Hooting Yard Archive, December 2005

A Christmas treat in the shape of two episodes from Blodgett And His Pals Hanging Around On A Mysterious Island After Surviving A Plane Crash.


Sunday 25th December 2005
A Special Christmas Treat, Part Two
Saturday 24th December 2005
A Special Christmas Treat for All Our Readers

Sunday 25th December 2005

A Special Christmas Treat, Part Two

Here are the notes for a second episode of the thrilling new drama Blodgett And His Pals Hanging Around On A Mysterious Island After Surviving A Plane Crash. The first appeared yesterday.

Lothar Preen is looking soulful. Mrs Gubbins is tending Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's corpse. We shall not see those eyebrows again. Lothar Preen is looking even more soulful. He tells Mrs Gubbins that Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp was very brave. “If there is anything I can do for you….” he says, soulfully.

Flashback. Lothar Preen is under military arrest at Loopy Copse aerodrome. He is taken into a room where a female CIA agent and a male Port of Tongs secret service agent tell him they want him to help crack a terrorist cell in Hoon. One of the members is an old pal of his from the Tantarabim republican guard. “It's seven years since you left Tantarabim, and you've been travelling ever since. You're either running away from something… or you're looking for something”. Yes indeed. He is looking for Chloris Preen, though, mysteriously, “no one ever called her that!” spits Lothar Preen, angrily. So they're all off to Hoon.

Marigold Chew is in the forest. She comes upon exhausted desperate Dobson.

Marigold Chew : “Come back!”

Dobson : “I'm looking for Blodgett. He lied. Why did he lie? I based my medical treatment on his lie!”

Marigold Chew : “People are scared and upset. They need you back.”

The beach. Solemn music. Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's funeral. Everyone is looking very deep and meaningful, holding hands and comforting one another. Lothar Preen is now looking even more soulful than before, if such a thing is possible. Dobson is back and in charge of the arrangements. He asks Mrs Gubbins if she wants to say anything. She looks sulky, but I think it is meant to be grief, and shakes her head. Lothar Preen launches into a speech about what a great guy Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp was, even though he didn't get to know him.

Blodgett arrives, still soaked in Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's blood. “It was my fault! We found a plane! I would have gone but my leg was hurt. He was a hero.” Dobson loses it, runs over and knocks Blodgett to the ground and begins to beat him up, shouting “Where were you? Where were you?” The others pull him away as we pause for the first advert break.

At this point we learn that L'Oreal has a new product featuring “light revealing booster technology”.

As the others pull Dobson away from Blodgett, Dobson goes into some kind of fit. Before he passes out, he screams “Blodgett is hiding something… some hatch!”

Flashback. Lothar Preen is in a mosque, the imam of which has possibly the most splendid beard in the world. After prayers, outside, Lothar Preen ‘runs into’ his pal, whose wife apparently died in a bombing somewhere while out shopping. They go back to the pal's flat, where he lives with three other men, clearly an active terrorist cell. Lothar Preen removes a listening device from their smoke alarm, and then they all talk about the upcoming attack. (It strikes me that not one of the gang realises that their plans must be known to the CIA if they have been bugged. They just carry on as before.)

Minnie Crunlop and her baby. Tiny Enid and Pabstus Tack are trying to get her to rest. Pabstus Tack calls the baby Turniphead. Eventually Minnie Crunlop is persuaded to go to sleep and let Pabstus Tack look after the baby.

Blood-splattered Blodgett gives Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's rucksack to Mrs Gubbins. He sits down next to her and they stare out to sea. Blodgett says various Blodgett-like pearls of wisdom and ends “I hope you can forgive me. I'm sorry.” He walks away while Mrs Gubbins sulks - sorry, grieves. Then she goes to Lothar Preen, who is fiddling about making something with bits of metal as usual. “You said you'd do something for me. Blodgett killed my brother. Will you do something about that?”

Marigold Chew is trying to normalise Dobson's blood sugar. He tries to stand up but is too wobbly. Marigold Chew tells him she put crushed sleeping pills in his juice. He nods off.

Blodgett is wringing out his gore-splattered shirt. Lothar Preen arrives and asks him how he got that scar on his torso. “It's a war wound.” “It looks more like a surgical scar.” Lothar Preen wants Blodgett to take him to the plane so he can collect what's left of the radio for parts. They set off through the forest, Lothar Preen using his interrogation skills to winkle information out of Blodgett as they walk, and Blodgett realising this. They arrive at the plane.

Flashback. Lothar Preen and his pal are playing football in a Hoon park. Pal reveals that he is to be the ‘martyr’ in the impending terrorist action, but he doesn't think he can go through with it. Lothar Preen with the CIA agents. They point out that the pal has to go ahead with it so they can arrest him and get their hands on the explosives. (They can't do anything about it earlier for some reason I can't follow.) Lothar Preen says he's no longer cooperating, so they threaten to arrest Chloris Preen. He changes his mind.

The baby is crying and Pabstus Tack is carrying it around trying to get it to sleep. Joost Van Dongelbraacke sings a loud screechy soul song, but that doesn't work.

Blodgett and Lothar Preen at the plane. Lothar Preen salvages the radio parts. He asks Blodgett why he lied about Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp falling off a cliff. “I made a mistake”. Blodgett gives Lothar Preen the gun he took from the Nigerian priest-cum-drug-runner. Then, without prompting, he admits to having knocked Lothar Preen unconscious just as he was about to do that transmitter triangulation thing a few weeks ago. Lothar Preen puts the gun to Blodgett's head. Blodgett explains that at the time no one on the island was thinking clearly. Lothar Preen asks him about the hatch that Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp mentioned in his death-throes. Blodgett pretends he was talking about the fore- and aft-hatches on the plane.

Flashback. Lothar Preen is persuading his pal to go ahead with the suicide bombing. Pal says he will if Lothar Preen joins him, and Lothar Preen agrees.

Mrs Gubbins is looking at a photograph of her and Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp. She goes for a walk with Lothar Preen, who says he believes Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's death was an accident. “So why did he lie?” yells Mrs Gubbins.

Raft building. The Grunty Man is learning a few words of English. Pabstus Tack discovers that the baby is soothed by the sound of fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol's grumpy voice and follows him around.

Dobson wakes up. Marigold Chew is looking over him. It is almost like a religious painting. She proffers him soup. But while Dobson has been asleep, the key to the gun case has vanished! Dobson assumes Blodgett is the culprit and struggles to his feet enraged. Lothar Preen assures him it wasn't Blodgett. He doesn't say who it was, but we cut to the rain-lashed forest where Mrs Gubbins is taking a gun out of the case.

Flashback. Time for the suicide bombing. Lothar Preen and his pal get into the truck full of explosives. They are still parked in the warehouse. Lothar Preen reveals he is working for the CIA and tells his pal to run away, he'll give him ten minutes before calling in the cops. The pal is very angry. He holds his gun to Lothar Preen's head. Lothar Preen whimpers. His pal has gone all dementedly fanatical… but at the last second turns the gun on himself. Blam!

Marigold Chew, Dobson and Lothar Preen are scampering desperately through the rain trying to find Mrs Gubbins. Lothar Preen finds her pointing the gun at Blodgett, who of course looks preternaturally calm and Zen-like about this predicament. Marigold Chew and Dobson blunder on to the scene. Gosh it's tense. Will she shoot? Lothar Preen launches himself at her, knocking her to the ground as she shoots Blodgett. Is he dead? No. There is blood pouring from a wound near his brain, but he sits up.

Bespectacled fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol is reading the boring text of some kind of car manual to the baby, who is fast asleep. Every time he pauses, Pabstus Tack tells him to carry on reading. Minnie Crunlop arrives and smiles.

Night (ie, you know the end is near). Mrs Gubbins is sitting staring into the fire, watched by Lothar Preen and Marigold Chew.

Flashback. The CIA, mopping up in the warehouse, reveal Chloris Preen's whereabouts to Lothar Preen. She's in Bodger's Spinney and they've booked him on a flight in two hours. Because he wants to claim his pal's body and give him a decent Muslim funeral, the CIA agree to get him on a flight next day instead. (Aha!)

Night still. Lothar Preen tells Blodgett he saved him from death at Mrs Gubbins's hands because “I have come to believe you may be our best chance of surviving this place. Now take me to the hatch. No more lies, Blodgett.”

To be continued…

Saturday 24th December 2005

A Special Christmas Treat for All Our Readers

Hooting Yard has been eerily quiet for the past two months, during which time Mr Key has been plotting all sorts of exciting bagatelles for the coming year. But to assure readers that he has not succumbed to the living death of zombiedom, Frank is presenting as a Christmas treat the working drafts of two episodes of an exciting new television series. The show is provisionally entitled Blodgett And His Pals Hanging Around On A Mysterious Island After Surviving A Plane Crash. Here is the first, which takes place somewhere around the middle of the story. The notes for a second episode will appear tomorrow.

Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp is covered in blood. Dobson and Marigold Chew do medical stuff. Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp is croaking.

Marigold Chew: “What's happening, Dobson?”

Dobson: “His lung just collapsed.”

Tense music. Tracheotomy. Tiny Enid winces. Dobson tells Marigold Chew to go to the beach and ransack fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol's stuff for rubbing alcohol.

Flashback. Dobson is tying a bowtie on a young mystic badger named Little Severin, who says “You can still back out, Dobson”. Wedding preparations? Possibly.

Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp is still croaking and bloody. Dobson says: “I'm going to save you.”

Daytime on the beach. Fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol, his spectacles nowhere in sight, offers Minnie Crunlop a fish. The raft should be ready in about a week. Old Halob offers The Grunty Man a fish. Neither Minnie Crunlop nor The Grunty Man want fish. Marigold Chew arrives and demands all of fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol's alcohol.

Dobson is stitching Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's chest up. He's still groaning. He needs a blood transfusion. Pabstus Tack asks Dobson where Blodgett is.

Flashback. Pre-wedding party. “The future Mrs Dobson” makes a speech. A year ago she broke her back. (A bit like Blodgett's sister breaking her neck as a child, though this is not made explicit.) They said it was inoperable. “But there was Dobson. And he promised to fix me. He's the most committed man I have ever known. I will dance at our wedding.” Dobson looks soulful.

Tiny Enid puts a twig in Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's mouth, which is not a herbal remedy despite Dobson's protestations. They pull him about and he makes very loud groaning noises.

Marigold Chew trips over in the forest carrying her rucksack full of alcohol. Something is lurking in the trees. It's Minnie Crunlop, going into labour.

Marigold Chew: “You're having contractions, Minnie Crunlop!”

Minnie Crunlop: “No I'm bloody not!”

Marigold Chew: “Help! Somebody help!”

The Grunty Man hears the yelling and runs into the forest. Marigold Chew tells The Grunty Man to go and get Dobson.

Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp has stopped groaning and is now quivering, in shock. Tiny Enid asks him what blood type he is. He eventually groans, “A negative”. Dobson tells Tiny Enid to go and find someone with A negative blood, and to find Mrs Gubbins too.

Mrs Gubbins and Lothar Preen are out walking. Lothar Preen has made a picnic for them on a secluded beach.

Pabstus Tack has been asking people about their blood types, but nobody knows. He doesn't even know his own “bloody blood type”. Tiny Enid has found a plant with very thin, sharp needles. Dobson says that he is a ‘universal donor’ whatever that means, and will risk giving his blood to Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp.

Flashback. Dobson is playing the hotel piano. His fiancee (Matilda Spamclot) joins him for a duet of ‘Heart And Soul’. Dobson looks soulful again.

The Grunty Man arrives to get Dobson, and comes face to face with Tiny Enid. Intense looks between them. The Grunty Man explains that Minnie Crunlop has gone into labour. Much babbled English/Korean chatter with Tiny Enid interpreting. Dobson tells Pabstus Tack to go and tell Marigold Chew that she has to deliver the baby.

Night. Minnie Crunlop's contractions have stopped. Then her waters break.

Dobson is in a vigil over bloody Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp. He's still breathing. “I screwed myself up pretty bad” he says. Then he starts muttering… “plane, hatch, plane, hatch… Blodgett said not to tell anyone about the hatch…” Dobson: “What hatch?”

Mrs Gubbins and Lothar Preen are canoodling chastely at their night-time picnic. Mrs Gubbins tells Lothar Preen that Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp is not her brother, but her step-brother, and he is in love with her. She has feelings for Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp, ‘but not like that’. Mrs Gubbins wants to take things slowly with Lothar Preen.

Minnie Crunlop is having her baby. The Grunty Man and Pabstus Tack arrive.

Marigold Chew: “Where's Dobson?”

Pabstus Tack: “He couldn't come. He's pouring his own blood into Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's arm right now!”

Minnie Crunlop: “I was out there for a week. Some days I don't remember. What if they did something to the baby?”

Dobson and Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp. All the blood is gathering in his leg. “Compartmentalisation!”

Flashback. Night. Dobson sitting by the hotel pool. Dad arrives. Dobson explains that Matilda Spamclot wants them to write their own wedding vows and he just can't think what to say. He doubts his ability to be a good husband and father.

Dad: “Committment is what makes you tick, Dobson. You just don't know when to let go.”

Dobson says he has to amputate Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's leg. “There is no other choice.”

Minnie Crunlop is pushing, but trying not to. “Baby knows I was going to give it away - it won't want me. Babies know.” Marigold Chew moves into inspirational, affirmative blather mode. The Grunty Man and Pabstus Tack sit nearby being manly together.

Tiny Enid tells Dobson he can't save Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp. Tourniquet round leg time. Dobson and Tiny Enid stare at each other meaningfully. Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp groans. Dobson starts crying.

Flashback. Wedding. Dobson is lost for words when the time comes for the exchange of self-written vows. “I didn't write any. I've been trying for a month and I couldn't. You got it all wrong. I didn't fix you - you fixed me. I love you.” Tears and sobs and kisses and applause from the assembled throng. The minister, by the way, is an elderly, chubby, moustachioed man who may be Malaysian.

Very quick pre-advert scene. Has Dobson just amputated Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's leg? I'm not sure.

Dobson and Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp having a muttered, whispered and incomprehensible conversation. Deep emotions in play. Dobson is sobbing again.

Minnie Crunlop is yelling as she has her baby. Successful delivery. It's a boy.

Dobson and Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp again. I think Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp is going to die. Yes, he does. Last words: “Tell Mrs Gubbins…tell Mrs Gubbins…”

Minnie Crunlop brings her baby to the beach. One of those scenes of everyone looking meaningful, with moving music. Slow motion. Mrs Gubbins and Lothar Preen return hand in hand. Dobson walks towards them in slow motion to tell them the dreadful news. Silent, just the music. Birth and death you see, very profound.

Mrs Gubbins looking at Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp's corpse and convulsing in sobs, still only a music soundtrack. Tragic violins.

Dobson sitting on the beach staring out to sea. Marigold Chew joins him. They look at each other in a meaningful Marigold Chew-Dobson sort of way.

Dobson: “Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp didn't die. He was murdered.”

Marigold Chew: “Where are you going?”

Dobson: “To find Blodgett!”