THE WOODENCOCKS 

 

The Grown Ups?  The Continuing Story Of Country Oiks.

It was a lovely Summer’s day and the little village of Thatdidntendwell was bathed in glorious sunshine. Sweet birdsong rang from the trees and even the annoying ‘ratatatat,’ ‘ratatatat’ coming from the edge of the village, apparently, the noise of a lesser spotted woodpecker seeking to drill out a new nesting hole, could not spoil the joy of the day. 

The village square was alive with the hustle and bustle of people going about their usual Saturday morning shop. The village has a bakers, Mr. Croop is the proprietor but he no longer bakes bread on the premises. His kitchen had been deemed inappropriate for such activity by a snotty EU inspector over ten years ago. Mr. Croop decided that the cost of renovations to bring the bakery in line with EU Regs far outweighed any profit he was likely to make so he uses the baker from the town which is ten miles away. Non-the-less his shop is successful and he does a roaring trade in cakes and fancies which his wife produces in her kitchen at home.

Then there is Ben Affleck’s Post Office, Charlie Smith’s hardware store, Fat Phil’s General Store, a Chemists and the local pub, The Snot and Bogey. It’s actually called, The Slug and Lettuce but the villagers have always referred to it by the former, much to the chagrin of the local brewery. Slap bang in the middle of the square is the War Memorial, a simple stone cross which rises some twenty feet into the air from its base on a stepped plinth.  This, in turn, is ringed by three stone horse troughs, all in working order and fed by an underground spring.

The village pub, as was usual on a Saturday afternoon, was busy. No namby-pamby pub meals at this establishment. If you were lucky you might be able to buy a cheese and onion roll. Oh, and there was always the pickled eggs and pickled onions. Fred and Gwen Bacchus told anyone who complained that they were there to sell booze and if they wanted a fancy restaurant they could fuck off into town! The traditional way that they run the pub, which they brought as a Free House six years ago, is obviously paying dividends because they are always busy. People come from miles around to sample the fine ales which Fred and Gwen supply. CAMRA members wax lyrical about the place and the thought of being insulted by either Fred or Gwen makes punters cream their jeans.

Propping up the end of the bar on this fine Saturday afternoon is Dick Head, known locally as the Village Idiot. He is in a heated debate with Dave England. Dave owns several properties in the village, one of which he rents to Dick.

Dick:  “I understand what you’re a saying Dave but if you puts up me rent I’ll withdraw it. I will and you knows it!”

Dave:  “First off you dumb prick, you mean you’ll withhold it not, withdraw it!”

Dick:  “That’s what I meant.”

Dave:  “Second I’m freezing your rent…”

Dick:  “That’s what I mean, I can’t afford no frozen rent, can I?”

Dave:  “Listen you thick twat, I’m not putting your rent up, I’m leaving it as it is. Understand?”

Dick:  “That’s alright then!”

Dave, looking up at the ceiling: “I fucking give in!” He picks up his pint and his newspaper and walks over to the nearest empty table.

Fred:  “What you looking so pleased about Dick?”

Dick:  “ I just talked fucking Dave out of raising my rent. Cheeky fucker says he was going to freeze it!”

Fred rolls his eyes. “You did well there Dick, want a pickled egg?”

Dick:  “Don’t mind if I do.”

Gwen, Fred’s wife, pulls him to one side and she isn’t best pleased.

Gwen:  “Stop feeding that fecking idiot pickled eggs Dave, you know how they make him fart. He’ll have the whole end of the bar to his self with the smell he’ll make, dirty fucker!”

Fred:  “Hush now woman, he’s harmless.”

Gwen:  “Yes, until he starts farting!”

At the other end of the bar, ensconced in a corner booth, sat Old Will and Phil the plumber.

Will:  “How do you get rid of fucking woodpeckers then Phil?”

Phil:  “Don’t ask me, I’m only a shit plumber.”

Will:  “Well, I know that, but you must have some ideas. The fucking thing is driving me mad!”

Phil:  “Have you tried shooting the fucking thing, or getting a cat?”

Will:  “If I had a gun I’d probably miss the fucking tree let alone the woodpecker. Don’t mention cats to me mate, fucking Devil’s spawn they are. They shit everywhere, use your house as a fucking way station, are usually covered in fleas and carry that Toxoplasma gondii thingy…”

Phil:  “What?”

Will:  “That fucking parasite that affects your brain. They reckon it infects about a 1000 people every day in this country. It causes that Toxoplasmosis.”

Phil:  “Get away with ya.”

Will:  “No, it’s true. I read some studies on it and that’s why I won’t go within ten feet of a fucking cat. Yeuk! Terrible creatures!”

Phil: “Well, I guess we can rule cats out then. Pint?”

Phil carries the two empty pint glasses up to the bar.

Phil:  “Same again please Fred.”

Fred:  “Two pints of bitter coming up Phil. What’s wrong with Old Will, he’s got a face as long as a summer’s day?”

Phil:  “Woodpeckers.”

Fred:  “Woodpeckers?”

Phil:  “Yes, he’s got a pair of em nesting in his Eucalyptus tree and the noise they are making as they drill into the tree is driving him mad. Any ideas on how he can get rid of them?”

Fred:  “Fucking easy mate. Chop the fucking tree down, job done! £7.60 please, the advice was free. Hahahaha.”

Gwen:  “What you laughing at Fred Bacchus, I hopes you ain’t upsetting the regulars again?”

Fred:  “Course not my lovely, I was just giving Phil some advice to pass on to Old Will. He’s got woodpeckers.”

Gwen:  “Woodpeckers?”

Fred:  “In his Eucalyptus tree and he wanted to know how to get rid of em.”

Gwen:  “Since when have you been an expert on getting rid of woodpeckers, you can’t even get rid of the mice in the cellar!”

Fred:  “Oh, hush woman. Get up to the other end of the bar, old Susie Milkwood wants serving.”

Outside, the sun was still beaming down. The shops were all busy and the pub was about to get even busier as the bus from the town is about to pull up in the square and it’s full of thirsty townsfolk and eager shoppers. In the distance, you can still hear the distinctive sound of a woodpecker excavating a hole in which to nest in.

Ratatatat ratatatat.

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