Another bit of surrealist whimsy from our stalwart guest contributor.

“Oh the Deadwood Stage is a rollin’ on over the plains

with the curtains flappin’ and the driver slappin’ the reins

A beautiful sky, a wonderful day – Whip crack away, whip crack

away, whip crack away.’”

Phil Meeker, had had enough; his neighbour Bob Hardrake, had

been playing that song all night and now he was going to give him a

piece of this mind, right on his stupid nose. Putting on his dressing

gown and roughly tying the cord and slippers firmly in place he

strode round to his neighbours front door and hammered it hard

with his clenched fist.

The hall light came on and the door was answered by a very

small person.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“Who are you, where’s Bob?”

“He’s moved.”

“What do you mean moved, he’s still got my hedge strimmer.”

There was a shout from the living room, “Who is it Hank?”

“Some bloke, after someone called Rob.”

“Bob”, corrected Phil.

“Bob.” Shouted the person called Hank.

“What’s going on here?” said Phil pushing past the little person

and entering the through lounge. “And who are you lot? And where

did you get those small horses from? And that cardboard cactus?”

“Props department, where else?”

“And that little stagecoach?”

“Props department” repeated the little person in a loud check

jacket and megaphone in one hand and a Doris Day record in the


“ The polystyrene rocks? Don’t tell me, Props department.”

“He catches on quick, don’t he?” Said Hank from behind him.

“And where is this props department? I’ve been in this house

dozens of times, there’s no props around here.”

“In your imagination is where it is.” said the small person in the

loud check jacket. Just then a miniature version of his dad walked

into the room.

“Dad, what you doing here, and so small…?”

“Hello son, performing Ibsen’s Peer Gynt actually in the

bathroom. Course it’s my own interpretation. Anyway I can see

your busy, I’ll catch you later Boss, bye son.”

Scratching his head he looked over at the dining table.

Underneath it were half a dozen small people on typewriters

hammering away at the keys.

“Who are they?” said Phil.

Script department,” said the man his Dad called Boss, “ didn’t

think your dreams just happened did you? We’ve got a nightmare

coming up soon, it’s in pre-production at the moment.”
“You mean you supply all my dreams, create all my dreams… even

the errr…

‘Yes Phil”, said a smokey voice behind him. As he turned he saw a

minature version of Gloria Honeyford in fish net tights, a cigarette

holder in her right hand. She began to sing…

“Falling in love again, I can’t elp eet.”

“Yes thank you Gloria, you’re not needed till next week” said the

Boss, replacing his monocle for the umpteenth time, as Gloria

Honeyford tottered away on six-inch stilettos out of the room.

“Right” said Phil, “so do you do requests, because I was


“Don’t mention that word” said the Boss, “you’ll have the union

on us like a ton of bricks.”

“I heard that brother Boss, what’s this about requests.” Said a

miniature Arthur Scargill, glaring up at Phil. “Our members of the

Slumber and Limited Enjoyment and Enchanting Places, SLEEP for

short are artists, not here for enjoyment – I tell you brother Phil,

start talking about requests again and strike action will be our only

alternative and then you will have no dreams at all.

“All right no more requests – but is this a dream?”

“No of course not” said Boss. You are not supposed to be here.”

“But where’s Bob?”

“Bob, Bob, there is no Bob. He is an autonoman. Every other

house in this street and in every street, live the Headmen. Normal

house, Headman house, Normal House, Headman house, so we give

you all dreams to stop you going mad. In each house we control we

install a robot neighbour if you like…”

“What about Dotty across the road?”

“No, she’s real”

“And young Emily and her cat..?”

“Yeah, both robots I’m afraid. That cat is one of our best devices,

with the technology today, nothing is really impossible.

‘The two Goths at 47?”

“Completely real, I know, hard to believe.”

“Well I’d best get home then.” said Phil.

“And Phil, not a word to anyone. Remember we control your

dreams, we could make life very difficult for you should you blab.”

“Who’d believe me…?”

“Exactly.” Said Boss


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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