Slobbering-under-the-Bed is not entirely the law abiding place full of happy people you may have surmised from my previous chronicles. There is a dark underbelly. We have karaoke, we have insurance brokers, we have crime.
I was to experience this naughtiness first hand one evening. I had just left the Euthanasia Curry House. Roth had rushed off as he needed to fill in a 20 foot deep hole in the garden. Apparently it was in the middle of the path to the front door and people kept falling in it. Anyway, I took a shortcut down an unlit alley. It was there I bumped into two ne'er-do-wells. Footpads. Muggers. Thieves. Well, two of them.
One was quite short and scrawny, the other was larger, fatter and had a head that looked like a potato. The short scrawny one pulled a knife. "Give me your cash," he snarled.
I blustered. My yellow streak must have been clearly visible. Hesitantly, whilst looking at the knife, I started, "Look, I don't have any money I just spent it, but I can go and get some." I was hoping to show them a clean pair of heals.
Short and scrawny and potato head looked at one another, and before they could say another word, there was a crash and a voice could be heard from the other end of the alley. It said, "Take your hands off this fine, upstanding citizen, and..." at this point the owner of the voice fell over, "...return the world to the upright position you evil fiends."
A second person appeared at the far end of the alley, staggered and fell over the first. "Bugger," he muttered.
I was quite shocked. First little and large with a knife and now I get to meet Slobbering's very own superheroes. Lying not five yards from me were the prostrate forms of Off-his-head-man and his ever faithful sidekick Blotto-boy. Forgetting the knife, it's owner and his spud-head friend I rummaged in my pocket for my autograph book. This would be such an honour.
My would-be rescuers pulled themselves to their feet and stumbled over to little and large. Off-his-head-man snatched something from his utility belt and confronted short and scrawny with it, brandishing it unsteadily in front of him.
"That's a frozen chicken!" short and scrawny exclaimed, "and your underpants are on backwards!"
"Everyone's a bloody critic," muttered Off-his-head-man and poked short and scrawny hard in the eye with the pointy end of the chicken. The knife clattered to the floor.
Blotto-boy lay his hand on the potato headed mugger's shoulder. He briefly looked like he was holding himself up. He spoke quietly, "I love you. I've written a poem," he slurred.
Short and scrawny looked at potato head with watering eyes, "Sod this. I'm off!" With that they both scarpered out of the alley. I never saw them again. I didn't want to.
Off-his-head-man picked up the knife, gave it to me with the chicken and explained I needed to defrost it completely before cooking. He then linked arms with Blotto-boy and they staggered out of the alley singing:
A long time ago, way back in history
When all there was to drink was nothing but cups of tea
Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mops
And he invented a wonderful drink and he made it out of hops
oh he ought to be an admiral, a sultan, or a king
And to his praises we shall always sing
Look what he has done for us, he's filled us up with cheer
god bless Charlie Mops,
The man who invented beer
The Jury's Bar, the Clancy's Pub, the Hole in the Wall as well
One thing you can be sure of, it's Charlie's beer they sell
So come on all me lucky lads at eleven O'clock ye stop
For five short seconds, remember Charlie Mops
One, two, three, four, five
A barrel of malt, A bushel of hops, you stir it around with a stick,
The kind of lubrication to make your engine tick.
Forty pints of wallop a day will keep away the quacks.
It's only eight pence ha'penny and one and six in tax
One, two, three, four, five
The lord bless Charlie Mops!
[link on the last 'Charlie Mops' to find out where this song comes from, it isn't mine]