October 23rd, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

Communication Breakdown ... A Tribble Tragedy

Communication break down.

Just as I was pronouncing the tribble shop closed ... Shelagh was on the phone giving directions to another tribble-owner wannabe. I couldn't believe it. I thought we'd agreed...

Oh no we hadn't! Oh yes we had! As the conversation approached McCartney- esque proportions and Daily Mail reporters gathered at the gate, Shelagh reached for the high ground. This last couple had lost their cat, they'd rung several times and to quote Spock, 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the husband.'

I'm not sure who I quoted but they were a world authority. And at least seven years old. 'I want my tribble!' I cried, stamping a truculent foot and raising that stamp with a sulk.

Much chocolate was consumed Saturday evening.

And we said goodbye to Kinky Tribble: the fastest shoulder climber, inventor of the butterfly lunge, and an ever present in the morning and evening diarrhoea treatment queue. She will be greatly missed. Except at litter tray emptying time.

But she did go to an excellent home. And will be much loved.

I'm off to scour the hedgerows. Living within a half mile of kitten-dumping central has its advantages:)

International Kittens of Mystery

The Archers: Murder at the Cowsheds

I am still in shock after Sunday morning's Archers omnibus on Radio 4. The Ruth, David, Sam, Sophie love rectangle is coming to a head. What is going to happen next? Are they going to write Ruth out? Who'll look after the cows? What'll happen to Brookfield?

Fear not, gentle reader, for I have done much research. And, as a writer of mysteries, I know how these scriptwriters think.

First, I have discovered alarming news. Long time readers may remember my post on actorspotting in which I exposed actor Michael Cochrane as a typecast villain of dastardly proportions. He was the odious general in Sharpe and every director's first choice when a treacherous upper class villain is required. Well guess what ... he plays Oliver Sterling.

So, obviously, he's up to no good and will be central to the denouement. It also explains his kindness to bad boy Ed Grundy - he's grooming him for the Dark Side.

Meanwhile, back at Brookfield, Ruth and Sam will be found out. But - scriptwriter's 101 - it won't be soon and the discovery won't be by husband David. He'll think it strange that evening milking now takes ten hours and Ruth always comes back with a smile on her face but won't make the connection. My tip is Kirsty, Sam's ex-girlfriend. She has the motivation to find out why Sam broke up with her and she's one of the few characters without easy access to a shotgun (note to all readers who have no clue what I'm talking about, The Archers is a radio soap that's been going for 50+ years. It's billed as 'an everyday tale of farming folk' most of whom are armed)

So, lacking the firepower to ventilate Ruth and Sam on the spot and therefore end the drama far too quickly, Kirsty runs to former boyfriend Tom Archer. Tom grabs his shotgun and mobilises the entire Archer clan who race for their tractors and descend, very slowly, on the Brookfield cowshed.

Sam and Ruth barricade themselves inside. Phil and Jill Archer snap their shotguns shut, level them on the cowshed door and...

David runs screaming into the yard. "Hold your fire! The Herefords are inside!"

Cue theme music, cue shocked nation. Will the cows be saved?

The next night people tune in to hear that sanity might be about to prevail. Phil's phoned for help. A mediator is on his way. But ... it's Oliver Sterling. He slithers into the farmyard, oozing public school charm, glazing the puddles he walks through with an oily rainbow slick.

He pretends to mediate. He negotiates the release of three heifers. Then 'accidentally' discharges his weapon and sets off a firefight. Several cast members are killed, the ratings soar. And as the surviving Archers gather for the reading of Phil and David's wills, they receive another shock. Brookfield has been willed to Phil's hitherto unheard of illegitimate brother, Al Swearengen.

Well someone's got to find a part for Ian McShane now that Deadwood's finished:)