It’s all a dream and illusion now

If you find my stories of my new life in a strange land confusing, you might want to read the tale of Maurice Wilson from the beginning.

I don’t know if it was the Brussels sprouts or the Christmas pudding that did for me, but after the exertions of the football match, the meal and the soporific effect of Yorkshire Television, I dozed off into a deep sleep in the armchair.

I woke in the early hours feeling the chill. The only sounds were the hiss of the gas fire and the high-pitched hum from the Rediffusion tv, its screen blank, apart from the white dot in the centre indicating that it had closed down for the night.

I was about to get up to switch the set off when the hum changed to a deeper tone and the white dot began to swirl and grow bigger.

As I watched, transfixed, the whiteness started to coalesce and began to take on the features of a face. I sniffed the empty glass by my side to check if I might have been drinking something with hallucinogenic properties, but it smelt like just plain Vimto.

When I looked back at the tv, it glowed white and the translucent face had become clearer and it looked vaguely familiar.

Its long hair was curiously stirred as if by breath or hot air, it wore many chains and made strange groaning noises. Then the shade spoke.

‘Now then, now then, now then,’ it said, pausing to take a puff on its cigar, a bling ring catching the light.

‘As it ‘appens, guys and gals, I am the Ghost of Christmas Night Family Entertainment, not to mention Radio One and Top of the Pops. ‘Ows about that then?’

Jimmy Savile?’ I ventured incredulously, ‘But aren’t you, well aren’t you dead?’

The apparition grinned mischievously and pulled out a piece of paper and read aloud:

‘I have here a letter, a letter from a young man from Cleckhuddersfax who says: Dear Jim, can you fix it for me leave this benighted place, full of lunatics, druids and cross-dressers and take me to the sanity that lies on the other side of the Pennines.’

‘Well Mr Parrot, as well as being the ghost of all the things mentioned above, I also ‘appen to be the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future Imperfect Tense and Cleckhuddersfax is the tense imperfect future you can look forward to if you keep writing about Yorkshiremen like you have been. But it doesn’t have to be so.’

‘You mean I can change this future?’ I asked. ‘I don’t have to go into police protection, I don’t have to live in a high rise flat that smells of tripe? I don’t have to keep coal in the bath and eat pigeons? I can return to civilisation?’

The spirit nodded and smiled indulgently, so I wasted no time. I went down on my knees and made a solemn promise never to write any factual posts about interesting, eccentric Yorkshiremen ever again, but especially Jimmy Savile.

When I unclasped my hands and opened my eyes, I was back in my own bedroom in dear old blighty.

I didn’t know what to do. I felt light as a feather and happy as an angel. I was merry as a schoolboy and giddy as a drunken man.

I didn’t know what day of the month it was or how long I’d been among the Yorkists. I didn’t know anything!

Running to the window, I opened it and put my head out. No fog, no mist; just clear, bright, jovial cold. Cold piping for the blood to dance to.

“What’s today?” I shouted to a boy on a brand new bike who had stopped to see what was to do. “What’s today my fine fellow?”

“Why it’s Christmas Day,” answered the boy incredulously. This was fantastic news. Jim had not only fixed it for me to come home, but it seemed we were to enjoy two Christmas Days this year.

‘An intelligent boy! A remarkable boy!’ I said. ‘Do you know if Morrisons supermarket is open today?’

‘Of course not,’ he replied. ‘I just said, it’s Christmas Day, but if it’s a prize turkey with all the trimmings and a case of Thwaites Mild you’re after, I’m sure my mum would oblige if you’ve got the money.’

‘What a delightful boy!’ I thought, ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him.’ With that, I threw down my wallet and off he sped off from whence he came.

No more Cleckhuddersfax, just good old Lancastrian fare. Who could ask for anything more.

So I raise a glass to you all — Inspector Snow, Pcs Derek and Barraclough, Jimmy Savile, the Ancient Order of Druids and Seers (Cleckhuddersfield Branch), but especially Maurice Wilson — God bless us, every one!

With apologies to Charles Dickens

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • john 26th December 2011

    Dickens would have liked that ( well just a little)
    ,,,,,,,,mind you Mr Saville always did remind me of Uriah Heap…..
    happy boxing day

  • Elizabeth 26th December 2011

    A nice take on that Yorkshire inspired Dickens’ classic, Ian…x

  • Mr Pudding 26th December 2011

    It’s all a dream and illusion now.
    It must come true some time soon somehow
    All across the land dawns a brand new morn’,
    This comes to pass when a child is born.
    When a child is born.
    ….Was the title of the blogpost a veiled reference to some crude act of extramarital impregnation whilst ensconced in Cleckhuddersfax? Our pure bloodlines must be preserved.

  • Mr Parrot 26th December 2011

    You might think so YP, I couldn’t possibly comment. But you have seen Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen…

  • Trevor Rowley 30th December 2011

    Nice to see that your ordeal is now over, Mr P, and hopefully, with some help (I would recommend Graham and the After Care Team from the Jeremy Kyle Show), the wounds will gradually start to heal. Sadly, this has left Chalky White and the volunteers down at the Flying Horse in something of a quandry. They’d japped through the Mossad Training Manual (1963) in no time at all and were soon chopping lumps out of the bartop with their bare hands. Even when Florrie ordered them down into the cellar to continue their training away from the punters, the noise was just too much so they had to revert to coming in as part of the night shift (this really messed things up for Barry Chirk and Kwik-Fit have put him on a final warning as he was nodding off most days before lunchtime came round). No matter, they’ve curbed their frustration now and their dedication has been recognised by the 19th Cheshire Foot and Mouth and they’ve been drafted in to augment some gaps in the local TA ranks (Afghanistan and all that). Big Tony’s in his element now on training nights (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and he makes a point of telling anyone at the bar who’ll listen that he was the brains behind the “Let’s Rescue the Parrots Campaign 2011”) and that his Falklands experiences wouldn’t have let him down. We’re all still convinced it was Goose Green at Pemberton near Wigan but who’d argue with Big Tony?

    Well that’s about it for now. Maurice and Jean send their love as do the lads in the darts team – oh, by the way, any news on that raffle money?


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