The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066. It had originally been scheduled to take place in a field above the White Cliffs of Dover but this venue was changed for health and safety reasons. The rival armies broke for lunch at noon and crèche facilities were available for the watching mothers. A bouncy castle kept the kids amused.
At 3pm, it started to rain and the English army ran for shelter. The Normans had brought umbrellas so William the Conqueror declared victory and gave each of his soldiers a commemorative Norman Conquest pen.
The English King Harold, who had placed a large bet at 10-1 that the Normans would win, was found dead with an arrow in his eye and a smile on his face.
One account of the battle tells of souvenir stalls, a grandstand, and English cheerleaders in red outfits, but as colour wasn’t invented until 1953 this story seems far-fetched.
“Say, Ollie, where is Mexico?”
“Why, Stanley, every fool knows that!”
“You can’t call me Stanley anymore. It’s Mr President, now!”
“Well, pardon me, Mr President. Would you like your socks darned Mr President ?”
“No, thank you, Ollie. I just want to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans!”
“A wall to keep out the Mexicans? Well, Mr President, I never heard such a crazy idea in all my life! You should be ashamed of yourself. You’ll make the whole country into a laughing stock! ‘Keep out the Mexicans!’ – Hmmmm!”
“Oh… tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet… oh…”
“Stop your blabbering. What you need is something to occupy you…Say, why don’t you go on a state visit to Russia!”
“But I can’t even spell Rusher!”
“You don’t need to know how to spell places! You’re the President. George W. Bush is still convinced he invaded Iran. Go to Russia and then you could see your old friend Vladimir!”
“ But he pulls my finger-nails out if I don’t do what he says!”
“Well, it’s either that or you stay here and build the wall all by yourself!”
“Oh…tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet…oh…”
“Oh, shut up. Call yourself a President. Hmmmm!”
When King Toffee of Lollipopia heard about the motor car, he was worried. It had been spotted near several villages on the outskirts of his kingdom. Nobody actually called it a motor car. The Lollipopians, who relied on horses for transportation, had never seen such technology, so the term ‘horseless wagon’ was coined. These sightings were becoming rumours. The rumours were spreading and the King’s subjects were growing Continue reading “The Cover-up”
I had been helping out at Rose’s Rest Home for three months before the Nat King Cole incident. A work placement scheme for the unemployed had dumped me there, and I was chafing at the bit to leave. At the age of 24 I now realised that care work was not my calling. Wiping the backsides of dementia patients had convinced me of that. I supposed I lacked the selflessness of a truly dedicated care worker. The worst part for me was Continue reading “The Life of Iris Bowe”
Marina lives with her husband.
Marina is my wife but I am not her husband.
What am I to do? Continue reading “The Haunted Ghost”
I had a dream where the crust of the Earth was a cube: six perfect squares of continental plates. I lived at the centre of the side called Africa. Continue reading “The Earth is Flat”
When you bought me a dog called Fido, I thought the name was a joke and voted for ‘Bobby’.
“My first husband was Bobby,” you said.
So Fido it was. Continue reading “Fido”
“Tell me what you saw,” said the entity known on Earth as William Webb Ellis.
“Well,” I said, “It was the shape of a rugby ball and as big as the Albert Hall. It flew from East to West in less than three seconds.” Continue reading “The Rugby Match”
On the very day it was proven that William Shakespeare’s grave had been disturbed soon after burial, I purchased Oliver, my lovely green parrot. A strange coincidence, for I came to believe that Oliver was the reincarnation of the Bard himself. Continue reading “Shakespeare’s Other Grave”
Once upon a time, a Lamborghini Diablo SV stopped outside Hampton Court Palace. King Henry VIII looked out of a casement and witnessed it himself. The machine raised and lowered its retractable headlamps before speeding off. Continue reading “The Lamborghini”
There was a poor farmer who found a fortune on his land – a hoard of gold coins. He could tell that the money had been left there long ago, perhaps by someone who was now dead. Continue reading “A Short Tale of One Gold Coin”
In the annals of my boyhood memories there is a treasured page I call: ‘The Day of the Blackberries’. Another name for it might be: ‘Dad’s Final Birthday’ – for even at the age of eight I understood that he was dying. Continue reading “The Day of the Blackberries”
The whole village of savages gathered outside the one big hut that housed them all. They wore not one stitch of clothing between them! But they were painted black and red in coloured mud. You never saw such a sight. Continue reading “A Funny Old War”
“A full bag today, Albert.”
“There’s a lot of them brown envelopes – War Office ones… ”
“Any news from Tommy, lately?”
“No.” Continue reading “Albert’s Great War”
My limousine stops. Fans surge forward, trying to break through the ranks of security. Normally I don’t inform the media, but today I’ve made an exception. Someone opens the door and I step out. Familiar and strange, my old school stands, framed by a riot; my name is screeched and I wave, lamely. Continue reading “School Star”