Philip evans


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Flights of Fantasy by Phil 'Boz' Evans

By Philip evans, 2020-07-21

punk darts.jpg


Robert Godber was the last Punk left in the South Wales Valleys.

It was nearly 43 years since the Sex Pistols had shocked the Rock N Roll Community with their slogans of Never Mind the Bollocks and God save the Queen.

How times had changed.

So had the slogans too.

Never Mind the Botox and God shave the Queen was more relevant to 2020.

However, strangely enough he was still Public Enemy No 1 in the little valley Town of Merthyr Tydfil, as despite the health warnings of Covid-19, the dirty bastard still insisted on spitting on the pavement everywhere he went.

All the colours of the rainbow- but mainly shades of yellow and green paint you could only find on a B & Q paint chart.

In fact, the streets around where Rob squatted on Brecon Road were so full of spittle, most visitors thought that Merthyr had seen an influx of Premiership Footballers.

At 56 years, Rob the Gob, as he was known locally, had become quite an accomplished shot with his mouth.

He put it down to a misspent youth and his upbringing in the 1970’s as a latchkey kid, developing his oral skills, by using his pea shooter and box of hard- boiled Leo peas to take out the bulbs on the top of the wooden lampposts.

His Norwegian music teacher in school, Mr Per Cushion, had noticed that Rob had both strong lungs and a powerful trachea and therefore had him marked his strong voice out in his class as a potential trumpeter, nicknaming him the ‘new Sachmo’.

Rob thought to himself ‘What a wonderful World he lived in’ back in his halcyon schooldays, when all he had to worry about was avoiding his drunken Father’s fists and how much ‘bingo’ money he could steal from his Mother’s coat pockets before she noticed.

Now being a rebel all his life, hadn’t helped him one iota.

He had no job, he lived in a squat house that was overdue demolition, with no means of heating or lighting or mains sanitation and worse still, his advanced hair-loss had meant his green and blue Mohican/Stegosaurus had gone the way of the dinosaurs too.

His foray into the World of Punk Rock, busking outside train and bus stations under the band name of ‘Dogs die in Hot Cars’ had ended prematurely, after his backing vocalist, Flob the Dog, had been bitten by karma and died in his former mate’s hot car.

Rob the Gob didn’t care for anyone anymore- human or animal, especially after another traumatic event in his sad existence.

He was nearly 30, when his 16 year old running mate, Rusty Pinn, had died at the Reading Festival in 1992 at the Carling ‘Monsters of Rock’ Festival, whilst watching Nirvana- drowning in the Mosh Pit in a sea of what smelled like Teen Spirit and he had a held a ‘grunge’ against the World ever since.

He was the only person to cheer at the TV, when he heard that Kurt Cobain had blown his own head off with a shotgun.

There wasn’t much Love lost.

Rob the Gob didn’t have many material possessions but he was quite a follower of fashion with his proudest possession being a pair of Vivienne Westwood trousers from the Punk era with 40 different zip fasteners sown into them.

Which was great when you are 17 years of age but not so good when have a dodgy prostate at 56 with a failing memory too.

To add to Rob’s woes, he had also had an unfortunate accident whilst off his head glue-sniffing in Aberfan Cemetery.

Whilst listening to the Punk Band ‘The Skids’, he had pogoed himself into an uncharted mine entry inadvertently going ‘into the Valley’ in a totally different way.

His dyslexic sniffing mate, Alf Abett, would have saved him but unfortunately, he was arrested for importuning after he was caught ‘sniffing aerosols’.

When the rescuers found him three days later, he had to have an emergency operation to remove three days build-up of mucus, which equated and weighed three Pounds in weight from his throat.

He was given an emergency tracheostomy and had a tube inserted into his windpipe.

He was only capable of communicating with hand gestures or by placing a kazoo next to his larynx, making him sound like an effeminate Darth Vader.

Strangely enough, it didn’t stop him spitting.

Perhaps it was because of his past addiction to Camel cigarettes, but he could still produce more Phlegmish works of kerbside art than Belgian painter Peter Paul Rubens.

But when life gives you lemons, I suppose you have to do something with them.

And in this life, when one door closes a new airway opens.

Rob’s tracheostomy was to hand him an unexpected lifeline.

After the local pub, the Catholic Arms had reopened its’ doors to a limited number of visitors due to the new social distancing provisions, by accident Rob had discovered a strange new talent.

Whilst sitting in the snug, a fellow drinker, Ystradgynlais’ own Rory Railtrack had complained to the barman about the smell of Rob’s breath and the barman decided to take matters into his own hands by placing a Glade Plugin Air Freshener in Rob’s throat-hole.

It worked for a short time, but Rob suddenly realised this was an infringement of his human rights.

In anger, he thrust down his diaphragm internally with mind control and pumped his lungs with all his might.

Aiming for the sweet-spot between the ‘Neath’anderthal’s complainant’s eyes- just below his unibrow- Rob let fly.

The Glade Plug-in shot out and smacked the caveman right between the eyes and just like the Biblical confrontation between David & Goliath, the giant man of orange apparel dropped like a stone to the floor.

This brought out a loud cheer from the rest of the room, as the dazed railway worker was led from the bar in the direction of the casualty department of the Queen Camilla Hospital.

Rob had never been so popular.

He had rid them of the pub version of Simpsons’ bully Nelson Muntz.

Pints were passed to the Down and Out in Brecon Road Hills and whilst he may have had the dishevelled look about him of Nick Nolte- he no longer felt like a Poor Man but a Rich Man too.

He was even more surprised to be offered a game of darts by one of the regular more sporting patrons, Len ‘The Bull’ Taurus.

Rob felt honoured but his attempts at hitting the board failed miserably despite being given a 200 point head-start by his fellow ‘dartiste’.

He bounced more times off the tyre than Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna.

And then Rob had an Epiphany.

By placing the flight in the hole in his throat, he then followed the same diaphragm and throat manoeuvre that he had with the Railway Bully and all of a sudden, he was hitting treble twenty with each ‘throw’.

Len the Bull was astonished.

“Hit double top!” came the request.

Rob concentrated and the repeated the procedure.

The dart struck it’s intended target.

Again and again repeated requests from the bar to hit a certain spot were met by Rob.

He was now more accurate than a US Drone strike over Iran.

The Pub Landlord, Alan Murray, was shocked to see that Rob could hit more doubles than even he could and he was suffering from ‘Publican’s disease’.

However, the entrepreneur realised this was the chance he had been waiting for.

Kismet had ‘thrown’ this golden opportunity his way and he was determined to seize his chance.

He had read in the Industry Newspaper that local businesses were being given a kickstart by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and despite the scientist promised second wave of Coronavirus not occurring, people had changed their habits and were no longer using pubs, inns and taverns with the frequency that they once were.

His Commercial Landlord based in the Tax Exile Cayman Islands, had come up with a series of promotions to encourage more punters to return in numbers by arranging for celebrities to visit their establishments.

But at the same time expected full rent for the three -month period the pub was unable to open.

Who could possibly resist missing a Karaoke Night with Jedward or a Mixed Martial Arts wrestle with Conor McGregor (before the real action happened at closing time) or visiting a newly refurbished Punch Tavern hosting Tyson Fury.

But the one that stood out to him was an evening of ‘Red Arrows’ with Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor, the Stoke-on Trent born, 16- time World Champion.

He was aware that the Olympic athlete was currently touring the UK and was prepared to take on all and sundry with a prize of £250,000.00 to any amateur pubgoer that could beat him over 3 legs.

Alan Murray pulled up the full rules on his mobile phone and began to read them.

If only he had taken this much time and scrutinized his pub tenancy agreement in the same way he wouldn’t be in this predicament.

His Tenancy Agreement with no Coronavirus provision meant he was still liable for full rent during the pandemic, and worse still he was obliged to buy his beer from the tied brewery at inflated prices, despite not having anyone to sell it to for over four months.

He now had more barrels than the Great White Shark in Jaws.

He scanned the rules in depth:

No Professional Players.

No discrimination- Male or Female players or combinations of both were eligible to enter the Contest.

B.A.M.E players to be given a discount off the entry fee.


No re-throws allowed.

Only one entry per person allowed.

Referee’s decision to be final in all circumstances.

Free Goldfish to be given to all participants.

One phrase that jumped out at him was that of encouraging the disabled to take part.

Surely, Rob the Gob would fall into that category?

So what that he would have to spend thousands widening the doors, put in ramps and an mechanical lift near the dart board in the main bar- but IF an agreement could be reached with Rob and THEY won that prize then it would be the solution to their problems and they could BOTH breathe easier.

Not only that there would be a book in it and the spin-off film rights too.

Go ahead Punk and make my day!

Alan Murray the Pub Landlord was on his own self-induced Flight of Fantasy.

He decided the best course of action was to run an internal darts contest to test Rob’s new found ability.

The Evening of the Warm-up started well and despite a mere sixteen entrants turning up Rob had won the contest hands down.

So much hands down in fact, it was almost like the first ever live darts and ventriloquist act ever performed.

Come the final against Len the Bull, he was so confident of hitting his intended target that he had shouted the phrase ‘a gottle of gear’, as the dart made its way towards double top.

As Rob was crowned Catholic Arms Pub Champion much drunken celebration took place, with celebratory Covid-19 hugs all round.

Alan was now happy to submit the application form for entry online and provide a £500.00 bond.

The Bond was too ensure that the former World Champion would not turn up to an empty pub with few punters present to the embarrassment of Phil Taylor.

They didn’t want a Power Shortage or a Blackout like had previously happened at a Jim Davidson gig.

Due to the size of the bar, only 100 people were allowed as this was the maximum capacity for Health & Safety purposes.

In recent years, this had never been a problem but Alan had to take precautions and had charged £10.00 per punter entry fee to come in.

Rob was allowed one free ticket and had chosen to invite his fellow homeless friend, Pierce Head to the gathering.

He wanted Pierce to bear witness to his big payday by beating the Power in his own back yard.

Rob also had a grudge against the local electricity company, who had discovered his abstraction of electricity and shut the Power off at his squat.

His mate, Pierce Head, had already hit the jackpot by being temporarily rehoused in the 3star Castle Hotel for the period of the pandemic.

Very soon, he was being turfed out onto the street by Central Government immediately once the subsidy stopped.

In the meantime, Pierce was making merry lying on the floor in a pool of his own alcoholic vomit and piss.

Rob was getting nervous as the Competition was due to start at 7pm and it was nearly 6.15pm, as he stood outside the hotel trying to waken his friend who was busy doing an impression of the late Keith Moon of WHO fame.

Rob called up from Glebeland Street below for Pierce to hurry up.

He eventually came to the first- floor window, grey faced looking like all the blood in his body had been replaced by alcohol- which in truth it had.

“I am locked in – my religious parents are trying an intervention!” shouted back the living flagon.

“I have an idea!” shouted back Rob.

“Do you remember the Children’s story Rapunzel?”

The other grim brother from above replied “Yes!”

“Step away from the window now!” ordered Rob.

As Pierce did so, he sucked in his diaphragm and hocked a twelve- foot green ‘loogie’ skyward towards the hotel room window just like Marvel character Spiderman firing a web.

“Rapunzel, let down your hair!” shouted the drunken Pierce, as he slid down the impromptu builder’s chute funnel to safety below.

The pair raced their way to the Catholic Arms.

They made it with two minutes to spare.

Pierce was let in first but Rob was held back as Phil Taylor made his entrance from the lounge with dry ice to the song ‘I have the Power’ by Snap.

He looked the business in his flashy satin shirt with ‘The Power’ emblazoned on his back.

Rob hadn’t even chosen a song.

All he could think of was a Marc Bolan and T-Rex hit.

He asked the Landlord if he had ‘’I hock a loogie…jitterbug bogies- on the jukebox- which fortunately he did.

His Sports Direct tee-shirt had Rob ‘the Cuckoo’ Godber written in permanent black marker pen on the back.

As the pub crowd cheered their local hero, the pair went to warm up at the oche.

Rob was under orders from Landlord Alan not to show too much in the warm up, and threw the darts conventionally at the board with his right hand, scoring a composite total of 26 with his first three darts.

Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor rocked up with Shanghai just for openers- single twenty, triple twenty and double top.

The watching crowd went wild.

Rob started to get nervous.

He had never played darts in front of so many expectant people before, nor in a pressure tournament.

The sweat began to roll down from his forehead onto the rusty safety pins that he had inserted many years ago into his face.

He looked like the Mothercare version of Hellraiser.

The decision would go first would be decided by one dart closest to the centre of the dartboard bull.

Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor rocked up and hit the bull with ease.

Rob placed the dart in his neck aperture and fired.

It split the flight of the 14- time World Champion knocking it out of the board before striking the exact centre of the dartboard.

Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor looked at veteran Darts referee Tony Green who was equally stunned.

Neither of the pair had witnessed anything like it in their 40-year professional careers.

After a quick check of the PDA rulebook, Green allowed Rob to ‘throw up’ first.

As he inserted the flights into his neck, the gathered crowd could clearly see the name of the sponsors on display.


Rob fired off his first three darts scoring a treble sixty with each one.

Tony Green announced over his microphone the now familiar ‘180’ to raise the excitement in the packed bar area.

People leaned on their friends, peered under armpits with some stood on tables and standing on the bar area.

All the while, Alan continued pouring pint after pint.

Irrespective of the outcome, he would at least achieve some great beer sales if nothing else.

Phil went up and replied with his first three arrows which brought the house down as another ‘180’ boomed around the room.

Rob then repeated the action.

360 points from 3 darts.

Anything Rob did- so did the Power.

A perfect twelve dart match so far.

Both players were three darts away from a nine- dart finish- the ‘heavyweight’ equivalent of a 147- maximum break at snooker.

Rob wasn’t very good at mathematics but fortunately Barman Alan was good at both doubles and trebles.

He also had to do a bit of ‘creative accountancy’ by using his awful handwriting to blur the figures over the years just to stay afloat, so he wrote the sequence required on the chalk board next to the bar for Rob.

Treble 20, Treble 19 and double 12.

Rob was never very good at following orders being an ‘anarchist and a trainee Anti-Christ’, but follow them he did, as he promptly completed an amazing 141 out sequence.

He turned around to the acclaim of the audience, arms raised aloft so proud at his achievement.

Holding a pint of Strongbow- supplied by his sponsors, he poured the golden liquid into a plastic funnel and let that slide down his tracheostomy.

Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor applauded the actions and skill of his opponent sportingly.

He knew he was in for a real challenge this time and would have to raise his game.

He did so by producing his own 9 darter to level the match at 1-1.

He did the 501 in a different sequence.

Treble 20 x 7, Treble 15 and Double 18 outshot.

The crowd gathered knew they were witnessing something special really special, especially as both players had started the final game with two rounds of treble twenties each.

Both players were on 141 out-shots, but crucially Rob the Gob had first chance.

As long as he held his nerve, he would beat the 14 times World Darts Champion at his own game.

But pressure does strange things to a man and more so to 56 -year old punks with a history of glue-sniffing.

And to Sports Direct Tee-Shirts too in a jungle environment.

The Cuckoo became the Suckoo.

Rob looked up at Pub Landlord Alan Murray, who was willing him on with ever sinew of his body.

The crowd too wanted to see the underdog turn the tables and finally win one for the underclass.

Rob was now sweating more than Liberal MP Cyril Smith in a Rochdale children’s play park.

He had developed a continuous cough and a really high temperature (103) and his throat felt like it was closing in on him.

Was it the pressure of the big occasion or the onset of Covid-19?

His body was all of a ‘quiver’ which normally was handy for someone dealing with arrows.

He looked across at the chalk board by the bar and saw the sequence written down for him.

Treble 20, Treble 19 and Double 12.

The Landlord gave him a cheery second wave.

Three darts in the correct places on the board and he would never have to work again- not that he had ever started in the first place.

He could hear the Mark Knopfler theme tune to the 1983 film ‘Local Hero’ playing in his head.

He knew his opponent was in Dire Straits.

First Dart from the Puff Daddy hit its target.

81 left.

Treble 19 next.

Rob the Gob set his ‘sights’ on the tiny patch of green separated by two thin metal wires.

Flob- and the missile sailed towards its destination.

He got it.

Only the double left.

He glanced at the chalkboard.

He sent the dart on it’s way and it hit the double.

Rob jumped in the air -the finest pogo he had performed since that Siouxsie & the Banshees concert in 1981.

“Bust!” shouted Tony Green, as he brought the Punk back down to Earth quicker than the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger.

“But I hit the double 13!” protested Rob.

He glanced up at the Landlord who had his head in his hands.

His shaky chalkboard writing looked from a distance just like double 12.

“Unlucky thirteen!” laughed Taylor, as he replaced the gutted Rob at the oche.

“Yet another ‘Choker’....141 eh…I can do that blindfolded!” boasted the Professional.

Pulling up his Coronavirus mask over his eyes, he proceeded to do just that.

Treble 20, Treble 15 and Double 18 out.

“Well normally Rob I would shake your hand but….!” Said the Power.

“Time for a ‘Merthyr Blackout’!” said the Punk.

Rob could take no more -his flights of fantasy was over in true Valleys way, he just lifted his fisted hand to land an uppercut on the fifth chin of his opponent.

Anarchy in the UK soon followed.

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Meat & Two Veg by Philip Evans

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. 

It cleansed.

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… 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.


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Hay Fever

By Philip evans, 2020-06-13


The queue from the main tent was six deep and stretched for nearly two miles back to the little Powys town of Hay-on-Wye.

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 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.“ do you think the book will be received around the 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’ 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.

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Gran Theft Auto by Phil 'Boz' Evans

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?… 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!”

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Dot- Dott- Dash by Phil 'Boz' Evans

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.

Posted in: about | 0 comments

Chicken Chaser by Phil 'Boz' Evans

By Philip evans, 2020-05-05


His luck had finally run out.

Reynaldo the Red Fox was suspended, hanging on a barbed wire fence by his stomach.

The more he twisted, the more the barbs sunk their teeth into his pink soft underbelly.

He was trapped and he knew it.

He was literally kicking himself that he should get caught this way- in such a simple fashion – as he a very intelligent creature.

He had misjudged the take-off, slipping on some sheep-shit.

Reynaldo had for over a decade, survived the harsh Winter temperatures, and rainy Summers that Gwynedd in North Wales had to offer its native fauna.

In the freezing cold sub-zero temperatures, he would go and warm himself next to the decommissioned Nuclear Power Station , Trawsfynydd and its Magnox reactor.

He loved basking in its warm glow.

He always felt safe there, as for some reason the Local Huntsmen and their pack of dogs would not pursue him under the security fencing, preferring to take their cries of Tally-Ho and Soho to other quarries in and around Flint.

Whilst hunting with dogs was illegal on private land -that didn’t stop the local Hunt, ‘egged’ on by the local farmers missing their chickens, who continued as if nothing had ever been put in place by Parliament to stop such events.

The Manifesto of the New Labour Administration in the Noughties, had promised that ‘things could only get better’.

Well maybe not for the Country or the people of Iraq but for foxes it certainly had.

They loved Tony Blair.

He was made an honorary fox- Blair Fox if you like- as a direct result of the Hunting Ban, foxes just like the National Debt, quadrupled in numbers.

Foxes started appearing everywhere- on biscuits, near polar bears on glacier mints and even in Downtown Abbey.

It was no longer the ‘day of the jackal’ but the decade of the Vixen.

Brer Rabbit wasn’t so fussed on the New Policy, as their natural predator had been given special preserved status and like fox shit was now everywhere.

Thankfully, as is the way of Mother Nature- she balanced things up by providing a glut of KFC & MacDonalds outlets for vermin to feed on – and the foxes too.

Reynaldo, knew he had to figure a way to extricate himself from his predicament or die trying.

He knew it was only a matter of time before his nemesis since birth, ‘Old Gellert’ , a North Walian Bloodhound caught up with him.

He would never give up.

He was the canine equivalent of Metropolitan Police Detective Jack Slipper.

The Former East-ender had tracked the renegade Reynaldo all the way from his Dirty Den in Gwynedd across three Counties- Gwynedd, Rural Powys, Ceredigion and finally to Merthyr.

Looking at the sign in Welsh-’Bedlinog’, Reynaldo hoped it wasn’t a bad omen.

Normally, Reynaldo could usually give the pursuing back the slip by running through streams and doubling back- but not this time.

He figured that as his fur was starting to fall out then it made him easier to pursue.

He normally moulted in around April ever year – losing his Winter coat- but he feared this was different.

It was falling out in clumps, not individual hairs- worse still he couldn’t ‘groom’ himself with his ‘brush’ ,as his tail was attached to the sharp metal barbs on this livestock proof fence.

He had once heard from a wise old bird friend of his, who was losing his feathers - that he had been diagnosed by the vet as having ‘owlapecia’- so Reynaldo assumed that he was suffering from a similar complaint.

One thing for certain was that his love life hadn’t suffered because of his hair loss- he was still inundated by ‘foxy’ ladies that wanted a bit of his ‘Boom Boom’.

It seems he was the Vulpine equivalent of Errol Brown of ‘Hot Chocolate’ fame.

The vixens screamed for him from Mountain Top and Wheelie Bin Lid- much to the annoyance of the North Walian residents- as they all vied for his attention.

Reynaldo put it down to him regularly rolling his nether regions in the herb patches of the gardens that he prowled in at night.

It was like aftershave to the females – who loved the scent of ‘Basil Brush’.

Reynaldo knew he didn’t have time to reminisce, he must find a way off this blasted fence or like much of his prey -he was dead meat.

In the far distance, he could hear the yelping of his pursuers.

The last two dogs NOT to give up were Caradog and Old Gellert- he recognised their distinctive barking.

They were a little older and their noses less keen- from years of following the multitude of behinds of the younger, fitter dogs.

But they were nonetheless committed to the cause.

To Old Gellert it was personal- his wife Red, had been killed in the hunt back 5 years ago when Reynaldo had deliberately led her into a trap.

He had marked his scent all around the bottom of a milk float knowing full well that the dog would not resist checking out the bottom of the vehicle.

In the process, he had helped himself to two dozen eggs and a carton of Orange Juice before he was chased away by the returning milkman.

Red was not so lucky.

Being the fastest and fittest canine around, she was always first on the scene for any kill , as like most bitches liked to tear their opponents apart limb from limb.

The angry Unigate Dairyman thought that the dog was the thief and deliberately rolled back over her and ‘squashed’ her in the process.

Old Gellert knew that Lassie was the son of a bitch, but ever since that day to him so was Reynaldo.

He was convinced the fox had consumed part of his wife’s remains before being chased off by the pursuing pack.

His swore on his wife’s grave in the corner of ‘Vet Cemetery’ that he would get even with his foxy nemesis.

Sadly, Old Gellert’s legs weren’t as good as they once were- if only he could corner Reynaldo he would kill that vermin once and for all- and die happy.

Gellert sniffed the air- he knew he was gaining on Reynaldo as the ‘tumbleweed’ of red fox fur was getting thicker, the closer he got to his quarry.

Reynaldo wasn’t ready to give up the ghost just yet-if that Fantastic Mr Fox had been one thing during his lifetime it was he was very lucky.

So lucky that they named Foxy after him.

They say fortune favours the brave and Reynaldo was not just lucky – he was brave too.

Fate played a hand too in the shape of local resident, Lewys Street.

Lewys was only sixteen but had Bedlinog tattooed through him and on him like Blackpool Rock.

There was more Bedrock in him than the Flintstones.

Today, he was busy tootling along on his 998cc motorised hair drier.

The funky moped had a top speed of 30MPH having been fitted with a speed limiter and integral tracking device by an Insurance Company- otherwise his premium would have been £10,000.00 a year.

Lewys had left school with a GSCE in Woodwork and was busily searching the job market for suitable job opportunities in the Merthyr Borough to encompass his qualifications.

Not surprisingly, the Job Centre was not overflowing with opportunities.

Enticed by the glut of cheap cookery shows on television- he wanted to be the next Mary Berry only without the recipe for wrinkles…but they no longer wanted a chef at the Food Bank.

So he decided to do some volunteer work for new Political Party UKIP.

He was driving along the country lanes leading from Treharris to Bedrock whilst checking on the numbers of telegraph lines in the area.

He checked the job description and confirmed he was asked to ‘Count the Poles’ in the Merthyr Borough for Head Office of the Party.

After a while he had realised that the poles already had a serial number.

He thought it would now be an easier task than he first thought.

He was shocked to happen upon the stricken fox and even more surprised to find that the Fox could speak in Welsh.

He was surprised to find someone that did given that the National Average was between 22-30%.

And in foxes even lower.

“ Bore Da!” spake the Fox.

Lewys nearly crashed his moped into Pole number 86543.

“ What the Bluddy Hell are you doing hanging there?” said the youngster.

“ Just chillin’!” replied Reynaldo leaning back on the wire to pretend like he was not in excruciating agony but sunbathing.

“ How did you get there?” asked Lewys.

“ Haven’t you seen a flying fox before?” replied the cunning Reynaldo.

“ No…!” replied Lewys…” I’m from Bedrock…we don’t see much wildlife down here at all- apart chucking out time at the Bedlinog Rugby Club!”

“ Doesn’t that hurt then?” asked Lewys.

“ Wot hurt?” asked the balding fox.

“ Those barbs in your guts?” asked Lewys.

“ Oh …those body piercings you mean…I am hard …I’m Welsh mun…these are all the rage now in hip places like Merthyr!” said Reynaldo.

“ They are one on from body piercing –and are the ultimate stress relief too….!” continued the wily one.

“ If you come over here…I will show you how they are attached!” said Reynaldo.

“ My Mother warned me not to talk to strangers….especially Super Furry Animals or Lost Prophets!” replied Lewys.

“ But I am no longer a Super Furry Animal…my hair is much depleted ….like the Welsh Language…I have less than 22% left….and I am certainly not lost….!”said Reynaldo.

Lewys was a little reassured and came closer- as did the sound of the barking and hollering of Old Gellert & Caradog in the near distance.

“ I see you are wearing a ‘Friends of the Earth’ badge!” said Reynaldo.

“ You…I am against that Opencast lot…!” said Lewys pointing in the direction of where the sky was black.

“ Did you know that a group of foxes is called an Earth…Lewys ?” asked Reynaldo.

“ How did you know my name?” asked the teenager.

“ It’s written on your coat label!” said the fox …eyes…well like a fox really.

“ Oh!” said the Low Achiever.

“ So that makes us Friends…doesn’t it…!” said the cunning one.

“ Like on Facebook!” said Lewys.

“ Fox-book!” chuckled Lewys.

“ I don’t know what that is….but yes…friends none the less !” said Reynaldo.

“ And what do friends do Lewys?” asked the fox.

“ Help each other!”

“ So what do you want me to do?” asked Lewys hesistantly.

“ Come closer to me!” said the fox.

Lewys moved closer to the trapped skulker.

“ Closer please!” asked the prisoner of the wire.

“ But you don’t know my nickname do you….everyone in the Valleys has a nickname!” said Lewys.

“ Is it Einstein?....Socrates?....” asked the sarcastic fox.

“ No….it’s the Rock innit….as I am from Bedrock and I want to be a chef one day…!” said Lewys.

Lewys was now level with the fox who was splayed out with his undercarriage on full display- totally defenceless to any form of attack.

“ I don’t care how much of a friend you are or how much fur you have lost…I ain’t sucking THAT thing!” said Lewys.

“ Don’t be daft!” said Reynaldo.

“ I would merely like you to assist me with undoing the barbs holding me on this fence- I have done enough sunbathing for one day!” said the canny vixen lover.

“ Are you sure…because that’s what I was told priests and prophets do….and if I help you…you will not bite me?” asked the tentative Lewys.

“ Of course not….have the heard of the expression …not to bite the hand that feeds you?” said Reynaldo.

“ No….but I am not feeding you anyway….or touching THAT thing!” replied the nervous Lewys stepping closer.

“ It’s a figure of speech….trust your gut…!” said Reynaldo.

Lewys looked at the bleeding gut of the trapped animal in front of him and released the first barb from around the fox tail.

“ Now -You haven’t got that disease you catch from rabbits have you?” asked Lewys.

“ Mixamitosis?” asked the knowledge fox with a higher IQ than the human.

“ No rab-ies?” replied Lewys.

“ No- I’m clean I promise…..and if you help me out I will give you my lucky charm so that as a trainee Chef you will always have something to put in the pot!” said Reynaldo.

He reached inside his cheek and regurgitated something from his extended jawline.

“ What is that?” asked Lewys patiently undoing the last twisted metal spike from the barbed wire fence from the fox’s midriff.

“ That my FRIEND….is a lucky rabbit’s foot!” said Reynaldo proudly.

“ Go on then pick it up and rub it for luck and watch what happens!” said Reynaldo.

“ Lucky rabbits foot…it wasn’t that lucky for him was it!” said Lewys.

“ His name was Warren Want….and he was the King of the North Walian rabbits and he had magic powers!” said Reynaldo.

Lewys picked it up and rub the fox spittle on his WWF tee-shirt.

“ Now blow on it three times and I promise you in less than five minutes over that hill will come more rabbits than the cast of Watership Down!” boasted the fox.

Lewys blew on it three times and watched the horizon for signs of life.

“ Keep looking now…I promise you will never be hungry again!” said Reynaldo skulking pass his new friend.

After five minutes had passed- there was no sign of any leverets, does or bucks anywhere.

With the only hairs in sight that of the red fox fur still attached to the sharp metal fence.

As Lewys turned he could see his first Bedlinog Flying Fox ever, as Reynaldo came passed the field entrance riding Lewys’s scooter.

Pursued by two ugly slobbering bloodhounds with hang dog expressions.

Old Gelert and Caradog stopped and asked Lewys in Welsh, if he had seen a ‘chicken chaser’?

Lewys replied- ‘No …but if you do….it belongs to me!”

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Dan Yr Ogof by Phil 'Boz' Evans

By Philip evans, 2020-04-26

US_Navy_SEALs_at_Zhawar_Kili_cave_entrance.jpg 1545838076.jpg

Little Daniel Boyd was lost.

The seven year old thought he was clever, when he ignored his teacher’s command to hold the hand of his classmate on a trip to Dan-yr Ogof caves in the Glyn-Neath Valley.

True, it was an act of revenge by his teacher, Mr Don Oxbridge for his recent behaviour in class at Gwaun Dowlais Primary School in Merthyr Tydfil.

Dan had sulked because he didn’t want to be paired with gypsy, Gustavo Worrell from the local travelling community that lived close to the Slip Road in the former mining Town, as he more ‘bugs’ than a spy from GCHQ in Cheltenham.

Whilst Gustavo was a lively character, he was too easily distracted to learn from books, as all his family were illiterate and he had no intention of being the ‘white sheep’ in amongst that flock.

The children all knew that Gustavo used to pick his nose and eat it with his blackened fingers that were not cleaned from one month to the next.

His class nickname was ‘Fun Gus the Bogey Man’.

Daniel looked around him at the dark limestone cavern trying desperately to find a way out.

He had long since given up trying to retrace his steps, as he had no idea of direction and with the only light coming from the front of his miniature pith helmet, he couldn’t see any obvious exit in the gloom.

He decided to pause and lean against a rock to try and get his bearings.

His lip began to tremble and the tears began to roll down his little ruddy cheeks.

He longed for the comfort of his Mother but being from a broken home knew that his estranged Father would have no sympathy and would tell the little seven-year old to ‘Man Up’ otherwise he would get a smack.

He promised himself that if he got out of this situation alive he would never run off again.

He had tried shouting for help but his feeble soprano voice was drowned out by the sound of rushing water in the caves which was magnified by the hollow echo chambers of dripping limestone that surrounded him.

He had lost track of how many caves he had squeezed his way into as part of his little adventure.

He had pretended he was Indiana Jones looking for treasure, as his fertile imagination ran riot being outside of the confines of the classroom, with his 20p pick n mix of sweets having to be rationed.

After a brief spell, in which he devoured both his packet of swizzles and his sticky pink n white drumstick, he decided that he would follow what looked like a pathway on the low floor of the cave in a downward descent.

Something instinctively told him he would find a way out in that direction.

In the main chamber of the caves, school teacher Miss Adventure was busy pointing and explaining the different limestone rock formations to the young children.

“These long finger-like features that hang from the roof….can anyone tell me what they are called?” asked the young teacher more in hope than in expectation.

“ Daggers?” asked one of the local urchins called Wesley Hermon, originally from the Dowlais Flats area of Merthyr .

The flat complex was a pile-them high attempt at cheap housing in the valleys to help with the surplus population after a massive slum clearance from the Town that died.

“ Knives?” asked another called Gwernllwyn Close.

Miss Adventure was well aware that a lot of her ‘flock’ were on the Social Services ‘watch list’ being allowed to play the violent Playstation game, Grand Theft Auto and of course subjected to Video nasties such as ‘Child’s Play’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.

She shook her head- as she wanted to engage her audience without alienating them from the class.

“Suzy….do you know?” asked the teacher of her class pet.

The little Chinese girl looked up at the teacher and announced proudly that there were called stalactites and were made of limestone.

The daughter of the local Chinese Takeaway ‘Wok around the Clock’ was always Wong but was always right too being exceptionally bright and was determined not to fall into her parent’s trap of working every hour Buddha sent to make ends meet.

“Correct!....You are such a clever little girl!” praised the teacher.

Suzy glowed with pride.

She loved all her teachers but Miss Adventure was her favourite.

The rest of the girls in the class glowered at Suzy with envy.

“And now boys only -what are these called that grow up from the floor?” demanded Mr Oxbridge in a sharper more expectant tone.

After a minute silence and no takers, the teacher tried to encourage a male response.

“ Sounds like Stalactites….!”

“ Stalagpricks?” asked Wesley not so innocently.

“ Stalagcocks?” offered Gwernllwyn catching on.

The class began to giggle at the rude words.

“Wesley, Gwernllwyn, you pair have about much hope of getting a good job in the future as I have of finding a mate!” said Mr Oxbridge.

“ Go and stand over there by Gustavo!” ordered the disciplinarian.

“ Gustavo….stop eating your headlice there’s a good boy!” said Miss Adventure.

“ And where is Daniel?” she continued.

“ Dunno….!” said the child scratching his head and shrugging his shoulders- in doing so sending lots of nits to their death on the cold stony wet floor.

The two teachers looked at each other in horror as they realised that one of the children in their care was missing in a very dangerous environment.

They like Gustavo, did an impromptu headcount.

Again, just like Gustavo they were one short of a picnic and their emergency plan had to kick in.

“ You stay with the children….ordered Mr Oxbridge ….I will retrace our steps and see if the little ‘Duffer’ is sitting on a rock further back on the trail eating his packed lunch or something!”

Daniel carried on slowly in the dimly lit cave hoping to find signs of life.

As he rounded a big rock, he suddenly froze, as he could make out a dark shadow of a human reflected on a wall.

He could make out the muffled sound of a voice which was almost whispering.

After a few seconds , he realised that a phrase was being repeated over and over again.

“ When I catch you I will eat you!”

Daniel was horrified- he was petrified that he had stumbled across a real life Gollum from the film, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and that he was next on the dinner menu.

Whilst he was tempted to run as fast as he could backwards- he was oddly pleased to hear a human voice again.

He stared at the shadow on the cave wall which appeared to show a large one-armed figure in silhouette touching his head.

“ When I catch you I will eat you!” the voice continued.

Daniel had seen this shape before recalling his classmate Gustavo dirty habit.

The little lost boyo plucked up some courage and rounded the corner realising that it was a man sat on the floor cross-legged dressed in some rags with his finger up his nose.

“ You dirty bugger!” said the seven-year old.

The shock of seeing a Caucasian child challenging his eating habits shocked the man into reply.

“ Who are you infidel?” said the stranger through bogey encrusted teeth.

“I’m Daniel and I am not an infidel….unless that’s what you call someone whose parents are not married…is that an infidel?” asked the youngster.

Daniel stared at the dirty unkempt figure sat cross-legged before him.

“ And why do you have a dirty bath towel on your head?”

The stranger smiled.

He had forgotten how innocent a bastard child could be.

“ Are you Father Christmas’ dirty brother?”

Daniel somehow felt less scared being with a new companion.

“ No….Daniel…my name is not important!” replied the stranger.

“ But have you been a good boy this year?”

Daniel nodded.

“ And what would you like for Christmas?” he continued.

“ A gun!” spouted the child without any inhibition.

“ You are in luck….I have lots of them…!” said the stranger.

“ When I was your age in Saudi Arabia I had plenty of British made guns and ammunition to play with!”

“ On your list of demands ….did you ask Allah…sorry Father Christmas for which ones….An AK47 perhaps or a Stinger Surface to Air Missile launcher like the one that I used to play with in the poppy fields of Afghanistan?”

Daniel felt at ease with his newfound friend-they had something in common to talk about which was their love of playing soldiers.

Daniel did what came natural to a child and offered to share the remainder of his sweets with his new pal.

“Chew?” asked Daniel offering a blackjack to the stranger.

The stranger’s demeanour suddenly changed, as he went into a rage ranting that he hated all chews especially Zionist ones.

For the first time, Daniel started to fear the beard.

He had developed pogonophobia when his Estranged Father had grown one for Movember and then left his Mother for a Gurnos Woman, who had done the same for Fanuary.

“Come closer, my little friend ‘, begged the stranger using a softer tone of voice.

“Sorry, for my little outburst but those sticky sweets take my fillings out and I already have a toothache, as I haven’t been to register with a NHS dentist as I am not supposed to be in the Country”

“Officially, I am dead to the Western World and I wish it to stay that way!” continued the stranger.

Daniel was a little more wary at the mention of a dentist….he had already lost all his adult teeth from his sweet only diet- he shivered in the cold dank confines of the cave.

“ I see you are cold little soldier, why don’t you put on one of my specially made vests that are very popular in Somalia and Sudan….they will keep out the cold….although be careful not to pull this string on the front….!” Warned the stranger.

“ Is it like an Action Man?” asked Daniel.

“ My Father bought me one from a car-boot sale and if you pull the string he says

‘Action Man patrol fall in’.

“ Yes…this is a real ACTION Man vest but you mustn’t pull this cord until I give the order….as soon as you hear the phrase Ali Akbar you pull the string okay….!” he said glaring at the child like Rasputin and commanding obedience

“You see I am the Sargeant in the Suicide Squad whereas you are the private and you must obey only MY orders!”

“ Is that clear Private Daniel?

Daniel stood upright, clicked his heels like he was a reincarnated member of the Hitler Youth and marched toward the stranger in character.

Children have wonderful imaginations.

He stood proudly as the vest was fitted around his waist and chest.

“Remember Private Daniel this is an Order …do NOT pull this cord until I tell you!” insisted the stranger with mesmeric eyes poking out from under his turban.

“ Are you hungry Soldier?” asked the stranger.

“ Here is your chocolate ration!”

He handed him a square of dark chocolate.

“ Aren’t you having any?” asked Daniel.

“ I already have a bounty on my head!” laughed the stranger making eyes towards the turban.

The joke was wasted on the wannabe child soldier.

Mr Oxbridge was glad he was thin and able to pass easily through the narrow passages between rocks, as he tried like a Red Indian scout to follow the path the little boy had taken.

Luckily, just like Hansel & Gretel, he had left a trail behind him.

Coming from Merthyr, the little boy had no qualms about dropping litter and every so often, Mr Oxbridge would find a remnant of a 20p mix by way of sweet wrapper as a sign.

As the floor got wetter, there were child-size footprints on the cave floor, so unless he was following Wee Jimmy Krankie or Dennis Wise, he knew he was on the right pathway.

Mr Oxbridge was glad that he had joined the Scouting Movement as a child and read that Baden Powell Handbook from cover to cover, otherwise he would have had no chance of tracing the boy.

He needed to find him before word got out about a child going missing in his care.

If he found him alive and well then, he would keep his job.

He was already on report with the Headmaster for chapel farting next to the slow children making them think they had shit themselves- as he loved to see their confused expressions.

That teaching assistant, a paid- up Member of the Green Party, had never liked him and had ‘ratted’ him out to the Head over his emissions and methane fart-print.

As he squeezed passed below the main Cathedral Cave and the Bone Cave, he felt certain he was closing in on his quarry, as he felt he heard voices and assumed the little lost boy was keeping up his spirits by talking to and answering himself.

He often did it himself, as he had no friends and lived the life of a lonely bachelor like most male Primary School Teachers.

As he rounded a rock, he realised that Daniel was not in fact talking to himself or to Hank Marvin or any other member of the shadows, but an Arab man whose face was very familiar.

He did look like the man that served him a kebab when he was drunk on a Friday night but he couldn’t be certain it was him.

As he joined the pair, he suddenly recognised the face of the Arab man before him and couldn’t believe his eyes.

“ Greetings Infidel , welcome to my cave!” said the stranger.

The teacher nodded suspiciously at the man, in the same way he would nod at a paedophile passing the closed school gates.

“ Do you know who I am?” asked the stranger.

Mr Oxbridge knew he daren’t say he recognised him or he and the child would not leave the cave alive.

The teacher looked nervously at the array of weaponry, all within close reach of the Arab, who sat cross-legged like he was practising yoga.

“ No…I am only a primary schoolteacher and the only Arab I know of based in a cave from Western culture is that of Ali Baba!” said Mr Oxbridge trying to bluff his way out of trouble.

“ I don’t think he cuts hair….look at the state of his beard…!” said Daniel unhelpfully.

“ Not Ali Barber…..Ali Baba!” said the teacher in a gentle tone of voice designed not to frighten the child.

“ He was the one with the forty thieves!” said the stranger.

“ Another bias Western portrayal of the nature of my Countrymen!” he continued.

“ Was he from the Gurnos too?” asked Daniel.

“ No… he was a fictional character contained in the book 1001 Arabian Nights!” said the Teacher.

“ It was every much a work of fiction- just like your Holy Bible!” declared the stranger hitting back.

“ If there are any thieves then they are ALL Jewish ….imagine trying to say that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel indeed!”

Daniel looked back and fore at the two adults and sensed that they would not be big friends in the playground.

“ You KNOW who I am don’t you?” pressed the Arab.

“ I know who you CANNOT be!” replied the Teacher.

“ Who CANNOT I be?” asked the stranger, as the conversion took on a surreal turn..

“ He told me he is Uncle Sam!” interjected Daniel.

“ Uncle OSAMA if you please!” replied the outed Saudi.

“You can’t be he….he was killed in a compound in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear by US Navy Seals!” said Mr Oxbridge clinging to life by a narrow thread.

“ Sharks -yes- said Daniel ….but not Seals no…!” said Daniel tugging on his teacher’s sleeve to correct him.

“ Do you think that that desert rat Montgomery and your fat Prime Minister Winston Churchill are the only persons important enough to have body doubles?” continued the Saudi.

Hearing this statement made Mr Oxbridge as effectively dead as the passengers on the hijacked planes involved in the 9/11 plot.

“ If you in fact are Osama Bin Laden and not just some lookalike wannabe ….prove it….you look more like John Pertwee dressed as Wurzel Gummidge to me!” said the teacher trying to muddy the oasis water.

“ Okay….what if I told you that I was not responsible for that whole New York thing and that it was an elaborate insurance scam all set up by the Jews to pay for a defective building that was due to crumble anyway inside 5 years!” said the Saudi.

“ Then I would believe you without question….!” Said Mr Oxbridge.

“ When I read the Merchant of Venice….I am always on the side of Portia and Antonio against that evil Shylock …charging interest rates in line with….who does he think he is….does he not have a Jew’s eyes, organs, dimensions etc….and as for that unmistakable nose….!” Said Mr Oxbridge suffering a little from Stockholm Syndrome.

“ But we have a problem don’t we Sir!” said the Saudi.

“ You KNOW who I am and you cannot be allowed to tell anyone!”

Mr Oxbridge gulped.

He knew what was coming next.

“ Child….pass me that AK47 please!” said the Saudi.

In a split second, the hyper intelligent Mr Oxbridge questioned as to why the Arab hadn’t moved towards the gun himself.

He called upon all his authority and ordered Daniel to STOP.

The little boy stopped midway between the pair, unsure who to listen too.

In his tiny mind, he felt the burning eyes of the Arab against the voice command of his teacher.

It wasn’t so much a Mexican stand-off it was more of an Afghan one.

Mr Oxbridge suddenly realised that their captor hadn’t moved his legs in the entire time he had spent talking to him.

“ What’s the matter with your legs then Mr Pertwee?” asked the teacher trying to confuse the Arab.

“Very observant of you SIR ….I stood on one of my own IED’s didn’t I….and now I have even less in the testicle department than my idol Adolph Hitler….!” Said the Arab.

IDOL ?” asked Mr Oxbridge.

“ He didn’t recognise those trespassers in Palestine either he had his own solution for them!”

“So let me get my history straight….the Arabs are the true land owners and the Jewish people just squatters?” asked Mr Oxbridge.

“So if they wanted a desert place to live in….why don’t they just go and live next to Las Vegas in Arizona?” asked the teacher trying to find ‘common ground’ with his hijacker.

“ You make a good point!” said the freedom fighter, playing the teacher at his own game.

“ Boy…bring me that gun!” he whispered to Daniel.

STOP Daniel….you are in a veritable lion’s den and if you give that gun to Uncle Osama you nor I will never see your Father again!” pleaded the Teacher.

Daniel had taken one step closer to the gun but now stood frozen to the spot, just like a jackrabbit caught in the headlights of a US Marine jeep.

The child was extremely confused.

He had common ground with the stranger and had always disliked the teacher intently.

His comment that he would never see his estranged Father again left him in a quandary.

Daniel was a free spirit but was slowly being indoctrinated by the teaching profession, as to how he should think, react and behave according to society rules.

On the other hand, he was standing in front of the ultimate rebel- a man from a millionaire family who was fighting American Imperialism and oil exploitation of the Middle East and multi-national Companies who sold arms for a living to wreak havoc in underdeveloped nations pitting brother against brother in the process.

Daniel didn’t understand World politics or the concepts of greed or evil.

He just wanted to be a child soldier.

He suddenly became aware of the string attached to the belt around his chest.

He remembered what his Mother used to say back home when he was in a fight with his younger brother over his 20p mix sweets.

“Now…you two … STOP arguing and pull little fingers OR I will pull this string!” he threatened.

Both Osama & Mr Oxbridge put their hands up as one asking the little boy NOT to pull the string.

Daniel was delighted with his new-found power.

He felt like he was role- playing his biological Father, on the many occasions when he had come home from the pub drunk and was ordering his Mother around under the threat of violence.

He felt like those times he had sat crying on the top of the stairs in his Spiderman pyjamas hadn’t gone to waste.

Mr Oxbridge was worried.

On the one hand, he knew that at some point the Company that owned the cave would send rescuers to look for him and Daniel and if they did, his time at the ‘chalk face’ was numbered.

Besides, he did want anyone to be held hostage by a desperate terrorist with no legs and little reason to live.

Surely, the Arab must have a helper above ground bringing the cripple some food?

The answer to this mystery didn’t take long to reveal itself.

Out of the cave shadows stepped another Arab.

His face too was familiar to the teacher.

As he strained to pull little fingers with Osama he realised that there was a Terrorist Cell operating in the South Wales Valleys.

He was also so tempted to drop one bomb of his own at the thought of ‘pull my finger’.

The other man was local Cynon Valley Kebab shopkeeper Mustafa Kemal.

Mr Oxbridge was a regular at the late-night eatery even in his local Environment Health Department had given the establishment ‘Two Food Safety Stars’ in their ‘War against Botulism’.

In the window, meats of all kinds cooking on skewers, some of which looked decidedly humped, with their delicious smell wafting down the littered streets, enticing late night revellers for both hot food and the chance of a good punch-up.

Mustafa himself was always subjected to racial abuse and many a time had chased some of the local youths with meat cleaver in hand.

He was particularly upset when lost in translation he was asked ‘if there was Saladin’.

Mr Oxbridge could see by the way Mustafa was looking at him that he had peeled many a Westerner in his Iraqi Torture Chambers under the Saddam Hussein Regime.

The key to this whole sorry episode was how Daniel would react.

One false move and he would be blown to Kingdom come and he didn’t think that the other 71 virgins would be pleased to see him intruding on their Turkish Delight.

He had managed to grab Daniel’s tiny hand in the dark and began to take small backwards steps in the direction he had appeared from.

Mustafa was slowly trying to outflank him to block his escape.

In one movement, he reached down to Daniel’s legs and lifted him Fireman Osama style like he was carrying a body in a Persian Rug.

“ Quick! ” he shouted to the stunned youngster, as he pinned his arms to try and prevent him pulling the detonation cord by accident.

Slipping and sliding over the wet limestone rock, the teacher ran for his life, followed in pursuit by Mustafa Kemal who had produced a curved knife not dissimilar to a scimitar.

Fortunately, the teacher had been a cross-country champion in his college days and despite his spindly legs and knobbly knees, he was more adept at covering the difficult terrain than his pursuer, whose turban had started to unravel after a fall and began to slow him up.

Daniel kicked and screamed, just like his Mother had done, the time his drunken Father had tried to knock her unconscious with the intention of using her as foundations for his patio.

Mr Oxbridge didn’t have a clue in which direction to go but took guidance from the Yazz & the Plastic Population song- ‘The only way is Up’.

He stumbled about in the dark, whispering to Daniel not to make a sound or the ‘bogey man’ would get the pair of them.

Mr Oxbridge knew that Mustafa must be close, as he could smell the spices that oozed out from his pores.

At one point the Arab passed the pair, metal skewer in hand calling out like a Middle Easterner version of the Child-catcher from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for Daniel to reveal himself.

It took all of Mr Oxbridge’s strength to keep the boy quiet.

After waiting for several minutes, which seemed like ‘double mathematics’ to both pupil and teacher alike in the inky blackness, the Teacher felt it was now safe to head out from the sanctuary of the crevice that had hidden them from view.

Following the cave in a Northerly direction, the former hostages made their way in the opposite direction they had come, hoping to find a way back to the main chamber.

Miss Adventure was starting to get really worried.

Mr Oxbridge had asked him to give him one hour to find the boy, after which she was free to raise the alarm with the relevant authorities.

As he held her mobile in her hand about to ring the Headmaster and spill the beans, both Mr Oxbridge and Daniel emerged blinking into the light from behind a series of rocks a couple of yards away from the main school party.

The children cheered loudly, as did Miss Adventure at the relief the pair were safe from danger.

However, when it comes to school outings then peril is never far away.

This peril came in the form of Mustafa who leapt off a high rock with the skewer in his teeth like a mad pirate about to swash-buckle John Phillip Law in a Sinbad Film.

Unfortunately, for the would-be Cynon Valley Assassin, a loose fold from his turban got trapped around his neck and became lodged in a fissure in the rock and what a cry that started as ‘Ali Akhbar’ petered out to Ali ARRRGGHH.

As he hung there choking the schoolchildren all cheered as they thought it was part of the school outing.

After all they had been to see Merthyr comedian Owen Money’s pantomime Aladdin and watched him die a death on stage in that.

Daniel started to raise his hand towards the string-pull on his chest as if acting under a trance.

As the skewer dropped from the mouth of Mustafa, as he struggled to breathe, the two teachers looked at each other as they realised they now had a way out of their ordeal which might now save their face, their jobs and get them on the much coveted BBC Wales Six O’Clock News slot.

All they had to do was to let the Arab die in front of the children by asphyxiation.

“Nothing to worry about children…..he is just a practical choker!” said Mr Oxbridge making eyes at his fellow teacher, nervously farting like a trooper next to his slow children.

“ Why has he gone red in the face?” asked Wesley.

“ My Father used to go that colour when my Mother used to put his pillow over his face when he was snoring!” said Gwernllwyn.

After a brief version of Michael Flatley’s Riverdance – the Arab suddenly became more Flatliner than Flatley.

Mr Oxbridge on the other hand was no longer flatulent.

His job was safe, as was his pupil and there had been no harm done.

Save as to a terrorist cell member and a man that was already listed as dead.

And that is the way it would have stayed if Gustavo hadn’t spotted the ring pull on Daniel’s shirt.

He wanted to beat his hypnotised classmate to it.

He loved Action Men too.

After the explosion everyone was in denial, except Daniel and Gustavo who were in pieces.

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

Downwardly Mobile

By Philip evans, 2019-12-09


“ Alright Mun!” said the young lawyer.

“ Keep your hair on will you!” 

It was somewhat ironic really, as Welsh Barrister Leo Felix was only 23 but his fair hair was already receding more than a Norfolk beach at High tide.

“What are you doing in there… you nonce?” shouted an angry commuter, as he repeated banged on the lower half of the train WC cubicle door.

He thought about warning the angry man that what he had just said in front of his fellow passengers was actionable as a slander, but sight unseen he suspected that the individual wouldn’t have cared less nor had the wherewithal to fund defamation damages in the High Court of Justice.

The Virgin train from Cardiff Central to Paddington was packed to the rafters with passengers heading to London for work on a busy December Monday morning and the extra load of women and excited children heading to see Santa Claus and for Christmas shopping meant it resembled the ‘Sardine Express’ rather than the Polar one.  

Leo didn’t normally use public toilets but on this occasion would have missed the train, if he had used the ones located on the platform.

Boy did he regret his usual practice of standing up urinating and racing the flush to see would finish first.

Mainly because he had bent down to tie his shoelace and his expensive mobile phone had shot out of his top shirt pocket into the toilet pan and surfed its way around the u-bend before he could do anything about it.

His efforts to retrieve the same with his slender arms had not returned anything that even remotely resembled a mobile phone. 

The Virgin Train Japanese- style talking toilet was angry too at the new deposit and kept suggesting he see his Bowel Doctor immediately.

The banging of the Neanderthal on the door intensified into punches.
Leo wondered if it was a Cockney Mike Tyson outside.

He knew he would have to leave the cubicle with some dignity after the slur but also knew from playground experience that he was most certainly not a boxer. 

He needed that phone as his life was on it.

Like most modern- day young professionals -his life depended on it.

He had his diary on it, banked on it, checked the weather forecast, train times and of course the news headlines. He even made phone-calls on it too.

How would he live without it?

That was the purpose God Almighty had made humans with opposable thumbs for.
He knew he would have to face the music and leave the cubicle.

As he slid back the metal door lock, he was surprised to find that his abuser wasn’t a six- foot six builder with muscles on his muscles- but a four foot two dwarf.

Leo was used to looking down the nose at most people but on this occasion he really felt empowered.

“Sorry….I hope you weren’t caught ‘short’ by my time in there, but I accidentally flushed my mobile down the lavatory….perhaps given your size you might like to swim around the u-bend and get it back for me?” said the Barrister.

It was the last thing he remembered before the searing pain caused by the dwarf headbutting him in the bollocks.

Leo staggered to his seat.

Not only had he lost his mobile phone, but also his dignity and very likely his ability to reproduce children.

“Don’t worry luv!” whispered a kind old Welsh lady sat opposite him.

“That little fella is a professional wrestler called ‘Lowdown’ and that was his speciality move
Rubbing his aching testicles, he knew that his ‘Game of Thrones’ had not been engineered to hog the toilet- it was just circumstances.

“Tickets please!” announced the conductor.

Leo reached for his phone but it wasn’t there.

His season train ticket barcode was on his phone.

Try explaining that to an angry 40- year old Virgin.

“Where does the toilet flush too?” asked Leo.

“Does it go into a sealed unit?” asked the barrister hopefully.

“No- was the train stationary when you went?”  Asked the conductor.

“Yes!” said the mobile-less passenger.

“A little jerk caused the loss!” said Leo looking revengefully at Lowdown.

“Since leaving the European Union in January 2020- there are no longer any environmental control, so the waste gets distributed directly onto the track!” said the rail employee as if reading directly from a Company propaganda edict.

“Didn’t your Mother ever tell you not to go to the toilet when the train is in the Station?” he continued.

Leo knew then that he was in trouble.

What if someone found the phone, cracked the Personal Identification Number and found out all his personal information?

But then again it would take some kind of a genius to crack into his phone. 

He had client’s data on there, sensitive information for work as well that could be used for evil purposes if it fell into the wrong hands.

His sharp mind was already working overtime and the worst part was he couldn’t even bill a client for it.

As he came to terms with his electronic loss, it felt like a family bereavement had hit him.

He had withdrawal symptoms as he went cold turkey.

He felt insanely jealous that the other passengers were all looking at their mobile phones.

The carriage was silent with no chatter, as the modern generation displayed their social inability.

Even the Welsh Pensioner was doing a sudoku.

It was as everyone present wanted to be somewhere else.

Leo had no other option but to look out of the window and was surprised to see the late Autumnal colours changing into Winter, as the last remaining deciduous trees shed their coats and froze like the rest of mankind in the former United Kingdom.

He was entranced with the beauty of the English Countryside, something he had never before appreciated with his face down squinting at his mobile screen.

There were so many different colours and hues, flashing past, ranging from yellow to brown to red.

Mother Nature’s palette really was a sight to behold.

And the strange part of it was it was only he that was interested in the beautiful scene. 

As the train flew through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire, Leo felt a pang of home sickness leaving behind his Home Country to work all weekend in the Smoke with its overpopulation, pollution and 24-hour noise.  

If New York was the City that never sleeps then its insomnia problem had been exported across the Pond and Post-Brexit was affecting the British too with its’ capitalist disease.

When America sneezes Britain catches a cold.

Now they had just had a massive Trump and the shit fallout was everywhere.

Each City looked just like a carbon copy of the next with KFC and McDonald’s on every street corner of the concrete jungles.

Food standards had dropped since the exit from the European Union and it was now difficult to work out whether it was the pollution, the chlorinated chicken or the increased permissible quota of rat hairs in the kebabs that were making people ill.

The more profitable parts of the NHS had been sold off to giant American pharmaceutical companies who now had a monopoly on legal drugs.

Great Britain had become Little Britain with zero-hours contracts the norm and a return to the Great Depression days of the 1930’s, where 200 hundred men would turn up at the gates of the London Docks in the hope of work, where only 20 were needed.

The divide between rich and poor in society had widened to those of Victorian times, with great stretches of former Labour areas now a forgotten wasteland.

Leo, ironically, on the other hand had never known real hunger but was about to get a ‘taste’ of it.

As he disembarked from the train at Paddington station, he usually bought a Marmalade sandwich from the theme shop at Mr Brown’s.

But he didn’t have his credit card.

To his horror, he remembered it was tucked in the front flap of his mobile cover which was still languishing on a rail track somewhere between Cardiff and Monmouthshire.

He stared at the sandwiches in the window, felling hungry from his long journey but unable to buy one.

It wasn’t from lack of money, he just didn’t have the means of payment.

He read the sign above the counter which said ‘Cash Only- No credit- a refusal often offends’.

Most businesses in the Smoke preferred cash as it could be hidden under the bed, as it was only the black-market economy that kept them solvent, as the rest of Britain owed more to the financial institutions than ever following the downgrading of our International credit rating in 2020.

Leo thought of his home town of Merthyr Tydfil, which had more barbers per head than Seville in Spain but strangely all kept going. He knew people in Merthyr were hairy but not THAT hairy.

It must be the black mullet economy at work.

The smell of roast chestnuts in a brazier tantalised him as he walked towards the guard on the turnstile checking for tickets.

He knew that he would trouble with his thick Welsh Valleys accent explaining why he didn’t have a ticket.

No-one in London had any time for that sort of thing.

He knew from past observation that the people would run up moving escalators and just like laboratory rats within ten minutes he would be absorbed by their unceasing rush to get somewhere else.

He tried explaining it to the guard, who was busy enjoying his power trip, raising an eyebrow or two before letting him through with a satisfactory smile, in the tacit knowledge that Leo had now missed his tube connection to Oxford Street Station.

As he waited for a further ten minutes on the subterranean platform, he felt that scary feeling of a cold wind being forced down the tunnel by the movement of the train.

It was then the usual free-for- all as people pushed and shoved to get onto the crowded tube before the electronic guard-less doors shut on people, taking shopping bags, fingers, hands and small children away from the lucky occupants who had made the interior of the carriage.   
He knew he would be late getting home as the trains from Wales were rarely on time.

Thankfully, he had used his day off in lieu – sometimes it paid to be self-employed when it came to time off.

He knew in the crazy World of London that he was just another number and in reality, few people would miss him.

As Leo was something of a workaholic, he rarely took time off as he was trying to build up his client base- and he knew that there were few people who would care, if he was ever pushed under a Boris bendy Bus or a tube train- besides his elderly Mother and Father and of course his live-in lover for the past year- Kitty.     

He knew that she worried about constantly and would be having kittens, if he didn’t turn up when expected.

Kitty rarely went out due to her agoraphobia and the sound of his key in the apartment door was always greeted with much enthusiasm.

For now, he couldn’t move a muscle, he felt a touch of the condition in that as he was trapped in a small metal train hurtling at 40 mph through heavily graffitied Victorian tunnels with the smell of stale piss and body odour all too evident to his senses.

Everyone around him like a kaleidoscope of colours and a melting pot of cultures and nations.

The majority seemed to have ‘earbuds’ and be listening to grime music or Adele or Ed Sheeran.

They were all so insular, afraid to look each other in the eye or smile.

Leo now minus his I-phone could just like 1970’s reggae artist Johnny Nash see clearly now.

What a society he lived in.

He was still suffering from his technology withdrawal syndrome when he spoke to the woman next to him.

“Good afternoon….!” 

He didn’t manage to finish his sentence before he was sprayed in the face with Mace.

The young woman had jumped a mile.

What sort of person speaks to someone on the Tube? 

A scuffle broke out and once again Leo was the subject of an assault.

He had also lost his expensive watch in the kerfuffle.

But which one of these people had taken it.

He was always good at Cluedo as a young lad, but up here the colours were not Scarlett, Peacock, Mustard, Plum or Green.

It had not been a good journey home to the English capital- as he was now down a mobile phone, a watch, had bruised knackers and been sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

As he exited the tube-station he had to spend another ten minutes arguing with the guard before being let through towards actual daylight.

It was called actual daylight, but in reality, the limited light from the late Autumnal sun was so high above the skyscrapers and high-rise blocks, it was barely visible over the highly polluted trapped smog of car fumes in the English Capital.

Leo had always wondered why London was nicknamed the Smoke- now he had his answer.
Now minus his mobile, he had a clearer picture of the Earth that the parasite known as Mankind was busily destroying. 

He had no money to hail a cab, so he had no other option than to walk the rest of the way home, dodging people walking with mobile phones like crosses in front of them, which is easier said than done on busy London streets that even Verve Singer Richard Ashcroft would find hard to negotiate.

With new eyes, he witnessed people too engrossed with their cyber life to care about oncoming traffic, as they stepped out both individually and on mass at crossings with red lights causing London Hackney drivers to swear in Cockney Rhyming slang at the careless pedestrians.

Cries of ‘Jeremy Hunt’ and ‘Mike Catt’ were everywhere.

Leo couldn’t believe that the new species of human was hypnotised into staring at their mobile screens rather than participating in the REAL World.

What was becoming of our society, where the origin of the species and evolution of humankind had led to this advanced state of electronic paralysis.

True- Mother Nature’s only trump card- the survival of the fittest had meant that lots of these idiots had now been run over and with NHS waiting times fortunately had not survived.

He was now only a block away and thought he would as usual stop at the local chip shop to take home a fish supper for his nearest and dearest.

Regrettably, once again, he patted his top pocket and realised he had no means of payment.
He was starving and he bet his Missus was too, after a weekend stuck in that flat.

As he reached the entrance door, he noticed the sign said ‘Lift out of Order’.

He knew it hadn’t been his day, but to have to climb fourteen separate flights of stairs with added fire- retarded cladding, meant he had lost two stone in perspiration by the reached his apartment door.

Thank goodness it was nearly Winter.

London’s burning alright he thought, as he fumbled for his key.

As he opened the door, he noticed that his love was in the kitchen but he had more pressing matters.

His landline was ringing.

Strange he thought, as very few people had his number as it was  ex-directory.

It must be his Mother ringing to remind him that he had once again left the ready meals she had made him on the kitchen table.   

He really loved his Mam’s Welsh cooking too.

As he closed then deadlocked the door, he raced to the phone and answered it hesitantly.


It was NOT Lionel Ritchie.

“Is this London 01 378695?”

Perhaps thought Leo some honest person has found his phone.

His mind raced and in a split second he realised that whoever was phoning must have gained access his phone and potentially could see what embarrassing pictures he held in his phone gallery.

The one of him with his arm around Prince Andrew in the Woking Pizza Express.

The one of him shaking hands with Wiki-leeks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy. 

A photograph of him welcoming Donald Trump to Britain at his golf course in Scotland.

Surely no-one could have broken into his phone this quickly?

He thought then of Hollywood actress, Jennifer Lawrence and the hacked naked photographs from her I-cloud account which now all over the internet.

“Yes!” stuttered the barrister for once lost for words

It was not the voice of a genius but a ten- year old Gurnos schoolkid, called Mitch Daley. 

  “This must be the cat shagger then?” 

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments
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