by Robert Williams
Des was busy polishing his breadbin one morning when the doorbell rang (shock horror!). So he went to answer the door.
"No thank you, I don't want any," said Des to the person who was standing on his doorstep. Then he noticed that the person who was standing on his doorstep didn't look much like a door-to-door salesman.
"Hi there Des!!" exclaimed the man, a rather obese fellow.
"Do I know you?" said Des.
"Don't you remember?!" said the man. "My name's Ed! Remember me? 1977? Porthcawl Holiday Camp?"
Des stared blankly at him.
"We met there on holiday!!" said Ed. "We became best of friends! And when the holiday was over, you said that if ever I was in your area, don't hesitate to pop in and visit you!"
"I don't remember saying that..." said Des.
"So how've you been then?!" said Ed, pushing his way past Des and into his living room.
"Do come in, why don't you..." mumbled Des.
''Tell you what, I couldn't 'alf do with a cup of tea and a biscuit," said Ed, settling down into Des's armchair.
"That's nice," said Des. "Um...I'll get you one then."
Des went into the kitchen to get Ed a cup of tea and a biscuit. Then just as he was about to take them to Ed in the living room, the doorbell rang again. Groaning, Des answered the door.
"No thank you, I don't want any," said Des.
"'Allo Des, it's yer ol' mate Wayne 'ere!" said Wayne. "Need yer windas cleaned?!"
"No thanks," said Des. "Goodbye!"
"Well I'll come in anyway then!" said Wayne. "Hey, thanks for the tea and biscuit!"
Wayne took the cup of tea and biscuit out of Des's hand and walked into the living room.
"'Allo!" said Wayne to Ed.
"Oi Des, where's my tea and biscuit?!" said Ed.
"I'll just go and get you one," sighed Des. "By the way, Ed this is Wayne, Wayne this is Ed." Des hurried back into to the kitchen again.
"Hey Ed, I know yer!!" said Wayne.
"Do you?" said Ed.
"Yeah!" said Wayne. "Didn't yer used to be in with Andy Crane in the broom cupboard?!"
Ed was still trying to explain to Wayne that he wasn't Edd the Duck when Des returned with his tea and biscuit.
"Thanks Des!" said Ed. "Ooooh lovely, a chocolate biscuit, my favourite!!"
Des sat down on the settee.
"Aren't you going to have a cup of tea and a biscuit as well?" said Ed.
"Um no, I'm fine thanks," said Des.
"No go on, I insist!" said Ed.
Grumbling, Des went back into the kitchen yet again to get himself a cup of tea and a biscuit. Finally he settled down on the settee.
"So tell me Des, what's been happening in your life since we last met?"
"Umm...not a lot really..." said Des.
"Well just after that holiday in 1977 I lost my job as a security guard, and I got divorced from my second wife - tell you what, that biscuit was delicious!! Got any more?" said Ed.
"No, I've just run out," said Des.
"No you 'aven't Des, you've got a cupboard full of 'em!!" said Wayne.
"Shhh, Wayne!!" said Des. But Wayne went into the kitchen and came back with a whole packet of chocolate biscuits.
"Oh yummy!" said Ed. He took the packet and started tucking in. It was not a pretty sight. Ed continued telling Des and Wayne his life story whilst stuffing his face full of biscuits. "Now where was I...oh yes, then I married my third wife in 1979..."
Ed rambled on for a full hour before bringing his story right up to date.
"Is that it then?" said Des. "Wayne, wake up, he's finished!!"
"Oh!" said Wayne, waking up. "Oh no, did I miss the bit when 'e got the job with Andy Crane?!"
"Yes you did," said Des, getting up. "Well, anyway, it's such a pity you've got to go, Ed."
"No, I haven't got to go," said Ed. "I'm in no hurry at all! Got any more biscuits?"
Wayne went and got Ed another packet, much to Des's annoyance.
"In fact, I was wondering if I could I bed down for a couple of nights," said Ed.
"Oh no!" said Des.
"Well, the thing is, my latest wife's just thrown me out, and I need to lie low for a bit before attempting to go back," said Ed. "She said I was eating her out of house and home! What rubbish! Gosh, these biscuits are so tasty!"
"You can't stay here," said Des. "I, er, haven't got a spare bed. You see...I've got a train set taking up the whole of the spare bedroom, you see."
"That's all right, I'll sleep in your bed, and you can sleep on the sofa," said Ed. "You've got a train set you say? I love train sets!!"
"So do I!!" exclaimed Wayne. "'Ere Des, I didn't know you 'ad one!!"
"Oh no, what did I have to say that for," mumbled Des to himself.
"That's the other reason my wife threw me out," said Ed. "She claimed that I was spending all my time playing on mine!! Can I have a play on yours?"
"No you can't because the thing is, there's a train strike!" said Des. "I mean it's broken!"
"Well I can probably fix it then!" said Ed.
"Err...wouldn't you rather see the garden?" said Des. "I've just got a new shed, you know."
Des led Ed outside into the garden and down towards the shed.
"Hmmm, the walls look rather wonky," said Ed. Des pushed Ed inside the shed and locked the door. He then rushed back inside the house where Wayne had taken over the biscuits.
"Now Wayne, here's my credit card. Go straight into town and get us a train set. The biggest one you can find, okay?"
"BRILLIANT!!! But why do yer wanna new one?" said Wayne. "Can't yer just get Ed to fix it like 'e said?"
"I haven't got one!!" exclaimed Des. "That's why I need you to buy me one!!"
"Okay!" said Wayne, who left feeling a little confused.
"Remember Wayne, a train set!!" called Des after him. Des closed the door having terrible images in his head of Wayne returning with a full-sized train. "Now I suppose I'd better go and let Ed out of the shed before he gets angry!"
Des went back down the garden and unlocked the door. But Ed hadn't even noticed that Des had locked him in - in fact he was busy examining Des's garden equipment.
"Don't touch that rake!" said Des. "I think it'd be best if we went back inside the house."
"That's another reason why she threw me out," said Ed. "She said I spent too much time in my shed!!"
So before long Ed was soon back inside Des's living room, sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and another packet of chocolate biscuits.
"You sure you don't want me to fix your train set?" said Ed.
"Err...yes, but maybe later," said Des. "In the meantime...perhaps you can tell me your life story again (oh hurry up Wayne!)"
"Well okay then...I was born to my parents in 1952..."
After about two hours Wayne finally turned up on Des's doorstep with a large box. Des went to answer the door to him.
"I've got yer train set!!" exclaimed Wayne.
"Shhhh!!" exclaimed Des. "He might hear you! Now take it up to the spare room and try and set it up!"
Wayne did so, while Des returned to the living room to continue listening to the life of Ed for the second time round.
"'Ere Des!!" shouted Wayne from upstairs. "I've got a bit of a problem!!"
"Excuse me a minute, Ed," said Des. He went upstairs into the spare room where a load of bits of train set were all over the floor.
"I've unpacked the train set," said Wayne, "but there's no room to set it up, 'cos that bed's in the way!!"
"Oh no, I told Ed I didn't have a spare bed!!" exclaimed Des. "What am I going to do now?!!"
"Hide the bed?" said Wayne.
"Hide the bed, that's a good idea...how am I supposed to hide a bed?!" exclaimed Des. "Umm...I know!"
Des hurried downstairs.
"Hey Ed, would you like to have another look in my shed?" said Des.
"Okay," said Ed.
So while Ed was locked inside Des's shed for a second time, Des and Wayne spent the next hour carrying Des's spare bed out of the spare bedroom, down the stairs, out of the house, across the road and into Wayne's house.
"Des, what on earth are you doing?!" exclaimed Mick who had been watching from his living room window.
"Can't explain now, we're in a hurry!" said Des. "Now Wayne, we'd better let Ed out of my shed!"
"What about yer train set?!" said Wayne. "Aren't yer gonna put it together?"
"No, we'll leave it as it is!" said Des. "It's supposed to be broken, isn't it!"
Mick stared at Des and Wayne in astonishment - he was used to bizarre behaviour from the pair of them, but this really took the biscuit. Des and Wayne rushed back to Des's shed where Ed was still examining the gardening equipment.
"I said, don't touch that rake!!" said Des. "Now why don't you come and fix my broken train set?"
Des led Ed back inside and upstairs to the spare room where bits of train set were still scattered all over the floor.
"Good grief, when you said it was broken, you weren't joking!" said Ed. "I'd better get to work!"
Des and Wayne left Ed to it.
"How I am going to get rid of him?" sighed Des.
"Why do you wanna get rid of 'im?!" exclaimed Wayne. "He's fixin' yer train set for yer!!"
Des groaned. He went into the living room and sat and watched the afternoon film. As soon it was over, the doorbell rang. Des answered it.
"No thank you, I don't want any," said Des.
"Now I know this is probably a stupid question, and I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what on earth is going on here?" said Mick. "(I would have come round sooner but I was busy watching the afternoon film)."
"Oh nothing, nothing," said Des.
"Who's Ed then?" said Mick.
"Oh...well, remember when we went to Porthcawl Holiday Camp in 1977?"
"No," said Mick.
"Ed is this bloke we met there, and apparently I said that he could pop round and visit me any time he liked," said Des.
"I've never been to Porthcawl Holiday Camp," said Mick.
"That's funny...I'm sure you were there!" said Des.
"You didn't go to Porthcawl Holiday Camp in 1977 either!" said Mick. "We went to Margate Holiday Camp in 1977! Don't you remember?!"
"No..." said Des, thoughtfully. "But hold on a minute...so who's Ed?!"
"That it is the question," said Mick. "You obviously haven't read the local newspaper."
"I never read the local newspaper," said Des. "Waste of money."
"It comes free," said Mick. "Well anyway, there is this criminal who's been going round to people's houses in the area, claiming to be someone they met on holiday in 1977, befriending them, eating all their biscuits, then refusing to leave. Then they promise to look after the house while the owner visits the supermarket. When they return they find the criminal has vanished, having completely cleaned out the house!!"
"Sounds a little far-fetched to me," said Des. "Well anyway, thanks for the warning." He closed the door on Mick. "Gosh, I'm feeling rather hungry, I think I'll have a chocolate biscuit."
He went into the kitchen to get a biscuit - but to his horror every single packet of biscuits had vanished.
"OH NO!!" exclaimed Des. He rushed upstairs to the spare room where Ed was just finishing off putting the train set together, while Wayne watched.
"There, what do you think!" said Ed.
"It's got crumbs all over it!" said Des. He saw a pile of finished packets of biscuits on the floor.
"Yummy biscuits! Got any more?" said Ed.
"No, I've run out!" said Des.
"You'd better pop down the supermarket and get some more!" said Ed. "Wayne can help you! I'll just stay here and mind the house."
"Okay...wait a moment!" said Des. "I can't leave you here on your own! I don't know you!"
"Don't worry, I'll just be playing on your train set!" said Ed.
"I'll go on me own!" said Wayne.
"You'll do no such thing!" said Des. "Last time I asked you to get me some chocolate biscuits you came back with digestives!"
"I'm sorry Ed, but I'm afraid I must ask you to leave immediately," said Des.
"Hey Des, that ain't a nice way to speak to Ed!" said Wayne. "'E just fixed yer train set!!"
"If you don't leave right away, I will have no option but to ring the police!" said Des.
Wayne gasped, but Ed ignored him, and started playing with the train set.
"Right!" said Des. He left the room, and went and dialled 999.
"Are the police comin'?" said Wayne.
"Yep," said Des. "They'll be around any minute! But in the meantime, I cannot leave the house! Not with Ed here! But I do so need a chocolate biscuit..."
Des and Wayne sat and waited for the police to turn up. They waited...and waited...and waited...
"It's getting late, isn't it?" said Des after a very long wait. "And I'm getting hungry!"
"So am I, I'm off!" said Wayne. So he went back to his house to have his tea, leaving Des alone in the house with Ed. Finally the doorbell rang. Des leapt up and answered the door. But it was only Dickie the Vicar.
"Hi there Des, just popping round to tell you I'm holding a groooooovy charity disco to raise funds to fix the church roof!" said Dickie. "So I'll see ya tonight at 7.30!"
"Sorry Dickie, I can't go tonight," said Des. "Not until the police turn up, anyway!"
"You're in luck, I've got a Police single on the playlist tonight!" said Dickie. "'Don't Stand So Close to Me'!"
"Oh sorry," said Des, taking a step back. "You haven't got any chocolate biscuits on you, by any chance?"
"Yes I have actually, I've got a couple of digestives in my pocket if you want one!!" said Dickie.
"Oh no, doesn't matter," said Des, closing the door.
Just then Ed came downstairs.
"Gosh, playing with train sets really helps me work up an appetite!" said Ed. "What's for tea?"
"Tea?!" exclaimed Des. Considering how many packets of biscuits Ed had worked his way through, Des was amazed he could still be hungry. "I haven't got anything for tea, I haven't had a chance to get down the supermarket!"
"That's okay, you go now," said Ed. "I'll just look after the house while you're gone!"
"You'll do no such thing!" said Des.
Then the doorbell rang again. Des opened the door.
"No thank you, I don't want any," said Des to the person who was standing on his doorstep.
"Good evening sir, I believe you have a criminal in your house who won't go away," said Plod.
"Yeeees," said Des.
"Plod!!" said Ed. "Remember me?!"
"Ed!!" gasped Plod. "Ed Wood!! I do remember! We met in, gosh, must have been 1977!!"
"Porthcawl Holiday Camp!!" said Ed.
"That's right!!" said Plod. "How are you doing?!"
"Fine thanks," said Ed. "Do come in!!"
To Des's amazement, Ed led PC Plod inside Des's house, and they sat down on Des's settee.
"Cup of tea and biscuit?" asked Ed.
"Don't mind if I do!" said Plod.
"Get us a cup of tea each and a biscuit, thanks Des," said Ed.
"I haven't got any biscuits!" said Des through gritted teeth.
"Oh well, cup of tea on its own will do then," said Plod. "So what have you been up to then, Ed?"
When Des returned with their cups of tea he was then forced to sit through Ed's life story for a third time. Then they went up and played on Des's train set. Finally, by about 10.00, Plod decided it was time to go.
"It's been fantastic to meet up with you again Plod!" said Ed.
"Yes very nice, very nice," said Plod. "Do feel free to pop round my house any time you want!"
"I certainly will, though I'm stopping round here at Des's for the time being," said Ed. "Anyway, see ya later Plod!"
Des spent that night on the sofa, whilst Ed slept in his bed. The next morning Des woke with a bad back and a renewed determination to get Ed out of his house. He just didn't have a clue how.
"Morning Des," said Ed, coming out of the kitchen. "Just had a hearty breakfast, delicious!! I think there may still be a few Coco Pops left for you!"
Ed went off to play trains again, while Des had the last remaining Coco Pop for his breakfast. Then he received a phone call from Mrs Greasy.
"Des, where are you!" said Mrs G. "We're waiting for you here at the cafe!"
"I'm sorry, but I can't leave the house!" said Des. "Honest! Ask Mick why!" He put the phone down. A little while later the doorbell rang. Des answered it.
"No thank you, I don't want any," said Des.
"If you can't come and have your food at your cafe," said Mrs Greasy, "I'll bring your food to you!! Now eat up!"
"But Mrs G, I've just had my breakfast! I'm not hungry!" whinged Des, even though he was.
"Nonsense, there's always room for a meat pie!" said Mrs G. She shoved the meat pie in Des's mouth. Des started coughing and spluttering.
"Help!!" he mumbled. "I can't breathe!!"
Suddenly he collapsed to the floor.
"Oh no, what have I done?!" said Mrs Greasy. She rung for an ambulance which whisked him away to hospital where the piece of meat pie which had got stuck in his throat was removed. Des woke up on a hospital bed.
"Where am I?!" said Des. He looked all around. "Oh no!! Ed!!!"
"You're quite all right now," said the nurse.
"I've got to get home!! NOW!!!" exclaimed Des. He jumped up from his bed, discharged himself and rushed home on the bus.
"I can't believe this," groaned Des. "I bet Ed's completely cleaned out my house! There'll be nothing left at all!!"
But when he got inside he found everything was still there.
"So what was all that Mick was on about?!" said Des.
He checked all round the house, and nothing was missing. But something had changed - everything was completely spick and span. Ed had indeed completely cleaned out the house. Then Des found a note on the kitchen table. He read it to himself.
"'Hi Des, time to move on, so I've given your house a jolly good spring clean and gone to stay with PC Plod. Nice visiting you, see you soon, Ed!' Good grief. I suppose I'd better keep that train set up for next time he comes to visit..."