Foglas Nunucq and the
Case of the Borrowed P.E. Kit


Chapter 1

Boils

And just then a passer-by passed by with a dance-floor on his head. The dance-floor was replete with big-breasted women in sequins, assorted fluffy paraphernalia and big hair. Gyrating with them were a bunch of over-stuffed be-penguin-suited johnnies with grins that displayed no sign of standard National Health Service dentistry. Music was being provided by Dead Loss and His Orchestra.

No sign of standard National Health Service Dentistry

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Dock was looking puzzled.

In the Bofors Gun & Giblets something looked terribly wrong. What coluld it be? The usual clientele loitered, lurched, lunched and lagglibapped in the 'bar' area. The official Greeter (in the absence of the indisposed Cuffy), Car'ole, chirruped in its own inimitably irritating fashion. The Just-In-Time furniture was delivered in a timely and professional manner. There were, as ever, no socks for Ivan - but something did not - and not just in the campanologist sense - ring true.

Meanwhile, back in the urban sprawl of West Teeth, a pair of harmless geriatrics, Roof and Sonia Wellingtons hurried homewards to No. 42 Vegetable Vistas, clutching a fish supper. And they had more to be grateful for than the prospect of a bit of haddock. Yes. The circus was in town… and not just any old circus… this was Billy Socks Circus and it was right here in West Teeth. Roof was particularly excited to see that at the top-of-the-old-bill were none other than 'Les Toplis' - that celebrated troupe of tumblers, who were real circusy artistes and not just a made-up act designed to ridicule a former local government employee.

At this stage of the narrative, some readers are beginning to get a little twitchy as they wonder when the whereabouts and what-is-doings of a certain Foglas Nunucq will at last be brought into play. This is what is known in the trade as the 'boiled sweet moment'. For the time being, sadly, we must sally forth into some more introductory guff and piffle - though this is deemed vital to set the scene.

The Barf Bed and Breakfast (proprietress Wilhemina Dolly Stebbins) nestled in the rugged countryside like a guest house in the middle of Getnit Moor. This was indeed fortunate given that its real location was indeedy smack bang in the middle of Getnit Moor with the slippery little hamlet and chiplings of Ventongimps narrowly- and nearly-by. Now Dolly, for that is how Wilhemina preferred to be known - despite the japes, jests and jackanapes concerning sheep (of the cloned rather than tree variety) - was famous for putting on a little entertainment for her guests. Beat Les had started out here and it is widely rumoured that the song 'Fool With Old Bill' from the madcap television film 'Marge In My Sister's Flour' was composed chez Stebbins. Gasp! What music lover of the Beat Les generation coluld not recall the epic couplet from the said song:-

'Well on his way, his head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand briefcases, talking perfectly loud.'

Well, certainly not Dick Tate, whose dalliance with vast quantities of such leather bags had passed into legend.

Dolly Stebbins maintained a guest photo wall at the Barf which had become a definitive who's who of celebrity, notoriety, infamy, Deuteronomy and snorkel. This wall had indeed proved very useful to a certain sleuth on more than one occasion. Time spent at the Barf was not just related to bucket and spade work… but more of this shortly.




Chapter 2

The Biography of Hoppy Barnes

Gliddy glub glooty
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song

Damp was nothing if not irritating. At this precise moment in time he was sitting awkwardly on a postprandial pouffe in the curmudgeonly confines of Foglas Nunucq's Pimlico pied-à-terre. He was sniffing. Not just that, he was sniffing his knobbly knees which protruded beneath his lugubrious lederhosen like two pissholes in the snow.

'Foglas' he queried quoffily, 'have you ever noticed that your knees have a curious odour all of their own?'

Foglas Nunucq, master detective and universally acknowledged saviour of the world (including the territories commonly known as 'France' and 'Wales'), stirred snubbily from deep within his pulchritudinous paff-chair like the proverbial niblicks arising from the Arsches. He was worried. Great peril was afoot - and, not for the first time, this was not entirely disconnected to fish.

Niblicks

Something smelt fishy - coluld it be that radiator? A radiator had recently been replaced chez Foglas and until now he had been very cheery about the financial deal struck for the work. The salesman, Dick Shunnery, an effusive and garrulous chappie, promised Nunucq warmth like putting a donkey on a strawberry but instead the Nunucq nostrils were being teased with an odour more akin to brisling or maybe carp, tunny, flounder, mackerel, mullet, turbot, dace, halibut, smelt, sprat, shad, plaice, skate, bigeye squaretail, bigscale pomfret, blenny, blind goby, catalufa, chum salmon, cowfish, crappie, dottyfish, fathead sculpin, flabby whalefish, flagblenny, gurnard, gizzard shad, goatfish, grunter, guppy, humuhumu-nukunuku-apua'a, longnose sucker, molly, mouthbrooder, monkeyface prickleback, mosshead warbonnet, mummichog, nibble, noodlefish, parrotfish, pigfish, popeye catafula, porbeagle, sarcastic fringehead, snoek, snook, wahoo, wrasse, zingel, or eighty-threefish.

Strawberry

Just then, from a dark corner of the vestibule, the telephone commenced to issue a deathly creak as if all hell was about to break loose. Obligingly, Damp hopped to the telephone and silenced its ghastly noise by raising the receiver to the side of his head like Christmas sauce. Damp listened to the sounds emanating from the creaking contraption like an out of work sailor from the Swiss navy.

'I understand' said Damp. He didn't. Damp replaced the receiver and gazed perplexed in the direction of the scrobiculated visage of Foglas Nunucq.

'Something's amiss, Damp', blustered Nunucq portentously, 'I can read you like a matchbox'.




Chapter 3

With Horse

Hector de Gribelin had been high in province, in the paternal manor, by an old abbot tutor. One was not rich, but one lived sparely by keeping appearances… Its first three years of office were horrible... Foreigners with the modern life, humble and aristocrats needy lived the high floors of deadened houses. Top in bottom of these residences, the tenants were titrated, but the money seemed rare with the first as with the sixth… And the kid, all the day, enfourchait the chairs and trailed them around the room while shouting: "It is dad with hobby-horse."

The horse of Hector, as soon as it had exceeded the Triumphal arch, was seized suddenly by a new heat. An old woman out of apron crossed the roadway of a quiet step; she was just on the way of Hector, who arrived thoroughly of train. Impotent to control its animal, it started to shout of all its force "Holà! hé! holà! over there!"

It was deaf perhaps, because it carried on its road until the moment peacefully when, run up by the breast piece of the horse launched like an engine, it went to roll further ten steps, the skirts in the air, after three collapse on the head.


So that was it!

Ace crime reporter Gecc Workman of the Ipswich Fishing Bloater had recounted a veritable plethora of dastardly doings to a bouche-bée Damp. Workman prided himself on maintaining his paper's 'first with the news, first with the fish' ethic and his informants were an eclectic mix of individuals from the highest echelons of society to the lowest rank of ne'er-do-wells, evildoers, rapscallions, tortfeasors, larrikins, felons, hoodlums, hooligans, louts and sundry improxicables… and of course the boys in blue.... as was the case this time!

Excitedly Workman explained 'this has come from Dick Dock of Dick Green Dick! Some sources cannot be ignored!'

Damp agreed although he was actually thinking about sauce.




Chapter 4

F192 hat Verspätung

It was true, that; they should have a dog, when would be only to give the awakening. Not a large dog, Lord! What would make of a large dog! It would ruin them in food. But a puppy (in Normandy, one pronounces quin), small a freluquet of quin which jape (un petit freluquet de quin qui jape).

Here is a summaryette of the doings referred to by Gecc Workman.

Those of a 'Nervous Norvus' disposition may avoid the troubling detail if they wish and skip ahead to the next chapter which should, if the structure of this story is true to form, contain predominantly guff and piffle.

In West Teeth a harmless old couple from No. 42 Vegetable Vistas had been terrorised by some ghastly, grinning fiend calling himself Dick Ensian. Their home had been ransacked and their fish supper stolen. Inconsolable pensioner Sonia Wellingtons sobbed 'I was really looking forward to that haddock'.

News vendor and corner shop entrepreneur Abdul Al-Haaaqq was going about his business when a grinning loon smashed through his shop window on a rope swing and scooped up every copy of the 'Bloater'. A visibly shaken Al-Haaaqq coluld only comment in hushed tones thus 'my Bloaters, my Bloaters… he's taken my Bloaters'. Curiously, what Al-Haaaqq referred to as his 'eye brow' periodicals were left untouched. 'I am Dick - Dick Taphone', he announced 'and I declare this a Bloater-free zone!'

Licensee of the Bofors Gun & Giblets, Mr. Bursley, sat in a windowless shed in the 'garden' of his hostelry perusing a copy of 'Norbert' - the magazine for Nobbys everywhere - when, without a by-your-leave, a grinning Dick Lension swooped, snatching his prized periodical. The fiend cackled "so you're 'all smiles for Stiles' and 'in the mood for Moodle', are you? No more Nobbys for you Bursley!" A crestfallen Mr. Bursley wailed as his fag-ash was blown in all directions like the Nolan Sisters.

Fagash


A performance of 'Dogbreath', presented by the West Teeth Thespian and Malawi Society and written by local entrepreneur Bill Smurthwaite, was interrupted and thoroughly spoilt by a cad in spats and a Maurice Onions tie who ran amok through the audience slapping all and sumbly with a slimy, giant mackerel. "My name is Dick Lare" he declared "and I bring you scomber and chips!"

Eric and Pilaf Sweng perused the splendid works of art at the Royston Institute Of Classical and Contemporary Art and Fog. Eric particularly liked the Worship Of Venus by who he described as 'that Tit Ian'. Within the blink of a pie they found themselves doused in a great slurry of something unspeakable. 'I was not just soaked I was completely poodlenass', wailed Pilaf and added 'all he said was - my name is Dick Ree. Tee Hee He!'

Scruffy urchin and sometime school pupil Sidney was in trouble with his mother again. 'Sidney! Come back here and get your Glass Smah money!' she whinnied.

'Sidney! If I catch you playing Snooks again…!' she ploshed.

Just then a flash of teeth illuminated the dismal dank day! 'Ho ho ho little Sid-a-nee!..' chuckled a large, rotund and rather muddy gentleman who appeared not-too-dissimilar to a King Edward potato with big teeth.

My name is Dick Tater and I'm your new Snooks partner!'

In the world famous hostelry The Bofors Gun and Giblets, the Reverend Horse Liniment was, as ever, conversing in ablative absolutes, an affliction which Foglas Nunucq had once, through his powers of detection and analysis, ascribed to 'too much time standing on a desk in Room 5.' Just then a desk appeared, the lounge bar was transmogrified into, believe it or not, Room 5 and on the desk stood the world-renowned Latin teacher Dick Hoyte… Toothily he began to decline and conjugate with wild and gleeful abandon before stopping abruptly and voicing those three words which struck dread into the those assembled! 'Discipuli picturam spectate!'

Boffy Tweggs, the former Supremo of the National Drain Board and latterly the manager and chief fryer at the Tedstone Wafre branch of 'Vasco da Gama's Hi Quality Fish Bar' was taking a well-earned coffee break with local clergyman the Reverend Malcolm M'hurrspp. "I'd love a coffee, Boffy", said M'hurrspp.

Boffy Tweggs, in response, rattled mugs, swilled, whirried and stirred stuff then queried "Do you want milk, Malc?"

Just then all hell broke loose as something stirred from deep within the batter! Oh No! It was Dick Ant dressed in a very passable rock salmon suit! Fish fillets were flung to every corner and some of Boffy's coffee was spilt!

M'bugi McGarry, Irish-Sudanese proprietor of the Limpopo Restaurant & Scrofula, had travelled to have his teeth done for Christmas. It was a firm tradition in the McGarry household to get some Christmas teeth with a merry visit to the traditional Christmas dentist. Little did he know, but his usual dentist, Corbling Mallard, had been replaced by the dastardly Dick Oy with incisors like tombstones and breath which smelt like a dog's perineum. The result was far from pretty.

Tombstones


Ron Dog-Do Halm had not been affected.

Meanwhile, Foglas and Damp, while trying to take in the full horror that surrounded them, were suddenly aware of an unholy noise outside.

It was someone trying to knock on the door and making a bit of a mess of it. Foglas opened the door to reveal a crumpled figure.

'I'm PC Nonsense your local Bob from Dock Green Dick… I think you sholuld come quickly Mr. Nunucq!'

In a trice, our heroes were on the case. Damp was visibly puzzled by what he encountered in the street.

'But Foglas, I don't understand why there are all these huge toothy wheels meshing menacingly!'

Foglas Nunucq sighed wearily, scratched his gluteal muscles, then uttered faintly, 'It's not sprocket giants, Damp!'

They were heading off. But were they heading off into fish waste territory?




Chapter 5

Gympie Saddleworld

'Was it Buck or was it Bob?
Buck-or-Bob, Buck-or-Bob
Sweggly men'

For the sportsmen of Woofferton F.C. life at their playing headquarters at Aynall Lane was set to change beyond all recognition after the awards of the season had been presented. The changeover to Sausage Crickets from their usual sport would be a major event. Star player Hugh Janus explained 'sucking oranges is a game of two halves. After 45 minutes of orange sucking, we have a break for fifteen minutes and kick a ball around before getting our teeth back into the jaffas again. But Sausage Crickets brings in the crowds and we must move with the times'. Speculation was rife that star player Uschi Schmorbraten from the crack German champions Schwarzwaldhorn had been approached to swing her sausage at Aynall Lane.

For many classics scholars eulogising about their 'Cum clauses' the hot topic was rather more esoteric. 'Bring back the vocative' they demanded to a man. 'O ye of little faith!' Unfortunately only the Romanians seem to relish its use in the modern world. What would Aeropus the Lycenaestrian make of it? It was rumoured that even Foglas Nunucq was not particularly bothered. Et Tu, Fogle?

Readers may well be asking, during this plot 'interregnum', what's the difference between a cyclone and a hurricane? Well, simplistically, cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons for that matter are all essentially the same thing, they simply receive different names depending on where they occur. Technically, all hurricanes are cyclones but not all cyclones are hurricanes: if their wind speed is over 74 miles per hour, they're hurricanes, if not, they're just cyclones or tropical storms. But let's cut to the chase because there's a thickening plot out there with lots of dashing about, gnashing of teeth and snorkel… so we need to get back to it soon before something momentous happens… but what's really interesting about hurricanes and cyclones is the names they are given! In general, the practice is to use male names and female names in turn with each starting with the next letter of the alphabet. Should all be allocated in a hurricane season, a back-up list of Greek letters is brought into play. The names used for severe storms are 'retired' from the list and replaced with new ones. The use of names enables newspaper headline writers to create drama like the following from the Queensland Evening Billabong : "Is Hamish Worse Than Larry?" It is rumoured that the Readers Doglist Association Of Great Britain has been approached to supply a list of names for the 21st Century - so watch out for news of hurricanes Aeropus, Boncey, Clugstone, Doof, Evans, Fontainebleu, Gawberd, Halibut, Iwona, Juggly, Kyle, Legson, Mangemnbengi, Maldive, Nailgun, Ombersley, Pam and/or Tex, Quentin, Rissole, Soapy, Tap, U, Verstopfung, Wile, Xavier, Yaw, Eighty-Three - to name just a few.

Greek letters

'Choice - we're making life easier by taking it away from you'. That was the latest buzz phrase from the TV spokesperson for Urea, the athlete and sometime Carthaginian impersonator, Usain Bolt-Neck. 'Just ask Urea for some nice things for your home and we'll choose what you want. Imagine your home with some of these products from the Urea catalogue - bagis, smila, blomma, noje, skog, plutt, gles, titta, svepa, krus, slipad, annons, ludde, strib, unni, slinga, brukrissla, nattglim, skydda, latt, knodd, toftbo, jerker, fartfull, slödja, pelto, pyssia!'

Foglas Nunucq cut through the crowd like a fish through scissors. Everything looked normal to the untrained eye but Nunucq knew that you could not sweep fog under the carpet. This had the look of something sinister. Like a meat raffle on steroids. Who coluld be behind this plague of grinning fiends? Time was of the essence - our heroes had to act quickly. They could not, as our German chums would have it, 'wait and drink tea'.






Chapter 6

Wonky

What does a lepidopterist collect?
Tickets!

The time had come to tie up some loose ends. Foglas Nunucq was a man of instinct and his instinct told him that, not for the first time, the answer could be found at the Barf!

In a trice our saviours climbed aboard their distinctive modes of transport and headed off into the setting sun to Ventongimps via Polyphant, Goongumpus, Fernsplatt, Green Bottom, Marazanvose, Come-to-Good, Gweek, Ninnes, Polgooth, Trengilly Wartha, Pengelly, Botelet, Lancarffe, Nanstallon, Reperry, Goon Earle, Newland Preeze, Rinsey and Spernon. Foglas Nunucq arrived speedily by sedan chair seconds before Damp loped in on Cuspidor, his trusty spacehopper, all custard yellow like er… custard.

Custard

Within the confines of the Barf B&B, Dolly Stebbins was talking the hindlegs off a donkey as she dealt with some visitors from Swaziland. 'Not,not - no,no', she said, 'you couldn't buy chicken for that… why, it's Foglas Nunucq! Back so soon?' The visitors from Swaziland were not used to sudden interruptions from world-famous detectives and were hushed in an instant. Just the whites of their eyes glinted into the gloom as Nunucq seated himself in a suitably-positioned paff-chair just in front of the celebrity photo wall. For what seemed an age an eerie silence remained punctuated only by the tense breathing of the Swazilanders, the rumbling of Damp's digestive system and the occasional blatter of an expulsion of gas from Foglas Nunucq's bottom.

'By the Lord Maldive Bedlam-Stome I have it, Damp' he exclaimed. 'The man of a thousand briefcases … Dick Tate. The radiator salesman… Dick Shunnery. The fish supper thief… Dick Ensian. It all fits together!'

'Like boiled sweets' chorused the Swazilanders to a man.

'Indeedy!'

Elsewhere, a diner, Sepulchre Neasden, sat disconsolate in the 'Chodlets Brasserie' in the sleepy backwater of Wodge. Unbeknownst to him, Wodge had only one restaurant. Fish! Poor Neasden had been salivating over the prospect of a steak cooked perfectly like a pillow when the waiter, Dick Line, cackled like a maniac and biffed him over the head with a fish kettle! Biff!

Meanwhile, in Heanor Sharples, the rain was coming down in turrets - don't you mean spare ribs? Pretend Mike, who ran the '4 wheel drive camping and fish' outlet, was an excited man. He had just taken on the Dog Wash Car Wash franchise and business was looking up. Washing at service stations is no longer just about car washing - dog washing and now fogbrush washing are part of the product mix. However, the same principles apply.

Drivers who take their dogs along when they go to the car wash may be disappointed that the foamy suds enveloping their vehicles are doing nothing to keep their four-footed friends fresh and clean. Enter the K9000 Dog Wash, a stainless steel, self-serve dog washing system being installed at car washes everywhere. The units, developed in Botswana, sell for about £4998.98 and work like self-serve car washes, with £10 buying 12 minutes of spa treatment. The bit about self-serve? Humans still wind up pampering their canine masters while the dog sits there and does nothing (it was ever thus). Pet owners select from six different wash cycles, with bonus options for tub disinfectant, conditioner, degreasing shampoo and flea treatment.

Running out of time as the clock ticks away the final seconds? Then crank it up to "turbo" and poochie will be dry as a bone in no time. No need to risk the tumble-dryer or, perish the thought, the microwave! Hurrah!

The microwave

But Pretend Mike had not reckoned on his first customer Dick Hay and his grinning pooch Spotted Dick. As the hapless entrepreneur emerged from a mayhem of suds and canker, all he could weakly whisper was - 'we need help… who can save us now?'

Just then, on a street somewhere, an appalling row was being hurled from the woofers and tweeters of a vehicule stereo. Oh No! It was… it was… the sound of… not chips, but Des O'Connor… grown men would rip their own heads off!

Dick Adumdum, the vehicule driver, grinned knowingly.



Chapter 7

Bonce

I gotta go to Piccadilly
Gotta Piccadilly of a day to do it on
I got to move on the Buckingham beat
Go to King's road
Pick me up a nice real sweet
Girl

Dick-a-dum-dum
Dick-a-dum-dum
Dick-a-dum-dum
Dick-a-dum-dum

'Right', said Foglas plumped up with importance and destiny, 'this means fish!'

'I'm stuffed as a rocket', blustered Damp.

A rocket

They call it communication but I'm not so sure.

Foglas and Damp were hotfoot on the trail of these evil Grinning Dicks. Who could be orchestrating this horror? Every gang of evil-doers has a head.

Who and where was Dick Head?

'We will put an end to the Grinning Dicks and their merry japes!' announced Foglas Nunucq as his instinct for villainy brought him face-to-face with a character he was sure he knew. This jovial individual was stepping from the local offices of the Whelk bookmakers. He'd just had a bet.

'Tortfeasor!' Foglas Nunucq challenged. 'I believe that under that toothy disguise you are none other than Ken 'Malvinas' Morecombe!'

So Ken Malvinas the real mastermind? The leader of the Grinning Dicks? Was that possibule?

And just then a passer-by passed by with a dance-floor on his head. Music was still being provided by Dead Loss and His Orchestra fronted by their ace songster and renowned heart throb Dead Vile. Swinging!

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Dock was still looking puzzled.

'Ul-lul-lul-lul-la' chirruped the dreadful Ken person.

Foglas drew himself up to his full height, stared into his face and bellowed for all to hear 'this is going to end in fish!'




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