Chronicles of The Honourable Arthur Carey-Dickers
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By Gad, I remember the far-off days of my youth. Ye didn’t need lessons in Britishness then, don’tcha know? All that was needed was that ye were white, heterosexual, bigoted and born south of the Watford Gap. Reminds me of the time Phillipa Hucklesberry (or was it Hillipa Fuh….no definitely Phillipa) showed me her erm, erm, forgotten what it was now, but it was jolly rude, oh well never mind.
Where was I? Oh yes, bigoted, ah now I remember, she showed me her Watford Gap. By golly what a sight – they didn’t prepare ye for that sort of thing in Biology I can tell ye. Excuse me, I think I’d better take one of me pills, where’s that bloody butler? Never around when ye need him.
Ten Minutes Later
Finally got Jenkins’ attention. Quick slurp o’ “Bishop’s Balls” brandy and a pill and I’m right as rain again. Talking of balls reminds me of when I was a sixth-former at Smithersthwaites Boarding School for Sons of Gentlemen. The head-boy was a chap by the name of Charles Barking-ffoamers (of the Surrey Barking-ffoamers). By the Lord Harry, he was an athlete beyond compare. ‘Barkers’ – as we called him, could whack, kick and punch balls all over the demned place. Rugger, tennis or cricket – didn’t matter what shape or size his balls were, Barkers could handle them.
One blissful summer’s day, summers were drier, longer and warmer back then, y’know. Anyway, our first eleven cricket team were playing a friendly against the local village team. I use the term ‘friendly’ in very loose terms, something to do with the local squire shagging village folk’s daughters. Squire William Buggring-Dicbury was also headmaster of our school, hence the hostility. Ye would have thought they’d show a bit more respect for the old traditions. But no, Buggring-on-the-Marsh residents were already losing that sense of decorum that made our Empire the envy of the civilised world.
Well, Barkers was on jolly good form that day. With the first delivery he concussed the wicket-keeper with a perfect back-swing before hammering a six that went over the boundary after stunning two fielders on the way. Barkers was last man and he didn’t need to do much, our lads were already four hundred runs ahead – that was what happened when the lower orders played against their betters, of course. Back to balls; I’ll never forget the last delivery of the day; the bowler was a slow pacer with a rather good side-spin. He bowled, Barkers narrowed his steely eyes and waited for the ball to hit the ground, veer off to the side and cracked it high into the air. It hurtled over the score-board, still climbing and tore through the wing of a Sopwith Camel flying over the school playing fields.
The plane managed to land in one of our fields and bless my soul if it wasn’t Thomas ‘Puggers’ Carey-Dickers, second cousin on pater’s side and ten years my senior. Tommy was also an Old Smithersthwaitian and had decided to fly over to see how the match was going. One surprise followed another as Tommy strode over to Barkers, after punching me to the ground, well we were family after all, and shook him firmly by the hand. He said that Barkers had given him the very deuce of an idea. Thus the anti-aircraft artillery concept was developed, thanks to a chance encounter between a member of my family and the most superb ball whacker in our school’s history. Makes ye proud to be British – at least it used to.
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.