“Not yet Lola, You are not ready!” hissed Harold as he tried to disentangle his legs from the wretched dog who was most disturbed by the high pitched screeching of the loathsome Mrs Haddock and her whey faced entourage, that stood shuffling their feet and muttering in their local dialect.
Hetty took a big intake of breath ready to emit another high pitched squeal when Harold landed her a hearty pat on the back which made her splutter and turn beetroot.
“Wonderful to see you Hetty, looking forward to the campaign!” he bellowed
“Well lots to do- see you soon” he pushed Lola down a cobbled side street. Bunty came running up dragging a basket on a porters trolley she purloined from the local railway station.
“Now listen Lola, you still need to get the measure of your opposition and i think we should go to the Bat and Turnip this evening where the local Bilious party are holding their hustings. It will show you what sort of things the local people are after.
Now you are dressed appropriately we can infiltrate pretty darn easily.” Harold smoothed down his crimpline two piece, straightened his cravat and checked his stockings for ladders.
Bunty looked him up and down and shook her head
“You know Harold, in this half light you look just like that portrait of the second Countess Tuff-Muffin, Lady of the bed chamber to Queen Mary.”
Harold looked rather pleased, “This way ladies, and Lola do you have a particular talent by the by. You might need it. The hustings are a bit of a talent show you know and the audience do like a performance”
Lola raised one eyebrow and then the other, so it didn’t feel left out.
“A talent, well Harold, I have many at my fingertips.” Lola purred
“Yes, but Lola, your talents aren’t exactly what is needed here I think” said Bunty shaking her head vigorously.
“Oh that sort of talent!” said Lola with a sigh
“look give it some thought and as we are here just observe for now” said Harold wrenching open a big oak door as they stood outside the the function room at the back of the Bat and Turnip.
Inside there were three stands made of some hastily put together orange boxes. on which stood the three short listed people for the local Bilious party. Two men and one woman; they looked terrified as the MC for the evening looked like an escapee from the kit kat club.
“Ladeees and Gentleemen, for your delight this evening we have in the left corner, fresh from the slashing sheds, not a stranger to hard graft nor a chaser of four legged constituents I might add, Daaavid Thighblood! And on the right hand side we have REG GRIPPER, a local landlord to many, loan shark to many more, no only joking Reg! ha! and in the middle umm what’s her name oh yes Deirdre Woolsack, teacher or something”
With shouts of “Get on with it!” the MC fed questions to the three contenders, only Deirdre seemed to answer any of them with any conviction and Harold nodded and muttered, jolly good when she spoke but she didn’t seem to have the charisma of the other two, who were, quite vile in Lola’s opinion and she became quite agitated, occasionally standing up and shouting “You blithering idiot” while Bunty and Harold tried to hold her back
At last it came to the moment everyone had secretly been waiting for. The talent! first up was Reg Gripper. It was original but squeezing the testicles of a pit bull in time to the National Anthem was not for everyone. Cries of “I bet if I squeezed your testicles you’d sing better than that dog” made the MC signal for it to stop. next David Thighblood read a very long poem until the crowd chucked left over bits of pork scratchings at him. Lola looked to see what Deirdre was unpacking from behind her. This looked slightly more hopeful. It was a banjo, she stroked the strings and tuned it up. Then with a flourish she started playing a jig and there was a lot of stomping going on. From behind the bar the barman pulled out another banjo. Quick as a flash Lola grabbed it off him and to Bunty’s surprise Lola started duelling with Deirdre. They kept pace with each other playing faster and faster, the dancing became wilder and wilder until a string broke and hit Reg Gripper in the eye. The pit bull took it’s chances and bit down on his ankle as deep as it could go. Suddenly there was pandemonium the dog wouldn’t let go and certain members of the crowd decided it looked like a good time for a fight.
“Time to go ladies” said Harold
once they were safely packed into the waiting Daimler Lola snuggled beneath the warm furs and sighed
“Oh Bunty it would be such fun being a lady MP!”
Bunty looked up from the picnic basket and nodded as she bit into a pork pie
“Yes Lola, I can quite see that, and with your talent i’m sure you will go far” she nodded.