Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Quandary Resolutions by MissTeriWoman

  • #6966 submitted 09/22/2017: otic, imbongi, yeasty, Balanitis

    And then yesterday, 21st September 2037. almost twenty years later to the very day, the same two Police Scotland Officers, Isa Urquhart – now Detective Inspector – and her cousin, now Detective Sergeant Milly Millican, sat in the same corner of the Coffee Shop – different décor, the third new owners since 2017, different furniture, only one of the waitresses from that time still working here, Lucille was quite a fixture, she knew all the locals by name and many by their inclinations, but she held much of that as a Priest kept the silence of the Confessional, and in the far corner, a Zulu imbongi, cousin of the new Chef, treated the otics of the customers to a yeasty appraisal of his Balanitic member, unfortunately in Zulu, which meant that they were unable to fully appreciate the meaning of the song, but nevertheless thrilled at his emotive rendition – after their visit to Uncle Norman and his sister, Aunt May, strangely seeming little different from before, but then, family members we see regularly don't appear to age until we catch them in photographs as they were, but the circumstances brought everything into sharp focus: the sudden reappearance of Dod Broon twenty years after his disappearance, incredibly alive and – so the doctor at the BGH had said – pretty well after his ordeal, and certainly not anything like his chronological age, and then the discoveries of the bodies of his three friends who had disappeared at the same time and all of them, according to Professor Carolina Moonbeam showing all the signs of being recently murdered; and Isa found herself thinking of how the rills of Time flow and yet everything about this case brought back to her that strange period when Time seemed jumbled and people she knew disappeared and reappeared – or didn't – and others from another Past walked right into her own Time; the Scientists had offered an Olive Branch, accepting that what had happened may have upset their Theories, but looking for new ones, holding on to the principle that everything had it's origins, it's causes and once found they would explain clearly the consequences, and there had been a resurgence of Faith after the full story of Little Levy Balquhidder had come out and despite his best efforts to deny it, he found himself hailed as a New Messiah – or to some – The Second Coming of Jesus; his story had blown a shofar and awakened dormant Faith in many hearts; the Proofs he was able to offer of Re-Incarnation were astounding and gave Hope to the Despairing, a Warning to the Unwary, and Strength to the Weak; Milly coughed, she had recently been diagnosed with OCPD which she said was official proof that she was a true Numpty, for continuing with her smoking despite all the warnings on packs and stern advice from her GP. but Isa, who still had the occasional puff, was kinder than the medical people and less judgemental, for she knew from her own life that the work they did was full of stress, anti-social hours, the pervading dread of the Call in the Night which could take them to face the many horrors that humans were capable of inflicting on others; she brought her thoughts back to the present – Uncle Norman had been able to remember that afternoon in The Ship and the tubby chap who had been asking questions, too many questions, too detailed, and his visual memory was crystal clear, as he described that man the two young constables had seen with the Professor Sir Clement Danes, the one they referred to as Doctor Goebbels, 'did he perhaps mention his mane? – @ she had asked and Norman closed his eyes, bringing that meeting in the pub back and he answered, "yes, he said it was Goebbels, Doctor Goebbels, that brought a laugh and Ould Boab said, 'ye cannae be, he shot hissel in the Bunker, in '45, efter murderin his bairns' and the tubby chap stuck out his jaw and said 'that was Allied Propaganda, to malign me as a murderer of children, I am indeed Doctor Goebbels!' after which we ignored him as a fantasist, though I do recall him mentioning someone called Count Baldur von Machfleine, whom he was searching for and though the name rang the tiniest of bells for me, I just couldn't place it!"

  • #6964 submitted 09/20/2017: lection, moonsickle, holus-bolus, Aortic aneurysm

    "And," Milly took a deep breath and continued her recitation: "that's not all - it seems a Very Reverend Angus MacAngus who's a great chum of the Dane Twins is in the BGH with an Aortic Aneurysm, which is interfering with their contesting Sam Smiles and Daphne and Maude's Injunction preventing them from selling Sir Parlane MacFarlane's Diary holus-bolus to US President Trumpet-Trousers for lots of dosh which they need very quickly to finance the excavation of the Cairn before Mr Moonsickle turns his evershining light on them - but no mention of who this Moonsickle geezer might be, tho apparently there's what they call a lection in the Journal which could blow the Scottish Establishment to smithereens as it seems to have been written in the 12th Century with detauiled and already proven predictions about the 21st Century!" and Isa glared at Milly, "whit's wrang Isa? am just telling whit they said, but Isa shushed her cousin, "don't you realise what it means if it's true? it means MacFarlane managed to get back to his ane Time an so must Griselda," but Milly just shrugged. as if to say "so?" and then actually did say "so?" at which Isa just shook her head with a grin on her face: "ye're a Numpty, Milly Millican, ye wis Born a Numpty ye'll stay a Numpty aw yer Life an in the end ye'll Dee a Numpty!" and Milly shrugged again, "an am Proud tae be a Numpty - at least am consistent, there's nae side tae me, abdy kens whit they get fi me, the God's Honest . . . . ." but before she could finish, Isa cut in with "Shite!"

  • #6963 submitted 09/19/2017: uberty, shiver my timbers, glabrous, Glioblastoma multiforme

    "Div ye think, Isa," asked Milly Millican, once the two WPCs had found a table in the Coffee Shop where they could sip their drinks and nibble their iced buns, out of earshot of any locals who might want to eavesdrop on their discussion, "no at the moment, Milly, ah've gien it up for September, crivvens, there's an unusual uberty, ye micht say a super-uberty o icing on these buns, they are delish," and she took a large bite at hers, while Milly pulled slabs of icing off and popped them into her mouth, sighing: "mmmmm, utterly glabrous, so shiny ye can see yer ain face in it tae, an it fair melts on ma tongue!" when, suddenly, Isa hissed: "shiver me timbers, First Mate Milly, if that's no thae twa Professors Sir Clement Dane in secret conclave wi a certain 'tubby chap,' as described by Uncle Norman as bein awfy inquisitive aboot the Mid Hill Cairn in the Ship jist afore the fower auld boys disappeared! can ye slip aroon ahent yon pillar an mebbe catch the gist o whit they're blabbin aboot?" and Milly did as Isa had suggested, slowly, smoothly, sliding her chair backwards until the pillar shielded her from the sight of the two notorious Danes and the tubby chap, when she was able to move closer until she was directly behind the pillar and could hear every word of their conversation, as she later reported back to Isa: "ah cannae say ah unnerstood much o it, it seemed tae be in a secret langwidge, but here goes, ah'll no say which yin said which, cos that'll jist get it mair complicated, onywey: "the hill is like an organic entity, like a head rising from the valley, it has been cleft in three and they each have grown individual characteristics, yes, one has a vast cavern deep within, another has a network of passages that fold back on each other and are almost intertwined, rather like the coils of matter in the human brain, and the Cairn is like a great carbuncle, for behind the stones, is actually a hillock, quite unlike any other cairn we have examined, and is the Hill healthy? why no! it seems to be suffering a most peculiar malady, in fact within it, according to the Geo-Phys survey we carried out on the night of the New Moon when good cloud cover prevented even starlight from giving the game away, we worked twenty ten metre squares, see here, on this map, oh yes, and I've spoken to a friend who is Senior Consultant at Glasgow – none of the chaps at the BGH or Edinburgh? oh, heaven forfend, I wouldn't trust those fellows, leak like sieves, he says if it was a Scan of a patient he would diagnose, now let me get this right, rustling of paper, ah, yes: Glioblastoma multiform! what's that when it's at home, sounds like an expanding mass of variable type, size and shape to me; well, you aren't so far off the mark Sir Clem, if I can be so familiar, I wish you wouldn't Dr Goebbels, my apologies, but to concur with your diagnosis, it is in fact a Malignant Brain Tumour – in a word, well four words, The Hill is Dying!"

  • #6961 submitted 09/18/2017: ovine, indyref, amanuensis, Leukemia

    Isa telt me, okay, told me: keep it clean, Ah've got guid reason mind , av huvny bin awfy well aower the wewekend, nothin seriouslike an aye, av ben drinkin; she'd been busy av herdly seen her at aw, following up on Ranulph Ochan'poshan, him that wash involved with the abush of Lolly (shorry, shome short of Romanian shurname) oops, never mind, n stoap the Shawn Connery ipreshionsh but the gist is, she'd been tied up (Isa not Lolly) and only got colled in today - it's the the thing abouot the auld geezers who went missing, four o em, the anes wha were working on reconstricting the Cairn on the Middel Eildon that had prolapsed, sorry, collapsed, probbly cause fowk were takkin stanes awa stead o adding them - it seems a lot of cashal walkers dinny really ken hoo a Cairn is built and dinny really care, they jist want a souvenir, like takin stains, fukkit stanes, aff a beach or a roverbed, so onywey, these four geezers had bin drinkin in The Ship dicsussin the baith sides o the Indyref {thats no an indian referee mind- it's the ferendrenum on Indypendience} an didnae reach hame; for some reason wirr Uncle, Noman Noggs - they criy him Noggin cos they've aw got nicknames an thatis his, - he didnae disappear; she said Sargeant Goldie Brevity even cam doon fae Embra - she's in charge o The Gressmerket and Coogate Community Policin Hub which sounds posher than whit it is, cordin tae isa, Isa, gettit richt; an Sgt Brevity was flappin aboot like an auld Corbie - she isny that auld but Isa likes tae exaggerate - hoo come ma spellin's beter wi the big words than the wee anes? dinnae anseer that! so Dod Broon wis headin tae Gattonside, whaur he bides but didnae get hame, Wee Eck lives in Darnick an he didnae either, Fat Frank didnae reach Newsteed and Owb Boab wha lives in Priors Walk, the nearest tae The Ship never made it hame which maks fower nae shoes; which wis hoo it cam aboot that Isa n Mully went tae see Auntie May (no the same may mean Isa live wi, t'ither ane) whas Uncle Nomans' sister (but she didnae ken wha or why he'd no cam hame at first but it turned oot he an Rusty Irons the bar manager had droven intae Gala for somethin fae tECScO an may wais awreddy asleep bi the time Noman got hame or so hed said in the mornin but slikely she wud hae cos the chemo shez gettin fur the Lukemia seemes tae get her boddy clok mudles up but shez cam thru fine that wiz five year in Julie she wiz diaggnosed an she's grand exept fur huvin naps wen shes tried an neraly nites) Isa n Milly had a land chat wi him jist in case he'd mindsed onythin else but he saed no, then "there was somthn, a rather tubby chap" - thets the wey he talks, caws blokes chapps an wummin laddies - "wha seemed awfy interested in the Cairn, "sed Noman "an this chubby chapp kept askin techinacal questions aboot hoo Carines seem tae resist the winds that aye blaws aboot upon the Hills, whustlin aboot yer eers, an Auld Boab teltim their proapar name shood be Ovine Cairns, cos their designated wi wholes tae let the sheeps farts blaw thru them!" Ha Ha Ha am aff tae bed the noo . . . . . ah hope theyve goat me an amanuensistant tae tipt this oooot richt afore its gotten publishied, ffs am that pished ah dinnae ken whau am ur! nitey bite

  • #6960 submitted 09/17/2017: kayfabe, animadvert, portentous, Mowat-Wilson syndrome

    It was Grace who first heard the knock at the door: "oh! gosh! is it them?" she cried in alarm. but then remembered that if it were Sir P and Mr W they would not knock, for they each had a key, so hurriedly she threw a gown about herself and ran over and opened the door cautiously: "oh! it's YOU!" she cried happily, and admitted the two lodgers from downstairs: Fred and Ernest, dressed in their preferred way, as Fanny and Stella, clearly intent on a night On the Town and, preferably, ending with a Night on their Backs if they picked up a couple of swells looking for Gels with Extras! "oh, you look so lovely," cried Grace, for indeed they did, "going out trolloping?" and the pair giggled, "of course," said Fanny, it's so much better having a place of our own to bring a gentleman friend back to, it wasn't easy up in Tottenham; I mean, two fellas can go into the Public Lavatory," and she wrinkled her name in a moue of distaste, as she said it, "but a couple of Gels can't go there with friends, and this place is so convenient for the Theatres and Gin Palaces," and Stella picked up the theme, "and once we get our show on the stage, it will still be handy for us, we are so pleased that your Friend, Sir P, has given us the rooms downstairs, though we haven't yet had a chance to thank him properly; will you be seeing him soon?" and Gracie informed them that Sir P and Mr W were coming here this very evening, could she pass on a message. at which both Fanny and Stella clapped their hands and Fanny said: "oh, yes please, can you tell him that we would be delighted to see him, and his friend, perhaps they might like to come down for tea some afternoon and we could be able to demonstrate our gratitude?" and they both winked, to be sure that Gracie got their intent: "don't worry gels, I'll give Sir P the message and the wink!" at which all three giggled and then, after giving Grace an affectionate hug and kiss, the two walked to the street door, turned and gave her a little wave, and then went out into the gathering night; which was when Grace realised the time; she hurriedly wakened Sadie from a deep sleep, told her it was 7.30 already and the gentlemen would be here within the hour, so Sadie dragged herself out of bed, washed her face from the handbasin on the sideboard, and started giving Grace orders for getting their clothes ready and tidying up the rooms; they worked quickly and by 8.15 everything was spick and span and they were dressed for company, the bed feshly made up and several bottles of liquor on the sideboard, so that they could rest for a few minutes and get their breath back: "you know what we did?" asked Sadie, and Gracie nodded, "yes, it was wonderful, dearest," and Sadie took her hand: "well, I just wants yer to know, sweet'eart, that I love you with all my body an soul," which made Grace blush, "and I you, my dear," was all she could manage. then Sadie explained: "we're actresses, Grace, you an I, we put on a performance for the swells an gents an nobs, we praise their Todgers an their Pogos (which is Mr W's name for his doo-dah) an we admire their virility an we suck them and they fuck us an we tell them how magnificent lovers they are, but that's our job, it's what we're paid for an how we earns our livin, but never forget who you really and truly are: you are a Woman an you ave your own self an your own bean and your own identity, which is none o their business, so we gives em what they want but after that, after the show and the ovation, when they leave the stage, an it's just you an me, that's when we is ourselves an it's no-one else's business what we does, cos what we does we does for ourselves an each other, do you know what I mean?" and Grace realised that she did understand and that she did love Sadie – the first time that she had ever felt that passion for anyone – and she would be quite happy to forget all about her previous life and spend the rest of it with Sadie, even if it did mean practising a bit of kayfabe, as Sadie called it, acting out for the men who were happy to pay for the temporary use of their bodies; they meant nothing to her, but the money they earned in this way would secure their future together; "all right, dearie, it's time for the show, I fink I can ear their footsteps in the hallway. put on yer smile an let's give them the action!" but after a short knock at the door, when Sadie opened it, instead of Sir P and Mr W, it was a young boy, a street-sweeper named Jam, who she recognised as his regular patch was Drury Lane, where he plied his trade, sweeping the street for any Lady or Gentleman wanting to cross without dirtying their shoes, or, in the case of Ladies, their long dresses; Sadie and Grace had reckoned him to be a gentle soul, not very quick-witted, but a steady worker and they never used the epithets they heard other passers-by hurl at him and the animadvert and arrogant manner by which they treated him (Stupid, Imbecile, Moron – and from photographs of him which are still extant, he has now been diagnosed as having Mowat-Wilson Syndrome) some simply dropping a coin in the dirt for him to retrieve but he always seemed quick to smile at both of them; well, here he was and, surprise-surprise, he had a note for them and handed it to Sadie, and she paid him 6d, rightly guessing that he'd already been given one by their mystery correspondent who'd engaged him for the errand, and sent him back to his work; Grace sat before the fire and Sadie read the note, addressed to the both of them: "it sez" she said,

    Dear Ladies,

    Due to an unexpected visitation by my Uncle, Walter and I will be unable to visit you tonight, however, I have been able to find a replacement: my dear friend Mr Charles Dickens is leaving in a month or two for a Lecture Tour of the United States of America and, as he finds himself at a loose end tonight, I am giving him a Present of you both,

    I know that between Grace's Tongue and Sadie's Quim he will have a thoroughly good time; don't trouble yourselves or him about the Fee; it is my gift and I will pay you for your services on the morrow,

    have, and give, lots of Fun;

    all my love to you both,

    Paladin xxx

    "well," said Sadie, "there's a Turnip for the Books! wot a portentous letter – not that I've got any problem abaht it, but I ain't never bin given to a Gent as a Present, Gracie, nor I doubt ave you, as yer?" and Gracie shook her head and asked: "do you know this Gent, this Mr Dickens?" and Sadie nodded vigorously: "oh yes, Gracie, I knows im, I've addim atween my legs afore, oh, but not fer a long long long long time, e's got a legal wife and famly and anuvva wife, a actress, why e must be in is mid 50s benow, e's written lots an lots o books, aren't you read any of em gel? look ere!" and she fetched a couple of books from under the footstool, where there was a little shelf, and handed them to Grace, who read the titles: Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, "can I read them?" she asked, eagerly, "course yer can, gel, wot's mine is yours, ain't it? but look, it's gone 8.30, Mr Dickens'll likely be ere in jif, so pop the kettle on, e likes a nice cuppa an a chat afore e gets to work, an don't worry if e scribbles in is notebook, wile we're talkin, e's always done that, I reckons it's ow e gets ideas for is stories, ask im bout Little Nell or the Murder o Nancy by Bill Sykes! oh! e can tell a tale in such ways it makes yer feel as tho it's appenin right in the room before yer very eyes, but once e's ready for a bit o a frolic, yer get down on yer knees and warm im up wivva good lickin an suckin an I'll get mesel ready on the bed fer the Grand Openin! we'll give im a night to rememba fer a long long time, you an me Gracie, we'll in-toxi-cate im wiv our e-roti-cism!" and with high spirits, they lit and placed candles to give the room an air of intimacy fitting for such a distinguished visitor!

  • #6958 submitted 09/16/2017: kayfabe, hombre, travesty, Chondromalacia patellae

    And that was when Sadie Siddons announced to her young friend, Gracie Long – who, we all know, is really Lady Griselda of Longformacus – that tonight was the night when she would be initiated into her new life, a life they had been preparing for over the past few weeks: tonight Sir Peveril MacFarlane (Sadie's and Grace's Protector) and his friend Mr W (in fact Mr Walter Minor, although neither of them knew his last name for certain but guessed it was Minor because of a label sewn into one of his jackets, which, Sadie had conceded might just be a reference to the fact that the label might have meant that he was merely the younger brother of another Mr Walter who had been to the same Public School and who was known there as Walter Major, because she knew for a fact, it having been explained to her by a Stockbroker she had been intimate with some years earlier that at his own School brothers were referred to as Major or Minor to distinguish the older and younger of a pair of siblings, which would mean she admitted that his Surname could be Walter and she knew for a fact that most swells and gents referred to one another by their surname rather than their Christian name, whereas they always spoke to the Girls they frequented by their Christian names) and she knew for a fact (one of her favourite phrases regardless of whether or not she truly did) that tonight, this very night, was to be exciting for both of the Gentlemen and indeed for Gracie herself: Gracie had been initiated into giving men, who Sadie introduced her to. the pleasure of oral sex, what Sadie referred to irreverently as Sucking the Sausage, coarsely as Mouth Fucking and Gracie had to admit to herself, that it wasn't really as bad as she had feared when Sadie first told her about it, for, at least so far, the men she had sucked had been clean and reasonably wholesome, and when she closed her eyes she could imagine she was merely sucking her own thumb, at least until the squirt of an unusual kind of liquid, warm and milky, although many of the men she had sucked had been possessed of something considerably thicker and longer than either of her dainty thumbs, and she had found, after the first few occasions, that swallowing the Spunk (Sadie's name for the thickish liquid that shot into her mouth) was not entirely unpleasant and varied in taste from salty to sweet, and she had learned from Sadie how to kayfabe and act more aroused than perhaps she felt and taught her all the tricks which will bring the spunk sooner that might be otherwise "cos you don't want to be on your knees all night and end up with that Chondromalacia patellae like Maisie Higgins, you've seen er knees, big lumpy things, from too long at the job," and Grace agreed; but tonight she was to be properly fucked for the very first time and, Sadie assured her, by true Gentlemen and in the case of Sir P, one of them an Aristocrat, which was a lot better than having to open your legs for a Butcher, Baker or Candlestick Maker, like many of the poorer class of Gels who stood about on street corners, never knowing what hombre would be poking them for a bob or two; so Gracie tried her best to look and sound grateful, for she knew that Sadie never lied to her and she trusted that Sadie would be there to ensure that no harm came to her; then Sadie said that she had a little thing which would show Grace what the night to come would involve, and from her bottom drawer she produced a wooden object which, she said, was what the Gels on the Game called a Dildo, and this one was a replica of Sir P's Todger, "thet's wot e calls his Cock-a-doodle-do, is Todger, feel it, oi knows it's just a travesty, ain't got the throb o his thing, but it's perfick shape an size," and she handed it over: it was slightly heavy, but not sharp, smoothed out, in a reddish wood, with a plum shaped head and a shaft that she could hold in her hand; of course, she recognised it, for she'd already 'Sucked the Sausage' for him, but she was anxious about it going into her, 'down there' so Sadie told her to lie on the bed with her legs wide, and her knees bent up, and Sadie positioned herself between Grace's smooth, white limbs, "now oi've greased it, to make it slippery an slidey, an we'll do that to Sir P's tonight," she assured Grace, and then she said, "oi'll count to three and then slide it inter ye, One, Two," and Gracie felt something firm, but slippery, sliding into her, sliding out and in, out and in, and she closed her eyes and let her body respond: her heart raced, she clenched and relaxed her buttocks, found that she could do the same with muscles she hadn't known she possessed, as Sadie kept up the rhythm, all the time inserting the Dildo a little more with each thrust, and then Gracie felt a sharp pain and she cried out "ow! that hurt!" and then the thing went deeper, deeper than she had ever known anything could, and before she knew it, Sadie was on top of her, kissing her on the lips, pressing her tongue into Grace's mouth, and Gracie responded, wrapping her legs around the older woman's waist and her arms around her body and Sadie pushed herself between Grace's thighs, and her fingers withdrew the Dildo and she pressed harder with her own body, her dexterous fingers finding Grace's clitoris and pressing her own on to it. and rocking herself and Grace into a rhythm that intoxicated Grace as she felt herself falling away and her body respond of it's own accord, their kisses passionate, mumbled words lost in each other's mouths and the hypnotic rhythm rising and falling with their beating hearts and then, after what seemed like an instant and an eternity, they both gasped and moaned as pleasure flooded their senses and everything stopped, they were as if glued together, as if they were one, holding their breaths for as long as possible until everything drained away and Sadie let her body sink onto Grace and Grace held her tight as if afraid she might disappear, and they slowly sank into that wonderful dreamless sleep which follows the most perfect unity of two women who love and cherish each other, and they never moved, except for the gentle, shallow breath of slumber!

  • #6956 submitted 09/15/2017: kayfabe, loll, inoculate, Psoriasis

    And that is how it came to be that, the next morning, having all but forgotten about their appointment with the Marquis de Sade in his Chateau at La Coste, as Sir Parlane MacFarlane was lolling on some cushions by the camp-fire and his manservant Dominic Doubleday was applying some unguent to a small outbreak of psoriasis on his elbows and knees – perhaps an indication of his position in the cart where they had spent an amiable and productive night in the pliable company of two very young Gipsy wenches inoculating each of them several times, and swapping over half-way through the night to vary the pleasures for all parties – when a squabble broke out between the Leader of the group, a wizened old man with a face like a walnut and wisps of grey hair on his head and face, named Balthazar, and two other fellows, strong, vigorous and somewhat younger than he: had he been paying close attention, Sir Parlane might have realised that there was somerthing kayfabe about the way they shouted, swore, shoved, and demonstrated strong feelings with slashes of their hands as if they were wielding sabres or daggers, but unfortunately he was not, so preoccupied was he with his own internal dialogue, so it was with some surprise that he looked up when someone kicked his foot; he raised an eyebrow and enquired what was happening and it was Balthazar who sat down beside him and explained: "you see, Milord, it is like this: it is a custom among our people that if any man deflowers, or takes the virginity of a girl, he is honour-bound to marry her, and these two men are the fathers of the girls you and your friend here fucked last night, all night, and kept almost everyone awake with the ferocity of your coupling, so they have demanded that, as our guests here, as my guests here, you must carry out your obligation as such guests and marry them, today, now! you will know that there is no such thing as divorce among our people and, no matter where you travel, how far and for how long,, your wanderings may take you, your wives shall always go with you, and if you abandon them, anywhere, word will reach their fathers and they will find you and slit your throats to satisfy the honour of their families; and the time for the double wedding is fast approaching, aha! here is the priest from La Coste to officiate," this said as a rather jolly looking priest entered the circle of caravans and greeted Balthazar warmly, then nodded curtly to MacFarlane and Doubleday, clearly identifying them as the guilty parties for whom he was now to carry out his duties and hand down Life Sentences!

  • #6954 submitted 09/14/2017: xenophobia, middling, marginalia, mickle

    And what that was, was played out before their very eyes: a wee Cock Sparra sat'na tree, chirpin awa as blithe as could be, alang cam a boy – a middling sized 8-year-old loon in dungarees – wi a bow an a arra – and an old bucket, and sitting on the bucket – said he, "ah'll get ye, ye wee Cock Sparra"; the boy wi the arra let fly at the Sparra, but he hut a man that wis hurlin a barra, the man wi the barra cam owre wi the arra, an he said "ye tak me fur a wee Cock Sparra!" the man hut the boy tho he wisnae his farra, the boy stood an glowered, he wis cut tae the marra; an aw this time the wee Cock Sparra, wis chirpin awa on the shank o the barra! and as the man left the scene, muttering xenophobic curses about Scotch garçons and the boy, dragging his bow and bucket also slouched off, the spectators roared with laughter – at an interlude which, in terms of this History might be disregarded by some as mere inconsequential marginalia, but that view shall be proved to be so wrong, in due course – which was when it became apparent that MacFarlane's waters and bowels had simultaneously burst and he had pished and shat his breeks, together with his shirt which was stuffed into them, and his coat which was tucked under him where he sat on a tree stump; face red with embarrassment he tried to cover his shame with the wide-brimmed hat he had been wearing, but his discomfort – and the smell – was quickly noticed, and produced further merriment, with even Dominic remarking: "it's uncommon true, but proves that mony a mickle maks a muckle, sic a wee pickle of piss an shite fair reekin like a fairmyaird efter aw the coos huv shat their load," which earned him a cuff around the head from his Master, but a poor skelp with one hand, the other vainly trying to hold his garments away from his body; until one of the women offered to wash his clothes and dry them over the embers of the fire, which he felt was both a bold and compassionate offer and he gratefully acceded; she showed him into a small caravan where he might privately undress and clean himself and she handed him a bundle of dry clothes to change into; and that was how, a few minutes later, he emerged dressed in a woman's blouson, petticoats and voluminous skirt, there having been no male attire either in the bundle or to be found within – this produced further laughter from everyone gathered round the camp-fire, and MacFarlane himself wisely joined in, demonstrating that he had the wit to accept the humour in his predicament, and showing how well he could imitate, in his walk and gestures, the movements and carriage of a woman, despite being a man; and as he explained to the Gipsies, Scotchmen, at home, traditionally wore the Kilt which is not so very different from a woman's skirts, giving the wearer free movement in hunting as much as in battle; the Gipsies revelled in all this and it was not long before the two Scotchmen, as honoured guests, were shown a trailer in which they might spend the night, along with two young Gipsy wenches who, said the Leader with a lascivious grin, would help keep them warm in the cold of the night as was the Gipsy custom, for every Bari Gadgi must needs have a Bari Manushi for his bedmate; and so it was that in the tight confines of the rustic cart, there was much merriment and little sleep, as the rocking, and creaking of the van gave testimony to the virility of the two wayfarers and the squeals of pleasure similarly demonstrated how their plunges also gave enjoyment to the two young strumpets! but oh! what the consequences would be was only discovered in the morning.

  • #6951 submitted 09/13/2017: tenesmus, contemporaneous, precocious, concatenation

    Which, just after MacFarlane had been stricken with tenesmus and had spent ten minutes behind an olive tree unable to piss until he gave up the bad job and resumed his walk with Doubleday, was when they fell in with the Gipsies, or 'Tinks' as they were known in Scotia; what a motley crew they appeared: precocious children stared at them, brazen faced women with flashing eyes and much else besides, surly bearded men, with heavy brows and dark brooding slits between hooded lids, who looked as ready to slit your throat as shake you by the neck, neither of which was what MacFarlane or Doubleday wanted; "ah," cried Sir Parlane, "Gentlemen and Ladies of the Road!" neither of the nomenclatures fitting the rag-tag group which blocked their way, with their ramshackle Caravanserai and their insolent sneers threatening a bit of a concatenation: "can you pray tell us if we are on the correct road for La Coste?" was met with blank expressions, and he recalled that Gipsies had their own Romany tongue and scoured his mind for some form of translation they might comprehend, and came up with: "vă rog să ne spuneți dacă suntem pe drumul corect pentru La Coste?" and suddenly everything changed, the women became cocqettish, the men grinned gap-toothed in their beardy phizzogs and even the dogs stopped circling as if about to attack in a snarling, howling pack, and regarded the strangers as acquaintances rather than a meal, when of a sudden, rwo apparently unconnected things happened contemporaneously!

  • #6950 submitted 09/12/2017: mythomania, overstuffed, scour, sinecure

    And as they trudged, Sir Parlane sifted through his memory of the works of the Marquis de Sade, scouring for the truth which lay in the overstuffed mythomania of the man: there was something about a sinecure which gave him both the income and the abundance of free time to follow his debauched and libidinous inclinations, but Dominic was right, the Frenchman's fascination for certain coprophiliac practices which neither of the two Scotchmen had the faintest interest in, left a nasty taste in the mouth!

  • #6947 submitted 09/11/2017: whataboutery, detritivore, bibelot, antinome

    And who can say? there are some would blame God, others Satan, and behind them a chorus all shouting different deities, even Mother Nature, Man himself, and Darth Vader! but when he next opened his eyes, Sir Parlane MacFarlane could scarcely believe them: above, a clear blue sky, he moved his hands and found that he was lying on what felt like grass, he turned his head to confirm it, and tried to take his bearings from the view, but could make nothing from it – a wide expanse of rolling hills, rising to mountains, not fields as he knew them, they seemed to have rows of little trees with what looked like grapes or olives hanging from them, but there were no dykes so far as he could see, just small hedgerows and occasional stands of trees and way far over to his right, a wood, maybe even the start of a forest, rising up one hillside and over the top, which was when he heard a slight clink, as of a stone dislodged, and turned to his left: "oh, good, you're awake, Boss, did you enjoy your nap?" and while resenting some of the colloquialisms his servant had picked up in America, he asked: "how long was I asleep?" and Dominic Doubleday replied, "oh, half an hour, so, probably twenty minutes, not long, are you ready for a cuppa? or a snifter?" and Doubleday offered a steel mug with the aroma of steaming coffee floating out of it, and in his other hand, MacFarlane's hip flask, which he knew contained Cask Strength Bowmore, his current malt of preference: "so, Dominic, where are we up to," hoping that covered up for his complete lack of knowledge of where they were and why they were here, the only things he knew for certain were his and his Man's identities and the whisky in the flask; Doubleday took a swig of the coffee, while MacFarlane a shot of the whisky which brought a burst of something ferocious in his chest and belly, then replied: "well, I reckon it's just up that track and then we should see the village, or town, from A to B maybe two miles? five tops?" which might have been a reasonable answer to the question but didn't tell MacFarlane very much so he said: "right, pretend I know nothing, I just want to see if you've got it right, so what's it called?" and Doubleday answered, "La Coste, and the geezer lives in the Chateau, right at the top," and MacFarlane asked: "and what's our story and the plan?" at which Doubleday chuckled: "he's a Marquis, I don't rightly know what that's like when it's at home, but I do know that when he wrote you, he said he was interested in The Ring of Gold and wanted to join, but it has to be whatsitcalled? yeah, Clandestine, cos he's been in trouble with the law for gettin a bit carried away and some of the girls and women runnin off and blabbin to the Peelers, or wotever they callem here in Frogland, seems he's a bit naughty has a penchant for various games that indicate he's a detritivore – bit of a Bummer and not our particular cup of tea, if you ask me, which you didn't – and does more than they've agreed to, including using various bibelots he's got lying about and insertin them where the sun don't shine; ye ken, this de Sade geezer, he's not got your delicacy about him, needs a good Spin Doctor, maybe that's what he hopes you can help him with," and MacFarlane asked: "where's the letter, now?" and Doubleday pointed at the saddle-bag which his Master was resting against: "all, safe inside Guv'nor, safe as houses, wrapped in oilcloth so it don't get damp, I saw you fold it very carefully and stuff it in yesterday," and MacFarlane's last question was: "and this is the date we agreed, is it?" which caused Doubleday to guffaw, "oh aye, Boss, spot on, 1st April 1776, All Fools Day, after he wrote you on his way back from Italy, where he's been living under an assumed name, since he vamoosed with the local cops on his tail, but he promised he'd be here and ready for us today, said he's innocent of the heinous charges brought against him, claims to be as white as the driven snow which, to me, sounds like an antinome ha ha! got that in one of your books and I thought it wiz an Auntie Gnome, and that image kind of excited me in some way, but I found out wot it really means and I think I've used it right this time, cos in the next sentence he sez he's got some fresh, young chickens, ready for plucking, yeah that was his exact words: Ready for Plucking, but writ in Frenchy, 'Des jeunes poulets frais, prêts à être plumés' have I said it right?" and MacFarlane laughed, "like a true Scotsman, Dominic, like a true Scotsman!" though his mind was reeling - 1776 in France, how the fuck had he got here, and what did it all mean? he recalled his time in the whatever it was and the voice that had entered his head, and knew that he would have to be very careful with the Marquis de Sade, whose writings he had first encountered in Ranulph Ochan'toshan's house in Bowden, and then became more fully conversant with in Duck Trumpet-Trousers' White House, whatever he wants, when he's at home! and then a thought struck him: "Dom, where did you get the Thermos and the coffee?" and the servant simply winked and tapped the side of his nose with a meaty forefinger! and MacFarlane had no energy to indulge in a game of whataboutery with his Manservant and Partner in Crime.

  • #6946 submitted 09/10/2017: spin doctor, from A to B, conversant, vamoose

    And outside the Mission Hall, keeping on the blind side of the driver of the Rolls, Bernie Cohen and the Private Detective Campbeltown Loch held a quick conference: "ma brither Duddingston, he's ma Partner, well he's inside, he got in the Vestry windae an up through a hatch tae the loft, he's got a wee tape recordin machine aff a pal at the BBC so we'll get aw thing spoken aboot oan tape, are ye conversant with the technology aboot noo? he's disguised the microphones in dried floo'er displays, they'll never find um, well no unless they search the place, an iffen it goes pear-shaped, Duddingston can vamoose oot the fire escape in thurteen secs, A to B, but it wulny come tae that; an wur sister Tangy . . . . ." he was interrupted by Bernie asking: "is that really the name of a Loch?" and Loch looked closely at him, as though expecting an insult, but seeing none, replied: "aye, mon, it's ower by Kintyre . . . . ." and then Bernie asked: "are there any more of you?" at which Loch looked blank, "mair o us whit?" he enquired, looking genuinely puzzled, "more of you named Lochs?" and he scratched his head, "we're aw Loch, thon's wir name, why?" and Bernie felt a fit of the giggles coming on, despite the importance of their Mission, "I mean are you all named after Scottish Lochs," and Campbeltown now looked pityingly at Bernie, "course we ur, we couldna be named efter English Lakes, unless oor surname wiz Lake, noo, could we?" at which Bernie gave up and listened to the rest of what Loch had to say, which was: "an wur sister Tangy has planted twa o yer wee laddies in ane o the Hooses, she's got hersel a joab as a Hoose Mither an there wis twa vacancies in the Hoose an faced wi an urgent application frae Social Work the Aunties approved it afore the noo Uncles goat stertit, so Snooker Tam an Wee Boabie are in – av spoke tae thur parents gave them the Honest Truth an they've approved it, am mebbe no a Spin Doctor, but a ken hoo tae bring tears tae a wummin's een!"

  • #6945 submitted 09/09/2017: spin doctor, reinvent the wheel, disport, gramarye

    It was the light, through his eyelids, that woke him from, not sleep, rather a deep unconsciousness, dreamless, and he had no idea of the passage of time, it could have been a moment, a century, millennium even, at first pink, then growing in intensity, but when he opened them, the brilliance of the light caused him to shut his eyes tight, to no avail, open it was white and glaring, like staring into the sun, shut, blood-red, and no matter how he tried to move his head, all around him; for how long this went on, he could not measure, and he was still strapped or tied down, spreadeagled on the stone floor, in what felt like a vast, cavernous space – not outside, for there was no sensation of a breeze, or even the gentle whisper of air moving around him, nor was it particularly cold, or warm, just very still and silent, since the voice, from outside or inside his head he could no longer remember, and as struggling would not help him he simply lay as still as he could, breathing as steadily as possible and listening intently in case there should be some sound other than his own body; which was when he heard the voice again, and wherever it's point of origin, he couldn't avoid it, it burrowed in and seemed to drive every other thought out: "like the Prodigal Son. you return. like the Bad Penny, you turn up, time after time after time eternal, are you my conscience? no, for like you I have no conscience, no remorse, no pity, but unlike you I learn from my mistakes, I learn and profit by that learning, but you seem to have no memory, no history, existing only in the moment, as transitory as a Mayfly, as empty as The Void; should I care what becomes of one so insignificant? probably not, but your existence is like a stone thrown into a pond, it changes everything, for ever, and whatever is done, is done and cannot be undone; Old Omar, the Tentmaker, is right about that, read him, my Friend, and perhaps learn something, for certainly there is nothing to learn in your own life and no Spin Doctor could recast it any better; but you do not belong to me, your Spirit belongs to The Creator and, anyway, why try to re-invent the wheel; as Menander writes: 'The Die Is Cast!' so disport yourself as you will, but heed one simple warning: No More Gramarye! – now, close your eyes while the light dims and when you open them you will be in a different Time and Place, make of it what you will but if you return here, I may choose to let you remain, for truth to tell, you are of no interest or use to me here or there, so an eternity of Dark and Light or, indeed, simply nothing, may suffice to teach you a Lesson! though this may be your last chance to change, to make amends, you see, I have not lost my sense of humour, or irony; many of you have scoured legends and history, books of religion and science, to guess about me, but that is all they are, conjectures which lead no-where; they debate the cause and nature of my Fall from Grace and Dante! oh, how I enjoy his imagination, all the product of his own mind, and so very far from reality, it really is so far removed from the truth that it makes me laugh out loud – though the only one who can hear me now is you, and I tire of you, begone!" and as the voice stopped, he slipped back into the Timeless, Dreamless, Oblivion.

  • #6944 submitted 09/08/2017: spin doctor, split infinitive, extemporaneous, fossick

    "Cinnamon!" cried Sir Parlane MacFarlane, "are you a member of this illustrious body?" and the other man crinkled his eyes, let out a gasp and a smile was quickly followed by an extended hand, which MacFarlane grasped: "why my old fag, Parlane, you rascal," said Sir Cinnamon Toast, taking the other's in a Masonic grip, "yes, for my sins, you might say," this with a knowing wink which the new arrival returned, "I think we are singing from the same Hymn Sheet," said Toast, holding MacFarlane in a bear-hug and whispering into his ear: "a steady supply of fruit for plucking, young, fresh and unsullied for you to fossick among, I know how much you enjoy the Hunt! and then there are the Aunties, who I believe you will find to be extremely enthusiastic and dedicated, nudge, nudge," and breaking away, he gathered the women together and introduced the two parties to each other: "this is a great day for the Milngavie Cluster of The Good Shepherds Society; and so soon after the tragic loss of the Five Uncles who gave such sterling and dedicated service to the Children in our Care for so many years, but, like the Phoenix, we rise from those ashes and shall continue or Mission, and I quote from our Charter: "to boldly advance, and implant the seed in young bodies and minds thus to proudly develop a new generation of the Faithful in the Service of Christian Fellowship!" and there was a round of applause, even from those who squirmed at the dreadful use of split infinitives in the Society's Mission Statement, no doubt the product of some spin doctor's febrile imaginings; then Sir Cinnamon ushered the party into the little Mission Hall which was the base for the Milngavie Cluster: he explained to the new Uncles, "this is where you and the Aunties will hold your Committee Meetings, where the children will come for Sunday Worship, for Seasonal Festivals, Birthday and Christmas Parties and the like, Saturday Film Shows, and the weekly meetings on different days of the Cubs and Brownies, Scouts and Girl Guides, even the Life Boys and Boys Brigade – on those occasions, other children from the town join in and so we integrate our own charges with the local community; our boys and girls attend the local Primary and Secondary Schools and as a Society we are also involved in other community activities, and I know that I can count on the Aunties to give the new Uncles a thorough initiation into, not only the work we undertake, but the social benefits of being an active member of a small and dedicated team: I am confident that you will find much in common with one another, and perhaps some less common interests which will considerably increase your involvement and give pleasure to one and all!" at which glances were exchanged between the Aunties and the new Uncles, and it wasn't long before the Mating Dance achieved it's goal, the pairings were made and Sir Cinnamon rose to suggest "tea and crumpets before we make a round of the Homes – the Home Fathers and Mothers are expecting us – and while I go over our Itinerary with the delightful Miss Bambona – oh, my dear," he extemporised, "I am not psychic, I have know you since you were born, I was at your Christening, your esteemed father and I have many business and social connections – I suggest that the rest of you get to know one another better," and he ushered Dolores into the small office, behind the Altar, to show her his Standing Stone!

  • #6943 submitted 09/07/2017: googly, fester, propagate, whoosis

    When the white Rolls Royce Phantom drew up kerb-side, Manny stopped his cab at the corner of the street, from where he and Bernie had a clear view of the six passengers climb out, last being a rather rumpled Dolores Bambona who seemed confused and jumpy after the ride, trying to smooth her hair with one hand and her dress with the other, while still holding onto her attache-case; there was a knock at the door of the cab and then it opened and a small slightly dishevelled man slid in beside Bernie; Campbeltown Loch, a small-time Private Investigator with a seedy office in Maryhill and a festering plook on the back of his neck nodded to Bernie and Manny: "got the gen for you, gentlemen, or should I say, my attractive assistant Ribena gottit: the Chairman of The Good Shepherds is there, together with the Five Aunties for the Milngavie Cluster - Names, Ranks and Serial Numbers," and he handed Bernie a sheet of crumpled paper on which the details seemed to have been written by a well-educated Chimpanzee but, as Bernie narrowed his eyes he was able to read:

    Sir Cinnamon Toast Chief Executive Toast Towers, Ben Lomond

    Mrs Maybelline Rutherglen 4 Ranfurly Drive

    Miss Sybill Macintosh 17 ArchibalD Terrace

    Miss Lynette Carruthers 12 Plantation Road

    Mrs Olivette Wotherspoon 18 Kirk Brae Gardens

    Lady Utopia MacLeod of MacLeod, Inverbracken Castle

    "do we know anything about them?" he asked; "oh aye," replied the detective, "and there's plenty tae ken, whaur div ye want me tae stert?" and feeling slightly irritated by the offhand manner, Bernie said: "how about the beginning? that's usually a good place to start," but his sarcasm seemed to float over the small man's head, and he simply cleared his throat and began: "well, Toast ye'll ken o, Chairman o Toast an Butter, his Managing Partner is Sir Thompson Butter an 'whoosis?' ye micht ask but if ah mention The Mysterious Affair o The Queen's Lady-in-Waiting an The King's Valet, ye'll ken wha am talkin aboot, well they've made a fortune oot o the War, no that they actually mak onythin, but they've near monopolised the supply o onythin tae the War Oaffice, which means a the Services, no that they physically touch onythin either, they basically act as a Clearin Hoose: the Navy wants a boat, they send an order tae Toast an Butter, wha pass it on tae a Shipyerd, it's bribery an corruption oan sic a scale it cannae be touched, aw alang the line abdy taks a bite, it's a self-propagatin system, 'but why?' ye maun ask yersel, 'duz the Navy no jist send their ain order tae a Shipyerd?' cos the Meenester o The Navy gets a back-haunner fi Toast an Butter wha get yin fae the Shipyerd that wants the order, abdy gets rich, cept the puir fuckers wha sail oan the ship wi probly only hauf the rivets it shood hae, but hell, it'll likely get sunk bi a U-Boat, so why waste dosh oan it, every penny rivet coonts, but, dunnit?" and Bernie was shocked at the chicanery Loch described and he felt as if he had been bowled a googly - this was no Black-Market Ned selling eggs or meat out of the back of a van in a side-street in the Gorbals, it was Fat Cats getting fatter while men died and families starved or were bombed out of their homes, not to mention the things his mother had seen in the Nazi Concentration Camps; this was about people who no doubt rubbed their hands with glee whenever a War was Declared, who, in fact, had probably pulled strings to engineer wars in the first place - and to be sure - Peacetime no doubt saw them change the goods they passed around so that they still profitted; these were the Traitors he hated as much as any Foreign Enemy but Campbeltown Loch was still talking!

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