Little Shoppe of Bolocks Part 2
Previously on Rabids: Hercules Profiterole, the Belgian centre-half and part-time private eye, has had his nose bitten off by his manager Jorges Mourir. Most of the Branston Rabids first team are lying up in hospital but the big Melchester Roofers game is only a few hours away. Eckle has gone off to get himself a nose guard for the game and found one in the little shoppe of Mr Bolock along with a magic lightbox and a big test tube. They’ve just been discussing the business opportunities presented by an original print of the 1923 FU Cup final which was saved by the heroics of PC George Scorey and his white horse Billie.
“So, all I have to do is get his sperm in here and then come back and no time will be missing right?”
“That’s right,” said the shopkeeper.
“Bloody hell,” said Eckle, his clothes were torn and disheveled and his carefully oiled Belgian hair was all a mess.
“Oh, er…you’re back already!” said the shopkeeper.
“My God, he’s a strong bugger, do you know what I had to go through to get this?”
Eckle was breathing heavily and straightening his hair and clothes.
“Well done, man,” said Mr Bolock holding up the test tube to the light: “There isn’t very much though.”
“Not very much!” shouted Eckle “He nearly throttled me!”
“Don’t be silly, how can a horse throttle you?”
“Horse?” said Eckle.
After they had got Eckle settled down again and the little shopkeeper had washed out the test tube in yellow marigold gloves, they stood back in front of the light box and the old photograph.
“Now, big white bugger right in front of you as you go in, ok?”
“Got it,” said Eckle and allowed himself to be sucked in through the frame again. This time he slipped on the muddy pitch as he landed and before he could get up he was being trampled by hundreds of steel toed hobnails.
He fought his way vertical and marveled at the scene, hundreds of thousands of screaming fans running amok. Broad Lancs and ripe Cockney filled the Wembley air with a frenzied mayhem. Eckle pushed towards the horse thinking how different it all was than the picture; the black and grey suits, white shirts, grey caps, grey skies and pale complexion of the mill workers all in glorious Technicolor.
He reached the proud, grey, stallion and got down to work…
“Oh, er… you’re back already!” said the shopkeeper again “Ooh, that’s nasty, they’ll be able to sew it back on again right?”
Eckle thrust the warm test tube into Mr. Bolocks cold marigold and examined the muddy nose in his hand. Blood was running freely now and the shopkeeper rather curtly moved him out of the shop, stuffing the silver nose protector in his pocket.
“Do call again, good luck in the game!”
The Belgian centre-half ran back to the hospital with his battered hooter in a hankie and a big and heavy black horseshoe print on his bloodied face. Needless to say his hair was all over the place.
They had decided to hold the pre-match briefing on the ward as most of the players were there already. As soon as Eckle had been patched up by a doctor with altogether too many difficult questions, he joined the team.
“…so because of the history with Middlinghamsborough Frost we have to put out a side today…” Sir Derek Tannic-Stanza is saying.
“What? We can’t field a team, look at us” said Eckle and gestured around at the sorry invalids.
“Well, regrettably and unfortunately this is what I’ve been explaining Hercules. If we don’t show up then we’ll be fined a shit load and have points deducted, we’re not safe yet you know.”
“Well I’ll definitely play, I’ve got an antique silver nose guard” he shows it around the team to admiring groans “but most of this lot can’t.”
“You’re too young to remember the blitz me lad. Back then we knew what team spirit was about I can tell you, ‘cos my father has told me many stories and I listened, boy, I listened. We have to muck in and stick together, the show must go on.
"Now, Mrs Glossop, Edie, how’s that cruciate ligament of yours?”
By 3 O’clock they had a team on the pitch, just. There was a last minute panic when it turned out that Mrs Glossop was in fact owned by two South American companies and was contractually unable to fill her position on the wing.
Sir Derek himself went into the stands and plucked out a startled 7 year old girl called Mary to plug the gap. But even then it was a ramshackle old team and it depended a lot on Jaws being able to move his crutches quickly enough in goal.
Although Branston Rabids went ahead early when Mary beet Marcos de Janero to a diving header, Melchester Roofers quickly asserted themselves and a torpid game finished 1-4 to the Melcs.
Eckle helped the shuffling Wilfrid Brambell off the pitch dejectedly.
“Thanks for your help Wilf and don’t worry about that young Wooosh Roobit, he’ll be fine by the time England need him next. You play a tough game old timer.”
“Ay? Naa, fack off.” Said Mr. Brambell.
Later, after showers Eckle decided he was going to go and see Sir Tannic-Stanza personally. As he approached his stainless steel office he could hear voices.
“…a packet I can tell you, saved 80 grand on first team wages, ha ha ha, ha, and made another 300 g’s on the bet, brilliant!” the chairman was boasting.
“You don’t mind betting against your own team?” asked a smooth and well-dressed Italian voice.
“It’s a god eat god world Poppi and we all have to eat, non?”
Eckle couldn’t believe his ears, he was Gallically outraged and started to stride towards the office when “BAFF” the lights went out and he slipped into the sort of unconsciousness that comes of a brick on the back of the head.
One minute office furniture the next naked in a rocky cove on a deserted island off Sardinia; it had been one of those days, thought the Belgian centre-half groggily.