The column aimed firmly at the louche, disaffected bon viveur and the properly bearded man-about-town
MYSELF: Here’s a thing. Did you know that every year (apart from the 2021 lockdown), the World Miniature (don’t call it Crazy) Golf Tournament is hosted on Hastings’ seafront, and attracts teams from all over the world?
READER: Crazy Golf? I love it!
MYSELF: Go back and read that first sentence again. Just because something is in brackets doesn’t mean you can just skip it.
READER: God you’re strict.
At 5am, on a typical chilly autumnal seaside morning, I climbed over the padlocked fence of The Royal & Ancient Hastings Miniature Golf Club to meet the German Minigolf team, who arrived this week to begin preparations for the next competition, due to take place in August 2022. During a torrential downpour, team captain Rolf Schlepper broke off from intensive training to talk to me about the careful preparations needed for their attempt to lift the trophy for a record breaking 17th consecutive year:
“Your English weather”, he told me from beneath a giant, partially destroyed golf umbrella, “is full of wind, and we do not like this. Here on the third hole for example, the sails of the windmill are going around so fast that that it is impossible for the door to remain open long enough for a regular ball to enter politely. For this reason we have developed in our laboratory a new ball, not yet approved, which is slightly taller than the old ball. We are also negotiating with Hastings’ famous inventor Gordon Thinktank, who has agreed to supply us with his new motorized cheating putter, with the revolving tungsten laser guided shaft and fake leopardskin grip. We may be the champions, but it is necessary to make these arrangements, so that it is certain that we are triumphant”.
DON’T MENTION THE WATER HAZARD
When I asked Rolf whether the team had any special strategy in mind for the 2022 competition, he sneered, straightened out his artificial robot arm and made a noise like a chicken:
“So, you wish to see our plans? Ha! In the game of MiniGolfputten, vice captain Klaus Wunderbra and myself are the supreme tacticians and we have developed a secret strategy which is unbeatable. If you shine your torch over there, you will see Horst Scheiße, our caddy, who is applying his expert analysis to the most difficult hole on this course The Big Clown Head. Deiter Klansmann, our newest team member, is the specialist for this hole, which is a dog-leg requiring a perfect 9-iron tee shot. Once over the water hazard, you must score a direct hit on the red nose of the clown. The opening of the clown’s mouth must be quickly followed with an accurate putt to the exposed tonsils”.
As dawn broke, and a police car approached, I thanked Rolf and was about to climb back over the fence, when suddenly, a dark Teutonic cloud spread over his rugged, rain-spattered face as he confessed;
“Regrettably, The Big Clown Head was the only hole we did not win at the last contest, and this was the sole reason for the tragic suicide of our star player Gottfried Schtumm, who, the night before Christmas 2019, drove his top-of-the-range Audi to a Lidl’s car park in Potsdam and beat himself to death with a sand wedge”.
READER: It’s hard to believe now, but the British invented this game.
MYSELF: I know, I know. We should never have admitted foreigners.
FOOD BANK CRISIS
An internet whistleblower has leaked shocking details of fat cat food bankers’ greedy bonuses. In a single 12-month period, one shameless food bank boss gratefully pocketed 3,500 shop-soiled cheese & onion pasties, 950 out of date Pot Noodles and over 2,000 Yorkie Bars. During a 5am raid on his £1,000,000 home, police discovered hundreds of slightly dented catering sized tins of baked beans buried under the patio of Hugh Falafel (59), manager of Upper Dicker Community Food Bank.
READERS’ LETTERS IN BRIEF
To Mr Donald Sinbad of Dymchurch: No, it is not possible to catch racism from a toilet seat, although you can catch it by drinking pomegranate juice, droning on about how you ran the half marathon without dropping dead, or simply by standing next to a jockey during an eclipse.
To Mrs. Beatrice Rasputin of Lilliputtenden:
Absolutely not. Always leave the cellophane wrapping on in case of snakes.
BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB
A selection of late summer titles published in a desperate attempt to capitalise on the upcoming Christmas delivery shortage:
The Chronicles of Beyondenden (Woggle & Peckinpah £12.95)
This is Semolina Gateaux’s third novel in her popular Beyondenden series for children and concerns mysterious goings on at the Hartlepool Museum of Steam. Three old friends, a fireman, a taxidermist and a window dresser are innocently stroking the streamlined contours of the high pressure boiler on a 1937 Radcliffe 4-4-2 Type 006 locomotive, when a steam-genie bursts out of the pressure relief valve and spirits them away to the parallel dreamworld of Beyondenden, where the normal rules of existence are suspended.
The Tibetan Booky Wook of The Dead (Monkey & Typewriter £15.99) by Russell Brand.
This, the latest outpouring from The Garrulous Gobfather of Guff is described on the cover as “a comprehensive new translation of the essential book of Tibetan philosophy, with all the small words taken out.” I cannot argue with that, since I would rather saw my own head off with a breadknife than actually read it.
If, on the other hand, you find reading difficult, or are a moron, I can confidently recommend I’m a C-List Celebrity Get Me Out of This Hideous Ballroom Dancing Nightmare (Netflix boxed DVD set, 23,000 episodes, £99.99)
MUSIC SCIENCE NEWS
Crack inventor and Hastings’ resident boffin, Professor Gordon Thinktank, has come up with yet another groundbreaking device for musicians. By welding two instruments together in a certain way, (see illustration), he has at a stroke solved the perennial noise-nuisance problem experienced by all flat-sharing trumpet duettists. With his new instrument, which he calls The Tacit Duettophone, essential eye contact is always maintained, and each player is able to keep tabs on the other’s fingering, yet no neighbour-irritating cat-strangling sounds emanate from the trumpets.
READER: Isn’t there a danger of unconsciousness? I mean how do the musicians avoid passing out from the hyperventilation caused by all that fruitless blowing?
MYSELF: Circular breeding.
READER: You mean circular breathing don’t you?
COMING SOON- WATCH THIS SPACE
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