By Philip evans, 2020-10-14
“Ello ‘Ello ‘Ello what’s all this then?” said Constable Grunt, as he arrived onto the Barry Island Seafront promenade.
Before him sat a group of mixed children and adults, all staring up at a fairground booth, beautifully painted in red n white stripes.
As the Policeman strode forward on his size twelve feet Dr Marten’s boots- the sound of a kazoo playing the theme from Laurel & Hardy was heard emanating from behind the curtain of the booth.
“Very funny!” said the Constable.
Contrary to popular belief, Constable Grunt had originally possessed a sense of humour but it had been extracted at birth together with his umbilical cord – besides, it had been a long day trying to enforce the unworkable rules on social distancing imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic- so he was in no mood for humour.
Especially humour at his expense which undermined his authority.
The Punch n Judy booth was set up with it’s back to the railings on the promenade and was surrounded by the audience in a semi-circle, who had paid a small fee to the performer’s assistant- known as the Bottler- for the show.
The Bottler had lived up to his name and bottled it upon first sight of the long arm of the law.
The children and adults swung their attention from the booth to the Constable, who was accompanied by the latest version of a female Hobby Bobby- a Boris Johnson Covid- 19 Beadle.
Yet another attempt by the Conservative Government to return the former United Kingdom to Victorian values.
“Is there a pwoblem Officer?” asked the hidden puppeteer through a rasping kazoo.
His speech impediment didn’t help the intensity of the laughter from the crowd.
Nor did his strange accent.
“ We have had a complaint about suitability of the show that you are putting on for children and also a flagrant breach of Covid- 19 social distancing rules from a Member of the Public!” grunted Grunt.
There was no sign of any person in the booth.
“Can you tell who complained…eas it someone from Bawwy Island?” came the kazoo voice.
“No!” replied Grunt rocking on his size twelve heels.
“I bet it was Pwetti Patal again watting on her neighbours!” replied the invisible puppeteer.
The Policeman just smiled.
The Home Secretary was his boss – just like that other Nazi regime from 1945- he was just following orders.
It was a perk of the job and purely coincidental that he enjoyed making other people miserable.
Constable Grunt began to make contemporaneous notes in his South Wales Police Constabulary state of the art notebook.
The silence was broken by the reply from inside the Booth.
“Don’t you know that the Punch N Judy entertainment at the seaside has been around since the 1600’s – Comedie dell’Arte – even Samuel Pepys wrote about in HIS diary too!” complained the voice of the unseen puppeteer.
“Looks like someone has been studying British History!” said the non-laughing Policeman.
“Perhaps that may be a fact…but the complaint has come from a source high up in the Court system complaining that your actions are prejudicing a High Court case on libel proceedings!” said Grunt.
“How come?” said the vibrating kazoo voice- this time much higher pitched- almost female.
“Well your choice of the leading characters- being Hollywood A- & C-listers Johnny Depp and Amber Heard!” ordered Grunt.
At the mention of their names up popped the two characters who took a bow to the audience.
The children cheered loudly as the puppets appeared.
“I don’t understand -no-one complained when I used a puppet of Caroline Flack?” said the invisible man.
“Look it’s not acceptable to portray a Wife being beaten up at a seaside booth for children- it sends out the wrong message!” said the female Hobby Bobby.
“Who are you when you are at home?” asked the puppeteer hidden below the wooden stage.
“ Barry Island’s first appointed Covid- 19 Warden Stephanie Fiddler!” she boomed proudly.
There was silence from the booth and then came the ‘Punch-line’.
“Tell me children when you grow up… do you want to be a Fanny Fiddler just like her?” said the voice.
The children laughed as did most of the adults present.
The Covid Beadle blushed redder than Neil Kinnock after seeing the General Election result of 1992.
“It’s not just a complaint about the violence it is the content of the act!” continued Grunt.
“The way that the lead character handles the baby too!”
“That is as traditional as the appearance of the crocodile and the sausages!” protested the Puppeteer.
“Okay but why threaten to hand the baby over to Lost Profit’s singer Ian Watkins?” countered Fiddler regaining her confidence.
“How do you know?....you have never paid to watch the act?” queried the Puppeteer.
“I was standing on the rooftops…!” she said.
“What rooftops?” asked the hidden performer in a Turkish dialect, this time pronouncing his r’s immaculately.
“We are on the Barry seafront promenade!”
“The complaint was principally about the violent conduct which portrays Mr Depp as a wife beater!” said Grunt in the best assertive voice, that which his Bridgend Police Training had instilled in him.
“Violence?” protested the kazoo-man.
“At a Punch and Judy Show….haven’t you guys ever watched anything on Sky Atlantic or the internet….everything is much more graphic now- much more than two characters threatening each other with sticks….it’s not exactly as if it is the film Zombieland now is it?”
“Why don’t you pay 2.00 lira each and I’ll put on a show for you!” offered the Puppeteer.
“Can I claim it back on expenses?” asked Fiddler.
“The MP’s usually do when they watch the petty puerile childish squabbling …it must remind them of the House of Commons!” replied the invisible Hands.
Both Fascists looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders and sat on the promenade wall, helmets and stab proof vests unbuttoned.
With that the show began once again.
Up popped a new character in the place of the Hollywood A-Listers.
“Hi Sprogs, hope you are having a bonzer day in the light drizzle here at Barry Island Prom….it’s the last day of the Poms too….as you are soon to be invaded by that lot in the Channel from the Calais Jungle!” said the character in the worst Australian accent since Dame Edna Everage merged with Sir Les Patterson and became Barry Humphreys.
It was almost like he was from Afghanistan rather than Oz.
“Look Sprogs. I should know about my sea creatures because I took them all to my Heart!” replied the character clad in khaki shorts.
As he did so he opened his khaki shirt to reveal a massive hole where his heart should be.
“He could be a Tory MP!” said little Billy Booger, whilst picking his Covid-19 encrusted nose and then flicking it at his mate.
“Oi…I saw that!” said Fiddler the germ warden.
Back in the booth, up popped a crocodile and the Aussie promptly wrestled it down like it was his pet dog.
No sooner than they had disappeared than a string of sausages popped up from below the counter.
“Oops….give us my intestines back… you naughty boy !” came the same Aussie voice from Down Under in Istanbul.
As soon as the Crocodile Man disappeared the Hollywood Titans reappeared and continued their clash.
“Have you seen the mess down there is it ‘From Hell’ said Heard anger level on green.
“A bit like you before make-up on the set of our film Rum Diary (2011) in the morning!” taunted Depp.
“You can talk – ‘you monster’ you will be ‘Finding Neverland’ the next time you try and mount me for a ‘Late, Late, Show!” spat back the Spouse.
“Drop Dead Sexy!” replied Depp.
“Oh you are Sauvage….just like that awful Dior aftershave you advertise on telly…I gave it to the Down and Outs in Beverly Hills – they already smell like you after your Rum Diary entries!” said Heard turning Amber.
“I only took that advert to select where in the desert sand I am going to bury your body!” snapped back the Pirate of the Caribbean or Somalia.
“It’s not just dead men that tell no tales…..remember that!”
“Did you hear that children?.... Tonto Johnny here making threats ….it’s the last time he will have a bird on his head….it’s just like you witnessed at home during lockdown before you were forced to go back to school to catch Covid-19 to infect your parent’s with!” said Amber picking up a cut throat razor.
“Come here….I’ll show you Sweeney Todd for real!” said Heard turning in’candy’escent with rage.
“Bring it on baby!” said Johnny affixing his Edward Scissorhands.
“Let’s see if you really do have ‘Heard’ immunity!”
“Woah, Woah, Woah!” shrieked Constable Grunt- pointing his hands up and then pointing his index finger at the booth.
“Stop the show.. that’s an offence under the Offences against the Person Act of 1861!”
“In case you not know… dem not persons…day Puppets!” replied Kazoo- this time with a trace of Nigerian.
A collective gasp came from the adults in the audience.
They didn’t expect the ‘Fourth Wall’ to be breached.
The kids didn’t care as long- as there was a steady supply of Haribo sweets they were content.
The Puppet Master was correct but Constable Grunt couldn’t back down now not in front of the children and his sidekick.
Before he could react onto the stage came a third puppet.
“That’s clever….three puppets on the go at one time…he must be extremely talented in the trouser department!” said Fiddler.
It was a Hangman wearing both a wire and an F.B.I emblazoned jacket.
They were both followed by a ghost.
The ghost of Jeffrey Epstein.
The puppet of Johnny Depp opened his mouth to looked scared.
The puppet of Amber Heard looked even more scared as she misread the name on the back of the Savile Row shirt and thought from first glance it was disgraced Film Producer Harvey Weinstein.
“There must be two of them in that booth!” whispered Fiddler captivated by the show.
“I thought that!” whispered back Grunt.
“Me too!” said Heard listening in on the conversation.
“What shall we do now that Home Secretary Priti Patel has repealed the Human Rights Act children?” asked Kazoo- this time in a voice deeper than Brian Blessed’s bollocks.
“ Hang him again!” screamed the young crowd.
“That’s the way to do it!” said Constable Grunt getting carried away enjoying the spectacle.
“Oi…that’s MY line!” protested Johnny ‘the Punch’ Depp- this time sounding Kurdish.
“Dew…this Kazoo Puppet Guy is brilliant with those different voices – like Rory Bremner or a male version of Nina Conti!” said Constable Grunt approvingly to Fiddler.
Their fun was suddenly stopped by a millionaire professional sea-watcher from Kent.
“The Great British public is being fleeced every day by Health Tourists and you guys are too busy watching ‘ seaside special?” moaned the Frog Faced Toad.
“Look…behind the booth!” he continued his right arm raised like he was at Nuremberg, pointing towards the beach behind the booth.
Breaking on the waves were six empty small rubber dinghies bearing bumper stickers of Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Calais France.
“I suggest you check the booth!” continued the Kent Kermit.
Constable Grunt waded through the children and peered down into the booth.
It was completely empty.
No puppeteers or puppets at all.
“You Muppet!” said the Englishman.
As Constable Grunt slid the booth to one side- it became apparent that the booth was over a Welsh Water manhole surface water drain cover.
Placing his truncheon under the handle with a bit of ‘force’ he lifted the lid and peered into the darkness.
Just like the Black Hole of Calcutta peering back at him was around 20 pairs of eyes.
More eyes than a peacock’s back.
“Whilst you were distracted by the puppet show ‘ Johnny Foreigner here was busy helping that lot make tracks up the sand and into their bunker – awaiting the cover of the night to slip away to places like West Bromwich and Birmingham to add their numbers to the Black Country!” continued Dad’s Army’s latest recruit.
“If it was up to me with my Churchillian spirit I would fight them on the beaches and bite them on the features too!”
“But YOU are the one in Authority ….what are you going to do about them?” said the anti-amphibious amphibian.
Constable Grunt smiled knowingly, as he unclipped from his belt a cannister of CS Gas.
“Where did you get that- that’s not Police issue?” asked Fiddler.
“Extinction Rebellion!” said Constable Grunt removing the pin and casually tossing it into the stagnant surface water below.
“Deppth Charge!” he replied.
“Saves on the paperwork!”
By Philip evans, 2020-07-28
Dai Commando looked just like any normal person.
Average height, average weight even average shoe size.
But underneath he was no ordinary G.I. Joe.
You would never hear it from Dai’s own lips, but the regulars in his local public house in Dowlais- the T.A.’s (The Tredegar Arms) would tell you- whilst he may have served in the Royal Marines – ‘He was Made in Merthyr’.
Mainly because he was conceived on top of a wheelie bin behind Wetherspoon’s in Post Office Lane.
Dai Commando turned his I-pad on ready for his 11.00am Zoom Meeting.
It was top secret and confidential stuff.
Punctually was Dai’s middle name and he hated people who were late even more than he hated foreigners- and that was saying something.
After inputting his own version of the Enigma Code into the Apple device, he promptly ate the piece of paper that contained the sequence.
Up on the split screen appeared three men, two of which most people would recognise from television and the other as anonymous as an alcoholic deed poll clerk.
“Good Morning Mr Perkins!” said the figure on the left of the screen.
Dai’s commando training noticed that the background behind this man was very bland indeed.
Magnolia walls and no discernible trace details of the location.
The middle man had a mop of unkempt blonde hair and appeared a little of out his comfort zone.
He was sitting on a green leather bench reminiscent of those that MP’S sit on in the House of Commons in Parliament and immediately sticking out from underneath him was a thick document marked ‘Russian Report’.
The third individual had bulging eyes and looked like a human version of a frog.
Behind the human Freddo was a huge bookcase with an array of books thereon with Mein Kampf, Der Fatherland, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Al Jolson Story clearly visible.
“For the purpose of this interview, please refer to us from left to Far Right as Philby, Boris & McLean!” continued the Oxbridge voice.
“So, Mr Perkins…. if that is indeed your real name…the big question is why do you want to register as a spy with MI5?”
Dai Commando had wanted to be a spy his entire life.
Now in one 30-minute interview, he had to justify exactly why that was to people far less qualified than himself.
None of these three had ever waterboarded a prisoner- none of these three had killed a man with his bare hands -nor spent an Arabian night sleeping inside the rotting carcass of a dead camel.
“My name is not important, I just want the opportunity to continue the excitement of foreign travel and the kind of freedom of movement that has been curtailed following the EU withdrawal bill and not to have a 14 day quarantine period just like Pa Churchill…. I want the ‘buzz’ of the chase- but more importantly I want to be licensed to kill like the Russians over Litvinenko or any member of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul!” said Dai.
“I get aroused by foxhunting too but may I suggest the DWP rather than MI5 if you really want a licence to kill a much greater number?”
“Austerity can only last for so long, before the general public rumble you-I want the adrenaline rush of defending these shores from Foreign influence and carry a knife in London without being stopped and searched every ten minutes!” replied Dai.
“Are you prepared to place a limpet mine on the bottom of a refugee boat in the middle of the English Channel?” asked McLean.
“What again?” replied Dai.
“Do you want me to beat the ‘Living Daylights’ out of George Galloway too?”
“Sounds like my kind of man…your hired… let’s all meet down the Saracen’s Head for a pint then!” said McLean.
“Not so fast…I have a few questions before you begin Putin Britain First!” said Philby with a Freudian slip.
“Why are you dressed as a Babushka woman from the Motherland ?” he continued.
“I am incognito!” replied Dai.
“Great- he can speak French too, pub it is then!” said McLean licking his frog-spawn like lips.
“Whoa, hold your chevaux-what experience had you had in such stealth matters?” asked Philby of the Babushka.
“I served in the Special Boat Service, did two tours of duty in Iraq- I am pictured on the internet- in disguise of course- helping the locals pull down the statue of an evil man with a rope - !” replied Dai.
“In Baghdad?” asked Boris.
“Bristol!” replied Dai.
“I served in Afghanistan too- where I had my leg blown off by an IED-!” said Dai lifting his long hippy skirt to reveal a metal leg and curved Oscar Pistorius scimitar foot and a fine pair of bollocks too.
Dai Commando alright.
The reaction on Boris’s face was priceless, as he recoiled in horror.
“Don’t let this little thing put you off hiring me- this is like a Swiss Army blade and contains a bag of killing tools that Villanelle in Killing Eve would die for!” said Dai Commando.
“See this sonic screwdriver attachment…I once killed a man with it on the Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ private jet and then used this handy Dyson attachment to ‘hoover’ up his remains before dropping them Mid-Atlantic into the sea!” boasted Dai Commando looking like a QVC salesperson.
“How did you get on that plane?” Asked Boris....I heard it was reserved for Royalty and had a 14 year old waiting list?”
“The Old Boy Network of course!” replied Dai.
“It was full of shady characters that you expect to see as Bond Villains in Spectre…there was definitely more than an Oddjob or two going on by the cabin crew- ‘bobbing for diamonds’ – after all they do say diamonds ARE forever!”
“I really miss the other Old Boy Network!” sighed Boris.
“But now I have a new born one- year old gargantuan baby and a puppy to support- handy for the election photographs but hard work for Nanny Carrie ever since!”
“Times are hard, with half the Country unemployed after the Pandemic and Brexit fiascos, I can’t even afford to re-join the Bullingdon Club and burn £50.00 notes in front of the homeless anymore on my ‘chickenfeed salary’…I wonder sometimes if it REALLY was worth avoiding the EU Tax Directive after all…I blame David Cameron for his pig’s breakfast and the entire Eton Mess!”
All the while the real Head of MI5- known professionally as Malcolm X- sat silent.
He knew he could kick up a fuss like Rosa Parks on a Cleveland Avenue bus but just like the work in progress on the Civil Service- his secret organisation would be disbanded by the real hand that rocked his cradle- Countryman and Comrade Dominic Cummings.
“Cummings?....is that the Guy who writes for the S*N newspaper on page 5 every week or am I thinking of a different Fifth Columnist? ’
“Out of curiosity… was that Fat Cabbage guy on there?” interrupted Boris nervously.
“Fat Cabbage?” asked Dai Commando perplexed.
“You know.... the one that produced the Bondage Films?” continued Bo Jo.
“ I think he means Cubby Broccoli!” said Philby deciphering another Bletchley Park code instantly.
“I think so….I will check this little black book I copied on my mobile camera-phone lifted from the Maxwell House….let me see in the A-listers we have Allen (Woody), Andrew also filed under H and even more Woody…Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Blair…sorry I can’t see any Broccoli….although it appears that some of them did have their five a day and some as many as eight!” replied Dai Commando squinting at the allocated lists of Octopussy.
“Can you turn that phone to the screen?” asked McLean.
Commando Dai being in an interview wanted to give his intended new employers what they wanted to both hear and see.
“I wonder what the phrase had a B.J. stands for?” asked McLean innocently.
“What time does that Pub of yours close?” said Boris trying to change the subject.
“ It’s not in Leicester is it?”
“The Saracen’s Head you mean?” asked McLean thoughts turning automatically to being given head.
“Can we get back to the task in hand Gentleman?” ordered Philby politely.
“So what makes you think you are the best man for the job over Idris Elba?” asked the MI5 Chief.
“This IS a secure link is it Sir?” asked Dai Commando.
“100% British telephone company from Tyneside- the Huawai the Lads network of 5G!” boasted McLean.
“Only our friends at the CIA, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Siri have access to this network- so it is unlikely to be shared anywhere- please be assured- it is as safe as Jennifer Lawrence’s I-Cloud!” said Philby.
“Well I possess a Polonium 210 tipped Umbrella, some Novichok cakes and a phial of Covid 19 that our lab techs created at Porton Down research place to f*** up the Chinese economy!” said Dai Commando.
“I also do the Thunderball lottery religiously every week!”
“Sounds good to me!” said Kermit McLean thin green legs dangling on the stairs.
“Pub anyone?” he continued looking at his Swiss watch and both his British Blue and Red EU passports.
Boris nodded enthusiastically.
“Do I get a certificate marked Cobra meeting for the haters?” he continued.
“One final question- Mr Perkins if I may?” asked Boris.
“How would YOU stop Russian infiltration of the Security Services producing fake election results in the UK?”
“Asking for a friend of course!”
“Read Peter Wright’s banned Spycatcher book- don’t employ people on your staff people who have worked in Russia for three years, don’t except donations from oligarchs for party funds, don’t play tennis against anyone wearing a sickle n hammer tee-shirt instead of a Fred Perry one and make sure the only Computer Haka you allow into the civil service is a Rugby- playing one!”.
“That way just like Jennifer Arcuri you will stay top of the polls and won’t suffer a ‘Skyfall’ replied Dai.
“Employ me because I am not easily shaken or stirred!”
“After all my word is my Bond!”
By Philip evans, 2020-05-09
No one that actually knew Dorothy Dott would dispute that she was an athlete.
She was the hardest, meanest, toughest, member of the Dowlais Ladies Hockey Team from Merthyr Tydfil.
She was quick too.
She was only tiny but was the female equivalent of a pocket battleship.
The Steffi Graf Spee if you like.
She once downed the yard of ale as ‘Man of the Match’ in a South Wales hockey tournament in under 5 seconds.
She once pushed a full metal barrel of beer up the A4060 (T) Slip Road on her own and then drunk its entire contents herself.
There was nothing tough enough or difficult enough for her- so it was no surprise that she announced to her fellow ladies that this year that she would enter the Nos Galan Road Race which was taking place at the end of the week.
The Mountain Ash Dash, as it was known locally, consisted of a 5km run starting from the Church at Llanwynno and involved a three circuit race around the town centre of Mountain Ash ending by the statue of its founder Guto Nyth Bran.
The race had been a tradition in ‘Snake Valley’ since 1958, when most of the borough residents had finally learned to walk upright on two feet.
It was rumoured that after St Patrick cleared them from Ireland they had settled on masse in the Cynon Valley.
The race itself was proving popular with athletes from all over Britain and even occasionally from overseas.
Held on New Year’s Eve, it had attracted famous Welsh athletes from the fields of athletics, rugby and of course football.
Even boxer Robbie Reagan had had a go – even if he did throw in the towel over the statue a lap early in round two.
Every year, there was an unannounced late ‘mystery runner’ who was usually throw into the mix at a late stage to create an element of interest to the Town’s people of Viperville.
What Dorothy Dott didn’t know was that this year the ‘Mystery Runner’ was no other than Paula Radcliffe- the past winner of both the London and New York Marathons.
It was highly unusual for a woman to be so named- as it was usually the exclusive preserve of male athletes.
But whilst Dorothy Dott was ignorant of the fact- her Hockey Team Mates were not- and they took great delight in placing a bet of £100.00 ‘per man’ with Dorothy, after her boast that she would be the first female to cross the winning line this year.
Even if the organisers had insisted on evidence that she was really a woman before allowing her to enter the competition.
With the same bet with ten other team mates, she stood to lose a cool Grand- if and when Radcliffe turned up.
Dorothy Dott wasn’t overly concerned about any male competition- after all last year’s athlete was Welsh Prop, Adam Jones who was built more like a juggernaut than a sports car.
To make matters worse, Dorothy Dott had agreed to run in fancy dress for her chosen charity.
One of the biggest killers in Wales- Type 2 ‘Dai’-abetes.
Inspired partly by her name but also the release of the recent Star Wars film in 2015, she had decided to run as R2D2.
She reckoned she could fly it, as long as she didn’t get a case of the ‘Revenge of the Sith’ – a condition she got from using scented bath salts and perfumed soaps from the ‘Body Shop’.
Her nether regions would often get affected by Roddick.
Most of the local Merthyr men were wary of dating Dorothy, as most reckoned she was like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.
Besides, she was more of a man than most of them.
Her reputation both on and off the hockey pitch was a no-nonsense go-getter, who sent opponents packing in a bully- off.
She was a born winner and like Diego Maradona would not stop at ‘gamesmanship’ or even down right cheating to get up on that Winner’s podium.
That’s why on her Christmas List for 2015, she had asked ‘Santa’ for the latest ‘hottest’ must-have thing around.
She still lived with her elderly parents and they had failed to get the last one available in Merthyr’s Argos , of the much lauded Segway people carrier.
Her Dad, David was dotty on Dotty and didn’t want his 40 year old daughter to stop believing in Santa so he had arranged for one of his old factory Director workmates to create a special one-off from bits of an old washing machine and a Sinclair C5.
It was the first and only Hoover-Board.
It was ideal for Dotty to ride on and fitted perfectly beneath her Star Wars costume and was hidden out of sight.
With this contraption that had a top speed of 10mph, she was convinced that on the perfectly tarmacked roads that served Mountain Ash and the wonderful job that the Rhondda Cynon Taff Highways Authority did on keeping the highways in pristine condition, it would help her win the Mountain Ash Dash.
As she stood on the starting line next to Llanwynno Church, she noticed she was the only competitor in fancy dress.
This didn’t unnerve the girl, it just spurred her on.
In a sea of male faces, she suddenly spotted that of Paula Radcliffe shaking her hands in preparation for the big race.
She didn’t know why - but subliminally, just looking at her race rival made her bowels loosen.
But Dot was programmed as a serving police woman not to recognise fear.
Fear was weakness and the brainwashing instilled in Police recruits meant that she no longer had any civilian traits and like Elton John found that Sorry seemed to be the hardest word (after concrete of course that is).
The Mayor fired the starting pistol (or more accurately the AK47 semi-automatic rifle that had been handed in during the Mountain Ash gun amnesty) and the race started.
Dot’s tactic was simple.
Get in front and then stay in front- that way there was no risk of tripping like Mary Decker-Slaney by a clod-hopper like Zola Budd.
She kick-started the ignition button with her big toe and she was off down passed the ‘Serpentine’ or Cynon Valley River as it was known to the local reptilian population.
Passing the semi-rural Viper Villas, then down passed Python Plaza and onto Cobra Crescent, Dot sailed on effortlessly.
The other athletes including celebrity Bradley Walsh on the chase after her.
Most people in the crowd assumed that the little droid was just the pace setter but Dorothy had heard that nice guys finish last and despite her masculine appearance under that fancy dress costume- she was no nice guy.
Welsh athletes, Iwan Thomas and Jamie Baulch were starting to be left behind by the speed on the ‘Millenium Falcon’ and only Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson seemed to be gaining on the race leader due to the slope.
Despite the cold New Year’s Eve weather, Dot suddenly realised that her feet were warmer than normal.
She had modified her Nike trainers by cutting out the front part to air her athlete’s foot (from the years of yomping on the police parade ground) but even with her own attempts at ventilation something felt wrong.
As she rattled and snaked her way around Mount, she suddenly realised that she had left the trailing pack for dead.
She didn’t want to make it too obvious that she was using more than self-propulsion and was even beginning to lap some of the stragglers.
She gave Welsh Prop Adam Jones a wide berth- she didn’t want to catch his trademark trailing rock star hair in her wheels or it would be fatal for her Hoover-board.
As she whizzed (like Stephen Hawking on amphetamine) passed the second placed local runner Tony Pandy, he began to smell a rat or more precisely burning toenail polish fumes.
R2D2 never moved THAT quickly in the film.
He had a ‘new hope’ – he would get that cheating bastard disqualified.
He didn’t like Star Wars or Z-Cars for that matter.
Only one more circuit of the ‘Welsh Monaco’ and Dorothy could take her crown and bet money from her friends.
She would take great delight in telling her Dowlais Ladies Hockey Teammates to ‘Puck Off’.
Having the prestige of winning the ‘Nos Galan’ within the Police Force would also ‘fast track’ her for promotion to Inspector providing, she could get rid of the proof of her cheating.
The best way she had found over the years, to consign something to the Legal equivalent of Room 101, was to send it to the Crown Prosecution Service labelled ‘ Evidence’.
Or present it to a Judge as part of an International War Crimes Enquiry.
Her feet were burning worse than that time she caught a multiple verruca from the former Gwaunfarren Baths.
The military voice in her head told her ‘no pain no gain’ so she tried to put up with the searing heat that Dorothy’s own ‘Tootsies’ were experiencing.
She looked over her left shoulder and could see that despite her being ‘turbo charged’ the Marathon Women’ was gaining on her.
Radcliffe had got into her stride and had paced herself perfectly.
Banking as she came around the corner, passed the local Delhi-catessen or branch of Barclays, as it was known locally, Dorothy realised that her contraption was actually slowing down but what wasn’t apparent under that Droid costume was that the thermal shut- off switch on the board just hadn’t shut off.
Her feet were in fact on fire, like she was standing on the bridge of the Sir Galahad ship during the Falklands War.
Her toes were alight and of their own volition starting sending Morse code signals to Dorothy.
Dot- Dot- Dash- Save our Soles.
The stench of burning pig flesh was following Dorothy, and in her slipstream some of the rugby lads raised on a diet of early Sunday Morning bacon sandwiches, began to speed up like extras from the Waking Dead, as she ‘hot-footed’ it passed them.
With every step recorded on her Apple Fit watch, Dorothy could tell Radcliffe was closing on her.
She had come this far and it would be a shame if her burnt offerings of sacrificing her pedicure and expensive trainers didn’t produce a win backed by Mount Olympus, as she passed the Aberdare Camera Shop.
Surely, the Greek Goddess of Victory- Nike- would smile down on her.
She could see the finishing tape near the statue of Guto on Henry Street.
A little further please she pleaded silently to the Aegean Pantheon.
Suddenly, a flame shot out from under the legs of R2D2, burning the remaining fabric away so that the entire crowd could see the extent of the cheating by Dorothy.
The Hoover-board trundled to a halt, as she past a fat former Swansea City player still running the first lap.
She was less than two feet from the winning line, even if she didn’t have two feet left to complete the race.
She screamed in agony, as Radcliffe dipped for the line and pipped Dorothy for first place.
She then proceeded to put out the fire by urinating like a shire horse on the remains of Dorothy’s trainers.
“ Is she taking the piss or what?” said Dorothy’s best mate, Elaine Peter-Alan.
“ It’s more like Nos Gallon!” said another Ruth Bidmead- Cook , as the athlete in true camel style took ages to empty her bladder.
Dorothy’s dream, trainers, and bank balance were in tatters.
She had lost her personal Star War.
Dot Dot’s Dash was over and out.
By Philip evans, 2019-12-07
My wife and I were privileged to see Texan Grammy Winner Singer/Singerwriter Christopher Cross at the Bath Forum.
For us oldies it was such a pleasure to listen to real music with proper lyrics.
And also to get an early Christmas present ( from the Wife) from my favourite US Artist.
Keeping the special relationship between the New World and the Old, and Wales and America being fostered by Americymru.
Seasons Greetings from the Welsh Valleys.
Phil ‘Boz’ Evans