“ The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...let it snow, let it snow let it snow!...Nos Da!” declared camp weatherman, Derek Brockway live to the nation from the BBC studios in Cardiff.
“ Since when have you been interested in the weather Charlie?” asked Tommy ‘Hilfiger’ Silverback to the leader member of the Lavender Road Mob.
“ Duh!....since I learned that the boss man Mr Bigg gets coded messages over the BBC about his delivery times for his drug shipments!” laughed Charlie Kong.
“ Mr Bigg...who’s dat den?” asked Alan ‘Tit-che’ Guevara.
“ He is the man who got our leader sent to clink and I need to hit back at him to show our power ....make him an offer he can’t refuse....!” declared the New Gurnos Godfather.
By virtue of the fact he had a CSE from Penydre School in woodwork, he was the leader by natural selection of the ‘Gurnos posse’ following the incarceration of Urko Fosse, the previous Urban Guerilla leader.
Looking at his watch, he felt the familiar buzz of a light helicopter overhead flying towards Cefn Coed Y Cwmmer.
The three wise monkeys, stood on the Gurnos ‘Ring’ Road roundabout, in amongst the embers of their bonfire, lazily lobbing the remainder of their stones at the back of the Lakeside Gardens Houses and Heads of the Valleys Road.
It was reminiscent of a scene from the Arthur C Clarke film ‘2001’, except that it was in fact 2009 , and the only ‘hal’ in sight was the halitosis on the breath of their leader , visible in the night air , as he strained the follow the helicopter towards its pre-arranged rendezvous point on Cilsanws Mountain.
As it passed overhead , Tit-che was dazzled by the red lights.
“ Was that a UFO then or wot?” he asked his fellow crew members.
“ Well me homie, me tinks dat ET is in da hood!” declared Tommy in his red and white tracksuit and Peruvian Indian style hat.
“ Speak in English not Ghetto pimp ...you are not from the Bronx but from Lupin Close man...I’ve told you before, you stand out as a drug dealer dressed like an extra from N-DUBZ ...you need to dress casual like me ...smart ‘French Connection’ brand man from Q9 (lads & ladette’s) clothing.....see this jumper...it has some ‘snow’ sown into the inside material...I call it my ‘Polar neck’..... so there’s no obvious link to my dealing”
“ Anyway, I want to get one of you soldiers on sentry duty up there before the next ‘Bigg’ Drop.!”
As Tit-che whispered to Tommy out of earshot of the boss...” I just thought he had ‘Buy Polar disorder!”
Mechanic Alf ‘Keanu Reeves’ Feta-mean, stood in the pit changing the oil sump on the battered Ford Orion that had just returned from France.
His garage, ‘Brake Lines’ was recognised by everyone from Marseille to Amsterdam as being a recognised international specialised dealer.
He had himself been in the import and export business since his shareholding in the Pentrebach ski-slope went downhill.
Now he had decided to diversify into a different snow business .
As he removed the sump, he would normally be covered in black oil...this time he did not have to worry about dermatitis, a bubble wrap package covered in coffee beans fell out into the pit.
He smiled as was his ‘custom- ary practice’.
Carwyn McMuffin looked nervously into the rear-view mirror, checking to see if he was still being tailed .
At 17 years old , he had passed his driving test first time, but had regretted telling his Lupin Close neighbour , Tommy ‘Hilfiger’ Silverback he had a clean licence.
Forced into collecting a car from Marseille in the South of France, he had caught the Ferris Coach bus service straight to Cannes and hitch-hiked the rest of the way.
Nobody at the Merthyr Driving Test Centre told him on his test, that they drove on the right on the continent.
He had found out the hard way by putting his new found driving skills to the test , squeezing between two oncoming Petrol Tankers and the central reservation barrier with all the skills of Colin McRae.
He had proved his mother wrong ...the hours spent on his Playstation 3 , had been of use to him.
In-continent, he felt as his underpants bore more skid-marks than Brands Hatch.
His mother was also a concern , he had been gone three weeks and he knew he should have told her where he was going, because he had seen his face on the back of a Paris milk carton.
He hoped that his Pen-y-dre Headmaster , would believe the handwritten note from his mother, that he had run off to join the circus but would be back in time to re-sit his woodwork GCSE.
Carwyn was very worried in deed, because he could smell a sickly sweet perfume aroma burning from his vehicle and was being followed by a motorcycle cop.
He had been warned by his employer ‘Keanu Reeves’ not to go over 70 KMH , as the car had a ‘maximum speed’ and that the car was likely to explode...but his school education hadn’t explained MPH and KMH conversion rates.
He looked nervously at le Motorway sign and noted he was only 10 KM from Calais.
The motorcycle cop was being engulfed in the grey smoke coming from beneath his car.
The cop signalled him with a hairy garlic hand to pull over.
His weak joke that it was a Q9 ‘Polar neck’ sweater , not a pullover was lost in translation.
As he pulled into the layby , the traffic cop dismounted and approached the car in a Gaullic swagger.
“ Gendarme ...can I help you ?” asked Carwyn nervously handing over his child passport , worried that his mother would see his faced splashed all over the news by Interpol as McMuffin the Drugs mule.
“ Sir...I forget why I az to stopper u... (looking at the passport)...McMuffin ....do you have any thing to eat as I seem to have what you Eengleesh call ze munchies...non?”
“ I have a hairy wine gum stuck to the bottom of the front seat...I was saving it till Calais...but hey any port in a storm !” Carwyn replied handing over the sticky mess.
As he drove away, Carwyn was pleased to see that his Cannabis stashed in the Oil sump had finally stopped burning.
Tommy sat completely inconspicuous in a bright red tracksuit and Black and White Peruvian Indian hat, high up on the Cilsanws Common overlooking the golf course and the ‘posh’ part of Cefn Coed.
He could see in the distance the Morlais Castle ‘ set to the backdrop of a million stars in the early November evening.
He was freezing , he wished he had a Q9 ‘Polar neck’, as he waited vainly with only his stolen mobile phone for company with one bar left on his battery.
He thought about how he had got caught up in the clutches of the Lavender Road Mob.
He had been shit on all his life...he reckoned that he had the reverse of the Midas touch....everything he touched turned to bling....a kind of ‘fecal attraction’.
Latchkey kid since he was three , his mother was in the Matchstick Man pub smoking and drinking away his inheritance.
Like Romulus and Remus the founders of Rome , he had been brought up suckling the milk from the multitude of teenage mothers on his estate...brought up by the Mob.
Tommy was proud of the fact he was part of the underclass.
His warped logic meant that he was responsible for keeping the only people in Merthyr with jobs employed.
His ‘one man crime wave’ ‘supported’ a lot of jobs in Merthyr...if it wasn’t for him there would be less policemen, firemen, prison staff, DSS staff, court staff and shop security employees.
Unlike New Labour...New Gurnos was head of ‘job creation’ in the economy.
It had not been Tommy’s fault.
The Penydre Careers Teacher had computed his skills and come up with promising careers in burglary, car theft or rap music for Tommy.
Burglary ...that reminded him, his mate was getting married on Thursday, at the Castle House Marriage Registry Office and his house and his future-in laws house-would be empty all day.
The sudden ring-tone awoke Tommy from his hyperthermia based slumber.
“ E-s are good...E’s are good...Ebeneezer Goode!” by the Shamen rang out on the silent common....as his mobile phone lit up like a Christmas Tree in the darkness.
“ Derek Brockway just said that Cilsanws Common would be full of ‘Galanthus’ this evening..... !” announced Charlie.
“ What about Mr Bigg’s cocaine delivery?” asked Tommy
“ Galanthus is a flower....snow drop...it’s code...!” shouted Charlie
....” I know it’s cold .....but is it still on for tonight...because I’m freezing and my gonads are so wizened they look like Paul Daniels forehead!” moaned Tommy.
“ Its CODE not Cold....what about the chopper ?” asked Charlie
“ My choppers fine ...me nan knitted me a Peruvian willie-warmer....its my balls that are wrinkled.!” replied Tommy as his reply was drowned out by a noise from the sky.
“ Look at that Twat in the red tracksuit holding that phone...announced Helicopter pilot Bob Boner to his passenger ........... .I think he is a foot soldier for the Lavender Road Mob.... if I swoop down low do you think you can get him!”
Tommy could hear the sound of the ‘Flight of the Valkeries’ but didn’t realise it was ‘Apocalypse Now’ as the helicopter ‘gun ship’ hovered above him red light flashing.
Tommy still thought this was a UFO and stood transfixed waiting for the music to change over and start to communicate with him by short blasts of ‘beat box’.
Tommy’s red tracksuit turned to brown as he was suddenly deluged in a downpour of shite.
As the contents of a former ‘Winchfawr’ septic tank were poured over the sentry, he had ‘close encounters of the turd kind’ as Tommy’s star trek ended with a Captain’s Log .
Dripping in sewage, Tommy admitted defeat , as he turned tail and fled home to the sound of much laughter from the helicopter crew.
As the chopper dropped off its load from the air –a strange delivery of stuffed Llamas , Alpacas and Donkeys were hastily packed into a horsebox trailer and whisked away by the waiting shadowmen.
As he squelched his way back to Lupin Close, Tommy tried to make up a good excuse for his failure to intercept the ‘snow’ for his posse.
“ What the Hell happened to you?” asked Charlie as he slid through the front door.
“ It was those Aliens they tried to abduct me... you gotta believe me....there were farm animals flying everywhere on that common....da horse...da donkey...da llama...!” bleated Tommy.
“ Da pigs?” asked Tit-Che.
“ No police there man !” he replied removing a ‘ baby stool’ from his earhole.
“ Mr Bigg...he is out of order....!” snapped Charlie slamming his fist hard down on a stolen blue ray DVD player with a Heolgerrig Postcode.
“ Tit-che I want his house in Cefn staked out ...I want to pay him a little visit!” said Charlie ominously.
A different kind of smell was on the mind of Carwyn McMuffin, how could he get his car and its illicit contents past French & English Customs - smelling the way it did.
He began to shake rattle and bang his aging catalytic converter, until it began to stink to high heaven.
He also remembered a trick that the IRA had invented at H Block, in the Maze prison, opening a packet of maltesers, he placed a few of the chocolate balls in the bottom of his cotton shorts , smearing some on the top of his legs .
The customers official motioned for him to wind down his window , and stuck his head close to the car.
“ Anything to declare Sir?” he asked .
The combination of the smell of a sweaty Penydre- pupil who hadn’t washed for three days, in a car without sunroof and air conditioning, together with the stench of the dodgy catalytic converter and the sight of the brown balls rolling from his stained shorts, meant he moved through customs quicker than Kevin Spacey at gate 7 of American airlines.
Carwyn smiled to himself , as he was waved through without challenge, sniffer dogs falling like flies as he went past onto the ferry.
Next stop ...’Brake Lines’ garage he thought.
Rhys Wonka couldn’t believe his eyes...one minute he was scrambling ‘Walkers & Wilding style’ across Pontycapel Road - the next he had slid off into a secret glen of stuffed donkeys and other animals hidden at the back of a massive mansion underneath the Cefn Viaduct.
‘Perfect’ he purred like his finely tuned engine...’we need a guy for the bonfire tonight....’ selecting one of the stuffed animals ...he declared that this ‘ass was toast’.
Taking off his helmet, the ‘easy rider’ put it on his stuffed pillion passenger and headed for the bonfire site at ‘the black patch’ Cefn Rugby field.
“ I know where Mr Bigg lives!” cried Tit-che in triumph.
“ Where?” asked Charlie.
“ Underneath the arches .....down Pontycapel Road!” the street boy sang like the recently departed Danny La Rue.
“ How did you find out....from your homies?” asked Charlie suspiciously.
“ I heard in the Gurnos Club , that his daughter’s marrying someone on Thursday and the house will be empty all day.....we can pay him a little visit then!” laughed Tit-che.
“ Roll on Thursday!” roared Charlie ...”I can’t wait!”
“ I found him...I get first hit of donkey ‘Hote’!” shouted Wonka as the rugby boys hoisted the stuffed animal up the old oak tree.
“ Piñata ... Piñata... Piñata” the boys squealed as one , as Rhys Wonka swung his stick at the stuffed creature hanging like he was from Bridgend, high up in a tree.
As he struck its hide, huge clouds of white dust covered the schoolchildren.
“ Hey !” said Blue-bottle....”that powder gives me a real buzz!”
“ Careful...it could be ASS- bestos!” warned Zebulon the Prop.
“ I think its sherbet” second-rower Monsters Inc.
“ I thought it was washing powder...if I could be so Bold ...that was my automatic reaction !” laughed Dodger the scrum half.
“ I think it’s Cocaine.... dabbing it on his finger....I think that is ‘Columbian Marching Powder’” declared Polish boy JOW.... ‘and it’s a bad omen!”
“ We should get rid of it!” declared Bluebottle.
“ Let’s burn it ...like that witch Joan of Arc!” said Monsters Inc.
“Don’t be daft...half of Cefn Coed will be high...they will all think their on the stairway to Cefn !” said JOW.
Thursday morning came and the Lavender Road Mob watched as the Silver Mercedes left its drive, dressed up to the nines in full wedding regalia , electric gates closing slowly behind it.
“ Now we move!” said Charlie to the rest of the mob as Mr Bigg’s vehicle disappeared down the narrow lanes towards Cefn High Street.
The three hoodies made their way expertly over the wall gaining entry to Bigg Mansion with the flick of a stolen credit card on the ‘yale’ lock.
Once inside the house, each of the Lavender Road mob knew their ‘modus operandi’ like a ‘crack’ team from Oceans 11.
Charlie removed the tapes from the security cameras.
Tommy located the loot – which was hidden as usual in used notes in the mattress of the King-Size main bed..
Tit-che planted the stolen knickers.
Placing the mattress against the external wall, they then got to work on the garden.
Carwyn McMuffin , the drugs mule was easing his way up the A470 happy in the knowledge that he was on the home strait.
Oblivious to his surroundings , cameras flashing meant little to him...it wasn’t his car.
His check of the vehicle at a service station had revealed Cannabis , Cocaine and Amphetamine with a street value of 2 Million pounds.
Pulling into the ‘Brake Lines’ garage he was met by the smiling owner Alf Fetamean.
The smile changed to a frown as an unmarked Police car pulled in behind him.
“ It’s a fair cop guv....!” he said in a TV ‘Bill’ style confession...(which happens all the time in the real world.... ) ...”but how did you know there were drugs in the car?” asked Alf & Carwyn simultaneously.
“ Speed Cameras!” came the reply....” that and the fact you phoney sump was marking a different kind of ‘white lines’ in the centre of the road!...the trail led us here to you!”
Knock Knock....came the sound.
Charlie looked at Tit-che nervously.
It was the sound of a schoolboy knocking the front door of Bigg Mansion.
“ Penny for the Guy Mister?” asked the angelic two foot Dodger.
“ Guy...? “ said Tommy...that’s not a guy it’s a donkey...!” snatching out of the hand of Dodger.
“ How did you get in here anyway...this gaff has electric gates!” asked Tommy.
“Threw Donkey Hote over the top and limbo-ed under them!” replied Dodger.
“ How come you can afford a place like this then ...are you a drug dealer or a gangster rappa ....anyway can I have my donkey back now?” he asked politely
The boot up the arse was the only reply.
“ I’ll get him back somehow!” ...pledged Dodger belying his size and picking up the mattress carrying it Masai- style on his head towards his rugby mates massed up at the entrance.
“ Penny for the Guy ...or Five Pounds a sniff!” declared Rhys Wonka to each of the boys as they passed into the Cefn Rugby Club.
He had only been sat outside for half-an hour, but he had made over £500.00 thanks to the generosity and stupidity of the older boys.
Prop Milo O’Shea- Bray, the only rugby boy with a single uni-brow placed evenly on his face, handed over a crisp £5.00 note.
Sniffing deeply, the tail end Charlie, he raced towards the rest of his mates who were heading towards Cefn Viaduct to see the impromptu ‘U2 concert’ of local man ‘Dai’ Van Halen’ had set up his amp.
Head full of ass and nose full of Charlie, he tore off his shirt and dived headlong at his friends who lifted him up and over their heads until he reached the front.
The prop was mad and lived life in the fast lane.
He had once tried to give himself ‘liposuction’ with a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a pen knife resulting in a lop sided gut – but Dirty Sanchez just sent the tape back unused.
The Dirty Sanchez effect was one thing , but the ‘Jackass’ effect was ten times worse.
This left Milo totally ‘West-life’ as he was caught up in the music he ‘went ahead and ‘Jumped’ over the side of the bridge.
‘Flying without wings’ the Prop went into survival mode stretching his flab skin like a flying fox squirrel.
Full of ‘the real thing’ he felt in his own mind like a shaman joining in with the Condor spirit soaring high on the thermals below the bridge and landing triumphantly on the Swansea Road side of the bridge.
“ Those ‘Nasca’ lines were brilliant!” he dribbled picking himself out of the gorse bush .
“ That’s a nice touch !” laughed ‘Don’ Charlie ‘Kilo’ Kong noting that Tommy had placed the head of the donkey in the bed in true Godfather style.
“ I am going to make him an ‘Eeyore’ he can’t refuse!” he quipped Don ‘Ki’ Kong.
The finishing touch was the calling card bearing their Christian names in the areas of the garden that they had worked.
“ Where’s that mattress gone?” asked Tit-che suddenly.
The bonfire was in full swing .
Gone were the days of old tyres billowing out black smoke.
The rugby boys ‘ donkey pyre’ had caught fire instantly and a huge pall of grey and white smoke drifted into the night sky...like they were electing Pope Don –key ‘Hote the First.
Fire ‘egg- spurt’ Frank Heavens, sat eating his sandwiches in the ‘Green goddess’ provided by the Fire Authority in his Don Estelle shorts and Jesus sandals looking like a pyromaniac staring intensely at the hypnotic flames .
“ I bet you a tenner... that pine tree will be a goner by 9.00pm !” he said to his Station Commander George O’Dowd.
“I haven’t had any overtime since those mysterious grass fires started in my garden last year!...lucky I found my own well to pump the water!” continued Frank.
The blaze continued well as the mattress and ‘Donkey Guy’ erupted.
“ Boy George ...can you smell money ....?” asked Frank sniffing the air.
“ Okay .....two hours tops and try not to burn the hose pipe again.!” replied O’Dowd.
“ And shut that bloody tender door....you might wear sandals in the Autumn ...but I don’t want another back-draft.!”
The helicopter buzzed back and forth over the usual Cilsanws common drop off point , but there was no sign of life.
Finally, a small flicker of a cigarette lighter was moved back and fore ... by and like a rocker with an afro in a Van Halen concert and the donkey derby was on again.
The ‘Mule Train’ was sent down the quite lanes from Cilsanws passing the aptly named ‘Drovers Arms’ and onto the viaduct before being tipped over the edge into the soft landing area in the garden of Mr Bigg’s mansion.
“ Jesus...!” said Tit-Che as another donkey narrowly missed him landing with a squelch, in the marshy area around the stable in the garden, he was working in.
“ Tell them there is no room at the inn!” laughed Charlie watching Tit-che dodging the incoming Ass-steroids.
“ I’ve heard of frogs and locusts but you don’t want a kick of one of them things!” said Tit-Che.
“ Hurry up with those signs Tommy ....I gotta feeling the ‘heat’ ain’t far behind!”
With that there was a giant explosion from the Common high above Cefn .
Mr Bigg stood on his door-step and just as he put his key in the lock...the explosion ripped through the air.
“ Good fireworks this year in Cyfarthfa Park!” he exclaimed...” There goes the tarmac budget again!”
As both he and his wife climbed the stairs, loosening his Colombian neck-tie, he noticed that his bedroom door was open and that his ‘Peruvian’ mattress was gone...and in its place was a donkey’s head and some stolen used ‘Evans outsize’ knickers were in its place.
“ What have you been doing while I was out....Muffin the Mule is one thing , but muffin the mule in garters is a criminal offence.!” said his wife.
“ Criminal offence...that’s music to my ears announced Drug Tzar Nicholas Shepherd!” appearing on the landing behind the pair.
“ Take some photos lads...!” he announced waving a search warrant.
“ What evidence have you got!” asked Mr Bigg rising up to his full height of 4 foot 10 realising that the mattress and all the donkeys had gone from the house.
As the pair walked out through the patio doors , Mr Bigg’s jaw dropped when he spotted his garden had undergone a transformation , while had been in the wedding.
In the centre, there was a giant igloo surrounded on all sides by a bumper crop of cannabis, coca plants and magic mushrooms.
Thinking on his feet, Mr Bigg said ...cannabis plants have grown wild in this country before 1957 ...and besides it is for my own personal use....the magic mushrooms ...too are primitive LSD but are natural products.....
“ Okay ....Mr Bigg explain why you have an six foot igloo and a door so small only you could fit in made entirely of crack cocaine..... !”
“ I’m an Eskimo...!” was all he could stutter by way of reply.
“ Well you are ‘Inuit’ up to your neck!.....besides..... who did your garden...?”
As he read the graffiti sprayed signs......Charlie, Tommy and Tit-che (Marsh)
“ Ground Force?”
High up on the Cilsanws common, the explosion was the result of another ‘Ground Force ‘ battling with an ‘Air Force’.
The non-nonsense Drugs Tzar Nicholas Shepherd had a zero tolerance attitude when it came to drugs. He wanted to ‘can’ it completely...and put the perpetrators in the ‘can’.
‘Coke Zero’ was the mission code-name , after he had ordered the helicopter to be shot down by a surface to air missile imported from the Afghanistan Taliban.
Noting that the helicopter was registered to a local Doctor in Cefn they decided to take it down.
Dr U. G. Baron was clearly a pseudonym of Mr Bigg.
As soon as the crosshairs on the missile launcher caught the track of the helicopter, the pilot and his remaining cargo was toast.
In the face of adversity, there was no way in the world that Bob Boner could keep his chopper up and the huge explosion glowed red like a Merthyr Blast Furnace in the night sky.
“ And we have a special message from the boys in blue from Tregaron!” .. announced Derek Brockway live on BBC ‘weatherman talking’ .....” apparently Julie has had an Operation which has been a great success ...and wish her a ‘speedy recovery’....
“Finally, before I tell you about that Fete & Gala in the Woodwork Department of Penydre Comprehensive school, this Friday with loads of fairy cakes ...I love fairies don’t you.... there is a special message sent in by e-mail from Nicholas of South Wales....Red Sky at night...Shepherd’s delight.....Drug Dealers chopper on fire...Nos Da!”