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Lost the Plot - Episode 3 - The Rock


By Monkey1& Crouch n'Hold
July 12 2006

Most of the group had wandered back to the beach, the novelty value of the hatch having worn off. They had scraped away the vegetation, tried moving the levers & prising at it with sticks but it would not open.

It had obviously remained unused for years, was certainly very late 20th Century at the oldest judging by condition & design, they were completely baffled as to why there should be this lonely sign of human interest in the place.

 

A number of theories had been put forward ranging from “something military” to drains. Draining what to where? It offered more questions than answers.

 

RnR suggested using the golf clubs to lever open the hatch, Touchy quickly collected his ball & whacked it off into the jungle before such an obscenity could go any further. Touchy had suggested refining chemicals that would corrode away the hatch as a means of opening, but his recipe involved slugs & a toad & sounded quite disgusting so nobody expressed any enthusiasm.

 

The few remaining at the hatch slumped down in defeat. GFB had a headache as bad as she could remember since this morning. Still swathed in bandages she was beginning to overheat & didn’t smell too nice.

 

“What do you think is under there anyway?” asked Mally to nobody in particular.

 

“No idea” replied Peter “but if there was ice cream down there Bubble & Squeak would have it open like a shot”.

 

“I’ve got an idea”. Said Happy Hooker.

 

“What is it?” asked Mally.

 

“It is a plan that is the product of intellectual activity but that’s not important right now. I was thinking that we could see if there are any more hatches hidden around the island & try to make a pattern”.

 

They scanned the miles & miles of dense jungle & realised that HH was indeed barking mad like the rest of them.

 

Westie’s stomach grumbled again & he remembered the picture of some food that he had found.

 

“I think it is time to eat” Dr B said “I can’t listen to that much longer”.

 

“But we have no food” said the Lincoln “All the fruit we gathered earlier has gone into Leipy’s hooch, not that I’m complaining but as much as I would like to we can’t live on a liquid diet, besides that stuff will take days to ferment”

 

Nobody could recall the Lincoln ever having consumed solid food before so they realised the situation must be serious.

 

“We’d better go looking for more food then” Westand said.

 

Sheeny, Happy hooker and the Lincoln groaned, they did not fancy going back into the jungle again today.

 

“I will lead a party this time”. piped up the Monkey.

 

Everyone groaned this time.

 

“What?” he replied looking hurt, “Don’t you lot know I am an expert in orienteering, I have even taught the army on such”.

 

“Let’s have a vote.” Peter said.  “All those in favour of putting our digestive tracts in Monkeys hands, raise your arms now”

 

A few more stomachs rumbled and slowly a few of the now sober & hungry group raised their hands.

 

“Right, that’s it then” Monkey said and skipped off back down to the beach singing “but more, much more than this, I did it myyyyyyyyyy waaaaaayyyyyy”.

 

“I think I’d better go with him” said Peter, slowly shaking his head just thinking of the prospect of an excursion into the jungle led by Monkey Travels. “Who’s joining us?”

 

Peter had been on a previous trip to France with the Monkey & had ended up just about as far from their objective as they were from Paris now. He thought he may have the necessary skills to keep the trip in some sort of order. He swung his crutch in a menacing manner, yes just the right sort of skills.

 

 

“Ah don’t maand honestly” chirped Tracy “Ave done some walkin in me time rahnd the east end & have ad enuff of sittin raand on me sheet of glarss”.

 

 

Tracy stared into her empty glass as it sat in a wet pool on the bar of the Old Vic. She sat in the same far corner of the bar every night, alone, lost in her own thoughts.

 

As always those thoughts turned to the disgrace that had left her isolated in the quiet end of the bar near the coat racks, a far cry from the days when she was always a popular figure in Alfred Square.

 

 

She was only 8 when her family moved from Whitley Bay to the East end of London. She had been a model pupil at school, was outgoing & friendly, but coming from a quiet middle class area was totally unprepared for the brutal environment of the capital city.

 

Being marooned far from her friends & familiar places she tried to make new friends & settle in, but quickly fell in with bad company. By the age of 10 she was stealing car radios, by the age of 11 she had moved on with the aid of a cushion & stilts to twocking cars, before she was in her teens she was a one girl motoring crimewave. Always one step ahead of the police she was never caught.

 

It needed a short sharp shock to break her out of this life of crime and this came not from Michael Howard, Home Secretary at the time, but from her local vicar.

 

She spotted the gleaming Morris Minor as an easy target one afternoon. With her skills & experience she was away with the hot hatch in less than a minute & had soon fenced it on for some Pic n’Mix  & a tenner.

 

For all her bad ways she still had a soft spot for the Rev. Percy Spindlewash who lived in the vicarage just off the square. When she saw how distressed he was at the loss of his chariot of evangelism, Gertie, she realised how much hurt she was causing with her selfish life of crime. She turned her back on her old ways, became involved with the church & with the help of the Sunday schools soon brought her education back on track.

 

Tracy made great progress, went to Accrington University to study social work & gained a first class degree in busybodying & interfering. With this meaningless qualification she was able to move back to Alfred Square & get a job with the local council meddling with housing projects & community services.

 

Through the church, her job & her many charitable activities she got involved with she became a popular figure around the square with a lively & busy social life. It was the retirement of the Vicar that would lead to her public disgrace & her present pitiful state.

 

The Rev. Spindlewash had been very busy during his tenure at St. Baldrick’s. Upon his retirement he found he now had the time & modest savings to indulge in some pleasurable pastimes. He longed for a replacement for his old Morris & scoured the classic car magazines for a new Gertie. He eventually found one the same colour, same year, an ideal replacement & took the Tube to have a look.

 

 

As soon as he saw it on the drive he knew. There was that scratch on the rear bumper where he had reversed into Mrs Plumpy, the chip in the windscreen where Mrs. Plumpy’s tartan trolley had hit when he again ran her over several weeks later. The dent in the headlamp chrome from when he ran over Mrs Plumpy’s dog while taking her to hospital after he accidentally dropped the font cover on her foot was unmistakable. This car was Gertie.

 

He phoned the police & reported finding his car. It did not take them long to reveal the new identity of this vehicle as a sham & confirm that it was indeed the car that was stolen from Rev. Spindlewash. The scenes of crime investigators soon managed to lift a perfect fingerprint from the back of the ignition switch. Tracy’s charitable work sometimes involved schools so she was police registered. The fingerprint match was quickly made & at long last they had found the true identity of the cheeky twocker who had led them such a merry dance some years before.

 

The irony is that if she had remained a criminal, maybe living in a squat & fiddling benefits she would have been given a caution & a meal from KFC. As she was now a respectable person she was banged away for 3 years in HM Prison Stinkton.

 

Upon her release she was a social pariah, shunned by everyone. She managed to stay in the square but it was a lonely existence & she soon turned to drink.

 

She ordered another large whisky as she sat in her isolated corner of the Old Vic & thought about her trip to Paris tomorrow. With the last of her meagre savings she hoped to make a new start. Her love of Jonny had led to a love of the Falcons. These were the only people she knew who had no idea of her true past, people she could relax with. They had no idea that when TracyWilko first appeared on the message board she was using the computer in HMP Stinkton.

 

She gulped the whisky & then supped her pint of Watney’s while she dreamed about being with people who would treat her like a friend & not the social disgrace that she really was.

 

 

 

Touchy had returned having lost all of his balls with his first few shots. “Count me in, I’ve seen more of the jungle than most of you already & know what it is like. I just hooked it ever so slightly on my 3rd shot, this heat making the club sweaty, anyway the ball was just drifting when it caught the wind ……….”

 

Everybody had drifted away at the sound of the golfer blathering on as golfers do. Touchy trotted away to catch up.

 

They headed back to the beach where the Monkey was already filling up some of the empty bottles that he had cleaned earlier with fresh spring water.

 

“That’s a heck of a lot of bottles. Planning to stay long?” enquired RnR.

 

Monkey grinned.

 

Eventually the group of 4 intrepid explorers were ready & headed into the dense jungle. The Monkey led them across the rugged & confusing terrain. The pace was lively & soon they had covered many miles but with no sign of any food.

 

Peter & touchy were at the rear & in quiet conversation.

 

“Why the change of name then?” asked Touchy

 

“Eh!” replied Peter.

 

“Come on, I saw you listed as Reb’s Dad, that’s what you are known as on the message board, now you call yourself Peter. What are you trying to hide?”

 

“My name is Peter, Squeak is my daughter, real name Rebecca so I post on the board as Reb’s Dad. No secret about that”.

 

Touchy, always trying to unearth dark secrets & conspiracy theories was not going to let it rest so easily. He knew it was important to use false names to conceal the true identities of the cyber saddos. Peter organised the away trips, maybe he was using the trips to shift drugs or something, then he suddenly resigned, now changing his name. Holy Mary he would get to the bottom of this hiding of his true identity.

 

They continued the long journey, mainly in silence. Darkness fell & they took shelter in the dense undergrowth. They could hear the wind blowing the trees around above them & wondered what it must be like back at the beach without the shelter of the forest.

 

The group on the beach had a miserable night. Quite a storm blew up overnight which drove them into the jungle. They didn’t want to venture far from the beach in case they got lost & keeping together in the black of the night was not easy.

 

The following morning the storm had passed & had caused little damage for the simple reason that there was nothing to damage.  The group wandered back to the beach, everyone was there. Some bits of rubbish had been blown around & Westie found a picture of a beach hut.

 

“We should build a shelter”. He proclaimed.

 

They were all cold & hungry. They found a few bits of fruit that had not made it into Leipy’s hooch then started collecting materials to build a shelter.

 

Sheeny took charge. “We will need 4 main pillars then 8 cross struts. 15 floor beams along the short sides then 16 lengths of bamboo going the other way to make the floor. 23 more bamboo lengths cut with a notch to make an angle will do for the roof then 42 more full lengths of bamboo to lash the roof together, 24 each side.”

 

“It’s those bloody numbers again” muttered DG “are you taking the pi…”

 

“Hold it” shouted Sheeny, now very much in charge “The main supports will have to be much bigger than those, we need 4 decent tree trunks”.

 

On & on it went, everyone busy working together to build a sturdy shelter.

 

Meanwhile back in the depths of the jungle the search for food went on.

 

“Ahm sure ah’ve seen that tree befowa” Said Tracy “and that parf where I slipped & fell on me sheet of glarss”.

 

“You’re right” added Touchy “just over there is where we set camp on that first night”.

 

“How long have we been wandering in circles for then?” asked Peter.

 

“4 bloody days by my reckoning” answered Touchy “and I reckon we have gone about a mile from where we started. Monkey, you’re a lightweight, you’re fired”.

 

Touchy took a reading from the sun, consulted the moss on the tree trunks, studied the movement of the clouds overhead & struck off in a new direction, the others followed.

 

 

Touchy sat in his luxurious living room marvelling at the new life he had found since winning the bingo. Out of habit he still drank Ace lager which he bought from Bargain Booze whenever they had a special offer on. In polite company he now drank wine but his real favourite was a can or 8 of Ace.

 

He thought back to his life just a few months earlier. Every day the same, nothing to do but sit on the doorstep of his 2 up 2 down in the ‘pit raa’ in Pegswood. Once a week he would use the tin bath in front of the fire in a futile attempt at personal hygiene. He didn’t smell nice & he knew it.

 

He had once been a miner of sorts, a chemist working at the coal face, analysing the gases whenever the canaries looked a bit iffy but weren’t actually dead. If the risk of death or explosion was below 50:50 it was his job to feed the canaries hot chillis to perk them up a bit so work could carry on.

 

The mine eventually closed, bankrupted by the cost of chillis & canaries & like all the others Touchy was thrown onto the streets like so much unwanted rubbish. He would never work again.

 

While ‘doon the pit’ he dreamed of a life above ground in the fresh green countryside & that led him to a love of golf. He was about to take up the game when the mine closed, the resulting poverty of the ‘derl’ prevented him from taking this any further & he had to make do with whacking a pool ball that he nicked from the “sershul” around with an old pit prop.

 

He would supplement his meagre income with a few quid made from nicking hub caps & this allowed him to buy more Ace Lager than was good for him to ease the pain of being a social outcast. The careful budgeting of his dole money to buy as much Ace Lager as possible had made him expertly tight fisted. He had perfected the art of grumbling & moaning about prices to achieve maximum discount on any purchase.

 

Most days, once he was drunk enough, he would pop in to the local community centre & use the free computers to indulge in his other passion, rugby. He soon became one of the most prolific posters on the Falcons message board having nothing better to do.

 

He had actually played during his university days at Cambridge, rugger it was called there. He was a decent enough player in the 10 shirt & soon rose to play for his college. All through his undergraduate days, right up to his later years studying for his PhD he was 1st choice for the 10 shirt. One day he found that he was not selected for the coming game, some young upstart called Chris Andrew was the new rising star. Touchy threw away his boots & would never play again, nursing a hatred of the skinny undergraduate who had kicked him into touch.

 

He opened another can of Ace & his drunken gaze wandered to his new set of golf clubs. They rested in pride of place next to his new computer which he used to persecute the upstart Andrew whenever he could. Tomorrow he would be on the same plane as his arch enemy, the two of them sealed in & there would be no escape.

 

Tomorrow he would finally get his chance for revenge.

 

 

 

Within an hour Touchy brought them to the top of a hill from where they could see for miles.

 

“Look over there by that stream”. he shouted.

 

“What is it?” asked Peter.

 

“It’s a small body of moving water but that’s not important right now. Look beside it, that looks like a ship”.

 

 

Sure enough, marooned in the middle of the jungle was a ship. Within 20 minutes they had reached it & managed to climb aboard.

 

The ship was no more than a rusting hulk and was so overgrown it had obviously been there for years. They forced their way into the living quarters but there was no sign of human occupation.

 

Touchy started opening doors in the darkened ship. Out of sheer habit he turned the light on as he entered a totally dark room & to everyone’s amazement it worked. The room was spotlessly clean, some sort of kitchen area. Touchy opened a large refrigerator door & to his amazement he found it packed with food.

 

“Look over here in this fridge”. He shouted.

 

“What is it?” asked the Monkey.

 

“It’s an electrically cooled cupboard used for storing food but that’s not important right now, look what’s inside”.

 

Everyone stared in amazement at the contents, all fresh. Milk, cheese, bread, butter pate de foi gras & champagne.

 

 

Tracy opened a freezer full of meat, vegetables & McCain oven chips.

 

Peter opened another large fridge. “Bingo” he exclaimed. It was packed to the brim with cans & bottles of booze.

 

The merry gang feasted themselves on a quick sarnie followed by copious amounts of booze. As they ate & drank they explored further around the ship but found nothing else of interest. Tracy found the power supply by accident, a cable disappearing over the side of the ship. “Ah follerd it dahn the side & it just goes into the grahnd.

 

When they had feasted they gathered all the bags & useful carrying equipment they could find to take some much needed supplies back to the beach. They had no room for food except for some fish fingers & chicken nuggets for the 3 girls, each carried as much booze as they could manage.

 

Within an hour they were back at the beach where the rest of the Slashing with Lincoln posse were admiring their handiwork.

 

 

“What the bloody hell is that?” asked Touchy.

 

“It’s our shelter”. Replied Sheeny looking slightly hurt.

 

“It’s a bar, a bamboo bar”. Said the Monkey.

 

“Well we’ve got the right stuff to fill it up”. Said Peter emptying his load of Guinness, lager & whisky onto it.

 

There was jubilation as the wine, cider, beers & more were stacked up on the bar. Bubble & Squeak were given the fish fingers & chicken nuggets & told to cook a meal for themselves & little Em, the adults got a fire going to set the party atmosphere. The drink flowed once more & they were happy.

 

“Why did ya build this like then?” asked Tracy pointing at the now well used bar.

 

“Well the first night you were gone we had a bit of a storm blew up & decided we needed a shelter.” Said RnR. “Sheeny designed it, we all chipped in & it sort of, well, sort of became a bar. Just instinct I suppose”.

 

“Well maybe after a few pints o fizzy we could start on a propah sheltah like wiv walls, a dorwa & winders”. Suggested Tracy.

 

“Good idea.” Repled RnR “I remember now, I may have found just the thing for a roof. First day, unpacking the cases I found one full of white plastic sheeting”.

 

He staggered over to find the case & opened it. It was tightly packed & he couldn’t get the contents to budge. Then he noticed some sort of cord & pulled on it. With a loud hissing sound it began to inflate at an alarming rate. Within a minute there was an enormous inflatable polar bear on the beach.

 

“Whoopee” yelled the drunks & hauled it down to the water to splash around, all with their bottles & cans in hand. They floated it onto the sea & started larking about like the idiots they truly are.

 

Ma Leipy climbed to the top of the bear’s head, waving her can of cider around. Suddenly she stopped singing & larking about & shouted down “Hey, look everybody, there’s something coming around the headland?”

 

“What is it?” asked Pod.

 

“It’s a piece of land that juts out into the sea but that’s not important right now. It seems to be a raft & I can see people on it”.

 

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