Friday, 14 December 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 53

With 4 weeks of the school summer holiday already gone and the excitement of the World Cup and Wimbledon long forgotten, boredom has plumbed to such depths, that Gaynor and Pixie Lott have volunteered to help around the house. ‘There’s always the cellar to clean up’ says Paul smiling, ‘I get you both a couple of ciders, if you do a decent job’ he offers. ‘We’re on it’ declares Gaynor, pushing a reluctant Pixie towards the cellar door. However, Pixie soon discovers gold in the cellar, when she unearths a bundle of letters tied with a ribbon. ‘Who’s Elizabeth?’ she asks. ‘That’s Paul’s great auntie Betty.’ replies Gaynor, ‘this was her house, she left it to Paul in her will.’ The two girls sit down and read the correspondence dating back two generations, breathing life into a love story long forgotten by all. The writer of the letters was James Blackheart, a sea captain who fished the waters close to the village. In the letters, Blackheart tells of his courageous and romantic adventures on the high seas, each letter ending with an expression of his burning desire to return home and give his Elizabeth a good fettling. The tone of the last letter is different though, when Blackheart admits to Auntie Betty, his infidelity with a young woman who works at the fishmongers. ‘Old Mrs Dixon like!!’ gasps Pixie, referring to the saucy old mare who’s ran the fish shop forever. ‘It can’t be!!’ says Gaynor snorting with laughter at Pixie’s assumption. After quickly adding up the decades that have passed since the date of the letter, Gaynor concludes with astonishment, ‘She’s never that old!!’ though there’s uncertainty in her voice.

Friday, 7 December 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 52

Gaynor and Paul are walking to the Dog & Gun, for their usual lunchtime pint. ‘Paul, if we see Terry the hod carrier in the pub’ says Gaynor, ‘I was with you last night, alright?’ Paul chuckles, ‘Oh dear, is he still bothering you?’ ‘Yeh’ replies Gaynor, her Park Drive elegantly dangling from her mouth, ‘I mean, how many excuses does a girl have to give, before the penny finally drops with men? I’m NOT interested Terry!’ she says in a supposedly Neanderthal style, to add emphasis to its simplicity. ‘So what did we do last night then? enquires Paul, ‘Lacrosse? Taxidermy? Reenactment of the Battle of Agincourt?’ He fires an imaginary longbow towards the French lines. ‘Oh I see’ smiles Gaynor, ‘I told him we were rehearsing.’ ‘Blood and sand!!’ exclaims Paul, ‘Rehearsing!!!! That’s about has credible as telling him you’re washing your hair!’ ‘That’s what I told Big Dave the Blacksmith!’ she laughs. ‘Bloody hell! I don’t know how you manage to maintain this web of lies and deceit’ he snakes his head, smiling. ‘It’s genetic coding y’see, Paul’ she explains, briefly stopping to look at the new range of Italian causals in Dolcis shop window. ‘Whilst nature intends men to be attracted to women, to continue the species,’ ‘Hmmmm’ acknowledges Paul. ‘Women are equally programmed, to piss you off and lie to you,’ she concludes, taking a long satisfying drag on her Park Drive. Paul reflects upon her statement only very briefly, ‘Gosh, you’re very wise Ms Wilson’ he says. ‘I know’ she replies, walking passed him as he holds the pub door open for her.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 51

Old Mrs Dixon who runs the village hall, bumps into Paul whilst he’s stacking shelves at Kwik Save one day. ‘I’m glad I’ve seen you’, she smiles ‘I’ve a favour to ask.’ It transpires she wants Paul to play Father Christmas at the children’s Christmas party this year, ‘You’re the only person we could think of with the correct physique’ she says, gently patting his tummy in fun. Whilst Paul’s aware his best years are already behind him, he’d sort of hoped he’d retained just a splinter of the edge and swagger of his youth. When he gets home, he spends a vain half hour looking in the mirror, desperately seeking the dangerously handsome young man, the errant swain of yesteryear, but he’s gone, packed up and fucked off to fat camp. He tells Gaynor of the gig he’s landed and asks if she’d like to be an Elf? ‘Yeh, if Pixie can be one too’ she nods at Pixie Lott who’s asleep on the sofa. ‘A one handed Santa?????’ scoffs the local vicar, who’s cutting his long discoloured toenails with Paul’s kitchen scissors, ‘Is this more government cuts?’ he sneers. ‘It’s making best and making do’ Paul replies with a smile, ‘Similar to your Nativity Play last year, when the kindergarten had the puking and pooing bug. You only had two wise men and Mary was a single mum.’ ‘Yuk, don’t remind me of those nasty germ ridden brats’ he shudders, thinking of the new school year only moments away.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 50

The Dog & Gun have asked Paul and Ed Sheeran if they’ll run an open mic night together, on Mondays. For Mike the landlord, it’s a no brainer, Ed will attract lots of beatboxing kids, with loop pedals and baby sized guitars, whereas Paul’s known to the older community, the dedicated blues and folk players. Initially Paul’s reluctant to work with Ed, given his recent history, but he’s soon carried along on the wave of excitement created by Gaynor and Pixie Lott, preparing their act for the inaugural event. However, on the first night, it’s apparent Ed wants no part in running the show and Paul’s left to set up the equipment for the acts, whilst Gaynor makes announcements (and some rude noises), over the microphone. Instead Sheeran holds court at the bar with several associates, the local vicar sycophantically creeping around the mob, making sure his Strongbow becomes part of Ed’s round. Utterly fed up with Sheeran’s behaviour, Gaynor calls him to the stage to perform. At first he waves his hand and shakes his head dismissively, he’s not interested. Gaynor however starts the audience chanting ‘Ed! Ed! Ed!’ He reluctantly gives in and smiling steps onto the small stage where his guitar is waiting for him. ‘Have you tuned it?’ he asks Paul, who equally fed up with him, walks away without answering, leaving Ed to the deafening chants ‘Ed! Ed! Ed!’ Sheeran panics, this is just like Glasto 2017!!!!! Why can’t he remember how to tune the guitar???? He’s had all those lessons with Paul!!!! Suddenly he wakes up in bed, the familiar yet repulsive sound of the vicar masturbating in the bottom bunk, introduces another day. ‘The same dream again’ he thinks...’what does it mean?’

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 49

Paul’s made homebrew for years, mostly wines of varying strengths, the main ingredient being the bountiful supply of rhubarb that grows wild in the garden. The local vicar’s very fond of the tipple he’s christened ‘The Plonker’s Plonk’ and he’ll make sommelier type notes on whether the poo and wee of the local cats and dogs, who soil the rhubarb regularly, is a benefit or otherwise to the final wine. ‘I can definitely detect the scent of ‘Pedigree Chum’ here’ he says passing a schooner to Gaynor, ‘maybe the delicate perfume of Kitekat as well?’ Gaynor knocks back the whole glass, takes a long drag on her Park Drive, before belching in a lady like manner and curling up to go back to sleep. ‘Ah! I see madam’ smiles the vicar ‘your belch of approval, I’ll make sure the vineyard are notified immediately of your kind words. I’m sure they’ll be delighted with those comments, maybe they’ll use them in their advertising?’ Gaynor opens one eye giving the vicar prior notice that evasive action will be required if he doesn’t shut his pie hole.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 48

The Bishop’s really looking forward to catching up on the golf course with his old university chum, Sir Charles Kay - Lied MP. So he’s pretty hacked off when he finds out his dopey secretary Miranda, has double booked him an appointment for a very high profile wedding interview on the same day. ‘Surely, a man in your position can delegate?’ roars Kay - Lied down the phone. 'Yes you’re right! I’ll see you there!’ exclaims the Bishop excitedly, after all, he’s senior management, why have a dog and bark yourself? However, after checking the various work rosters, his heart sinks upon realising only the local vicar is available to host the meeting for him. He attempts to rationalise the situation by asking himself these questions: 1.Can the vicar present a good impression of the Church, to encourage these young people to marry here and maybe become part of the congregation and bring their children in the future? 2.Can the vicar give this young couple the spiritual guidance they’ll need to lead a good Christian life? 'Hhhmmm’, he thinks for a moment, ‘There’s more chance of old Mrs Dixon the fishmonger keeping her knickers on, on a Friday night out!’

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 47

The local vicar has several enemies in the village. Collectively, the rich ladies who make up the Parochial Church Council are constantly out to get him, with their regular complaints to the Bishop regarding his conduct. This recent report is the Bishop’s favourite to date and he really must try and have a word with the vicar about it at some point. Sunday morning service: the vicar inexcusably ate a bacon and egg sandwich whilst dispensing the sacraments of holy communion. At times, he offered some parishioners a bite of his sandwich rather than the usual bread wafer. The congregation were clearly not impressed, despite his recommendation the sandwich included a mixture of both brown and red sauce, to cater for all tastes. He left the Church during the singing of the hymns to smoke cigarettes and drink canned lager with a wild looking woman who the vicar called ‘Gus’ or ‘Gaynor’ and is known to be some type of entertainer. This woman made threatening gestures to several members of the Parochial Church Council and she told us ‘to get back in the Church, vite! vite! raus! schell!’ When questioned about his actions, the vicar openly lied saying he was following new Church of England directives. He also said his attempts to feed everyone with one bacon and egg sandwich, was inspired by ‘Jesus’ fish and loaf miracle thingy', which his friend Gus found hilarious.

Monday, 26 November 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 46

Keith Superkings lives on the same street as Paul, in the ‘big house’ as Paul calls it. He likes Paul’s jaunty manner and they’ll often have a quick chat about the weather or local roadworks. In particular, Superkings and his wife Christine enjoy watching the comings and goings of the colourful characters who lodge with Paul. From their veranda they often witness the drunken vicar and the girl who looks like she needs a good wash, squabbling in the street over cider or fags and they’ll dine out on these stories when socialising. Superkings knows Paul doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, so whenever Christine decides she’d like a new sofa or a dining room table, he always asks Paul if he’d like the cast offs, which usually look brand new to Paul. One day, Superkings offers Paul a full size snooker table from his games room. Initially he thinks there’s nowhere to put it, however the local vicar gets very excited by this news and says he’ll put it in his room and throw out his bed if it won’t fit, after all he can keep his mattress and sleep on the snooker table when it’s not in use? Paul’s house is often full of strangers, but the thought of the vicar running a commercial pool hall from his bedroom, maybe that’s a step too far? So he politely reminds the vicar that half his room is let to Ed Sheeran and he’ll need Ed’s consent to throw out the bunk beds they share, thinking that’ll be the end of it. Later on whilst he’s watching ‘Countryfile’, he hears the vicar attempting to persuade Gaynor to swap rooms with Sheeran, so she can seize the opportunity of becoming his junior business partner. Paul doesn’t quite catch Gaynor’s reply over the noise of the telly, but it’s likely to be unprintable anyway.

Friday, 23 November 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 45

The local vicar has a beautiful baritone voice. It’s a real shame he’ll only properly sing, when he’s very drunk and everyone else has gone to bed. It’s always the old tunes he sings, the ones he claims his maternal grandmother taught him, those haunting melodies that lament the hardship of lost love and those taken from the world too soon. Sometimes Paul will hum the melody in bed, until sleep takes him away. Other nights, Gaynor’ll shout down the stairwell, ‘Shut it dickhead!’ and chuck one of her DM’s against the living room door, bringing his performance to an abrupt end. Surprisingly when in Church, the vicar has no such vigour about him. He’s like any other member of the congregation, staring at his shoes, mumbling along to ‘Thine be the Glory’, envying the dead and bored shitless waiting for the service to end.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 44

Gaynor and Pixie Lott are mooching around the local video rental shop, opposite Kwik Save. They’re surprised when they see Paul appear behind the counter. Apparently it’s another of Ed Sheeran’s investments and he’s asked Paul to cover some shifts whilst he finds more staff. ’Paul can you sub us for a video?’ asks Gaynor with one of her winning smiles. ‘Of course madam’ he replies formally, ‘which one of our many interesting and varied titles can I tempt you with tonight?’ ‘Driller Killer’ replies Gaynor casually, causing Pixie to drop the display copy of ‘My Fair Lady’. ‘Interesting choice madam’ comments Paul, ‘however remember your nightmares about Bill Sykes and his dog ‘Bullseye’ after watching ‘Oliver!’ ‘Perhaps Pixie’s choice is more appropriate?’ Gaynor and Pixie consult momentarily, ‘can you put ‘My Fair Lady’ in the ‘Driller Killer’ box?’ requests Gaynor, ‘I’ve a bet with the vicar you see.’ ‘VHS, Betamax or Laserdisc Madam?’ asks Paul.