According to science today was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, It was something to do with it being a Monday, the weather, post-Christmas debts and the general populace not keeping its New Year resolutions. So how was it for you?
It was grim for Bert as the builder boys broke his tractor. Then because they didn’t have it they couldn’t do any work. Like yeah! Where were the tractors at Stonehenge? How many Massey-Fergusons had the ancient Egyptians in the Valley of the Kings? And did the medieval castle and cathedral builders of Europe have fleets of John Deeres? I don’t think so.
Meanwhile back at the site the call went out for a dozen strong oxen. Around here the bullocks are far too skittish for any kind of proper work. All they do is gay sex and vast quantities of grass whilst they wait around for the call to the pie factory. And doesn't that sound like a helluva life?
So as there wasn’t an ox to be found there was only one thing for it. Ploppy Pants. You’d definitely expect a good Orangeman steeped in the Protestant Work Ethic to be hard at it on a Monday morning. But poor Bert was getting more and more frustrated as he dialled every number he had for him. Where was he? Not, it seemed, in his garage, diesel oil to the oxters. I suggested he might be at the testing centre or out sourcing a lorry part. Goodness – he might even be rescuing a stranded lorry driver from the back end of beyond. But no – Bert was not having any of this. Ploppy pants was a big lump of manure who was either lying in his cosy, warm bed, away playing the banjo in some hidey-holler or futilely trying to get through to Gerry Anderson on the radio.
What is the male term for harridan, for termagant, for targe? Cross man just isn’t strong enough. I was glad to get away to my good warm work. If there is a bright side to any of this it is not smoking that’s making Bert so short-tempered. And that will pass. And Nelly – was this a depressing day for you? Not at all. I’m still buzzing from being a non-smoker of 10 months duration. That’ll do me for New Year resolutions for a decade.
Oh yes. Bert found Ploppy Pants eventually and the tractor (and builders) are going again.
The scene is a small shop in Harryville. Present are Mr Shopkeeper, Mrs Shopkeeper, a punter and Nelly. A conversation is taking place regarding a notice that has been placed prominently on the front door. This notice advises customers that they are not permitted to smoke within the shop premises.
Mrs Shopkeeper: “Wee Sandra printed it up. She was fed up and scunnered of people coming in and smoke going all up round her.”
Mr Shopkeeper: “Sure that’s the way it’ll be going - the same as down south. Nobody’ll be allowed to smoke in a place of work.”
Nelly: “Well I’m in agreement with that. And as well you’re selling food in here so nobody should be smoking at all.”
Punter: “Well I think yous have got a nerve.”
Mr Shopkeeper: “Why do you say that?”
Punter: “Cause yous sell cigarettes, don’t yous? On the one hand yous are selling them tay us and on the other, yous are saying we can’t smoke in yer shop!”
Mr Shopkeeper: “Aye, and the chemist next door would sell ye condoms. He’ll hardly be letting ye have sex in the shop, will he?”