1 The Shepherds
A Hyacinth Bucket character encounters a distasteful scene
Really, it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t nice at all.
I was just saying to Leonard, my husband, that it wasn’t nice. Leonard has just retired as an important civil servant and he knows about things. He agreed with me, “Not at all pleasant,” he said to me. “Not the sort of thing that decent people like ourselves should have to see”.
You’d think the Government would do something about it, wouldn’t you? I mean to say, if this sort of thing started happening everywhere, where would we be? The whole neighbourhood would be spoiled if we had people like them living among us. I can only say that I am relieved that the hotel turned them away. Can you imagine what would have been said if they had been allowed to stay?
Goodness knows what my friend Agatha will say when she hears about it. She always thought this a down at heel sort of place. She will snigger to herself when she tells her friends at the Bridge Club.
It wasn’t nice, not the sort of thing that a lady of any standing in the community should have to witness.
I mean to say, I only went to see if I might be of assistance. You can’t imagine the scene; worst of all, you simply cannot imagine the smell.
Leonard says I really shouldn’t repeat the details. “Not the sort of thing for polite ears”, he says.
And you should have seen the people there. Well, not quite the sort of clientele that you would expect at an important occasion. Farmers down from the hills, have you ever met one of them? Not the sort of men you would want your daughter to meet. Some of them looked as if they had never seen a bar of soap, and their clothes, their clothes were indescribable. They were simply the dirtiest people I have seen.
The most absurd thing was that this group of foul smelling rustics imagined that they had a right to be there. They insisted they had been told about it all happening. How silly can you get? What group of nobodies is ever going to hear of anything important before people of standing in the community? My husband Leonard says that if anything important were to happen, he would hear from his colleagues; important people always hear things first.
Oh dear, it wasn’t a gathering with any class at all. Apart from the hill farmers, there were strange people dressed in white. “Some sort of cult”, my Leonard says. I’m sure he’s right, Leonard is a man of the world, he knows about these things.
But do you know the worst thing of all? The young lady! A teenager! My Leonard has very firm views on teenage pregnancies and I’m telling you, if Leonard had been there he would have given the father a piece of his mind.
It wasn’t nice, no, not nice at all.
It was strange though. Despite the awful smell, and those horribly coarse farmers, and the funny fellows in their white costumes, there was a strange feeling there, a feeling that this dirty byre, with its unmentionable mess, held something special.
Of course, I’m not a religious sort of person, and if God, (that’s if he’s out there), if he decided to break into our world, he would never arrive like this. No-one would ever believe it . . .
Very well done Ian. When are you going to Podcast it?
You will of course have to use a Hyacinth Bucket voice!
I have a feather duster that I’ll give you. 😉
Ian, I vassilated between laughter and disdain. Thoughts of farmers, stables, inns. A time without soap or deodorant. Nice allegory . . . Dare you to do it for the Church Nativity Play! Gaaarrn … have a go ya mug!
I don’t think growing up in rustic Somerset would allow me to manage Mrs Bouquet’s voice!
I did something very similar for a Christmas Eve Communion one time – asked how many of them had walked sixty miles nine months pregnant, and how many had had babies in huts and how many blokes had been present to see all the gore!