December 4, 2011 by markstani
The latest excerpt from my novel, The Dukes of Fryup:
The Burgesses live in the posh house. They are the richest people in our entire village. They own all the ice cream shops, all the bread shops, and the butcher’s shop. They bought the mill so they could sell it to someone else to turn into houses.
None of our mums ever went round to the Burgesses’ for cups of tea or chats. Mrs Burgess wasn’t really Mrs Burgess because she wasn’t married. She was the third Mrs Burgess even we could remember. She was miles younger than Mr Burgess and always wore really short skirts. All the older lot fancied her. Keith Ingleton said she was definitely up for it. Fat Gavin’s mum got closest to getting in the Burgesses’ house. She went round delivering coffee morning leaflets. She could have delivered one through the letterbox but she rang the bell instead just so she could get a look past when someone answered.
Fat Gavin’s mum had to ring the bell three times before anyone came. It’s such a big house it even has a swiming pool. Mrs Burgess came to the door in her dressing room with her hair wrapped in a towel, even though it was the middle of the day. She looked at Fat Gavin’s mum and said, ‘not today thank you,’ and slammed the door.
Fat Gavin’s mum: I had a good mind to ring that bell again and give that woman a piece of my mind.
Fat Gavin’s mum: you don’t go and tog yourself up in a dressing gown at that time of day unless you’re living the life of Riley.
Dazzler’s mum: you don’t get that rich by being honest.
Dazzler’s mum always said that about the Burgesses: you don’t get that rich being honest. She said it was their fault poor Mrs Gulliver had gone doolally. Doolally wasn’t in the dictionary, but it meant going a bit mental. (Other examples of going a bit mental are eating mud, or running down the street with your pants on your head).
Mrs Gulliver was an old fogey who used to own a proper ice cream shop down near the thatched cottage. Mrs Gulliver’s ice cream shop was the only one Mr Burgess didn’t own, but it was the best one by miles. It was proper ice cream and you could get loads of different flavours, even flavours you’ve never heard of before, like New York Buttered Almond, which sounds manky but was really nice. Plus you could get hundreds and thousands and monkey’s blood. Mr Burgess’s ice creams were just Mister Softee. Mr Burgess had been trying for ages to buy the shop off Mrs Gulliver. He kept trying to give her more and more money but she didn’t want it.
Mrs Gulliver: I wouldn’t sell up for all the tea in China.
Then one night Mrs Gulliver’s shop caught fire. We got woken up by the fire engines and went out into the street in our pyjamas to watch. I had Denver Broncos American Football pyjamas. I was glad I didn’t have teddy bear or Batman ones. Holly and Chantal were out in their nighties and dressing gowns. The fire was puffing out of all the windows.
The next day the shop was all black. It stank of burned metal and you could see the sky through the roof. Some cars outside were covered in soot. The firemen came back to make it safe, which meant knocking down another bit of it. It stayed that way for ages. Mrs Gulliver said she didn’t have the first idea about how to get it straight. People kept writing letters to the Gazette saying she should do something about it because it was a right eyesore and a blight on the tourist trade. Our mums said they were made-up letters sent by Mr Burgess to try to get Mrs Gulliver to sell it. They didn’t look like made-up letters, because they didn’t have made-up names. Examples of made-up names are Mr T Bag, Mr C Side and Mr P Niss.
In the end, Mrs Gulliver just died.
Dazzler’s mum: there’s no question, that poor old woman died of a broken heart.
After Mrs Gulliver died Mr Burgess bought the shop and put the roof back on it and opened another ice cream shop. It was called Gulliver’s Olde Worlde Ices.
Dazzler’s mum: the nerve of that man, it makes you sick.
Dazzler’s mum got everyone to boycott the shop. The boycott lasted a bit but then we found out it was the only place that still did loads of different flavours and hundreds and thousands and monkey’s blood. A few months later, Dazzler’s mum caught us coming out of the shop with massive ice creams. We thought she would go doolally, but didn’t.
Dazzler’s mum: blooming heck, those look good.
Dazzler’s mum gave us a quid and asked us to go in and get one for her, because she wouldn’t go in herself.