Saturday, 22 October 2011

Best Bear Forward

I'm going to ask you a question and be VERY careful how you respond, because it all kicked off at the Manor this morning when Andy thought I might like to listen to a radio programme about Rupert Bear.

'What do you think about Rupert Bear?' he said, unaware of the torrent of emotional angst he was about to unleash.
'Rupert Bear?' I spluttered into my scrambled egg. 'RUPERT BEAR??? I think Rupert Bear is a selfish prig who has a very high opinion of himself and treats his Nutwood friends very poorly indeed. In fact, I'm surprised Algie, Edward and Co didn't lure him into Nutwood itself and kick the stuffing out of him...'

'Oh,' said Andy.

'...and,' I continued, because I was on a roll now, 'I think Rupert Bear was a self-centered egotist who walked around with a twig up his backside. 'Oooooh, look at me, I'm such a perfect bear, I'm so clever, I'm so la-di-da, I can speak in rhyming couplets,' I said, doing my Rupert Bear impression and wishing I had a stupid little scarf and pair of yellow tartan trousers just to complete the whole stupid 'When-I-grow-up-I'm-going-to-be-Stephen-Fry' look.

'I only asked,' said Andy.

'Why?' I said. I was feeling a bit red and and angry by this point.

'Because there's a programme on Radio 4 later, of celebrities celebrating Rupert Bear,' said Andy.

'Clearly all mad or drunk,' I snorted.

'Are you okay?' said Andy.

'I think,' I said, 'that you may have released some suppressed child-hood memory.'

I took a sip of tea from my cup. My humour was down, my temper was up.

'So,' said Andy, treading with care,' who would you say was your favourite bear?'

I gave it some thought, I wrinkled my brow. 'I think it might be Ermintrude Cow.'

'But as you said, she's a cow not a bear.'

'Look at me,' said I, 'do I really care?'

'Or Winnie the Pooh? He sounds funny?'

'His T-shirt's too short. He eats too much honey...'

'Or Pudsey, that chap with a patch on his eye?'

'He's okay, I suppose, but too silent a guy...'

'There's only one left. That Peruvian laddington...'

'Yes!' I shouted. 'My favourite is Paddington!!'

'Can we,' said Andy, 'stop talking this?'

'Yes,' I agreed, 'we're taking the mickey.'

So it was agreed that Paddington Bear is THE BEST and ONLY bear.

But then I had a thought. Do any of you remember the cartoon strip 'The Perishers?' One of them had a cross-eyed bear called Gladly. After 'Gladly My Cross I'd Bear.'

Like the newt I once had. Called Tiny. Because he was my newt.

'STOP!!!' shouts Mrs Pumphrey from the garden where she is moulting beau chicken-coop.

'Okay,' I say.

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