.

Malcolm Campbell loved a challenge but driving on these Valley roads left him shaking more than Billy Connolly coming back from a wanking contest.

Unfortunately, his progress was also hampered by the knock- on effect of roadworks on the A465(T), the A4060 slip road, the A4102 at Jackson’s Bridge in Georgetown and the A470 (T).

He couldn’t understand why all works were scheduled for the same date- especially on the day of the exhibition race.

The effect was total gridlock on streets designed for horses and carts with only fools and horses driving them.

Even the speed camera van had given up the ghost – there would be no soft motorist targets with cars moving less than 10MPH.

Malcolm Campbell was however, very competitive and even more resourceful.

As new laws had been brought in banning the use of handheld mobile phone devices in moving vehicles- he realised that there was still a loophole in the law, sat in his log-jammed car he googled the sound of an ambulance siren and set his phone to the loudest noise setting.

He knew in a lawless Town like Merthyr Tydfil it was no good calling up a Police Siren, as it was an everyday sound and no-one would voluntarily pullover to assist the Cuntstabulary in the lawful execution of their duty.

He would now drive like he did on Gran Turismo, forcing vehicles off the road in a fraudulent ‘Dai- version’

Using this technique, he soon reached the ‘A470’ at the Trago Mills roundabout glancing up at the grey towers of Merthyr’s version of Cinderella’s Palace.

He was now able to start making ground on the Hoovercar, which was now speeding down the Taff Trail, passed Upper Abercanaid- with hums and arias, as it nodded in the direction of its birth place and the land of its Father.

The Hoovercar was now low on fuel as a local charity ‘Bags under your Ayes’ had been busy clearing the illegally dumped plastic containers, beer cans and soft drink cans tipped merrily down the side of the embankments of the Taff Trail by a local publican enraged at the cost of commercial waste collection by the Local Authority.

The Gethin Woods now looked like it was sponsored by Pepsi to the Max and of course Red Bull.

The Charity collection organised by a group of local politicians to assist with a donation to the MP’s ‘Commoners’ bar at Westminster.

After all, the cost of living crisis meant that the price of alcohol had risen, together with sharp fuel cost rises and with a mere 15% increase on their salaries some MP’s were struggling to heat their stables effectively.

The Hoovercar began to chug and splutter like Boris Johnson at the dispatch box, as the rubbish began to run out.

Chris scanned the immediate location and suddenly struck gold as a local fly by night removal company had tipped a load of unwanted items previously destined for the Antiques Roadshow which had been looted years ago from Cyfarthfa Castle archives.

A signed first edition copy of Charles Darwin’s book the Origin of the Species – previously thought to be a study on the finches of the Galapagos Islands- but was actually about the building of the houses in the Gurnos and the Council policy about bringing up the standard of the poorest by rehousing gypsies and battered wives amongst the managers of the Imperial Chemical Institute (ICI) and their Stepford Wives.

Next came, Lord Nelson’s telescope and eyepatch last used in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

Then to boost the fuel was fed the handwritten missing ending for Charles Dickens’ the Mystery of Edwin Drood together with the ostrich feather used to pen the same.

Dozens of stuffed animals-a taxidermists’ nightmare- ‘stuffed’ into the fuel tank as the Hoovercar regained the initiative on the Tesla.

The Taff Trail ended and the two vehicles came side to side on the Cynon Valley Road as the Mountain Ash Dash intensified.

Who would cross the finish line first?

Rounding the bend serving the Mountain Ash Rugby Club the rivals suddenly realised that there were pedestrians in the road ahead.

Joe Rassic-Park had a chip on his shoulder.

His Mother had in the 1960’s, whilst pregnant, taken a drug to ease her morning sickness and as a result he had been born with two tiny arms but oversized hands.

He looked like a cross between Kenny Everett character Brother Lee Love and a tyrannosaurus rex.

Today, he had a chip on his shoulder principally because that was the only way he could eat his food.

The environmentalist and green campaigner had tried to make a difference all his life raging against Big Pharma and the Multi-National Corporations that were destroying our Planet with their plastic pollution, car fumes and engineered wars.

This is why at the age of Sixty, he had joined the protest group Insulate Britain to become a cool cat.

Money was no longer of any concern to him following his early retirement – as he had just discovered that his occupational pension pot was empty after being looted by the Trustees, and who were now based in the Cayman Islands- so angry that he had just decided his moral crusade was justified for the next generations of children that regional and National Governments were failing.

Despite having a small amount of money, he was in fact insolvent.

Stuck to the tarmac road by his face, he refused to move as he lay right eyelid glued to the road surface of the A4059 Mountain Ash Road.

If only inventor Percy Shaw could see the alternative cat’s eye stuck in the middle of the highway.

Little did Joe realise that today like suffragette Emily Davison, he would literally die for his cause.

The glass of water perched next to him to ease his dehydration began to ripple.

Something big was coming his way- he couldn’t hear it but he could sense it.

Since the introduction of electric vehicles and their silent running, pensioner deaths had trebled.

The Government’s master plan of Covid Herd immunity had saved the Non-Dom Chancellor of the Exchequer at Westminster a fortune in pension pay- outs so much so he could afford tax cuts for the Times Newspaper ‘Richi’ List.

It was now onto the next phase of the cull of the surplus population, the roll-out of fully driverless cars and smart (no- hard shoulder) motorways.

The planned reduction of the number of cars on our roads by lethal but legal means.

Malcolm Campbell’s silent machine of death had already left a trail of dead hedgehogs in its wake.

The poor creatures had merely stepped out from their Chris Packham Springwatch nature-built apartments to meet with their friends for a short time but instead ended up visiting their ‘flat’ mates.

Now it was the turn of the ‘Swampy’ pensioner to fill the potholes.

The Tesla ploughed into the OAP shocking him than a monkey in a test laboratory experiment.

Never mind being tasered by the Met Police- being Tesla’d was much worse.

Chris in the Hoovercar just floated over the human roadblock and crossed the winning line to the sound of a loud cheer from his sponsor- Ian Ventor.

In triumph however, Chris made one fatal mistake.

Glancing back over his shoulder and giving his rival the bird, being a youngster he took his other hand off the wheel for a mobile phone selfie to upload to Instagram and just like 1970’s T-Rex frontman, Mark Bolan ploughed straight into a Mountain Ash tree the village was named after.

That too was to be his biggest ‘hit’.

His car burst into a ball of flame at the edge of the Taff Trail.

To the horror of Ian Ventor, the plastic prototype melted quicker than a Kardashian standing too close to an open fire.

Chris had become a Trail blazer indeed.

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