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DD saves the day

by shaunsouthern 

Posted: 19 July 2003
Word Count: 5209
Summary: A short story / skit / play sort of thing. Sort of as if Terry Pratchett met up with Enid Blyton....

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DD saves the day

Dunbrevin Retirement Village was busy today. Normally, little else would happen, other than maybe a tearful three-way farewell between Grandma, the kids and her savings, or possibly Mrs. J would have to be forcibly removed from the kitchen back into her bed because her family were visiting. But today, a police car was parked outside and an increasingly confused policeman was trying to take statements.

PC Clive Harrogate was talking to Sister Tracey, who had called the police only an hour earlier. She had explained that a resident, Lady Askew, had been relieved of a precious gem she wore around her neck at all times, sometime this morning. All the residents’ rooms were locked, and only certain staff had access to keys.
‘So, who was the last person to see Lady Askew with the jewel?’ he asked.
‘That would be the Theakston brothers’ she said. ‘The porters. They took her breakfast in this morning. They’re in the staff room.’ PC Harrogate walked to the reception desk, drew himself up to his full height (five-foot nine with his specially-made boots), and tried to sound authoritative.
‘Ahem’ he said, loudly, trying to catch the attention of the two youths watching a small portable TV in a room behind reception. ‘Excuse me!’ he coughed, louder. No reply. He looked around and saw a bell on the counter. He rang that as well. Twice. Eventually a tall thin character with lank hair and white overalls slouched his way to the desk.
‘Yes, officer. Can I help you?’ sneered Liam sarcastically. ‘Do you need a room?’
‘No, I, er, What? No, I’m here about the robbery!’
‘Oh, you’ll be wanting to talk to me and our kid then, I suppose. Noel, the rozzers are ‘ere’.
‘Huh’ sniggered his brother, also sarcastically. He had a habit of saying very little that he had tried to perfect by watching ‘Look Hear (Asian Language)’ at 5am when he got in from work. Luckily he had never tried to use the sign language. He got up and joined his brother behind the reception desk. He’d been waiting to say very little to the police for quite a while.

Sister Tracey had been in to check on Lady Askew as 11am. She had woken her up for her medicine and then tried to tuck her back into her bed.
‘Good God woman’ she had said. ‘ I can do that myself! I’m not incapable!’ she snarled. ‘Hand me a mirror, will you!’ Sister Tracey ground her teeth.
‘There’s one on your bedside table’ she said. ‘Right next to you’ she added, obviously.
‘Yes, well, hand it me!’ Sister Tracey held out the mirror. If looks could kill, then Lady Askew would have been in the next box out of here. Since they probably couldn’t, it would be even money Mr. Tadworth, two to one either of the Bentley sisters, and five to one bar. Well, it beat a raffle.
‘Ayeeeeeeeee….’ screamed Lady Askew, and fainted briefly. Sister Tracey felt guilty for a second, before reviving the Lady with some smelling salts from her bag, which were so strong that they doubled as a mace spray. ‘It’s gone!’ wailed Lady Askew. ‘My jewel. My precious jewel. Ow, my eyes! Good God woman! Ah, my precious jewel. It’s gone!’ She dropped the mirror. ‘It’s gone!’ she wailed again, possible showing real emotion for the first time since they had informed her of the boarding fees.
‘Oh’ said Sister Tracey, and promptly rang the police.
‘Oh great’ said Liam who had just arrived. ‘Super-pissing-sonic’

The CCTV footage, which periodically scanned the hallways and the outside of the building, was checked too. Amazingly it worked. It was paid for by the Arthur Abbott foundation, which was set up after his death, due probably in part at least, to him having escaped from Dunbrevin through a skylight and then freezing to death trying to hitch down the M1 in his pyjamas. Anyway, no unauthorized access to rooms by hooded men with skeleton keys was monitored, and no one was caught on video skulking around the grounds with a mask and a big bag with swag written on it. You never know. Dunbrevin used to be a hospital. It was built just after the war, but the sandblasted grey walls, steel framed windows, super-thin glass, long dark claustrophobic corridors and rickety balconies were twenty years ahead of their time. Since then, after years of cuts, it was sold to a company who knew how to make it profitable. Fill it full of old people with nothing much wrong with them, apart from their children’s attitude to looking after Mum or Dad. The place had not been so much ‘run down’ as dealt a few glancing blows by the great juggernauts of time. PC Harrogate wondered if somehow person or persons unknown could have entered the premises through the balcony window, but the Lady’s room was on the second floor and no one could have possibly climbed up the wall without a ladder, and the CCTV would have seen that.

The staff all told him their stories. Some had to be persuaded by PC Harrogate just to start from this morning, not from the day they were born (which for some of them was yesterday). They were all searched, as were their cars and lockers, but the jewel wasn’t found. Still, as Liam had sworn that he had seen the Lady wearing it that morning, (he liked swearing a lot, so this wasn’t difficult), then it seemed that the Lady had ceased to be in possession of the jewel sometime between 8am and 11am. Clive was confused. PC Harrogate always called himself Clive when he was confused. Just what he needed. A mystery. He wasn’t very good at mysteries. He scratched his chin. Most of his cases were pretty easily solved, but whenever there was a mysterious case, those ‘kids’ turned up. Last summer they had unwittingly solved not only the case of the ‘disappearing cat’ but also the case of the ‘invisible man’s clothes’. But no, he was first on the scene here, and he would solve it before anyone else found out about it, and those kids turned up with their miserable faces and that over-excited dog.

Grandpa pretended to snooze as the mayhem unfolded….

* * * * * * *

‘Jarvis! Damon! Thom!’ screeched their mother. ‘Get off that Playstation and make yourself look tidy, and try to smile for once! You’re visiting Grandpa today. I’m sure he doesn’t want to see his grandchildren transformed into the Funboy Three! He may not have long left, you know!’
‘Oh Cheers, Mum, Thanks for the reminder of our mortality!’ moped Damon. He liked visiting Grandpa, because it reminded him of happier times in his short life, but Damon was, like the others only nine years old, going on sixty five, and the future held no wonders for him.
‘Don’t feel like it’ said Jarvis.
‘Arse’ said Thom. ‘Do we have to?’
Their mother thought about the triplets. It really had seemed like such a good idea at the time, giving them those names. Reverse psychology, she had thought. Yeah, right. She really had no idea why they were so sad and sentimental all the time, although she detected a fair hint of sarcasm growing in Jarvis, so maybe it was just a phase they were going through. Their father was at work, happily out of the way and she wanted the triplets out of the way this afternoon too, as she was having a ‘ladies afternoon’ where many of her friends would come round and look at all sort of plastic objects. Not the sort you would put your sandwiches in, though.
‘Listen, go and visit Grandpa, it’ll be a surprise for him. Take DD with you, he needs a run out, and for god’s sake….’
‘The kids looked up expectantly…’
‘Cheer up!’ she said, imploringly.
Damon put the collar on DD, who barked expectantly. He was going to see his owner. Jarvis reluctantly put down the game controller and shuffled into his coat. Thom just closed his eyes and started to sob quietly.

* * * * * * *

Grandpa had always lived the high-life, as only a professional (retired, not out) jewel thief could do, but the money had been mostly spent on wine women and song. The rest he had just wasted. Then he met his wife and gladly gave up the women, although for years she enjoyed plenty of wine and song with him. They were happy. They had kids. This caused a sudden career change into being a locksmith. The best locksmith there was. He made locks that no one could pick open! Inside knowledge. When his wife died a few years back, he was heartbroken, lost his house and business, and it took him a while to get back on his feet. Now he was broke, but proud, and he was damned if he was going to stay with his daughter. He had been placed in Dunbrevin by the local council. The first time he saw Lady Askew wearing the jewel he knew its true value. Also, he had another little secret that he was keeping from his family, and would need to, if his plan was going to work. Things couldn’t have turned out better. He was coming out of retirement.

Right now, Grandpa had a few problems. Geraldine Christchurch was one of them. She was talking to him in an inanely happy way, partly because she was under the influence of half a bottle of strong spirits, and partly because he was not trying to interrupt her monologue. That was because the Grandpa she was talking to comprised of pillows wig and tape recorder, hidden under hospital strength tucked-in sheets . Not that that bothered Grandpa, because he was stuck outside on his balcony in his pyjamas, having just twice performed the leap of death across and back to Lady Askew’s balcony while stealing her precious jewel. He had re-locked her room from the outside with the key that had been acquired and was all ready to resume real snoring when that daft old drunk had decided to visit him on the wrong day! He had carefully worked out where the CCTV cameras could and couldn’t see and had made sure that all the staff were busy. He’d made a point of being tired and saying that he didn’t want to be woken this morning, but like the professional he was, he had also padded his bed out with spare sheets and pillows, put an old wig sticking out from under the sheets and even put a tape of him snoring gently under the covers, all just incase anyone popped their head in to check. He knew that Lady Askew would snooze after breakfast and that she was a fairly heavy snoozer. Now his best laid plans were under threat from an alcoholic health visitor who thought she was psychic. Shite! Thought Grandpa.
‘Oh, damn and blast it!’ he mumbled, and preened his moustache.

* * * * * * *

Inside Grandpa’s room, the conversation rapidly gained speed in a definite downhill direction.
‘And only yesterday I saw Mrs. Fortless, and you know what I told you about last Tuesday night, well, she didn’t deny it, of course she couldn’t after they found her in the bushes with all that stainless steel, but she didn’t even try to pretend that it was just senility or something, no, she just started marking out a circle with the cutlery, and started speaking in a very odd voice and cursing all and sundry, I’m sure that was because of her other problem, anyway I hope she didn’t mean me in that because, well, I count myself as different because of my visions, and more to the point, what on earth did she think she meant about all that rubbish about bin-men and dahlias, I mean I think she was talking about Coronation Street but I can never be sure….’
Outside the window, Grandpa looked at the space on his arm where, he hoped, someday soon, a sparkling expensive gold watch would be. He looked back into the room. Geraldine’s bottle was emptying. Not long now, and he would be back in bed and safe.
‘Well my luvvy’, said Geraldine, looking at her bottle, sadly, and with a hint of anger as though someone else had been unfairly helping her to empty it. ‘I must be going soon.’ She brightened as a wave of alcohol warmed its way into her head. ‘I’ve just got time to tell you about our youngests new job, well not really a job, but he’s being useful for once, well he has to be or they’ll increase his sentence….’

* * * * * * *

Jarvis Damon and Thom ambled lazily up the drive of Dunbrevin, being ever increasingly circled at great speed by a rabidly happy collie.
‘Christ, DD’, said Thom. Give it a rest.
‘Oh, he’s cute. He’s looking forward to seeing Grandpa’ said Damon.
‘The old goat’, said Jarvis.
PC Harrogate was almost bowled over by a maelstrom of dog and then depressed back into reality by a sadness of triplets.
‘I’m sorry….’ said PC Harrogate,
‘So am I’ said Thom, ‘for being born!’
‘Er… no. I’m sorry, ‘ he continued, a little nonplussed, ‘you can’t come in here, this is a crime scene!’ he rallied, importantly, puffing out his chest.
‘Goodness, it’s officer Halibut’ said Jarvis, trying hard to remember the correct name. PC Harrogate stared at him, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. You never could tell these days when kids were taking the fish! Damn, he meant piss. The little bastards had got to him already.
‘You lot again!’ he boomed. ‘Let me tell you that you would never have solved all those mysteries if it wasn’t for that dog of yours! He’s the clever one! I don’t think you would have found a disappearing cat, would you, eh?’ He turned his head, following DD as he barked at every doorway, turned, barked again, and looked excitedly at nothing in particular, still dogging the vida-loca.
‘Yeah, you’re right, PC Halibut’ retorted Jarvis. That’s why they gave DD the medals, not us’ he continued, sarcastically.
‘Or you’ said Damon. ‘Anyway, that was last year, and nothing has happened since then….’
‘No, it hasn’t has it….’ trailed off Thom, sentimentally. The kids gazed into the middle distance, lost in memories. A few minutes later, PC Harrogate was still staring nervously at his feet.
‘Hold on. Did you say ‘crime scene’?’ asked Damon.
‘Maybe’ said PC Harrogate, his eyes following an imaginary moving target. He whistled a random tune.
‘Oh, wonderful’ said Jarvis. I suppose it’s up to us again. DD whined and shot off up the stairs. PC Harrogate groaned. Sister Tracey caught hold of Damon, put a tray full of food in his hand and shoved him towards the stairs.
‘Keep out of the officer’s way; give that to your Grandpa. It’s his lunch. Make sure he eats it’ she said.
‘I remember when we used to have lunch’ said Thom, sniffling.
‘ We still do’ said Jarvis, looking sad.
‘Oh yeah. Great’ said Damon. ‘Will we never grow up?’

* * * * * * *

In the kitchen, Mrs. J whizzed through another bowlful of washing up, while Liam read the paper and Noel stared at one of his shoes.
‘You OK there, Mrs. J?’ asked Liam.
‘Oh yes, boys, having a great time, thank-you. Is this all the washing up you’ve got for me?’
‘Uh-uh’ said Noel, switching his gaze to the other foot.
‘OK’ said Mrs. J. ‘You just have a nice rest there.’ And she meant it. She loved it at Dunbrevin. Since all her children had left home, and her husband had left, ‘to join the Foreign Legion where I can get a bit of peace’ he had said, she was at a loss for something to do. There was only so much cleaning to do in her spotless home, and to be honest, she missed the company. When she found out that her husband had sold the house out from under her feet and had actually moved to the Jamaica branch of the Foreign Legion with Ms Pattersthwaite from down the road she even offered to stay on as housekeeper for the new owners. She meant well, but in the end she was just too hyperactive, which was quite rare in a seventy-six year old woman. Her age stopped her getting a job, so in the end, she agreed with her children that she would be much happier settling in a nice retirement village with loads of people to talk to, than being shunted from family to family. When she realized that the staff were more interested in anything than actual work, she was delighted. She took over. She was busy from morning to night. She didn’t have time to miss her husband or her families, although her children did visit occasionally and would have been shocked to know how hard their mother was working in her retirement. Still, she was happy, so her clandestine job was kept so.

* * * * * * *

Geraldine got up, slipping the almost empty bottle of whisky into her bag.
‘Righty-ho then, I’ll be off. I’ll see you again soon’ she said, and she crept to the door and shut it behind her. ‘Hello children!’ she said, gazing straight past the triplets as they shuffled up the hallway.
Grandpa had just about had time to open the door to his balcony and was about to lock it and get into bed when he heard a commotion outside. DD had found the children and had bound into them at full speed and had managed to knock all three of them and Geraldine over.
‘Sorry children, my fault, just lost my footing there, happens all the time, nice doggy, where was I going now’ she said looking in no particular direction. Actually her eyes were looking in two different ones.
‘You smell of piss’ said Thom.
‘No young man, it’s cheap whisky’ said Geraldine, getting up. ‘Goodbye.’ She walked unsteadily off down the hallway the wrong way, looked confused then knocked on the broom cupboard. When no-one answered she turned and shrugged and headed for reception.
‘I think I’m going to like cheap whisky when I grow up’ said Jarvis.

Sister Tracey had caught up with them by now after hearing the noise and she opened the door to let them in to see Grandpa. DD shot straight over to the balcony window where Grandpa had retreated to, deciding that he would wait till the noise died down. Bollocks! thought Grandpa.
‘Oh bother’ he said.

DD could see Grandpa outside so he was happy for a while, but soon he turned his attention to the plate of food that Jarvis had put down for Grandpa on the small bedside table. Like any dog, DD would eat practically anything, but he especially liked sausages mash and gravy. The children didn’t notice him as they had taken up residence by the side of Grandpa’s bed, which was still softly snoring.

‘Grandpa, are you asleep?’ asked Damon
‘I wish I was asleep’ said Thom. ‘I’m happy in my dreams’ he lied. Infact if any of the psychologists that had seen the triplets had have had one of Thom’s dreams, then they would have shot themselves, if not the whole hospital first.
‘I wish I was on the Playstation’ said Jarvis. Then the children sat in silence, listening to Grandpa snoring with their heads slumped in their hands. Outside the window, Grandpa was going mad with frustration. He would have been tearing his hair out but he knew better than to waste valuable unsustainable resources.
DD had almost finished the pudding and was starting to enjoy the coffee. He liked coffee. Strong and black.

* * * * * * *

PC Harrogate was stumped. He had exhausted countless cups of tea. He had checked everything he could think of, and had searched everywhere. It seemed that no one had been into the room, but the jewel had still been taken. He did feel that he was a good judge of character and he thought that the Theakston brothers were too dozy and Sister Tracey too honest to have crept back into the room and stolen the jewel from round the Lady’s neck as she slept. He decided that the only thing left to do was to interview the rest of the residents. He obtained a list of their names and rooms. He would start with the old fellow in the room next to Lady Askews, affectionately known as Grandpa, according to the record. Maybe he had heard something. But first, another cup of tea.

* * * * * * *

Dunbrevin was a happy home. The residents were under no illusions, other than that which could chemically be apportioned to the morphine. They knew that the call button did not merely summon the nurses, it also turned the medication up, but hey, so what! Nurse DeVartsanall had already explained in her best English - ‘You push butty-butty you go happy-happy-ga-ga, leaving me alone I learnings england language‘.
Sister Tracey was doing the after-lunch rounds, picking up the used plates and cutlery and tending to the residents’ needs. She chatted to the residents happily. She enjoyed her job and liked to think she was ‘helping to bring a little bit of sunshine into the twilight of their lives’; at least that’s what she said on her job application. She had also said that she had a diploma in cutlery management, and had passed a course on passive listening and nodding, and had a distinction in temper control. She was a strong young woman with long black tied back hair, and could turn her hand to anything. Infact at Dunbrevin she had also filled temporary roles (soon to be emblazoned onto her CV) as plumber, electrician and decorator. She could also bench press 60 kilos, which certainly helped when the less mobile residents managed to fall over.
‘Here you are Mrs. Watts’, said Sister Tracey, offering a spare plate of chocolate mousse to an old lady who was gripping onto the sheets for dear life, staring into space with wild eyes and shaking gently. ‘Go on, spoil yourself!’
‘I’m afraid I already have!’

* * * * * * *

The triplets looked at the clock. They knew their mother had said that she didn’t want them back till at least four and they would never get back before three if they didn’t move soon.
‘Bye Grandpa’ said Damon
‘Nice talking to you’ said Jarvis
Thom began to cry softly again.

No sooner had they closed the door, Grandpa had climbed back into the room. He was just about to climb back into bed when the doorknob turned again. Outside DD ran off again. Sister Tracey walked into the room and picked up Grandpa’s tray.
‘Well done Grandpa’ she said. ‘You’ve finished the lot. I expect you’re having a nice doze now. She heard soft snoring and smiled. She was just about to leave when she noticed something. She put the tray down and walked over to the balcony window.

* * * * * * *

Outside, Grandpa saw Sister Tracey heading his way and panicked. In a very calm way, of course.
‘Tch Tch’ he heard her say. ‘We can’t have a draught coming in here’. She looked out through the balcony window briefly, and then shut it. And then locked it from the inside. #!&#&! thought Grandpa.
‘Oh dear. Jolly bad show’ he said, under his breath.

* * * * * * *

Geraldine toddled amiably off down the driveway, clutching her now empty bottle of spirits, words still leaking out of her mouth in dribs and drabs, although with no real enthusiasm as it was quite a long walk from Dunbrevin to Terry’s General Store and Off-licence. She glanced round at Dunbrevin and was only mildly shocked to see a blue and white striped pyjama clad Grandpa hanging off a second floor balcony by his hands. She looked at the bottle, put it back in her pocket again and said brightly, 'Oh goody, hallucinations. Not bad for cheap whisky!'

* * * * * * *

DD was having a great time exploring Dunbrevin. He had decided that on the whole, old people didn’t smell quite as interesting as children. He was sure he could smell Grandpa all around the place, especially down here towards the kitchen. However, the smells of the kitchen were not as enticing as normal because he was starting to feel a little unwell, undoubtedly because of wolfing down Grandpa’s lunch, which Sister Tracey had liberally spiced with pepper as Grandpa liked. DD had never really been housetrained, since he was brought up on a boat. He used to do his business over the side of the boat, usually because his first owner was very mean and thought it was fun to scare him by holding him over the side of the boat. Grandpa found him one day, after his owner sailed off and left him. They became best of friends and it was only on condition that DD was allowed to visit often that Grandpa agreed to go into Dunbrevin. DD was definitely feeling dodgy, he had to find outside and find it fast.

* * * * * * *

PC Harrogate entered Grandpa’s room with Sister Tracey.
‘Grandpa, wake up’ she said, ‘PC Harrogate has some questions to ask you.’ Grandpa didn’t move.
‘I’ll just wake him up’ said Sister Tracey and pulled the covers back. There was a loud scream.

* * * * * * *

The children walked down the stairs into reception.
‘Where has DD gone, has he deserted us as well?’ moped Thom.
‘Probably up to his usual tricks’ said Damon. ‘You know how he always has problems keeping it in.’ As he spoke, DD raced past them through the front door outside into the driveway. Liam and Noel were in reception.
‘What does DD stand for then?’ asked Liam.
‘Doggy do’ said Jarvis. ‘Sort of like Scooby Doo, but well, it describes him better.’ This could be confirmed by the sight of DD sitting in the driveway next to the police car, looking amazingly relieved, having a huge watery dump.
‘He’s always doing this. You’re lucky. We’ve had to change our carpet twice in the last year!’ said Damon, walking out into the driveway. Everyone followed, even Noel whose gaze had moved up towards his knees.
‘I really liked the old carpet as well’ sniffed Thom.
‘I’m sure mum only keeps him because he’s Grandpa’s dog’ said Jarvis.
‘I hope Grandpa is all right, he hardly moved when we saw him. I don’t want him to die’ said Damon.
‘Nor me’ wailed Thom. Liam was unsure what to do with a wailing child. He was about to offer him a cigarette but thought better of it and settled for a pat on the head and a ‘there there, our kid’.

Suddenly there was a loud scream from upstairs. It seemed to come from the direction of Grandpa’s room. The children stared at each other.
‘Oh no’ said Thom.
‘Oh no’ said Liam.
‘It’s Grandpa. He’s dead!’ wailed Thom.
‘I had a tenner on Lady Askew, as well’ said Liam, stubbing out his cigarette in disgust. The children ran up to Grandpa’s room, followed by Liam and Noel. DD ran away again.

* * * * * * *

Sister Tracey was lost for words. PC Harrogate was dumbfounded. The door burst open and the children ran in, followed by the two brothers. Eventually, Sister Tracey spoke.
‘Grandpa! What the hell do you think you’re doing? And Mrs. J! You should be ashamed of yourself! Put some clothes on. How long has this been going on?’. She covered them back up and handed Grandpa his dressing gown. He sat in the chair next to the bed and was quickly surrounded by the triplets.
‘Grandpa, you’re OK!’ blubbed Thom. ‘We thought that you were sleeping forever.’ Damon and Jarvis started to weep as well.
‘No, I’m fine’ said Grandpa, rather sheepishly. ‘Mrs. J and myself are…. good friends.’ All three kids hugged Grandpa. Thom and Damon couldn’t stop crying.
‘There there’, said Grandpa, and reached into his pyjama pocket for his handkerchief. As he pulled it out, something else fell out and landed on the floor. PC Harrogate picked it up. It was the missing jewelry. Grandpa looked at PC Harrogate. PC Harrogate looked at Grandpa. Bollocks thought Grandpa.
‘Bollocks’ he said.

PC Harrogate was ecstatic. He had solved the case, and he had two arrests not one, after Mrs. J confessed to being part of the robbery as it was she who had acquired Lady Askew’s balcony key for Grandpa to use. He led Grandpa and Mrs. J down to the police car.
‘A cunning plan, but not cunning enough!’ he said to Grandpa, beaming.
‘I would have got away with it as well’ said Grandpa. ‘If it wasn’t for those maudlin kids!’

* * * * * * *

PC Harrogate escorted Grandpa and Mrs. J into the rear seat of the police car. They were holding hands. He opened the front passenger side door and put the jewelry in the glove box, dropped his radio onto the passenger seat, then walked round to get into the drivers seat. As he opened the door his feet went from under him as he slipped on DD’s watery mess. He landed hard on his backside.
‘Owwww’ he yelled. ‘My back!’ Suddenly from round the side of the building, DD appeared. He had smelt Grandpa! He could see him! He was in the car with that nice old lady who always made such a fuss of him and gave him titbits from the kitchen. Grandpa was thinking quickly. He climbed into the front seat and called to his dog.
‘The keys boy, get the keys. Good chap!’ PC Harrogate was still sprawled on the ground, a look of severe pain on his face. He was also wrinkling his nose up at the smell as he realised what he had slipped on. The keys had fallen out of his hand and were by his side. DD picked them up and dived onto Grandpa’s lap. Grandpa hugged his dog.
‘Good boy!’ he said, as DD licked his face, and started the car.

‘Cool’ said Liam, ‘Go for it, man!’ as Grandpa, Mrs. J and DD drove off into the sunset at high speed with the siren on, Mrs. J wildly waving goodbye out of one window as DD leant out of another, his tongue flapping in the wind. PC Harrogate was still sprawled on the ground. Noel even broke into a big grin. Sister Tracey was all gooey-eyed. She waved back and blew a kiss.
'Well' said the triplets, as one, 'DD certainly saved the day for Grandpa!’

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Comments by other Members

Shadowgirl at 00:14 on 20 July 2003  Report this post
Just the kind of thing I needed to read tonight. Funny, my daughter is currently reading Enid Blyton and you have certainly captured that element too - I was waiting for lashings of lettuce and the strong language - usually "oh gosh".

I so enjoyed this, thanks for the laughter - and your dialogue was brilliant. I loved the triplets and grandpa. I just loved it all. It's very clever to write like this, I admire you.

Well done.

Best wishes

shaunsouthern at 03:11 on 20 July 2003  Report this post

Thanks loads. I'm almost ashamed, almost proud, to say that I still laugh when I read it myself. I must contact Channel Four and see if David Niven is still alive and wants to play Grandpa....



Shadowgirl at 10:43 on 20 July 2003  Report this post
Hey Shaun,

I can almost see it now - David Niven - right, brilliant!

This is what is in my head....having volunteered myself as your casting director...(no thanks necessary) the triplets played by adults, pretending to be children - how about Dawn French/Jennifer Saunders for two of them.

This is gonna be a hit!!!

Best wishes

ps...you be proud!!!! It's fantasic!!!

Becca at 02:00 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Shaun,
It's a full on piece. What I noticed is how well the different scenes follow each other, so the reading is smooth from one to the next. Almost every line is funny and the characters come to life as well. There may be a couple of obvious jokes to maybe do away with,- word plays, but I really enjoyed reading this a lot. More power to your writing elbow. I liked the triplets a lot and they stayed in character all the way through.

shaunsouthern at 17:59 on 24 July 2003  Report this post

It took a bit of planning, but that just made the writing easier. As you can probably guess, the whole idea came about from one joke, but sprung to life from there. Anyway, thanks a lot for your comments!


Becca at 19:56 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
I like the attention you've paid to getting the scenes in good order, the mark of a professional.

Nell at 11:27 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Shaun,

Dunbrevin! This is all so funnny, a laugh on every line and some lovely puns too. I love the cryptic voice of the narrator as well as that of the characters; '...he'd been waiting to say very little to the police for quite a while.' And the reference to plastic objects that were not the sort you'd put your sandwiches in. Too many funnies to list. The triplets were brilliant, such a clever idea to bring the child detectives up to date too, and I thought their problems were a nice touch in contrast to the Blyton children who were always so well-adjusted. "'Arse,' said Thom. 'Do we have to?'" Inspired.

I noticed a tiny tendency to overstatement in dialogue, maybe you could let the characters just speak, rather than explaining how they did so. And in the sentence "'Oh cheers Mum, thanks for the reminder of our mortality!' moped Damon" the 'moped' seems a little at odds with the exclamation mark. These are small things, however, and I really enjoyed this and can see a whole series with PC 'Halibut' and the gang. And I loved DD and his anti-social habits too, and thank goodness Grandad got away with it!

Best, Nell.

Becca at 11:48 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Shaun, I can't find the jokes I was referring to, maybe I was mistaken, anyway, give yourself a couple of weeks of not looking at it, then go back with fresh eyes. It never flags, you know, it is consistantly witty and funny all the way through

shaunsouthern at 15:15 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Thanks for the replies. As I said, I have never looked at it since about four months ago when it was 'written' in a day. I will prune and tidy up. Then I will ring up Brian Cant's agent and see if the BBC want to do a fifteen minute narrated story. We could put it on BBC Three, or maybe really late on Monday nights. I don't know. I think it needs to be as it is, not 'played'. It would lose too much. Maybe Baldric could be involved. Or his family? I hear he has a punning clan....


Nell at 15:26 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Do let us know when it's on Shaun, I can just hear Tony Robinson reading this! Or how about Phillip Franks ( Charlie, the tax inspector in The Darling Buds of May,) he's a marvellous reader with a wonderful range of voices, or even Simon Callow?

shaunsouthern at 15:30 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Do let you know when it's on!!!!

Of course! I was thinking of Saturday Night just after the National Lottery! I will email it to Baldric right now!

shaunsouthern at 02:49 on 27 September 2003  Report this post
We have a lo cal drama group. I don't mean that they're on a diet, except on 'open night' when the menu is emotions thoughts fears and beliefs. Unfortunately, most people read other's thoughts, but, hey, so do 99% of the world's bible bashing followers....

BTW you should see the place when it's not 'open night' . Very dark....

Anyway, we(4 of us) are going to try to do DD saves the day. After discussion, I am going to narrate nost of it while three friends (plus someone on the lights) will highlight the speakers as they do alternate parts. Later on, we will go to a party, and probably continue with alternate parts.. DD is not invited. In the dark, you don't need an incontinent dog. PC Halibut may be there though.... Geraldine runs the bar. Nurse Tracey is the roadie. Liam and Noel are band. So they told me, anyway....

Wow, the story continues.... I've been working stupid hours for the last 6 months at my job (writing computer games) but I will get DD to a wider audience... Cheers for everyone's support. Especially the drunk girl who has volunteered to be the chair IU am sitting on.

Last thing... Our office has 200 names on the email server, and one guy was having fun revealing the plots of films.... (e.g. Grease... they get together / / / Usual Suspects - its Kewvin with the limp, etc.... ) so I volunteered... 'It's a Wonderful Life... THey're right!!!) And they are!


Let me leave you with a puzzled look. If it takes three waitresses to count the number of steaks they serve to six Wolves fans, why do they expect tips?

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