Monday, 8 November 2010
...and now on Radio 4, part 5 of our adaptation of Weary Measley's 'The Calomine Lawnmower', by Spuriel Marx...
The story so far...
In the south coast locality of Christarrantcester, the Commode Cup has attracted the attention not only of the assembled sailing enthusiasts but the popular press as well - oh, and the Daily Mail were there too. Amidst fierce competition, aviation designer Hichard Burtcuthbertson sails on board the vessel he designed and built solely from marzipan and balsa wood, the Frying Fish, accompanied by his son, Soiliver. As they frantically make adjustments to the rigging and sails, the vessel streaks into the lead - a risky approach given that it's absolutely freezing out. A luxury cruiser follows their every move: on board are Hichard's wife, Rowenta, and her closest companion, Surly Porquhart, both of whom are enjoying champagne washed down with a jar of pickled eggs as they support the Fish crew in their bid to secure victory and with it promotion to the Blue Square Balsa Wood and Marzipan Conference League.
Meanwhile, back at local boat-building concern the Mardy Yermaid, proprietor Rack Jolfe is engaged in conversation with his daughter, Bovril, over the prospects of Hichard’s bid to win the Commode Cup. "How many times? You'll *never* win the Commode Cup in a vessel built entirely of marxipan - nevermind marzipan - and balsa wood. I've tried telling him, but he just sticks his fingers in his ears and goes 'ting-a-ling-a-loo' - the great big gay back passage of a failed aviation engineer turned soggy boat designer", wailed Rack as Bovril completed a particularly tricky word puzzle by artfully sprinling shake 'n' vac over a tea strainer.
Back at the race, having narrowly avoided a collision with their closest rivals, the Dalmation Pygmy (sponsored by Bradford & Bingley) crew, the Frying Fish is somehow the first boat made entirely from marxipan and balsa wood to cross the line (having sustained some minor damage below the water line involving a very delicate re-icing operation whilst still ploughing on at 17 knots per week.) A rousing celebration gets underway on board both vessels, and continues at The Soily Jailor public house. Whilst the Burtcuthbertsons enjoy a proud victory, those in attendance quietly speculate on Hichard’s future, as word is spreading that Scrotal Aviation (the company for which he had devoted twenty-two years of his life and poured a significant portion of his marmalade quilting empire into in order to keep the business afloat, not to mention the remainder of the retired-wind tunnel and sock repairer's Christmas pudding fund) is radically downsizing its Plyhamptonmouth-on-Sea operations and relocating to Aberystwith.
Over at the Yardy Merman, Rack discusses the desperate financial woes facing the business with Bovril. After three months in Christarrantcester, she has assessed the worst of the damage affecting the Yard - no customers, no pending orders, no materials, no staff - and despite Jack’s assurances that a forthcoming German Haddock-dredging coracle repair contract will extricate them from their plight, Avril remains optimistic about the yard's future. When Rack suggests they discuss the situation over a drink, she despairs with her father, claiming that it always his solution to problems and it did nothing to prevent the Suez Crisis in '56, why should it work now, God damn your eyes???!!
Next week on Howardsendaway: Will Calliperso break free from quarantine in Calais to make it over in time to be maid of honour at Soiliver's Bar Mitzvah? Will Palter and Wally recover from their vaguely incestuous fumble in the airiing cupboard. Why *is* Old Mr. Glucose-Blanket getting a nasty rash about the lower leg?