Monday, December 1, 2008

Sandy's Christmas Story

I found this story on one of my (very) old floppies just yesterday - one of my first attempts at writing a spot of humour, from the time when I was a student in Hull. Well, there wasn't much else to do in Hull back then. Still the same now, I reckon.

A Rough Night in Holderness Terrace

A tale of Christmas misery and desperation in darkest East Yorkshire.

It was a dark and very stormy December night. The one who would walk backwards was doing so with prodigious and uninhibited abandon. All human life appeared to be in suspense, whilst the lamp-posts dipped and bowed as if under the command of some mad Wind God.

Meanwhile, Peregrine Tapster was lying on the polished parquet flooring of his council house, apparently asleep. Only his wife, Doris, could tell that he was, in fact, totally pissed. Indeed, he had been in the same state for several days now, and her increasing frustration at his apparent inability to remain sober for periods of longer than ten minutes had become all too evident.

"Why can't tha be like me and pack it in after t'ninth bottle of Old Thumper?" she demanded with a shriek. Peregrine gave a vague grunt of recognition, and then returned to chewing on his fresh vomit. They had lost all affection for each other long ago, and the days when their shared interests of dwarf-throwing and lawnmower-racing had brought them together seemed to have been lost in the sweating armpit of a coarse, swaggering Old Father Time.

Suddenly there was a loud banging at the front door. Doris opened it warily, expecting to find one of her husband's grossly inebriated friends there; but no, it was a stranger. In fact, it was our old friend, the one who would walk backwards.

"‘Aye up lass," he inquired in his native Humberside tongue, his proper English being somewhat ropey, "has tha gor owt fer a nasty rowter?". Doris, whose grasp of the lingo was rather minimal, even at the best of times, was at first confused. However, realising that this was certainly not the Vernons pools collector after a Christmas tip, she slammed the door squarely in his face.

Returning to the living room, she noticed her beloved groping bewilderedly with the ancient record player, in a feeble attempt to play his favourite Showaddywaddy album. Taking careful aim, she directed a swift, glancing blow at his temple and sent him crashing pathetically against the trophies cabinet. Down around Peregrine fell the fruits of his wife's lifetime: Miss Macclesfield, 1971; Glamorous Granny (runner-up), Whitley Bay campsite, 1987; Best Ferret Fighter (North-East England division), 1989; and many, many more.

The crude, ironic symbolism of the cluttered scene before her was not entirely lost on Doris. Peregrine had indeed brought her life tumbling down, to such a painful degree that she fully realised that she had no option but to ditch the miserable bugger, pronto. So, sweeping up her most treasured belongings - a six-pack of Tennent's Extra Strong, a carton of Mates condoms, two faded David Essex posters and a handful of yellowing British Gas shares - she crashed the door behind her and thus sealed off her past for ever. As she stepped over the rancid remains of Brenda, the neighbours' cat, who had mysteriously died some weeks previous after dining off a portion of Peregrine's vomit, she made hurried mental plans for her new and blooming future.

However, whilst she was tacking into the ferocious wind that habitually blew the entire length of Holderness Terrace on even the most agreeable of a Summer evening, an unfortunate circumstance befell her. Being a little blinded on her starboard side due to one of Peregrine's misplaced occasional lovebites, she failed to observe the imminent approach of the one who would walk backwards. All too soon her fate had been irrevocably sealed.

For better or worse, no observers were present. Apparently she was found the following morning, Chistmas Eve, a mutilated cocktail of lagered flesh and rubber. The local newspaper merely reported that she had died "in unknown circumstances".

Peregrine Tapster, oblivious to the whole affair, would sit by the kitchen fridge in that melancholy way typical of drunkards, still anxiously awaiting his wife's return from the video rental shop. In fact, only the cruel, perishing wind would ever be able to tell us the real story, for it was, indeed, a very dark and stormy night.

The moral of the story is: Never go out in a gale!


Mike said...

wonderful. pg wodehouse meets david lynch!

The Tefl Tradesman said...

David Lynch? Who he, Mike?

mike said...

twin peaks ring any bells..

Shaun Ryder said...

Aye, or Chesty Morgan - wonder worr 'appened to 'er. Dead prob'ly.

The Tefl Tradesman said...

Chesty Morgan - didn't he play for Man U back in the early 1970s? Or am I a little mistaken...

And Twin Peaks - wasn't that the title of a book by Hardy? Or was that 'Two on a Tower'...

Must be getting old and fuddled already, I s'pose.

M C Ward said...

I was at Hull too. I lived in Ella Street and, latterly, Ash Grove. Good times.