_Paul_And_Land_

More Nonsense From _Paul_And_Land_

Month: December, 2013

The Festival of Joy and Happiness

Hurrah (and, obviously Huzzah) for the Day of Joy and Happiness is upon us. The very day when Joy and her very close associate Happiness dance among the Citizens of this tiny band of Citizens. The buses, such is the nature of buses, have long since stopped running and Mr Singh’s Convenience Store and Off-Licence has pulled down the shutters to celebrate this most important date in the _Paul_And_Land_ Calendar.

Friends hug and kiss, and the chaps, in the parlour of the _Paul_And_Land_ who enjoy fisticuffs, will put away their weapons and dance the day away as the Landlord will stick a Barry White Compact Disc Compilation Disc on, on this most glorious of days, for Joy and her most close associate, Happiness, are among us. Even our National poet, Mr Chris of the Rear, is bouncing, his car parked on the drive and Joy is bouncing in his Living Room, Kitchen and En-suite. Happiness, as is her won’t, will skirt these places and head straight for the happiest places: the head and the heart. No doubt, she will play a xylophone of love for some and, for others of that persuasion, a canape of rollmop herrings will be unfurled.

And on the Town Green, for that is where we all meet eventually, songs and songsters will praise Joy and her close associate Happiness in hearty renditions of Donna Summer and Minnie Ripperton tunes. By Golly, yes they will. And people will holler and yahoo (proper yahoo’s not the dubious type), Mountain Dew (which has curious properties in the tickling innards department) will flow and Joy with her friend and close associate Happiness will walk amongst us. Oh yes they will. Even in The Department of Nasty Things, a key will turn revealing to Joy (and her close associate Happiness) a level of love (the goddess of Gawd Blimey Missus) unknown in these parts throughout these past seasons. What joy will Joy bring? We can only begin to estimate but Joy is a free-giver and her pal, Happiness, is equally easy going. Here in _Paul_And_Land_, we’re having a hoot of a time. Now back to the studio.

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The International _Paul_And_Land_ Awards.

The tension in _Paul_And_Land_ these last few months has been palpable as the much highly regarded and regarded highly International _Paul_And_Land_ Awards Ceremony has been on the minds of everyone. Past winners of the Award have included no-one because, to date, this is the First International _Paul_And_Land_ Awards Ceremony and, who knows, it may be the last. But still, all the happy Citizens were palpable and tense as they headed to big School Hall at _Paul_And_Land_ Big School.

A buffet of buffet things had been buffeted by the Buffet Committee from Mr Singh’s Convenience Store and Off-Licence including Cheese Cubes and Silverskin Pickled Nunions on Sticks stuck in potatoes. Fanta flowed freely and crisps of a multitude of flavours were consumed by the handful. And in the dimly lit big School Hall, people danced to tunes by Donna Summer, Minnie Ripperton, Luther Vandross and Slade (a slight hiccup by the DeeJay, who had dropped the box of records on the way to the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms Christmas Booze-a-thon where revellers were dancing the night away to Fairytale of New York, Chocolate Salty Balls, Oh, I wish it could be Christmas everyday followed by Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra. There had been uproar but that’s another story. As they say. Close brackets).

Another slight hiccup in the evening’s proceedings was provided by the local Bus Company who proceeded to proceed in running a Sunday Service between the Richard “sodding” Branson International Transport Hub and _Paul_And_Land_’s very own modern transport facility bus shelter, handily placed near the big School Hall. Hence the International big-wigs and nylon toupees were not on hand to add some pzzazz and many young people, autograph books in hands, were a little upset. It’s very rare that international big-wigs and nylon toupees make it to this ‘ere place and dreams of famously famous big-wigs had sparked a little light. Fortunately Fanta and Cheese Cubes with Silverskin Pickled Onions were on tap to provide a suitable substitute and all was well.

The Sunday Bus Service also meant a hurried change of Compere as Tess Daly (her of the Dancing with Brucie Bonus-Not-In-This-Game) who had promised faithfully that she’d show up, phoned at the last minute to say she couldn’t get and that her and Vern were enjoying a McDogpoo Burger courtesy of Alan Yentob. Luckily for the organisers of the International _Paul_And_Land_ Awards, the landlord of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms stepped into the breach and, as the owner of a fetching Dinner Suit, he looked the part as he tapped the microphone professionally and uttered those immortal words “could we all take our seats for the awarding of the First International _Paul_And_Land_ Awards”.

Voices hushed and silence descended as the happy throng parked their cabooses on overly small school chairs from the big School around overly small school tables also from the big school. Paper table cloths added to the sense of occasion and snappily dressed types wearing Tuxedos and pinnies mixed among the audience, replenishing Fanta. A single spotlight, was spotlighting the stage as the landlord of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms decked out in his fetching Dinner Suit looked the part as he tapped the microphone professionally and performed a selection of hits from West End Musical Productions before finally announcing that he had an envelope.

Excited gasps filled the air. It was the moment that all and sundry had awaited, breath very much baited, hooks even more tentered and other things of that nature were going on. A drum roll, an almost silent rip as the glue on the envelope gave and a card withdrawn. The face of the landlord of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms, dressed in his finest Dinner Suit, lit up and a tear filled his eye. The gathered audience leaned forward in their overly small chair as his voice, on the point of breaking, began “The award of the First International _Paul_And_Land_ Award goes to ….”. He stopped talking, the tension built, the sound of heart-beats thumping heavily, of perspiration running down faces and of breath held.

“The beautiful ladies who saved our _Paul_And_Land_!!”. The crowd erupted, backs were slapped, flat-caps thrown in the air. Never has there been a more deserving award, the Beautiful Ladies who saved our _Paul_And_Land_ are utterly and even more utterly adored in _Paul_And_Land_. They’re presence adds to the happy, smiling faces of every Citizen. They are loved. And that is why this First International _Paul_And_Land_ Award was made, to recognise the Beautiful Ladies who saved our _Paul_And_Land_. Thank you Beautiful Ladies, recognition for all you have done for this curious little place buried deep in someone’s heart. xxx

No Fun. Or Fun

No fun my babe no fun
No fun my babe no fun
No fun to hang around
Feeling that same old way
No fun to hang around
Freaked out for another day
No fun my babe no fun
No fun my babe no fun
No fun to be around
Walking by myself
No fun to be alone
In love with somebody else
Well maybe go out maybe stay home
Maybe call mom on the telephone
Well come on, well come on,
Well come on………

It means something. A lot.

All of a flap.

The old home-town still looks the same, as I step down from the train and there to meet me is _Paul_And_Land_ Senior. Indeed, this may come as something of a shock to seasoned _Paul_And_Landers, the existence of Senior and Senior II, but we are only human after all. Flesh and blood, skin and bone, hands and feet, all the components. And bits and pieces.

The usual conversation ensues: principally involving deaths or impending deaths on the ride to _Paul_And_Land_ Senior Chateau de (one for the use of) and it is, thanks to lack of buses, short. Still, too many deaths or impending deaths to feel comfortable in a short journey. And the back, knee, elbow, ankle troubles which flare up over a winter, have flared up and fill the gaps in the deaths and impending deaths. All somewhat sombre and definitely of a Tom Jones feel: And then I awake and look around me at these four grey walls that surround me. Tomorrow morning at least.

For now though, the welcome continues. We’ve missed you, you look thin, I’ll make you some chips. Chips are lovely, we love chips with any old condiment: salt, vinegar, tomato jollup, brown jollup, pickle, chutney or anything else of a lubricational quality. And we don’t look thin, no we don’t but someone thinks we do and so scuttles off to the scullery to scuttle up chips.

Within minutes, there must have been some pre-planning to this operation, for not even Sir Hoy, Lewis Lamilton, Benjaming Button or Mohamed Farah Slacks could have rattled up a hugely huge and massively massive plate of chips as this without pre-planning and planning in advance. A full scale model of Kilimamjaro made of chips, with tomato jollop. It would have been impossible to consume this amount of chips without the aid of heavy industrial machinery. And then the inevitable question “what would you like for your pudding”. Good garden seeds, there are chips squeezing from every pore, spuddy goodness is overflowing from ears, eyes and nose, and more is expected to be consumed. Love your Mum, she loves you. She’d made pie, special-like. Gaviscon will beckon because we can’t turn down Mum’s love.

Donimoes!!

Just a couple of days ago, a group of our beloved types leapt onto the local bus and headed out into the wild blue somewhere in search of some action. Action in the form of purchasing stuff that can only be found in the bigger joints around town. Like limoncello which is rather nice. And spudniks and semi-skinned moo juice. Yes we know, spudniks and semi-skinned moo-juice are available in most purveyor’s places even Mr Singh’s Convenience Shop and Off-Licence but one doesn’t turn one’s nose up at a genuine bargain price, does one? No.

Any road up, as they say in these and other parts, such was the unfettered joy amongst the party over their bargain hunting for spudniks and semi-skinned moo juice that they decided to head for a celebratory glass of Corporation Pop. Striding out, without the aid of an aforementioned bus, they strode out and made base-camp at a local hostelry. This was, let us tell you, the sort of local hostelry much frequented by the old-boys, who on Festiveness Day will be knocking twice on the back door for a sneaky shandy. Word was sausage rolls will be available but we won’t be availing of those given that it’s the old-boys territory and not ours.

Our party of happy revellers, replete with grocery provisions, headed for suitable seating, some of which had matching upholstery, to enjoy their Corporation Pop given that Limoncello, as pleasant as it is, would have been unavailable in such a place as this. Even to the two knock old-boys in their flat-caps and woolly mufflers. No garishness here, just a faint smell of ‘hard knocks experience’ and life lived. No ice and no lemon.

Over the conversations of churkey and footie and life lived bus journeys and Ray Winstone offering “rait goowd odds on’t next scoorah on’t telly”, the tap-tap-tap of a donimoes game filled the air. Competitive donimoes. Very competitive. Voices were being raised, insults exchanged and threats made. Over donimoes. Back in the days of black and white, the piano player would have stopped tinkling and the bar-tender (who would be suitably attired in a striped waistcoast) would have pulled down the shutters to protect the sasparilla and painting of a scantilly clad mine hostess. Not here though, just two knock old-boys raising voices and hurling abuse over a game of donimoes. In flat-caps and woolly mufflers. A slap and a flat-cap lay on the floor followed by silence. The game resumed as if the few seconds had never happened and the tap-tap-tap continued. So did Ray Winstone unfortunately.

A Thing

It’s a thing is this “Christmas” thing: sometimes a good thing like being together and enjoying Morecambe and Wise again and sometimes a bad thing. Lights outside houses creating a competitive edge, 27 gazillion turkeys cut down in their prime, little plastic robin-redbreasts planted about the place and the inevitable present faux-pas.

The sulkiness of Chardonnay as she reveals her shiny new communication device and screams “I wanted a white one, I hate you all” is all too frequent. Less frequent but equally misery inducing is the slap around the chops for that young man from Marketing who gets too friendly, under the influence Officer. He’ll get another slap from the Missus later and maybe a few from her brothers. Bright red spangly dresses are nice but don’t touch.

Not so nice are flashing ties and musical socks and those skimpy undergarments that look like reindeers and a profusion of young chaps, in beer, wearing hats and gaudy pullovers and leaving unpleasant gifts for tomorrow’s street cleaners. But tomorrow and the day after are Bank Holidays so there are no street cleaners and the unpleasant gifts remain meaning those shiny new tricycles are forced to negotiate pools as they wend their way to Grandma’s for dinner. If only people were happy with shiny new tricycles. No, that nice young man from Marketing who, as we speak, is at present enjoying his Christmas Lunch through a feeding tube, has done his work well. The bright, shiny adverts have worked their magic and children of all ages are demanding the latest new creation or else they will hate you forever. Oh for the joy of a satsuma.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mum’s on the wine and the dinner is going to the dogs, Dad’s on the Gold-watch and is going to sleep, the kids are on sugar overload and are going all over the place and the neighbours are having a fight because Chardonnay is a mardy little wotsit and does she know how much that cost. She does, down to the very last penny.

So will the Debt Advisors on January 2nd. Yes, it’s a thing is this “Christmas” thing.

And the girl in the red spangly dress? Sobbing. Her young man was in beer and tequila and Gold-watch and any other number of sneck-lifters, forced his affections on her. Stinkingly. She wanted support, he wanted his way. Stick to Morecambe and Wise, it’s far more healthy.

Mountain Dew. And other things.

Sometime upon a time, some time ago in the dim and foggy past, one of the smiling residents of this foggy place had a notion,  An idea, even.  Funny food.  And before you start thinking “he’s gone all Heston Bloominheck on us”, this was in the days before Heston Bloomin-Nora and his fish cake ice-cream.

Y’see, we like a bit of cous-cous, who doesn’t?  As it proudly proclaims on the packet “A delicious alternative to rice and pasta” or even spudniks.  And Mountain Dew.  Yes that carbonated soft drink knocked up in 1940 by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman and first flogged with the slogan “Ya-Hoo! Mountain Dew. It’ll tickle yore innards”.  What’s not to love about that?  Tickled innards are always a bonus.  To be frankly frank, Frank, the two were made to go together, a marriage made in heaven.  Sort of.  And little known of.  Until now.  So wipe down your surfaces and put on a white coat because here it comes, walking down the street, we get the funny looks from everyone we meet.  Davy Jones was in Coronation Street, they’ve never asked that question on “Universally Challenged” but if they do, you’ll know the answer.  That’s for free.

Back to today’s star of the show.  First of all assemble all the ingredients.  You can get them anywhere that sells this kind of stuff.  Don’t try your local Chinese take-away, for example, or Dave’s Car Showroom because they’re not the right place.  Try a supermarket or a mini-market or a corner shop or Mr Singh’s Convenience Store and Off-Licence, you’ve got a better chance of assembling the ingredients from these ‘ere places.  Let’s see what’s on Dale’s Shopping List today (quick reference to Dale Winton and the garishly bedecked contestants on Supermarket Sweep, in case you were wondering): Some cous-cous, some Mountain Dew (“Ya-Hoo! Mountain Dew. It’ll tickle yore innards”), a mango, some coriander (the proper green stuff not Schwartz’s dried nonsense), a red nunion (which is rather like a red onion but with a different spelling and with added comedy value in the green-grocer’s shop), Olive’s Oil and a lemon.  And a bowl.  And a fridge.  No pans are needed so scrub that from your Shopping List.

This is where it all gets a bit experimental depending on how much you’re making and how many hungry mouths you’re feeding.  If, for example, you’re feeding the entire population of Peterborough you’ll need to plan ahead a bit and purchase industrial amounts and consider a slightly larger fridge rather than the usual domestic affair.  We would recommend starting at a somewhat lower level of production first but if you are making enough to feed the entire population of Peterborough, plan ahead.

Oh, nearly forgot, you’ll need a sharp knife as well.  Scissors will not work.  Neither will a chisel.  Or a pencil sharpener.

Here we go: chop-chop the red nunion, mango and coriander (red nunion, small, mango, chunky and coriander, teeny tiny) and chuck ’em in a bowl.  Squeeze your lemon and splosh the lemon juice in with  the red nunion, mango and coriander, and then some of Olive’s Oil, give it a mux up which is like mixing only with a “u”.  Then add your cous-cous and give it another mux up and finally enough Mountain Dew (“Ya-Hoo! Mountain Dew. It’ll tickle yore innards”) to cover all the other ingredients.  Mux and stick it in the fridge.  Now you can sit back and watch “Minder” for an hour.  During the adverts, just give your little mixture a little more muxing and when Dennis Waterman start warbling “I could be so good for you”, your Mountain Dew Cous-Cous will be ready to “tickle yore innards”.

Back to the bus stories. Volume 42.

Well and oh, my word.  Once again we alight on stories of buses and their associated associates, the associated shops and things.  A most welcome association.  Or perhaps not.

The happy-go-lucky citizens of this ‘ere neck of the forest had laid out their plans, with almost unmilitary precision, to head forth on a bus and saunter around one of those superstore things much favoured by the likes of Mr Tesco, Mr Asda, Mr Morrington and Mr Waitrose.  Wisely, as wise people do, the smiling happy band sought a little guidance from “The Outside World” and quickly put the plans on stand-by.  The very thought of such places was unthinkable, grown men fighting over the last tin of Quality Street and unbecoming young ladies hollering at their off-sprung had all the appeal of a damp and foggy Tuesday night in Bromsgrove.  Or Billericay.  Or Basildon.  Or any time at all in Basingstoke or Bracknell.

And so we turn to buses and why not, you may ask.  Wonderful things buses.  Sometimes the drivers are too but they do what they do and swear a lot at taxi drivers and fight in the street and let some people on without paying and tell others to get off.  Oh yes, it’s a mixed bag of stuff on buses.  And at the request stops, a very mixed bag of stuff.  Voices from all manner of places, sometimes talking on phones, and often chucking in a few choice Anglo-Saxon phrases just for good measure.  And unbecoming young ladies chucking the same phrases around.  Sometimes at their off-sprung who “will be finding thenselves under the next bus if you don’t stop fluffing abaht”.  How very unbecoming.  Almost as unbecoming as that chap, over there, relieving himself against the wall.  There’s no wonder sales of mopeds are going through the ceiling.

Time to focus on some Tiger Prawns.

Goodness!

Some of the person peoples living in this place have a little too much energy. All running about, riding bicycles quickly and generally being athletic. No harm in that we hear you say and we agree, no harm at all in running about, riding bicycles quickly and generally being athletic however there is a bit of harm for ears when some of the more noisy types get going.

Like these tennis playing players who sound like they’ve stuck a fork in their leg every time they hit a ball. Or basketball basketers who spend their entire career squeaking and hollering “High Five”. What is it all about? And cricket chaps getting all pointy and shouting “Who’s that”. And gyms, yes gyms. All that running about and rowing a boat that goes nowhere and lifting stuff and bending. Some of ’em should try a good dinner rather than shovelling handfuls of protein enriched protein with added protein into their fizzogs. Well. Sometimes nothing beats a nice pie or baked beans or something else particularly scrummy. They’re another bunch of noisy beggars, Rugby types. Always crunching tackles. I prefer tackling a Crunchie personally. Far more satisfying.

Sometimes you just a bit of peace and quiet. Some sweet silence but before you know it, the athletics begin and the forks are being stabbed into the legs. Will you give it a rest. Read a good book instead. And have a Crunchie.

Situation Normal

Once in every while, one of our otherwise happy Citizens of _Paul_And_Land_ hits the skids. Goes off the rails. Has a moment. Or something of that type. We really don’t like it when this happens, not at all, no sirree Bob. For a couple of reasons: one, we all like each other in this place (crime levels are at an all time low and buses run approximately to time) and two, the nearest hospital is in Richard Branson Land which, as we all know, is over the sunlit uplands beyond the River and the big road.

Enough of Richard Branson Land and their dreams of world domination, let’s focus on the unhappy citizen. Poor chap, for it was a chap and not a lady, was having a torrid time and was seeking solace in the back bar of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms, a place of disrepute frequented by ladies of easy virtue. Allegedly, at least. And some chaps who like a bit of fisticuffs. Not a pretty picture we’re painting here but that’s the nature of the back bar of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms. Unfortunately. And a Sunday League Team that all other Sunday League Teams fear, with good reason. Competitive sport in this neck of the woods is generally pretty uncompetitive except for the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms Sunday League Team. For a Team of ladies they’re durned scary!

“Get on with it, I’ve got a pie going cold”, hollered a small voice at the back of the room. “Tell us about yon chap”. Sorry, got a bit waylaid there. Yes, this poor chap was necking way too much jollop and it was doing him no favours. He was getting into a right pickle. And not the kind of pickle that we import from Richard Branson Land. Virgin Pickle, you’re making up your own jokes, you thought it was called Branson Pickle but ha-ha. Yes, too much sauce: firstly for chappie and secondly from you bunch. Excuse Madam, thinking of sauce, can I knick a chip?

A call came into the _Paul_And_Land_ Command Centre from a lady of easy virtue (allegedly) informing the Emergency First Aid Man, who looks like Private Godfrey on Dad’s Army, that the chappie was not in a good way. He’d hit the bottom. Hard. Off cycled the Private Godfrey look-alike to the back bar of the _Paul_And_Land_ Arms and indeed, our chap was in a right two and eight. Empty bottles, cold pizza and a badly done tattoo exclaiming his love for Big Helga from Crewe.

Our sturdy Private Godfrey-alike, spooned up all the bits and pieces and stuck them in the bicycle side-car. And then tootled back to the Command Centre. With the help of a few nails, some chewing gum and a good talking to, he was soon on the mend. The badly done tattoo remains unfortunately, Big Helga from Crewe should be proud though for her chap is now well on the way to being a model citizen.

And the moral, those chips are actually rather nice Madam, don’t go getting tattoos especially when you’re sploshed up.