Stella Bowls a Googly

The B of The Bang Big Breakfast

The B of The Bang Big Breakfast

Episode 6

Talk of the Devil

Pauline Priestley and Sue Kirby are chatting away at the volunteers desk when in walk a party of Australians and one asks if there are any facilities available, Sue points them in the direction of Café Apocalypse. Another one of the party is just explaining how they have just walked around by the Old Bell from the Abbey House Gardens, and have seen our portaloo decorated as an old police phone box. Then asks, was it a real one converted, or do they make reproduction ones in that style now. Pauline is totally unaware of the TARDIS lurking in the Cloister Gardens and assumes it’s a Wessex Week event taking place shortly and portaloos have been brought in for the occasion, and tells the Australian, she will have to take a look at this, phone box styled portaloo, for herself later on. The Australian lady then explains how the dunnies back home in her part of Queensland are just, old rusting sheets of corrugated iron.

The Australians are now queuing up at Café Apocalypse for double shot espressos, when in walk six DPD white van delivery men all with sack trucks carrying about five very large boxes each, stacked as tall as the men themselves. The DPD convoy terminates at Café Apocalypse and the first man enquires, where do you want these put. Stella looks aghast, saying I haven’t ordered anything at all in that quantity, and asks exactly what’s in the boxes. Delivery man one turns to deliveryman six, who is holding the paperwork, he looks and replies, it says 600 individual boxes of Cheerios breakfast cereal. Stella says there must be some sort of mistake, are you sure you have the right address, they aren’t meant for the Old Bell Hotel next door are they?

Delivery man three snatches the paperwork and reads out the Consignee, it says HERE, they are for a Mr Andrew Beebee at Malmesbury Abbey! Really says Stella, well lets see if we can stack them back around the corner in the store room. The sack truck convoy, about turns, and heads for Eilmer in his window. Pauline pops across and asks for two staff coffees and mentions portaloos, enquiring is there’s an event on. Stella immediately looks at Sarah who in turn looks back at Stella, both with innocent looks on their faces and shrugging their shoulders as if they have no knowledge whatsoever. Right Pauline, I’ll bring your coffees over in a minute okay.

Chair Circle © David Forward

Chair Circle © David Forward

Pauline makes her way back to Sue and a queue waiting to buy copies of Ruth’s booklet of Poetry. Stella confronts Sarah, what’s it doing out there, I don’t know replies Sarah all defensively, it’s nothing to do with me she says. Well it was you and that Lorenzo who brought it here in the first place so its down to you girl! I can only assume Mike Lynch had it put out there, it couldn’t exactly be left in here could it, it would look just slightly out of character in here don’t you think? Stella asks Sarah, so are you and Lorenzo going to shift it, because if you are let me know, I might want a ride in it myself. Talk of the Devil, here he is now, HELLO DAVID, says Stella greeting Lorenzo. Sarah looks astonished, why do you call him that? Well come on Sarah, don’t play the bleedin’ innocent with me, anyone can see he’s really David.

Ja-wont ya cuppa now, or is it too early. Ah! well, err, oh, a, umm, oh! go on then, says DAVID. So! what’s the story with this TARDIS then Mr Forward, common tell us all about it. ME, says David trying to look all butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth like type of person – an impossibility in his case. Yes YOU, why have we got a real, fully working TARDIS parked just out side the door here. Well Stella, its like this, I was thinking, how do you get customers to keep coming back and how do you get more new ones into Café Apocalypse, short of me press ganging them in off the streets in a stolen Lions Tour mini bus. So I thought…

Luckily for David, he gets a reprieve from digging himself further into a big hole, as in walks, The B of The Bang himself. This will be interesting, thinks David as he watches Stella’s face closely, as Andrew approaches smiling away and totally unaware of the recent visit by six gentlemen from DPD. ANDREW, are you getting enough, asks Stella with a completely straight face. Andrew looks around sharply in both directions seemingly at once, smile completely unbroken, and asks for further information from Stella as to her unusual enquiry. It’s like this, continues Stella, we’ve just had six strapping blokes in here delivering 600, I said SIX-HUNDRED boxes of Cheerios!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Hahhhhhhhhh, Hahhhhhhhh, don’t tell Jude. What is that exactly Andrew? Well there is a competition on the back of the boxes to win a genuine Austin Healey 3000, but each entry requires ten box tops, and I thought… Yes Andrew, what did you think exactly? Any way its done now, and I think I’m in with a good chance, wouldn’t you say! Well Andrew, it all depends on what you have to do to enter this competition, besides eat 600 boxes of Cheerios without anyone else noticing. Now that’s where my plan comes in, I’ve sneakily persuaded Jude and Wren that Cheerios are really good for you – Yes I know! – after the episode with the Baked Beans, I’m not sure Jude is going to warm to another one of my bright ideas.

Interesting, interesting Andrew, and how many weeks do you suppose it will take to eat all those Cheerios. Well Stella, (An Extra Large, The B of The Bang Smile Develops) that’s where you come in! OH!NO! Oh, no, I know what you’re thinking, yes we were thinking of expanding our Menu – but I don’t think visitors to Café Apocalypse are really ready for this one, besides we haven’t got enough bowls. We’ve only just found a home for the Baked Beans, haven’t we Sarah! You could always put a few boxes out amongst the CDs and Books but I somehow don’t think Robert The Book Boffin is going to approve, especially with all the box tops ripped off.

Stella! – Yes Andrew – Stella, I was thinking about all those hungry mothers on Monday Mornings.

Stella looks up at Andrew from the extreme corners of her eyes, trying to create a deeply furrowed brow – and just looks.


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“Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle.”

12 October, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License