Millicent Pyle (53 and bank manager) appears a highly respected and successful member of her small, rural community. She contributes to village life and everyone knows her. But here, on Elderjuice, she reveals her innermost thoughts on life, her customers and her regular prescription drugs.
Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. Reverend Malcolm Spleen asked me to chair the parish fundraising committee.
Spleen, an English version of Sean Connery.
Spleen, the only vicar I know with all his own hair and teeth.
Spleen, the vicar rumoured to have thrown out of a previous parish because he preached about the evils of celibacy and the blessings of sex.
“Someone with your expertise, would be an invaluable asset,” he said. Invaluable asset? A rabid dog on its last leg would be an asset to that committee.
First, the ladies all turned up late. Second, they wanted to start with a cup of tea. Third, don’t you need to know something about money to sit on such committee? Fourth…need I go on. Needless to say, things got from bad to worse, when ‘the Idiots’ mother walked in.
“Hello Millie,” she said in common accent. “She’s my Brian’s boss.”
Nobody calls me Millie. No one. Sarah Tompkins tried that at school and I nearly knocked her silly little teeth down her throat.
Millie is a name for a dog or rabbit. Some four legged mute creature, who barks or bonks. I wanted to swing for her. Knock her crooked dentures down her skinny neck.
She, like the other do-gooders, were there to give suggestions or offer support for fundraising coffee mornings, bake sales and car boots.
Spending vast energy for little return and relying on the goodwill of bad people is not my idea of fundraising. And I told them in no uncertain terms.
Reverend Spleen came to visit the next day bearing gifts.
“I hear your meeting went well last night,” he said in his usual smooth voice.
“As well as can be expected.” I was cold.
He placed a gold wrapped package on my desk and then lit a large Cuban.
“Let’s talk… ” Something in his voice made me shut the door and draw the blind.
I emerged from our hour long meeting in silent but fighting mood. I would have put a knife in his heart if one was near and plead innocent on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
“Thank you for agreeing to continue to chair the committee,” he said as he winked at me and left.
Agreeing? Coerced would be a better word.
Don Juan could sell sand to the Arabs, just like he sold his congregation morality week after week. And Reverend Spleen is truly an amazing but crooked salesman.
But I’m damn good at my job and I won’t let any sweet-talking wannabe man of the cloth make a fool out of me.
I’ll chair his bloody fundraising committee. I’ll be pleasant and polite to those wretched philistines and play Mother Teresa, if it means my secret is safe.
But I’ll get the bastard. You wait – I’ll get him good and proper!