by Robert Williams
"Yes, Mrs Greasy."
"Yes, Mrs Greasy."
"Yeah, Mrs Greasy."
"Greasy Bear, I mean Des!"
The others sniggered.
"Yes, Mrs Greasy," sighed Des, who had only just been released at last from being imprisoned inside his Greasy Bear costume for several days.
"Very good," said Mrs Greasy, ticking off their names. "Very good attendance today, well done."
"Do we really have to go through all this performance every day?!" groaned Mick. "Honestly, we'll be having assembly next!"
"Now I'll just go and get your hymn books," said Mrs G. "Special assembly today, it's going to be taken by Dickie the Vicar. Oh look, here he is now!"
"Good morning everyone!" said Dickie the Vicar, walking into the cafe. "How are we today??"
"Very well, thank you," said Mrs G. "And so is my class!"
"For goodness sake, Mrs Greasy, have you really lost your mind?!" exclaimed Des. "This is a cafe, not a school!!"
"No, not even my school dinners ever tasted as bad as what I get served here," muttered Mick.
"Ah, but school dinners aren't what they used to be!" said Clive. "They're much nicer now, and much more healthy, and it's all down to that celebrity chef fellow off the telly!"
"What, Harriet Ainsley?!" said Mrs G. "My favourite celebrity chef - what's she up to now?!"
"No, no, I'm talking about Jamie Oliver !" said Clive.
"Never heard of him," said Des.
"Yes you have," said Mick. "He recommends kippers for breakfast - he said so in your paper, remember?!"
"I only remember it saying that Clive was going to be the new James Bond," said Des.
"What????" exclaimed a confused Clive.
"Look, what were you saying, Clive?" said Mick.
"Jamie Oliver," said Clive. "He's the one who says 'wicked' and 'pukka' all the time. He's been going round all the schools fixing their school dinners!"
Just then they saw a mod-style Vespa scooter drive past the cafe, being driven by what appeared to be none other than Mr Jamie Oliver himself.
"Ah, there he goes now," said Clive. "Must be our local school's turn."
"Drives a scooter, does he?" said Mrs Greasy.
"Yes, and it's a lot more showbiz than your moped," said Clive.
"Hey, this gives me a fantastic idea!!" exclaimed Des. "In fact, my most fantastic idea ever!!" Mick's heart sank, as it always did when Des said that. "Mick, you and I are going back to school!"
Des and Mick quickly excused themselves from Mrs Greasy's school, I mean cafe, and headed down to the proper school.
"We can't just walk in there, you know," said Mick. "We won't be able to pass ourselves off as pupils - and certainly not as teachers!"
"Easy, we'll pass ourselves off as school inspectors," said Des.
"Dressed like this?!" said Mick, pointing out their somewhat casual appearance.
"We're casual school inspectors," said Des.
They arrived at the school, which was buzzing with kids, teachers and newspaper reporters who had come to cover Jamie Oliver's visit. Because the place was so busy, Des and Mick were able to fight their way through the crowds and into the school hall without anyone really noticing. The duo then began their charade as casual school inspectors. They inspected the chairs, the tables, the walls, everything that could be inspected was inspected.
"This is no good," said Casual School Inspector Des, inspecting the curtains. "No school should have curtains newer than 1978."
"Never mind that, look, there's Jamie Oliver over there!" said Casual School Inspector Mick. Yes, serving the school kids up with their healthy, nutritious school dinners was the cheerful cockney chef himself.
"Gosh, he hasn't changed a bit, has he?" said Des, peering across at him.
"I thought you said you hadn't heard of him before!" said Mick.
"Course I have!" said Des. "JAMIE!!" he shouted across the school hall.
They walked across the hall, which was busy with school kids eating their Jamie Oliver-cooked dinners, and over to the serving hatch where the man himself was busy serving their dinners.
"Morning Mr Oliver, we're Des and Mick," said Des.
"Aw right mate!" said Jamie, in his cheerful cockney way. "Nice to meet ya! What would like ya like for dinner, lads?! I've got a pukka chicken tikka masala, a mixed leaf salad or a tasty fish pie! Wicked!!"
"No, we're not actually pupils, we're casual school inspectors, apparently," said Mick.
"No probs!!" said Jamie.
"Can I just say, I always used to watch your shows on telly when I was young!" said Des.
Jamie looked askance at Des.
"I was wondering, have you still got that torch?"
Jamie looked even more askance at Des.
"You know, the magic one?"
There was an awkward silence.
"I'm sorry about him," said Mick, quickly. "He follows me around, I just don't seem to be able to get rid of him. Anyway, Des, what is it we came here for?!"
"Oh yes!" said Des. "Now Mr Oliver, when you've finished mucking about round here, we've got another little job for you...well actually, it's a quite a big job. Are you free this afternoon?"
"Certainly am, mate!" said Jamie.
Des whispered his proposal into Jamie's ear.
"That sounds wicked!!" exclaimed Jamie. "You're on, mate!! Catch ya later!!"
"Thanks a lot!!" said Des, feeling very pleased with himself.
"By the way, would ya like my autograph, mate?!" said Jamie.
"No thanks," said Des. "You see, we've never actually heard of you before."
"Whatever," said Jamie. "Laters!!"
Des and Mick returned to the cafe, feeling rather pleased with themselves, and waited for Jamie to arrive. They waited, and waited, and waited. In fact, they were waiting so long that even Mrs G started to get a little suspicious about their continued presence. Finally, after a couple of hours, they heard a scooter pull up outside, and seconds later in walked Jamie Oliver. Mrs Greasy was aghast when she saw him.
"Aw right, it's ya old mate Jamie Oliver 'ere!!" greeted Jamie. "How ya doin'!!"
"What is he doing here?!?!" hissed Mrs Greasy to Des and Mick. "Did you two invite him?!?!"
Des and Mick grinned.
"What were you thinking?!?!" exclaimed Mrs Greasy.
"Gor blimey, look at that!!" said Jamie, looking at Des's lunch which he had spent the last two hours trying to avoid eating. "You weren't jokin' mate! Soggy semolina, and no mistake!!"
"How dare he!!" said Mrs G.
"Cor, this is gonna be a more of a challenge than what I thought, innit!!" said Jamie. "Still, I enjoy a challenge!!"
"Can I just say, Mr Jamie, that I don't watch your shows," said Mrs Greasy. "I much prefer Harriet Ainsley." Mrs G rolled her eyes and grinned in a Harriet Ainsley-stylee.
"Jamie's come along to give you a few cookery tips," said Des, "and to see if he can improve your skills!"
"Improve my cookery skills?!?!" exclaimed Mrs Greasy. "Are you out of your mind?!?!"
"Come on Mrs G, let's have a look at ya kitchen, yeah!!" said Jamie, dragging Mrs Greasy into her own kitchen.
"Hey hey, I've really cracked it this time!" said Des. "We've got an internationally renowned chef to fix Mrs Greasy's cooking!! Nothing can possibly go wrong!!"
"I just hope you're right," sighed Mick.
Before long, Jamie Oliver emerged from the kitchen with some very appetising-looking dishes (complete with some appetising-looking meals on them).
"There ya go lads!" said Jamie. "Linguine alla carbonara di salsiccia for Des, and oven-baked rigatoni with wild boar salami for Mick!! Lovely jubbly!!"
"Wow, did Mrs Greasy cook this?!?" said Des, who was salivating.
"Naaah, I did!!" said Jamie. "It's pukka, mate!!"
"Certainly looks pukka to me!" said Des.
Des and Mick took their knives and forks and were just about to tuck into their delicious meals when Mrs Greasy emerged from the kitchen, strode up to them, whipped their plates away and replaced them with the same old rubbish she normally served them.
"I'm sorry about that," said Mrs Greasy. "I'm not having you eating that celebrity-cooked rubbish!"
"Owwww, Mrs Greasy," whined Des, staring at his soggy chips and peas. "Why not??!!"
But it was too late - Mrs Greasy was already scooping Jamie Oliver's meals into the bin.
Des and Mick looked despairingly at Jamie.
"Sowwy mate, best I could do!" said Jamie.
"Isn't there any more you can do, Mr Oliver?" said Des.
"I'll let ya have a discount on me wicked new book, yeah!!" said Jamie to Mrs G.
"I don't need your wicked new book!!" was the response. "Now would you mind leaving us alone, I have a cafe to run!!"
"Okay, I'll catch ya later then!!" Jamie Oliver turned to leave.
"Perhaps we should get Gordon Ramsay instead," whispered Des to Mick.
"Oh Gordon Bennett," groaned Mick.
"No, Gordon Ramsay," said Des.
"Well only if you remember to bring your bleeper machine," said Mick. "But you'd probably wear it out."
Jamie Oliver was about to walk out of the door when Des called him over.
"Oi, Jamie!" said Des. "Are you busy?!"
"Naaah mate, I'm free all afternoon, yeah!!" said Jamie.
"I've just had an idea," said Des. "Fair enough, you couldn't fix Mrs Greasy's cooking. Let's be honest, who could? So we're going to give you another chance! Are you into music?"
"Yeah course, mate, I'm a massive music fan, innit!!" said Jamie.
"Into discos?" said Des.
"Oh Des," groaned Mick.
"Absolutely, mate!" said Jamie. "Always love popping down the disco on a Friday night!! Pukka!!"
"We have another challenge for you," said Des. "Walk this way."
Jamie followed Des out of the cafe. Against his better judgement, Mick followed them. Once they were outside, Jamie went to get on his scooter.
"No, there's no need to take that, we're only going just down there," said Des. "To the church hall!"
Des, Mick and Jamie walked down the road to the church hall, where Dickie was setting up that night's disco.
"Greetings, Des and Mick!" said Dickie. "Have you come to tell me how much you enjoyed fab assembly this morning?!"
"No," said Mick, "because we didn't stay for it, remember?"
"Oh yes, I remember it well..." said Dickie, vaguely. "Now who is this fine young chap?"
"It's Britain's top celebrity chef, Mr Jamie Oliver," said Des.
"Aww right vicar mate, how ya doin'!" said Jamie.
"Smashing!!" said Dickie. "Hey, I used to watch your shows on the television when I was young!!"
Jamie looked very askance at Dickie.
"Have you still got that torch?"
"Anyway," said Mick, butting in quickly, "Jamie's come along to help you out."
"Oh yes, I need a big strong lad to move my decks onto the stage," said Dickie.
"No, we mean he's come to fix your disco," said Des. "Mr Oliver's a massive music fan, and he's going to give you some tips to help make your discos more popular!"
"Wow, groovy, what an honour!" said Dickie. "So Oliver, what kind of music do you reckon I should be playing?!"
"Now if you want to get your DJ set off to a cracking start, mate," said Jamie, taking out a copy of his compilation CD that he happened to have on him, "you can't go wrong with this wicked track by Toploader, yeah..."
Des and Mick decided to leave Dickie and Jamie to it, and check back later. They walked back along the road - but as they came to the cafe they were alarmed to find that Jamie's showbiz scooter had vanished.
"Oh no!!!!" exclaimed Des, panicking. They looked all around, but there was no sign of the scooter. "What are we going to do?!?!"
"Maybe Mrs Greasy saw who took it!" said Mick.
They went to open the door into the cafe - but to their surprise, they found it locked. Just then, they were horrified to see Jamie Oliver's scooter coming along the road - and it was being driven by none other than Mrs Greasy!
"Mrs Greasy, what are you doing?!?!" shouted Mick.
"Just taking young Mr Jamie's scooter for a test drive!!" shouted back Mrs Greasy.
"You can't do that!!" shouted Mick. "It's against the law!!"
Mrs Greasy shrugged her shoulders, and drove the scooter round the corner. Immediately afterwards Des and Mick heard a massive crash. Their hearts sinking, they rushed round the corner, and saw that Mrs G had crashed the scooter into a wall.
"It's okay, I'm all right!!" said Mrs Greasy.
"Never mind you, what about the scooter?!?!" exclaimed Mick.
As Mrs Greasy got up, they saw that Jamie Oliver's Vespa scooter was now a wreck of twisted metal and smashed glass.
"Oh dear, what a shame," said Mrs Greasy.
"You did this deliberately, didn't you!" said Mick.
"Maybe," said Mrs G. "Well that's what happens to celebrity chefs who tell you you can't cook."
"What are we going to do?!?!" whined Des. "Jamie Oliver's going to go bonkers if he find out!!"
"We'll tell him the truth," said Mick. "Mrs Greasy crashed it."
"No you won't!" said Mrs Greasy. "I'll tell him it was you two!"
"Ummm...okay, we'll take it to Mike the Manic Mechanic," said Mick. "He'll be able to fix it!!"
"But he doesn't do scooters!!" said Des.
"Oh come on," sighed Mick.
They picked up the mangled scooter, and wheeled it along the road to Mike's Manic Motors.
"What's this?!" said Mike the Manic Mechanic, as he saw Des and Mick wheeling the wreckage into his workshop.
"Can you mend this please?" asked Des.
"Des and Mick, you and I know this perfectly well," said Mike. "I don't do scooters!!!"
"But it's Jamie Oliver's!" said Des.
"Is it?!" said Mike. "You mean that untidy-haired cheerful cockney chef off the telly who says 'pukka' and 'wicked' all the time?" He looked closely at the scooter. "Well, so it is!!"
"How can you tell?" said Mick.
"I watch his show every week!" said Mike.
"I didn't think you were interested in cookery," said Des.
"I'm not, but it's got to be better than 'Holby City'," said Mike. "Hmmm, now this puts a whole different complexion on the matter! Jamie Oliver's actual real-life scooter... Tell you what lads, leave it with me, I'll see what I can do!!"
"Okay, but be quick!" said Des. "You've got as long as it takes Jamie to teach Dickie the Vicar to be a hot rocking DJ."
"No rush then," said Mike.
"And we want it looking like brand new!" said Des.
"He doesn't want much, does he?!" said Mike. "Don't panic!!"
Des and Mick decided not to panic, and instead went back down to the church hall to see how Dickie and Jamie were getting on.
"How's it going?!" asked Des.
"Wicked!!" exclaimed Dickie. "Lord Olivier here's given me some pukka DJing tips!!"
"Come on mate, let's hear ya DJ patter like what I taught ya!" said Jamie.
"Boogie woogie woo!!" said Dickie into the microphone. "It's time, guys and gals, for you to all get down to this pukka track by none other than STATUS QUO!!!! WICKED!!!"
"What do you think, mate?!" said Jamie. "Pukka, innit!!"
"But...but..." stuttered Des.
"Well I'd pay to see him!" said Jamie. "Lovely jubbly!!"
"Maybe we should have got that Fatboy DJ instead," muttered Mick.
"Why would John Prescott have been any help??" said Des.
"Anythin' else I can help you with, mate?!" asked Jamie.
"Oh yes," said Des. "There's our old friend Mike the Manic Mechanic!" Mick's heart sank. "He's a struggling garage proprietor, never seems to sell many cars, I'm sure he'd appreciate some advice..."
"Did ya say Mike the Manic Mechanic?!?!?!" said Jamie. "The Mike the Manic Mechanic?!?!?!?!"
"You mean you've heard of him?!" said Des.
"Yeah, course I have mate!" said Jamie. "I was a massive fan of his wicked TV channel, Mike and Motors TV, yeah, 'till it closed down!! (Though the only criticism I would make is that he didn't have any shows about scooters)."
"He's a big fan of yours too," said Des. "He says you're better than 'Holby City'."
"I've always wanted to meet him, yeah!!" said Jamie. "He's pukka!! Come on, let's go!!"
"Des!!" hissed Mick. "You nincompoop!!"
"What's the matter...oh!!!" exclaimed Des. He suddenly remembered that Mike was at that moment supposed to be mending Jamie's scooter.
"Why don't you ever engage brain before engaging mouth?!" moaned Mick.
Des decided to run on ahead to warn Mike of the celebrity chef's impending arrival.
"Mike!! Mike!!" said Des, huffing and puffing, when he got there.
"All right Des, calm down!!" said Mike.
"Have you finished dealing with Jamie's scooter?!" said Des.
"Certainly have!" said Mike.
"Phew, thank goodness!" said Des.
"Yup, I've stuck it on E-Bay!" said Mike. "Already got bids going up to five grand!!!"
"WHAT?!?!?!?" exclaimed Des.
"People will buy any old tat as long as it belongs to a celebrity!!" said Mike. "Even a mangled old scooter!!"
"Yes, but the thing is, he's on his way right now..."
"Aww right Mike, it's ya old mate Jamie Oliver!" said Jamie, walking in suddenly.
"Oh, afternoon Jamie!" said Mike, nervously.
"I hear you're in need of some advice, mate! Well, what you need to do, is get rid of the cars, yeah! No one wants cars no more! Cars is uncool! Cars is what causes global warming, innit! No, you want to switch to scooters! Scooters is where it's at!! Pukka!!"
Mike was fuming. But Jamie proceeded to go all round Mike's garage sorting it all out, while Des and Mick sat outside and desperately tried to come up with an answer to the scooter dilemma.
Eventually, Jamie decided it was time to go - and luckily, he hadn't happened across his wrecked scooter on his trip round the garage.
"Yeah, it's been wicked meetin' you all today, but I've gotta shoot!" said Jamie, walking outside.
"Oh! Already?!" said Des, alarmed. Unfortunately he and Mick had failed to think of a solution to their problem. "You said you were free all afternoon!"
"Yeah, I was!" said Jamie. "But it's evenin' now, innit! I've got to scoot home and cook up some pukka melanzane alla parmigiana for tea, yeah!! Lovely jubbly!!""
"Actually, I'm feeling hungry, could you cook me tea?!" said Des, thinking quickly.
"Certainly mate, what d'ya fancy?!" said Jamie.
"What are you up to now?!" whispered Mick into Des's ear.
"Trying to stall him," whispered Des. "In the meantime, you try to think of a way of solving this scooter problem! Give us a ring when you've got it sorted!"
"Oh thanks a bunch," said Mick, as Des and Jamie popped back to Des's house for tea.
Des did his best to keep Jamie at his house for as long as possible while he waited desperately for Mick to call with good news. And so Jamie ended up cooking Des an entire five course meal, which included a Thai-style mango salad with griddled prawns, lamb cutlets with special basil sauce, and crispy tortillas with guacamole - even though all Des had really wanted was a couple of fish fingers.
Meanwhile, Mick decided the only course of action was to buy a new scooter identical to Jamie's. He checked out the exact make and model on the internet, and hurried into town to make his purchase. Mick then had to go round all the accessory shops in order to decorate the scooter in exactly the same way as the original. Finally, once all was ready, Mick rang up Des to tell him all was now well.
"Phew, thank goodness," said an extremely stuffed Des, finishing off his lavender creme brulee. "It's all right, you can go home now, on your new scooter - I mean your old scooter, usual scooter..."
"Cheers mate, wicked!" said Jamie. "Laters!!"
As Jamie walked off down the road, he came up to Mrs Greasy's cafe, where Mick was standing about outside with the newly-bought scooter, making sure that Mrs G didn't steal it again.
"See ya later mate!" said Jamie. To Mick's surprise, Jamie walked straight past the scooter.
"Erm, aren't you going on your scooter?" said Mick.
"Naaaah!!" said Jamie. "Mike the Manic Mechanic's sold me a wicked Escort XR3i with only 40,000 genuine miles on the clock, and a six-tone musical horn, yeah! You can't say no to a blindin' deal like that!! Laters!!"
"What am I going to do with this then?!" exclaimed a dejected Mick.
"You can have it, yeah!!" said Jamie, walking off to Mike's Manic Motors to collect his Escort XR3i.
"Maybe Mrs Greasy would like it," said Mick to himself.
"What's this?!?!" exclaimed a confused-looking Mrs Greasy, who had suddenly come outside, looking at the sparkling new scooter.
"Jamie doesn't want it any more," said Mick. "It's pukka, honest!"
"Well I don't want it!!" said Mrs Greasy. "That Mr Jamie's name is mud in my cafe!"
So in the end Mick sold the scooter on E-Bay - but he still only made half as much as Mike made on the mangled version.
Copyright © Robert Williams