Monday, 31 December 2012

The Dog Who Loved To Drive





It was New Year’s Day, 1913 and Andrew was bored. Everyone in the house was sleeping off the after effects of the Ball which his parents insisted on holding every year. 


This meant that no one would be driving the motor car that day and this made Andrew smile. All he needed was to rev the old beast up, find Buster and then the two of them could be off to the seaside.


Buster wasn’t just Andrew’s dog, he was his best pal and was probably much cleverer than the boy but Buster wasn’t one to brag.


Andrew sat Buster in the driving seat as he pushed the car silently out of the stables and under the nose of Reynolds – the little man who looked after everything mechanical for the big house.


Andrew’s father promised him his own motor car when it came to the time that he would go up to Oxford – until then he had to take every opportunity to teach himself the rudiments of driving. How hard could it be? I mean, Buster was steering the car along the drive and he was a dog.


Before they got to the big gates Andrew checked there was enough fuel to get them to the coast and back.


“Good man, Reynolds,” thought Andrew - Reynolds always kept the motor car in ship shape and ready for the off. All Andrew had to do was turn the crank and that would be that. The motor car spluttered into life, shaking and banging before it settled down and began purr like a big cat.


Andrew hopped in and made Buster sit in the passenger seat much to the dog’s annoyance. It was several minutes before the dog looked in Andrew’s direction again. Okay, so the dog was very clever and very friendly but it could get annoyed if it didn’t get its own way. Andrew knew how to bring Buster around by giving him a saucer of champagne – and not just any kind of champagne it had to be the 1893 and it had to be served at room temperature. Buster was a snob, as if I need to tell you.


It wasn’t long before they were on the road to the coast. Naturally being New Year’s Day, the road was empty of traffic with not even a horse to be seen. 

The road was straight enough that Andrew felt confident to let Buster steer the car, Andrew worked all the other buttons and pedals.


Whether it was the late night or all the dancing at the Ball, sleep crept up on Andrew and he fell into a deep dream. Buster hadn’t noticed and wasn’t caring since he was driving a human car and it felt great.


As they drove through the next town, a Mrs Styler of Heyham High Street looked out her window to see one of those new fangled motor cars being driven by a dog and a man (who looked unconscious) in the other seat. She was going to mention it to her husband when she decided that he was already looking for an excuse to get her locked up and this would be the perfect gift for him, so she went back to bed and lay down in a darkened room.


Somewhere just outside of town the car ran out of fuel and Buster guided it to the side of the road. He then started to bark at Andrew.


Okay Andrew would have heard it as barking but to Buster it sounded as if he was telling his lazy friend to fill up the car with more fuel.


After what seemed a very long time (which in dog’s years was probably quite true) Buster decided to fill up the car with fuel himself; a farmer who was in field nearby saw this and decided that he had been working too hard and for the first time in his life went home early.


Once again Buster barked and barked but he couldn’t get Andrew to waken so being a very self reliant dog, it decided to turn the crank handle itself. With Andrew’s hands and feet still on the buttons and such like, the motor car suddenly moved off on its own. It shot down the coast road with Buster running behind barking that someone should try and stop the human motor car.


The Reverend Dunlop was opening his church doors when he saw a motor car driving down the road with the driver asleep and a dog running behind barking. He smiled to himself and continued with his work.


Just as the motor car entered town, Buster managed to jump back on board and turned the car along the coast road. Buster knew he couldn’t stop the car so his only options were to drive it into the sea, or let it run out of fuel, or try and turn the motor car around and head for home.


Just then, Buster noticed a large house with many dogs and bitches running around the garden. He turned the motor car into the drive and as the car laboured up the hill, he invited the others to jump aboard. As he drove the car out of the grounds there must have been nearly twenty dogs and bitches sitting in the motor car. Two of them were on top of the sleeping Andrew.


Buster continued along the coast and at the big pier, the car once again ran out of fuel. Leaving the sleeping Andrew in the car, Buster and his pals spent several hours running along the beach and stealing food when the humans weren’t looking.


All too quickly the sun started to go down and so Buster filled the car with the last of the fuel, and got several of his pals to turn the crank.

After a very satisfying day, Buster drove back through the dogs’ home, dropping off his friends.


It was dark when the car reached home and as Buster had no way of stopping it, he drove the car into the garage hoping the something would bring it to a halt. Actually the car burst through the back wall and continued across the lawn but by this time Buster had already jumped off.


Reynolds found a very confused Andrew several miles away in the forest where the motor car had eventually run out of fuel by that time Buster was fast asleep and dreaming of his next adventure.


bobby stevenson 

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pitch: Pier 60






Title:       PIER 60      

Email:       bobby.stevenson@btinternet.com 



Genre: Thriller/Drama


Logline:     What happened after the Titanic sailed into New York City, Pier 60. 

Synopsis:           
Pier 60 was the destination berth of The Titanic had she made it to the US. This is a ‘what if’ story. What if the Titanic had made the crossing without incident and those aboard had survived. The ship misses the iceberg.

There are three characters: Joseph is 33 and has traveled over in third class. His plan is to assassinate the President of the United States – William Taft because of the way - he thinks -that the Americans have steamrollered his family.

Dr Blake is a Scot who has worked on experimental medicine and who makes a discovery that could stop cancer from growing in the body. He is headed for Princeton, NJ to continue his work.

Sara is English and she is the woman who will not change the world but will marry David, the man whose narration runs through the story. Through their eyes we see what the world becomes due to those souls who did not die on the crossing – some good, some bad.




bobby stevenson  thoughtcontrol LTD 2012
http://randomactsstories.blogspot.co.uk/        
http://randompitches.blogspot.co.uk/  

The Ballad of Square Peg





Peg was the happiest of happy little girls
She beamed and smiled all day long and
Everything was good in Peg’s life except
That she was Square Peg and she lived
In the town of Round Holes
Now the town was a beautiful little place
At the foot of a mountain and anyone would be
Lucky to live there, except Peg found that
Being square didn’t fit well in Round Holes
Everything was built and ordered for the round ones and
Peg couldn’t fit in anywhere
She cut corners to try and fit in
But it hurt her more than she cared to let on
So she found that keeping to herself
And avoiding most things that were round was the way forward
One day she walked out of town just to be herself again
And there she met Square Andy and Square Jane having a
Square dance and she joined in and for the first time
In her life she felt truly at peace
Peg ran all the way back to town and decided that she would
Dig a square hole in the middle of town and invite everyone
To come and see
Some thought it was the end of the world, others thought it
Wrong and blamed all the troubles that befell the place on
The fact that there was a square in the middle of the town
But Square Peg realised that a town was only really happy when
Everyone had a place to feel at home and that the people
Of Round Holes only thought they were happy because they were
Going around in circles
And even although it wasn’t easy, Peg stayed where she was
And soon the place eventually became known as the Town of
Round Holes with the Square in the middle of it all.





bobby stevenson thoughtcontrol ltd 2012

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Next Year's Love





Next year some people will leave your life

And new ones will enter

Next year some dreams will vanish

And others, not thought of, will come out of the sun

And make you smile

Next year you’ll make mistakes

And you’ll survive them all

Next year you’ll win some and you'll lose some

Next year some friends will fail to understand

And some will grow to love you

Next year you’ll learn a little more about yourself

Some parts you’ll like and some you won’t

Next year you’ll learn to love yourself a little more

And that will be all you’ll ever need.





bobby stevenson thoughtcontrol ltd 2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

Tommy and I Cycle To Shoreham Village


Whenever Tommy was excited or stressed, which to be honest was most days, he’d put the word ‘chuffing’ in front of everything. For instance, today was going to be a blooming chuffing day with loads of chuffing hills to cycle up and when we got to the ballyhoo top well we’d chuffing have a pick nick. 

You see what I mean?

Tommy was a good egg, a decent sort who would lift a finger to help anyone, a talented tennis player, cyclist and a very good footballer. On the other side, he was a frightful drunk, which thank goodness had only been that once, he was extremely competitive – he would bet you a farthing on who would blink first and he was useless with money. Apart from that he was the kind of gent you would be proud to call a friend.  

So come Saturday morning, Tommy and I would be on our chuffing bicycles, out of the chuffing city and heading for the chuffing countryside (I promise to limit the use of chuffing in future) and this Saturday was no exception.

Tommy knocked at my door at 5.30 (in the morning may I say – I didn’t even know there was a 5.30 in the morning, if truth be told) “Get up, you chuffing wastrel” was the morning cry of the Tommesara Smitheratist bird and it tended to waken everyone else up as well.

“Will you please tell that very stupid friend of yours that it is far too early in the morning for his buffoonery” said my rather grumpy father without opening his eyes (apparently it helped him get back to sleep quicker). Like Tommy, my father tended to hook in a word and then beat it to death with its overuse. ‘Buffoon’ and ‘buffoonery’ were both in the process of getting six shades of purple knocked out of them. Luckily he hadn’t heard Tommy’s current obsession or that would have resulted in me having to leave home and declaring myself an orphan.

“Apologies Holmes but we have the whole of the south east to explore and time is chuffing moving on.” 

Every since he’d read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, I had received that name. It was better just to smile and accept my fate because he might come up with something far, far worse. On our cycling trips Tommy wanted to be known as Moriarty because he said the name felt good on his tongue. I know what you’re thinking, Tommy wasn’t the most intelligent of my friends. 

By six o’clock in the morning we were happily cycling over the Thames and heading down the Old Kent road where the world was waiting to entertain Holmes and Moriarty.

“First stop, chuffing breakers” said my pal.  
For those that don’t speak Tommyese, that meant breakfast must be had with all haste.
Toast, crumpets and coffee were the order of the day at Mrs O’Reilly’s tea room in Lewisham, a bargain at one shilling. Mrs O’Reilly had long since departed this life and gone to the big tea room in the sky. The place was actually run by a man with the name of Derek.  

“’Mrs O’Reilly’s’ sounds that bit more romantic” said a very tattooed Derek. “People knows what to expect, with that name, but Derek’s Cafe, well it just don’t sound right, do it?” 

Both I and Tommy left the premises agreeing that Derek was correct in what he had said but that we should avoid the place in future as Derek seemed to be two seagulls short of an aviary. 

Although it had been five months, Tommy still insisted that he wear a black band on his right arm as a mark of respect for the old Queen. I told him that this was a new and exciting time, that this was a new century , this was 1901, after all, and goodness knows what the next hundred years would bring. 

Tommy felt that the new century could chuffing well wait until his mourning was chuffing done. I know I promised to keep the use of ‘chuffing’ to a minimum but it seems impossible when in the company of Tommy Smithers, I will try harder – I promise. 

Just as we left Bromley, Tommy declared that the countryside had properly started and although I tried very hard to see it, I was at a loss to notice the difference. Still Tommy knows what he’s talking about or so he tells me.

After a mile or so I hinted that perhaps an ale might be the order of the day. Tommy stopped so fast that I almost ran into the back of him.
“I have a plan” he said (actually he said ‘a chuffing plan’ but I thought I would spare you that nonsense).
“And your plan is what, Tommy?” that was my contribution to the discussion.  
“I know of a little village in the Darenth Valley where the ale is like nectar.” Tommy was tasting the ale in his mind's eye.

“Why haven’t you told me of this place before?” I ask.
“Because my dear friend, it is not a place for the unwary.”
“Why is that Tommy?” I ask.
“Because my fine fellow, it is a hot bed of liberalism and creativity. People have really let things slide in this village. There are some women who are so close to looking like men, that one might wish them ‘a good morning sir’ without realising.”
“Well I never.” I declared.

“Worse still..” Tommy looks around before whispering “..there are men in this village who do not like the company of women. There I’ve said the chuffing thing. It’s too late but it’s out in the big world for all to know.”
“Don’t like the company of women?” I think I may have look perplexed.
“Really, you know what I mean, stop being an chuffing idiot. They don’t like women.”

So I had to have my say and I mentioned “I don’t know any men who don’t like women apart from Father who hasn’t spoken to Mother since she tried to fry the porridge. That must be eleven years ago, now.”
“Your mother tried to fry porridge?” says Tommy.
“She did, and Father said that any woman who was stupid enough to try and fry porridge shouldn’t expect any conversation to be thrown her way in future and that was that. He never said a bally word to her again. He said she was an imbecile, a harsh word I grant you, but I think that was his word of the week at that particular time.”

I expected Tommy to be impressed with this story but instead he said that I should stop talking chuffing rot and stop acting like an imbecile.

That is why, by the time we got to the little village, Tommy had dropped the word ‘chuffing’ in favour of the word ‘imbecile’. Why hadn’t I said that my father had called my mother ‘lovable’ or had given her money to shut her up? Maybe then Tommy would have done the same.
“Hey, ho, oft we go” shouted Tommy, adding “you imbecile.” 

I do rather make things difficult for myself when I don’t bally mean to.   

The village clock was striking one o’clock as we freewheeled our way down the hill into the centre of this dastardly liberal little village. I had to be honest with Tommy and tell him that I thought the people looked jolly normal.
“Nonsense, you imbecile” was his reply.
We parked up outside a delightful little public house called The Crown. The door was at an angle to the building and led into a small bar for gentlemen.  
“Just in case this pub is over run by liberals let me do the talking” said reliable Tommy, “just to be on the safe side.”
Now to me, the person serving behind the bar was clearly a man but Tommy insisted on calling him ‘Mam’ then winking to me in a very obvious manner followed by him touching the side of his nose with his finger.

“I didn’t want to drink in the place anyway” said a rather surprised Tommy, “the establishment looked totally unsavoury. We are well shot of it.”At least the barman only asked me to leave whereas he caught Tommy by the collar and threw him out of the door. 
 Tommy said that he was right about the place all along, it was a den of liberal minded imbeciles and he would be writing to his Member of Parliament just as soon as he returned from the country. 

We tried to gain access at the next pub, the Two Brewers but apparently Tommy had been there before and was no longer welcome. I didn’t realise that you could use so many cursing words in one sentence but the manager of The Two Brewers must have broken a record.
“Another den of imbeciles?” I asked.
“Just so.” 

That is why we came to be sitting outside the Kings Arms drinking two of the most wonderful glasses of ale. Apparently this was not a den of imbeciles and the prices were exceedingly fair.
Having slaked our thirst we mounted our trusted bicycles and headed towards the large town which sat at the top of the hill, above the village. 

About one third of the way up the hill, Tommy suggested that we dismount and push our bicycles up the rest of the way. Apparently it didn’t do the bicycles much good to be treated to a hill in the manner we were riding them. To be honest I thought maybe Tommy found the hill a little too steep but in fear of being called an imbecile, I refrained.

The climb was worth the effort and the view over the North Downs was spell binding. 

Why people steal bicycles is beyond me, and two of them at the same time. You have to ask yourself - was the thief a member of some circus troupe? However the dasterdly deed was done and it meant that cycling back to London was now out of the question. A train was called for and a train it would be. 

Tommy suggested that we travel back by First Class and that I should foot the bill seeing as I was the last one to see the bally bicycles. I actually think the last time I saw them, I said “Tommy, do you think the bicycles are safe by that public house? ” Whereupon Tommy called me an imbecile and told me in no uncertain terms that if I was worried about people stealing our property, well that sort of thing just didn’t happen in the countryside. Then he said “Grow up man.” The next time I looked the bicycles were gone. 

In the railway carriage, on the way back to the city, a rather plump man and his rather plump wife were playing cards. The husband seemed to have won a round as he let out the most frightening cry of ‘Ballyhoo’. 

I could see the glimmer in Tommy’s eyes as he tried the word ‘Ballyhoo’ out on his tongue. 

The word was not found wanting.
Unfortunately.  







bobby stevenson thoughtcontrol ltd 2012