A Hazard of Parsnips-Chapter 10

Dearest Eileen

O, my love! Please heed my speedily penned missive of love and terror. Both in Equal measure. I have not much time, my love, so please forgive any mistakes I make. If I miss an apostrophe here, or even maybe, turn it the other way around, in sheer  terror, please turn your beautiful cheek, clench your beautiful buttocks and steel yourself from the knowledge that I lay before you.

O, I know how much pain it will cause you, my lovely horse, to learn that this slab of man has been man-napped and man-handled to a secret destination known only as ‘The celestial treehouse’.  Around me, I’m unsettlingly nestled amongst queasy curios and artefacts. To my sinewy left is a map of Africa, anatomically correct dolls, a poster of the Bristol Stool Scale, and an effigy of Keith Chegwin, crafted from electrical wire.  To my muscle-bound left is a poster of Dieter Brummer, Home and Away’s tragic hot potato/spunk.  His death was like a light going out as far afield as Yabbie Creek, nay, ‘The City’.  My nostrils are filled with the earthy stench of, Brillo pads, Cuprinol and I gag and splutter at the cloying smell of Billy Onion (I mean B.O. but I didn’t want to upset your delicate sensibilities. I hope I did not., but I must paint you an accurate picture, my crushed grape, to help you, and the authorities, find me, like a soiled nappy).

I do not know how long I have been festering here in the celestial treehouse. I am tied to a partially inflated lilo with the legend ‘I had a great time in Ashton Under Lyme’.  My gaoler did not reveal himself to me until yesterday. For 4 days my sustenance was delivered to me by a mute woman with a sharp eye and a polyester garment. Her arse was shiny and her glance was shrewd and mean, as she regarded my quivering, manly body. I hazard a guess that she was probably wondering if I work out, or I’m just naturally hunky.  It’s a bit of both to be honest. I do like to look after myself. Not overly though. I’m no Jeff Banks. Everyday, so far, the same. She brings me 3 square meals on a hamburgular plate sitting impertinent, high on a tray, with what I can only describe as a comfy underside to it, like the underside of a hovercraft, but filled with beans.  This allows the tray to be placed on the tray-recipients lap, like a hot weasel, nestling on  one of the London Boy’s hats.  If the situation wasn’t so imminently threatening, I daresay this ‘comfy tray’ would have me punching the air. My water is thrust at me in a plastic ‘Espania ‘82’ World Cup memorabilia cup by the sullen wench. She pushes it to my full, but not girly lips, and grunts and bids me “Drink. Drink”.  As she withdraws the cup, the orange’s happy face seems gut turningly out of place in this horrid mess of an abduction. I later came to know my gaolers’ puppet as ‘Teresa’. 


But who tweaks Teresa’s strings now, my love?

I’ll answer for you. Me. Maybe…

Back to the landlord and host of my misery.

It was only on day four that he revealed himself to me. Before he happened upon me, Teresa hurried up, wearing a black and red polyester basque.  “Oh Clarence.  He vill visit you today. He vill tell you all about vote ee is doing today. You must be gut Clarence. Do as he says, Clarence”.  I had managed to get the impossible wench to speak to me by being good looking and manly, the day before. I knew that this slattern was no different from other women, and would soon fall, so powerless within my grip. After, all, was it not these same good looks that loosened your bowel on that fateful day in the Skem Concourse? Yes, it was.

She then began spraying the air fiercely, with an atomiser, with a curious concoction contained within. She punctuated jerkily all over the treehouse, reaching into the very corners, pumping the spray and punching it into the stale air.  I sniffed the acrid perfume of vinegar that permeated the dead atmosphere of my cabin. “Teresa, what is that uncommonly awful odour? I beg you to bestow on me such knowledge!”

“oh Clarence, ee vants me to spray ze air viv vinegar.  Ee thinks bad theengs vil appen if I do not pervorm this ritual”

“what manner of nonsense is this, Teresa, I beg you? Does your master have you fulfilling this oddity of a duty into every room  that hosts his arrival?”

“oh yes Clarence. Before ee announces his import to a chamber, even our bedroom, ee as me spraying this air with vinegar.  Sometimes he makes me chant the words “I spray the air with my brave powder, I jump from the highest shelf in the cupboard. Nothing can hurt me when I’ve used my brave powder. Not even James Pritt-Stick”.

Well, my love, it was all I could do to stop myself guffawing in the wretches care-worn face. But before I could bellow my mirth, I was caught by a great sadness in her eyes. A Sadness like when the plastic safety tab on a bottle of asprin breaks, imprisioning the precious medication and sealing your headache doom.

“Teresa” I purred softly

“yes Clarence”

“If you were my woman, I’d spray the air with my vinegar gun to herald YOUR arrival”

It was as if I’d unleashed a raft of emotion, as the tears coursed down her face.  The face that graced the cover of ‘Carer’s Digest’ in 1989, I later came to learn.   She looked searchingly into my wide, but not feminine eyes, eyes wobbling from side to side like Tania in Footballer’s wives. Frank didn’t deserve her! The Perpetual Oaf! In any event, she looked into my eyes, and for an agony of ecstasy she softened and I thought she might just about do owt and I thought I could make good my escape with a few secrets (and maybe a few months where I couldn’t look in the mirror) but then He poured in.

“Teresa! Are you being a naughty kitty?”

My heart stopped.

What in the name of What Katie Did Next was this…this…beast?

O, my delicate constituitoned sickly peardrop, I do not know how much your delicate stomach will permit me to describe…let me advance you this well meaning advice, please fetch a sturdy bib for the contents of this letter, and possibly your stomach, will now unfold further…

How can I begin?  Probably his shoes.  They were Hi-Tec trainers… Hi-Tec?  I wouldn’t be seen dead in such fallacious footwear, and so I immediately espoused this fellow’s nefarious intentions.  Next, he was wearing the bluest of blue jeans.  A shade of blue that should never been seen in any modern denim, and could only instantly make me exclaim: ‘sex pest’.  This did not bode well for the integrity of my internal organs.  The denim work-slacks were also stained in a most distinctive manner.  There was a brown sauce stain in the shape of Argentina on his left leg, and a picture of Fred Flintstone on his right.  Perhaps they were trendy once upon a time, but today they merely smacked of jumble sale.  Needless to say, he was beltless.  It had probably been confiscated.  The waistband of the jeans was suspiciously high. To this day, I do not know if he had extremely short legs or it was merely an optical illusion caused by the high-waistedness.  Alas, I have lingered upon his nether-zones for far too many a minute, and mickelmas is rapidly approaching.

I should now move on to his torso.  Almighty Zeus, this man was quite, quite rank.  His torso was enrobed in what I can only describe ‘uncouth’.  On  it bore the legend ‘sex instructor: ask me for a demonstration’ with a suggestion of where a lady should place her hands.  Clue: it wasn’t gentlemanly.  This rogue was bringing a mix of emotions in me, the twin shit-zus of repulsion and disgust where chasing the wild hog of rage. I could barely contain my spirits when he turned his gaze to me.

“Oh look at you! Your eyes zey are all open and awake! Oh and what beautiful eyes, ja (he was right-after all) but beautiful in a manly way  (I couldn’t fault the observational prowess of this wretch) you look like a young Dale Winton, ja, doesn’t he Teresa?  TERESA?”

“Yes, my love”

“Ja.  Oh my god Teresa, you never pay me much attention. Maybe you were transfixed by Dale’s dancing eyes? I is knowing zat I was, I almost took a trip to Hunkytown.  Oh won’t you take me to, a Hunkytown! Oh I am making an eighties song based joke!”

Teresa blanched.  She was literally white.  Well, not literally, she was generally flesh-coloured, in a way. Anyway, my point is this: I’m so hungry.  Secondary, to this, is the fact that Teresa was humbled and scared – it was like thunder, lightning – the way he treated her was frightening.   I had to knock on wood. Baby.  Fortunately, the treehouse was made from wall-to-wall wood, and so I was spoilt for choice.  To be honest, there was almost too much wood to choose from, and it sort of robbed any pleasure I could get from the situation.  I hate it when there’s too much choice.  It’s exactly the same with chocolate bars these days.  What’s wrong with just a Mars and a Twix?  Honestly. 

While I was pondering this deep, almost existential dilemma, thus proving my depth and intellectual ability to you, my glossy pamphlet, the colour has returned to Teresa’s countenance. It was then my senses became aware of her master’s countenance. Where was it? You won’t know this, unless your eyes can see across distance, time and plastic masks.  Which of course they can’t. Your eyes are distinctly average. Very much in the seeing sense.

 It was concealed [his face] .

Behind an mask of the popular character Orville.

Oh I love that guy, but I hate that monkey.

Oh my god I’m so handsome!  I became increasingly aware how lucky I am not to wear a mask, although sometimes I think I should as it’s so unfair to other people. Very much in the face sense.

I apologise, my petit pois, my own rugged good looks have again made me digress from the task at hand – securing my very freedom from this den of iniquity.  Ergo, this very matter is forthwith in my conclusions.  You see? Good.  I’ll continue.

The Orville-masked freak continued to prowl around his actual parlour and I could see his beady eyes weighing up my man-package from behind his plastic concealment.  I felt like a prize marrow from within my own shop window.

My captor then reached into his Hi-Tec suit of the track jacket and pulled out a scruffy looking scroll, that, upon closer inspection, was a letter from the Benefits Agency.  He unravelled the scroll, took a deep breath and read in his best poetry voice:

“Hello Clarence

How are you today?

I hope you is feeling

Nice and Gay!

The Naughty Kitty wants to play

Then we will watch Home and Away!”

“Oh, Clarence, i love Dieter Brummer. He’s such a spunk, ja?”

I couldn’t deny it, my Billy Bookcase, DB is, indeed a spunk.  However, this sinister poetry made my mind jump and flip like a jive bunny record…what does he mean by ‘play’? Does he mean ‘gay’ in the ‘happy’ sense or does he mean it in the ‘touching men’s bottoms’ sense?  Oh god what can this all mean? I wouln’t mind watching Home and away though.  I’ve not watched TV for ages.

And now, my love, I must quickly away, I can hear Teresa playing ‘Yell-Instant Replay’ which usually means my captor is on his way. He says it clears the air of ‘nasties’.  Please know that I am alive, for now, but I know not for how much longer. Teresa agreed to carry this missive to the local postbox.  Forgive me my love, for I had to flirt and love-make to get her to take this. I do believe her quite taken with me. Of course. Standard. To be fair, who can blame her? Not me. I’m pretty hunk-some.   Please my love, god speede and get help. Contact the local constabulary and alert them to my current situation and give them what clues that they can glean from this beautifully terrorful epistle. I am sure they will think me most brave, and if you show them a recent likeness, also very handsome, like a young burt Reynolds.

I am content and safe in the knowledge you won’t be shagging around.

I love thee

Clarenc e