Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Writers in Residence

Andy is hoofing ahead with the illustrations for the Much Malarkey Annual 2011 -'The Chicken Blogs'. He is being very dynamic. He's like Rolf Harris and Tony Hart all rolled into one. He's the Michaelangelo of Much Malarkey.

I, on the other hand, have been staring at the draft of the script, trying to get my brain in gear for a decent editing session. However, my brain is being hampered by a head cold which is proving slightly worse than I anticipated. I have sneezed 477 times today. Well, it feels like 477 times. Probably nearer the 100 mark, but illness can make one exaggerate somewhat. I have a niggle of an ache between my eyes which is making me scowl and look more bad-tempered than usual. I have itchy ears, and currently (and this is an attractive image) I have a tissue protruding from my right nostril because I have discovered that when a nostril is blocked by a cold, the insertion of a tissue stops it feeling blocked even though you've just filled it with a tissue. Weird! Try it and see if I'm not right.

Also my throat hurts when I swallow.

But am I complaining? Of course I am! Good grief, what do you think I am?? Some kind of martyr????

Still, could be worse. Could have pneumonia.

So I said to Pumphrey and Slocombe today, 'How do you fancy writing a Foreword for the MMM 2011 Christmas Special?' and Mrs Pumphrey said she would be delighted and Mrs Slocombe said she always writes forward ahahahahahahaha! I said if she was going to be facetious she could forget the idea, and Mrs Pumphrey told Mrs Slocombe to apologise and Mrs Slocombe said what for? Being witty? And Mrs Pumphrey said, no you idiot, because if we write a Foreword we get to go into the writing room and use the computer. And there will probably be tea and biscuits, maybe a muffin and honey, so Mrs Slocombe said, okay, she was sorry, but I suspect she wasn't really because she had her wings crossed behind her back.

But because I am incapacitated, I had neither the energy nor inclination to extract a proper apology which is why there are currently two hens hogging my desk-top and I'm dictating this to them during a break in their Foreword writing.

'What do you want us to write?' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Oh, I don't mind,' I say. 'Something brief and amusing.'
'Like your CV?' says Mrs Slocombe.
'Shush!' says Mrs Pumphrey, who can smell muffins in the toaster.
'Sorry,' says Mrs S.
'Would it be okay if I got Mrs Bennett and Mrs Miggins to contribute, from beyond the nest-box so to speak?' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Planning a seance?' I say.
'Well, the veil is growing thin,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Almost Hallowe'en. Ideal opportunity.'
'What about Mrs Poo?' I say.
Mrs Pumphrey sighs. 'Unfortunately, the veil will never be thin enough to contact her. Not where she's gone, anyway.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' I say. I don't like the idea of one of my girls turning Kentucky somewhere, even if she was a vicious madam who liked nothing better than a sliver of human skin with her layers' pellets.
'It means,' says Mrs Slocombe, 'that her little chicken soul took a left turn to ThistleDo, rather than a right to DandeDo.'
'I have no idea what you're talking about,' I say.

'Look,' says Mrs Slocombe - (I hate it when she says 'Look' like that - makes her sound pompous, like Tony Blair trying to get an idea through the thick skulls of the idiot masses - sorry, the electorate who voted for him in '97. Oh no, I was right the first time - the idiot masses) - 'there are a number of possible destinations for a chicken's soul once it has been released from its chicken body.'
'And,' interjects Mrs Pumphrey, 'that destination depends on what sort of a chicken you've been. For example, if you laid your eggs well, and were productive, you go to HenlayDo.'
'And if you've been a good mother to your chicks, you go to BroodeDo...'
'If you were good at seeing off the local cats you go to KitteDo...'
'And a good fertiliser of the garden will go to PoopdeDo...'

'Hang on,' I say. 'You're telling me that Chicken Heaven is made up of many layers?'
'Yes,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'And a not inconsiderable number of cocks.'
'Where do they go?' I say.
'Cock-a-Doodle-Do, of course,' says Mrs Slocombe, giving me a pitying look that suggests I should leave the real talent to do their writing and go and check on the status of the muffins.

'Well, ' I say, 'if Miggo and Bennett have anything to say, that's fine. You can put it in the forward.'
'I'll run it by you first,' says Mrs Pumphrey.

To be honest, my raddled brain is unbothered.

I wander into the kitchen. And sneeze all over Mrs Slocombe's muffin and honey.

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