As the chaps have been ordered to hibernate, I was wondering how they were coping with the difficulty of spending time in their own company and what they were getting up to.
Private William Entwistle has been keeping himself fit by multi-tasking on the Pedal Clarinet Exercise Bicycle. He tells me that this grueling self-punishment has had a profound effect on his physique. As well as having calf muscles like rhinoceros’s ankles, he has developed Botox lips. Captain Beefhearts album "Trout Mask Replica’’ springs to mind.
Meanwhile our esteemed, erstwhile Leader, Capt. Christopher Buckley, marooned in Gaul, tells me that he’s recruiting workers from Japan to harvest his vast acreage of Japanese Knotweed in the coming months. When I asked him why Japanese he told me that only the Japanese could distinguish knotweed from weeds that are not knotweed thus ensuring that the bead seeds from the reeds that are knotweed succeeds for future needs. I’m still scratching the old tete on that one.
The Right Hon. John Tucker informs me that having passed his 80th birthday that 80 is the new 70. I didn’t know if he was talking about European shirt or shoe sizes or what but I let it pass. What have you been up to? Sodutoo and left-handed jigsaw puzzles he said. How does that work? He said that he’d sprained his right wrist doing the washing-up and could only do the jigsaws with his left hand. Oh dear.
Count Simkins however has cast his Sporranistic network to even wider triumphs by buying out the furrier firm Lissing Minks. These small mamallarians, together with the word of the moment furlough, have given the Count a cunning advertising strategy with this well-timed jingle:
“Spider sporrans oot ye go
Oors are made wi’ fur belough”
The Colonel has been busying himself with a design for a communal bath-chair for the chaps to get around in. This rather adventurous project has been simmering for sometime at the back of his noggin he tells me. His main problem was the seating positions, or, should I say recumbent, to be more accurate. He overcame this problem by designing a two-tier transporter - three on the lower deck and three upstairs. A little nodule on the front right accommodates the driver. Taking as his inspiration, a World War Two bomber, he added a small pod on the back for the tiniest member of the band - Tail-End Tucker sounds just about right.
F/C Rixon has, for the last few weeks, enjoying a correspondence course in Scottish Gaelic. A devotee of all things Scottish (particularly Whiskey), he is determined to get to the very essence (more Scottish water) of the language. With pronunciation at the very core of this most difficult tongue, Patrick has had to remove several of his teeth and line his throat with grade 3 sandpaper! Such is his dedication to his task it seemed to have worked if the telephone conversation I had with him is anything to go by. Sounding like a chain-saw running out of fuel he gurgled: “Chanurrainndhombhasadfhaiginnairuisge-beatha” When I asked him to e-mail me the translation it came through as ’’I can't taste the whiskey!”
Submariner A.K.Arkwright has seen the self-hibernation as useful time to restore the Rum Ration to his former Naval colleagues. Abolished for several decades now by the influence of the Temperance Movement (irony) Aka wants to re-define the word temperance to mean moderation not abstinence. To this end he acquired a job lot of Water biscuits. Already brewing his famous Akasyakkayukky Rum, made from moles arses bred in his own Chorlton-Cum-Hardy back yard, he thought of a fiendish wheeze to get the rum ration going again. By impregnating the water biscuits with his grog, he would sneak aboard the Akakakak Royal, courtesy of muffled oars, and present the consignment of rummy water biscuits in time for Tiffin. Will the Naval Authorities find out? Watch out for the next instalment. “Crack the Mainbrace!”
Mr. Grimsargh has been telling me that he mis-read the instructions for the period of lockdown and read it as self-izalation. He began research into this seemingly ineffectual product and found that it did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do leaving someone to remark that it was a bit like John Wayne: “Its rough, its tough and it don't take ****off nobody!”
Grimsargh goes Gershwin - click for more...
Star saxist Simkins secures saxophone seat!
Read his bio on The Chaps page.