"...say Ernie - maybe I got a shot of some bad liquor or something....."
Christmas in Rothergavenny Falls: "...say, give me another brace of that mead, willya - and make it snappy!!"
...and yet everything had started so well. Roberta's homecoming was on the front of the newspaper and all of Rothergavenny Falls was itching to welcome back our heroine from the war. Gee, everyone was so proud of Roberta since she saved that entire troop carrier from the kamikaze pilot. Seems those Japs just can't resist a pair of badly shaved legs smeared in brake oil and piston lubricant doing the okey-cokey. Heck, even Old Man Pooter had to admit that just this once the boys from the old Swipe Building and Loan had him knocked into a cocked hat!
Old Man Pooter oversees another strip rummy evening at Martini's place...
Sonia and the kids were all fine - except for little Zu-zu who had somehow picked up a dose of the clap through running around in a skimpy blouse - in this weather! Kids, huh? Yes, it was all going smoothly until scatter-brianed Uncle Brian worked himself up into such a lather taunting Old Man Pooter about Roberta's exploits and her meeting the First Lady and the way the Old Swipe Building and Loan was in such fine fettle that he didn't realise he'd left the interest from the T4 Popworld Presenters Benevolent Fund in Pooter's lap instead of paying it into the high interest bank account. (And we were going to buy an I-pod for the office too...)
"...and while you're down there Violet..."
So, you can probably imagine how I felt when I got back to the Old Swipe Building and Loan to find an empty safe and a bank examiner hovering over my accounts. Then, as if I didn't have enough to worry about, the local lady of leisure, Violet Bick came in to have one of her Blonde Moments. Seems she wants to run off to New York to re-enact a Hubert Selby Jr. short story with a bunch of guys from the neighbourhood, and can I lend her 10 bucks for some knee pads and an industrial strength grit remover? Gee Violet, I tell her, we're all gonna miss you. Strip rummy nights at Martini's will never be the same again. And don't forget, I shout after her as she's just about to hit the street, you still owe me a peek of your garter belt from last Tuesday. Poor Violet - so accomodating. Still, she'll never be short of a cupped hand to collect her cigarette ash with abductor muscles like those...
But anyhow, I try to buy time with the Bank Examiner, persuading him to take a tour of Uncle Brian's collection of spangly tights while I try to track down the missing money from the T4 Popworld Presenters Benevolent Fund. I run back to the house and Sonia and the kids are running riot. Good job I have two other wives to keep an eye on them, I ponder as I replace the knob on the bannister that always comes off in my hand when I (....ahhh, make up your own gags - it's Christmas....) Son's trying to teach young FredandFreds to Say Underpants. Heck, does he have to keep saying it over and over, I yell. Well, he's got to practice says Sonia as poor FredandFreds starts to cry - I've been standing on his finger for the past fifteen minutes, I now realise. I feel such a heel for shouting that I try to make amends. Here, let me help you sons, I say. Look, it's easy:
But he storms off blubbing to his mother's arms. What kind of a cockamamey house is this anyway? I shout And where's Zu-zu I ask? She's upstairs with a fever. I run upstairs and sit by her bedside.
- How's you fever? I ask her gently
- Not a smitch of temperature, Daddy! She beams back
- And how about the clap?
She falls asleep and I steal a couple of her opium petals from the vase by the side of the bed in the hope that I can mix them up into some super-strength narcotic that might turn this horrible nightmare into merely a bad dream. I storm back down stairs and as I get to the bottom, the phone is ringing. Hello? Yes, this is Bob Swipe. Yeah she's fine but no thanks to you, you stupid dumb ass penis brained lump of a woman. Listen, lady, that's a fine way to look after our children when they're in your care. What is it, huh? Can't you teach them to keep their legs together when they go out in weather like this? Ah, Mister Welch is it? Now what kind of a name is that for a female Geography teacher called Jane. Oh, you will, will you....?
But before Mr. Welch had time to measure me up for an all-over colostemy bag and matching leotard, I was already on my way over - pride swallowed and cap in hand - to see the only man who could get me out of this goddamn pickle I'd gotten myself into......
Old Man Pooter himself!
To be continued..........
Love on y'all,