The newspapers and TV round these parts are increasingly full of barely credible election related stories. What puzzles me is if they’re going to the effort of making stuff up, why can’t it at least be vaguely interesting? It’s not that hard…
I was out in the garage on Sunday, cleaning one of the bikes. You know, time really flies when I’m doing that, and it’s immensely satisfying. This is the kind of wholesome practice that separates the grumpy old pillar of the community from the younger generations. If you don’t believe me, consider that any activity which involves a teenage boy spending a couple of hours on his own, enjoying himself hugely and ending up surrounded by soiled tissues would probably not be focused entirely on a Triumph Bonneville.
In some ways, though, it’s a good thing that age tends to mellow our habits (or at least we get to replace one set of socially unacceptable behaviours with another, slightly more curmudgeonly one), because roughly half way through my buffing, I was rudely interrupted by a thin and rather dyspeptic looking gentleman resplendent in blue and claiming to represent the local Conservative party. And let’s face it, one of the last things you’d want popping up behind you if you’d got yer trousers down is a prospective MP - they’re far to likely to try and take advantage of ANY situation they encounter…
He rattled on for a while about taxes, family values and fox hunting before going on to complain about immigration. It wasn’t until he started waffling on about Slough being full of Martians that I realized what was bothering me. Normally it’s the rosette that’s blue, not the entire candidate. OK, some of these guys hardly seem to pause for breath, but you don’t often see them change colour for lack of oxygen - not even in a hung parliament (there are some politicians for whom I believe asphyxiation to be too good but I digress and, if one were to be pedantic, that would be a hanged parliament).
Anyway, I just put his cyan hue down to him being an escaped Smurf or something (the Tories are quite desperate right now and will form a coalition with just about anyone - even a cult of little blue dudes who are led by a weird looking guy with a bowler hat and a ZZ-top beard) and got on with my bike cleaning.
Later on in the evening Mad Albert and I were on our way to the pub, bickering - as is our custom. I was reclining in a shopping trolley that we’d found in the lake and Bert was pushing, because he won the toss (which meant I’d have to push on the way back). We’d only gone a few hundred yards when there was this weird noise, sort of like someone farting in the bath, but higher pitched, and then four blue geezers appeared out of nowhere. Bert actually saw them first, because I was facing the wrong way in the trolley. Before I could say anything he’d already told them to bugger off because he’s voting UKIP.
Quick as you like, three of these blokes had grabbed Bert, there was another weird noise, and they all disappeared - except for the fourth bloke who looked just like the one who’d interrupted my polishing earlier - he’d just, sort of, wobbled a bit when the others vanished. He looked a bit confused for a minute, then said, “Sod it, that keeps happening!” and pushed the trolley, with me still in it, into a ditch while saying “Nothing personal, I’ve got to get back to Slough. We come in peace, and mean you no harm.” Then he ran off and as he vanished from sight round the corner I could hear him shouting “Bloody Earthlings”…
As you can imagine, by the time I got myself out of the ditch I was a bit peeved, and quite worried about Bert - who had quite plainly been abducted by Martians. I was concerned enough, in fact, that I only managed about a dozen pints and three bags of pork scratchings once I finally did get to the pub. Still, looking on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to push Bert all the way home in the trolley.
It came as a bit of a surprise, I don’t mind telling you, when I heard a damp moaning noise coming from the ditch as I staggered home. It was Bert, covered in wet leaves and trapped under the trolley! I dragged it off him, helped the silly old fool out up, and brushed him off - dislodging a snail from his lapel and what I originally thought was a small tortoise but actually turned out to be the near fossilized remains of half a Big Mac from his shoulder.
I was eager to hear about his encounter with the extra-terrestrials but, frankly, he was quite rude. Claimed to know nothing about any alien abductions and reckoned I’d made him drink two pints of cider (that’s four times what it takes to get him drunk) and then rolled him into a ditch. Anyway, he’s still not shut up about it, despite finding several “we come in peace” election pamphlets from the Smurfish Martian Conservative Party stuffed into his trouser pockets. It just goes to show you can’t trust the them. (Smurfs, not pockets, obviously, who ever heard of someone that didn’t trust his pockets?)
As far as the election’s concerned, I’m thinking of voting for the UK Independence Party. Like Mad Albert. Once I’ve been able to make certain that they’ll get Britain out of the Solar system, as well as the European Community.