By Philip evans, 2020-07-07
Animal Rights activist A.L.F. Egan lay completely still in the long grass, high above the Welsh Valley of Cwm Twp.
He motioned to his 15- year old accomplice, ‘Popeye’ Doyle, to lie still until the factory searchlight had passed overhead.
Once it had done so, the pair all dressed in black and camouflage gear used the wire cutters to snip the perimeter fence.
In the distance was a grey metallic building called Abbot’s Trois, owned according to Companies House by a French Company based in the Tax Haven of Jersey, called Vaches Mort R-US.
A.L.F. & Popeye didn’t call it Abbot’s Trois.
To them it was Cowschwitz.
A place where animals were taken to be slaughtered.
Both A.L.F. and ‘Popeye’ were committed vegetarians – A.L.F. more so than because he had been caught and imprisoned for his strong belief that ‘Meat was Murder’.
As a 3- year old child, he had continually shouted this phrase from his perch in the front of supermarket trolley, innocently mistaking Morrisons for the Smith’s Morrissey.
He was banned for life.
That was nearly 40 years ago now, and poor A.L.F. hadn’t had the more auspicious starts to life, as his Mother had given birth to him on the Greenham Common, whilst protesting at the US Airforce Base in Berkshire in the 1980’s.
His Mother only noticed when others around her pointed out that she had a baby swinging from between her legs by an umbilical cord, such was the cacophony of noise at the protests when the jets armed with nuclear missiles took off.
Having a fanny the size of Cheddar Gorge didn’t help his Mother Gaia either, but it certainly helped A.L.F. come into the World, as didn’t have a difficult birth in that F W Woolworth impromptu water birthing pool surrounded by New Age whale music.
Little A.L.F. never knew his Father, his Mother had always told him that just like Mary in the Bible it had been an immaculate conception.
He was named A.L.F. after the letters on the side of a truck that delivered food to the camp.
The young A.L.F. was raised on a diet of legumes, peas, beans and lentils- so when he was found to be listless and lethargic and taken to the Doctor by a concerned Social Worker visiting Tepee Valley in Carmarthenshire – he was diagnosed as having a high pulse rate.
His Mother was told to feed him red meat to raise the number of red blood cells in the youngster’s body.
The Doctor was told in no uncertain terms where he could put his cold stethoscope by the indoctrinated child.
A.L.F himself never considered the decision not to eat meat during his lifetime to be a missed steak.
He chose to ignore science when it was claimed that plants screamed when being ripped from the ground.
Nature provided a bounty of seasonal treats for the wayfarers of the Carmarthen Tent Village.
He always enjoyed a ‘Hippy Birthday’ with presents including blackberries freshly picked from the hedgerows of the West Walian Countryside.
Gathering nuts in May was always a favoured childhood memory, as was hunting in competition for truffles with his fellow Earth dwellers- the pigs in the dirt.
A.L.F loved the Spring, Summer and Autumn months but hated the cold Wintertime.
Most of the fellow travellers at the commune used to commit minor offences at that time to spend a little time in jail to obtain a warm cell and free hot food from the ‘Man’.
A.L.F. had always been told that the Capitalist system was like a vampire sucking the blood out of its victim- the working man.
That excuse for not working for over two decades, was now framed and on display for all to see in the Carmarthen Job Centre.
A.L.F. was very proud of it – even if he couldn’t read what it said.
He just liked to see the letters A.L.F. up on the wall, meaning that he had left his mark on the Universe, whilst signing the same three letters for his giro cheques.
Popeye on the other hand was much younger than A.L.F.
He should have still been in school if his Local Education Appeal Panel hadn’t barred him- due to his intense love of fire.
It was not like pyromania was a crime now was it?
Born and raised around a campfire, it always transfixed him.
Just like a modern- day Prometheus, Popeye believed that fire was there to be stolen from the Gods and used against ‘The Man’ himself.
If there was one thing ‘Popeye’ loved it was burning a holiday home in West Wales.
He had always assumed he was called ‘Popeye’ because of his love of spinach, but in reality, it was because he had bulging eyes like US actor Steve Buscemi, due to an overactive thyroid gland.
He had never broken into a meat processing plant before so it would be a real ‘eye-opener’ for him.
‘Popeye’ was so excited- as the Adult World opening up to him was completely new and unexplored.
He trusted A.L.F. like the Father he too had never known.
Once through the wire, A.L.F. had timed it so that the pair had two minutes to cross the rear compound courtyard.
There were obviously no guard dogs on patrol- despite the sign stating otherwise.
What guard dog could work all day next to the tantalising smell of meat without attempting to run off with a string of intestinal cow sausages?
There was also a warning sign for CCT cameras, but A.L.F. was an expert in dealing with those.
After all, he had spray painted more ‘Honky’ speed cameras black than the Black Lives Matters protestors.
Honky -not because of the racist term for white people- but honky after the actions of fellow drivers that sounded their horn and flashed their pale headlights to warn other road users of their location.
The silent pair of animal rights ninjas reached the side of the illuminated building.
A.L.F. looked at his wristwatch-his only concession to the 21 st Century- and waited patiently for the big hand to meet the little hand- he knew this to be 12 O’Clock.
Very soon, both he and his pyromaniac friend would be ‘burning the midnight oil’ together.
He had carried out reconnaissance over two nights and had noted that at precisely that time the lone security guard left the near side fire exit and walked around the left- hand side of the building to have a sly cigarette.
Obviously, working in a meat factory he could not contaminate the carcasses with tobacco smoke, otherwise he would be for the ‘chop’ too.
The pair would have to be quick but they would ‘nip in’, set the fire and leave the way they had entered.
With balaclava masks over their faces- no-one would be any wiser on their identities- besides given the coronavirus pandemic there were too many masked people around to pin-point them.
In -out, no trace left behind- just like their biological Father’s had done all those years ago.
The Vegan apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Seen but not ‘herd’ if you like.
Security Guard Peta Plump had eaten his remaining tuna, egg and pickle sandwiches and it was now time for his first fag break of the evening.
He would save his remaining bacon sandwiches for 3.00am when he got more peckish.
He had been warned not to smoke or fart inside the factory because it was both a fire risk and a health hazard to the workforce.
Imagine being told that the smell of your arse was more pungent than dead cattle?
He ambled around the side of the building taking long pulls on his cigarette as if in a state of nicotine ecstasy.
But it was not just the putrid stink of cigarettes that was present.
That other smell of death hung around the place and could not be removed from clothing.
It permeated everything.
His uniform, his vest and his hat too.
It was so bad that he was banned from visiting his elderly Mother at the local Nursing Home, the Gran-Yr-Afon- in case he started a riot.
God his job was boring.
Staring at screens all night and doing word-searches in the low lighting for 8 hours.
Surrounded by fridges containing animal carcasses.
He was awful worried having watched the film Poltergeist a few days ago, if such a thing as an animal ghost existed.
He had heard of the Scottish horse water-spirit called the Kelpie but hoped there was no cow equivalent.
As he looked up into the clear black valley sky above Cwm Twp, he wondered how many thousands of cattle had died at the Plant and figured that with the law of averages that it was only a matter of time before an ‘Ermintrude spectre called’ and put the shits up him.
He wasn’t normally the nervous type but he had his suspicions that something odd was going on in the last eight months he had worked the security.
He couldn’t figure what it was but things had changed just before the New Tory Government had come to power.
Inside the factory, A.L.F. and Popeye looked around them in the half-light.
They had the petrol cans with them a series of long shoe laces as a fuse and a lighter each.
Popeye became even more of a Popeye, as he stared at the topless former Page 3 Model ‘Bappy’ aged 21 on the Calendar in the Security Guard Office.
She was scantily dressed standing next to some livestock with a cattle prod looking suggestively.
“Cor… look at her she is ‘stunning’!” said Popeye.
“Obviously-all I can see is a Murderess!” replied A.L.F.
“I wonder if there is any more below?” said the young teenager hormones raging.
Popeye tried to leaf through the calendar but couldn’t unstick the pages for some strange reason.
It was a long night for Peta.
A.L.F. now entered the office area but was not distracted by the soft porn but more interested in the number of invoices sticking out of an order book on the desk of the Managing Director.
They all bore the heading Max Bygraves- ‘I want to sell you a Tory’.
A.L.F.’s interest was piqued.
He couldn’t read the words but something far out in the Universe was telling him this was important.
He had heard of journalists winning Pulitzer Prizes- although unsung hero Security Guard Peta probably deserved a different kind of one- and slipped the book into his camouflaged trouser pocket.
The sound of the security guard farting outside, shook the pair back to their original purpose.
The bastard must have been done to his last cigarette instead of the usual two, smoked alternately through both hands like an Argentinian Soccer Manager.
As Peta closed the Fire Exit Door loudly, the pair of trespassing burglars needed to find somewhere to hide and quickly too.
A.L.F. grabbed the security guard’ torch as an impromptu weapon.
Popeye, just grabbed a sandwich from the open lunch box and raced to the door.
Look around for somewhere to hide the pair had no option but to dive into the freezer section.
As he ushered Popeye inside, A.L.F. quickly placed the torch on the floor to hold the door slightly ajar.
He knew from experience. if they were to be locked inside such a sub-zero facility then it could be fatal.
Peta ambled back to his office with nicotine level partly restored.
He looked down at his desk and was surprised to notice that one of his sandwiches was missing.
Strange, he thought I don’t remember eating that.
There was no-one in the building at night, so it was a little bit of a mystery.
He looked under the desk for signs of crumbs in case a Herculean Mouse had managed to lift it from the lunch box, across the desk and onto the floor.
Peta was known locally for not being the sharpest tool in the box but now he was also a sandwich short of a picnic.
Perhaps he was losing on himself.
He looked around the rest of the desk to see if anything else was missing.
His torch had gone too.
Peta began to get nervous.
What if it was an animal Poltergeist?
His mind started to play tricks on him in the dark.
A cold shiver ran down his spine.
He felt like a draught of cold air was coming from somewhere.
He looked across at his only companion for the night, the Page 3 model Calendar hanging on the wall- even Bappy looked more pert than normal.
On that evidence, there was definitely a nip in the air.
His mind told him to follow the cold air to its source.
Perhaps he had not closed the Fire Exit door properly behind him?
He walked to the door to check, keys jangling as he went.
Inside the freezer compartment, both A.L.F. and Popeye were starting to get cold.
The area had white walls and in the centre were four racks of carcasses hanging upside down on sharp metal meat hooks from the ceiling.
It was the ideal hiding place for a trespasser or two.
Popeye had never been in a walk-in fridge before.
He assumed Susan Boyle had one this size.
A.L.F. whispered to Popeye to stay down low.
It was so cold he could almost read those words on his mentor’s breath that was left behind.
Popeye had never really had the opportunity to learn to read books.
His late Brother ‘Bulger’ had been his Mother’s favourite- he always got the lion’s share of the Alphabetti Spaghetti, but not enough sadly to stop him falling through thin ice one day three Winter’s back.
The cold always reminded him of his brother.
As did the almost blue carcasses hanging in front of him.
He wondered what sort of animals they were at the cattle plant as he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, whilst eating the very tasty sandwich he had managed to rob.
“Psst… A.L.F. have a look at this will you?” asked Popeye.
A.L.F. moved a dead cow out of the way and joined his fellow burglar further back into the freezer compartment.
“Look at this one!” said Popeye.
“It looks human to me!” the scared youth continued.
“They all do!” said A.L.F.
“But this one has a mop of blonde hair!” stuttered Popeye.
On closer examination, A.L.F. discovered that his friend was correct.
It DID have blonde hair and more than a passing resemblance to Boris Johnson the previous Prime Minister of the former United Kingdom.
“Bloody Hell Popeye…..it does look like him….and he had a reputation for hiding in a fridge when things got tough!” said A.L.F. somewhat astonished at their discovery.
“Look there are more, here at the back too!” said Popeye moving along the line of fat lardy carcasses.
“I thought he was supposed to be as fit as a butcher’s dog what doing those press-ups when no-one told him that his inflatable woman had been stolen from under him!” said A.L.F.
As Popeye walked through the rows of cadavers, he was shocked to see hundreds of bodies which like ‘Boris’ were almost human.
A.L.F. noticed that none of the carcasses had any internal organs and definitely no heart.
“They look like Tory MP’s!” he said to himself.
Which is somewhat fitting as they have turned the Country into a ‘Right Shambles’.
He examined the cadaver next to ‘Boris’ and wondered what the Hell had gone on.
Had the Russian Mafia who had contributed to Tory Party funds caught up with the Right-Wing Junta, after finally being forced to release the Russian Report into the Autumn General Election?
Who had ordered this massacre and on such a ‘Grand’ scale not seen since the Brighton Conference in 1984.
Was it Dominic Cullings?
He looked at the tag and noted that different cadavers had different coloured tags and extra meat additions.
He checked the Order Book for the colour coding.
The blood coloured ones had ‘Red Wedge’ marked on them and seemed to be all marked for delivery to the North.
They had ‘best before election 2024’ dates marked on them.
The ones with green tags had ‘Washington, the Former Colonies, USA’ stamped on them.
Particularly the ones with four more ears.
A.L.F. saw the flags and pretty colours and figured they were part of a Trans-Atlantic Trade deal in exchange for chlorinated chicken.
Post-Brexit, it would appear that the British Establishment was back to its’ previous jingoistic 19 th Century Foreign policy of ‘Transporting’, so called ‘inferior’ humans to the New World- but this for time for Trump Rallies.
This was clear because the cadavers with the stars and stripes had a battery cavity in their ‘ass’ in the shape of a Democrat Donkey.
A.L.F looked at the opposite page and noted that an order had been placed by one Welsh Tory MP, Neil Hamilton for thirty ‘CHADS’ to be supplied to BBC studios in Greater Manchester for an audience.
It was marked under ‘Cash for Question Time’
A.L.F. had a revelation – he could now see the wood from the trees.
“That explains how the Conservative Party won the last election!” he said.
“ Manipulation of the Main Stream Media, Russian interference, Bots on Social Media, links with the Klan in the US of A and dead voters in the Northern Labour Heartlands….we are the only ones that know where the bodies are buried!” A.L.F. continued to the utter bemusement of his companion.
“This Client book is worth a fortune, almost as much as Epstein’s- it makes it clear that the proceeds of the whole dodgy deal are being funnelled offshore to the Tax Havens in the Channel Islands ……it is the French Connection all over again Popeye…..what legitimate Company has a Frog- faced Director on its headed paper called Sir Loin?” continued A.L.F enraged by the corruption that existed at the top of Central Government.
“Imagine using the Coronavirus Pandemic as a distraction to carry out their undercovid operation?”
“It all makes sense now- WHO would go near any meat processing plants with their reported high infection rates other than the ineffectual World Health Organisation?….they weren’t ramping up the testing but ramping up the exports of cadavers….that explains why the Nightingale Hospital in London and the Millennium Stadium was empty!” continued A.L.F. the ultimate conspiracy theorist.
Popeye was lost.
“But where did the brain cells for the zombies come from?” asked the youngster.
“You are too young to remember this politician but according to the book- they were donated to the Tory paper by one David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts-!” replied A.L.F looking at the photo on the inside cover of Patrons.
“So there never was a real Covid 19 Pandemic then?” asked Popeye.
“An invisible germ that came in from China- that killed only the elderly and the already ill only?” said A.L.F.
“What do you think?”
“I try not to….it hurts too much!” said the easily influenced teen.
Unfortunately, their whispering had been overheard from the Security Office.
Peta Plump wasn’t easily scared but that film Poltergeist had spooked him.
Reading up that child actress Heather O’Rourke had died at age of 12 in mysterious circumstances had frightened him even more.
He didn’t want to mess with the Spirit World.
He was concerned that he could hear mutterings coming from the Freezer Area.
This was one of the ‘Forbidden Zones’ in the factory.
He was warned not to go in there by the Management in case he got locked in and froze to death.
Peta Plump had the Paper Lace Song ‘Billy don’t be a hero’ playing inside his head.
But he was paid £7.50 an hour so he had to pretend he was one.
He listened again and thought he could hear strange whisperings coming from the area.
He peered out of his Office and could see a chink of light coming from the door and lo and behold there was his missing flashlight.
Summoning up all his courage, he walked towards the door, wheeling his office chair as back-up.
The sound had stopped.
He would place the chair in the freezer door and poke his nose in.
Nothing more then he would slam the door shut.
The hackles on the back of his neck were raised and he had goose-bumps but he wasn’t sure if it was caused by fear or just cold.
He was half-expecting something out of a Stephen King book to leap at him from the dark, as he treaded in baby steps towards his torch and the freezer door.
After what seemed like an eternity, he finally reached the door.
How stupid did he feel as a grown man afraid of his own shadow?
He lifted the torch from the gap with the intention of replacing it with the with the chair, whilst he had a quick look around from the safety of the door.
Curiosity had got the cat.
As he started to open the door wider and increase ‘the Shining’- he was stunned to see a frozen Blonde- Haired cadaver suddenly come sliding at him at speed.
Peta heard the words “Here’s Boris!” as he was bowled over onto the floor.
Ironic really, as just before he passed out the last thing he saw was the words hurtling at him from inside the locker room was :
‘Stay Alert’, “Control the Virus”, Protect the NHS!”
A.L.F. & Popeye then rushed passed the stricken guard in a state of semi-consciousness have being body checked by a frozen PM in ‘Tip Top’ Condition.
The Animal Rights Activists no longer wanted to burn down the factory as they had bigger fish to fry.
Popeye and A.L.F. owed it to the dead animals and composite humans to bring the French Connection to justice.
There was also the small matter of an investigative journalist ‘Paul Foot n Mouth’ Award to collect for their efforts and of course lots of people in high places to blackmail.
By Philip evans, 2020-06-13
The reason was the release of Howard Marks new book at the Hay Book festival.The former Oxford Graduate and Welsh mastermind of a European Cannabis Ring sat ‘smug’ly. Who said crime doesn’t pay. The best selling author had released his latest in a series of books with a view to helping his former fellow prisoners bide away their time in jail. Like the author himself, the release date had kept going forward, as the US backed Drugs Enforcement Agency had objected to his books and profiteering.“ Who shall I make the book out to sonny?” asked Marks ‘pen’ at the ready.“ And more importantly which one of my aliases would you like ‘Marked’ on it?” asked the globetrotter with more passports than the entire Newport Office.“ Mr Nice will do!”said the little boy rolling his autograph pen like it was a joint. Marks had over the last five decades seen more joints than most, some with but most without bars.His seven years in the Terre Haute Prison in America, had taken their toll on the face of the Welshman- his once ‘Film Star’ looks had been replaced by that of a roc kstar. Unfortunately, it was a combination of Bill Wyman and Keith Richards.
He was once on a ‘Rolling Stoned’ tour with his idols in Cardiff , where as part of his parole conditions he had to tell the schoolchildren at Cathays High School not to take drugs. One of the children raised his hand up and complained that there were none left in Cardiff as Keith Richards and Howard Marks had done them all already. The other non-criminal writers like Jeffrey Archer and Rupert Allison, at the Times Newspaper sponsored event, looked on jealously as the volumes produced by Marks and publishing stable-mate Boyd Clack were setting new festival sales records. Both Clacks’ book entitled ‘High Hopes’ and the Marks one called ‘Pot Black’ were outstripping demand.They seemed to have a hidden quality that their rival authors did not- besides being well-written that is.
“Howard ....did you ever in your wildest dreams think that this would be such a roaring success?” asked Melvyn Bragg nasally.“ Howard I know ?” said the former prison author, as he signed another book looking Northward, sat in the glorious sunshine on the raised grass platform in the Powys field . “ So you mean...you didn’t expect this kind of ‘South Bank Show’?”said Melvyn.“ I expected a good turnout....I’m not called ‘Mr Nice’ for nothing...but I don’t like to Bragg!” continued the ‘pot idol’ as he signed another volume using yet another alias...this time ‘Puff Daddy’. Boyed by the attention, his fellow writer Clack, a former hippy , was not only signing his books but adding a ‘smacker’ with his own lips to the front cover.“ Kisses are better than Wine!” he declared to the latest in along line of BBC Wales Comedy Fans.“ Howard....how do you think the book will be received around the World...do you have any regrets at all ....shamelessly cashing in on your notoriety as a criminal and convicted international drug smuggler?” asked the adenoid suffering arts presenter.“ None at all....this time I’m making legitimate money...this isn’t a front....even if it appears to be affront to the US....after all they are the ones to put the ‘dope’ into dope smuggling!” laughed Marks with a smile not seen since he was released on bail (appropriately to Hay- on- Wye) .
“ Do you think America will be interested in a book about Snooker entitled ‘Pot Black’.....why would the prison population want to buy (albeit in great demand) a book about the exploits of Welsh World Champions Terry Griffiths, Ray Reardon and Doug Mountjoy from the 1970’s.....I can understand the dynamic and flair of players like Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.....and even that one that looks like Merthyr’s John Williams-Dominic Dale!” asked Bragg.
“ Have you read the book Mel?” asked Howard.“ Not yet....I have had a bit of a head cold recently....but I will get round to it soon!” said the smooth talker.“ If you are congested try rubbing the front cover on the end of your sinuses....the book has an almost medicinal quality, unsurpassed by other books of its kind!” suggested Clack eavesdropping on the conversation.“ And it tastes almost as nice as a piece of ‘battyberg’!” he said looking skyward to dad.“ These books aregood for ‘Hay Fever’!” said Marks smiling just like a Super Furry Animal.
Bragg began to smell a rat.He was surrounded by people who were the usual suspects at ‘Brecon Jazz’, those who slept in tents in a field, most were from the ‘flower power’generation and wore ‘Bob Marley’ and Jimi Hendrix tee-shirts.They weren’t buying the book to read it.Marks looked at him as the penny dropped.“ Guess how many kilos of books I have sold to the prisons in the USA?” asked Marks.“ Those prisoners have been described as of being of ‘ex-hemp-lary character’....it is after all helping to make the detention centres a much ‘karma’ place.“Personally, Melvyn I don’t think Ihave made a ‘hash’ of my career!...what do you think?” smirked Mr Nice.“ I think you're very clever Mr Marks indeed!” replied Bragg catching on to the three way conversation.“Anything that is manufactured in the UK and exported these days is fine ‘in my books’ too !” agreed Clack.“ We all have ‘High’ Hopes for success ...give this one to Federal Drugs Officer Craig Lovato with my compliments... next time you’re stateside...I’m afraid I can’t...I’m barred from the place!” said Marks.
By Philip evans, 2020-05-17
“ What do you think of the wheels then?” asked Astra the professional car thief from the Gurnos.
“ Nice…!” nodded his hoodie friend Elvi$, as he climbed into the front seat of the mini-ambulance.
The vehicle sped away at breakneck speed on the Gurnos Ring Road heading towards Galon Uchaf.
“ Where did you get it?” asked Elvi$.
“ He stole it from outside the Gurnos Home for the elderly!” said a voice from the back of the vehicle.
Astra broke suddenly and a lady with whiter hair than Philip Schofield shot forward in her wheelchair to join the pair in the front.
“ Who the F*** are U?” asked Elvi$ as he came face to face with the Barbara Cartland lookalike.
“ I am the lady that was being transported to the Gurnos House before this chap here stole the van!” said the octogenarian.
“ My name is Mrs Ryder!” she said holding out a hand with a scented white glove for her abductors to kiss.
“ You have been watching 2 much ‘Downtown’ Abbey Duchess…I wouldn’t kiss my girlfriends ring - so I defo ain’t kissing URS!” said Elvi$.
“ Why Elvi$ ….surely the age of chivalry isn’t dead in Merthyr?” asked the pensioner.
“ How did you know he is called Elvi$?” asked Astra….
” Are you a coppers nark?”
“ It is written all over his face….!” Said Mrs Ryder.
It was really WAS written all over his face …. it was in fact tattooed on his forehead….at the tender age of 14 , to celebrate the birth of his second child, young Elvi$ (real name Wilfred) had got a mirror, some Indian ink and a compass from a set one kids geometry set and tattooed the name of his real father on his forehead.
His mother had copped off at the annual Elvis Weekend in Porthcawl and had her fair share of rock that weekend.
She had been so hammered with drink that she only knew that his biological father had worn blue suede shoes.
She had remembered that specifically, as Elvi$ was nearly one of twins- in the middle of ‘love me tender’ it had splattered all over the suede uppers.
On reflection, Elvi$ himself had regretted using that mirror to permanently mark his forehead, as was the ‘S’ like the boy himself was backward.
“ What do we do about HER?” asked Astra pointing at the old lady with the only thing that had ever worked in his house- his thumb.
“ Don’t tell her your name Astra and you might be okay!” said Elvi$.
“ Shall we kill her?” asked Astra.
“ Is there any point boys….I am half dead already!” interjected Mrs Ryder.
Interjected - as the two heroin addicts were busy shooting up in the front seat.
“ I reckon we take her on the Heads of the Valleys Road … let her brake off and push her out into traffic!” suggested Astra.
“ Yeah…would be fun watching this old dalek hitting traffic!” said the charming Elvi$.
“ Didn’t you have a grandmother once?” asked Mrs Ryder unconcerned with her own fate being more concerned that this lost generation of the workshy had no scruples or sense of decency.
This generation of children who had been ‘dragged’ up on a diet of video nasties and shoot ‘em up computer games.
To them there was no ‘community’ …no thought for others …as they were shunned by society as being lepers….fourth generation scum who had never had a working person living in their houses.
They thought ‘aspiration’ meant sweating in a prison gym.
“ Well gentlemen , I am not afraid to die anymore than I was afraid to be born- if anything, it will save my family the cost of sending me to a Swiss clinic so c’mn …let’s get this show on the road !” said Daphne.
The two scag-heads were thrown by this comment.
“ Come on what are you waiting for?…..like Tom Cruise in Top Gun ….I feel the need…the need for speed!” said Mrs Ryder.
“ Sorry love…we’ll all out of amphetamine…!” said Astra stunned by the reaction of the legless granny.
“ Should we decide not to kill you …Have you got any money Granny?” asked Elvi$ changing tack.
“ I’m a disabled pensioner from Essex way about to go into a Merthyr Care Home….what do you think?” replied Mrs Ryder.
“ I try not to think ….it hurts…!” said Astra …“ Nice wheels by the way!”
“ The metal in the wheelchair has to be worth SOMETHING up the scrappie!” said Elvi$.
“ Probably but you wouldn’t steal from the NHS would you?” asked Mrs Ryder.
“ He would steal from his own grandmother!” said Astra.
“ Do I know her?” asked Mrs Ryder trying a captor/hostage trick to find common ground with her abductors.
“ How old are you?” asked Astra.
“ It is not polite to ask a Lady her age…..but I am 88 this year!” said the Grannie proudly.
“ His grandmother is only 52…!” said Astra.
“ Shut up…!” ordered Elvi$....”….. Just keep driving will you!”
Outside the Gurnos Home for the elderly, the oldest delivery boy in town was scratching his head.
Former Policeman, Alan Flatfoot was puzzled.
He was sure he had parked the ambulance in the courtyard five minutes ago….and he couldn’t find Mrs Ryder the second of his two passengers.
He didn’t think it possible she would go anywhere not having any legs while he wheeled in her friend Daisy to the Centre.
He couldn’t remember if he had left the keys in the ignition or not.
He didn’t want to be charged with the offence of ‘Quitting’ by his former colleagues.
He was starting to worry that delivering all these old people with Alzheimers disease was becoming to rub off on him….like the randy old goat Edna in flat number three.
He decided to do one last lap of the building and car park before ringing his old boys in blue.
Imagine, the stick he would get if they found out.
“ Ever seen the film ‘The Fast & The Furious’ ? asked Astra.
“ Nope!” replied Mrs Ryder.
“ They are classic films about joy riding and breaking the law starring Vin Diesel!” said the driver pretending he was as macho as the Hollywood star.
“Vin Diesel….I have heard of him….said Mrs Ryder…!”
“ I often pretend to be like him!” said Astra.
“ You know he’s gay!” said Mrs Ryder.
“ No way…!” said Astra…slowing down to 60MPH in a 30MPH zone.
“ Diesel …doesn’t like unleaded green hose in his tank…!” said Mrs Ryder hitting the kid where it hurt- in his simple mind.
“ Ever heard of Gone in Sixty Seconds?” asked Elvi$.
“ No….!” gulped Mrs Ryder.
“ Because once we reach the brow of this hill…that is what you will be!” said Elvi$ cruelly.
“ Astra, keep the wheel straight I am going to slide between these seats and unbolt the back door to get rid of that old bitch!” he continued.
“ You have forgotten one thing Sonny…they have speed cameras on the Heads of the Valleys Road…you kick me out…you will be on ‘You-tube’ forever…as the Granny Wheelchair killer….that would go down well in Cardiff Prison!” laughed Mrs Ryder.
Elvi$ hated being outsmarted, even if it did happen a lot.
He had a naturally ‘suspicious mind’ …which he thought was just a by-product of the Indian Ink.
“ They don’t have them on the Glynneath bank…but that is a dual carriageway anyway…the A470 Expressway it is then “ said Elvi$ chucking evilly, like Chuckie the doll from Child’s Play.
Mrs Ryder knew she had about two miles as the crow flew to come up with a plan.
She reckoned that Astra was ‘all mouth and trousers’ but that Elvi$ was much more dark and psychotic.
She tried to remember her Wren training and catching people off guard.
She hatched a plan in her mind that she would grab her attacker with both hands and judo him off the back of the moving mini-bus.
As the bus made its way towards the Rhydycar roundabout and all those clerks sleeping at their desks in the Welsh Assembly Building, there was no chance of jettisoning the old lady and her wheelchair as the road was backed up from the Cyfarthfa Retail Park park roundabout to the Rhydycar Roundabout because of road works.
“ You do realise the bus is facing the wrong way for any delivery into oncoming traffic!” said Mrs Ryder.
“ Wrong ….my boy here has been practising his ‘do-nuts’ and ‘u-turns’ for years around the college and other car parks….all that late night squealing and burning rubber….that’s not just from the back of the Kirkhouse!” said Elvi$.
“ Very soon you… and that Oasis chair will be history!” he continued menacingly.
“ Oasis chair?” asked Mrs Ryder tying herself into the chair in anticipation with her shoelaces….belt strap and M&S Cardigan ….all with a granny knot.
“ You getta roll with it!” said Elvi$ laughing at his gallows humour.
The van screeched around the corner with Elvi$ holding his hand up to the driver as they flew across the road bridge above P & R Motors in Pentrebach.
“ Wait for it!” he said sliding past Mrs Ryder and unbolting the back doors.
“ Now !” he said.
Astra spun the steering wheel wildly.
As he uttered those immortal words….Mrs Ryder pushed at the top of the rubber wheels with all her might.
She crashed into the soft shins of her abductor and he teetered on the edge of the open doors, quiff flailing in the wind.
And then he was gone.
Elvi$ had left the building , falling over the flyover and was lying flat on his back on the bonnet of the tow-truck.
There was no hope for him even if he was in the ‘recovery position’.
He looked like a dying fly legs and arms flailing in the air spine completely shot.
Cars careered across the three lane highway in all directions as the van skidded to a halt and then restarted its acceleration back up the wrong sliproad.
Mrs Ryder rolled about more than an episode of ’Ironside’ in the van with the doors flapping.
Astra was petrified but like a charging bull he had the intelligence to neither stop or to slow down.
Forcing cars off the road, the insurance nightmare raced up the A470, sideswiping cars and barriers alike, as he headed towards Cardiff.
Mrs Ryder knew she had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, as Astra was as unpredictable as the out of date box of fireworks he was originally named after.
Centrifugal force was keeping her in the vehicle alone but she knew once he broke, she would be history.
She dragged herself along the metal wall inch by inch and grabbed the little scrote around the throat with all her might forcing the scumbag to choke on his own Adams Apple.
“ Here is a present from ‘Granny Smith’….!” she said strangling the car thief.
Astra was so dull even though he was slowly having the oxygen squeezed out of him , he pressed the brake gently on survival instinct instead of the accelerator.
“ If there is one thing I hate!” she said.
” It is someone sullying my good name…you didn’t even have the courtesy to ask it….I’m Joy Ryder and you are not a joy rider… you are a car THIEF !”” she said as Astra’s face went blue and the car trundled to a stop in the layby .
It was the best vigilante move since Michael Winner had finally had his own Death Wish.
Listening to banned police frequencies, Alan Flatfoot put his foot flat to the floor in his Hillman Avenger, as he gunned down the A470 Expressway in search of his stolen ambulance.
The former prop from the television programme, the ‘Professionals’ had a top speed of 40 mph and had air conditioning in the floor where the clutch pedal had once been.
Letting in the ‘choke’ he spotted his van ringed by police cars in a layby above Troedyrhiw, watching a different kind of choke taking place.
They had retrieved the body of Elvi$ from Pentrebach and had just found the hostage situation much to the annoyance of Traffic Cop Ade ‘Bucket’ Edmondson it was on his watch.
“ This is beyond the pail’ !” laughed Flatfoot as he pulled in to see his old police driving instructor.
“ What you got then?” asked Flatfoot.
“ The usual- an Old woman with no legs holding a junkie car thief by the throat threatening to snap his neck!” said Bucket.
“ Why are you trying to arrest her then?” asked Flatfoot.
“ We’re not….we are trying to give her a Community Action Trust Reward….keep the crime figures down …but she has gone all psycho on us when we are just trying to help her!” said the Traffic Officer.
“ I think I know why!” said Flatfoot.
“ I was transporting her from her stay in the Old Deanery Nursing Home in Braintree Essex!”
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