There’s nothing worse than not knowing how one is expected to act at a very important occasion. Scarlet and Toby had been invited to a very exclusive wedding. A famous model was marrying a famous model. Scarlet and Toby were invited simply because Toby was their permanent gardener and they lived on the estate.
But what to wear? Was it to be bow tie and tails? Was Toby required to wear a waistcoat? Did Scarlet have to wear a hat? The wedding was at a very prestigious church in the city. Do ladies still wear hats to church? It wasn’t as if Scarlet and Toby mixed in such circles.
In the end they decided not to go. They wrote a lovely note saying that “Scarlet had to visit a dying great-aunt in another town.” But they watched the wedding on television. At least they watched bits of it. The bride wore black and the groom wore white. A reversal of gender wedding traditions!
And indeed everything was very formal. Anyone who was anyone (and that was everyone there) was dressed to the nines. Oh the hats! Toby and Scarlet were glad they hadn’t attended. They had gathered a few bits and pieces of attire in case they were to go. Toby donned his black tie, top hat, and cummerbund, and went out to mow the lawn. Scarlet cut the dead heads off the chrysanthemums – wearing a fascinator. Never was not going to a wedding so much fun!
Let’s face it. It had been three years since Aubrielle had taken a vacation and she was feeling tired. This summer she would definitely go away. And she did. She went to a beach resort, hired a cabin, and spent the first day lolling in the sun. That was when Tristram came along.
He must have been the handsomest man that Aubrielle had ever seen. They got talking and he asked her out on a date. Nothing much really. just a bite to eat at one of the many beach eateries. They got on swimmingly. Talk talk talk! Basically about nothing. Aubrielle’s week’s vacation flew by. They promised to stay in touch.
“Goodness!” exclaimed Elaine. “I can’t believe it’s the 8th of May already. It seems just like yesterday that we celebrated Christmas. Being 97 years old I thought in every likelihood it would be my last Christmas. Perhaps it’s not to be the last! As I say, it’s the 8th of May already.”
“In another two weeks I’ll be 98. The joke is always the same: I’ve celebrated so many birthdays that there’s nothing left to give me for a present. Last year I got three pairs of slippers from various grand and great-grandchildren. I’ve only two feet you know.”
“My daughter Velma jokes that she can’t wait for me to pass on so she can collect the inheritance. She jests that she wants to go on a world trip with that fancy boy of hers. She’s a trick! Here she comes now clutching that heavy cast iron frying pan. What she wants with a frying pan in this room I have no …”
It is the year 2138 and something terrible has happened to me, my Darlings. Possums, I emptied my brain configuration, memories, and personality into a storage facility. I was to get a new body. Once my new body had been formed, Honeybuns, I would plug myself into the storage facility and download myself again. But OH DEAR, Sweet Peas!
Snuggle Bunnies, I had just finished downloading when another stored personality overran me and swept into my new body. Oh woe is me. It was the personality of a rather camp actor from Hollywood, my Darlings. I am no longer truly me. I inadvertently applied to star in a rather risqué movie and now, Poppets, I’ve got to learn a whole lot of smutty lines.
Sweethearts, life in 2138 is not necessarily easier than a hundred or so years ago. Now I’ve really got to dash. Goodness knows what my wife is going to think, my Darlings. I don’t want to be late for the rehearsal. Too-da-loo, Sweetie Pies.
(Footnote: I worked in the theatre for over 30 years. Believe me, there are people who talk like that!)
King Giles III was about to be crowned. His family were sitting in the front row of the ancient abbey, except for Larry the wayward son, who was ten rows back.
What an absolutely splendiferous occasion. There were trumpets and trumpeting and choir boys singing higher than ever before. In fact Lady Marion Schmuck thought that a flock of sparrows had somehow made their way into the rafters of the abbey. Although cell phones were forbidden, every second duke, earl, viscount, president, dame, and whatever were flashing away. The Archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on King Giles head. The moment was too majestic (and sacrosanct) for applause. In the ensuing silence the voice of a little boy was heard throughout the abbey:
Don’t get me wrong. Nikita was alert as can be; it’s just that she was paralysed from the neck down. It had been a terrible accident. She had lost her ability to move and her ability to speak. She was trapped in her own body.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. After several gruelling months in the hospital her parents came and took her home. Except – they weren’t her parents. She didn’t know where her real parents were. These “pretend parents” took her home because they wanted the government handout and the compensation. They got it. And boy! did they spend it on their despicably-rotten real-life daughter named Matilde.
Nikita was propped up each day in front of the television. Day after day she saw the same advertisements and the same repeats. It was an excruciating cross to bear. You’d think being doctors her pretend parents would know better, but Matilde (their despicably-rotten real-life daughter) was going blind. Apparently Nikita was a compatible organ donor.
Julie and Julian were about to begin their dream. Their recent wedding had been fabulous. Everything had gone perfectly. In their speech at the wedding the two rich fathers/fathers-in-law announced that they had purchased an old psychiatric hospital. It was Julie and Julian’s dream to renovate it and run it as a hotel.
The honeymoon in the Bahamas was great. Not quite what the tourist brochures had made it out to be, but exciting enough; especially with the prospect of returning to begin the wonderful renovation project.
The psychiatric hospital was old and derelict. It was pre the days when people were more understanding and enlightened. Back then it was referred to as “the looney bin”. The interior rooms were often bolted and locked; not unlike a prison. The hospital had closed years earlier when it had been discovered that medical personnel were using the patients for surgical experiments and many had died there.
It took Julie and Julian eighteen months to turn their building and grounds into a welcoming hotel. They succeeded! They advertised! They got their first guest booking! The guest arrived! He said he knew the place quite well.
I don’t believe in genies. Well, I didn’t till I observed this event and upon asking around discovered it could be verified by other witnesses.
Alexandra lived two doors down from me. They call it a “Retirement Home” but really it’s one of those institutions where old people with memory difficulties go. I’m not too bad, but Alexandra has some bad moments.
However, she was totally lucid when she discovered a genie in a bottle. I think it was an empty rum bottle. Nothing fancy. I had always imagined genies living in bottles that had a little more sophistication. Anyway, Alexandra said she had this genie come out of the rum bottle and was granted one wish. I always thought you got given three wishes but she said to me, No! Only one!
She took the genie and the bottle outside. Our “Retirement Home” is on a high hill overlooking the city. Alexandra said she wished she was standing on top of that hill in a thousand years’ time. What would the view be like? How would things have changed? What about climate change and population growth? How would people travel?
I was given a wonderful scimitar for my birthday. It’s genuine apparently. It comes from somewhere in Asia or North Africa. It’s studded with jewels. The person who gave it to me said he’d found it in a second-hand store and that the jewels on it were paste. But I had a jeweller look at it and he said the jewels were priceless. Of course I won’t tell that to my friend who gave it to me. He’ll want it back.
The first thing I wondered once I knew it was real, was how many heads had it cut off? CHOP! Off comes the head. NEXT!
I suppose there’s no way of finding out. I did a bit of research but came up with nothing. What I did discover however was how to use the scimitar correctly. It’s all in the way it’s held and the angle and force of the stroke as it lashes the neck.
My friend who gave it to me said he found out the true value of it and wanted it back. I told him to go jump in the lake. Don’t be stupid, I said. As if I’d give back something that precious.
Well, well, well! Today is Mayday. I prefer fairies dancing around a maypole than communists and their ilk celebrating sterile labour for the Party. Anyway…
Fairies dancing around the maypole is exactly what happened. You see, I went down to the bottom of my garden (I like to check the estate each day) and suddenly there appeared the most beautiful sight: fairies with wreaths of lily-of-the-valley on their heads, and dressed all in white, were dancing around a maypole with coloured ribbons. One of the fairies gestured to me to join. So I did, even though I was a lot bigger than them. I had to be careful not to tread on them and crush them.
While they danced they sang. Perhaps you know the song?
Sa o Roma babo, e bakren chinen A me, chorro, dural beshava Romano dive, amaro dive Amaro dive, Ederlezi.
All I can say, dear Reader, was that it was a wonderful experience. When the song and dancing were over the fairies disappeared so quickly I began to doubt what I had seen. But the grass was certainly trampled down. I knew it had happened.
I must be ruthlessly honest with you now. Little white lies have the habit of growing into mountains. I have been pulling your leg. They weren’t fairies dancing around the maypole at all. They had butterfly wings. They were pixies.