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
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Who are you, where’s Bob?”
“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
‘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