Picture credit –  Hannah Tobin.

Tales from the Strangled Ferret Season 2. Episode 3.

Colin and George work on getting the community room ready for the meeting. Everyone assembles for the twinning meeting. A community discussion takes place after Lame introduces the twinning and then chairs the discussion. Jack and George have a 121 discussion about the forthcoming election.

*****

‘How many people do you think will turn up, do you think George?’

‘I reckon most of the village will be here but we’ve only got 200 chairs so the late comers will have to stand at the back, Colin.’

‘I wonder who this Frenchman is that Lame said he is bringing.’

‘I’ve no idea, but I hope he speaks English.’

*****

The pub door was pushed open and Lame walked in, followed by a foreign looking gentleman.

‘Hi everyone. This is Jacques from the French Twinning Association. This is Colin, George, Janet, and Jack. What would you like to drink? Perhaps a pernod or pastis?’

‘Mais non, I vill haf a half litre of your famous warm beer, s’il vous plait… err,  ‘ow you say,” Oold Moody?”

‘That’s near enough,’ laughed Colin. ‘One pint of Old Mouldy coming up.’

‘Salut mes amis,’ said Jacques.

‘Cheers,’ said Jack, ‘let’s all go into the community room and claim a chair before the crowd arrives.’

*****

George had counted about 175 people in the committee room. He hoped no more were coming because he had only applied for a fire certificate for 220 people. ‘Looks like the whole village has turned out tonight,’ whispered George to Colin.

‘Well, it is their first real chance to see it,’ muttered Colin.

Lame stood up from his seat on the low dais. ‘Welcome to all of you. For those who don’t know me, I am Lame Faulkes-Hatt. I used to be your MP until I resigned when this election was called. I’ll chair this meeting until you vote in the permanent chairperson. Also here on the platform are Jack who has been the Program Manager for the conversion of this pub, George who stepped in a Project Manager when I had to …err, leave for a while – he has done a great job. Next is Colin who has agreed to run this place and the French gentlemen who agreed to come and visit us this evening is my brother Jacques, or Frère Jacques as I call him –  and finally, my new wife Janet. Now on to the business of the evening which is to discuss the twinning of our pub.

Jacques is here to represent the International Strangled Ferret Association – ISFA. He is the rotating chair of the association and is, of course, from France. He is the manager of a small bar called Le Furet Étranglé in Issoire les deux pissoir in the Auverne, about 40 km (25 mi) SSE of Clermond-Ferrand.

The suggestion tonight is that we join the ISFA and twin our ‘Ferret with the French one and perhaps later on with the German one, Das erwürgte Frettchen, which is located in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz.

There are many benefits in this twinning arrangement. One is that it encourages us to travel within and to retain our links with Europe after BREXIT and in reverse, it will encourage people from Europe to come and visit this lovely part of England so increasing our tourism, which will be good for trade and, as you know, all profits from the ‘ferret will be retained in the community and spent on community projects.

The first order of business is to nominate and then vote on a chairperson for this meeting and for the role of chair of the UKISFA. We will also need to elect a deputy.

The boring work of nominating and voting then took up about half an hour at the end of which Lame announced that Jack had been elected as chair of the UKISFA with Colin as his deputy.

‘I’ll now hand over to Jack and stand down from any formal role in this twinning arrangement but, of course, I am always ready to lend a hand as required.

The meeting dragged on for another two hours, and showed signs of going on longer until most people couldn’t contain their thirst any longer so they followed Colin into the 3B and demanded pints of Old Mouldy which Colin took great pride in serving.

*****

‘Are you happy with the way the twinning meeting went Jack.’ asked George, after taking a long pull from his glass of Old Mouldy.

‘I think so. We now have a mandate to start setting up the twinning arrangements with the French ‘ferret. We can see how we get on and then perhaps start the twinning with the German one after a couple of years. After that we will be twinning experts and we can start making arrangements with the rest of the Ferrets around the world.’

‘So it’s global domination then is it?’ asked George with a chuckle.

‘No but think how it will put Ferret on Trent on the map and bring in all those international tourists.’ said Jack.

‘So who’s going to win this election then, you usually have a good handle on these things?’ asked George.

‘Well, I got the referendum wrong so there is no good reason why I should call the election correctly. What do you think George?’

‘I think there will be a great coalition of chaos between all the parties, in the national interest. Nicola Sturgeon will be elected Prime Minister with Theresa May as her deputy, they seem to get on well. Nicola will be the lead negotiator for BREXIT with the EU. They won’t understand a word she says and there is a shortage of Gaelic interpreters so Theresa will have to step in as her interpreter and so negotiate exactly what she wants but Nicola will take all the blame for being a “B***** difficult woman.’

‘What about the ministers of the different departments? How will they share those jobs  out?’ asked Jack.

George ticked them off on his fingers.

‘Well, obviously Jeremy will be defence minister, in fact he already has a date in his diary to go to N Korea and give in to young Kim. He is going to offer him  several Trident submarines at a knock down price on condition that he starts being nice to the rest of the world.

Diane will be home secretary with special responsibility for Police y.

Keir will be minister for socialism – with a name like that how could he not be?

Caroline will be responsible for keeping the lights on without coal, nuclear or gas generation. Good luck with that. First power cut is planned for 9th June 2017.

Foreign Secretary will be anyone who can find a map that shows where Syria is.

Boris will continue in his present role with responsibility for fun and gaffes and taking the blame for implementing the Governments policies.

Vince will be pensions minister as he has been drawing his for longer than anyone else in the cabinet.

John will clearly be Chancellor as he seems to magic money out of thin air – which will be a useful skill.

Minister for Europe will be Nigel, if he doesn’t get a better offer that trumps it.

Jacob will be Union Liaison Minister – should get on well with Len McCluskey

Priti will be Overseas Aid Minister with special responsibility for begging for aid from Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Afgan  and all the other countries richer than the UK.’

‘Do you really thing that will work George?’ asked Jack.

‘No,’ said George. ‘The two top woman may have a mandate but they need a womandate or preferably a persondate. I am a strong believer in gender neutral language.’

© Richard Kefford    2017                                                                             Eorðdraca

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