Tuesday, 29 January 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

Once the phone had cracked open my dreams this morning, it was the smell of fresh bacon that kept me awake. That’s not to say I didn’t want to bury my nose deeper into my pillow, but I could not stop myself drooling over the smell of fried porker rising from the kitchen. My loyalties were split. My pillow damp. My dreams still tangible. I knew I could return to them if only the noise and smell would recede. I could be back in the lesser reality where I’d been wearing a loincloth and wresting a cobra in some faraway place where men with the Madeley surname are normally christened Conan. In the greater reality of everyday life, however, those same men enjoy ripping into bacon, their dentures be damned! This was the only reassurance I had. Dreams or reality: I knew I’d be doing something manly.

I was still chewing on the hard gristle of this dilemma when the bedroom door opened and Judy set the floorboards loose with her heavy tread.

‘It’s somebody called Tarbuck for you,’ she said, pulling back the duvet and exposing my naked flanks to the sunlight.

I shrivelled like Christopher Lee naked on a sunbed. On second thoughts, scrub that bit about Christopher Lee naked on a sunbed. It’s an image with which we’d be unwise to start the week. I suggest you replace it with a picture of uncurled mimosa under drops of spring rain. It has the advantage of added freshness and significantly less droop.

‘Tell them I’ll call them back,’ I muttered as I rolled over and sought dragons to smite.

Judy just took my hand and wrapped it around the handset.

‘Talk to the man,’ she hissed. She sounded quite cobra-like and was lucky I didn’t swing a keen edged blade at her head. Decisive action tends to be the way of all men called Conan or Madeley.

‘Speak mortal,’ I said, and by this you might guess that I was still a bit befuddled by sleep.

‘Hello? Richard?’ said a voice. ‘It’s Jimmy.’

‘Jimmy?’ I repeated. My mind grabbed the two names I’d been handed and shoved them manfully together. I was surprised by the result. ‘Jimmy Tarbuck?’

‘The very same. Now listen here, my old mucker. Those of us still up here in lovely Liverpool miss you and Judy enormously. We still drink to your health at the Dog and Duck near the Albert Dock, and your picture still hangs on the wall of the snug.’

‘Does it really?’

‘It does,’ he replied. ‘Though, to be honest, Richard, your mugshot got a bit shabby since Stan Boardman bought himself a new set of darts. He never misses now. But listen… We were talking about giving you and your good lady wife a very special opportunity on this fine day in January.’

I rolled over onto my back. I find it’s the best place to take advantage of very special opportunities on fine days in January. It’s also the best position from which to pick fluff from your navel. ‘And what opportunity would that be?’ I said as I flicked a small bail of cotton from between my fingertips.

‘A chance to do some good,’ said Tarby. ‘Listen, I can’t talk about it on the phone. Hush-hush and all that but we’re on our way to London and we could easily drop in to see you.’

‘Sure, sure,’ I said and my hand also moved south to put a parting in my hair down there to match the one upstairs. ‘You know you’re always welcome, Jimmy.’

Judy wasn’t so sure when I mentioned it to her over breakfast. ‘I thought I recognised that voice,’ she said. ‘I don’t know why I didn’t think gap-toothed Scouse comedian.’

‘That’s probably because you’ve forgotten your roots, my girl,’ I replied. ‘You also wanted to move away from the north. You never liked it in Liverpool, whereas I still wear my love for the city on my sleeve.’

‘That’s not actually true, is it, Richard?’ she scolded. ‘You were the one who said that London would be better for our careers. You were also the one who scuttled Fred Talbot in our back garden because you said he’d defile the Thames.’

‘As well you know, Judy, that’s not been proved. But I was right about London being good for our careers. And I’m right about this too. Men like Tarbuck know a thing or two about bank balances. If he’s got an opportunity for us, I expect we’ll double our fortune in weeks.’

She looked at me and shook her head. ‘Well if we’re going to have guests, I suggest you do up your fly or comb your hair.’

I did both, numerous times, during the anxious wait before the taxi arrived at half past one. The three figures that piled out the back were all familiar in one way or another. The rotund guy in a blazer was known to us all as Tarbuck, though behind him was a thinner man in a suit that didn’t quite fit.

‘Look who that is behind Tarby,’ said Judy, peering through a gap in the curtains.

I looked again. ‘Dear lord!’ I gasped, recognising the jacket thick with shimmering sequins. ‘Is it Doddy? And if I’m not mistaken, isn’t that Cilla behind them?’

Judy let out a squeal of delight. ‘Oh, it is!’ she said and rushed to the front door to greet the three most famous Liverpudlians who aren’t called Ringo or suffer an allergy to wooden shanks.

‘Surprise, surprise,’ screamed Cilla as soon as she saw me in the hall.

‘Hello Cilla,’ I said and bent low to kiss her cheek. ‘I hope you’re well.’

‘Course I am, chuck,’ she replied but became distracted by a commotion coming from upstairs.

‘Save my manuscripts before you save yourselves!’ cried Stephen Fry, suddenly appearing on the landing. His face was white with fright, though he flushed slightly as soon as he saw five of the nation’s top celebrities staring up at him. ‘Somebody did shout fire, didn’t they?’ he asked.

‘Calm yourself, Stephen. It’s just Cilla,’ I said as Liverpool’s favourite daughter began to wipe her lipstick from my cheek. I couldn’t blame him for his reaction. Fleeing to fire escapes is how most people react when experiencing a visit from Cilla without adequate warning.

‘Ah,’ said Stephen, giving a dark look towards the woman he’s still not forgiven for her behaviour at our last Christmas party. ‘Well, if you want me,’ he said, retreating a step, ‘I’ll be in my room teaching myself Urdu.’

I had to smile at the poor man’s cameo in this tale. Urdu indeed!

‘Hello Dick,’ said Jimmy Tarbuck, suddenly with his arm around my shoulder. ‘You’re looking fitter than a Korean’s whippet. You know Ken, don’t you?’

‘I think we’ve met a few times,’ I replied, shaking the King of the Diddymen by his tickling stick.

‘And it is a quite splendiferous moment to be meeting you, Sir Dick,’ said Doddy. ‘Very exciting. Very exciting indeed. In fact, it makes me want to shove a bag of flour down my pants and say “how’s this for self raising?” By George! Do you know how tickled I am? I’m so tickled that my chuckle muscle’s got lodged behind my joke junction. That’s half a titter above my mirth mound.’

‘I won’t ask about that,’ I replied as Judy began to lead us all into the main room. She and Cilla immediately broke away, leaving me to talk with the two funniest men in Liverpool.

‘So,’ I said, ‘can you finally tell me about this opportunity you’re so excited about?’

Tarbuck grinned, the gap in his teeth such a happy reminder of the harbour gates at Albert Dock.

‘Do you like ventriloquism, Richard?’ he asked.

‘Who doesn’t?’ I said in reply. And, indeed: who doesn’t?

‘Who indeed,’ smiled Doddy who waved his feather duster in delight. ‘How lucky we are! How lucky we are, ladies and gentlemen! I always say a good ventriloquist is like a good wife. You don’t see the best ones moving their lips.’

I gave Ken a questioning on your behalf before I thought to take the conversation into a twenty first century free of comic misogynism.

‘But this is so strange that you ask me about this,’ I said. ‘Only last night I watched a film set in the world of ventriloquism. It was called “Dead Silence” and was about old ventriloquist came back from the dead to haunt her killers with her reanimated puppets.’

‘Well, this has got nothing to do with reanimated corpses entertaining us with magic,’ said Jimmy. ‘We’re here to meet Paul Daniels.’

‘Not Paul Daniels, famous assistant to the lovely Debbie McGee?’

‘The very same. He’s organising the Variety Club’s 2008 appeal.’

‘Charity?’ I said, my hopes taking a slump.

‘Ah, but this year it’s not just charity for the children,’ said Doddy. ‘Heavens no! This year we’re helping one of our own. Keith Harris needs our help.’

‘It isn’t easy being green,’ I muttered, giving a shiver.

For those of you not in the know, Keith Harris would be the UK’s most respected ventriloquist had he not allied himself with the world’s most irritating puppet. His career is based around the pitiful sight of a small green bird, of indistinct gender and breed, who wears a large nappy and talks in an irritating voice.

‘That’s right,’ said Jimmy. ‘We’ve asked Keith to lead this year’s campaign and we were hoping to give him career a bit of a boost while we’re at it.’

‘And that,’ added Ken, ‘is the reason we have come south. We want you and Mrs. Madeley to have Keith on your show next week.’

‘I doubt if we could do that,’ I said. ‘Channel 4 audiences are quite sophisticated. Besides, we’re running the Richard&Judy Puppies in Woollens competition.’

‘Are you sure about that?’ asked Tarby.

It didn’t take me a moment to reconsider. If I’d learned any lesson from ‘Dead Silence’, it was that ventriloquists are a breed of men and women who take offence at the slightest thing and are more than capable of launching a killing spree from beyond the grave. ‘Hypothetically speaking,’ I replied, ‘do you think Keith Harris would ever come back and haunt the people who’ve mocked Orville over the years?’

‘I’m sure that he would,’ said Jimmy. ‘He’s suffered a lifetime of abuse from audiences, which is why we want to set things right. I’m sure there’s not a ventriloquist alive that would be as justified if he sought out his bloody revenge on his tormentors.’

‘Then count us in,’ I said. ‘Like I’ve always said, Judy and I are proud to call ourselves two of the biggest Keith Harris and Orville fans in the country.’

‘How tittyfalarious!’ cried Dodd. ‘I’m over the moon with nincombobulation. I’m like the blind midget in the lady’s sauna. It’s not how I look like but how I feel…’

‘Smashing,’ said Jimmy.

‘You’ve what?’ asked Judy in the kitchen ten minutes later.

I explained about my fears of being haunted by the ghost of Orville.

‘It’s perfect,’ I said. ‘Who better to judge dogs in woollens than a man whose made his career with a green duck in a nappy? And it saves me the trouble of writing to all the viewers who complain that I chose the wrong dog.’

‘You’ve lost it this time,’ said Judy. ‘I thought you’d hit bottom when you stopped wearing underpants. But this…’

‘Surprise! Surprise!’ said Cilla, barging her way into the kitchen. ‘Everything alright, chucks?’

I put on my best smile and carried two coffees into the front room. Things, I knew, would indeed be alright…


Selena Dreamy said...

I could be back in the lesser reality where I’d been wearing a loincloth and wresting a cobra in some faraway place where men with the Madeley surname are normally christened Conan...

Yep! That's one thing we have in common; except I want to be naked, and it's got to be a Grizzly-Bear!

rilly super said...

Richard, proceed with caution old chap. The merest mention of that pair brings to mind that early Anthony Hopkins film where he learnt his trademark not-very nice-man-at-all persona from a dummy called fats

my husband just thinks Harris and Orville are a country and western duo, the man's got no culture, sigh

Richard Madeley said...

Selena, for once, your comment leaves me without reply. Wresting naked with a grizzy bear is far too European for this blog. Mind you, there was that female Conan film. What was it called? 'Red Selena'?

Rilly, I've not seen that film. I'll have to search it out. I do think that there's a film script in this. The idea of seeing a blood soaked Orville going on a rampage is, I think, box office gold.

Jerry Caesar said...

That Doddy is a comic genius. Every line a gem, not a word wasted - the man must be writing jokes in his dreams.

Anonymous said...

Fucking Cilla Black. Even when i was 10 i hated her.

Then i read Dostoevsky and realised she was the Devil.

Mopsa said...

I love the blog post title. That pillock on Beeb2 with the handlebar moustache will be going red.

Anonymous said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

Anonymous said...

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真, 免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,