by Robert Williams
"Do you know what exciting event is taking place this weekend?" quizzed Mrs Greasy.
"Mick's clearing out his shed, " said Des.
"It's the Golden Jubilee!" exclaimed Mrs Greasy.
"Oh yes, that's right," said Des.
"Yes, it's exactly fifty years since I cooked my first ever bread pudding, when I was just nine years old," said Mrs G.
"Well I was thinking more along the lines of it being fifty years since the Queen acceded to the throne," said Mick.
"That as well," said Mrs G.
"And that means we're getting a four day bank holiday weekend," said Mick.
"Yippee!!!" exclaimed Clive and Des.
"What difference does it make to people like you?!" said Mrs G. "Every day's a bank holiday for you lot!"
"How shall we celebrate the Jubilee then?" said Des. "I think we should do something patriotic."
"Like what?" said Mick.
"Like...er...stage a re-enactment of the St George and the dragon story?"
"No!" said Mick. "What did we do to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in 1977?"
"Well...we held one of those, um...you know..." said Des. He mouthed the words 'street party' at Mick.
"Oh yes, one of those!" Mick mouthed 'street party' at Clive.
"Ahh right," said Clive, cottoning on. "I see what you mean."
Everyone went silent.
"Well?" said Mrs G.
"I remember!" exclaimed Wayne suddenly. "I was only 12! We 'ad a street party!!"
"Street party!" said Mrs Greasy. "That's a good idea! And I'll do the catering!"
The others held their heads in their hands.
"What did I say?!" said Wayne.
"So that's the Golden Jubilee of me cooking my first bread pudding sorted out," said Mrs G. "What are we doing about the Queen's Golden Jubilee?"
Later that day, Des, Mick and Clive held an emergency crisis meeting in Des's kitchen.
"HELP!!! EMERGENCY!!! EMERGENCY!!!" yelled Des. "Mrs Greasy is holding a street party in our street!! What are we going to do?!"
"Easy," said Mick. "Don't go."
"Don't go?!" exclaimed Des. "It'll be right outside our houses! We can't just not go!!"
"Pretend we're all ill?" said Mick.
"We will all be ill once we've eaten Mrs Greasy's Jubilee meal!" exclaimed Des.
"We will leave in the dead of night," said Clive, mysteriously, "when everyone else is asleep... including Mrs Greasy...ha, ha, ha!!" He gave an evil laugh.
"Good idea," said Mick. "We'll do that then."
"Oh what!!" exclaimed Des. "I'll be asleep then!"
"Well you stay in bed and be forced to attend Mrs Greasy's street party the next morning, and we'll leave in the middle of the night and avoid it!" exclaimed Clive.
"Oh all right then," grumbled Des.
So that night at the stroke of midnight, with three days to go before the Jubilee holiday weekend, three suspicious-looking characters wearing dark polo neck jumpers and carrying torches were hanging round Des's front drive. Clive had already performed a daring leap over Des's fence on his side of the house, while Mick had performed a daring step over the much smaller fence on the other side. They all leapt into Des's Fiat 126.
"Right, are we ready then?" said Des in a loud whisper.
"Yes!" said Clive and Mick in loud whispers.
"Okay...but where are we going?" whispered Des
"I don't know!" whispered Mick. "Anywhere!!"
"How about Buckingham Palace?" whispered Des. "Perhaps the Queen could put us up for a couple of nights!"
"Whatever, whatever!" whispered Clive.
"Right then," whispered Des. "So let's go!" He started the engine - but didn't go anywhere.
"What's the matter now?!" whispered Mick.
"Why are we all whispering?" whispered Des.
"Because it's the middle of the night!" whispered Mick. "We don't want to wake up the neighbourhood!"
"Least not Mrs Greasy!!!" whispered Clive.
"Oh I see," whispered Des, revving the engine loudly. Clive and Mick groaned. Des drove down the driveway, but slammed on the brakes as soon as he reached the road.
"What now?!" whispered Mick.
"There's something blocking the road!" said Des. He got out of the car. "Uh-oh...come and look..."
They looked both ways down the road. There was a long line of tables stretching down the entire length of the road, and at the end they could just make out a figure laying out some Union Jack tablecloths. They walked down the road to this person.
"Mrs Greasy!!" they exclaimed. It was indeed Mrs Greasy.
"Oh, hello everybody," said Mrs Greasy. "What are you lot doing out here in the middle of the night? Shouldn't you be tucked up in bed with your cups of cocoa and teddy bears?"
"More to the point, what are you doing out here at this time of night?!" said Mick.
"I've now obtained the necessary clearance from the council to close the road for our street party," said Mrs G. "So I've got to get cracking right away, there's only three days to go! I've got to cook enough food for the entire street! There's no time to lose!"
"Do you realise now you've put these tables out, no one can leave the street?!" exclaimed Clive.
"That's right," said Mrs Greasy. "That means they'll have to come to my street party."
"Oh god," said Des.
Des, Mick and Clive went back to Des's house for a further emergency crisis meeting.
"I mean, I'm totally not against the idea of having a street party in our street," said Mick.
"Me neither," said Des.
"I'm not bothered," said Clive. "Take it or leave it, that's what I say!"
"We had a great street party in 1977!" exclaimed Des.
"No we didn't," said Mick. "Mrs Greasy hosted it that time round - and she couldn't cook then! The entire street got food poisoning!"
"That's the whole point!" exclaimed Clive. "Why does Mrs Greasy always have to ruin everything with her cooking?!"
"What are we going to do, then?!" said Des. "How are we going to stop Mrs G??"
The three of them sat and thought for a few minutes. Suddenly Clive and Mick had brainwaves at exactly the same moment, and leapt up from their chairs exclaiming, "Got it!!!"
"Huh? Got what?!" said Des, waking up.
"Go on, you go first Clive," said Mick.
"I have an idea!" exclaimed Clive. "I'll just make a quick phone call..." He got out his mobile phone and did as he said.
"I bet that person really appreciates Clive ringing him up at half past midnight," said Mick.
Unfortunately, Des and Mick couldn't hear what Clive was mumbling about, and they were not about to find out.
"Right, I'm off, see you in a couple of days!" exclaimed Clive when he had finished his call. He rushed off, presumably to get some sleep first, and then disappear off to do whatever it was he was going to do.
"What's your idea then?" said Des. "(And make it quick, it's getting late, I need to make myself a mug of cocoa and go to bed with my teddy bear, like Mrs Greasy said)."
"I think we should say to Mrs Greasy that if she promises not to cook for us we'll let her be the Queen of our street party."
"Mrs Greasy??!! Queen??!?! I've never heard anything so ridiculous!!"
"And if it doesn't work, we've still got Clive's idea, which I am sure is also a highly sensible plan."
"I think he's gone back to Plan A and scarpered!" said Des. "We won't see him again till after the bank holiday! Typical of him!"
"So what do you think?!" said Mick.
"Well I suppose it might work," said Des. "The thing is... I was rather hoping I'd, um, you know..."
"What?" said Mick.
"Well, I was rather hoping that I'd get the chance to, er, be..."
"Queen?" said Mick.
"Umm...I was rather more thinking along the lines of King."
"Well you be King, and Mrs Greasy can be Queen," said Mick.
"On second thoughts, maybe not," said Des quickly. "I'll be the compere instead. Right, I'm going to bed, where's Buster?"
The next morning they got ready to take their suggestion to Mrs Greasy.
"I wonder where Clive's gone," said Mick as they walked along their street to the cafe.
"His car's still there," said Des.
"Well of course it is, none of us can get out!" said Mick. "He's probably gone to wherever he's gone on the train or something!"
"Why didn't we think of that yesterday..." said Des. "Anyway, we've got a better idea now..."
"That I thought of, for once!" said Mick.
"Yeah yeah," said Des. They arrived at the cafe, which was already looking suitably decorated for the occasion, with flags all round the place and a picture of Her Majesty in the window.
"Quite impressive," said Mick, "and you can't normally say anything like that about this place!"
They went inside and put their tempting offer to Mrs G.
"Ooooh, you drive a hard bargain," said Mrs Greasy. "Let me go and have a think."
She went inside the kitchen, and left Des and Mick on tenterhooks for at least twenty minutes.
"Where's Mrs G gone?" said Wayne, who was also there, tucking into a revolting looking meat pie.
"We've asked her if she wants to be the Queen," said Des.
"Oh wow!!! What, you mean instead of the Queen we've got now?!?!! Hang on, but does that mean she's gonna have to close the cafe??"
Eventually Mrs Greasy emerged from the kitchen.
"Or are we gonna have two Queens?" said Wayne, who was still rambling on. "That's gonna get so confusin'!!"
"I've made a decision!" proclaimed Mrs G. "It's a deal! But on one condition."
"Oh no," said Des and Mick. "What's that?"
"You promise you will let me provide the catering for the next Golden Jubilee."
"Owwww," groaned Des.
"It's a deal!!" said Mick, quickly. He and Mrs Greasy shook hands.
"By the way, while I was thinking, I made you a plate of mashed potato each," said Mrs G.
"Ugh," said Des and Mick.
"So you're gonna be the Queen, Mrs G?!" said Wayne.
"That's right!" said Mrs Greasy. "I'll have to go and obtain some suitable attire!"
"So does that mean we all 'ave to do what you say?!" said Wayne.
"Yes, that's right," said Mrs Greasy. "So Des and Mick, my royal subjects!"
"Eh? What?" said Des, who was busy trying to find a way out of having to eat his mashed potato.
"I'd like a limousine, please," said Mrs G. "After all, I am the Queen, and I require suitable transport to the street party on Monday."
"Oh Gordon Bennett," said Des. "Where are we going to get one of those?!"
Once they had finished their lovely morning meal, and bowed to the Queen, they left the cafe.
"There, success," said Mick.
"Success?!" said Des. "You realise your stupid deal means she will be catering for us on the next Golden Jubilee?!"
"Yes!" laughed Mick. "But rather more urgently, we need to find her a limousine."
So they paid a visit to Mike the Manic Mechanic to see if he had any limousines going cheap. Mike had also just finished repainting his entire stock of used cars with Union Jacks on their roofs.
"There, that'll shift 'em, everyone likes a quality used car, especially at this special time!" said Mike. "Hi Des and Mick, like a special Jubilee-themed Ford Capri with Union Jack mudflaps?!"
"No not really, we'd like a limousine," said Des.
"A what?!" said Mike, scrunching up his nose. "No, ain't got any of those, mate! I'm just out of limos!"
"Well...can you make us one?" said Des.
"Yeah, course I can, no problem, as long as you stump up the wonga!" said Mike.
"There's just one catch," said Mick. "You've got two days."
"What?! You're having a laugh!!" exclaimed Mike. "Oh hang on a minute, is this being filmed? Is this for television?! Are you Carol Smillie in disguise?!" He looked all around for the cameras. "Hi there viewers, Mike the Manic Mechanic here!" he grinned.
"It's for our street party!" said Des. "Mrs Greasy's going to be Queen."
"Oh that!" said Mike. "Apparently I heard I'm going to be opening the party with a rendition of 'God Save the Queen' on the electric guitar!"
"Really?" said Des. "I didn't know that."
"It's true," said Mike.
"Gosh, you learn something new every day..." said Des.
"Anyway, I've got a few useless Fiesta Popular Pluses round the back, I'm sure I'll be able to knock them up into something by Monday!"
Once Des and Mick had reluctantly parted with some of their wonga, Mike began the job of transforming some useless Fiesta Popular Pluses into a limousine fit for a Queen - with just 48 hours to go! Meanwhile Des and Mick got on with organising their street party.
Des had taken on the mantle of Mrs Greasy, and started getting the food sorted out. Mick would get some fireworks to round off the special day. The rest of the street had already found out about the street party - the big giveaway was the long line of tables with Union Jack tablecloths on them - and were decorating the street with flags, balloons, banners, tents and bunting.
The day of Des and Mick's Golden Jubilee Street Party 2002 soon arrived. The whole of Oakleigh Avenue had gathered in the street, some in fancy dress, all waving their flags. At Des's house, a small platform had been erected, complete with a tannoy system. Mike had completed the limousine on time, and was standing by ready to play the national anthem on his electric guitar. Mrs Greasy was busy dressing up to be the Queen of the street party. Dickie the Vicar had got the job of her chauffeur, and was ready at Mike's garage to drive Mrs Greasy to the party (which was fairly pointless really, since Mrs G's cafe was closer to Oakleigh Avenue than Mike's garage).
Des, meanwhile, was standing on the stage, testing the microphone. He was dressed in his Union Jack tank top, which hadn't seen the light of day since the Silver Jubilee, along with a Union Jack hat and non-Union Jack flares.
"Goodness sake Des, this isn't a 1977-themed party!" exclaimed Mick who was sitting nearby. "You look like you've escaped from 'The Goodies'!" said Mick.
"God save our gracious Queen!" sang Des into the microphone.
"Oh Des!" exclaimed Mike, putting his hands over his ears, along with the rest of the street.
"1, 2, 1, 2," said Des. "I'm just testing the mike!"
"Eh? What?" said Mike.
"Right, I think we're ready to go," said Des. "Welcome everybody to our fantastic Golden Jubilee Street Party, to mark the Queen's fifty years on the throne! Personally, I think it's about time she got up and stretched her legs a bit!" He expected to get a laugh at this point - he didn't. "Well anyway, Her Majesty the Queen herself will be making a special appearance this afternoon!!"
There was a cheer from the partygoers.
"Well, to be honest, it's not actually the real Queen, she's busy today. It's Mrs Greasy, actually."
There was a groan from the partygoers.
"But the good news is, that means she hasn't done any of the catering!!"
There was a cheer from the partygoers.
"I've done it instead!!"
There was a groan from the partygoers.
"But to start things off, Mike the Mechanic Manic is going to step onto the platform and play the National Anthem on his electric guitar."
And so he did. And only Mike the Manic Mechanic could make the national anthem last three minutes - three minutes of ear-splitting screeching electric guitar, with 'God Save the Queen' cunningly hidden in there somewhere.
Once Mike had finished, Des officially declared the street party open, and the participants got on with their Jubilee meal, which largely consisted of crisps, biscuits, jelly and drinks that Des had bought down the Co-op.
Meanwhile, over at Mike's garage, Mrs Greasy had arrived to be driven to the party. She was dressed in some very regal robes, and was wearing a cardboard crown that had previously been used by King Des I of Desonia.
"Is that my limousine then?" said Queen Mrs Greasy. She looked what had previously been three Ford Fiestas, now joined together and painted black, with a Rolls Royce grille stuck on the front and two small flags on the bonnet to complete the effect. It wasn't too bad, considering Mike had had just two days in which to make it.
Chauffeur Dickie the Vicar, who was dressed up very smartly in his hat and suit, bowed, and opened the rear door to let Queen Mrs G in.
"Very nice, thank you Chauffeur," said Queen Mrs G. "There'll be a knighthood for you!"
Back in Oakleigh Avenue, there was a buzz going round the street party. Apparently someone had seen an army tank driving round some nearby roads. Des and Mick decided to go and investigate. They walked down the road and into the next street, where they saw the tank, painted in Union Jack colours, driving in their direction.
"Hang on a minute," said Mick. "I recognise that driver!"
Des squinted. "So do I. It's Barry Chuckle, out of the Chuckle Brothers!"
"It's Clive!" exclaimed Mick.
"Oh yes, of course," said Des.
This was the same tank Clive had used in their infamous banger race a few years earlier. Clive slowed down as he reached Des and Mick.
"Hello," said Clive. "I've come to destroy your street party."
"You've what?!?!" exclaimed Des.
"So we don't have to eat Mrs Greasy's cooking! That's what you wanted, isn't it? Anyway, I don't expect anyone's turned up anyway."
"Oh no, Mrs Greasy's not cooking the food after all," said Des. "I'm organising it instead."
"That's even more reason to destroy it then!" grinned Clive.
"No!!" exclaimed Mick. "You can't! The whole street's come out! They're enjoying themselves!!"
"Spoilsports," said Clive. "Still, you have to admit, this thing does look rather patriotic!"
So instead of driving into Oakleigh Avenue, Clive carried on up the road he was on to find somewhere to park. But slightly further up this same road, the limousine had encountered a mishap.
"Oh dear, we appear to have broken down," said Dickie.
"Dickie, we've hardly gone anywhere!" exclaimed Queen Mrs G.
Dickie kept trying to start the engine, but with no luck.
"What's that heading towards us?" said Mrs G, peering out of the window.
"Looks like a tank, your majesty," said Dickie.
The tank was heading straight for the limousine.
"Oh my god!" gasped Clive. "It's the Queen!!" From Clive's lofty position, it wasn't obvious that this limo was in fact three Ford Fiestas carrying Mrs Greasy - to him it looked like a proper limo carrying Her Majesty herself. There were a lot of parked cars each side of the road, so there was no way he'd be able to drive past. Clive started to panic.
"Oh how do you stop this thing!!" he yelled, pressing every button in the tank. "This always seems to happen!!!"
"Chauffeur Dickie," said Queen Mrs G. "That tank is heading right for us!"
But Dickie still couldn't get the limo to start. And Clive still couldn't get the tank to stop.
"Oh no!!! I'm going to run over the Queen!!!" yelled Clive, who was beside himself with terror.
Dickie and Mrs Greasy ran out of the limo to safety, just as Clive began to drive right over it in his tank. Eventually he managed to bring the thing to a halt - but only once he had crushed the whole limo. He leapt out of the tank and saw the Queen standing a short distance away. He immediately fell to his knees and Queen Mrs Greasy walked across to him. She was livid.
"Your Majesty!!" said Clive. "I'm so sorry! Please forgive me!! Don't put me in the Tower!"
"You have just destroyed my royal limousine!!!" exclaimed Mrs G. "I am not impressed, my subject Clive."
"Huh?" said Clive. He looked up. "Mrs Greasy?!?! It's you!! I thought you were the Queen!!!"
"I am!" said Mrs G. "I'm the Queen of the street party!"
"Oh good grief," said Clive, getting up. "Do you realise what I've just been through?! I've just had the fright of my life!!"
"Come on," said Dickie. "Let's not stand around chatting, let's go and enjoy the groovy street party!"
So they did. And, thankfully, the remainder of the party passed without mishap. The day was rounded off by a superb fireworks display, and they finished with a rousing sing-song of the national anthem, while Queen Mrs Greasy stood on the platform doing her royal wave.
"She looks ridiculous," said Des. "No one could possibly look less regal than Mrs Greasy. No one could ever think she looks like a Queen."
"Oh shut up," said Clive.
"Well that was fun, my loyal subjects," said Queen Mrs Greasy, stepping down from the platform. "I'm already looking forward to the next Golden Jubilee. That's next week, by the way."
"What??!?" said Des, Mick and Clive.
"Yes, it's exactly fifty years since I cooked my first ravioli..."
Copyright © Robert Williams
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