“Try this refreshing drink on hot summer days! A delicious blend of lemonade and marmalade! It’s perfect for garden parties, served over ice.  The tartness of the lemons offsets the sweetness of the marmals.”

‘What’s a marmal, Dad?’ – ‘A feudal vassal, son’.

‘What’s a marmal, Dad?’  – ‘A low, contemptuous fellow, son’.

‘What’s a marmal, Dad?’ – ‘A disease in sheep, son’.

‘What’s a marmal, Dad?’ – ‘An umbelliferous plant, son’.

‘What’s a marmal, Dad?’ ‘’Good question, Cosmo! It’s actually from the Greek marme, itself a corruption of marum or maroom, the pith or core or essence or nub or hub or kernel of anything, and by extension the Balm of Gilead of the ancients, much favoured for its carminative effects, son’.

– Any Ribena left, Dad?

Roy the boy

Roy Beans had a troubled upbringing, in and out of Bristol. His father died before he was born, and his mother showed signs of demonic possession over a long period. Neighbours who knew Roy the boy said he was a mumchance child, never happier than when he was alone under the stairs with a salmon-coloured ragdoll and a cold chicken thigh.

When he started school, Roy developed a close friendship with another boy, Peter Polski, whose parents were refugees from the Warsaw ghetto. Roy and Peter played Holocaust games together, and built a gas chamber (non-functioning) in the Beans’  back garden. There, they spent countless happy hours doing slave labour, being tattooed on their forearms, and marching each other to extermination.

In the light of what we know today, we must ask ourselves how Peter Polski went on to become  a highly successful inventor and entrepreneur, loving husband and father, and all-round good egg at the rugby club, while Roy Beans went on to become Prime Minister.

City Music

In Cambridge Circus, a gaberlunzie struggled to his feet, picked up his fardel, and hobbled away unsteadily on spider legs. Full loathsome was the stench from his person, so gentlefolk made a wide path for him, all the way down St Martin’s Lane to Charing Cross. Before the portico of the Church in the Fields, he stopped abruptly, looked into the sky, and bellowed ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ into the clear bright morning city air:

‘Thou dost ever lead thine own / In the love of joys unknown’.

The joys unknown that ended the song also ended the life of a six-year old boy, who was so startled by the gaberlunzie’s voice and mien that he dashed headlong into the path of a bus. His mother’s screams harmonized beautifully with Bach’s celestial notes.