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.

Monday, 17 June 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 78

You’ll recall, old Mrs Dixon’s fish shop is the final hurdle preventing Ed Sheeran building his theme park on the high street. Paul’s made himself unpopular with Ed, by dragging Mrs Dixon away from his glossy sale’s pitch, just as she looked ready to sign her property over to him. Gaynor however, remains very popular with Ed, despite spurning his advances in Nando’s a while ago, but that’s a different tale for another time. When we left the scene, old Mrs Dixon had vanished from the fish shop and Paul’s led Gaynor and Pixie Lott towards the coal yard, owned by Mrs Dixon’s on / off shag Jack, where he thinks she’s taken refuge. As they reach the gates, Jack’s stood guard brandishing a garden fork sentry style. ‘No chance’ snarls Jack when he sees them approach, ‘you three can just turn around and sod off home right now.’ ‘So is like old Mrs Dixon here init?’ questions Pixie, attempting to disarm Jack with her beautiful smile. As Pixie diverts Jack with her lady charm notched up to 10, Gaynor and Paul backtrack just out of sight. Gaynor stands on Paul’s back scrambling to the top of the high perimeter fence. There, with her famous Kestrel like vision, she can make out Mrs Dixon bound and gagged in the office. The team regroup to share their intelligence, Pixie says ‘Jack’s barking init’ she giggles, ‘he said like, there’s no way ‘that dickhead Sheeran,’ she impersonates Jack, ‘is like knocking the town down init, to build ‘a sodding funfair’ like’ she pauses to laugh, ‘the unbelievable bit like, he’s keeping Old Mrs Dixon prisoner init, until she comes to her senses like init.’ ‘Hmmm,’ thinks Paul aloud, ‘I think just for once, Jack and I see eye to eye. Nobody’s getting passed him, the town is safe. They all cheerily wave to Ed who’s briskly walking the other way towards the coal yard carrying an expensive bouquet. ‘For me Ed??’ shouts Gaynor flirtatiously after him.

Friday, 24 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 77

That night, Gaynor and Paul escort old Mrs Dixon to the fish shop door, reminding her to think long and hard about selling her shops to Ed Sheeran. Later over a few beers and Park Drive, Gaynor laughs that Paul will end up buried in the foundations of ‘Ed Sheeran World’, if he doesn’t stop acting as old Mrs Dixon’s conscience. ‘Nar,’ says Paul, ‘Ed’s more devious than murderous’ he laughs, ‘I suspect I’ll be called away on urgent business or something like that,’ he opens another bottle of beer. Sure enough, early next morning, Paul takes a call from a record company, claiming to be based in the Outer Hebrides. They’re desperate to meet him before he signs elsewhere! Can he set off immediately so they can discuss his future. ‘Sure’ Paul smiles to himself, ‘I’m on the way.’ He puts down the receiver and turns on the kettle. Four hours later when Gaynor and Pixie Lott get up, coughing over their first cigarettes, Paul recounts the details of the call. ‘Shit!! Init, OMG!! Ed’s really like serious isn’t he???’ says Pixie. ‘Deadly’ replies Paul, ‘we’d better get to old Mrs Dixon’s sharpish.’ However, two hours later, when the girls are ready, the fish shop is closed and there’s no sign of life in the upstairs flat. Across the road, Sheeran leans out of the tanning shop, ‘Where’s old Mrs Dixon today?’ ‘We’d better get to Jack’s coal yard’ whispers Paul to the girls and waving at Ed.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 76

There’s rumours in the village, Ed Sheeran is slowly buying up the high street shops, one by one, by one! Then what’s he going to do? Old Mrs Dixon who’s amassed her family’s fortune selling fish in the same location for generations, is keen to prevent Sheeran taking control of her beautiful village. ‘We saw this with Hitler in 1938’ she rants at Paul, who suggests in reply, that particular comparison is maybe a little unfair. However when it’s rumoured the wool shop is relocating to bigger premises, it’s Mrs Dixon who’s first to jump in and agree a quick cash purchase. Sheeran’s naturally furious to find out he’s missed out on the wool shop and knowing Mrs Dixon can neither be charmed nor intimidated into a sale, he arranges a private meet with her. Because Jack the coal man is so volatile and will rip Sheeran’s heart out and eat it for no good reason, Mrs Dixon asks Paul to accompany her and in turn, Paul asks Gaynor to patrol the perimeter, given she scares the Bejesus out of Ed and his gang. At the meeting in the staff room at Tanfastic, Sheeran candidly reveals his plans for ‘Ed Sheeran World’ a high end family theme park, plus a small supermarket and several posh Sheeran themed restaurants, completely remodelling the high street. Paul becomes worried that old Mrs Dixon is being seduced by the bling of Ed’s fancy presentation, especially when the last drawing shows ‘Dixon’s Fresh Fish’ as a supermarket concession bearing a Waitrose symbol. To all, her weakness for bling is apparent, so Paul calls Gaynor and together they usher Mrs Dixon from the building before she agrees to anything rash. Paul thanks Ed for his time and has the door closes, Sheeran turns to his gangland associate LJ smiling, ‘Look and learn my son, look and learn. We’ve landed the fishy old strumpet,’ he laughs, ‘we just need to separate her from the one armed get and it’s systems go!’ ‘Init like boss’ replies LJ.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 75

Gaynor can’t help but laugh about the first time she met the local vicar. He’d only recently moved to the village with his wife Pippa, a new start and his first parish. After settling in at the vicarage, the Bishop called on the new recruit, ‘C’mon, let’s go and meet the savages at the Dog & Gun.’ Upon entering the lounge bar, the Bishop clocked Gaynor and Paul and the introductions were made. ‘Aw he looked so clean and respectable’ remembers Gaynor, ‘you’d have never of thought it was the same stinky, obnoxious cockeyed skid mark we now all know and avoid,’ she laughs. ‘He seemed so committed to his wife’ recalls Paul. ‘Heavens knows what switched inside him, within weeks of moving here he’d stole Gaynor’s underwear from the washing line and modelled it for the Parochial Church Council! ‘Yeh, I battered him after that’ continues Gaynor, ‘he said it was his first black eye,’ she adds with pride. ‘Most people go a bit mad when they meet Gaynor’ laughs Paul. ‘Like who??’ protests Gaynor ‘I’m dead normal,’ causing Paul to laugh even more. ‘What about Big Dave the Blacksmith and Terry the Hod Carrier,’ suggests Paul, ‘will they ever be the same again? he questions. ‘Weirdos!! The pair of them’ she replies dismissively.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 74

Paul’s napping in the living room, he’s one eye on an old war film and he’s balancing a cold cup of tea on his left knee. Over the noise of the telly, he hears the front door slam and the collective sound of an excited Gaynor and Pixie Lott approaching. ‘Paul! Paul! Paul! Can we get a dog??’ they chime together. With every intention of saying ‘no’, he plays along momentarily. ‘Not one of those awful rats that poo in your handbag that you dress up with ribbons and bows?’ he smiles. ‘Course not’ laughs Gaynor, ‘Big Dave the Blacksmith, his dog’s had puppies and he’s only two left! Pleeeeaaase Paul, they’re so cute!’ ‘Hang on a minute’ interrupts Paul, ‘Dave’s dog? That’s one of those big nasty things that belongs on a list somewhere, it’s chased old Mrs Dixon down the high street a couple of times!’ the girls stifle their laughter. ‘C’mon Paul init,’ says Pixie, ‘it’ll be a great like guard dog init’ she smiles. ‘It may have slipped your attention Pixie’ replies Paul wearily, ‘but I’ve cock all worth stealing. The vicar’s sold everything not nailed down and we’d be sat on the floor if it wasn’t for the generosity of Mr and Mrs Superkings over the road,’ he gestures through the window towards the Superkings residence. ‘Paul, we’ll pay for the food! we’ll feed it and take it for walks, won’t we Pixie??’ pleads Gaynor, Pixie nods in agreement and both girls smile, just like in the millions of selfies they post. A week later, it’s 5am, raining and Paul’s out on the field before the early shift at Kwik Save. ‘Morning Paul’ says Mr Superkings with his Red Setter, ‘didn’t know you’re in the dog club, shitty weather isn’t it?’ ‘Hi Keith’ replies Paul ‘Meet ‘Fang’, apparently walking him is just the exercise I need,’ he laughs ‘I don’t know how I get talked into these things!’

Monday, 20 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 73

Paul’s reading up on how to make the best use of social media to promote WM. In all the guides, it recommends asking questions, that’s a guarantee of interaction with your followers, it says. ‘Hhhmmm’ thinks Paul ‘what would Gaynor ask? She’d probably say something like ‘Why did you wake me up? I dunno? Just make sure it’s something cool, don’t go showing me up again, y’know I don’t like you writing about me on FB.’ Paul takes a long Gaynor style drag on his biro and chuckles to himself. The local vicar is a good source of material he thinks, though it would be something really creepy like, ‘Are you wearing underwear?’ Only old Mrs Dixon the fishmonger would be happy to broadcast about her underwear, or lack of it on the internet he muses. ‘Goin’ Commando!!!!!’ he can hear her shout down the high street. ‘Best to keep it uncontentious for the first post’ he thinks and types ‘Who else on here thinks the Beatles are overrated??’ He presses post and stands well back.

Friday, 17 May 2019

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 72

It’s 24 hours later and the village is awash with Chinese whispers. When Gaynor arrives at the Dog & Gun, there’s a crowd of people there waiting to buy her drinks and tabs so she’ll share the story. ‘Well, I never would have guessed it’ Gaynor says, ‘I mean, Jet Wash Jim! A serial killer!’ A shocked gasp rises from the assembled throng. ‘In the written confession he left’ she solemnly continues, ‘he says he contributed to numerous untimely deaths, by failing to properly clean the garden paths and driveways of his clients, thus causing them to slip and......’ she silently runs a finger across her throat, eliciting further amazement from the congregation. ‘Bloody hell’ says Paul, genuinely shocked ‘and all those years, I thought he was just your typical substandard English workman! Not a criminal mastermind! Tell us about the skulls Gaynor!’ Gaynor lights another Park Drive and takes long slow drag, ‘They certainly put the willies up Pixie’’ she laughs thinking of Pixie Lott opening the metal box in Jim’s cellar, ‘but they aren’t real, in the daylight you can see they’re just shitty Halloween tat.’ ‘But where’s the bloody money Gaynor!!! the local vicar almost shouts across the table. He’s really gutted he’s missed all the action. ‘Well, in his letter, Jim said there was nothing left’ says Gaynor, ‘he became addicted to sex chat telephone lines and spent the evenings talking dirty to some woman who’s probably more decrepit than old Mrs Dixon. ‘I take exception to that remark!!!!’ shouts old Mrs Dixon stood at the bar. ‘And the old battle lines are resumed’ smiles Paul opening a packet of cheese and onion and moving seats to avoid the line of fire.