River Wissey Lovell Fuller

The village in Never Never Land

March 2009

The final episode of our Fairy Story

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

A modern Fairy tale an everyday story of country folk

The village in Never Never Land

It did not take long for Handsome Jack to realise that no matter what problems the villagers of Ritten might be suffering, no support could be expected from the local Numpties of the Ap-parish-ion Council.. They continued to huddle lank-haired, round their cauldron every two months wringing their hands, wild-eyed, dribbling and giggling insanely, whilst demanding more eye of newt.

Their immediate supervisor, a successful "Jozef Goebbels impersonator with a high-pitched voice, remained conspicuous only by his absence - except when the local press would be present, when he would take up his position at the very front for a group photograph.

Jack finally concluded that he would need to engage the help of the all-powerful Borough Numpties (or Bumpties as we shall call them). They could be found closeted in their palatial ivory towers about a dozen leagues distant, counting their publicly-funded and fully-protected pension entitlements, voraciously consuming an ever-increasing portion of the villager's income.

Their demands for tithes were seemingly insatiable - but they had a constitutional duty to come to the rescue of the downtrodden villagers, did they not?

This, thought Jack, must be the answer. I shall contact them - give them all the facts and they will, in their infinite wisdom, quickly sort things out. Oh how wrong he was!

The details they noted down of Jack's initial contact were incorrectly entered on their abacus and although many of the villagers similarly requested their help over the next three years, that original error continued to be perpetuated.

The root cause of the Bumpties inaction was that they had logged the STENCH as having appeared in the wrong place - almost one mile from its actual location. True, they did eventually send someone to investigate, but since they were looking in the wrong place, nothing could possibly be detected.

The Bumpties used all the modern equipment in their arsenal to identify the problem. Equipped with state-of-the-art butterfly nets to catch the smell, they crawled in procession along the roads on hands and knees, self-importantly sniffing the manhole covers. In vain, they tried every trick in the book - even surrounding each manhole and then closing in so that the STENCH could be manhandled into a sack.

They could not understand it! No luck at all!

Thus after each visit their report stated "No problem found - therefore no action necessary".

Finally Jack demanded to see all the Bumptie's internal documentation and soon forced them to confront their own inadequacies. Three years later he was able to prove that their records were not merely inaccurate, but not even worth the paper they were written upon. The villager's initial trust in the mighty Bumpties had been misplaced and it was evident that all future complaints would have continued to perpetuate this exercise in futility, had not Jack forced the issue. When the Bumpties were finally dragged kicking and screaming to a meeting with Jack to be confronted by their maladministration, they did eventually have the good grace to acknowledge their catalogue of errors and to apologise profusely - both verbally and in writing.

At the same time, Jack was doing battle with Gliania Fluid (the masters of the Dragon and the Pype) and who were thus directly responsible for the STENCH. Although Jack initially knew nothing of the technicalities involved, he learned enough to force them to admit that they had installed the "wrong sort of valves" at the "wrong location" in the Pype - and also that they were using the "wrong sort of chemicals" in their futile attempts to mask the foul odours.

If this sounds like the pathetic British Rail "wrong sort of snow" excuse, you are correct -that's exactly what it was!

Eventually Gliania Fluid were also forced to attend a meeting and obliged to confront their inadequacies. They also apologised for their actions and inactions - verbally and in writing -and at the present time, it is hoped that Jack's work is done. Only time will tell!

Jack had spent many shekels of his own money and untold hours of work to reach that stage, but this was never at any time acknowledged by the local Numpties. They appeared unable even to conceive that it was actually their duty to have done so.

Now, you may ask, since profuse apologies had been received from both the other groups mentioned above, what of those cringing Numpties? Did they ever have the manners or common decency to explain why, either as Ritten's elected representatives, or as individuals, they had consistently made every excuse under the sun to avoid doing something/anything? No, No, thrice times No!

In Jack's humble opinion and that of many villagers, their conduct had been deplorable - an absolute disgrace and an offence to their electorate. They acted just like the three (in this case seven) wise monkeys. Hear no problem, see no problem - and look the other way.

Jack hoped that on the next occasion elections were called, the current crop of Numpties would crawl back under their rotten logs to the obscurity they so richly deserved and that the villagers of Ritten would realise the futility of continuing with the old Guard.

What purpose did they serve anyway? Be assured, they would not be a hard act to follow.


The Dreamcatcher

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