Login   Sign Up 


Alan Bennett Talking Wind Turbines (sketch)

by baumski 

Posted: 19 March 2007
Word Count: 201
Summary: Alan Bennett is fighting plans to build a wind farm and this is my take on it.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

As Thora Hird poured the last drop of Earl Grey into my teacup and proffered yet another glorious Battenburg slice from the pyramid cake stand, she started to opine about the trials and tribulations of traffic congestion in the area. ‘Oh how much easier it would be’ she said, ‘if a simple freeflow system could be operated, thus making life for the motorist happier’. And with that most caring thought, Thora strapped herself into her Stenna Stairlift deluxe.

‘But Thora’, I said, ‘what about the 360ft wind turbines that were being planned for Denshaw Moor?’ Unfortunately she was experiencing difficulties as the blasted contraption jutted and jarred her not-so-smooth ascent up the stairs and did not reply.

As I espied her thrusting her full body weight into the side of the Stenna in an attempt to budge it further up the stairs, I urged Thora for a reply. ‘What about the noise and the blot on the landscape these beasts of wind would create?’

Panting and if not a little exhausted, Thora looked me straight in the eye and said ‘If it can create enough wind to get this fucker up the stairs then you won’t hear me complain’.


Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

snowbell at 13:44 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
Loved the parodic style Baumski and and the Battenburg cake etc. Not sure I followed the train of thought from motorists' freeflow to wind turbines (err...I got the last bit)

What's the connection between the two? Or am I just being thick here?

baumski at 13:59 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
I find playing around with the Bennett style absolutely facinating. It's a completely different world and I wanted to lead into the tag in a nice and gentle fashion, that's all.

snowbell at 14:17 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
oh i get you

just that the first line set me up for thinking it was going to be topical - topical on the brain see?

baumski at 14:24 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
Well, traffic is always current which was why I felt it was acceptable to use as a lead-in to the topical and thorny issue of wind turbines. Ah, you see, there's method in the construction.

Cornelia at 15:31 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
I don't think Bennett's is a completely different world at all, unless you mean Hampstead. That's considered quite mainstream nowadays, if you go by recent films like 'Venus' and 'Notes on a Scabdal.'

I liked the situation, but why should Thora Hird be worried about motorists?

pyramid cake stand

Do you mean a three-tier one?

Stenna Stairlift deluxe.

Should be the 'Stannah'. I remember the spelling because my husband is always banging on about them and I've had to cancel 'The Oldie' so he isn't continually prompted by the adverts. Maybe you mean a rival company? Or perhaps you are conflating with 'Senna' , a mainstay of that old comedian Jimmy Edwards, and it would fit with Thora's final remark about wind, at a stretch.

It might be better as 'her deluxe Stannah Stairlift, or have the deluxe capitalised.

as the blasted contraption

I think Bennett would say 'wretched' or 'awful', instead although I think Thora might, and in any case it's funny because of her association with 'Songs of Praise'.

I thought I read her obituary recently, though.


baumski at 15:34 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
Excellent observation and I'm delighted you enjoyed it.


NMott at 18:57 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
Really liked Thora's reply. Lol!

bjlangley at 19:54 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
The style and language is great, works really well, and the image of Thora in a barely moving stair-lift, and her last line really made me chuckle.

amiria at 11:48 on 27 March 2007  Report this post
I thought Thora's punchline was excellent! The whole image made me giggle. :)

RT104 at 10:11 on 29 March 2007  Report this post
Just gate-crashing to say that this really made me laugh, Baumski. Brilliant payoff! (I do enjoy a good farting gag.)

(Presumably a 'Stenna' stairlift gets the infirm on to a cross channel ferry?)


Account Closed at 00:25 on 06 April 2007  Report this post
I love the contrast between the genteel Alan Bennett language and Thora's foul-mouthed outburst. (Dead Ringers have had some fun with Alan and Thora, casting them as international drug lords or something, I can't remember.) It's difficult to satirise Bennett's writing, as he is a far wittier prose stylist than any of us - but you've done a good job of conjuring up his style. I'm not sure I could quite make sense of the punchline - is it a fart joke ? does she want the wind from the turbines to propel her stairlift ? or does she want the turbines to generate enough electricity to make the stairlift work ?

Also I'm getting the feeling that wind turbines are something of a leitmotif in your recent work ? ;)

BTW I have a friend who is a movie poster dealer. One of his prize possessions is a Second World War movie (don't ask me which) that depicts a young Thora Hird charging into battle with what looks very like a machine gun.

baumski at 09:19 on 06 April 2007  Report this post
What trealy appealed to me was the absurdity of the late, great Thora swearing like a trooper. Of course such a thing never happened but what if, eh. What if.


Obviously, and much to my shame, there's no such word as *trealy*.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .