Ocular impediment for Rick Parfitt?
The trouble with Padstow is he has rather got out of the habit of using the front gate and doorbells. (Note 1)There I was, all settled in for a lazy Sunday evening when someone started lobbing handfuls of gravel at my window.
Extricating a very excited Padstow from the shrubbery, I brushed him off and brought him inside.
When I returned from the kitchen after fetching us both some cloudy apple juice, Padstow was going through the drawers in my cabinet. It’s a bit disconcerting, but it is something in his nature. At one time he’d hoped to be a journalist, but felt that having married parents and loving his mother disqualified him.
Padstow turned on the TV. His face lit up like Blackpool in September. The producers of the latest celebrity game show had decided to boost viewing figures with the introduction of another twisted twist. The public were being invited to take part in a vote to nominate a Celebrity who would then have their pet cooked by a top chef and served to the housemates.
Swallowing hard, I turned off the TV as the celebrities were told they were going to have a special meal cooked for them. A rather loud girl who I didn’t recognise bounced up and down and hoped for fowl. (Note 2).
With the TV switched off, Padstow blinked and tried to remember why he had come to see me (Note 3). In the end, after deciding that the weighing of the witch by the pond had been cancelled, he remembered that Mattress Madge had sent him as there was a very important meeting about to start in the ‘Rat and Ferret’.
Now technically, I shouldn’t go to meetings in alternate realities. They are not really my business. Yet in my reality, if you are English you do get to feel that you are not altogether engaged in the political process. By simply slipping into the comfy cardigan which is the reality of the ‘Rat and Ferret’, it’s refreshing to find that politics retains the rough and ready edge of the public meeting and the soapbox. Indeed, I’m pretty sure that Sid and Mattress Madge will be laying on a bit of a do in May to celebrate three centuries of the Act of Union. In this reality I’d imagine they’ll wring their hands in politically correct angst.
Alternate reality meetings have that lovely zing of the how things should be when politicians face their constituents and justify their record or ask their opinion on major issues of the day. (Note 4) There is the unfeasibly absurd as well. In the snug bar they still talk about the time that the French Prime Minister popped in and asked if his country could join the Union. In the world of the ‘Rat and Ferret’ things like that happen, but of course, never in the real world.
You know what? I think that I’ve run out of space for this blog to describe the public meeting itself. So my teased yeomen, I shall leave you with a phrase that I have been using far too much recently. TO BE CONTINUED…
From 14th June 2006, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.
NOTE 1: You have to remember that Padstow is a professional stalker by trade. PR agencies hire young Padstow to stalk their aspiring talent in order to scrape up a bit of publicity. Hardly a week goes by without a picture of Padstow appearing in the Sunday papers. Well, a picture of some starlet trying out her ‘my hero’ eyelash fluttering as several large security staff manhandle a hooded and manacled Padstow towards a large van. Click to return
NOTE 2: Well, I think she was referring to the menu for the evening, but who can really tell. I was suffering a touch of trauma and trying to keep Padstow from taking photographs of my soft furnishings. Click to return
NOTE 3: He struggled at first. He began by testing out my gullibility by telling the most appallingly unbelievable anecdote about a (Welsh) Member of Parliament dating one of the Cheeky Girls. It took several hearty slaps before Pastow agreed that the story must be false. Click to return
NOTE 4: The really sad thing about this is that I think that politicians would like to be able to hold these sort of sessions, yet feel that they couldn’t fill the snug bar of their local pub with enough people to make it worth while. Yet, I can remember going to a public meeting in Bristol hosted by Tony Benn where he not only filled a large hall, he held his audience spellbound. It wasn’t until I was going home that I realised that most of what he said was idealistic and impractical. Click to return