Monday, 11 April 2011

Tragedy In The Village - RIP Connie Candleshaft

It has long been the case that people, in the village beneath Crusty Hall, look towards one for guidance and advice, both in their private life and with their business ventures. Indeed, some have had the benefit of both; Claudia Shaver for example. One was there - in a fashion - as a shoulder to cry on when her husband, Klaus Shaver, ran off with his gingham clad personal assistant, Tristan, to open their flower shop in the Yumbo Centre on Gran Canaria. Then later, performing one’s public duty, at the opening of her new business; the village model agency.

Recently, while standing under the greengrocer’s canopy and feeling the ripeness of his plumbs, one saw the village beautician, Diana Scrunch out of one’s peripheral vision.

“Ah, good morning, Diana dear!” One said, turning towards her.

“Morning Dame Crusty.” She said in a rather rattled voice.

“Good Lord, poppet, you seem all of a hoo-har. What troubles you so?”

“Honestly Dame Crusty, I don’t know where to begin. The shop toilet is over-flowing, so customers are having to use a wheelie bin in the back yard with a loose bit of wicker fencing for privacy; my car had a flat tyre this morning and I’ve found out I’ve got a leaky valve; the only clean pair of knickers I could find when I got dressed are two sizes too small and slicing through me like a cheese wire and - if all that wasn’t bad enough - I’ve been running an advert for my new therapeutic foot cleansing sessions … but the fish haven’t arrived!! I’m supposed to start the sessions in two days!!! I’ve been trying the suppliers since 6.30 and they’re just not answering the phone!” With that, she let out a highly audible and unpleasant scream. “Aaaaaaggh!!!!”

The shrill outcry made one jump and one’s natural instinct contracted one’s gorgeously manicured hands until one felt a ‘pop’ and felt a sticky, liquid feeling. One realised one had just crushed the greengrocer’s plumbs in one’s hands! One paused a couple of seconds to reflect upon her dilemma ….

“Fish dear?! What on earth do you need fish for? Surely you’re not thinking of using their scales to file you customers toes nails?! … or use their sharp, spiny fins to clean their cuticles?”

A little calmer after her battle cry, she explained further. “No Dame Crusty, it’s the new rage. You put these special fish in a large tank and then dip your feet in. Their natural urge is to nibble at the dead skin on your feet and it leaves them feeling refreshed and soft. It’s a wonderful feeling. You should try it …IF I EVER GET SORTED!!!”

“Calm yourself, poppet! Now … though one appreciates your bizarre offer, one prefers Chu Me to work his magic in one’s weekly foot massage session by one’s indoor pool … and so one must decline. However! One does have a few contacts and may be able to sort out your fish problem for tomorrow.”

The look of gratitude across her heavily made-up face was overwhelming …or at least from what one could make out.  Arriving back at one’s beloved Crusty Hall, one’s faithful houseboy, Chu Me, wiped the squashed, dripping fruit residue from one’s hands with a luxurious soapy flannel.

“Chu Me, dear! We have a mission … one’s phonebook, if you please!”

One made the call to one’s specialist supplier. He supplies one’s estate with all its aquatic creatures for one’s own ponds and water features. One was confident he would know the variety Diana required. Alas, he was bamboozled. He had not heard of such a strange practice and laughed at the very thought.

“One knows, dear, it all sounds very odd. Needless to say, it’s fish that eat flesh. One’s sure you can find something. I’m under the impression we need quite a few of them too, so about a hundred would suffice, one fancies.”

Two days later one had completely forgotten about one’s good deed and had ridden down to the heart of the village on the back of one’s trusty steed, Dribble. When one reached the village green there was a huge degree of excitement. There was an ambulance slowly leaving via the north route and looking over to the corner of the village, a police car was blocking off Briggs Street with its blue lights flashing and a cordon tied around the nearby lampposts. One could also see the hearse from the local funeral parlour, Digget & Buryham, parked in the back street of the beautician’s emporium. Riding over, one was concerned that one’s mount may be spooked with all this activity but, thankfully, one managed to hold Dribble calmly between one’s knees.

One dismounted and one’s Jessica Feltcher curiosity came over one in an instant.  There was a sound of weeping and one spun to see Diana Scrunch sitting on a step crying into her hands.

“What on earth is the matter, dear. What has happened to cause so much excitement?!” One enquired.

Apparently, all had gone according to plan and the fish one had requested had been delivered and plopped into their new home; the large glass container in the back of the salon.  At 9am that morning, it would appear the first to try the treatment …well …came a bit of a cropper. The paramedic –who one had seen driving out of the village moments earlier - had advised Diana that the actual fish needed for the procedure were Garra Rufa …and not the Piranha that one’s specialist supplier had delivered. Who knew?

Anyhoo … as a result, poor Connie Candleshaft was no more but one thing’s for sure, with her constant diet of fatty foods and desserts, the little beggars must have certainly had a slap up meal!

“Honestly, Dame Crusty!” Wept Diana,”They ate practically everything …except her ring!(sniff)

“Well who could blame them dear, with the number of Mustafa Sidoon’s kebabs she’s ate, it would have hardly been the tastiest part!”

It turns out, however, it was the nine carat gold puzzle ring she bought from Ratners some years ago. 


  1. Delightful Crusty! I chortled my way through it, very funny. xxx

    Kitty xxx