The Running Sore, only one of Suttonford’s watering holes, once-favoured by
the droving community, had been refurbished by its dyslexic landlord. He had
decided to leave the pub sign as it was, in spite of many townspeople pointing
out the orthographical inaccuracy, or its similarity to Lloyd’s bank logo.
But how to draw in the hard-pressed-for-choice revellers? He was in
competition with The Ostlery and The Bugle, both with their particular themed
atmospheres, aimed at certain clientele.
Ah, he thought, as he read the latest news about Edinburgh being the
new location for an updated version of the popular board game,
‘Cluedo’, I will arrange teams who can play a Suttonford version on our
quiz night. There can be a prize for the team who is first to detect the
identity of the Perpetual Victim. Most people round here will be only
too quick to spot one, especially if they look in the mirror.
The game’s weaponry could be retained, except that the candlestick
would be upgraded to a candelabra, if the Liberace film hadn’t rendered
that item too lowbrow, by connotation with Michael Douglas.
Hmm, let me see, he cottagated, or was that cogitated? I will need to supply
six new characters. I could base them on regulars: what about Miss Melinda
D’Oyly Carter, the popular masseuse; Colonel Grump; ‘Lady’ Dyson, the
cleaner who loves frequenting the broom cupboards of householders to
consort , or besport, with butlers who resemble Borises Becker or Johnson;
the Rev Anna Baptiste: an heretical woman vicar- at least unorthodox in
the generally conservative ranks of Suttonford worshippers;
Mrs Everso-Peabrain, an easily recognisable ‘type’ whose cut glass
pronouncements often reverberate off the stuccoed walls of houses in
High Street (a lady who lunches as she goes about everyone else’s business.)
Finally, Sir Solly Senokat, retired military surgeon, whose third wife looks as if
she has gone under the scalpel nearly as often as a Wilderstein.
He would relocate the mansion to Royalist House, owned by Sonia, the town’s
medium. Then he could alter the apartments to boot room, minstrels’ gallery,
tack room, barrel-vaulted gin cellar and so on.
If anyone in the town had better suggestions, then they could post them
anonymously in the denunciation box which he would fix to the outside wall
of the pub.
He couldn’t wait to witness someone accusing Melinda of homicide inflicted by
a candelabra. Or anaphylactic shock provoked by maribou allergy!
More usually it was the Suttonford Wives who expressed such
murderous thoughts towards the hard-working physio and they expressed
these premeditated malice aforethoughts in Costamuchamoulah must-seen
cafe on a fairly regular basis. They weren’t postulating Death By Chocolate
for their bete noire, though the lady herself favoured that particular mode of
asphyxiation, it must be said.
And what would the prize for the winning team be?
Ah yes! An overnight stay in Sonia’s haunted attic with a boastgutser, namely
himself, with Sonia’s merpission. All lucre accrued could be donated to the
town’s favourite charity: Anacondas in Sad Verity!
With his creative character assassination, he only hoped that he would
not be found bludgeoned by the rival establishment’s hit men and floating
on Golden-Or-Otherwise Suttonford Pond, not waving, but drowning.