A Fistful of Dogbra's
Previously at the Rabids …our lowland hero was left naked and dazed on a Mediterranean beach. Hercules “Eckle” Profiterole, the Belgian centre-half and private eye, was struggling to remember how he’d got there.
Just as Eckle was also starting to wonder how he was going to make it back to Strappon Alley, home of the Rabids, a helicopter appeared on the sand in front of him.
"Come on Eckle," beamed Sir Derek Tannic-Stanza leaning out of the door: "No hard feelings, boys will be boys, 1066 and all that. Bit of a misunderstanding don’t you know?"
"Oh, ok," said Eckle breezily and cheerily took his chairman’s hand up in to the waiting chopper.
Sir Derek plonked Eckle in the Fetid Borg rehabilitation centre and went back to his stainless steel office. After an hour of fingering his executive toy he sighed.
"Oh for a hostile takeover by an American porn star or a Russian milk magnate. Why does my door never knock-knock?"
Knock knock, there’s a knocking at his door.
"Er, yes come in," he looks up.
It was the snake-eyed exiled ex-president of Cimabui.
"Oh, Dr Toxic I was just thinking about you," said the chairman. "Come in, come in, Werthers?"
"So," said the wily business shark: "how much?"
Sir Derek sat down, cradled his fingers and started purring softly. The telephone rang.
"Stanza," he drawled: "Really? Well nice to hear from you … er… Titus, how can I help?"
"How much?" the Rabids chairman blurted: "Gosh, well I’m here with Doc Tox who may have something to say about that offer, he he," he was almost beside himself with glee, bidding war?
Just at that moment his latest long-legged incarnation of a secretary, Ms Fairy Alka-Selza, walked in with bosoms and a telegram from the Mexican bone giant Slam Haggle.
It said: "Will buy Rabids stop fistful of dogbras stop meet me at Guadalameandjulio in the desert at noon on the stop ninth stop make happy bastard stop Slam."
Tannic-Stanza had to sit down before his greedy knees gave way.
"Ah Dr Toxic perhaps you’d like to join us for a meeting on the ninth …"
Haggle had chosen the location carefully to welcome his guests to Mexico. The abandoned and crumbling lonely village of Guadelameandjulio had actually never seen better days. It had been lost somewhere in the Pinacate Desert with the tumbleweeds and the dust and no-one, before Senor Haggle, had ever gone looking for it.
Sir Derek brushed the sand off his ex-black Armani jacket for the hundredth time and mopped his growing forehead. Unfortunately the only way to get there was by pack mule, or so they had told him.
As his donkey carried him lolling into town, he noticed a movement in the bullet-ridden clock tower. He could just make out the shoulder and arm of someone there squinting back at him.
They pulled up at the broken taverna and in the shadows of an upstairs window Sir Derek thought he caught a glimpse of Doc Tox, but it was too quick to be sure. He ran a finger round his sweating neck and went into the freely ventilated bar.
He saw his host, in identical Armani black, sat waiting on the one good chair.
"Ah, Meester Stoner I’m soo pleased to meet you at last!" effused Haggle; "Welcome, welcome to the very first ICE HOTEL MEXICO! What do you think?"
"It’s very nice," said the Branston chairman not even looking around: "Did you bring the money?"
The frozen smile melted slowly from the bone merchant’s face and he gave an almost indistinguishable nod. The bell rang out in the dead desert air and Doc Tox manifested himself out of thin air right in Sir Derek’s face.
"Think of the future of the Asian market…" he smiled like a small carnivorous skunk in an oversize black Armani suit.
Then they heard the sound of angels … moaning. He turned around to see Titus Groans, the evangelist adult movie star who’d been ‘Porn Again’, naked but for a shiny rhinestone willy warmer.
"Fun for all the Branstone Families…" he nodded grinning.
"I’ll give you Diddyman Dogbra," said Slam.
The room seem to spin in front of the greedy chairman, in a heat haze he saw the bidders flashing past his eyes in a kaleidoscopic whirl that seemed to outline their various bids.
"Branston lottery…" said Doc Tox.
"Spiritual growth…" from Titus.
"Multi-storey car park…" from the Mexican.
"Pension funds …"
Just as Sir Derek was starting to teeter, as his eyes were beginning to roll, a chair was found for him. It only had 3 legs but was ok if he pressed a bit with his right foot and leaned back.
"Well, that’s all very good I’m sure…" he panted: "but how much?"
There was a shuffling of billionaires. Doc Tox gave a dry cackle.
"Not so fast Englander, where’s Dude Diligence?"
"I called him an hour ago," said Slam: "He was in a rush and he caught the wrong donkey."
There was a rolling in the hills and the ground shook to very heavy footsteps coming from far away.
"Ah, the Egg-man cometh," said Senor Haggle and Sir Derek curled a lip.
As Slam was offering Diddyman Dogbra as a sweetener, the Gorky Blu Meanies would have to have a representative present. Dogbra had been spotted playing for the Knotty Ash snuff quarry works team by a Meanies scout and he’d taken the Divisionship by storm in his first season.
The thunderous echoing in the valleys was none other than the simply enormous GBM chief executive Kiefer "The Egg-man" Banyan.
"SLAAAM!" boomed the Egg-man: "How the devil are you? Good. Howdy Des, would you like a toffee?" and he ruffled Sir Derek Tannic-Stanza’s hair playfully. The knight’s skin crawled.
Then they all loafed around listlessly for a few hours more in the heat, flies buzzing around their eyes, profits on their mind, still waiting for Dude Diligence …
When a stranger rode into town…
Well, two actually and they weren’t exactly strangers either.
Eckle wore a crushed raspberry suede Stetson with matching jacket and pants, set off by cascading diamante tassels and violent pink boots; it was a very Belgian expression of Mexican cowboy style.
Warsaw was wearing an old Brazil shirt and a huge sombrero lagging just behind on a buckled donkey.
"Wot the f’ack are you doing here?" snarled Sir Derek.
Eckle took a piece of damp paper from his inside pocket and, in a flat monotone, reminded the chairman of a clause in the ownership of Branston Rabids. The clubs founder Fagan Tannic had given the right of veto to a supporter’s representative in the event of any sale as he feared: "Some scaly arsed liming salacious fop of a Tannic wannabe future ancestor," would one day try to offload the club.
"And, prey tell," growled the albatross encumbered chairman whose big day was rapidly going down hill: "Why you felt the need to come here and tell us this?"
"Bob Tressell couldn’t make it guv’, so he sent me and Warsaw’d never seen Mexico…"
Sir Derek looked to the heavens; Eckle sat down on the one good chair and rolled up his crinoline sleeves.
They looked at the man in raspberry, he looked at them.
"Soo, who wants it then?"
"Oi!" said Sir Derek: "You can only veto a deal that I," jabbing his own chest furiously with a bony finger: "Put together!"
He looks around and realizes they are alone already; black beetley shapes are scuttling over the hills and far away, were they ever really there?
Eckle is humming softly, playing with his tassels.
Sir Derek opens his mouth with obvious violent intent, and closes it again and opens it…"Argh!" he said finally with venom as he remembered he has no cover for central defence and that it’s really Tressell he should be disemboweling.
He picked up his copy of "Gay Gas and Warfare" and stormed out to find his ass.
Warsaw, meanwhile, has been practicing his whistle; the lonely cry of The Man with No Name. It’s getting better, dogs start howling.
"Come on Warsaw, our work is done here. Let’s get back to Branston."
Warsaw doesn’t hear him, the howling’s getting louder and nearer.
"WARSAW?" shouted Eckle: "WARSAW STOP!"
But it’s too late really, there are at least thirty straining Mexican street dogs now at the windows and doors of the broken bar, they see Eckle’s sparkling tassels and, almost playfully, they charge.
"Bloody hell!" screamed Eckle: "It’s like deja Mourir all over again!"
From nowhere, it seems, there is an ear-splitting CRACK, WHiiiSHHH, CRACK, YELP. Warsaw has found a thick and vicious bull whip and the strapping black Russian looks somehow comfortable and happy lashing the beasts.
They make it outside and untie the horse and donkey but Warsaw whips too near their flanks and the panicking beasts bolt for it.
Quick as a flash Warsaw grabs a saddle and bounces one side and then the other and on to the saddle, legs akimbo holding on and heading into the sunset screaming with a gaining pack of angry dogs on his trail.
Eckle, half way up a stage post with a nasty piebald brute ragging his tassels, tries to sing the dog to sleep: "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide…"