Sunday, 14 April 2013

An Awful Palaver


Mr Chichester-Fortiscue (exasperated): “Insert the pole here, Mrs Ramsey…do you see, into this hole. There should always be something in every hole. I can’t do it all myself and hold these ropes tight to boot!”

Mrs Ramsey: “Well…yes Mr Chichester-Fortiscue, I quite agree…it is most preferable to fill all the holes at once. I’m trying, but I seem to be having a little trouble with this one. You see the pole feels rather too large. It’s a terrible squeeze, and it’s very long. I don’t know quite how to handle it on my own and I’m not entirely sure the hole will accommodate it. I’m rather nervous to try whilst I’m entangled in these bonds. Do you think you could push a little harder from your end and we might manage it together? I simply don’t understand it…I’m really very experienced, I’ve never had such bother before. Do you think the pole could be bent Mr Chichester-Fortiscue? Perhaps it’s gone limp in the middle?”

Mr Chichester-Fortiscue: “Mrs Ramsey! I assure you, this pole is neither bent nor limp!!! There is nothing wrong with this pole at all! It’s a very fine pole indeed. It simply requires some careful manipulation to perform satisfactorily. I feel perhaps it is you who are being too heavy handed in your approach!”

Mr Gatesgill: “Heavy handed, Chichester-Fortiscue? Oh no. I’ve always had her down as very conscientious. Slow and steady, I grant you, but she gets the job done, and done very well in my experience. Do you require some assistance Mrs Ramsey?”

Mrs Ramsey: “Oh, thank you kindly Mr Gatesgill…that does make me feel so much better about the whole mess. We really are struggling… Mr Chichester-Fortiscue is trying to insert his pole into this rather tight hole and it’s become an awful palaver! We’ve been at it for at least twenty minutes and I can’t feel a thing at my end yet. Usually it’s been snugly in by now, with just a little wiggle either side, but this time…in and out, in and out…and not very far in at that! It keeps getting stuck. I’m afraid Mr Chichester-Fortiscue thinks it ‘s my fault, and he’s rather losing his temper.”

Mr Gatesgill: “Right-ho Mrs Ramsey… Ah  yes…it’s nothing to fret about. I’ve seen this happen many times. Quite normal. It’s easily sorted. Now then…you take hold of the hole here and hold it open like this…yes that’s it, that’s wonderful Mrs Ramsey…and we’ll feed the pole in gently, bit at a time. Are you quite ready? “

Mrs Ramsey: “As I’ll ever be gentlemen.”

Mr Gatesgill: “Very well…push Chichester-Fortiscue…ah yes, it is rather a snug fit, isn’t it? Harder man, harder…put some effort into it! That’s better!! I can really feel that now! Is it coming Mrs Ramsey?”

Mrs Ramsey: “Oh…oh…I say, do be careful! Not so roughly Mr Gatesgill…you’re going to tear something…ouch! Ow! Stop…stop, I say…don’t just ram it in! You’re being too forceful, that’s rather hurting me!!”

Mr Chichester-Fortiscue: “My sincere apologies dear…old Gatesgill here can be something of a beast and a brute…can you feel anything yet?”

Mrs Ramsey: “Yes, yes…I think so Mr Chichester-Fortiscue…I think I’m just beginning to feel the end of it. Push it faster now, that’s right, Just twist it a little to the left…oh  yes, YES! That’s it!!! …now back to the right…that’s it…here it comes…push! Push harder gentlemen! Oh, that’s just the ticket, it’s all the way in! …Now then…this part goes up the bottom. Come and pull these ropes tighter Mr Gatesgill! Oh that’s fantastic…there it is poking out the other side! What a joy to behold after all that effort!”

Mr Chichester-Fortiscue: “A joy to behold indeed, Mrs Ramsey…damn fine tent! The boy scouts will be thrilled!”

Mrs Ramsey: “I’m so glad I could be of assistance, Mr Chichester-Fortiscue, Mr Gatesgill. You just be sure to show the Scouts a good time this weekend.”

Mr Gatesgill: “Oh we certainly will, Mrs Ramsey…I’ve thought of nothing else all week.”

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