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'We're sick of people takin' the 
rip out ov us !' 'So we've decided to do something 
about it, know wot I mean !'

Love across the 
filing cabinets Loneliness can make a man do desperate things. I had not courted a lady companion for a long time, and there was an aching void in my life; a void that was getting bigger by the day. I have my rambling friendships, I know, but sometimes one gets tired of discussing the nutritional value of flap-jacks. Ken, my brother, also has problems in finding a soul mate. He grasps blindly for love and it always evades his clumsy clutches. Sometimes
love grasps for Ken, as in the case of the unhinged Joyce and her pair of secateurs. You should have treated her better, Ken. Shamelessly exploiting a woman's gardening mania is not always a good way to begin a relationship of the heart.

Back to my desperation. I have mentioned Elaine (the Holistic practitioner) before (see Mallard-y). She is my Admin Assistant at work. I had never considered her as partner material. She has certain dietary and respiratory problems and her facial fluff is beyond female requirements. Yet I noticed she seemed to giggle at everything I said, and was very attentive about my problems with that belligerent duck; whilst the rest of the staff just ignored me or
laughed at me. She always sprinted to the filing cabinets when I asked her for a case. This left her wheezing and left me pondering. When I saw her curly-perm (Elaine has a Cat Stevens hairstyle similar to Kens), haloed by golden sunlight streaming through the office window, behind her, I made up my mind. I would seek a romantic alliance. Cat Steven's Perm

The next morning I followed Elaine as she made her way over to the vending machine for her Scotch Broth elevenses. Nerves made me ill-time the enquiry about future intimacies between us. She was retrieving the soup from the compartment and my sudden exclamation behind her back made her jump, sending the beverage flying. Spinning around in anger to abuse her assailant, her taut face relaxed on realising it was me. Unnerved, I stuttered out the question again.
"YES !", she yelled, straight away and then she told me that she wished to visit her Mother and Father in Whitley Bay and would I drive her there. Taken aback by the rapidity of events I could only agree. I was given the time and the place to pick her up on Saturday,and also what clothes she would like me to
Yin attracts yang. 
Yang attracts yin. wear. In a daze, I walked back to my seat, the breathless Elaine beside me, wiping the soup from my trousers. Later that day, she announced to me, by the photocopier, that I was the ying to her yang. I asked her for silence, fearing public mockery, but she just giggled. I noted that, for the remainder of the day, her facial hair remained erect, as if it was receiving a massive electro-static charge.

The drive to Whitley Bay was uneventful, with Elaine chattering on about planetary alignments and their effect on calorie consumption. She bought along her Bichon Frieze dog called Sebastien. A small white powder-puff hound; it yapped at passing lorries.

And yet I did not mind the woofs. I felt happy and on the brink of something special * Whitley Bay
Whitley Bay - Jewel of the North-East coast?
Our destination

We arrived at her elderly parents in the late morning. Her father answered the door. Rotund and wearing a pair of trousers that had been pulled up to his armpits, he bid us enter. Elaine’s mother looked me up and down with a grim intensity, as I stood in that gloomy hallway. A purple rinse hovered above her sparsely follicled skull. Her lips seemed pursed in distaste at my presence, though she warmed to me as her daughter allotted tasks for me to do. After 2 hours of my doing these heavy jobs about the house, Elaine suggested that we all go out for lunch to a nearby inn. I was surprised at this, as she had eaten our packed lunch on the journey over.

Pulling into the public–house car park, we noticed a group of Morris dancers with purple painted faces, milling about, along with some firemen holding balloons. Some sort of charity event was planned for that afternoon. I observed that a canal ran by the back of the pub. It seemed an innocent scene, with little hint of the debacle to come.

We were about ten minutes into our meal when the Morris dancers started. For a few moments, it was a curious and amusing spectacle; but as their music droned on, accompanied by clog noise and shouts, they soon became a major irritation to the diners inside the bar. Elaine’s father seemed unduly affected by the folk music, becoming anxious and panicky. He couldn’t eat his meal. Sebastien also became restless and urinated on my brogues.
“William, can’t you go out and stop them for half an hour. Their making Dad ill with their din!” exclaimed Elaine.
“What can I do, it’s a charity event."
Some of the Morris men were burly.
“Are you man or mouse, William? I’ll come out with you”
Elaine’s father groaned. The belt line of his trousers rose higher with tension.
“Come on William, help my father!” demanded Elaine. I was beginning to notice a steely quality in my partner.
With Elaine behind me, clutching Sebastien, I stepped out into the bright sunlight of the car park. The Morris dancers were prancing about by a fire engine, their music redefining the word ’repetitive’

'PISS OFF !!!'
Fueled by real-ale
I walked up to them and addressed the concertina player.
“Excuse me, could I ask you …er…could you stop for about half an hour?
“Ay?” said the musician. He had a fox head stuck to his top-hat.
My voice increased in volume, my nerves fraying under the influence of their nightmare jig.
“Could you stop playing soon…for a bit. Your annoying everyone in the pub!”
“Piss off!” came back the reply.
“Oooooohhhhh!”, cried Elaine.
Piss off and take Fatso with you!

At this public and candid allusion to her girth, Elaine dropped the dog in shock. Sebastien yelped.
I saw red and lunged for the man’s squeeze-box.
“Gerrrooofff, yer *!?@+# !”, he yelled.
My hand, in moving forward and at high speed, punctured the instrument's fabric, silencing the mechanism. “Yer’ve bust it!, he exclaimed.” It’s an antique!”
“You should have stopped when…when I asked!” I spluttered, hot with anger.
By this time, the rest of the troupe was gathering round their bells jingling ominously.
One dancer grabbed me, asking, "What the *#@* are you up to mate?"
I pushed him off my person exclaiming, "Don't touch me, you clown!"
He then attempted to punch my temple.
Expect no mercy

Possibly a Leeds Utd fan
Elaine saw this move and struck the man with her shoulder-bag. It contained a large healing crystal which she always carried around with her for positive energy. (She later claimed that a spirit guide was helping her with her aim)
He reeled from the blow.
"*#@+*   'ell, she's got a rock in there!"
A female member of the Morris mob and obvious co-habitant of my felled assailant then grabbed grabbed Elaine's Ken-like perm and gave it a series of severe tugs.
"You bearded b*@#+ ! Leave my Eric alone!"
My girlfriend's head rocked backwards and forwards with these rhythmic yanks, to such an extent, that I feared for the future well-being of her scalp.
CRACK !!!!

Yes, it was all very regrettable.

I was to use the colloquial term - 'duffed up' by the assembled dancers, the crys of - "CLOGGER 'IM, LADS !" ringing in my ears. Such was the nature of the scuffle that a penny whistle became an offensive weapon. It is suprising what can be done with a small tin tube. Elaine, her hair now severely askew
attempted to come to my aid, swinging her bag around her head and reigning blows on my ribboned attackers. The healing crystal did it's work well. I managed to push myself free and lashed out with a kick. Unfortunately, Sebastien,who was scampering about on the perimeter of the fracas, got caught on the top of my foot. He lifted into the air, his trajectory taking him into the centre of the canal. THWACK !, SMACK !, CRACK !, CRUNCH !
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR - yelp ! "Sebastien!" screamed Elaine, "Oh my poor dog!" She dived into the canal. Thrashing about in the polluted water, she saved the stunned canine.

Firemen were now amongst us, separating the Morris dancers from my pummelled frame. Eight of them struggled to pull Elaine and Sebastien from the canal. Drenched and grimy, my partner (between gasps) appraised the situation.
"You almost killed Sebastien, you creep!"
The dog in her arms vacillated between limpness and shivers.
"But I was only trying to help you," I said.
"Oh shut up, it's over between us……..OVER !"
She waddled into the pub, depositing a puddle trail behind her. I limped after her, flinching due to wounds and still receiving abuse from those purple faces dance hooligans. A tambourine ricocheted off my shoulder blade.
Then the emergency services arrived.
'Can we go in Mum, It's putting me off me burger?'
A passing family, askance at the scene

I don't wish to bore you with the myriad consequences from this incident, just to say my civil service career is in jeopardy. There is a charge of criminal damage of folk instruments against me and Elaine. I am taking the entire Morris gang to court, accusing them of GBH. Elaine is seeking a transfer to another department. Her glaring looks over the filing cabinets weights heavy on my conscience, as do the sniggers and guffaws of the office as they relish every detail of that day. Elaine's telling of it has been both selective and distorted. She's bitter that the authorities have impounded her healing crystal.

Sebastien is now in pet therapy. He hyperventilates every time he hears folk music.

So do I.


Many thanks to Jean Thompson of Hornsea for providing the photos. She was severly jostled in the name of justice. Their blurred nature indicates the ferocity of the brawl. The identities of the miscreants and members of the public have been disguised due to forthcoming court proceddings.

Ken - I do hope you'll show your face in court and defend the Worthington name.

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