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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Downton Jihadi - episode 3

Previously on 'Downton Jihadi'....

Ashraq's insatiable desire for a bright, handsome young eager-to-please-then-make-her-a-widow young Doctor, preferably a specialist leads her to explore the possibility of the establishment of an insurance-based National Health Service. She contacts a three year old yet-to-be-Lord Beveridge but is told it will be a nightmare getting the Doctors to agree to a pay cut. Perhaps a couple of global conflagrations will soften their mood? We still don't know what an entail is, but we have a good idea what Brien O'Edna-O'Brien and Cora have been getting up to behind the bike sheds, but not whether or not it will rub off....

Now read on...

Like so many in this house, Gwenda has her own secret and Anna discovers it. It seems Gwenda is taking a correspondents course in Welsh. Inspired by Robert Peston, she wants to work for the BBC as a current affairs or economics presenter, or possibly an anchor for BBC Wales? She's always dreamed of the nautical life off the coast of a Principality. Brien O'Edna-O’Brien discovers the typewriter and alerts Carson to have her tailed to Broadcasting House or, where is it they've relocated to? Somewhere horrible and up north. Oh yes, Salford. Why does Gwenda think she is better than they are? Is it because she can spell? Has some rudimentary concept of personal hygiene? Belongs to the as yet only a glimmer in the imagination of the teenage Adolf Hitler's eye Aryan master race? We'll never know, but she looks simply lovely in a pair of jackboots and a brown shirt, her long blonde tresses and clear blue eyes glinting in the sunlight as she annexes the Rhineland. Gwenda is upset and explodes. Brien O'Edna-O'Brien-O'Edna, to the shock of Carson and Mrs Hughes, is unscathed but something funny appears to have happened to her name.

Mary learns that Evelyn Nappier-Rash is riding out with the local hunt and the meet will be at Downton. Cora presses him to stay, but he explains that he will be accompanied by a 'friend', Kemal Pamuk, an attaché at the Turkish Embassy, who is in London to discuss the independence of Albania and Turkish entry into the as-yet-unformed European Union and can she please now stop pressing him as he's coming over all unnecessary and has developed a rash. Cora is unfazed. If the price of Nappier-Rash is the presence of this Mr Pamuk, then she will invite them both and just hope that the latter can get the hang of a properly constructed water closet before there are any more accidents. She caught him flossing his teeth in the last one. To get some mileage out of Nappier-Rash’s brief stay, Mary will join the hunt and leave his briefs to look after themselves.

To her surprise, Mary is instantly attracted to Pamuk - she normally expects at least four weeks written notice and a tip off from her astrologer before she is smitten like this, and the feeling is reciprocated. When Thomas makes an ill-judged pass at Pamuk - well, he is no Mesut Ozil - the Turk, who despite his nationality and uncanny likeness to Peter Lorre is no Mesut Ozil himself, forces him to take him to Mary’s room later that night, the two gliding through the night along the Downton corridors with their deceptively lazy gaits before missing half the season with a hamstring strain and being photographed smoking in a Cologne night club with the former Miss Leichtenstein.

Bates, who is no Per Mertesacker, has purchased what looks like an instrument of torture in an effort to cure his lump but is in fact merely a decommissioned electric chair in need of a little upholstery and a few thousand volts. The pain it causes makes him cry out - " was fifteen shillings....FIFTEEN SHILLINGS I tell you!" - but he dismisses any concerns, until Mrs Hughes, who is no Gerd Muller but can bear an eerie resemblance to the late Helmut Schon in a dim light,  threatens to take the matter to Carson if Bates is not honest with her. Reluctantly, he shows her the residual seepage from his lump which is now covering a fairly substantial area of local farm land.

Edith has decided that if Mary is not interested in Mahfuz, she would like to try for him, herself. Learning about his interest in local mosques Edith volunteers to act as his guide only to find she's not allowed in as she is neither a Hindu nor a man. She is told that she can enter if she converts but tells the Hindu authorities that she has already been confirmed. They too confirm that she is definitely a non-Hindu woman but say she would make someone a lovely wife. After a brief ceremony during which she is ceremonially stoned, Edith is allowed day membership of the Hindu faith and finally allowed into the mosque on pain of silence. She reluctantly stubs out the reefer and enters the mosque. While there Mahfuz ignores her attempts at flirting, simply answering her questions with ones about the mosque - is it true that it can be seen from space? Are the hens kosher? Does it have a bar? Stuff that he should, as a good Hindu, really know already. In fact if he seems interested in anybody, it appears to be Mary who, whilst no Lucas Podolski, strangely reminds him of Karl Heinz Rummenigge of whom he's always been somewhat of a fan, apart from the blatant diving of course. The family discuss Gwenda and her ambitions. Violent, particularly, is shocked at her rebelliousness, although she is strangely attached to the safety pin through her nose and can see herself wearing one one day, should she ever tire of the bulldog clip. The only ones to defend her are Sybil and Matthew - and no, I have no idea who they are either. Mary is more interested in flirting with Pamuk, who whilst no Miroslav Klose could just about pass as a rather swarthy and chubby Gunther Nietzer on a dark night.

Anna is asleep and a hand comes down over her mouth. It is Mary. Well, the hand bit of her at any rate. Pamuk has had a heart attack, in Mary’s bed - all that smoking and carousing in nightclubs in Cologne, most likely. He’s dead. Anna is stunned. If Mary is not to be completely ruined they must get Pamuk back to his own bed so he can at least be dead in some clean sheets. The only person they can call on for help is Cora, no Franz Beckenbauer, but a pretty useful Uwe Seeler on her day. They do not know that Daisy witnesses Mary carrying Pamuk along the corridor. They don't call her 'The Kaiser' for nothing.

Nappier-Rash, in complete ignorance, undertakes all the arrangements following Pamuk’s death. But not before Mary’s tear-streaked eyes and a forty foot neon sign she's had attached to the main Downton tower saying, "I fucking hate you you completely ignorant tit" have told him that she is not in the least attracted to him. He graciously bows out of the running for her affections, concentrating his efforts instead on the Cirencester 12K mufti fun run which he hopes to complete in under three and a half hours hours and a sari.Thomas informs Edna-O'Brien-O'Edna that he took Mr Pamuk to Mary’s bedroom on the night he died, and that he saw him go through the door. Brien Edna-O'Brien-O' Edna  saves this vital information in her squirrel store of mischief along with an assortment of nuts whilst pondering the strange shifting uncertainties of her own nomenclature.

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