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Stone Crazy
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From Mike Harding

It was our angling club dinner last night and I received the following letter from one of our members who was unable to be there.

Dear Mr Chairman

I write to make my apologies for not being at the Settle Anglers Annual Dinner tonight.

As many of you will know I am a wringer-out for a one armed window cleaner in Nelson and while at my work in Town Hall Square in that fair town the other morning I threw a recently wrung out chamois leather to my aforementioned one armed employer Mr Jason Bottomley who was at the furthest reach of the ladder removing pigeon excrement from the balls of the pawnbroker Mr Siddons.
Mr Bottomley unfortunately is a man of intemperate habits and that morning was suffering from the effects of the previous nights excitement and alcohol at the Accrington and Whalley Nudists Cactus Growing Society. He was a little unsteady and my aim was not up to scratch which resulted in him letting go of the ladder with his good hand – well his only hand as it happens – to make a swipe at the chamois.
This had the effect of unbalancing him and propelling him, under the force of gravity – which in Nelson is very severe – towards the ground.
Luckily at that moment a passing pit bull and it’s owner – a large gentleman with many piercings, a shaved head and a number of graphic and lurid tattoos – broke his fall. The owner was concussed and furthermore, in falling, spilled the contents of his pockets, a large amount of white powdery substance onto the pavement.
As Mr Bottomley was picking himself up the pit bull, which was unharmed, sniffed up a great amount of this white powder. Mr Bottomley meanwhile while staring at the concussed and tattooed and pierced gentleman lying on the ground – uttered words of a defamatory nature in my direction – in fact he doubted my parentage and intelligence and also likened me to a sexual activity and an area of female anatomy, something I was not very happy about.

I don’t know if you know the effect cocaine has on dogs but I have since learned from a veterinary friend of mine that it emboldens them and somewhat disassociates them from reality – in fact it could be said that they go crackers. The pit bull, imagining Mr Bottomley to be it’s enemy – since for all it knew Mr Bottomley had killed its owner – lunged at him. Mr Bottomley once played rugby for Wigan and though he only had one arm he still had the reaction, speed an presence of mind to dash his bucket of soapy water at the oncoming dog.
The pit bull suddenly found itself both wet and without means of vision since the bucket was now jammed fairly forcibly upon its head, something Mr Bottomley had made certain of before climbing back up the ladder where he was now standing with shaking legs holding on to Mr Siddon’s balls.

Being wet and visually impaired seemed to enrage the animal even further and it was now manic and disorientated as well as high on cocaine. The unfortunate beast began careering randomly about the streets of Nelson causing a certain amount of panic amongst the pedestrians and consternation amongst the motorists.
The 97 bus to Oswaldthistle ended up in the front window of the Anne Summers sex shop, scattering various items about the main street. I will never forget until the day I die an old lady on a zimmer frame kicking a vibrator through the chip shop’s open door. It landed in the mushy peas, and having being switched on during its flight trajectory from built up shoe to pan proceeded to spray the customers with mushy peas.

The dog meanwhile was still performing circular patterns around the town centre causing much consternation, until a Mr Ahmed Kali Mahmoud of the Chittagong Curry House – who once played cricket for Bangladesh – brought it to a standstill with a series of well bowled onion bhajees.

I meanwhile in trying to climb over some railings into a nearby park had caught the front of my trousers on a spike. This resulted in a large rip running alongside the zip. Not wanting to be an embarrassment either to myself or my employer I set off for home to change my trousers, holding a chamois leather in front of the gaping hole to spare any offense.
On arriving home I discovered that my wife had gone to her yoga and macrame class and furthermore that in the fracas with the pit bull etc I had lost my keys.

Mrs Murphy our next door neighbor came to my assistance. She has only just moved into the house and is a fine and very attractive young woman from Ireland with red hair, large green eyes a wonderful smile and a figure my mother would have described as fulsome – unlike the lady on the other side of us who is a punk from Accrington with green hair, large red eyes and a chest like an ironing board.
However I digress.
When Mrs Murphy saw my predicament she invited me in with an offer of immediate help.
She made me a cup of tea and calmed me down – I was in quite an excitable state as you might imagine.
She pointed out that none of her husband’s trousers would fit me since he was six foot eight, weighed nineteen stone and worked as a weightlifting trainer at the local gym. I am five foot two and am slightly built so I could see the sense in her statement.
She told me she could sew up the rent in my trousers while I was still wearing them and as I stood there she knelt down with a needle and thread and set to to repair the damage.

All was going swimmingly until Mrs Murphy bent her head down to use her teeth to bite off the thread.

As fortune would have it – it was at that point that Mr Murphy and his pit bull came home unexpectedly from work.

I can remember very little after that.

The nurse who is writing this down for me assures me that she will post it in time for you to receive it.

The doctors here reckon I should be fit to fish again by late summer, once all the plaster casts have come off.

I hope you all have a pleasant evening.

Yours sincerely Arthur C Parrott (ex Barnsley lighthouse keeper.)

PS if any members are looking for a double handed rod I have some nice ones for sale.
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