Author Topic: Intrigue & Intoxication  (Read 3254 times)

Offline Grave_Little_Maurice

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Intrigue & Intoxication
« on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:11 PM »
Crotch-kissers and gusset-suckers of a SW6 allegiance, discard your dribble bibs, down the clouded dregs of your final, lovingly-supped pints, retrieve your ring fingers from your dilberry makers, and drape your attention across the ensuing ham-handed doggerel.

I shall pre-empt your most pressing enquiry, tout de suite: “Where have you been?” I hear you wail from deep within the reverberating nothingness of your existential dungeons.

Confabulating marshmallow alibis in a craftily uplit alcove?
Fondling a trombonist from Bow?

Poppycock in a knocking shop!

The harrowing, hand-wringing, actuality is that I’ve once again been cruelly deployed as an unwitting buffer in prevailing intra-parental hostilities. An impotent little sapper conscripted by opposing sides in a shabby campaign of matrimonial warfare, without even a tin helmet in which to ensconce his imperilled noggin.

It was late afternoon last Friday, and that incorrigible old North End Road was a crucible in which all kinds of canny, underhand commerce had been a-simmering since first light. Fruiterer and fishmonger alike had barked their hearts out and were now keenly shoe-horning themselves into any ale-dispensing aperture going.

As usual, my father, gin-pickled grumbletonian and feckless scourge of this exalted manor, had installed himself as captain of the HMS Oblivion. It was a ship that had left dry dock many hours earlier. He was denting the leather in The Goose, where he had been steadily coaxing himself into a profoundly kippered condition.

I had been skulking around outside for most of this time, getting bumped and buffeted by the crowds like a hapless little pinball. My only comfort came from a still-warm turnip and chive pasty from the Well Bread bakery smouldering away in the pocket of my charcoal, pin-stripe overcoat. A few baby carrots nestled in the breast pocket, cunningly camouflaged against an orange paisley pocket square.

But hasn’t a muddle-minded understrapper like me got fresher fish to fry? You know, brogues to buff, hats to steam, and tufnells to darn? Not to mention refraining from ogling the flower-seller’s daughter five times a day to kneel and pray in the direction of our black and white mecca?

In one, chums. Unfortunately, Ma had ordered me there on a sub-rosa scouting mission. Apparently, hovering over Pa recently as he plummeted the scuzzy depths of one his impenetrable post-booze slumbers, she had heard him mumble some kind of spittle-coated serenade: “Lovely lady G”, he had dribbled, “My beautiful, beautiful Ginny”. Her suspicion, as a consequence, had become inflamed.

To be brutal, the thought of him doing the blanket hornpipe with anything other than his imagination set my braces quivering. It was almost enough to send me scuttling away to the nearest seminary to take a life-long vow of non-penetrative canoodling.

Her interpretation of this seedy sleep-talk had no doubt been influenced by a previous incident shamefully engraved in family legend. Several years ago, Ma had discovered him in an unlit utility cupboard concealed beneath a dim and rancid stairwell in Clem Attlee Court. Squinting through a thicket of mops and brooms, she caught him touching giblets with ‘Easy’ Elsie Blow, notorious suet-fleshed slattern and bane of the North Fulham Purity League.

Later, pinned to his favourite armchair with a toasting fork poised to puncture his chest and skewer his heart, he claimed that Elsie was on a First Aid course and that he had merely been showing her his war wound, which was still prone to weeping. Well, Ma gave him a wound of her own that day that ensured his beard-splitting days were over. The meat tenderiser hasn’t been seen since.

Nevertheless, here I was in full-on, underage espionage mode, trying to catch sight of his festering spectre through intermittent chinks in the bustling clientele.

It was a tall task, as the pub was packed and poorly-lit. Thirsty men monopolised every seat and stool, coveted every livid inch of Pollock-patterned carpet: moth-eaten, wife-beaten, and all committed to liberation through alcohol. A porridge-coloured fog hung menacingly above a mottled array of trilbies, caps, depilated domes and disappointed hair-pieces. It was so dense that the watery yellow light leaking from the occasional light-bulb merely seeped onto and around it, fringing it with a sickly, jaundiced aura. Its constitution was not, as in days past, cigarette smoke, but a mouldering miasma of dust, dandruff, fugitive food particles and navel lint, coagulating within a bulbous cloud of steam and evaporating perspiration. Some punters have claimed, at the end of a complicated evening, to have seen it circumnavigate the ceiling of its own accord, like an airship that has slipped its moorings.

My initial sightings confirmed that he was alone, although quite clearly incubating a grudge of some design: he had a face like a flat tire. Even for one so constitutionally sour, he looked nettled. Eavesdropping on a few departing patrons, I learned that that he had become engaged in a particularly vindictive skirmish with the barman concerning Mr. Sparky Hughes. They were bitterly disputing which was the greater: his shirt-collar size, or the coefficient of friction between his upper thighs.

Apparently, the thick-tongued sophistry he had managed to exhume from the cognitive mulch of his crepuscular mind was so belligerent and off-beam that he had been threatened with immediate cessation of credit. They might as well have condemned him to the gallows. Dragging his feet like a scolded child, he returned to his seat where, bristling with insult, he had proceeded to inflict revenge by force-feeding pistachios to the landlord’s dog - a bellicose pug named Dowie that was last seen sliding on it’s belly towards the beer-cellar hatch.

It could have only been a cursory sulk, as the next time I caught sight of him he looked in thrall to some gormless euphoria. He was cradling a bottle of gin in the crook of one elbow whilst sliding a single, shaky fingertip through the condensation that embraced its subtle curves. Radiating an unconditional love to rival that of a mother for her newborn, he slurred the undertones of some long-forgotten lullaby, whilst simultaneously muttering an enigmatic paean to the cradled beverage. Elementary lip-reading suggested “My lovely lady G”...

The bent penny dropped.

What a mutton-headed, piss-the-bed he is! I was smarting all over: he had just wasted an afternoon that I could have wasted perfectly well myself. I immediately declared my career in reconnaissance over, and set about my pasty with grim intent. 

Turning away, I dissolved into the decaying movements of the market, gathering up a few squares of navy tissue and a coil of twine as I went. Limping instinctively towards the Thames, I began to absent-mindedly mould my pickings into a makeshift football. I popped it under the faithful stovepipe and continued on to seek out the solace of a dusky kickabout with Mr. Haynes.

See, me and the Maestro, we have a relationship based on loyalty and respect, and that’s the only sort worth considering in the context of this tawdry tale, eh, chums?

Flamin’ scallions and Up The Fulham!


.
http://littlefripperies.blogspot.com/

TonyGilroy

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 01:31:54 PM »

Is this a Stuart Hall match report?

Tell us the f**king score.

Offline sipwell

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 01:34:26 PM »

Is this a Stuart Hall match report?

Tell us the f**king score.

And the Belgian points for sarcasm go to: TonyGilroy.


On topic: when I started reading this thread, I knew I wasn't a native speaker! Thanks for reminding me (Weeps).


Online WhiteJC

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 01:37:09 PM »
truly wonderful stuff

Offline The Equalizer

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »
I see you got the message Maurice - now please produce more of this and more often!


White Noise

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 02:43:47 PM »
Welcome back oh Grave one.

A fantastic read.

First Zamora returns and now GLM - the top six beckons for sure.


Rambling_Syd_Rumpo

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 02:47:31 PM »
Flamin’ scallions and Up The Fulham!indeed! :yay: :yay:

Offline Lighthouse

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 02:48:07 PM »
Like your poor Pa and his war wound we are still prone to weap. But weap tears of joy at your return.

Offline The Equalizer

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 02:51:17 PM »
Incidentally, I'm well versed with the utility sheds under the stairs in Clem Attlee Court. Sadly, I'm not familiar with Elsie Blow. I'll have to ask my dad.


Offline CorkCity

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 03:36:44 PM »
Excellent stuff  :Sparkyticus:

RidgeRider

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 04:24:15 PM »
The trips through the dictionary notwithstanding........simply 'amazing'!

Offline HatterDon

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 04:29:17 PM »
Our books thread is up to about 9 pages or so by now, and I'll wager that there's no literature we've talked about in the entire thread that can match one essay from Grave Little Maurice. I am enthralled and humbled.  :clap_hands: :Sparkyticus:


Offline TheDaddy

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2011, 04:49:25 PM »
Just wonderful takes you back to those long forgotten days.

Thank you GLM.

Offline Vinnieffc

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2011, 04:52:29 PM »
 :Sparkyticus:

Offline alfie

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2011, 06:19:17 PM »
I've had a bit of a tough day today, come home feeling somewhat drained with hospital life, i find myself absorbed and eventually cheered up reading this.


Offline NogoodBoyo

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2011, 06:25:18 PM »
More talent in his nib than in a quick of quills.
Nogood "being a grave robber, isit" Boyo

Offline Chopper

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2011, 06:30:35 PM »
Fantastic stuff.

Offline cebu

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2011, 07:29:05 PM »
 :Sparkyticus:    :beer:


Offline The Equalizer

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2011, 11:22:19 PM »
A part of me would love to know which of the regulars on here is posting this stuff under what I believe to be a clear pseudonym, but at the same time, the dream would be ruined.

Without having a name, would Grave Little Maurice at least advise us of the school where he received such a grasp of the English language so that I may perhaps send my own kindlings there once they've been brewed properly.

Offline HatterDon

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Re: Intrigue & Intoxication
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2011, 03:58:09 AM »
A part of me would love to know which of the regulars on here is posting this stuff under what I believe to be a clear pseudonym, but at the same time, the dream would be ruined.

Without having a name, would Grave Little Maurice at least advise us of the school where he received such a grasp of the English language so that I may perhaps send my own kindlings there once they've been brewed properly.

Nay, nay, and again I say "Nay" Let Grave Little Maurice stay a mystery. And please let him/her keep writing.