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Harrys Plot

by Jim Beard 

Posted: 15 November 2006
Word Count: 282
Summary: This was originally for a Humour/Comedy Group Challenge based on Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. Someone, who shall remain nameless, suggested that I put it up for the Proof Challenge. Been rather busy of late but I will try to contibute something original for the next challenge.

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“Now then si thee” said old Harry as he entered the local hardware shop. “What’s tha got for me soil then?”

Although Harry Gunn was well beyond his three score years and ten he maintained a sprightly step and a lively dialogue in a thick Lancastrian dialect. He struck a diminutive figure with a pair of spectacles like two glass ashtrays perched delicately on a bulbous nose that could stop traffic on any street corner. A flat cap atop a face that could double for a road map completed the outer man.

“A said what’s tha got for me soil then,” he echoed in more demanding terms.

“Soil!” replied Bert, the brown smocked owner of said corner shop. “What about tha soil, what’s wrong wi it then?”

“Whats wrong wi it,” intoned Harry. “What’s wrong wi it? I’ll tell thee whats wrong wi it shall I?” It’s like a ruddy bog that’s what’s wrong wi it. Nowt’ll grow in it, that’s what’s wrong wi it!”

“Well, appen it’s your pH then” said Bert, with more than a hint of expert sarcasm.

“Me pH, what’s that when it’s at home?

“It’s acid that’s what it is. You see your acid soil has less lime in it and you need to raise the pH.”

Oh aye, and how do I raise my pH then?”

In a somewhat disdainful manner Bert replied “Viagra can do it for most blokes but in your case I wouldn’t bother.”


“Never mind. I see that you don’t do irony do you?” No, what you want is some lime powder.”

“How’s that then,” replied the befuddled Harry.

“Well, Mr Gunn, powder, it stands t’reason is best for the plot!”

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Comments by other Members

baumski at 16:30 on 15 November 2006  Report this post
Could I see the tag coming? Yeah. Ah, but did it actually matter? No. Beautifully constructed and best of all, funny.


Jim Beard at 17:00 on 15 November 2006  Report this post
Cheers Martin. Very encouraging feedback


syorkslad26 at 07:25 on 16 November 2006  Report this post

You got me from the very first sentence! And this is me being honest - I am a huge fan of The Two Ronnies. Ronnie Barker is one of my all time heroes / idols. And if I could write stuff that is one eighth as funny as his I would die a happy man. So, as you can probably tell I absolutely loved this, as it had that whole Two Ronnies sketch feel about it, and it was funny to boot with a really clever punchline that I didn't see coming. I really enjoyed this! All this best. Definitely looking forward to reading some more of your stuff. All the best!



Oops, proof reading, proof reading, proof reading. Grrrr. All the best, all the best - you dyslexic -


And before anyone gets upset I was referring to myself there. I don't know where my head is sometimes, honestly I don't.

Philip Marston at 08:01 on 16 November 2006  Report this post
Hi Jim,

This is asking to be delivered live by actors to bring out the language and the punch line.

I liked it and thought it was put together well


bjlangley at 09:46 on 16 November 2006  Report this post
A clever take on the challenge, that made me chuickle with that last line.

All the best,


Jim Beard at 19:34 on 16 November 2006  Report this post

Thanks for the feedback guys. I had thought of developing these two characters around a Northern small town setting but it’s probably been done to death with Open all Hours, Last of the Summer Wine and not least my all time favourite of I Didn’t Know You Cared by the late and much lamented Peter Tinniswood. I have another sketch or two brewing and I might just persevere with it now that I have had your very encouraging comments.

Best regards


crowspark at 11:44 on 06 December 2006  Report this post
Hi Jim

This was an enjoyable read. Great last line.

I wondered whether you might want to re-post this in flash I for the proof challenge? Just a thought. ;)

Thanks for the chuckle.


Jumbo at 17:37 on 09 December 2006  Report this post
And a good sugestion it was, Jim - from wherever it came - else us Flashers would have missed out on this. :)

And no - I didn't see the tag coming at all. But I laughed when it did.

There are a couple of quote marks that seem to have drifted out of line that could do with fixing!

Thanks for the read - and for the laugh.

All the best


Jim Beard at 06:19 on 10 December 2006  Report this post
Thanks for reading Jumbo and for the comments

Alkl the best


Jubbly at 08:07 on 10 December 2006  Report this post
Very funny Jim, loved the dialect it really enriched the tale. Great characters and a romp to read.


Prospero at 07:35 on 11 December 2006  Report this post
Hi Jim

Thanks for the read. Reminds of my Grandfather who was a Yorkshire man. And also of a man in an electrical shop, who sold me a three pin plug with the immortal words. 'Ifn it's wrong, tha' can coom back and threaten me.'



Jim Beard at 07:56 on 11 December 2006  Report this post

Thanks for reading and the kind comments



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