Foglas Nunucq and the
Curse of the Christmas Teeth
'Fitness and Cement'
Ho Ho Ho. On the promenades and boulevards of the moribund metropolis, a new fad was enjoying its brief fling with fame. On almost every street corner, salespersons bedecked head-to-toe in woolly clothing, worked night and day to meet the demand for special ice-creams carefully sculpted into the image of those famous people most favoured by their clientèle! On the chilly, bubble and squeak winter nights, excited customers pumped the air with their frozen objets d'art. Bystanders and passers-by found new purpose by gathering in gleeful gaggles to 'Name That Ice-Cream!'
"That's U Thant," some would bellow. "Not, not, no, no," retorted others, "it's Rosemary Clooney......or Legson Kayira...or Bill Smurthwaite".
To add to the fun, some vendors were fiendishly disguising their wares by dusting them with festive toppings - hundreds and thousands, fish waste and mammoth cleanser were most popular. Ho ho ho - what fun!
No one had yet attempted to sculpt an ice-cream version of somnolent super-sleuth Foglas Nunucq, whose huge, horripilated hooter presented an as yet insurmountable problem to their artistry.
Within the snug swaddlings of his favourite paff-chair, Foglas Nunucq dozed ploughily as the fire crackled like a Frammis hat worn at a jaunty angle on one of those crisp, frosty mornings when things are sitting happily on top of other things. His winceyette pyjamas echoed the amber glow enveloping his rigadoon rotundness and 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.
Damp was fussing needlessly about Globule Warming. In Foglas' conscious moments, he would regale him ceaselessly about climate change, deforestation, El Niño, ozone holes, Jim N. Holes, coastal erosion, acid rain, aerosols, Aeropus the Lycenestrian, Greenhouse gas, cheesy guffs, beefy guffs.....he could go on.
"I think we should be very worried, Foglas," said Damp in sombre chips and gravy tone.
"Quite so," replied Foglas dismissively, annoyed by this latest interruption to his sleep pattern, "Bring me my trousers, young feller. I'm meeting an old chum for a spot of luncheon".
Meanwhile in the blue haze of the Lounge Bar of the 'Bofors Gun and Giblets', a smartly besuited Office Johnny responded with a flourish to the sudden in-pocket creaking of his natty Mobule telephone.
"Good. Good," quoth he.
"Indeedy," responded the telephone.
Gawberd Falcate was a sensible man. For years he had endured a debilitating illness popularly known as 'Gerontophil Cichlid Fikiness'. Outwardly normal, Gawberd could only conceal this vile affliction by dressing in sensible trousers. Little did he know what peril this posed for the unsuspecting populace.
How does this gentleman's trouser-wearing habits affect ordinary, decent, hard-working people? And what has all this got to do with supersleuth Foglas Nunucq?
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two sensible shades of grey
Not a million miles from the sensible haven that was home to Gawberd Falcate, Foglas Nunucq strode purposefully towards the cosy circumjacence of the Bofors Gun And Giblets. His lunch time companion, one Gecc Workman ace crime reporter for the Ipswich Fishing Bloater, had already arrived hotfoot and his nearly-supped foaming pint of Old Pecker had been recently joined by an attendant Glass Smah.
With impeccably cadige timing, Foglas burst through the door in dapper attire, sporting his Mongolian cashmere breeches. "A pint of your finest Diesel, Bumbailiff, and make it snappy" he ululated ukelelily at chummy licensee, Mr. Bursley.
Gecc Workman and Foglas Nunucq quaffed and scoffed late into the afternoon. News from the underworld was exchanged and copious volumes of gravy spattered down the inside legs of Gecc's lilac loon pants.
Just then a wandering street vendor joined the lunching mêlée.
"Get your ice cream sculptures here! All famous people available! Almost Anybody and Nobby Moodle are my specialities!"
Gecc ordered a 'Pancho Kidney'. The ice-cream vendor complied chirpily to what he thought was an easy commission until Gecc wiped the smug grin from his face by asking for some rather complex toppings - a dusting of young mammoth cleanser, a shower of chopped kaddar duffle-coat and ten to fifteen bright blue hundreds and thousands. Several seconds later he woffed the sculpture petulantly in Workman's direction. Woff!
Foglas Nunucq, not one to follow populist food fads, shunned the offer. This had nothing to do with the vendor's unwillingness to sculpt his likeness.
Outside a passer-by walked by with a dance-floor on his head. He gazed blankly at the ice-cream sculpture of Drain Board Supremo Boffy Tweggs that he gripped in his fist like Lonnie Donegan singing an occasional frottola.
All of a sudden there was pandemonium in the Bofors. Word had come through from 'Arry the Arimasp at the Turk's Head that their elite Snooks team, due to play the crackpot Giblets boys in the third round of the Inter Toto Les Morris Cup & Saucepan Trophy, had been dramatically laid low with a virulent attack of sensible trousers!
Inter Toto Les Morris Cup & Saucepan Trophy
As if by magic, Foglas' finely tuned cerebrum smelt a rat. There was something amiss. "Something's amiss," he announced to his hack chum. Malhereusement, at this precise moment, Gecc Workman was in the midst of an out-of-trouser experience. His loon pants were nought but a fond memory of the miracles of modern tailoring. In the ensuing chaos, Foglas departed in high dudgeon leaving behind a whelkish welter of half-consumed 'Old Pecker', Chips 'n' Gravy.
'The Left-Legged Hurty Dance'
At the Dulwich headquarters of the Mammoth Cleanser Corporation not much was going on. The MCC were suppliers of high quality cleansing products to all Education establishments (including the West Teeth Academy of Science, New Technology and Snorkel). Indeed, Mammoth Cleanser was now truly international having recently received a lucrative contract to supply the entire Irish-Sudanese empire. This meteoric rise in business profile was universally attributed to the brilliance of the MCC advertising campaigns featuring such widely known and loved slogans as:-
'When you've got a quality product, keep churning out the same old quality'.
These advertising campaigns were the brainchild of Gawberd Falcate. Who else could have taken a simple children's luncheon sandwich filler - and turned it into the quintessential food additive?
Later that day at the West Teeth Thespian and Malawi Society, a performance of 'Dogbreath', presented and written by local entrepreneur Bill Smurthwaite, was holding the audience captivated. The assembled throng, spellbound and bouche-bée were unaware what fate had in store as they heard the immortal words:-
"Oh No, and Oh No, and Oh No,
Jeeps in young Pastewart this cheery day
Till the last singing of Auld Lang Syne
And Irish face flannels have bloatered formules
The way to New Technology. Ow! Ow! A Youth hostel card with handle
Mine's a Mushroom Salad, a Legson Kayira
That stretches his legs in Smiberspace
And then in Dobbins and Xah. It is an E-mail
Sent by Ken Malvinas, full of Wout Steenhuis
Satirizing Rin Tin Tin".
After those fine words of the Barf were uttered by the mellifluous voices of the Swoss Twins, actaws par excellance, a local beat combo further enhanced the cultural fare by singing 'My Old Man's a Dustman' :-
"Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears sensible trousers
And he lives in a council flat...."
"Gasp!" exclaimed the audience to a man.
"Where are my Oxford Bags?" queried one.
"Where are my Panama Weave Tropicals?"
"Where are my Extra Fine Merino Worsteds?"
("There's India," responded someone, helpfully extending a digit).
To their horror the entire audience sat resplendent in sensible trousers! Uggggghhhhhhhhhh!
Towards the back of the hall, one figure sat quietly amongst the hurling hubbub. Gawberd Falcate was cured. Not only that, he now sported a natty pair of Classic Double Reverse Pleat Reinforced Crotch Trousers (extra durability where it's needed).
He slipped out into the night like Pigs 2nd Edition.
'Fitness and Cement'
'Gerontophil Cichlid Fikiness', as any fool knows, is nasty. But as the famous quotation of St Augustine of Hippo puts it 'All nature is good'. What isn't good is to compel ordinary decent, hard-working people to all dress in sensible trousers, just because your vanity forces you so to do.
Damp gazed in horror as his Tyrolean Lederhosen transmogrified into sensible cavalry twill trousers.
"Foglas, this a veritable Plague of Sensible Trousers!" poffed Damp, red-faced and steaming like the shed in the back garden of Eric and Pilaf Sweng of 42 Blagadarioo Street, West Teeth.
the shed in the back garden
Foglas Nunucq went out into the frightened streets and hailed a hackney carriage. He was going to Dulwich.
The confrontation between Gawberd and Foglas approached with the kind of inevitability usually reserved for the annual Toast Race between those perennial protagonists - the University of Tedstone Wafre and China.
"The game's up for the MCC, Falcate. Your filthy cleanser must be kept out of the food chain. It's a danger to trousers too terrible to contemplate! A flight awaits at Northolt International Airport to take you to Irish-Sudanese exile. You are free to leave providing you supply the antidote to this trouser trauma."
With that, Gawberd Falcate handed Nunucq a box of swaped toads, some green corn funge and a book entitled 'Friday Afternoon Latin'. It was that simple.
Phew! It was all over! They had met. Said their Roystons and gone their separate ways.
In the quite big outside world relieved revellers raced raucously into the streets, discarded their sensible afflictions and gave vent to their joy with throaty throat.
Several days later, when trousers had become once again a matter of individual taste, Foglas Nunucq, master detective, debonair man-about-town, Don Juan, Don Quixote, Don Schofield, Don Erkebab was becoming increasingly irritated by the shilly-shallying of all and sundry involved in the murder, mystery and snorkel at the Bill Smurthwaite Fitness & Cement Centre....but that, as they say, is another story.....
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