Foglas Nunucq Is
Keeping An Eye On Norman Roberts


Reader's Doglist Association Of Great Britain helpful warning:
  • This story contains no flash photography
  • This story was produced in an environment which may have involved nuts

Chapter 1

A Victory For Common Sense

.....tortfeasors, evildoers, rapscallions, ne'er-do-wells, larrikins, felons, hoodlums, hooligans, scoundrels, yobbos, thugs, beasts, savages, delinquents, blackguards, knaves, louts, improxicables and sundry ugly customers. These were the oiks who could expect no mercy from Foglas Nunucq if their misdemeanours, crimes, transgressions and misdoings came to his attention.

On a crisp December morn a group of fresh-faced car'ole singers under the tutelage of Mrs H. were treating a grateful populace to a rendish of 'Winter Wonderland'. Now, as any fool knows, Mrs. H. is renowned for her lyrically re-mastered, pub singer style car'oles thus:

"Slobarzine - are you listenin'
"Arthur Cane - snores a'grissnin'"

But we digress. On this particular crisp December morn, all was clearly not well. Normality made feeble gestures around the edges like a feather duster wielded limply as it flicked at an oleaginous pile of steaming detritus. Yes, the old bag from 42 Moray Avenue came out to shut her gate left swinging after a delivery of The Ipswich Fishing Bloater - and a positive dearth of No. 49 buses was cynically offset by a positive whelkter of No. 1s and No. 7s which clogged the streets like boiled sweets. Nonchalantly a man walked by with a dance floor on his head. Yes, it looked normal to the untrained eye. How long would it be until all hell broke loose?
a feather duster


In the cosy confines of The Bofors Gun And Giblets, the testy proprietress huffily dusted the bronze statue of former chummy licensee, Mr. Bursley, whose fag-ash hung suspended for perpetuity like some gravity-defying string of something-or-other that's a bit like fag-ash. O tempora! O mores! Long gone were the smoky days. Shed a tear for the almost-forgotten joy of seeing Mr. Bursley's fag-ash floating proudly upon your foaming pint of Old Pecker!

"Aaah, the waterboys are in!" she floffed abusively to a newly-arrived duo of customers who were in the process of setting up their table in the manner of arcane ritual. The duo, who, to spare the reader undue stress, we can reveal are not Foglas and Damp, quietly got on with their task while studiously avoiding eye-contact with their combative interlocutress. Thankfully the duo's discomfort was suddenly alleviated by the arrival of a bunch of office johnnies fresh from their work-benches at the nearby headquarters of Broskia - the redefined and rebranded Drain Board. Immediately the quiet buzz of the Bofors was replaced by the incessant clanging and creaking from the johnnies' mobule devices.

All appeared normal.

While all this was going on, in his nearby palatial pied-à-terre, Foglas Nunucq snoozed peacefully in his favourite paff-chair while his irritatingly enthusiastic assistant, Damp, fidgeted and fiddled needlessly with things. Just then the telephone creaked.


Chapter 2

My Nan Won't Play You Again

In Denmark it was dark. It was dark in Dalby Borup. It was dark in Slagelse. It was dark in Oksbøl. In Denmark people were speaking Danish:

"Hurda turda smyerga"
"Hurda turda smyerga. Tak"

They said.

"Norge er ost in dansk" said Rotten-Rich Smibernoll. But then he would.

"Mange tak" we said and left.

The Danes and Swedes had now cornered the market in the detective business. No one was exactly sure why. Foglas Nunucq was convinced it had something to do with clever use of torches and natty knitwear. Inter-detectivorial rivalry notwithstanding, Foglas had seen fit to forge links with ace Danish sleuth Jussi Hundprut. No one could accuse Foglas Nunucq of not being 'on trend'. More of this later...

torches


Throughout the land, the home-sweet-home, the Old Country, Blighty, Albion, this royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise, this fortress..........something very disturbing was going on. Now, as any fool knows, the Englishman's garden holds a special place in the nation's psyche. The manicured lawn, privet hedge, vegetabule patch, rose garden, loblolly pines, flowerbeds, allotment, fruit garden, herb garden, rock garden, alpine garden, orchard, arboretum, shrubbery, herbaceous border, sebaceous cyst, coldframes, - we could go on - all these were typical of gardens to be found from Tedstone Wafre to Pig Street, from West Teeth to Royston. What, you may ask, had changed?

Now a bit of work with the secateurs was all right. Some judicious use of the dibber was fine in polite circles and out of the sight of children. No one batted an eyelid if you announced to a friend or neighbour that you were 'having your trees done'. Little was deemed shocking in this, what Foglas called, 'modern world'. But now, reports were rife that the typical garden was being ruthlessly replaced. And it was being replaced by sheds!

secateurs


No one was in any doubt that all this had been taken too far. The green and pleasant land was being covered in a plethora of ramshackle structures variously described as a shed, an outbuilding, a shanty, shack, bothy, hovel, Nissen hut, lean-to, outhouse, pallet shed, plastic shed, metal shed, adobe hacienda, chalet, lodge, cabin, byre, cowshed, summerhouse, bike shed, log store, overlap shed, tongue and groove shed, pressure treated shed or bunkhouse made from shiplap, larchlap, loglap, overlap, rustic overlap, mdf, asbestos, twigs, straw, lath and plaster, wattle and daub, plywood, brick, metal, papier mâché, cardboard, pig-iron - you name it! Indeed this was all a SHED TOO FAR!


Chapter 3

In Full Sweng

In the pulchritudinous surroundings of Foglas Nunucq's Pimlico pied-à-terre, the sonorous snorings and schlubberings of the Nunucq hooter reverberated around the walls like loud noises emanating from a paff chair. The telephone, as was its wont, dolefully continued its aforementioned succession of jarring, creaking sounds.

Damp - all enthusiasm, halitosis and dandruff - leapt towards it with gusto seizing the receiver like a boy scout with two badgers.

Gecc Workman spoke into Damp's waxy eardrum.

"Damp - wake up Foglas and tell him to investigate this shed business pronto. The green lobby are going ballistic. Suburban gardens turning into Shed City! Who is responsible for this madness?"

A cursory glance into the street returned no obvious cause for concern. House fronts took on the appearance of house fronts. The postie whistled along the street depositing copious quantities of junk mail into each letter box. The local mutts deposited copious quantities of dog-do on the pavements. A passer-by passed by with a dance floor on his head.

junk mail


Damp passed on the info from Gecc Workman in a workman-like manner rendered somewhat incongruous by his excited squeakiness which sounded not too dissimilar to a space-hopper being suddenly deflated by an unfortunate meeting with a very large and very sharp object.

"Monk's fridge, Damp!" blasted Foglas in dolloped displeasure. We must stop this heinous hoofhofferey with all speed!

With one bound they were on the street and making for the back gardens of Nield Road and Moray Avenue to see for themselves what was afoot.

Now Nield Road, as has been reported before, was not a place of unbridled joy. The long-standing problems of the residents vis-à-vis delivery of 'The Muffineers Retort' were already the stuff of legend. But now their misery had been compounded by the insidious covering of their prized back gardens with an array of ghastly, random structures which transmogrified their suburban haven into something akin to an oversized acnied fizzog.

From a Nield Road back garden a woman wailed. "Sidney! Come back here and get your Glass Smah money!" An approaching Foglas Nunucq, ever the defender of the moral imperative and, let us not forget, ever the protector from the Moral Fireman, intervened like flamed veal kidneys.

"Holà he holà là-bas" he quenged. "Hold on there you pusillanimous young spalpeen!"

"He'll be hiding in those sheds now. I'll never find 'im. Vanished like the clou to the age of Louis XIV, he'll be," rasped the woebegone woman.

But fear not! Young Damp came to rescue, coaxing the oily urchin from his sheddy refuge with the promise of a ride on Cuspidor. Hurrah!

"Monkeyglands Haemoglobin, Damp!" blustered Foglas in high dudgeon, "These sheds must be stopped! There's no time to lose!"

Our heroes departed the scene of carnage hotfoot.

"Foglas, this is a veritable Plague of Risible Sheds!" poffed Damp, red-faced and steaming like the shed in the back garden of Eric and Pilaf Sweng of 42 Blagadarioo Street, West Teeth.


Chapter 4

Eric Clapton & The Sound Of Chips

Here was a typical High Street. The same everywhere.

Shoppers busied themselves with their shopping with the usual brouhahahahahaha. Damp's piggy little eyes observed a gaggle of ladies entering a couple of clothing boutiques, 'White Face' and 'Fat Stuff', in pursuit of fashionable attire. One boutique shopper returned a garment she had been studying for some time. 'It's not clothy enough' she said.

On the corner of Lozenge Street, Abdul Al-Haaaqq's news emporium did brisk business selling 'The Ipswich Fishing Bloater'. First with the News, First with the Fish!'

Next door the 'Limpopo Restaurant & Scrofula' provided ever more interesting nourishment to a grateful populace. Switzy Fingerlets! E Balawi! Tropo! Slough Bake! Crap Shark! Mmmmmmmm!

The coffee emporium 'Nile Mud' was, as usual filled with a mixture of office johnnies plus a dummy of yummy mummies.

a dummy


Then there was the administrative office of the 'Service Desk'. The 'Service Desk', as its rather apt appellation suggested, provided a service to customers, a single point of contact for all problems about anything. 'One call fixes all' boasted its TV advertisement. Some doubts were, however, already beginning to emerge with the quality of advice supplied by staff at its call centre in the depths of the Irish-Sudan. But who could grumble at a monthly cost of £49.98 which guaranteed a place in a telephone queue which could sometimes lead to a human voice which might offer some advice and sometimes even in a language that you could understand!

Vasco Da Gama's Hi Quality Fish Bar could still teach most people, apart from perhaps The Dogsbody-In-Sesh, a thing or two about quality.

The 'Food Desk' was no more. But its signature offering, the Mammoth Cleanser Sandwich, remained the stuff of legend despite the complaints issued by dental hygienists. It seemed that this tasty snack not only filled the stomach but also scaled the teeth thus rendering the hygienist's services largely unnecessary.

At the Pebcak Flower Shop, the old Cock-A-Nee flah seller offered his wares to passers-by, both standard passers-by and those with a dance-floor attachment. 'Get your flahs 'ere' he said chummily. 'Wotcha. Rur-rur-rur-rur. Nice Flahs. Ten bob!'

WIBRA provided an old fashioned pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap outlet. We quote an excerpt from its 'Missing Statement':

About Wibra
Wibra is a family business with passion and ambition. At all levels, from shop floor to management, we have one primary purpose skimp on you, our customer. For you are our existence. Therefore we ensure that in all our branches, offices and warehouses enthusiastic people who work pure hospitality. Our aim is also to make Wibra becoming clearer to put down

Vision Mission
In Wibra the customer is really king. From this vision we set various resources - such as training, example and continuous stimulation - to the dedication and commitment of our employees to promote. Indeed, the greater the satisfaction, the more existing customers we bind us, and the more new customers every year we can welcome. Therefore, each customer Wibra count on Top quality, Top service, top prices and Topwinkelen.

Core Values
In Wibra we use clear values, in dealing with our customers as well as colleagues together. We have respect for others, communicate clearly and have the enthusiasm and motivation for personal and business goals. We make it our goal to improve every day and do not think in problems but solutions. And perhaps most importantly: we stabbing the pleasure in our work we do not have to hide. A smile costs nothing, finally.

WIBRA was, as any fool could see, staffed entirely by Belgians.

But anyway, what Foglas and Damp had really come to High Street to see was a new commercial venture. This was 'Shed-Your-Load.' This was the brainchild of one Lazlo Totemic-Polemic. Inside this particular Shed-Your-Load, a harmless old duffer and his harmless old duffer wife made enquiries. Ken Shirt was a pigeon fancier and Ken wanted to find some smart new lodgings for his prize birds - Smeg and Smegma. Ken and Mrs. Ken did not share a fondness for pigeons. Mrs. Ken liked reading romantic novels. '50 Sheds' was her current choice.

a pigeon


The salesmen at Shed-Your-Load were unlike any others. Within a trice Ken Shirt had been sold a pigeon loft (which he needed), a coal shed, a tool shed, an overlap reverse apex shed, an elevated rabbit house, a pergola and two arbours (which he didn't need).

Not just the private gardens were being affected. The green spaces were disappearing fast. Lord's Sausage Crickets Ground had no room left to sweng a cat, Wembley Soccy Socks Emporium looked more like the Dharavi slums of Mumbai and Green Park was the ultimate misnomer. Forget Globule Warming! The march of the sheds appeared unstoppable!

Was it restricted to our green and pleasant land? No! Even in those areas populated in the main by Johnny Foreigner types the scourge of the shed was merciless! But more of this later. In the meantime action groups were being set up.............

At one residents' meeting in a school hall, the hard plastic chairs were rapidly being covered by a large number of buttocks of various sizes. Colin Bung, Gawberd Falcate, Professor Liggi Schmorsch, Eric and Pilaf Sweng, The Swoss Twins, Car'ole, Maurice 'Leylandii' Moss, Mrs. Stebbins, Ken Morecombe, Ron and Mrs. Dog-Do, Pancho Kidney, Fontainebleu Cough, Rotten-Rich Smibernoll, Winnie Church, The Reverend Horse Liniment, Mrs. Mason, Xavier McAdoo, Maurice Pebcak, Hector Ferrall-Ghastly, Alan, Boffy Tweggs, Sidney, The Old Bag at 42 Moray Avenue, Maldive Bedlam-Stome, R. Apposite-Clot, Hector de Gribelin, Bill Smurthwaite, Gecc Workman, Chief Inspector Nerk, The Yorkshire Wrapper, Reverend Spolit, Blatty of the Yard, George 'Tiny' Brain, Jepaime Skomegg, Ears Melly-Grandfather, Lassitude Sail, Fresh Dentures, Jamboree Bag, Thisby Prunes, Bess Norton, Sven Hassel, Wirt Williams, Li Yu, Nan Maynard, Alec Hilton, Norman Bognor, Max Brand, Fred Quimby, Moonlit Apples, Ralph Reader, Triglewaith Sparidge, Pongo Perkins, Morley Wockers, Laurie West, Tarson Poultry, Wigwam Poultice, Simply Mouthorgan, Boiled Sweets, Dalby Borup, Tiger Howland, Cherabim Procure, Doug Sloaf, Bernard Allotment-Clusters, Danny Blanchflower, Alexander - son of Aeropus the Lyncestian, Aeropus the Lyncestian, Bysshe Marmalade, Pemm Suggling, Ventilated Premises, Monkfish Thermidor, Flange Kneepate, Lobo-Valley Oranges, Tenderly Waffle, Basil Mash, Shelsley Walsh, Tedstone Delamere, Edvin Ralph, Edvin Loach, Smeeton Westerby, Sheepy Parva, Slade Hooton, Stanley Pontlarge, Upton Snodsbury, Sedgeberrow Quedgeley, Blunden Horses, Whipsnade Feelers, Volley Lumps, Ivaniuus Scrofuloscus, Reverend Malcolm M'hurrspp Corbling Mallard, Dick Oy, Ron Dog-Do Halm, Uschi Schmorbraten, Usain Bolt-Neck, Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg, Kyle Korneychuk, Zippa the Goat, Nesram Bostump, Tap Grind, M'bugi McGarry, Q'en of Malvinas, Curly McMiles, Bob Draper, Pemm Suggling, Lettuce Swesch, Wile Waxck, Mrs Pouch, Lord Mills, Evans The Glopple, Grimy Olive, Abdul Al-Haaaqq, Dick Tate and Armitage Shanks were there. There may have been others.


Chapter 5

The Pleasure Of Business

Now, consumers were rightly protected from the misdemeanours and general deviousness by the various regulatory bodies OFWAT (Water), OFGEM (Gas & Leccy), OFSTED (Educashun), OFT (Fair Trade), OFCHOD (Chod Products), OFDO (Do) but a clamour was growing for the setting up of a new regulator - OFSHED!

But let's get on with the story without any further diversions, deviations, divagations, divarications, detours, deflections, divergences, digressions, departures, drifting, rambling, crab-walks, tangents and forking.

A new day dawned on what Foglas called 'Thursday' which generally, but not exclusively followed what Foglas called 'Wednesday'.

Damp was restless. He knew something had to be done...and soon.

Foglas Nunucq was in deep thoughtly mode. 'Quality will not be rushed', he said. 'Nothing should impinge on my thought processes'

"Impinge?" queried Damp.

"Indeedy. Impinge" confirmed Foglas. His manner exuded a quiet confidence that matters were in hand and he wasn't Aunt Julie worried.

Damp used this breathing space, hiatus, interregnum, breach, break, breather, downtime, interlude, pause, layoff, letup, intermission, time-out, interval , lull, impasse......call it what you will, to stare out of the window and watch the world carry on regardless.

the window


A bunch of youngsters slopped along the street in ritual silence, heads buried in mobule devices which had replaced speech as the prefaired means of communication. Several fell into a large hole newly-dug by operatives Broskia.

Just then a vehicule, oddly flattened to the ground and replete with windows as black as a hole in somewhere that used to be known as Calcutta, drove by with some hideous row thumping from its woofers and tweeters.

"Thank you for sharing that with us!" yelled a grumpy old person, his bonce steaming like a turtle's head. This was, of course, Ralph Mellish.

"Rurrurrurrur", riposted the vehicule occupants as they sped away.

"Shut up!" said Mr Mellish. He was having a bad day. Little did he know that his day was about to get worse due to an unexpected erection. Yes, he too was soon to discover a surprise shed where once he grew his cabbages.

From the corner of Foglas Nunucq's palatial pied-à-terre, the radio coughed and banged into life as he crunched and clacked the huge on-off knob. 'Hunk, hunk, hunk, boze, whoil....' went the radio 'here is a traffic report. The B83 to Royston is blocked in both directions because a lorry carrying a load of sheds has shed its load. Drivers are advised to reshedge their journey. Diversions, deviations, divagations, divarications, detours, deflections, divergences, digressions.....' The report faded out mid-list but Foglas and Damp had already heard enough.

"Shed its load of sheds?"

Time for action!

The Nordic countries had already declared a state of emergency. Foglas knew some collaboration with his Danish counterpart was required. He picked up the receiver of his creaking contraption and dialled.


Chapter 6

Talk Your Way Into An Adnams Coastal Shirt

"Hurtigruten" said Jussi Hundprut through the ear-piece of the Nunucq creaking contraption.

"Hurtigruten" replied Foglas. "You know of course that we need to talk about sheds, Jussi"

"Norge er ost in dansk" retorted Jussi with a sense of great import. "But not to fear, Foglas, we have developed a solution to the shed situation!"

Jussi Hundprut described at lenght how the sensible Scandinavians has assembled a task force of great minds in the arenas of science, flat-pack furniture and snorkel to devise a means of the humane and eco-friendly disposal of excess shedage. A spray had been developed by boffins from Shelthorpe University, the University of Shepshed and the Flat Pack specialists from UREA. While the precise details of the spray had to remain a closely-guarded secret, it could be safely revealed that two of the active ingredients were of course hurrrssspp & hurfenflurfi cheese. Early tests had proved the effectiveness of the spray. The Danes had deployed a Danish hurrrssspp & hurfenflurfi cheese helicopter strike force - or as Jussi Hundprut would have it 'den danske hurfenflurfi og hurrrssspp ost helikopter strejke kraft!' Now it was time to roll out this unshedding plan worldwide!

a spray


"Hurda turda smyerga" concluded Hundprut.

"Hurda turda smyerga. Tak" replied Nunucq

"Norge er ost in dansk" supplemented Damp needlessly.

"Mange tak" we, a grateful populace, said to a man.

Foglas Nunucq commenced a bluster. "We have a mountain to climb - but we'll climb it! And not like just anyone - but like real mountaineers...like Sredmund Hilarr and Shirley Singsong, like...like .....other famous climbers...."

"Like Zippa The Goat", injected Damp helpfully.

"Are you ready, Damp?"

"I'm more than ready, I'm gooready!"

They slipped out into the light like Pigs 2nd Edition.


Chapter 7

Nice Assonance

All hell was about to break loose.

Damp attached a vintage fly spray pump gun - suitably charged with hurrrssspp & hurfenflurfi cheese spray - to his trusty Cuspidor - Damp's custard-coloured Space Hopper. Damp launched forward on Cuspidor in a vast fog of hurrrssspp & hurfenflurfi. Foglas Nunucq looked on in admiration as the task force spearheaded by his assistant Damp, whom he had always considered to be not the bravest match in the box, went about their work. It was a magnificent sight - recalling the Charge Of The Light Brigade - but with a better ending.

a match in the box


The spray caused the sheds to dismantle themselves into neat flat packs ready for loading onto fleets of articulated vehicules.

Down fell the sheds. Clatter clatter clatter fish bonk!

A crack team of UREA operatives cleared the sites and ferried away the flatpacked sheds for safe disposal.

Not everyone was happy of course.

"I've spent years getting this garden of sheds done!" complained Mick Gruel.

As his beloved sheds were dismantled he looked a little like Cuffy, the world-famous Official Greeter at the Bofors Gun and Giblets, after suffering a severe cuffing in the jennies, kicking in the Quantocks, coptics, cassocks, cullions, pelotas, nuggets, bangers, bannocks, nadgers, taters, yarbles, nads, nards, clackers, clockweights, giblets, plums, luggage, rompers, bugles, wigwams, windsocks, binnacles, globules, nibbets, bollards, assets, dumplings, tombolas, torpedos, gurnards, billiards, walloons, mallards, Stranraers, kelloggs, Bursleys, wernets, peripherals, Widnes, cobblers, hasselhoffs, davinas, outings and festivals.

"I'll have this done in a twix!" boasted Damp.

"Hurrah!" said Foglas.

"Well done!" said everyone.

And it was indeedy a job well done. Two passers-by, Jack Buns and Thirsty Teeth spoke for everyone when they surveyed the scene.

"This is a job well done" said Jack Buns.

"This is a day like no other," said Thirsty Teeth profoundly.

"A day that is just right. Like the horse in hors d'oeuvres".

The day was soon reduced to clippings. And that's perhaps a good place to leave our heroes - basking once again in the glory...or perhaps not quite yet?


Chapter 8

Turning Up Gordon Oldhams and Not Finding Ron Dog-Do

But who was responsible? Yes, a retail outlet had aggressively sold sheds in huge quantities to people who didn't want sheds. And yes, some timely action from ace detectives had found a solution to the shed blight. But was there some skulduggery afoot?

Foglas Nunucq, master detective, bête noire of the criminal classes and noted bon viveur dozed in the steamy, be-rubberducked surroundings of his Pimlico salle de bain. A self-satisfied look creased the crumpled visage of the celebrated super-sleuth. We'd heard these words before.

All would have been serene...were it not for the perpetual irritation of his alfalfa assistant, Damp, who paced the floor of Foglas' phosphorescent pied-à-terre like a warp of herrings. We'd heard these words before.....too.

Later that same day a little soirée took place. Attendees included a cross-section of the Great and The Good - Gawberd Falcate, Professor Liggi Schmorsch, Eric and Pilaf Sweng, The Swoss Twins to name but a few - but guest of honour was Jussi Hundprut accompanied by fellow Dane and able assistant Bol Gunnic.

Copious quantities of the finest wines of George Beef and the finest ales from Tidysans were drunk. The Old Pecker and the Wazzi Pilsener and the Wincarnis flowed.Jussi Hundprut had brought the signature dish from the 'world's best restaurant' the fabled Norma in Copenhagen. Guests feasted on this 'Mammut Sæbe Smørrebrød' with relish. Well not with relish, as such, but , well....

relish


Foglas Nunucq and Jussi Hundprut proposed a toast.

"Let s Brewering with enjoy!"

We hadn't heard those words before.

And that's why someone should be keeping an eye on Norman Roberts.



***************





Back

©2013 The Reader's Doglist Association of Great Britain