Monday, 9 November 2009

Chapter 8 - The Wrath Of Miggins

'You did WHAT???'

You might think, dear reader, that Mrs Miggins was shouting at the top of her beak at this point in the tale, given the writer's artistic use of capital letters. But you would be wrong. The use of capital letters is to emphasise the fact that Miggins was, indeed, speaking very calmly and quietly, slowly and clearly, placing stress on the end of her sentence in order to create in the atmosphere a sense of highly-strung tension. She was speaking in the manner of someone who is talking through gritted teeth on a subject that has become tiresome to them; on a matter that has once more raised its head in some endless, repetitive cycle that grinds you down to a wearisome pulp, that if you hear it being mentioned one more time, you might just scream one long,loud scream until everyone in the vicinity who has heard you has to go to their doctor to procure treatment for burst eardrums.

Mrs Miggins was speaking, therefore, in the tone of voice that makes grown men wet their pants.

And then she started throwing bricks. The bricks that had been delivered only that morning for the building of a new garden feature in the grounds of Cluckinghen Palace.

'HOW MANY BRICKS HAS SHE GOT?' yelled Mrs Slocombe.
'A WHOLE OUBLIETTE'S WORTH!' yelled Mrs Pumphrey as she and Slocombe doged the shower of rock.
'WHAT'S AN OUBLIETTE?' asked Mrs Slocombe.
'I FORGET!' yelled Mrs Pumphrey.

At last, Mrs Miggins fell back onto the garden swing in an exhausted heap.

'Is it safe to approach?' whispered Mrs Slocombe.
'I think so,' said Pumphrey. 'But I'll take a mug of hot chocolate and a toffee apple as a peace offering, just in case.

And ten minutes later, with Miggins's beak clogged up with toffee, rendering her unable to speak and therefore to argue, a relative calm state of negotiation had been established.

'Now listen,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'I take full responsibility for setting up a false management company and telephoning Boom Penguin on your behalf.'
'Mmmmm, nnphhhhmph, gggrrummmmphhh, nnnggggnng,' said Mrs Miggins.
'And I did it because I have a plan and this is the plan and you are going to listen.'
'Mmmmphhhpmmmph,' said Miggins.
'And if, after I've told you my plan, you still don't like it, then I'll call Boom Penguin and tell him to stay in New Zealand with Honeybun Slingsby and...'
'He's still with her?' said Miggins, breaking her beak free of toffee.
'Yes,' said Pumphrey.
'Ha!' said Miggins. And she started sucking her toffee apple stick, thoughtfully.
'Well, go on,' she added. 'Carry on with your plan.'

Mrs Pumphrey cleared her throat, mostly of brick dust.
'This is the plan. In order to save Much Malarkey Manor from the hands of the evil property developer Cleverly Dangled...' began Mrs Pumphrey.
'What sort of a name is Cleverly Dangled?' interrupted Mrs Slocombe.
'The sort of name that made Andy laugh when he read a previous chapter,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'May I continue?'
'Please do,' said Slocombe.
'In order to save the Manor, we have to raise money. A lot of money. Whatever form a campaign takes, a lot of money is needed,' said Pumphrey. 'Either to buy additional land around the Manor as a buffer zone, or to pay for lawyers to fight the compulsory purchase order, or to bribe the town planning council.'
Miggins nodded. 'Go on,' she said.
'And the best way to raise money is...'
' rob a bank?' said Slocombe, who was very keen to support any plans that gave her a chance to wear a balaclava and carry half a cucumber in her pocket and pretend it was a gun.
'Well, yes,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'But the best legal way is to...'
'...rob a bank and not get caught?' said Mrs Slocombe.
'That would involve us becoming City Traders,' said Pumphrey, 'and I for one, couldn't cope with the stress. It would wrinkle my eggs. No, the best way is to hold a fundraising concert. You know, like LiveAid, and BandAid...'
'And LemonAid?' cackled Mrs Slocombe, who'd been waiting for the opportunity to use that gag ever since 2004.
'Finished?' sighed Mrs Pumphrey.
'Probably not,' said Mrs Slocombe.

'A fund raising concert?' said Mrs Miggins. 'Hmmmm...'

Mrs Pumphrey allowed herself a brief expellation of breath. She could tell Miggins was giving the concert idea some serious thought. This was to be regarded as a positive move in the right direction. Which was good, as only that very morning, Mrs Pumphrey had received a call from Boom Penguin saying he was boarding the plane for Singapore and would be arriving tomorrow evening, babe.

'And you think that Boom Penguin headlining the concert would bring in a lot of cash, do you?' said Miggins.
'Yes,' said Mrs Pumphrey.
'You poor deluded fool,' said Mrs Miggins.
'I've already sold two thousand tickets through the 'Pumphrey and Slocome Associates' website,' said Mrs Pumphrey.

'Well pick me up from the floor and dust me down with a Dyson,' said Miggins.

So they did. Paying special attention with the crevice nozzle.

* * * * * * * * * * *

'And finally,' said Guy Beaumeau, the news anchor on BBC 'News at Two', 'it has been announced that legendary rock band, Boom Penguin, are making a comeback. The band, who achieved notorious fame in the Eighties, are reforming for a world tour, kicking off with a charity concert here in Britain. The tour, called 'Back With A Boom,' is scheduled to begin this Bonfire Night and the band are gathering at a secret location this week to begin rehearsals. Sources close to the lead singer, Boom Penguin, say that despite the acrimonious events leading up to their break up, the band have put aside their differences and are looking forward to reconquering the world with their unique brand of music. Their manager, Honeybun Slingsby said...'

Mrs Miggins pressed the standby switch on the TV remote control.
'Just keep him away from me,' she said. 'And especially keep me away from her.'
'Don't you worry,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'I'm dealing with the band. You need have nothing to do with any of them.'
'Good,' said Mrs Miggins.


  1. These chapters are surely worth more than 0 comments, so voici votre premiere! I think the story is entertaining and funny, and it's only a pity that Blogger insists on posting in date order rather than reverse date order . . working backwards through your chapters is a R.P.I.T.A!
    Please keep it up, and I will follow . . .

    Also. You might think you are the only person who dances round the kitchen when no-one is watching. Not so! I do so too! And further and to my further shame, I make up very silly songs to accompany the dancing. Pastiches of "The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomand", the Grand March from "Aida" and the slow movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, which is JUST GREAT for dancing a sarabande.

    Would not the world be a better place if there were more Bloggers like us . . . !

    With very best wishes.

    Richard C-W

    P.S I reached your blog by "bloghopping" on "ranting" Folk who don't rant are really no fun at all. Tpday's verification word is "mummoset"

  2. Welcome aboard, Richard, or should one maintain an air of formality and address you as Doctor??

    Thank you for your comment - I have readers who are following my Nanowrimo exploit, quietly and patiently, which is probably a good thing given my oft frantic prose. But it is good to be told in cold, hard type that I am being entertaining!

    As for ranting - well, ranting is one of my favourite activities, although I try to limit the frequency of my rant-times to occasional treats, in case my long-suffering hubbie has me committed sonner rather than later. Actually, I had a rant this very morning, to Radio 4. Can't remember what about exactly, but it made the toast and marmite taste oh-so-much spicier!