TALES FROM A CHURCH TEA ROOM PART 3
Copyright by Frankie Lassut 2016
Published by Wonky Books at Shakespir
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Cover picture shows the preparation of a stickelin walking stick, which has been sharpened with a pencil sharpner.
So, where were we?
Well, we were having these AGE UK group meetings, within which I am a mere baby at 55 (they’re for 55s and over). Age is a funny thing in this country where people reach forty and it is believed by many that that’s just about it; the BIG 4-0 and then it’s downhill to the rest home. Alternatively, some believe that life doesn’t begin until that age is reached; not sure what their logic is? Probably born in a factory somewhere. Supposedly there must be something wrong with your life when you reach 55, or these groups wouldn’t exist; would they?
The man in charge of us socially disobedient rebels (microchip tagged with the last flu jab?) thought it a good idea to ask people if they would like to do projects (to keep the old brains chugging). People did, with surprisingly good results, especially the lovely little old ladies who tended to err on the side of ‘bad to the bone with a true air of innocence’ … looking at them, you would never suspect such things of them.
I don’t know why, but since infant school I’ve never fancied project stuff, I think because it drew attention to me, Mr shy. So I’d managed to avoid doing anything, which was cool because I had no idea of a bloody project anyway, so I just sat there quietly keeping my head down below ‘Aged-dar’. But, I must have raised my head a little when someone said ‘biscuit anyone?’
My hair triggered the ‘dar’ and …
Someone said, “are you going to do a project Frankie?”
Dozens of sets of enquiring eyes were immediately trained on me; it was like looking in a fishmonger’s window. Oh no! Think quickly or you’ll go bright red.
“Guys, how can I match the exquisite brilliance of what has already been accomplished?” … and there we go. I had both complimented those who had already done projects and got myself out of the crazy AGE UK game in one fell swoop; and that is what we call ‘genius’ reader; savour it, it doesn’t happen often.
“But you’re always blabbing on about the power of the human mind” said one old dear.
“Yes, come on Mr Creation” said some wrinkly old guy “put your money where your mouth is.”
“Yeah, come on Mr Know-it-all” the rest of the group began to chant.
I was under pressure from possible Christians in a Church tea room and felt like saying ‘aren’t you lot supposed to be dead?’ Actually, to be honest, I felt some relief as it could have been a lot worse. For instance what if it had been a rest home (full of bitter old Christians who can’t even forgive themselves?). They may look frail, but looks can be cruelly deceptive. If anybody (probably a visitor dreaming of a new kitchen?) ever goes in a rest home and upsets a resident by saying something like ‘isn’t it lovely here, you must be so happy?!’, that resident is probably looking to release some fury after a pretty shit life which was fraught with disappointment and heartache (they all are) and snarls at the visitor. If you can imagine the ‘thought bubbles’ above the heads of the rest of the oldies in that room, sat there thinking ‘he just said we’re happy in here! What a ‘know nothing doesn’t know he’s born’ shit he is! Just like my children!’ And they all start snarling and giving the eye … well that visitor may get spooked and run, just like an antelope would if it wandered into an aged lion’s rest home patch on the Serengetti and said the same thing, no matter how good the intent. If one of them manages (please don’t read that as managers) to trip up the much loved other resident’s visiting child who thinks escape to something more fulfilling like Sunday shopping is easy and, then suddenly they find themselves on the floor kissing carpet with more and more oldies with a surprise exciting unexpected activity (beating unfocussed staring at the floor, hands down), throwing themselves on the pile like in a game of rugby, the visitor’s last thoughts are usually not of a positive nature as it all goes dark.
Is this a better end than the one described? It’s the perfect murder, as the shooter is hardly going to get life is he.
Lots of (well meaning … lie!) visitors have disappeared like this (body pile, not shot .. I think). The oldies think they are getting rid of their friend’s family and, so protecting the will, but no one has told them the stuff all goes to the Solicitor/s (no vampire film can match that), providing they have any money left after the home fees (it’s a HELL of a game).
How is the car disposed of? Firstly it is reported to the police, who in conjunction with the head of staff, put it up for sale in the local paper. There is none of this putting them under a large canvas sheet or in a big barn covered in hay, don’t believe any of that Hollywood crap.
Anyway, I felt like I had to do a project … or more realistically ‘HAD’. I mean, fancy ‘not’ going home from an AGE UK meeting and no one on the main street seeing the old people, who suddenly get a surge of energy (like those in the home), carrying the rolled up carpet c/p with bulge and shoving it into the back of the AGE UK minibus, or the Jesus Army minibus, as I’m sure all of these organisations are little cults all rolled into one biggie … when ‘needs’ be?
I might be wrong, but I can’t be because … I’m never wrong. That’s a bit of a bold claim I know, but I’ve seen many people who thought they were right in my presence have later to go to mind-reset therapy after trying to argue with me. As training, I like to have three arguments at the same time with two scientists and a priest, for example, while at the same time working something Einsteinian out on a slide-rule and speed reading something like Ulysses by James Joyce, backwards. By the way, when they drive off with the body in the carpet, they go to a secret dumping location …
Him: “Hey look bitch, what do you suppose those old people are dumping that old carpet with a bulge in it in that old mine shaft? It reminds me of an anaconda that has just swallowed a human.”
Her: “No idea Foreign Secretary, but I hope they don’t do a group dog, they’re a bit wrinkly even for Bingo. Shall we film it for You Tube in case they do? Now come on babes, give me more pink cucumber.”
But, a project?
I didn’t have one in mind, so I appealed.
‘Universe, come on, stop being an unco-operative shit, give me something’ … I uttered as I walked out of the church hall in a fashion similar to a wary Bruce Lee, as these oldies can jump from any shadowy corner … I then noticed some posters sellotaped to an office window … one in particular caught my eye. Here it is, just to prove I’m not fibbing.
Have a closer look:
Ha! Cheers Universe, a bit quicker next time please as I get fed up of waiting for you to act. I have a rich and varied life to live, so bugger everyone else, I’m the dude! If you want to be my mentor, get mentoring bitch!
I thought about it … then visualised gym in the tea room’s large ‘back room’. Maybe a few chairs for the St John’s staff? Old AGE UK people exercising? Hmmmm? From what I’d seen in the tea room … hmmmm? Maybe half or even three quarters of the back room would have to be a hospital?
I then heard the cheering in my mind and had a visual of an athletics event.
Years ago, I would go to a golf based hotel at the weekend on the A45 right on the outskirts of Coventry (The Windmill Village). There was an old guy who frequented the place who hung around in our group (millionaires). I asked him what it was like these days being an OAP.
“I’m not an OAP he said with a smile, I’m an umpteen-ager.”
I smiled at that.
“Change it to it to Umpteenager, it’s more catchy.” he said
I liked it better than crusty dusty or old badstar, so it stuck.
I would drop the tea room, spare room idea and think BIG. Exercise is boring, so how to make it fun, the true essence of life. I had a crazy thought, the Ricoh Arena would do for the healthy show we could put on in front of thousands of roaring fans …
which would make it different than a Sky Blues game because I have witnessed the thousands of neck tattoo fans who should have been cheering their team on, inside the building ordering pies and pints and standing around talking crap and taking the occasional piss (willy watching) (and then their beloved team get all the negative stuff which has been going on for years now) … I thought it disgusting, but there we go.
Football is so gay (as far as supporters go).
PLAYER EMULATING A GAY FAN (of which there are thousands. They go to watch player’s legs and to rub up against other fans).
A ‘healthy for the aged’, refreshing version of the Olympics!
Never mind football fan sexuality, the AGE UK ‘Umpteenager’ Olympics would liven things up a bit on the wasted pitch (I’m now in ‘brick through the window’ territory if any fan reads this … hang on, they can’t read. I’m safe). They even ask the wife ‘what does my neck tattoo say bitch? I work in a factory, I don’t get paid to read.’
Obviously, as this is the biggest and best project ever to emerge from the AGE UK project cervix I will have to fantasise and visualise this extravaganza and use visionary fore-thought, but don’t all great projects (or even not so great ones?) start as fantasy mind-rides? (I’ll answer for you, ‘yes they do’).
I would hate to just drop this onto the AGE UK lot and have them turn up one morning in track suits to perform gentle old folk healthy routines in front of hordes of cheering onlookers, some of whom are bound to get hysterical. Maybe it will be like a Beatles’ concert where people who have fainted in ecstasy will get carried out by the St John’s team, or will they faint because of the drinks prices? It will only be twenty Euros for a medium sized coke, which I will be referring to by the snazzy, trendy name ‘Hokey Cokey Kolar’ with tons of space-taking ice, which is cheap by today’s standards. Buy one at the Showcase Cinemas for instance (if you dare). If you plan on going to the cinema and buying a coke, or worse several, it is useful to have a home blood pressure monitor and then to rewire it similar to a Taser Gun. Buy the coke and then when the heart attack, attacks, do that thing Daniel Craig did with his portable crash box when the Casino Royal waiter told him how much his drink was, with an extra service charge for shaking it..
Or, if your bank account is anorexic, you could chav it up. That means, take a screwdriver or a spanner with you. Chavs have loads of kids by design, so the coke bill is horrendous. All they do, which is extremely recourseful, is unscrew a full row of seats, carry them out the back of the cinema and go round the front and knock on the door. The head usher will come. The chav dad says “Hey wankah, want to buy some cinema seats you wankah?”
The usher gets another usher on his radio.
“Hey Sam, can you check the seats in all the screens see if there are any missing?”
A minute passes as Sam is rushing so he doesn’t get disciplined.
“Hey boss, yeah, we’re a full row short in the latest Star Wars similar repeat.”
“Ok mate … I’ll have the full row, how much?”
“A steal at two grand, or twelve free large cokes and twelve large popcorn.”
With the speed of a hummingbird’s wing, the usher gets the money from his pocket …
So you see, just chav it up a bit and coke and popcorn should never again be a problem … at the cinema at least.
TRAINING THE ATHLETES JUST IN CASE THE PROJECT ACTUALLY HAPPENS (never say never and be careful what you ask for … because you may have to leave town).
The Umpty-athletes didn’t really need training. I thought completely opposite to that until I was in the market and saw one of the gang buying a pair of slippers. I expected him to get tartan granddad slippers to shuffle along in, but he went for the geffaster types i.e. Nikes. He proceeded to test them by running around the stall screeching at every corner and when he stopped, there was a smell of rubber in the air. Can you believe that?
The only training I could arrange which would take into consideration their rusty body movements was by re-introducing myself to my old job, bus diving. I had a word with several drivers who then proceeded to drive along and wait for an Umpty to stand in the aisle of the moving bus waiting for the driver to notice them and then figure what to do. What they did, for the Umpty’s own good was hit the brakes. Bump, bump, bump thump could be heard as the Umpty bounced along the aisle of the bus until their floor routine was finished next to the driver’s cab. Please don’t think that cruel, for some of the AGE UK athletes, it was the most excitement they had ever had, except, being from Coventry and old, they had had some fun some years ago dodging bombs. One of the ladies told me that her and her friends had got a trampoline and extended the legs, also making one side longer than the other, thus giving them an angled trampoline. They drew a target on it an wrote spracken zacken macken tracken! Meaning, you Germans are such crap bombers, we Coventrians bet you can’t hit the bullseye. The German pilots and bomber crewe couldn’t resist but to go for bully, and the girls managed to bounce the bombs to Birmingham. When rebuilding parts of Birmingham, the Council’s planning committee …
Definition of a committee = a group of chosen ones who when designing a horse end up with a camel.
… they wanted a straight road into town, and that is the story of Spaghetti Junction.
Whatever. Training was finished (a bit quick maybe, but we didn’t want any athletes popping clogs before the big day … after? Fine. Before? Taboo subject). All that was needed was a driver to go under a low bridge and shave a few feet off the bus. So, a double decker became an air conditioned single decker.
Obviously, the events have been modified to allow for those aching limbs etc, but, that isn’t always necessary … look at this brilliant guy.
The only way we’re going to get the Coventry AGE UK lot to do shot putt is if we give them buns and then wind them up using a divide and rule technique. There again, if I say to them ‘come on guys bun fight!’ … they would reply ‘they’re batches you fat Northern bastard.’ And it’s true. I hail from the educated North and somehow found myself amongst the Midland heathens supposedly to teach them social airs and graces? A batch is a bloody number of something while a bun is a name of something, Goddamit! But they say a bun is a cake … is it bollocks!
Never mind, if they have no bread let them eat buns.
What shall we start with? Field events?
Ok. Since our lot are a little more less ‘well kept’ than the brilliant Chinese gentleman, we can forget throwing a steel ball or a ‘batch’ because the pigeons will be on it like a rash before it hits the floor.
Umpteenager version of the Javelin where a walking stick is thrown. It will be necessary to get rid of the rubber end and sharpen the stick. There will be no modification of zimmer frames with rubber bands; that’s called cheating.
Due to the general wellbeing of the Coventry AGE UK Umpty Athletes, there will only be one event so as not to risk exhaustion. This will be the …
10 METRE SHUFFLE IN NIKE SLIPPERS …
This race, which may produce a cloud of dust, so let’s hope it isn’t windy, will take place before the Stickelin as walking sticks will be needed with rubber bits on the end (ferrules?), and Stickelin requires them to be removed and the stick ends sharpened to provide adequate penetration into the ground.. If anyone fits their slippers with those heel wheel things, they will be disqualified.
Here’s a great event. It’s based on the javelin. Now let’s be fair, AGE UK members are not going to be able to throw a javelin, but, from what I’ve seen while driving the buses, they can wild walking sticks like the Knights of old wielded the broadsword. `
So, a walking stick is thrown. It will be necessary to get rid of the rubber end and sharpen the stick. There will be no modification of zimmer frames with rubber bands; that’s called cheating.
No bloody chance.
No bloody chance.
Now we’re talking!
This should have the crowds howling with pleasurable excitement reminiscent of that heard in the Roman Colosseum as the Christians got chased by the lions. This event will employ two small flatbed trucks. The trucks will drive side by side and will have a construction between them on which can be laid a, old telegraph pole (if you’ve ever seen the picture of Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two trucks …). On the end furthest away from the cabs and about four feet from the end will be a seat on which the Umpathlete will sit. He or she will have a rally car safety belt on with a palm-punch release. The trucks will drive in unison with the vaulter and helpers towards the rugby like poles with the crossbar. When they reach the vault, the helpers will raise the Umpathlete’s end and aim for the hole in the ground with the bottom end. At the last second the trucks will swerve out of the way and the athlete will carry on, hopefully upwards and go over the top of the vault … if they remember to hit the safety harness release. The crowd will roar as though Spartacus or Russell Crowe has entered the arena.
The modified double decker will be used for the graceful aisle routines which I’ve already described.
Judo usually involves two players stood up, one trying to throw the other onto his or her back. Because umpteenagers have got little chance of accomplishing this, the game is literally turned on its head. Oduj therefore takes this inability produced by ‘normal’ old age into consideration. The players therefore begin by laying on the floor next to each other; which is hard work in itself. They will be helped by two men, or women each about the same size as the bouncers on the Jezza Kyle show who will aid by getting them by the arms and legs and laying them out (undertaker’s term) and then, through employing judo moves on the opponent, the first one back on their feet will get the points.
THE BOB SLEIGH.
Scaffolding will be built around the inside of the arena and a bob sleigh track built.
Single bob will consist of a shopping scooter with the slow motor unclipped together with the brakes. At the end the scooter will be stopped using a system similar to that of jet fighters when they land on the aircraft carrier. There will be a strawberry net set up at the end … to catch teeth (and maybe the odd bobber).
For the four man bob four scooters will be fitted together. If I can get a couple of those mechanic’s trolleys with castors fitted, it may be possible to do the Louge; that should cure any constipation problems in the Umptys taking part.
Actually, there will be no horses as, in this case Dressage means Dress-Age –UK. The competitor will approach a clothes horse in a nightgown wearing long johns for the men and swimming costumes for the women? They will then dress into their everyday gear which will be hanging on the clothes horse. Ok, I lied, there will be horses … it wasn’t actually a deliberate lie.
There will be no diving competition as that looks a bit scary, but we will have a standby trainer. Not Tom Daley, but someone from the Church tea rooms who can swim, a guy called Daley Breadward (Daley Edwards … name stolen and twisted by Christians, just like they stole Christmas from the Pagans), who may be related to Daley Thompson, who might be related to Emma Thompson. Thompson is Anglo Saxon and means Son of Thomp. It isn’t sure what trade a thomp is? Maybe a thomp is a stamp, but the guy who invented them so he could get some money for running miles to post people’s letters, well, maybe he had speech defect and couldn’t say stamp? Maybe the first stamp was on a rubber stamp which he thumped onto the envelope? Maybe he couldn’t say O properly and instead of thump, said thomp? It’s very rude to make fun of someone who has a speech defect … except if it’s a lisp which means their tongue is deformed, which means one or both parents must live near a chemical or a nuclear plant. The question is though, would you rather have a lisp and a weird tongue, or be a slow learner? At the end there will be a muddle ceremony, consisting of gold, silver and bronze awards.
I hope that gives you a good idea of ‘MY’ AGE UK project. I then plan a very very expensive holiday on Richard Branson’s Necker island with my huge profits from coke sales.
You’re poor, so you please keep the massive profits from the sale of Hokey Cokey Kolar at the Umpteenager Olympics (I know a few Hokey Cokey Virgins). Come to Necker and be my guest. One thing you can do for me in return if you would? Could you walk around the island nude, because then if any planes or helicopters packed with gorgeous Hokey Cokey chicks go over, they will deffo come here for a holiday when they see your gorgeous cadaver walking along the beach leaving your footprints in the sand. You may even have the Lord walking with you as he comes here regularly and likes to walk along the beach reflecting on life with someone of similar size but uglier than him. I don’t think he will carry you though as you drone on about the crap parts of your woeful life.
Your greatest admirer (LOVE your stories, downloadable from www.wonky-ebooks.com, they make me smile with glee as they do all the staff Virgins).
Bransso … the man with the shiny brass.
At the following AGE UK meeting, the attendees will be asked what they thought of the games and did they enjoy them? They will all look at each other and say “Games? What games? Weather’s awful though!”
Ah! Good old Dementia.
Future Coventry age uk projects (can be rolled out Nationwide)?
Molly with her solar powered LED Wreaths.
These will extract respect from those who find it necessary to visit graveyards at midnight looking for skulls to sell to goth shops.
John with his automatic, on timer, fold flat headstones, which allow the graveyards to become an evening ‘WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT’ pop-up shopping centres with, for instance, cash for gold shops, instant loan shops, gyms, mobile phone outlets, car spares and fast food outlets.
The next morning, the only evidence of the night’s activity will be … about four tons of discarded litter.
WE’RE ALL DOOMED.
I then decided that these groups were for normal (not natural) people who had decided that they had to act their age due to the ideals set and expected by society. That’s ok, because there is always someone in some trade who benefits. Those who go to these age groups at some point may pass on to rest homes which benefits those who run rest homes, followed by undertakers, priests, coffin makers … society takes care of itself. But I thought ‘do I want to come here every week to do a crossword and then just sit there staring or talking about the price of cheese or the weather? Nope. I wouldn’t have minded going if interesting conversation was the flavour of the day or an interesting activity (God, please not charades), but it wasn’t, so AGE UK, sorry, but we’re not compatible. It isn’t the group, it’s the general working people who have no real zest for anything in their lives, just work they mostly hate, a holiday? Christmas … repeat. Then add ‘retirement’ then gently slide downhill into a hole in the ground. No ta. I’m 55 and I have a lot to do yet and as far as I’m concerned, as most people are considering retiring I’m looking at revving it up a bit. Favourite pastimes Writing amusing stuff and using wellbeing to uplift people; and public speaking when available. I’m young, but even old age isn’t time to stop living because society says so.
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Well, I had been going to a church tea room just for the heaven of it, and ended up going one day when the â€˜customersâ€™ were all in a meeting of AGE UK. A year or so before, my mother who was 85 had refused to go to the organisation because she said the people were those who used to bow and scrape to her because she had what she reckoned was the best most prestigious job in the town in which she lived ... up North. She had died since and now her angry spirit hovered in the air before me ordering me out of the room, as no son of hers should be amongst this rabble. I threw some water at her and luckily as it was a church hall and at least partially blessed, it had the same effect on her as the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz and she disappeared into the floor screaming curses at me. Free from my tormentor, I thought Iâ€™d pop along few times and see what it was like, so I joined the group the following week. I ended up in this â€˜part 3â€™ being put under pressure to do a â€˜projectâ€™ ... as I was always gassing on about being creative etc. I had no clue and so asked the Universe for help and found the answer was the ideal thing for me to do to add some fizz to the blood of the old people (with my syringe of liquid Co2); you have to be 55 or over to join and I was a still being breastfed 55 while the rest were 85 â€“ 105. I visualised my project in my head and then looked around at the characters and, Iâ€™m pleased to say, they were as perfect for the project as the project was for them. A few of them displayed their letter from the Queen on their T shirts, while other shirts advertised such things as pre-embalming fluid in five fruit flavours etc ... the company was called â€˜Contains Preservativesâ€™ which was also written on the shirts. Part of the advertising blurb said: There is a 0.0005% chance you may become a zombie or be resurrected with the good guys, so we would like you to enjoy it if the opportunity arises. If you have turned to goo, you cannot enjoy being a zombie or a good guy and why should all your friends who drank Contains Preservatives Pre-Embalm have all the fun? Contains Preservatives Pre-Embalm fluid only costs Â£1.550.99 per half litre and Â£1.500.99 if you buy two bottles. If you donâ€™t drink it, your family will get the cash (do you think they deserve it?).