Tuesday 3 December 2013


Dear Bill.

Not a great deal to report I'm afraid from the engine room on Nb Dulwich Dishwasher.

The Memsahib was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. Its not one of those special, special anniversary. She said, 'I want something exciting that's low slung, all sleek and shiny. Something with electronic dials, that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.' So I bought her some chrome plated digital bathroom scales. 

I have discovered that our coppers are in need of a sense of humour transplant. A couple of them had the temerity to stop me as I staggered along the towpath at about ten past twelve last night. The PCSO feeling a bit brave asked me where I was going. So I thought I should wind him up a bit. I whispered to him that I was actually on my way to listen to a lecture about the effects that alcohol can have on the human body. The copper says "oh yes, so who's going to be giving a lecture at this time of night then?" I said 'its usually given to me by the Memsahib'. I could see that he was not amused. So I asked if he was any good at riddles and was he up for a sleuthing challenge. The plonker said he was! So I asked "Which is the only animal in the known world that has its reproductive organs on its back." He pondered for a while then he gave in. So I advised him, that the next time he saw the mounted division on patrol that he should ask one of them.

Mr Khan down at the corner shop has branched out yet again. This time he started selling periodicals and newspapers. He said he would stock most of the daily papers with the exception of the Daily Mail as he did not want to tarnish his reputation. He was looking for a trendy and catchy name for the new venture and he has come up with "Khan's Newsasian". I also noticed a sign in the window. It says "Please do not steal from this shop. The government doesn't like competition!"

I ran into Rodney and Doris Drain in the snug of the Slug and Pellet. Rodders had been to the hospital to see a dietitian. He was just starting his eighth pint of old speckled hen when he said "Did you know that all the rubbish food we consume should have killed most of us sitting here, years ago." He went on "Red meat is terrible. Fizzy drinks attack your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with msg. Even vegetables can be disastrous because of fertilisers and pesticides that are used on them. None of us realises the long-term damage being done by the bacteria in our drinking water." I must admit I was a bit surprised at all his new found knowledge.  He then went twittering on and said "There is one food that is incredibly dangerous and we all have, or will have, eaten it at some time in our lives."  Then he stood up and said "Is there anyone here able to tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it." Doris who was sitting next to me shouted "Wedding cake."

I bumped into John 'creepy' Crawley he told me an amazing story. Apparently Antonia Pails the charwoman of the bored, has come up with a Chilli Cooking Contest to be hosted by the truss. She has been watching celebrity cooking on TV. However, Antonia as usual has selected herself to be a judge in the chili cook-off. To be honest no one else wanted to do it. Antonia who was assured by the other two judges Rick 'paddy' O'Shea (no sense so no feeling) and Alvin 'Buster' Spotte (asbestos gob) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy. Creepy had kept some of the judges score cards - this is what they said.
Chili # 1:
Berry's Maniac Chili
Judge One -
Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge Two -
Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: Nice, smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.
Judge Three -
Antonia Pails: Holy smoke, what the hell is this stuff. It could remove the blacking from your boat while it was still in the water.

Chili # 2: Bridgeman's Afterburner Chili
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: Smoky  with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: I'm not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to fight off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. At autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too painful, and I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I'll just suck it in through the 4 inch hole in my stomach.

Chili # 3: Chande's Burn Down the Barn Chili
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: Excellent bonfire chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers. 
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: I think I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Jeyes fluid.  I could only just make it to the beer tent. The Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest.

Chili # 4: Cottons Black Magic
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. 
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. 
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills so I wouldn't have to dash over to the beer tent.

Chili # 5: Dodwell's Lip Remover

Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: My ears are ringing, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. Sally the bar maid saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. Sort of irritates me that one of the other judges asked me to stop screaming.

Chili # 6: Done's Vegetarian Variety

Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers. 
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally. The contestant seemed hurt when I told him that his chili had given me a brain damage.
Chili # 7: Franklin's Screaming Sensation Chili
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef threw in canned chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. She appears to be in a bit of distress. 
Judge Three - Antonia Pails: You could put a grenade in my mouth and pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel it. I've lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My clothes are covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my mouth at some point.

Chili # 8: Thurley's Vesuvius Chili
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. 
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 fell and pulled the chili pot on top of herself. 
Judge Three - Sir Asa Haggard-Luke: Lack lustre attempt. (The previous judge Antonia Pails was unable to report and had to stand down)

Chili # 9: Shine's Double Thrust Chili
Judge One - Rick 'paddy' O'Shea: A perfect chili. An exciting combination of blowtorch and pressure cooker.
Judge Two - Alvin 'Buster' Spotte: This final entry is an outstanding chili. Combining heat and pain. 
Judge Three - Sir Asa Haggard-Luke: As good as it gets, a mixture of fag roasting and new boy impaling.
Well I must run, toodle pip old boy.

Cap't Bob

"The events depicted in this series of letters are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. No person should without the prior permission of the author assume the identity of any character. These letters are a story that could be based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be accidental composites, or entirely fictitious. I was helped in my creative endeavour by my friend's telepathic cat named Huxley. Huxley assumes all responsibility for any mistakes and errors."

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