Tuesday, December 19, 2006

REASONS TO BE FEARFUL PART 2

BIRD: Couldn't sleep last night. Woke up at 11am, tired, irritable, woozy. Haven't been sleeping at all well lately.

BUFFALO: A-ha.

BIRD: Diagnosis, pliz.

BUFFALO: Well, dude, it could be... holiday depression, ennui, winter, the bloody weather, terror-asses, diesel fumes, Bush, cheap Beaujolais, lackanooky, bleeding gums, Gummy Bears, Grizzly Bears, unbearable blather from the media, serial killers, killer bees, Aunt Bee, Samantha Bee, Vitamin B deficiency, deficit spending, bad endings, bad derrieres, dairy products, ducks, geese, lend lease options, estate agents ("Kill an estate agent today, and build a better tomorrow..."), secret agents, M, Moneypenny, no money, no honey, no lovin' spoonful of medicine sans sugar baby ruth, the Bible, Martin Luther, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, missionaries, Mormons, Mermen, Mermaids, Molly Maids, Minute Maid, Made in China, plate, mate, rhyming slang, sliming rangs, bangs, banks, tanks for the mammaries, things that have gone tits up, catsup, tomatoes, potatoes, toe jam, Pearl Jam, jelly roll, polls, politicians, morticians, whoors, Coors, Olympia, Zeus, Mateus, vin rose, la vie en rose, Rosemary Clooney, George Clooney, Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny, Bugsy Siegel, Der Spiegel, the American Bald Eagle, vultures, cultures, bacteria, worms, germs, Germans, sauerkraut, blutwurst, blood of the lamb, silence.

BIRD: I see. Thanks, dude.

Monday, December 18, 2006

THE MOST PECULIAR CASE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE FLAMING YARBLES

BUFFALO: Dude?

BIRD: Yes, dude?

BUFFALO: (taps fingers) Feeling a bit surplus, like, wot with Holmes & Watson. Think it'll last much longer?

BIRD: Could run and run. They've got a heck of a number of cases to solve.

BUFFALO: But but but but nobody seems interested in us any more.

BIRD: It's just till Chrimbo, dude. Hold on to your Freddy.

BUFFALO: Well, if you say so. So what case are they on today?

BIRD: Yarbles, dude.

BUFFALO: Yikes!

BIRD: So sit back, pour yerself a drink and enjoy...

HOLMES: Watson.

WATSON: Yes, Holmes?

HOLMES: Can you smell burning?

WATSON: Indeed I can, Holmes, and I can smell my bum, too, if I'm so inclined, though I rarely am. What exactly are you driving at?

HOLMES: I can smell something burning, you silly quack.

WATSON: Oh, I see. . . ah, I think I have it. It's that damnable Balkan Sobranie shag that's smoldering in your Meerschaum, in your jacket pocket. I do believe you've set yourself on fire again, Holmes.

HOLMES: Great Caesars' ghost, you're right! I'm combusting!

WATSON: Amazing, Holmes. From the barest of clues you can easily deduce all manner of things that confound Scotland Yard, and yet you have to rely on me to inform you that you've gone and conflagrated yourself.

HOLMES: Never mind that, Watty, old boy, fetch the fire extinguisher!

WATSON: Fire extinguisher? Good lord, Holmes, we're standing in the middle of a iron foundry, surrounded by flaming blast furnaces. You don't really think we're going to find a fire extinguisher here, do you?

HOLMES: I'm on FIRE, old chap! Find a bucket of water, for God's sake, man!

WATSON: Water? Oh, yes, capital idea. Ah, I think I see a bucket, by Jove.

HOLMES: Then fetch it, you old fool! I'm about to be immolated!

WATSON: Right. . . wait here, I'll be right back. Oh, and I suggest that you don't run amok, Holmes. It will only fan the flames, y'know.

HOLMES: Fetch the water, you imbecile! My trousers are aflame now!

WATSON: Hmph. There's gratitude for you. . . good lord, this bucket weighs a ton. Urgh. Crikey. All right, Holmes, I've got the water. Now what?

HOLMES: (screaming in agony) Toss it on the flames, you blockhead!

WATSON: What? Oh, yes, of course. Here we go. Ungh. (splashing sounds). There, that's got it, Holmes. . . fire's out now.

HOLMES: Thank God. (sizzling sounds) Good grief, what's that smell?

WATSON: Eh, what? (sniffs) Blimey. . . if I didn't know better I'd swear I smell burning flesh, and something else (sniffs). Yes, nitric acid, I think.

HOLMES: Watson, you big woman's blouse! You've doused the flames with a bucket of acid! I'm sprouting flames!

WATSON: (chuckles) I hardly think so, Holmes - it's merely the acid dissolving your skin. A tactile illusion. The fire is out, I can assure you of that.

HOLMES: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WATSON: Dammit, Holmes, don't run around in circles like that! You're spreading the acid about! It's a trifle inconsiderate of you, old chap. Bloody hell. . . ah, here we go.

FIRE EXTINGUISHER SQUISHES

WATSON: There you go, old buddy, I've managed to neutralize the acid with the contents of this fire extinguisher.

HOLMES: (panting, gasping) You said there WEREN'T any fire extinguishers!

WATSON: Yes, well, apparently I was misinformed. Sorry about that. Good lord, man, you're going to need a new pair of trousers.

HOLMES: Trousers?! I'm going to need a new pair of testicles! My yarbles are like a pair of raw Sainsbury's meatballs in tomato sauce!

WATSON: Eh, what? Oh, quite so. . . which reminds me, I'm absolutely famished. Come on, Holmes, let's hail a hansome cab and go to Luigi's for lunch. . . all this talk of meatballs is making me ravenous. Come along, old chap, my treat.

HOLMES: (moans) I don't think I can walk, Watson.

WATSON: Nonsense, Holmes, the acid has melted the soles of your shoes. You're merely stuck to the floor. Oh, I say. . . duck!

HOLMES: Duck? Where? I don't see a d...

SOUND OF MASSIVE CRANE HITTING HOLMES IN THE HEAD, FOLLOWED BY THE SOUND OF THE UNCONSCIOUS DETECTIVE FALLING TO THE FLOOR.

WATSON: Bloody hell. There goes lunch, I imagine. I say, Holmes, you're going to need a new deerstalker, that's for sure.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE FINAL MOO

HOLMES: Is that you, Watson?

WATSON: No, Holmes, it's an exploding cow.

HOLMES: An exploding cow? Explain yourself, my good man.

WATSON: Well, apparently, sometimes an unfortunate bovine fails to expel the wind, so to speak, and it goes the other way. The resulting pressure builds at an alarming rate and in a matter of seconds ker-bang - one more self-combusting bovine fatality.

HOLMES: Hmm, most curious. I have always felt that something should be done about the cow's inexplicable fondness for emitting methane. It is only a matter of time before the criminal element within our midst exploits this curiosity to their own ends and begins to plant extra flatulent bovines outside banks and such places in order to benefit from the resulting explosions.

WATSON: You mean, use poor old daisy as a bovine bomb, Holmes?

HOLMES: Precisely. Indeed, it is not beyond the realms of Victorian fantasy to countenance the possibility that Professor Moriarty is doing exactly that. Tell me, Watty Poos, how many incidents of exploding bovines have been recorded this month in the Baker Street vicinity?

WATSON: Why, there have been seven this weekend alone. The papers are full of reports from all over the country. Nationwide it must run into the hundreds.

HOLMES: Watson, we must act if we ever want to taste semi-skimmed again.

(massive bang of multiple bovine self-exploders outside Bank of England)

WATSON: Holmes, it's the Bank of England. It's covered in bovine effluent.

HOLMES: It is as I feared, my learned quack. The dastardly Moriarty has blown through to the bank vaults to acquire sufficient funds to sustain his jelly baby and champagne lifestyle. Make haste, Watson, old bean. To the Bank, the very existence of the Great of Britain depends upon it.

WATSON: Coming, Holmes. It's MOO-sic to my ears!

HOLMES: Indeed.

WATSON: A good job we'd already had our MOO-sli for breakfast then.

HOLMES: (groans) Oh, really, Watson, must you play the fool when our country is in such peril?

WATSON: There's no UDDER way, Holmes.

(more explosions of prime bovine erupt all over London)

HOLMES: Watson, if there's no milk for my Horlicks tonight, I want you to know that I shall hold you personally responsible.

WATSON: It's utter COW-nage out there, Holmes, what what what.

HOLMES: Confound it, man, this is no time for flippancy.

WATSON: Sorry, Holmes, I just couldn't stop MILKING it.

(HOLMES rolls eyes and heads for pantry)

TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

THE SAD TAIL OF HOLMES & THE MINCE PIES & THE MISSING EGO

WATSON: I say Holmes, are you all right?

HOLMES: (groans) Not really, Watson. I rather pigged out on the mince pies and sherry, I fear.

WATSON: Pukus vulgaris in extremis?

HOLMES: It would appear thus.

WATSON: Coupled with squidgylitis acuterus?

HOLMES: Indeed, my Hippocratic old chum.

WATSON: I did try to warn you.

HOLMES: For once, Watty, I must bow to your superior knowledge. Hand me that volume of Dr. Fraud's Extraordinary Tails, will you, old bean?

WATSON: Certainly, Holmes, but I fail to see how reading that will solve your present predicament.

HOLMES: (clutches stomach) It won't, but it may just explain what happened to the Walter Egos.

WATSON: Incredible. There you are, bent double, dried Vindaloo spattered all over your chops, emissions from both orifices, yet still you possess the unquenchable thirst to solve Scotland Yard's outstanding cases and make Dear Albion a safer place for people to live in. I tell you, Holmes, I take my hat off to you.

HOLMES: Good thinking, Watson. Now hold your hat just below my chin, will you? I may be needing its services shortly. It really is most perplexing that nobody actually saw the body of Walter Ego Jnr at the crime scene. Oh, dear... Watson...

WATSON: Hat in place, poised for action, what what what.

HOLMES: Elementary, my dear Watson. Oh...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

'TWAS DENIED AFORE CRISPNESS

HOLMES: Pass me another mince pie, will you, old chap?

WATSON: Holmes, you've had enough. You'll make yourself sick.

HOLMES: That is precisely what I intend to do. Ah, sweet Crispness, devourer of the soul.

WATSON: Have you been at the bagpipes again?

HOLMES: Reminds me of an ode dear mama used to whisper to me in the cradle...

‘Twas denied before Crispness, when all threw the cows,
Nada teacher wistering, nod Eve an’ her spouse;
Stockard Channing hungover by the chutney with care,
Imhotep, Jack Nicklaus, three-wood, beware!

The chitlins were Nestl├ęd all smug thoroughbreds,
Vile divisions of sugar Tums danced inner Keds;
Aunt Jemima in her 'kerchief, an eyeball, nightcap,
Add Jews, settled down furlong winner snap.

Winnowed on the lawn, dare a rose, cinch a Hatter,
Eye strain frump the bed deceit who’s the madder;
A whey to the widow I flu-like, hot flash,
Drew Carey the shudders and threw up the hash.

Vic Damone over Brest, on the Newfoundland snow,
Gave the bluster of mid-wives to rejects below;
Woodwind to my wandering pies shoed a peer,
Buddha Minnie actor’s play and ate tiny rain, dear.

Withered tit, old dry verse, so jively and slick,
Eye gnu in a marmot it mussed bees, ain’t Nick;
Moor vapid than beagles his Corsairs they Cayman
He wizzled and showered and culled them, for shame.

"Now, Basher, now Trasher, now Rancid and Nixon,
On Vomit, on Stupid, on Blunder and Exxon!
To the Top of the porridge, to the toffee so tall
Gnaw hash All day, crash and pray, smash a fey owl!”

As dry heaves that Dafoe the Wilde shirikin fly,
Wendy needle an ox stable meant to be pie;
Sew up on the mouse trap the horse hairs were glued;
With a playful Latoya, sans necklace, nude!

And then in a Twinkie, wee herd on the roof,
The hemming and hawing of each piddling poof;
As I threw in my hand and was buying a round,
Down the Jiminy Jack Nicklaus came like a hound.

He was Dresden infer from his Zed to his flute,
His loaves were all varnished with Ashley and jute;
A trundle of Goys were strung out on his back,
Andy mugged like a pedophile trying to score crack.

His sighs, how they sprinkled, his pimples so scary!
His butt cheeks like roses, blue nose like a berry;
His troll brittle mouth was fawned up like a Ho,
End a beer on his chin fuzz, wide-eyed as Van Gogh.

Thus stumped of a pie he yelled “Tide on the heath!”
And DeSoto inveigled his red Leggo wreath;
Jihad a broad’s phase, pawned a lid of brown jelly,
Meshuggah whinny left Leica woeful Gene Kelly.

He haddock flabby old rump, a trite Dali oiled elf
And eye left win eye Psalm, in spied of my self.
A wing cuff his eye, Anna pissed off Phys-Ed,
Swoon gay me to Noah head muffin too bread.

He Spokane nada whirred butt-twin strayed to his lurk,
Unfulfilled Allah’s dockings, interned Wicca jerk;
And splaying his tingler downwind of his hose,
Hand shivering, annoyed, up the Jiminy heroes.

He sang to Islay, too esteemed, waved a missal,
Anna weigh day Owl Flu like da spawn of George Jessel,
Butt-eye herd hymns disclaimed heir Heathrow Otter sighed.
"Happy Crispin’s towel, Anna towel a good thigh!”

BIRD & BUFFALO WILL RETURN SHORTLY TO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE, BUT FRANK LEE, THIS STUFF IS JUST TOO GOOD TO REMISS

COMING SOON: THE SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE ROASTED BEAR ON A SPITTLE WITH ALOPECIA AREATA ENIGMA

Monday, December 11, 2006

POSTSCRIPT ERUPTUM

WATSON: I say, Holmes...

HOLMES: Yes, Watson?

WATSON: Is your left arm hairier than your right?

HOLMES: Have you been at the baking powder again, Watty, old boy?

WATSON: You didn't slip any of that crackling Coke into my Horlicks last night perchance?

HOLMES: It's CRACK cocaine, old bean, and no, there's only enough to go round for one of us, and t'would be wasted on a mere mortal such as your good self.

WATSON: (pokes tongue out) See anything suspicious on my tongue, Holmes?

HOLMES: Not a jolt, just the leftovers from Mrs Hudson's delectable Vindaloo. Now are you going to check my prostate or not?

WATSON: Do you think it's wise? You know what happened last time.

HOLMES: Well if you will insist on tweaking the old blighter, one can only expect Freddy to pop his cork.

WATSON: And you're quite sure you don't harbour any somewhat wayward inklings towards my person, Holmes?

HOLMES: Oh, Wat poopers, you really are a peculiar man of the stethoscope. I reiterate, I gave all that up at med school after twenty pints. Although you would be correct in your assumption that the great Sherlock Holmes is so busy solving the most heinous of crimes that it leaves little time for the old wibbly-jibbly, what what what. And anyway, on this particular matter I have to tell you I bat strictly for the first eleven, if you get m'drift.

WATSON: Glad to hear it, Holmes. Now drop your long johns and bend over as far as you can without your pipe burning the Maharajah's tiffin rug.

HOLMES: Wait. What rug did you say?

WATSON: Why, the Maharajah's tiffin rug, delivered but this morning by a most agreeable gentleman in a peaked cap.

HOLMES: That was no most agreeable gentleman, Watty Botty, old chum, that was none other than the abominable Professor Moriarty. Quick, check that elephant's head.

WATSON: Good gracious, Holmes, there's a sophisticated device not unlike a camera concealed within its mouth.

HOLMES: Damn the fossilized droppings of the Punjabi wading bird! The fiend was only planning to photograph my customary prostate inspection and make the pair of us the laughing stock of the civilized world by splashing pictures of you with your digits up my poop box all over the newspapers.

WATSON: The swine! Well caught, Holmes. Do you want me to dispose of the rug?

HOLMES: No, Watson. I have a better idea. Fetch me that prosthetic penis presented to me as a gift by the grateful King of Pubistan.

WATSON: The 20-inch wanger used as a pleasuring tool when all else has failed?

HOLMES: Precisely, my dearest quack. Let's show the odious Moriarty something that will put the squidgies right up him.

WATSON: Brilliant, Holmes. I don't know how you come up with such spiffing ideas.

HOLMES: Elementary, my dear Watson. There's nothing quite like a pinch of crack cocaine and an impending prostate examination to focus the mind, don't you know! Roll camera!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING VOICE, THE COKE & THE BRITNEY VIDEO

BIRD: I say, Buffers, it’s been awfully quiet your end. Are you still with us?

BUFFALO: More or less, Birdy. I’ve lost me bloody voice, like.

BIRD: Ah, that would explain your recent abstinence, then. Are you looking for it?

BUFFALO: Huh?

BIRD: Your voice.

BUFFALO: Yeah, but I’ve given up. Guess it’ll turn up when I least expect it.

BIRD: Sounds like a case for Baker Street’s very own Sherlock Holmes.

BUFFALO: Ironic that you mention Holmes, Birdman. While searching for my voice I happened upon a lost Sherlock Holmes episode, in Watson’s handwriting.

BIRD: You’ve having me on, shortly!

BUFFALO: No, I swear it on a stack of Sparky's Toe Jam flapjacks. Wanna hear it?

BIRD: Regale us, Buff, do.

BUFFALO: Okay, here goes. By the way, I’m sipping Earl Grey tea with lemon and sugar.

BIRD: Sugar? An abomination, Buff. Wash your mouth out with a Britney.

BUFFALO: Yeah, whatever. Grab yer ankles, here it comes…

WATSON: Holmes, we must speak.

HOLMES: Not now, Watson. Good God, man, can’t you see that I’m in the middle of a delicate chemical experiment?

WATSON: Balderdash, Holmes, you’re not getting away with that old retort this time. I know exactly what you’re doing. I’m a doctor, you know. You’re obviously distilling an infusion made from those damnable leaves from Columbia that arrived in this morning’s post.

HOLMES: Well, what of it, Watson, old fruit? This distillation is a crucial component of a new compound I’m formulating that could well prove to be the definitive cure for rabies.

WATSON: Rabies, indeed. The only mad dogs around here are you and that fellow addict friend of yours; that quack from Vienna, Dr. Fraud, or whatever his devilish name is.

HOLMES: It wouldn’t be the fact that Dr. Freud is of the Hebrew persuasion that troubles you, would it, Watson poos? Or the fact that he's just won a fortune from the touts at Royal Ascot?

WATSON: Don’t play the race card with me, Holmes. Extinguish that Bunsen burner at once and hand over that vile vial. I warn you, Holmes, if you fill that syringe you’ll force me to take desperate measures!

HOLMES: Ha! I should tell you I’ve already measured it, Watson. It’s a mere ten cubic centimetres, and a harmless eleven percent solution at that.

WATSON: Eleven percent? Have you taken leave of your senses, Holmes? That dosage will stop your heart faster than a set of Britney Silly Cones!

HOLMES: Piffle, Watson. Now let go of the syringe, my good man. This injection is vital to the smooth running of my bonce, Watson, my nerves are shot, don't you know! The dastardly Professor Moriarty is trying to bump me off again, and I haven’t slept a wink in weeks. This infusion of Columbian coca leaves will increase my powers of deduction and enable me to find the Buffalo’s missing voice!

WATSON: Confound the diablo, Holmes, that syringe is full of the most wicked of all known poisons. Hand it over, I say!

HOLMES: But, Watson, sweetie, you must let me have it. Without it I am finished, written out of history’s detectivial collective psyche. Don’t you see, Shirley? Things go better with Coke! (whoosh) Ah, that’s better. Now hand me that encyclopaedia of the history of the Choctaw injuns in the Motown area, will you, old chap?

WATSON: Oh, really, Holmes! What did your last servant die of?

HOLMES: You know perfectly well that she died of deep vein thrombosis brought on by a poisoned Waddy Waddy dart planted in her neck from a distance of half a mile whilst walking the dog in Regent’s Park. Must we go over that case again, Watty, old bean?

WATSON: Here it is, Holmes. Although I fail to see the significance of this book that has been collecting dust on the fifth shelf on the left, five books along for 20 years, six months, five weeks, ten days, two hours, 41 minutes and seven seconds.

HOLMES: (opens book) Ah, yes. It is as I thought. Chapter 6, paragraph 5, line two.

WATSON: (picks up book) But Holmes…

HOLMES: Yes, Watson?

WATSON: It’s the Buffalo’s voice! How did you know?

HOLMES: Elementary, my dear Watty Botty. Now tell me this – where might one procure a copy of this Britney’s Finest 19 Seconds video? Ink-wiring minds, you know, my good fellow.

WATSON: Well, Holmes, it is said that Inspector Lestrade has all the decent copies down at the Yard under lock and key.

HOLMES: Fine work, Watson. Come, there is not a moment to lose. The game is afoot.

WATSON: Wait for me, Holmes. You know I've got carbuncles! Holmes…

*******************************************

BUFFALO: And that’s how I got me voice back, like.

BIRD: Mah-vellous. Film at eleven.

BUFFALO: Arf, arf!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

SEX, BRITNEY & DIGITAPE

COUNTDOWN TO GLOBAL ORGASM:
14 days, 20 hours, 1 minute.

BIRD: Just been to the doc’s for a checkup, like.

BUFFALO: Better to be safe than sorry, dude. And?

BIRD: AOK, Buffters. Though there was a definite ping in the prostate.

BUFFALO: Tee-hee. Run Podcast.

BIRD: How’s the practising for the shagathon for peace, pliz, going?

BUFFALO: Like a dream. Stronger for longer, for when more is MUCH more.

BIRD: That’s my Buff! And Sparkers?

BUFFALO: Ah, well, he’s having trouble breaking away from Otto Fellatio, like. And he will insist on having low blood sugar incidents.

BIRD: Xplain, pliz, Lucy.

BUFFALO: Last night, the poor diabetic idjit was flopping about in his bedroom like a salmon out of water, and was totally fookin' bananas, laffing his head off, refusing to drink orange juice, spitting it out all over himself. To persuade him to drink OJ I had to tell him that Fifi was waiting in the living room to see him, see-through negligee in tow. Pitiful. I thought about wearing a blonde wig and high heels to imitate her but... Sparky would do ANYTHING for Fifi, the filthy auld perv. I told him if he dies, he still has to pay his share of the rent.

BIRD: Sounds reasonable. Think he’ll make it to the shagathon?

BUFFALO: Sure, if I can plunder a shop window blonde dummy first. Now what’s this about Britney?

BIRD: Been flashing her bushless bush again, Buff.

BUFFALO: Mon dieu! Has that tartlet no shame?

BIRD: Nope. And something VERY ODD has happened to her titties of late.

BUFFALO: Been playing with the Silly Cones again, huh?

BIRD: That’s about the short and curly of it.

BUFFALO: And the digitape?

BIRD: Of me doing my Santa in drag stint at East Fenwick Shopping Emporium.

BUFFALO: On YouTube?

BIRD: Shortly, Rodney. Gotta admit, that silk felt REAL good against my skin, but the suspenders were killing me.

BUFFALO: Tell me you didn’t wear the black bra with the nipple cut-outs this year.

BIRD: It’s in the contract, dude. Get an extra tenner an hour for it.

BUFFALO: Hope they didn’t get tweaked this time.

BIRD: Only by the missus, like, after a bottle and a half of bubbly. It’s agony on the knees, though.

BUFFALO: Huh?

BIRD: East Fenwick has some rather fleshy mature femmes, if you get mah collateral, and they ALL insist on sitting on my lap whilst they tell me what they want for Christmas. And as for the 16-stone builders…

BUFFALO: Commiserations, Birdman. It’s tough out there on the perimeter.

BIRD: Better go. Ailing pussies and all.

BUFFALO: Laters.

BIRD: Film at eleven.

BUFFALO: Arf, arf!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

THE MUSWELL HILL FREE THINKERS' ASSOCIATION CHRISTMAS DINNER AKA ONLINE FARCE

EVERY YEAR IT'S THE SAME AND EVERY YEAR SOMEHOW OR OTHER A SOLUTION IS FOUND TO THE EXTREMELY COMPLICATED MATTER OF THE CHRISTMAS DINNER

WARNING: WHAT FOLLOWS ARE ACTUAL EVENTS. FOR AESTHETIC REASONS, IDENTITIES HAVE BEEN ALTERED OR DISFIGURED.

THE MUSWELL HILL FREE THINKERS' ASSOCIATION MEETS EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY, OR NOT, AT AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION TO DISCUSS THE MORE WEIGHTY PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS OF THE DAY AND TO CONSUME VAST AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL. IF YOU STUMBLE UPON THIS GROUPING IN A PUB NEAR YOU, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE THEM IN MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!

DANTON: The season of non yo ho ho is pressing fast on us. If we can avoid the turkey fest and equivalents, can we not be convivial with some 'meat' as well as drink? That is moderately priced.

THE PROF That veggie Indian on Chapel Market, Islington - was it OK, and worth going to?

JERRY: Can I put in a competitive bid for the India Club, next to Waterloo Bridge, also reasonable + you can take your own alcohol (and serves meat as well as veggie).

MONIQUE: I would very much like to come, but can't make Wed 13th - I wondered if it was possible to be radical and make it either Mon 11th, Tues 12th or Thurs 14th? But if this makes things too complicated, don't worry!

BIRD: Count me in. On either Monday 11th or Thursday 14th. But definitely not Wednesday 13th.

DANTON: The India Club is fine by me - and the 11th, 12th, and 13th all OK right now.

DIRK: Mon 11th would suit me.

JERRY: Currently, I can do any of Monday to Wednesday that week.

REMINGTON: I am almost sure I can make that Monday, at least from 7.30 onwards. I remember walking round and round the Aldwych one evening in vain a few years ago, however, trying to find the place, so idiot-proof instructions for how to get there would be appreciated.

KURT: I could do (I think) Tuesday 12th or Wednesday 13th, but unfortunately not Monday 11th.

LILY: I can't make Monday or Tuesday I'm afraid, only Wednesday or Thursday.

DIRK: I'm now probably pretty flexible this week. Thursday looks OK. Is anyone keeping record of the vote?

THE PROF: Can make Mon, Wed and Thurs. The Indian in Chapel Market was good and so was the India Club in Strand. It's difficult to find because its entrance is a door that leads up to the restaurant.

DANTON: I can't do Dec 13th but Thursday Dec 14th is fine as well as Monday Dec 11th right now.

JERRY: Can you collate numbers and majority date, and book, and confirm?

HELENA: We've created a spreadsheet of everyone's availability. See attached. In the spreadsheet, we've put a tick for when people have said they can make it, a cross for when they've said they can't and a question mark for when they've not mentioned the day. The two days that are still open are Thursday and Friday. Friday is still a possibility because most people have not mentioned whether or not they can make it on that day. Please can you fill in the spreadsheet for yourself by replacing the question marks under your name with a tick or cross? You can copy and paste the ticks and crosses. Bye for now.

PAT: Everyone who still attends our meetings now seems to have responded. I am free any evening and am quite happy to go to the place in the Strand (for the benefit of Remington it is on the same side as the river). However, the problem appears to be which date as everyone has responded differently. Perhaps one of our IT experts can work this out using AI.

THE PROF: My preference is Friday. I've had quite a few late nights in the first week of my new job and Friday is the only evening I know for sure that I can get away in time. However, I suggest everyone simply fills in the seven cells in the spreadsheet under their name (or indicate in some other way) and we can decide early next week. It's not that difficult. I've attached a new spreadsheet with Pat's, Dave's and Birdy's preferences. Bye for now.

JERRY: I am sorry, I can't cope with a spreadsheet this morning. My week has changed - I can no longer do Monday, but can do Tues to Thurs. What about Rodders' availability?

DANTON: Clearly it's not possible to keep everyone happy all of the time, and for all to meet on the same night. Here is a perfectly elegant yet refreshing alternative to a spreadsheet, with all the excitement of not knowing quite what might happen on the night. It is a rough and ready solution of course, but that's in the nature of an everyday never-ending saga of ordinary urban folk - this could be the substance of a new genre - online farce - but:

a) Each and everyone next week goes to a favourite Indian restaurant of their choice (on one or more evenings);

b) Each e-mails or posts their whereabouts for each night to a centrally accessible location - perhaps the blogspot, or their own blog/web site/notice on their front door

c) everyone then consults each other's whereabouts, and entirely at their option and without any obligation, decide whether to join each other on the night in question, or in the other case not

d) the object teams, as you will appreciate, is to use our combined and formidable intellectual powers to attain an utter state of confusion, mental exhaustion, and provide copious material for a broadcast saga, I'm Sorry I Still Am Not Getting It, as well as endless discussion at future meetings of the (dis)organization.

THE PROF: I've added Remington's and Rodders' preferences to the attached spreadsheet. Thursday is slightly ahead of Wednesday at the moment.

DANTON: Thursday generally is a little ahead of Wednesday. There may be circumstances when it gets delayed, but usually not for very long. Rarely is it slightly behind. Invariably it is six days before.

RODDERS: Thursday it is, then. 7.30 Chapel Market N1?

MONIQUE: Goodness, having been away this weekend I've missed all the excitement. Have found am allergic to spreadsheets (can't even open it), but Thursday is good for me. Look forward to it.

THE PROF: The people have spoken - and Thursday it is. The Indian restaurant in Chapel Market is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Therefore, it does not matter if people come at slightly different times. We'll need to know numbers so that we can reserve space.

RODDERS: I make it 13. Who wants to be Jesus?

REMINGTON: Ah. But who wants to be Judas?

DANTON: It won't, I hope, be our Last Supper.

RODDERS: I believe there was nothing wrong with Judas that couldn't be solved with a good Samaritan and a bit of cognitive behaviour therapy. I've just booked for 13 in my name at 7.30pm on 14 Dec. Or at least I hope I have.