Friday, 1 April 2011

So Says April...and Mrs Pumphrey.

It's a pity there was no thunder today - well, not in these parts anyhow. For had there been thunder, then I could have said -'If it thunders on All Fools' Day, It brings good crops and hay.'

But it didn't, so I can't and besides, I'm not sure I'd want to because as a poem it scans terribly and I can't help but think that the person who came up with it in the first place only did so because 'day' rhymes with 'hay.' They certainly weren't thinking of their iambic feet, anyway.

Unfortunately, the day here in Kent began with clouds and rain, so I have to recite this old country nugget instead - 'If April First sees cloud and rain, Then beer will smell like an open drain.'

Not good news for the brewing industry then. Unless they market it as something called 'Old Stinky Pipes,' and sell it for three cases for a tenner at Sainsbugs so the less discerning ale drinkers will buy it and swig it regardless of its eau de sewage flavouring.

Of course, the first day of April is best known as April Fool's Day and...

'OOOH! Let me tell the story,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Go on, pleeeeeeeeease. You've had a long day. Go and put your feet up with Countryfile magazine and have a cuppa. You know you want to.'

She's right, of course, so if you can bear it, I'll leave MMM blog in the capable wings of Mrs Gloria Pumphrey, Oracle of the Oral Tradition, Weaver of Fine Tales. Feel free to look away now...

'There are many origins abounding in folk-lore that are associated with April Fool's Day,' begins Mrs Pumphrey.
'Is one of them the origin of stretching cling-film over the toilet bowl?' says Mrs Slocombe.
'No,' says Mrs P. 'And if I come in later and find that's what you've been up to all morning, I shall have VERY SEVERE WORDS to say to you.'

Mrs Slocombe backs away at this point, muttering something about an urgent matter she needs to attend to.

'Most of the origins come from pagan festivals,' says Mrs P.
'Oh, I likes a spot of the pagan festivalry,' says Tango Pete, who is visiting for the afternoon. He's repointing the brickwork at Cluckinghen Palace, now that the pointing weevils have cleared off for the summer and won't evacuate every dollop of cement he tries to dollop in.
'Do you?' says Mrs P.
'Especially the bits that involve setting fire to things and hitting people with balloons made from pig's bladders,' says Tango Pete.
'Anyway,' says Mrs Pumphrey, 'there is the Roman orgy of Hilaria.'
'I likes a spot of Roman orgy, too,' says Tango Pete.
'Yes, well let's not go there, shall we?' says Mrs P. 'There might be children watching.'
'Pity,' says Tango Pete. 'After all that pointing I could do with a spot of...'
'And the Celtic God,Lud,liked to have a bit of an eight-day malarkey to mark the beginning of Spring,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'He was the god who overcame the Three Plagues of Ancient Britain...'
'Oh, I knows all 'bout them,' says Tango Pete. 'Them'll be speed cameras, John Prescott and that plastic packaging they sell memory sticks in.'
'Close,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'They were, in fact, a tribe of malevolent demons, a shriek so loud it killed all that heard it, and a curse that magicked away all Royal provisions.'
'Like corgis and unnecessary military honours bestowed upon the Queen's second son?' says Tango Pete.
'I guess so,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Of course, we musn't forget Persephone, either.'
'Who?' says Tango Pete.
'Persephone who was spirited away by Pluto to keep his house in the Underworld,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Disney has a lot to answer for,' says Tango Pete.
'And Noah was supposed to have released a dove from the Ark on the first day of April,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Was it a homing dove?' says Tango Pete.
'No,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Which could have been a good thing, could have been a bad thing. They're very unreliable birds, doves. Too self-absorbed. It's 'me, me, me' all the time with doves. Them and their puffing and preening and ridiculous little voices.'

'Well,' says Tango Pete. 'I thought the whole April Fool's Day malarkey came from a dodgy translation from the French to the English or possibly the other way round, of Passion d'Avril.'
'Oh, the old 'Poisson d'Avril' issue,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Poisson meaning 'fish,' says Tango Pete.
'The April Fish,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Exactamundo,' says Tango Pete.
'They're selling chocolate fish all over the streets of France today,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'And if they're not, they jolly well should be.'
'I like a chocolate fish,' says Tango Pete. 'But not as much as a toffee badger.'

'So there we go,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Take your pick. Float your April Fool's boat on whichever pagan ocean you think can stand the pace. I'm off to check toilet bowls for cling film...'
'...and I'm off to scrape some more debris from me crevices,' says Tango Pete.
'Shall you have finished pointing by the end of today?' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'I should think so,' says Tango Pete.
'Good,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Because pointing is jolly rude.'

No comments: