Friday, March 23, 2007

Moments in the Limelight

Put on you glasses, settle down and if you are sitting comfortably, I’ll begin.

That’s Entertainment!

I promised my patient yeomen a rather lighter subject matter in my next block – and here it is. There have been the odd mutterings that I really should blog about something other Vulture Funds. (Note 1) Well fret not my activated yeomen, for tonight I shall shake my magic staff and grant your wish.

For the next couple of weeks, our small town holds it’s Literary Festival. Last night was the open mike night for local writers, so I got my chance to step into the Limelight for my seven minutes of fame.

There is nothing I like more than an opportunity to get up onto my hind legs before a captive audience – so I pop along every year and treat those less fortunate to a specially commissioned piece of local interest that I have drummed out while under the influence of the dried frog pills.

This year, the event was compeered by the UK All Stars Slam Poet 2006, Rob Evans. There was a good selection of local writers and the standard was very high and the laughs many. (Note 2)

So, if my yeomen are suitably captive, I will share with you my contribution.

Reginald Molehusband Lives

Oundle is a quiet, almost sleepy market town. The modern world snakes past along the bypass leaving the town virtually untouched. While other places may embrace change, here in our delightful rural backwater, we doggy paddle around in eddies of the 1950s.

Yet a hidden menace has struck into the heart our community. Almost unnoticed, we have become a hotspot of a horrible virus. What makes this all the more heartbreaking is that most of us remain totally unaware of its presence while it has reached near epidemic proportions.

Sadly, those untouched by this debilitating disease treat sufferer's wrath and ire. I am here to implore you to treat the poor unfortunates with more sympathy.

An empty chair, an open mike and a captive audience – my idea of heaven.

When the virus was first identified in Surrey in the 1960s, the press labelled it Molehusband Syndrome. As it spread, the Government took firm action to stamp it out. To begin with there were public information films (Note 3). These films became television adverts. When society began to rebel against sufferers and baying mobs arrived to taunt the afflicted, the government enacted laws to test all seventeen year olds in attempt to isolate the cause. To tackle new infections they introduced wardens. The actions were generally successful and it dropped out of the media spotlight.

Sadly, Oundle's strain of Molehusband's Syndrome is a mutation, but worse, our populace seem sadly unaware they of their infection. I would hate to cause panic, but look at those around you. They could be carriers.

Now please, stop shuffling in your seats and trying to put some space between you and your neighbour. You! The lady at the back. Please put away that industrial sized vat of bleach.

Molehusband syndrome is easy to spot. Medical science has moved on and now it is fully treatable. There is a cure if you catch the signs early enough.

One of the earliest symptoms is the sudden urge to trade in your sensible and reliable little hatchback. Despite only travelling from the edge of town to school and occasionally organising shopping expeditions into Peterborough, sufferers find themselves drawn to 4 x4 dealerships. In the most extreme cases sufferers purchase vehicles the size of small industrial units.

If Molehusband Syndrome is allowed to continue unchecked, subtle psychological changes kick in. The brain starts to block out the presence of any vehicle smaller than there own. Sufferers drive through narrow gaps oblivious to oncoming traffic and causing other drivers to take evasive action.

The next time you find yourself forced to drive on the pavement in West Street, don't shout at the 4x4 driver that forced you off the road. Try and find your compassionate side. The poor unfortunate is suffering and requires a condescending smile and ironic wave.

That 4x4 driver will probably be suffering memory lapses. They can find themselves staring at the indicator stalk on the steering column for hours, totally unable to recall why it is there This shouldn't be confused with BMW and Mercedes drivers. Those believe they have an exemption from having to use indicators.

In the most severe cases, sufferers from Molehusband syndrome become convinced that there legs are incapable of supporting them for more than a few minutes at a time. Such is their confusion; you often find them inventing parking spaces where none exist, double parking or even leaving their car on the pavement to ensure that they can obtain their shopping before collapsing in an unsightly heap.

So, my fine citizens of Oundle, please treat the afflicted with care and understanding. The next time you feel the urge to yell at the inconsiderate driver of a 4x4, remember that they are simply ill. When you see their monster truck abandoned in the town – and if you can reach - leave them a sympathetic note under their windscreen wiper – along with the number of a good doctor.

From 14th June 2006, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: Although I should point out that Roger Helmer MEP did respond to my blog of earlier this week and he left a comment on my mirror blog. I have responded to his comment by email. This may be a very strange dialogue – but it is a dialogue and nears the status of a debate. As people have pointed out, Roger Helmer did have the courtesy not only to respond but to state his view clearly and to take up a position on the topic – even if he is wrong. Click to return

NOTE 2: I had to ask several people to find out exactly what Slam Poetry was all about. I eventually discovered it was competitive poetry and then had several unfortunate visions of duels between poets where they beat eachother up with volumes of their collected works. I should know better than to mix beer with the dried from pills. Click to return

NOTE 3: It strikes me that many, especially my Merkin readers will be a little confused over all of this. You have to be a certain age to remember the public information films they used to show on the TV, but on of my favourites was one that taught people how to parallel park. Although the original film has been lost, you can still watch the video from the link in this news article (Yes, I know I used this link before). Click to return

Just a little test to see what happens I doubt anyone will notice this tucked away her. If they do, I’m sure they’ll keep it secret. You will, won’t you? You won’t be sorry.

Please remember Alan Johnston who is still held hostage in Gaza. Freedom of the press to report what is happening is a cornerstone to all our freedoms.

My cute enjoyed the event last night. He left early though, said something about catching a bite to eat before all the good girls were in bed.

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