Is revenge a dish best served cold? It depends I guess if you’re having a bowl of rice pudding revenge or a cheese sandwich of retribution? Enough with the food/revenge analogies, here’s Anna’s story……….
“I bloody hate topiary,” said Anna randomly. Actually it wasn’t that random because we were discussing an older couple in our village who were topiary experts. They also happened to be Holly’s parents. If you’ve read previous blog posts you’ll know that Holly is the young woman who had an affair with Ben (Anna’s husband)……………I know.
Holly’s parents Howard and Lilian Perry own a large farmhouse which was tucked away at the back of the village. They have a garden full of topiary and they’re never happier than when they are bastardising some defenceless bush into submission with a pair of top grade and possibly lethal garden shears. Anyway, they were so good at the art of Topiary that they ran courses on it and wrote about it for flouncy home and garden magazines – you know the thick ones you find on coffee tables in posh hotels that give you an achy hand from just picking them up – lots of glossy photos, quite boring but ultimately make good draught excluders. The Perrys even entertained TV production companies from time to time to film in their extensive grounds. Anyway, so what, I hear you cry, I’ve got sh*t to do (cool way of saying stuff), crack on with the story. Ok, I hear you.
Anna had passed the stage of shock and disbelief about Ben’s affair and had moved on rather seamlessly to anger. Or incandescent rage. Holly herself had scarpered the village as she had swanned off to University (aged 22, far too much gap yearage if you ask me!). Ben on the other hand had come under heavy fire, he’d rightfully received about 20 b*llockings and actually seemed contrite. He also wanted to make another go of it with Anna. I tried to stay out of the mud slinging and name calling because I was well aware that whereas it was ok for Anna to scream every name under the sun at him – it wasn’t ok for me to do so. I get that. He wasn’t my husband, ahem, it wasn’t my privilege per se. Although in the early days of hearing about his infidelity I could have quite cheerfully twatted him with a frozen roast dinner for one had I come across his sorry arse in the village stores.
Well anyway, back to Howard and Lilian Perry and their topiary gardens because it’s all relevant – stay with me. A real life production company was coming to film a scene for a new TV drama starring, you’re not going to believe this, Luke Norris (the good looking kindly doctor in Poldark who is having an on off ‘liaison’ with heiress Caroline Penvenen as long as he doesn’t get killed off in the war or die of typhus/common cold/Ross Poldark’s monotonous monologues). The production company were making a period drama, Norris was playing a super posh, emotionally inhibited, slightly arrogant and yet outrageously handsome and ‘very nice really’ Gentleman of the era!
Photo source: Radio Times
Dr Dwight Enys *off of* Poldark
Luke Norris: Actor, Playwright and also looks mighty fine in a cravaty type neckerchief thingy.
Love a period drama me – and especially one that draws in the likes of famous TV actors. So the word on the street (horse sh*t lane) was that Holly’s mum Lillian had told Mick the arsy landlord (Holly’s old boss) who told Ted (my husband) that Holly was coming back from Uni for a couple of days to
ogle Luke Norris help her parents with the event and the film crews etcetera.
Anna was understandably anxious at the thought of seeing that bleeping bleep Holly back in the bleeping bleep village.
“I bloody hate topiary,” commented Anna.
“You’ve already said that,” I reminded her huffily. Personally I’m quite indifferent to tree/bush coiffure. Not keen on the silly animal ones. Don’t mind a neat boxy hedge! We had dropped the kids off at school and were having a nose in the vicinity of the topiary garden to see if anyone famous was knocking about. We pretended we were walking Anna’s dog Binky but we were quite obviously loitering with intent to look out for semi famous lovies from a polite distance. We didn’t want to run into bleeping Holly of course.
“And I bloody hate Holly…..and Ben apart from I still love him too…… an annoying cross between love and hate,” her words trailed off to a whisper.
Later that day the production company started to roll into the village. All kinds of lorries and vehicles thundered up the main horse sh*t lane and past my cottage. I *may* have abandoned my writing shed and worked on the kitchen table so I could keep an eye on proceedings! This was really going to mess with my novel writing if I spent all my time peering out of the window or going on tenuous custard cream runs to the village stores to spot minor TV actors and extras. Just before 3:30pm that day Anna and I wandered along the lane to pick the children up from school when she said something that frankly curve balled me somewhat and shocked the hell out of me.
“I’m going to toilet paper that bastard topiary garden tonight so that it looks *king awful for filming tomorrow!” she said menacingly without a hint of humour in her voice. I waited for the ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! It didn’t come.
- Toilet papering is the act of covering an object, such as a tree, house or another structure with toilet paper. And lots of it!
“Have you been watching too many teen movies again?” I joked but but couldn’t help feeling slightly disturbed such was the seriousness of her demeanour!
“Sure have! I’ve had plenty of time to watch crap TV and teen movies since Ben left,” she said bitterly, “I’ve looked it up on Wikihow and now I know how to do it properly!” she added sounding decidedly clued up!
“You’re telling me there’s a right way and wrong way to toilet paper someone’s property?”
“Oh yes, and I’ve got every intention of decorating their fancy bushes just in time for filming”
“You can’t,” I squeaked, horrified. “if you get caught, they’ll do you for criminal damage or vandalism or something??” I didn’t know? – not ever having done anything more criminal than 33mph in a 30mph zone. Ok, there was this time when I managed to walk out of Sainburys with a pack of hairbands for Lottie in the bottom of my trolley which I had somehow genuinely forgotten to pay for but it’s fair to say I didn’t got rushing back to Customer Services to rectify my misdemeanour/shoplifting. That’s criminal isn’t it? But as such I wasn’t generally speaking a law breaker, as much as anything I knew I wouldn’t look good in an orange boiler suit.
That night I went to bed wondering. Was Anna serious? Could she be toilet papering their bloody beloved topiary bushes right now? I couldn’t even go out and sneak around the village looking for her because Ted was working away in Bristol and I couldn’t leave the kids! In the morning, first thing, I texted Anna worriedly.
You didn’t did you? (no emoji, there’s a time and a place).
You notice I didn’t mention the deed just in case she or I had our phones checked by the police. I didn’t want to be an accessory to criminal bog rolling and go to prison. If Scotland Yard are reading this, it’s all fiction ok.
Anna texted back. Might have! Angry emoji face. The one with horns.
Holey shmoley, once I’d dropped the kids off at school – I couldn’t get round there quick enough. My heart was in my mouth, knowing Anna’s wrath at Holly I could well imagine their manicured garden strewn with reams of wet toilet paper and people running hither and thither in a state of bog rolled hysteria. As I walked up the lane I heard raised voices! Sh*t! I kept going, trying to look casual – nonchalant. Then I heard someone scream something, then more hammy screaming ensued. As I turned and the topiary garden come into view I scanned the scene, the place was teeming with crew, props and actors who were rehearsing but there was no toilet paper in sight, the bushes looked to be bog roll free. I even heard Holly’s mum cheerfully chatting to someone important looking – probably the Director?
I rapped loudly on Anna’s front door.
“Thanks so much for putting the fear of god into me!!!!!” I squawked barging in. Anna’s hallway was full of toilet roll packs stacked up everywhere.
“I’ve got no where to put them,” she said referring to the great wall of bog rolls. She looked like a mad woman in an unusually themed padded cell!
“What stopped you doing the deed then?” I asked, curious, as I squeezed past the loo rolls, still miffed at her.
“My Mum wasn’t free to babysit and she would’ve wanted to know what I was doing going out with 5 packs of loo rolls, she’s nosey like that!” admitted Anna, “It’s horrible hating Holly, it’s so exhausting,” she added sounding tired.
“What you need is a flamin’ night out and a few drinks,” Anna looked non plussed, “so we’re going to Band Night in the pub tonight with Babs and Lorelle whether you like it or not.”
“I haven’t got a baby sitter!”
“Yes you do, I’ve already spoken to your errant husband and he’s coming over at 7pm, so make sure you’re ready and for gods sake iron your ‘going out top’ and find your heels,” Anna gave me a droopy look but she didn’t tell me to bog off (pun most definitely intended) so I knew she was up for a drink after all.
We got to the pub at 7:01pm, clattering on the stone floor in our various heights of going out heels. We were the awesome foursome, Anna, Lorelle, Babs and me. We hadn’t met up for a night out for ages and we hadn’t been to a band night in a very long time. It was organised by Mick the arsy landlord in deference to his days of being in a rock band – like 40 years ago. He saw it as his duty to promote local up and coming bands, some of which were crap and others even more crap. But each band agreed to play some covers during their set to keep the regulars happy so we knew we’d recognise some of the songs if not the rest of the durge. Plus we all needed a drink and cheesy chips and something from the puddings specials board! Wolfie the annoying pub pooch who happens to be a Pyrennean Mountain Dog and therefore the size of a shetland pony welcomed us with his usual indiscreet crotch sniffing/butting and general over exuberance. “More of a Perineum Mounting Dog” quipped Babs as we fought off the lecherous great hound in our bid to order some drinks! No one wants a bearponydog in their way when they’re trying to get to the bar.
Wolfie (next to an average male adult stickman – just for your visual reference).
Not long into our foray of school night alcohol embibement and listening to the first crap band Babs slapped me on the shoulder, “Shiiiit,” she hissed into my ear (it bloody hurt, and I probably now have a fungal infection in my left lug hole). “Holly’s just come into the pub with a load of actor types.”
“Has she no mo fo shame,” I muttered my gaze following the sassy cow as she strutted into her former place of employ with a gaggle of extras and a couple of recognisable TV actors (not Luke Norris, he obvs had better taste). Mick the arsy landlord seemed vaguely pleased to see her (traitor) and Wolfie was beside himself at the arrival of his former favourite barmaid.
Indeed Wolfie was so thrilled and excited to see Holly that he bounded over – on the look out for a sly dry leg hump and knocked her flying – it wasn’t just a clumsy collision. The dog was huge and therefore heavy and Holly was jettisoned into the air before she came down hard on the flagstone floor. An ambulance was involved. Much drama and squawking and screaming ensued. Mick the arsy landlord was now seriously arsy about the noisy scene and the subsequent upset of his band night! Since this was posted I hear that Holly is hobbling around on crutches at her parents house with a broken leg wearing one of those oversized and somewhat unattractive ski bootesque contraptions!
“How was that for a taste of revenge? No bog rolls required!” asked Babs while the paramedics trollied a distressed Holly off to the waiting ambulance.
“……actually revenge feels like showering but then putting on yesterday’s skanky underwear again! Get me a *king drink!”
Suffice to say we got her another *king drink. And a big *king pudding!
As you were!
More next time.
PS, any more successful revenge stories in comments if you will! Thanking you!