W3C A Quiet Pee DO U KNOW?
 

I got a bit tired of writing about hunting in its various guises and one night began to 'play' with this. It has amused a few people and so I thought I would try it on a wider audience (well it is my web site - whoops, sorry Wendy, our!) From time to time I will add chapters but for now here are the first two. No prizes are given if you identify any of the characters.

* * *

Dawn broke over the mist-covered fell side; a low cloud base and light drizzle brought no comfort to the figure huddled down beside the wall, smoking his final cigarette of the long night. He stood up and stretched to ease his aching, cold joints and looked around. There was not really much to see, the low hanging mist and cloud blocked his view of the high fell and the land falling away beneath him obscured the valley bottom with its tinkling stream as it meandered its way down the valley between banks of trees. He could hear the river and it suddenly reminded him he needed to pee, he looked around for a suitable spot.

Along the fell side was an old barn, well built; it had resisted the ravages of time and weather for well over two hundred years, the valley it stood in was well off the tourist trail and hardly visited, nevertheless the door to the barn had a stout padlock.

Seeing the barn he walked across the wet fell side, his feet squelching as he crossed the grass. He didn’t bother to look around as he unbuttoned his fly, why should he? It was dawn, on a wet Lakeland morning miles from anywhere, leaning on one arm against the wall of the barn he began to pee.

He had only just started, when a voice behind him yelled, “Git out of it, yer dirty bugger,” and turning to see whom it was he was aware of a warm feeling on his leg and looking down saw he had wet his trousers. The approaching farmer also noticed the wet patch and smiled.

“Serve tha right,” he said, “now bugger off mi land, and by the way, who ista?”

There was a pause. “Wheelwright,” he replied, ”I write guide books.“

“Dusta,” said the farmer, “well guide thysel to yon gate and bugger off.”

That evening in the Inebriated Shepherd, a low, whitewashed building of unknown age, which passed for the village pub, the farmer recounted the tale of the morning.

“He got lost, apparently,” said Mary, fresh from arranging the flowers in the village church. “Spent the night on the hill.”

 The farmer took a pull from his pint glass. “How dusta kna?” he asked.

”He had breakfast at Mrs. Biggins Tea Shop,” Mary replied, ”before he caught the bus, apparently his trousers were a bit wet.”

The farmer looked for a moment at the fire, crackling and spitting in the large fireplace, took another pull on his pint and smiled.

* * *

Thirty five years later and five hundred miles away the car slowly inched forward towards the roundabout as it did every evening from Monday to Friday. Tonight the delay was caused by the sheer volume of traffic not helped by a foreign lorry driver whose sat nav had put him in the wrong lane and was now finding out firsthand how intolerant, no, make that downright nasty, the British motorist when thwarted, can be. How bitterly Hans regretted his inattention a few minutes earlier when he dallied on his mobile with a nubile friend in Dusseldorf instead of following the droning instructions emanating from the sat nav on the dashboard. This was his first trip to the U.K and the way things were going it would be his last.

Jason sat and watched the shambles unfold before his eyes, the wipers of the BMW clunked rhythmically, and the heater warmed the cabin turning his environment almost tropical. He had been moving slowly towards the roundabout for a good ten minutes mostly due to the antics of Hans and his articulated vehicle, which contained unknown to Jason and, to a point, Hans, a load of computers and seven Romanians who had stowed away in Calais when Hans was not looking and were now peering out of a slit in the tarpaulin, searching for a suitable place to vacate the lorry and put to good use their limited command of the English language by asking for Asylum and the benefit rights associated with that status.

 The situation was cleared up by a man of god in a Citroen 2CV, with a distinctive “Carpenter Needs Joiners” sticker on the boot, who, showing Christian charity, stopped to allow Hans to complete his manoeuvre and regain his proper lane, much to the annoyance of a white van man who had to deliver a packet of screws to a building site by 4.30pm and was now late. Little charity was shown in the abuse which descended on the head of the cleric.

Jason sighed, every night the same for the past ten years, only thirty-five more to go, unless those two idiots in power cocked up the economy even more and his firm went down the tube. He arrived at the roundabout and putting the car into drive left the line with squealing tyres to cut in front of a learner driver whose instructor had decided to give her her first taste of the rush hour. The instructor did not need to use his dual control as Jason hurtled in front of the car, his young pupil showing reflexes honed by juvenile years on a Playstation, slammed on the brakes, pressed the catch to lower the electric window, fixed Jason in the eye and mouthed, “you tw*t”. The instructor settled back in his seat with a smile. “Another one ready for her exam,” he thought.

Jason crossed the roundabout and began to move down the dual carriageway, which, within a few hundred yards became two way and it was here that the Reverend’s 2CV after years of neglect lost the will to live and stopped in a huge cloud of steam. It really wasn’t the clergyman’s fault, his stipend was small and the strain of keeping a wife, three children and a mistress, meant little in the way of finance was directed toward his car. His mistress, who played the organ among other things, had recently predicted this breakdown as they journeyed home from a weekend’s conference entitled “Free love, in today’s world, is you ready?” But the clergyman possessed by the devil had ignored her and purchased another of a growing collection of basques for his beloved. Now he sat at the head of a line of traffic getting longer and unhappier by the second, enveloped in steam with his hands clasped in prayer and his eyes closed, oblivious to the cry of his fellow man.

Still concealed in the back of the truck driven by Hans, the Romanian leader looked out for the umpteenth time into the growing darkness. He saw narrow unlit streets perfect for losing oneself in. Out of his pack he drew a knife, and cut the canvas. “Now!” he said.

In the traffic, directly behind Han’s truck, sat an unmarked, white police van, returning home after controlling a demonstration about wind turbines. The van contained ten police officers with a sergeant in the passenger seat, who was having a animated conversation with the driver about the merits of their respective football teams. The sergeant was losing and it was becoming increasingly obvious to the remainder of the passengers in the vehicle who would be drawing a week of crossing attendant duty at the local primary school rostered for next week. The conversation was brought to a sudden stop by the sight of the Romanians jumping from the truck; in fact one actually used the front of the police van to help him down to the ground. The police vehicle quickly disgorged its occupants and within seconds the asylum seekers were handcuffed and face down on the road. Their predicament was summed up by the youngest who looked up and smiled at the officer towering over him. “I love David Beckham,” he said, in heavily accented English. The officer thought for a moment. “I’m a Man City fan, myself,” he said planting his size 12 boot on the boy’s neck.

The vicar’s plight meanwhile was not improving. He had long since known there was no respect for his calling nowadays and the last twenty minutes had proven so. A number of cars had managed to squeeze by his stationary vehicle and as each car had passed the driver had told him in no uncertain terms what they thought. He was just about to end it all when out of the darkness a series of flashing lights heralded the arrival of a tow truck. The driver, resplendent in Day-Glo, climbed out and walked to the driver’s side of the 2CV. “Reverend Promiscuous?” said the man in Day-Glo.

“Who are you?” replied the priest.

“Direct Line,” said Day-Glo, “you’re not the only one with a link to a superior being. Mine’s in a call centre off the M6 in Birmingham.” Within minutes the CV was hoisted onto the back of the trailer and disappeared in a haze of flashing lights into the night.

Jason put the BMW into drive and moved forward along the now clear road. However…… Two miles down the road, a parked van with three figures in the front sat under a lamp post. It was quite a big vehicle and on the side the graphic read “wepassgas.com". The driver looked at his watch. “Friday night is overtime night lads, the time to dig is approaching, so let us be gone,” and with that he gunned the engine, drove into the main road and parked up. The doors opened and his two companions climbed out of the vehicle and went into a well-practised routine of removing equipment from the back. Soon they had erected barriers, traffic lights, and a red-striped tent into which they disappeared. The sound of a pneumatic drill carried on the evening air.

This scenario had been used frequently since it had been decreed that overtime began after 5pm on Fridays. The area was peppered with the evidence of numerous well-filled holes, which gave glowing testimony to the success of their scheme. The resultant build-up of traffic and noise drew the attention of a pair of Community Service Officers. Anxious to impress his female colleague the newly qualified pimply youth strode up to the barrier and rapped it with his truncheon. A head emerged from the red tent.

“What’s going on?” the youth demanded.

“Gas leak,” replied the head, “could be a big one, might have to evacuate the street, big risk of explosion.”

 “Bloody Hell,” replied the youth, “leave you to it,” and with that, the two CPOs disappeared into the darkness at great speed. By this time the traffic had built up again. Eventually Jason overcame the jam caused by the wepassgas.com overtime scam and pulled up onto the drive of his home. He climbed out of the car and walked up the path, turning to lock the car with his key fob. The car flashed goodnight. Jason opened the front door and walked into the hall and mindlessly dropped his keys into the dish on the hallstand. The sound of loud music carried from the kitchen.

When there was a break in the music a voice enquired, “Is that you darling?” Dinner was the usual soulless affair it had been for many months now, Vennie, who originally came “from 'Ackney” and had remodelled herself when she became Jason’s live in partner, had excelled herself at Simsbury’s frozen food department and the wrapping of some exotic meal lay discarded in the sink. Vennie herself could barely be seen behind a pile of holiday brochures which she read whilst eating, much to Jason’s annoyance. He watched her and wondered why she bothered as their holiday destination was already decided, another two weeks in the sun on the shore of the Mediterranean staying at “Don Alonzo’s” hotel. He had to admit it was nice to see the sun and feel the heat on his bare back again after an English winter but another year with the “Don”?

A self made man, the “Don” a self bestowed title, had risen from humble origins to become a wealthy man who controlled the village in which his hotel was situated. He had achieved this by a mixture of bribery and pure violence and more than one body had floated in on the tide. These methods had achieved total success, the village was quiet and crime free but it all came at a price for the visitor. Vennie put down her brochure, and looked at Jason.

“Don Alonzo’s again?” she asked. “You know how much you enjoy the food in his restaurant.” Jason winced, what he knew and Vennie didn’t was the chef at Don Alonzo’s was a tattooed Scouser named Phil who was on the run from a seriously heavy drug charge in the UK. Phil and a couple of friends had come across this farmer with a massive range of glasshouses who was about to retire. They persuaded the farmer to rent them the glasshouses, painted the glass white and got underway with some major cannabis production, always keeping the door shut. This worked fine until one day the door was left partially open and “Farmer Grump”, as they had nicknamed him, passed by and looked in. Within minutes the police helicopter was overhead and the place was heaving with officers of the law. Phil’s two friends were now incarcerated in some Victorian prison, four men to a cell and one chamber pot between them, and Phil who had been tipped off by one of the policemen had headed for Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. He noticed with great irony that on the fašade was a sign which said, “Above us the sky”. “Typical,” he thought, “he gets an airport named after him with his alleged drug abuse. I get the strong prospect of gaol.”

Upon arrival Phil had sought out the Don, who after some deliberation had agreed to shield him from the law in exchange for some work. The agreement they entered into was that Phil became chef at a small restaurant in the village. Phil pointed out his cooking skills were minimal.

“Tis ok,” said the Don in broken English, “you are allowed to give food poison to three people per month, but no more, Phil, and you are ok.” The restaurant had flourished and Phil’s speciality of a plate of Scouse had pulled in the punters tired of the “authentic Spanish cuisine” of the other restaurants, in droves, the vino flowed and the Don was happy.

After dinner Jason retired to his study as he did most evenings, occasionally to work but more often than not to read or watch television. For quite some time now he had been fascinated by the English Lake District; the writings of Wheelwright had, over the years become extremely popular and an absolute plethora of books had followed Wheelwrights initial guides. Another spin off from the guidebooks was a series of television programmes entitled Wheelwright Walks hosted by a woman of uncertain age called Ulia Bunbury. Few were the mountains this woman had not visited and as she strode towards each summit Jason had accompanied her, well in spirit anyway. Ulia was an amazing woman, who never got lost despite the occasional bad weather, never took sustenance or stopped for a rest and finally she had a unique ability never to fall to the call of nature.

What Jason didn’t realise was that Ulia was followed by an entourage of helpers determined she should reach the summit whatever the cost, and there was also a film crew to record for posterity her triumph, to be shown to the nation at 7.30pm on Wednesday nights. The latest ascent over, he picked up the remote control and pointed it at the television consigning Ulia to history with a click.

Going back downstairs he noticed Vennie had gone out again taking the car. He made a cup of coffee, sat at the dining table amid the detritus of dinner and began to think. Samantha lived on her own, high up the mountain which overlooked the village of Bottoms Up beside the River Cock Up, she was self sufficient, and rarely descended to the village, save for her horses and dogs she saw no-one most days. All her energy went into the smallholding on which she lived and the place was a credit to her with well-fenced paddocks and manure free fields. During the summer months she would awaken early, saddle her big gelding, Blue, and ride into the hills to watch the dawn.

This idea was never popular with Blue for a variety of reasons, the main one being that when Samantha emerged from the house into the darkness booted and spurred having consumed a hearty breakfast Blue had spent the night stabled, nibbling on a few strands of hay and he would not be fed until his return. All he could do during the long night was think about his two equine friends in the paddock nearby enjoying the grass. Nevertheless Blue loved Samantha who responded equally and recognising that Blue was an intelligent horse had taught him several small tricks, which it amused them both to occasionally perform.

Down the valley was an airbase used by the Royal Air Force as a base for their Search and Rescue Helicopters, which occasionally clattered over the smallholding on their way to or from some mission of mercy. Some while ago the heir to the throne, Prince Sea Lion, himself a serving pilot had been posted to the base and flew rescue missions. One afternoon it had amused Samantha to train Blue to bow at the mention of Prince Sea Lion and this he soon learned to do. A rather embarrassing incident later had occurred when, whilst out hacking they had met the vicar who had engaged them in conversation during the course of which the Vicar mentioned the Prince. Immediately Blue gave a deep bow almost unseating Samantha who, bored with the conversation, had been contemplating giving Blue a dig with her spur in order to tell the vicar they needed to be off as Blue was fresh and needed to have it ridden out of him.

Samantha groomed, picked out Blue’s feet and tacked up, mounted and away they clattered up the lane in the darkness, as the eastern sky began to lighten. A mile or so up the hill was an estate belonging to Squire Browne, a ramshackle untidy sort of place compared to Samantha’s smallholding lower down the slope. The estate measured fifty acres and two perches, and surprisingly for an area that size was almost totally devoid of wildlife; the Squire, addicted to the pleasures of “the rod and gun”, had almost wiped out everything that ran, swam or flew on his land. This morning the Squire had risen early with the intent of having a “pop” at Old Tom, a most unfortunate old hare who never knew a moments peace what with the harriers, the shooters, snares and one thing and another. Old Tom must have been born with as many lives as a cat.

The Squire made his way across the estate and took up a position behind an old shed and procured a rest for his gun. On his way over to the shed he had seen Old Tom running down a fallow, a melancholy looking animal, long and lean with a slight inclination to grey in his coat, which looked like he had long outlived his siblings. The Squire waited.

Blue cantered up the track, stones flew from his hooves, Samantha was concentrating on her horse but also watching the sky, which by now reflected the paint box of colours which precede the sunrise. Her attention being diverted, she never saw the Squire to one side of the track. Old Tom ambled down the side path towards the shed, pausing now and then for a bite of grass, he never saw the Squire, who let drive at close range. With a scream Old Tom leapt skyward and fell to the ground, stone dead. The Squire smiled and lowered his gun. Blue also heard the shot and it took him totally by surprise as it was almost alongside him and he too leapt skyward. Samantha despite a lifetime of riding beginning with the Pony Club, was dumped unceremoniously on the ground, and as she landed, a sharp crack, followed by an intense pain from her leg told her something was broken. Blue came to a stop and trotted back to her where he stood trembling.

The Squire rushed over. “Bloody hell,” he cried, “I’m so very sorry, are you alright?” and in the next breath, “Been after that hare for ages.”

Samantha lay on the ground and looked up at him. “I think my leg is broken,“ she said, “could you get help?”

“Of course,” replied the Squire, “need a signal on the old mobile, won’t be long.”

The helicopter clattered into the dawn sky, circled and set a course as the computers took over the flight.

“Should be an easy call,” the co-pilot said to the Prince, “lady came off a horse, fractured femur, mountain rescue on scene and a meadow nearby we can land on.”

He looked behind him at the winch man, “No need to dangle this trip, Dougal.” The winch man smiled. The sound of the helicopter coming up the valley alerted those on the ground and before it had landed, Samantha had been transported down to the meadow to await her flight.

 However one of the team, Red Robbo, did not greet the arrival of royalty with as much enthusiasm as some of the other members of the team. A true socialist he was vocal in his desire for the abolition of royalty and was delighted when the Prince landed his machine in a huge cowpat.

The morning had turned out well for Blue. Instead of being cantered on the top of the fell he had been the centre of attention after Samantha had been attended to. He had been patted by almost everyone and two members of the team had found an apple for him in their kit, one after checking that Samantha was not looking (she was consuming Entonox at the time) even gave him a polo. Samantha was loaded into the waiting helicopter and made comfortable, the engine noise increased and the machine prepared for takeoff. One of the lads in the rescue team looked at Robbo.

“Give the Prince a wave,” he yelled above the noise of the engine.

Blue looked at the Prince and he looked back. For a second or two their eyes met and then in a moment the Prince never forgot... Blue bowed.

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