Yesterday Upon The Stair

“Yesterday upon the stair

I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

I wish, I wish he’d go away”

 

“What sort of way is that to start a story Watson?”

“It’s a mystery story Holmes, the main character is a man who never appears. Like Captain Mainwaring’s wife in Dads Army or Howard’s mother in The Big Bang Theory.”

“So who is this mysterious man?”

“Why the Major of course”

“And who are the other players in this drama?”

“Andreas Choirimeri, Fenian O’Loftladder, The Scotch Giant, The Flame Haired Temptress, DartfordJitsu, The Vampire Queen and The Archduke Franz”

“A Greek, an Irishman, a Scot, a Floosie and a Kentish poltroon, they are of no interest. However the last two, Columbine and Harlequin, there are possibilities there, romance perhaps.”

“Ah Holmes you see my design”

“Well, come Watson tell your tale.”

It has been many months since I have written of the adventures of the foul London based gang I chose to call the Design Authority. Theirs is a changing castlist of foreigners, large men, short boys, racists and women of uneasy virtue.

In the tale I give you now they had planned to go for a meal, to plot, eat and flirt (would Harlequin reveal his love for Columbine, would she reciprocate, you judge as the tale unfolds). Leaving their usual lair in small groups to avoid suspicion they made their way in ones and twos to the Riverside, a dank and noxious gin palace. It was here that The Flamed Haired Temptress announced that she could drink any man under the table, A challenge none were prepared to take on. It may have been this behaviour that led to Harlequin referring to her, later, as cheap and trashy, a poor comparison to his Columbine who he explained was classy and expensive.

Many drinks were taken and some even paid for. When Harlequin and Columbine had finished playing footsie and had untangled themselves they headed for the restaurant – Steax and the City – Fenian O’Loftladder initially refused to enter as they had spelt Steaks incorrectly. When it was explained that this was a joke based on Sex and the City he relented. They were shown to the largest table in the place and were handed menus to peruse. Just as they began to order DartfordJitsu arrived, he had been disposing of a shotgun, it was, he told us, difficult as the barrel was somewhat longer than he was used to.

Alas Harlequin was the first to order, he is an 80 year old man in the body of a 50 year old man living in the dream of Nigel Farage.

“How many chicken wings do you get”

“How much squid do you get”

“How much is 300gr in ounces”

“Can I have a blanket”

“I once played golf with a woman”

He gets invited out a lot, but never twice!

An aside sitting nearby was an attractive witty man who made quite the funniest joke I have heard in many a year, something to do with SIAM and Thailand, alas my meagre talents cannot do him justice.

All orders taken – Meat, Meat, Prawns, Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat and Meat, Harlequin regaled the gathering with his views of ladies fashions – he favours a nice trouser suit. It was now that he started to troll The Flame Haired Temptress, gallantly the handsome witty man nearby stepped in to fight for her honour. Harlequin trembled under the verbal onslaught but his Columbine came to his defence. It was now that he referred to her as Classy and Expensive, his eyes aglow with desire, he almost spat his denigration of The Flame Haired Temptress “Cheap and Trashy” and “Young, Free and Vacant”, by now though she had realised he was an old racist, sexist, homophobe and could be safely ignored.

Quickly DartfordJitsu changed the subject and soon the table was ringing with laughter as he told us tales of The Major, the cheese in a tin and the flappy tongue.

There was only one more moment of disquiet when someone, who we do not know, referred to the A team and the B or Z team.

And what of Harlequin and Columbine, there is chemistry, there is a frisson, let love take them where it will

“So Holmes what do you think”

“I feel there may be a grain of truth there, but no more”

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