Thursday, 18 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 22

Gaynor runs the Dog & Gun’s annual ‘day at the races’ trip. The dress code for gents is lounge suits and for the ladies, elegant summer frocks. There’s a full English served at the pub at 8am and the coach leaves for the races at 9am sharp! Mike, the pub landlord stocks the coach with brown ale and Gaynor leads the singing from the front of the coach, all the standards; ‘Mother Kelly’s Doorstep’, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ etc. For the ladies, there’s an unofficial prize for the most dazzling outfit and this year, it looks like Pixie Lott will romp home, given the gasp she elicits as she steps into the coach. Pixie was hoping to grab the seat next to fit Kevin, who works at Kwik Fit, however she’s disappointed to see Old Mrs Dixon from the fishmongers has already claimed that seat and is practically smothering the poor lad with her offers of rock salmon sandwiches and crab sticks. Gaynor does a final head count, as usual, just the local vicar is missing. In the distance she sees him turn the corner at Rumbelows and knowing he’s late, sprint down the high street towards the coach. As he reaches the twenty yard point, Gaynor instructs Barry the driver to move twenty yards up the road, a process that’s repeated at least twice, whilst those on the back seats make the ‘wanker’ sign, or give him a jolly wave goodbye.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 21

Paul’s writing a FB advert for a WM gig. He’s written how WM are ‘so looking forward to performing again at the Dog & Gun’ and ‘what a belting night it’ll be.’ ‘You say that about every gig’ sneers Gaynor lighting a Park Drive off the gas stove, ‘don’t you think that formula’s a little overdone?’ ‘It’s the music I’m concentrating on’ smiles Paul, ‘nobody reads these adverts anyway.’ Gaynor rummages in the back of the larder, pleased as punch when she unearths a bottle of Gold Label left over from Xmas, ‘Barley wine for breakfast’ she mutters, ‘Don’t mind if I do.’ ‘Anyway Paul’ she reconnects, ‘if nobody reads them, why bother in the first place?’ Ed Sheeran walks passed the kitchen window towards the wheelie bin clutching a handful of Marvin Gaye albums. ‘Why don’t you ask Ed, about creative writing?’ suggests Gaynor, ‘he’s got 18 million followers on FB.’ ‘Hmmmm’ replies Paul thinking aloud, ‘I hope he remembers to put those album sleeves in the paper and cardboard bin’ watching Sheeran like a hawk. ‘Shame’ sighs Gaynor.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 20

As we all know, Gaynor and Pixie Lott share a room at Paul’s house; it’s the master bedroom that overlooks the park. On the whole, the girls get on well, though Gaynor’s drunken snoring and Pixie’s nightmares, have been known to cause a little friction between them at times. Being marginally older than Pixie, Gaynor believes she is the responsible one and has created these room sharing rules. Rule 1 - in no circumstances can that underwear thieving lowlife pervert, the local vicar be permitted entry. ‘Even if he’s on fire and we’ve a room full of fire extinguishers!’ reinforces Gaynor. Rule 2 - no ‘entertaining’ guests after 11pm. Everyone needs their beauty sleep. ‘Especially, Paul’ says Gaynor laughing, ‘I think he must be part dog; poor sod seems to age 7 years every human year.’ Rule 3 - all leftover takeaway passes to common ownership after midnight and maybe eaten by either girl for breakfast or a late supper. Rule 4 - any item of clothing, shoes or accessories maybe loaned without notice to the owner (except Gaynor’s new sun frocks from Primarni).

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 19

Paul’s old band friend Julius, is in town for a few days and has threatened to visit to chat about auld lang syne. ‘Auld what???’ says Gaynor, opening a bottle Netto lager with her teeth. ‘Good times past’ explains Paul with a gleam in his eye. Gaynor decides to hang around, she’s seen some of Paul’s old band photographs and Julius was always the fit one. However, she’s disappointed when another ugly old man turns up and witters on about people she’s never met and nightclubs that closed before she was born. She notices, neither of them mention Angie, the beautiful girl Paul always talks about, who caused them to fall out and lose contact for far too many years. When there’s a break in the conversation, purely out of devilment Gaynor asks, ‘How’s Angie? You in touch at all?’ She adds an innocent smile and waits for a reaction. Julius looks apprehensively at Paul, before composing himself and giving Gaynor the smile she’s seen in Paul’s photographs. ‘Well’ he starts, pausing to collect a few memories of the long dead past. ‘It’s so long ago, you wouldn’t recognise the person I knew, a good few pounds heavier now and working a crappy part time job just to keep body and soul together.’ ‘Really??? Angie???’ exclaims Gaynor, genuinely astonished that the girl who bewitched them both and inspired some of Paul’s most beautiful songs,is leading such a shitty existence. ‘No that’s Paul, I’m talking about’ Julius laughs, ‘Angie dumped us both and married an American launderette millionaire, never to be seen again.’

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 18

Gaynor and the local vicar love a good action movie. In particular, they’ve watched the Die Hard series so many times on Paul’s decrepit VHS top loader, they don’t just know the script, they can act the parts as well! When Gaynor has an attack of ‘Man in a Vest’ syndrome, she’ll quote Bruce Willis’ best ‘kiss off’ lines from the movie to the vicar, who’ll reply in a sinister Alan Rickman bad guy sort of way. They’ll then both bob and weave around the house, recreating scenes from the film, firing imaginary pistols and tossing make believe grenades at each other. Once when Paul was putting his push bike away, the vicar locked the shed door behind him, shouting to Gaynor he’d taken a hostage and unless his demands were met in full, it would be curtains for the innocent bystander. What the vicar didn’t expect, was Gaynor scaling the garden wall and launching herself from the shed roof behind him, putting his back out on impact. Kevin the paramedic is no stranger to Paul’s house, he knows the sort of high jinks that goes on, so it’s no questions asked as he loads the vicar into the ambulance. Paul didn’t mind being locked in the shed for so long. Gaynor let him out when she realised it was teatime and there was no smell of cooking coming from the kitchen. ‘We’ll go to the chippy’ smiles Paul.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 17

When out on the town, Gaynor conceals her emergency £20 note safely in her brassiere. She’s taken the precaution of writing her name and address on the bank note, so in the event she temporarily loses the power of speech, she can simply pass the note to the taxi driver and fall asleep. ‘Perfect’ she’ll say. The local vicar admires such contingency planning, there’s been too many occasions when he’s walked home in the rain, with only a waterlogged kebab for company. Paul suggests he sets up an account with the local cab firm, ‘Speedway Taxis’. That way, he can ride now, pay later! It can’t be more than six weeks later that Paul notices several unopened solicitors letters addressed to ‘The local vicar, Paul’s House, the Village’, followed by a County Court summons. It’s not Paul’s place to say anything, but when George the bailiff arrives, Paul has to point him in the direction of the vicar’s room, not forgetting to mention that all the posh electrical equipment chained to the radiator, belongs to room mate, Ed Sheeran. The vicar’s belongings are valued at less than £50 and the bailiff leaves with nothing. ‘Why don’t you like follow Gaynor’s example init and carry like some emergency money init’ suggests Pixie Lott to the vicar. ‘I don’t have a bra’ replies the vicar, ‘but I’m willing to have a go with one of yours Pixie?’ he adds quickly.

Friday, 5 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 16

It’s one of those days when there’s the scent of the seaside in the air and a pale sunshine that could lift anyone’s spirits. Whilst Paul’s downstairs preparing lunch, the local vicar’s in the bath reaching the crescendo of ‘Looooovvvve, is a many splendid thing’, conducting an imaginary symphony orchestra through the peaks and troughs of this familiar melody. Outside Gaynor has her pallet knife and easel. She’s painting Pixie Lott in oils posing as Hamlet’s Ophelia, drowning in the stream. Gaynor paints in the style of Nancy Kominsky of ‘Painting with Nancy’ fame. She claims to have met Nancy back in the 70’s and studied as her pupil for a while, against the backdrop of the long hot English summer of 1976. One day she says she’ll write a book about it and Nancy’s violent mood swings. ‘Lunch is served’ shouts Paul, making the noise of a gong with his mouth.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 15

It’s Tuesday; In today’s post there’s an odd looking letter amongst the usual bills and flyers. The envelope is addressed to Paul and inside there’s a typed letter signed ‘a concerned friend.’ Paul quickly scans the contents, it tells him a few ‘home truths’ about ‘that Gaynor’ and there’s a couple of sharp comments made about his behaviour as well. ‘Oh my God,’ he thinks, ‘it’s a poison pen letter!!!!’ He’s not been this excited for a long time, it’s almost like being Dirty Den or Len Fairclough he thinks!! He shows the letter to Pixie Lott, who’s doing her maths homework, ‘I must get three of these a week’ she says, ‘jealous girlfriends usually. It’s always women who send them though, it’s very rarely men.’ ‘Hhmmmm, I see’ says Paul, crossing off several suspects from his list of possible offenders. When Gaynor arrives home, she slowly reads through the letter, her smile unwavering. ‘It was actual bodily harm, not grievous’ she mutters to herself and then raising her voice, ‘Bleeding hell! Even I’d forgot about that haha!’ Handing the letter back to Paul, she laughs, ‘Guilty as charged’ and adds ‘and whoever it is is right, get on a diet you salad dodging get!’

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 14

The local newspaper has asked Paul to be their new agony aunt, replacing Sylvia, who wrote ‘Ask Sylvia’ for many years before her retirement. The paper wish to retain the ‘Ask Sylvia’ name, so Paul’s drafted in Gaynor for her feminine input, acting as his consultant for a share of his fee. The first letter they receive is anonymous, though the writer confirms she’s a mature lady and successful business woman. She says she’s involved in multiple affairs of the heart, though remains undecided where to hang her hat in her twilight years. ‘It’s that dirty mare, Mrs Dixon at the fishmongers’ laughs Gaynor. ‘I think you’re right,’ says Paul, who recognises both the handwriting and awful spelling of his causal long term knocking piece. ‘I think I’m personally conflicted replying to this particular letter’ he says. ‘Nar!!!’ snorts Gaynor, ‘she’ll never know.’ ‘Well, If it’s commitment she wants’, says Paul shuddering at the thought, ‘perhaps we should encourage her to chase the financial stability of Jack the coal man, rather than little poor old me.’ ‘Go on then’ smiles Gaynor lighting up a Park Drive and reaching for her first blue WKD of the day. ‘Urrggh! Imagine their bathroom though’ says Gaynor thinking aloud, ‘he’ll be covered in crap from the coal yard and she’ll stink of fish!’ ‘I’m thankful for small mercies’ smiles Paul in reply.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

The Publicity Stunts - Episode 13

It’s late, Gaynor and Pixie Lott are having a girly heart to heart about Pixie’s on off thing with Ed Sheeran. ‘I just don’t know what to do like’ says Pixie, ‘Ed’s, such a nice guy init, but he’s not like......’ ‘Bringing you to the boil? Taking you to the summit? Putting it in the back of the net?’ suggests Gaynor. She lights up a fresh Park Drive whilst Pixie solemnly nods in agreement. Gaynor reaches for her 1975 ‘Jackie’ annual, ‘I know, let’s do a quiz to help you decide.’ ’Question 1’ starts Gaynor, ‘your fella asks you on a hot date on the same night your best friend has back stage passes for David Cassidy. Do you ‘A’ - tell your fella you’re washing your hair and see gorgeous David instead: or ‘B’ - go out with your fella, he means the world to you.’ ‘Errr, is David Cassidy fit like....’ smiles Pixie at Gaynor. ‘Not anymore’ replies Gaynor, ‘however I’d choose ‘A’ as well’ she laughs. ‘Next question, ‘your fella asks if he can hold your hand in the cinema, do you ‘A’ - say you’re not that sort of girl and you’d rather wait until you’re married: or ‘B’ - say yes, he means the world to you and he won’t take advantage of you. ‘Errr..I’d wait till we’re married init’ answers Pixie, causing herself to snort snot everywhere, whilst laughing at the ridiculous suggestion of no premarital sex. ‘Judging from your answers so far’ says Gaynor, wiping Pixies snot off her frock whilst Pixie apologises profusely, ‘I think you’re not ready to settle down yet.’ ‘What about the rest of the quiz?’ says Pixie, ‘Won’t that help me make a decision?’ ‘Dunno’ says Gaynor, ‘I never get passed question 2.’