Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Well, Oh… Well

Well, there you have it. Or, to be more precise, there you have it - a well. Not very significant, or impressive, I must agree. Well, a well is – as it were – just a hole in the ground, really. So, as long as you can tell the difference between it and your own arse, there is not much else that I – or anyone else – needs to teach you about it.

However, this is a well in the middle of the village green of a small rural village. So, we denizens of Little Frigging have – quite naturally – recently made up some quite photogenic ancient and mystical rites and ceremonies based around this well in order to get some more tourists, and their money, into our village and do our best to separate the one from the other in as many ingenious ways as possible.

Separating tourists from their money is a proud, noble and ancient rural tradition, dating back to – and quite possibly beyond – the very beginnings of the historical record. For, by way of example, it seems that even before Little Frigging was a village, just a slightly less muddy patch at the side of the road where a hovel or two could be constructed, the denizens of this area have been finding ways of taking money off passers-by, even if it was just only that good old standby* Highway robbery.

During the medieval period Little Frigging, and some of the other nearby villages in the county of Upper Thyghspreader, made quite a good living separating pilgrims from their money through the use of some rather dubious Holy relics, such as an alleged slice of tomato from the Holy Last kebab of Nhighel, the Uttabollux prophet.

A few centuries later, Little Frigging became a spa – after some rather ingenious plumbing work suddenly created a ‘Natural Spring’, just around the back of The Pervert’s Appendage. Not only did that very inn have several rooms to rent for those wishing to take the waters, it also had – on prominent display above the bar – several glowing testimonials attesting to the miraculous restorative powers of the Little Frigging spa waters. The fact that all these testimonials seemed to be written in the same hand as that of the landlord - and to share his rather primitive grasp of both spelling and grammar – was put down to a rather curious side-effect of the curative powers of the waters.

Unfortunately, the Victorian predilection for far more robust sewer systems put an end to Little Frigging’s spa after a particularly virulent outbreak of cholera amongst the last (and - sadly - late) visitors to take the waters.

However, the sudden discovery of a suspiciously large number of paintings by the great Romantic and Impressionist painters in the attic of The Pervert’s Appendage was enough to get Little Frigging back on the tourist maps as a place of outstanding natural beauty and a thriving example of a typical British rural village. A distinction that we have done our utmost to perpetuate to this day in order to keep the tourists rolling in just long enough to separate them from their money before making sure they roll out again.

*Or, to be technically accurate, that good old stand-and-deliver-by.

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