Monday, 27 January 2020

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 88

Thursday night has become Gaynor’s dancing night. The local vicar’s first to notice the Gaynor shaped impression on the sofa. ‘Where’s thingy’ he says, ‘she’s always there!’ And he’s right! About this time, they’ll watch ‘Crossroads’ together and sing along with the theme music. Afterwards he’ll call her ‘Miss Diane’ and act like Benny, all coy and awkward like. He even bought a pigging woolly hat. On the same day, Paul notices the living room isn’t cluttered with empty beer bottles and the ash trays aren’t full. Though nothing fully registers until he meets with JK Rowling later in the Dog & Gun. She innocently asks, ‘How are Gaynor’s dancing classes doing?’ ‘Our Gaynor?’ he replies, ‘I don’t think she’s danced since the Membranes were accidentally booked to play the Women’s Institute Xmas Dinner’ he laughs. ‘She pogoed all night’ he smiles at the memory, ‘she was the only one mind.’ ‘Dancing??’ exclaims the vicar to Paul later, ‘has she told you?’ he asks. ‘No’ replies Paul, ‘she’s probably forgotten that’s all, remember when she.....’ ‘Nar’ says the vicar, quickly checking where his wristwatch would be, if he hadn’t sold it.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 87

Paul’s enjoyed having Skinner & T’witch around. Steve Skinner’s taught Paul the ‘F’ chord on the guitar, the one he couldn’t quite master previously. Now they’re busy planning a grand finale for their joint shows in Halifax and Stockport. Meanwhile, at the tarot reading for Pixie Lott, the show is underway and Madame Sandra’s skilfully convincing her client, her interpretation of these medieval playing cards is a plausible way of predicting the future. However, the girls almost leap from their skins when the small caravan becomes alive with ghostly voices and laments. The voices claim to come from the spirit world and solemnly call for Pixie to take back Ed Sheeran as her lover. The first spirit is closely followed by a competitor, who recommends that Pixie should have at least a one night stand with the local vicar, sharpish too, because he’s not getting any younger. It doesn’t take Gaynor long to establish Sheeran and the vicar are under the van, shouting through the rusted sections of its floor panel. With a cry of ‘Achtung!!! Below!!!’ she flushes the leaky chemical toilet, seemingly returning the voices to the spirit world, amid a volley of expletives and groans. ‘Madame Sandra!’ shouts the vicar covered in the contents of the chemical toilet, ‘what does my future hold?’ ‘A hot bath with a strong carbolic soap’ replies Sandra, holding her nose.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 86

You’ll recall Skinner & T’witch have arrived in the village and Gaynor’s escorting a mega excited Pixie Lott to a tarot reading with Madame Sandra T’witch. When the girls arrive at Paul’s house, Sandra’s in the middle of the street, squaring up to old Mrs Dixon the fishmonger. Dixo’s peed off because Sandra’s battered caravan is blocking the rear entrance to the shop, ‘I don’t care if you put a curse on me, you stinky old witch’ yells old Mrs Dixon, ‘I’ll stick your clothes pegs up your arse, if you don’t shift that wreck’ and off she scuttles to find reinforcements. ‘Sandra!!!’ shouts Gaynor from the end of the street, killing herself laughing because just for once, it’s not her that’s causing ‘a scene’. Fifteen minutes later, the introductions are made and the three ladies are sat round the table of the tiny caravan. Outside the sound of Skinner’s Spanish guitar fills the air, whilst an envious Ed Sheeran watches on for tips on tuning. ‘Choose three cards darling’ croons Sandra to Pixie, spreading the Tarot deck face down across the table. ‘Oh you’re such a beautiful girl, isn’t she Gaynor?’ Sandra glances across the table and Gaynor nods back whilst opening three bottles of blue WKD and lighting the same number Park Drive. ‘Remember sweetheart’ Sandra says reassuringly, taking a cigarette from Gaynor, ‘If you choose the death card, it can mean a new beginning for you, so don’t worry if that’s amongst them, my love.’ Pixie hands her cards to Sandra and giddily laughs to Gaynor, ‘Shit like init, I’ve not been this nervous in like forever init.’ Sandra slowly turns each card and places them on the formica table top. ‘WAIT!’ shouts Sandra suddenly, ‘who is that man!!’ she points behind them. Gaynor and Pixie spin round to see the local vicar with his nose pressed up against the caravan window. ‘It’s only the vicar’ says Gaynor, ‘he can smell a fag from miles away.’ She hands him a fag and tells him to do one. ‘Right’ says Sandra.

Monday, 28 October 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 85

It’s early Saturday evening, Gaynor and Pixie Lott are propping up the bar at the Dog & Gun, planning a big night out culminating at ‘Snoggers’ nightclub. Enter Paul from the saloon bar, keen to share his news, ‘Gaynor, Gaynor! Sandra and Steve are coming to stay and play some gigs with us!’ he says excitingly. ‘Not bleeding Skinner & T’witch!’ scowls Gaynor wearily. ‘They aren’t bringing that bloody stinky caravan are they? Last time they were here,they stunk the street out with that awful chemical toilet.’ In response to Pixie’s questioning look, Gaynor, lighting a Park Drive explains. ‘They’re a right pair of old hippies that Paul’s known since 1066! Sandra, or ‘Madame Sandra’ as she likes to be called’ adopting her plummiest tones, ‘acts like she’s of Royal descent or something. Really she’s just a clapped out old fortune teller and spiritualist who uses Tarot cards!’ ‘No way like init’ exclaims Pixie excitedly. ‘Yeh’ continues Gaynor, ‘and Steve, god bless him, I don’t how or why he puts up with her? ‘Steve’s a great songwriter,’ adds Paul for Pixie’s sake. ‘Yeh! He’s miles better than you’ cackles Gaynor hurtfully. ‘C’mon Gaynor init’ says Pixie vividly, ‘I wanna have my fortune like told by stuck up Madame Sandra init,’ her eyes are wild with the romance of tall dark strangers and good luck, just out of sight, over the horizon. ‘Suppose so,’ says Gaynor, ‘it’s a load of old bollocks’ and she pulls heavily on her cigarette, ‘but she does put on a good show, Mike!’ she hollers across the bar, ‘ten, no a dozen blue WKD’s to go and thirty Park Drive.’ ‘Taking it easy tonight Gaynor?’ laughs Mike.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 84

During those first cold weeks of Autumn, Paul and JK Rowling become friends. They meet in the Dog & Gun regularly and chat about their love of books and music and there’s never enough time. Gaynor keeps a watchful eye out and if she’s not too drunk by the time Paul gets home to make her tea, she’ll scold him with warnings not to tell her too much! ‘If you’re not careful, Daniel bloody Radcliffe will be acting out your life story as an eleven year old wizard’ she cautions, lighting a Park Drive. The local vicar feels he’s missed his chance with Joanne. He initially thought he’d scored, she complimented the fragrance of his High Karate and seemed delighted with his story of mixing cocktails using leftover aftershaves. However, he thought she was too quick to decline his offer to mix up a Long Island Iced Tea using Paco Rabanne. She seemed keen to get away and speak to gatecrashers old Mrs Dixon the fishmonger and her on / off titbit, Jack the coal man. ‘’Paco’ only makes you cough a little,’ the vicar called after her reassuringly. Gaynor and Joanne have said little to each other since being thrown together again, perhaps they’re both keen to let the past lie in it’s dusty grave. However whenever’s Paul’s out of earshot, Gaynor will mimic him ‘Joanne said this, Joanne said that’ to Pixie Lott and roll her eyes.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 83

Ed Sheeran and his gangland associate LJ, are hanging out in the office at Ed’s tanning shop, ‘Tanfastic’. LJ says ‘Y’know Boss, I reckon there’s nobody like I can’t batter in the village innit,’ ‘Really?’ replies Sheeran putting down his paperback with interest, ‘What about Jack the coal man? He’s a psycho with a couple of ‘Don Revie’s’ inside him and he did batter us BOTH at Jet Wash Jim’s the other week,’ he recalls. ‘He DID have like help though innit’ replies LJ, ‘If it was one on one, I’d just get him like this’ he demonstrates his moves for Ed. ‘Interesting’ sniggers Ed, ‘what about Big Dave the Blacksmith? He soon pinned you down at church when you wanted to batter the big mouthed vicar.’ ‘Took me by surprise innit, both him and Terry the Hod Carrier are big blokes, but they’re outta shape like. I’d would like kill them both otherwise innit’ he karate chops the desk several times. ‘Ok then’ says Ed, ‘so you reckon you can batter Gaynor?’ ‘Innit’ replies LJ. ‘I’m sorry?’ questions Ed, ‘does ‘innit’ mean yes or no? I can call Gaynor now to see if she fancies a scrap?’ ‘Innit’ says LJ again, unable to make eye contact with Ed.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 82

Paul’s still wetting the bed over the excitement of the last few weeks. First, he found out Harry Potter author, JK Rowling’s moving to his street! Second, she’s only invited him and his friends to lunch! The local vicar is quickly reading the Potter novels, despite previously condemning them and their pagan themes. Forever in pursuant of a meal ticket, he’s confessed to Gaynor, that if Joanne makes a lunge at him when she’s tanked up, that he won’t knock her back, despite her being a little longer in the tooth than his usual type. ‘I’m sure she’ll be desperate to get a man of your calibre in the sack’ encourages Gaynor, looking forward to the potential car crash this luncheon may promise. Over at the Rowling mansion, Joanne’s in Death Eater mode, placing several secret listening devices around the room,so she doesn’t miss any of the fantastic tales her guests may divulge during their stay. Gaynor already knows Joanne of old and what a story stealing scumbag she can be. So in cahoots with Pixie Lott, she’s prepared several wacky storylines, cobbled together ‘Just to have a bit of fun with the plagiarising old mare,’ Gaynor smiles, passing Pixie a Park Drive. At that point the vicar walks in wearing so much High Karate it causes the girls to cough. ‘Is it too much?’ asks the vicar. ‘Actually like’ reflects Pixie for a moment, ‘I thought you’d already drunk all your aftershave?’

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 81

It must be a month later when JK Rowling settles in her new home. The neighbours seem lovely, there’s Clive and Debbie Superkings next door and in the little shabby house at the end of the street, the fat one armed bloke who wears a toupee, Pete or Paul something, who takes in lodgers. Things take an interesting turn however, when Joanne clocks the unmistakable gait of her old roomie Gaynor, still strutting down the street like bloody BeyoncĂ© Knowles. Gaynor’s accompanied by a tall blonde girl who could be Pixie Lott and trailing behind them are a tatty drunken vicar and Ed Sheeran??? Yes it’s Ed bloody Sheeran!! For the first time in months, Joanne is genuinely excited. Gaynor was always ‘writers gold’ in the old days. If Joanne ever hit writers block, it was the ‘real life adventures of Gaynor’ that help finish the chapter. Clearly, if Gaynor’s now hanging with such noted celebrities, her adventures must be twice as exciting than those in the past. I bet she’s got a least a mini series of stories to tell me she smirks to her clever self. She must arrange a soirĂ©e pronto she thinks, a luncheon perhaps so she can get rid of everyone early and then get to work producing her next best seller. She cackles to herself, just like Lord Voldemort.

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 80

Paul’s walking to the early shift at Kwik Save. As he passes Clive Superkings’ house, Clive calls him over with some exciting news. Later that day, Paul announces in the Dog & Gun, ‘Guess what? The Harry Potter author, JK Rowling’s only moving into the abandoned Georgian villa on OUR street!’ As the excitement dies down, Gaynor looking distinctly unimpressed mutters, ‘She owes me dearly, that girl.’ 'Who’s that dear?’ asks Paul. ‘Joanne bleedin’ Rowling!’ she replies, lighting a Park Drive and calling for hush. ‘It was the early ‘80’s’ she starts, poking the local vicar hard in the ribs to shut him up. Gaynor recalls how she met Joanne whilst working as a security guard at C & A, they’d shared a flat for a while. Outside work, Gaynor had her music and ballet classes and Joanne, her writing. ’Harry was one of my dancing teachers’ says Gaynor, ‘Joanne fancied the pants off him, but no matter how she tried to seduce him, he wasn’t interested in her.’ ‘Harry’s driving me potty’ the silly cow kept saying,’ laughs Gaynor, impersonating JK’s whinging voice. ‘So I said, there’s a name for the hero in your new book, ‘Harry Potty’. Gaynor then goes on for some time, suggesting that some of the storylines and plot twists, now immortalised in the Potter series, originated from her. ‘Even my bloody nickname at ballet class, ‘Bella La Strange!!!’ ended up in those bloody books!!’ ‘I never asked the cow for a penny,’ she slowly looks each of them in the eye, ‘even when the red tops came knocking, digging for dirt on her, I never said a pigging word.’ The vicar laughs, ‘Bella La Strange???’ Why have I never thought of that one? Anyway, have I told you about the time I met Charles Dickens on the way to Scarborough?’ ‘Who’s like Charles Dickens init?’ asks Pixie Lott.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 79

Mrs Patel next door, has decided to follow a plant based diet for the well being of the planet. Paul’s so impressed, he decides to follow suit, ‘After all,’ he thinks, ‘I’m not getting younger and the health benefits seem immense.’ As the house cook, he announces that after today’s rag pudding and chips, all meals will be meat and animal produce free. The local vicar is quick to express his outrage, ‘I don’t pay my ruddy rent to be fed bloody rabbit food!!!’ he snarls. Paul laughs sarcastically in reply, ‘You pay rent?? I’m glad you’ve remembered’ he pretends to tot up the many outstanding payments on his five stubby fingers. ‘What do you think Gaynor?’ the vicar looks for support from the semi-slumbering girl curled up on the sofa. In reply, Gaynor lifts a Park Drive to her lips and mutters ‘Yeh, whatever’ with her usual nap time disinterest. However, at lunchtime the following day, when Gaynor and Pixie Lott surface for their brunch, Gaynor requests in between bouts of her smokers cough, ‘A bacon sandwich for me Paul, nice and crispy with just a suggestion of brown sauce.’ ‘Sorry Gaynor,’ says Paul, ‘no meat remember? I’ve a beautiful mushroom recipe I got from the lending library if you fancy that?’ he adds hopefully. ‘Nar, save it for the do-gooders down the Church Paul’ she replies, ‘I’ll stick with a good old liquid lunch’ and pours a large slug of peach Thunderbird.