Once again I have been unable to run this week. I could, of course, have made up the running diary, but I did this instead. I can only apologise…
The word was all around Toytown. The streets were filled with excited chatter. Goldilocks, who had had just about as much as she could take of sleeping in a bed that smelled of bear, not to mention cold, lumpy porridge and the blatantly sexist remarks of Daddy Bear, was back in town and planning a post-lockdown party. Absolutely everyone was invited and not only from Toytown. Winnie the Pooh was coming! Winnie the Pooh, whose legend had spread before him like warm honey on a shag-pile. Winnie the Pooh, who knew more jokes than Noddy. Winnie the Pooh, who could drink Big Ears under the table. Winnie the Pooh, the only bear ever to defeat seventeen paternity suits by having his little thing carefully unpicked by Christopher Robin and stored in a bag until the day after the trial. Yes, Winnie the Pooh was going to be there, it was certainly a party not to be missed.
The Off Licence was completely sold out of cider. “Oh Gawd,” groaned Noddy. “What the hell am I going to do now? Pooh Bear is bound to turn up with a bottle of good stuff. Strongbow I shouldn’t wonder, Blackthorn Dry even. Tell you what, give us a bottle of Irn Bru, I’ll syphon it into an old cider bottle at Big Ears’, no-one will ever know.”
“Stone me,” said Big Ears some time later. “You’d better mark that bottle. I don’t want to end up drinking from it.”
“Don’t blame me,” snapped Noddy. “How was I to know that the Irn Bru would only half fill the cider bottle. I had to top it up somehow.”
“Well I should go and see the doctor in the morning,” replied Big Ears, “because judging from the look of what you’ve just done in there, you could well be pregnant.”
“Ha-bloody-ha!” snapped Noddy. “Get in the car before I set fire to your trousers again.” And so they headed off to the party.
“I really love driving fast,” yelled Noddy, removing pieces of blackbird from his windscreen with the wipers.
“Yeh, great,” said Big Ears, who was inhaling his own socks for kicks.
“Halt!” yelled Mr. Plod, holding out one hand whilst simultaneously checking his speed gun.
“Shit! It’s the fuzz,” exclaimed Noddy.
“I’ve got clean underwear on,” said Big Ears.
“I’m not talking about the rather questionable state of your nether garments, buffoon,” said Noddy. I’m talking about cops and government guidance on unnecessary travel.” And so saying, he accelerated hard, spreading Mr. Plod evenly over half a mile of single carriageway. “That’s the trouble with the Police Force in Toytown,” he said. “They’re stretched to the limit,” and laughed so much at his own joke that he inhaled the entire contents of his nasal cavity.
At Goldilocks’ place the party was already in full swing. Pooh Bear was telling some of the dirtiest stories you are ever likely to hear; Goldilocks was doing her famous party trick with the small squares of paper and a pair of electrically charged knickers, and Simple Simon was behind the settee with the Pie Man, paying off his bill.
Noddy sped on recklessly, along the lane to Goldilocks’ home, disembowelling Harry the Hedgehog who was out for his afternoon stroll. He screeched to halt outside the tidy cottage, scattering grit and hedgehog prickles in all directions. “Come on Big Ears!” he yelled.
“Righto,” laughed Big Ears and fell straight from the car into a little pile that was left by Derek the Dog only moments before.
Noddy was already at the door, ringing the bell.
“Hey Noddy,” said Billy Badger. “Come on in.”
“Hullo,” said Noddy.
“How’s the T.B.?” said Big Ears.
“Hey,” said Noddy, sidling up to Rag Doll. “That’s a very small handbag you’re carrying. I wonder if it’s big enough to hold the keys to my Porsche.”
“God, you’re corny,” she sighed. “Don’t you ever read the women’s pages in the newspaper? Don’t you realise that the modern woman is no longer content to be seen as a sex object? Have you never heard of #MeToo?”
“Oh never mind,” said Rag Doll who had an IQ of 180, but still had to wear high heels for work.
“I think I’ll have a drink,” said Noddy.
“Here, take your mask off, have one of my long herbal cigarettes,” offered Billy. ‘They’re legal now, you know… pretty much.’
“Thanks,” said Big Ears, lighting the proffered shag. “Wow!” Big Ears had once tried glue sniffing, but had succeeded only in fusing his acne to the polythene bag, since which he had stuck to much safer pastimes, like bleaching his hair with a blow lamp, travelling on public transport and swimming in the sea at Sizewell.
The evening ground on. The entire Tangerine Dream back catalogue had been exhausted on Spotify, the cider had long since been consumed, the guests were growing tired of pretending to be drunk. The unused condoms had been inflated and sellotaped to the walls, the toilets had been wiped down and somebody was chiselling vomit from the cat.
“Time to go,” said Goldilocks, aware that the bears would be home from the Bridge Club within the hour.
Big ears was one of the last to leave. He waved a fond goodbye to Goldilocks, took a long last draw on Billy Badger’s stogie and stepped straight into the path of Noddy’s speeding car, where his head remained as a grille ornament for several days. Goldilocks turned slowly away. “Isn’t this supposed to be a cautionary tale. Shouldn’t there be a moral to it or something?” she asked.
“Yeh,” said Pooh. “But you know what these Children’s Writers are like these days. Too drunk most of the time to make it to the toilet, let alone write a moral ending…
I have become very tired of the repeated attempts to make the past politically correct. It cannot be so. We cannot change it. I’m really not certain what an apology from a group of politicians who were not even born when the ‘crime’ was committed can even begin to achieve. We can only recognise that things were wrong, and we can’t do that if the past has been erased. We can only control today and plan tomorrow. I just hope we make a much better job of it.
In truth, I’m not certain that Noddy was ever quite so hedonisitic. I don’t think that Enid Blyton (on top of everything else) was a misogynist, but if she’d been a man I think she probably would have given it a go…
In the UK, at the start of Lockdown, ‘kindness’ was what we all espoused. Perhaps love really is all we need. That and the ability to see that everyone has value, that everyone has to be equal, that every voice has the right to be heard and, for God’s Sake, why do we still need to be fighting to make it happen? People are people and we all want the same things: to live in peace, to see our children grow up in safety and to have the opportunity to thrive in a just society. Sounds so easy…
Just be kind…
P.S. If this offends anyone, I am truly sorry. It is deliberately obnoxious. Hyperbole, I think. I would say exaggeration, but I’m not sure.