Author Topic: Catching up with the Macaques.  (Read 1843 times)


  • it's summertime and all is fine!
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2019, 03:05:30 PM »
I'm still reading! Loving more each one


Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2019, 04:22:11 PM »
I am also reading these, and enjoying them!

Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2019, 05:15:39 PM »
We're reading. Don't stop Glebe.


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2019, 07:31:06 AM »
Aw, thanks a million you lot! Reet cheered me up, that has.

More adventures soon!

Fambo Number Mive

  • Golden Member
  • *****
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2019, 06:22:04 PM »
I've read each one, loving this story. Making me smile a lot. You have real talent Glebe

Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2019, 12:28:58 AM »
I savour each update and I’m really jealous of your creativity. I’ve no idea if that sounds like sarcasm but it’s really not.


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2019, 07:51:32 AM »
Aw thanks folks! Extremely flattered that you claim to be 'jealous' of my creativity, nugget... it's kinda a flow of nonsense at times, innit? There's a lot of very funny, talented people on here and it's just a joy to join in on the fun.

Oh yeah, I feel I must inform you of Macaque Prime, Little Macaque and Michael the Gorilla's theme tunes. I carefully composed and performed them all by myself, but they are so remarkably similar to works of John Williams that I just used some of his music instead:

Macaque Prime's Theme.

Little Macaque's Theme.

Michael the Gorilla's Theme.

Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2019, 09:49:26 AM »
I would also like to add my praise for this thread. Love reading these updates, Glebe.


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2019, 01:45:01 PM »
I would also like to add my praise for this thread. Love reading these updates, Glebe.

Cheers Gregory! Must dash now... seems there's another macaqueian update imminent! But before we proceed, a word from Prime herself:

"Hi folks, I'm going to stop using the quotationS when I'm relating the story from now on in my updates themselves! It just gets confusing when I'm quoting speech in my stories! That is all!"


You join me on a recent Saturday morn, as I prepare to take Barbara out for a bit of retail therapy!

"Michael, have you seen the car keys? Oh dear, look at the state of this kitchen!"

"They're on the windowsill, love. I'll tidy up when I'm finished, just going through the bills and that! Is Little Macaque up yet?"

"Yeah, he's in the bathroom... he's been trying to convince me that Little Gorilla/Macaque has been trying to strangle him in his sleep again!"

This had been a worrying development, to be honest. Maybe LM was jealous of the affection myself and Michael had been giving the new arrival, but it's a pretty nasty story to make up, your own half-brother trying to kill you! Anyway, just then the doorbell rang, so I grabbed the car keys and kissed Michael goodbye. But just as I was turning to go, a document on the table caught my eye.

"What's this... 'Life Insurance Policy for Michael 'the Gorilla' Manford?"

"Oh yeah... nevermind that love, it's just a little mcguffin that will possibly play out in a later post."

I ignored this cryptic comment, but suggested maybe we could meet up for a drink in the local later on. "Alright, then!" smiled Michael, "Uncle Barty can mind Little Gorilla/Macaque! We'll say three-thirty then?"

I arrived at our local, The Macaque's Stare, at three-thirty on the dot and discovered Michael sitting in his best suit with a brandy. "Alright, love, where's Babs?"

"Oh, she was tired so I dropped her home."

"Right, well, take the weight off, I'll get you a G&T!" I sat down and smiled. "It's going to be a relaxing afternoon!" I thought to myself. But just as Michael was returning from the bar, a loud voice boomed out from behind and we found ourselves being rather rudely interrupted...

"MANFORD! Good to see you, man! So this is the little wife, eh?"

"SIR PUMPHRIES! Er... hello, sir... yes, this is my wife, Macaque Prime... erm, this is my boss, Sir Pumphries, love!"

"She's a proper little housewife, isn't she? Bet you're a dab hand in the kitchen... and elsewhere, eh, Prime? You don't mind if I call you Prime, do you?"

"If you like," I replied reluctantly. So this was Sir Pumphries. I had never met him 'in the flesh', so to speak, but I had heard he could be a right male chauvinist human pig, and he was ably demonstrating that now.

"Speaking of wives in the kitchen, Manford, I feel I had better give you the heads up... I've decided to have dinner with each and every one of my employees to make sure they're not secretly subversive oddball weirdo-types outside of office hours! And it looks like you're first on my list! I'll be inviting myself around on Monday night, at 8PM sharp. So you'd better be ready with a lovely meal! And get yourself a decent suit, man, that getup is ghastly! Well, goodbye and good luck! Take care, Prime!"

Sir Pumphries gave me a sleazy wink as he left the pub, and I shuddered in disgust. "Oh Michael, what a bloody horrible man! And does he really expect me to cook him dinner?! The swine!"

"Sorry, love," groaned Michael. "I hate to ask, but could you please go along with this? I could get the sack if I refuse!"

I very reluctantly agreed to go along with this charade, just for Michael's sake. In the meantime, he had decided he had better go out and get himself a nice new suit. So he finished his brandy and headed out onto the high street.

Baboon Brothers is one of the fanciest simian boutiques in our area, but we very rarely shop there, because, as Michael once crudely put it, "It costs an arm and a fucking leg!" And this visit proved pretty fruitless, as Michael later related to me.

"I'm almost afraid to take it out, love," he winced, throwing his shopping bag on a chair and popping the kettle on. "What happened? " I asked, intrigued. "Well, I walked into the Male Simian's department, and was greeted by a man who looked remarkably similar to the tall guy with the moustache off of that classic sitcom set in a department store, what's it called? I told him I was looking for a nice suit, and he called for another guy... for a moment, I thought he was calling Sir Pumphries, and I got a shock! But it was a guy who was the living spit of the good-with-colours bloke off of the same much-loved vintage comedy series. He explained that he was "free", and went to measure my leg, saying 'I'll get down on me knees and stick me measuring tape up y'trousers!' I quickly told him that that would not be necessary and that I was a size Large. But I'm afraid to say that all the suits I tried were ridiculously pricey!"

"So what did you do?" I inquired. It took Michael several moments to pluck up the courage to explain. "He told me they had a special on on cardigans at the moment, so I plumbed for that! They even threw a bowtie and dodgy medallion into the bargain to sweeten the deal!"

"Oh, Michael," I gasped, as he took the cardie out of his bag. It was awful... a kind of reddish-brown monstrosity with gold buttons! "It was only fifty quid, love!" He protested. "Fifty quid?!" I exclaimed, "Fifty quid?!" They should be paying you to wear it!" But Michael had made up his mind. "I'm putting my foot down," he grumbled. "I payed for it, I'm wearing it!" When Michael makes up his mind, you can forget about it. "Okay, but be it on your own head!" I told him!

Monday evening arrived, and Michael went upstairs to get changed while I got the meal on, like a "proper little housewife," to quote Sir Bloody Pumphries. Uncle Barty had taken Little Macaque to the pictures, and we had managed to get Little Gorilla/Macaque asleep. Everything was ready to go, when Michael came down in his new clothes. "Don't laugh love!" he said, sadly. I'll tell you, laughter was the last thing on my mind when I saw what he was wearing!

Sir Pumphries arrived "fashionably" late at 9:30PM, stinking of cognac and in bawdy form. "Manford, Prime, how are you! Hope I've not interrupted you during love-making, woff, woff woff!"

To both myself and Michael's astonishment, he actually seemed rather taken with Michael's new outfit! "That's a marvelous cardigan, my boy! Must get one of those m'self! Now fix me a brandy!"

During the meal - I had made a delicious coq a vin that went down well all round - Sir Pumphries insisted on making rude jokes and using all sorts of bad language, including, I am afraid to say, the 'C' word. He was forever knocking things over and by the time I was serving afters he had spilled a whole carafe of wine on the tablecloth. Add to this his leering looks and constant references to his late wife ("That old bag!") and, come the coffee and biscuits, I had had enough. But I managed to hold my tongue... until the old lech only went and made a pass at me!

"C'mere, love, givvus a kiss!" That did it. Rising quickly to my feet, I let loose on Sir Pumphries with an outburst that would give Mount Vesuvius a run for its money!


Michael stood up, and, thankfully, showed the inner goodness that had appealed to me all along. "Sir Pumphries, I would apologize for my wife's outburst were it not for your unpleasant treatment of her! I hereby resign my position at Playmex Radiators!"

Sir Pumphries suddenly went limp, and to our astonishment, gently began to cry. "I'm sorry," he moaned. "I'm sorry for everything. I've been struggling to stay relevant in this Brave New World, but by cracky, you're right... I am a horrible, sexist old dinosaur! Forgive me... my behaviour has been just ghastly. I-I'm going now. Michael, your position at the company is safe, should you choose. Thank you for a lovely meal, Mrs. Manford... I must leave now. Goodbye."

"No... no, sit down, Pumphries. I'll make a fresh pot of coffee. The look of pride on Michael's face as I set about enlightening the old man over the next 40-45 minutes said it all. By the time he was preparing to leave, we had a changed man on our hands.

"Michael, Prime, thank you for a lovely evening! Prime, my dear lady, I'll have my chauffeur deliver fresh flowers, first thing on the 'morrow! Again, smashing cardie, Michael! By the way, we must discuss your bonus... oh, and from now on, I promise to treat all women and female monkeys with respect! How's that for character development!"

You could have knocked myself and Michael over with a feather! "I'm was going to say, get rid of that cardigan, love, but... maybe it's a keeper!" I said, as Sir Pumphries got into his taxi. We both laughed!


« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 01:59:58 PM by Glebe »

Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2019, 09:53:02 AM »


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2019, 01:22:55 PM »
"MUM! He's at it again! He tried to knock me over the balcony with his tricycle!"

"He shouldn't be upstairs on that thing, Little Macaque!" I replied, in exasperation. "Where's Uncle Barty? I thought he was keeping an eye!"

"He's gone over to the Old Folks' Association coffee morning... I said I'd look after Little Gorilla/Macaque, more's the pity! I've been trying to get over my fear of him... to no avail!"

"Oh LM, he's only playacting!"

Just then, there was a knock on the door. It was Barbara, all of afluster. "What's wrong, Babs? Come in, I'll pop the kettle on!"

"Thanks, Prime," said Barbara, following me into the kitchen. Oh, hello, Little Macaque! They shoot up fast, don't they? Oh, and there's Little Gorilla/Macaque! Enjoying your tricycle, love?"

"He's got a new tool in his arsenal now he's learnt to ride that thing, Barbara!" commented Little Macaque, wryly, taking his little brother out to the garden.

Barbara smiled distractly as I made the coffee. "Er, you had something on your mind, Babs?" I inquired. "Oh, yes, of course!" she replied. "I'm losing the plot, here... it's George, Prime. He's been given the sack! He just rang me about ten minutes ago, he's on his way home!"

"Given the sack?! But why, Barbara?"

"He wouldn't say... oh Prime, what are we going to do?!"

"Now hang on, Babs," I said, grabbing a Kleenex. "You've still got your job at the wool factory, and I'm sure George will have no trouble getting another job, what with all his qualifications!"

"But there's so much competition out there, Barbara... and he's 48! I mean, I know that's still young, but tell that to the bosses of this world!"

"I wish I were still 48!" laughed Uncle Barty, popping his head round the door. "No, but seriously, I heard... sorry, Barbara! Here's a coffee cake for you! Mrs. Goggins at the Old Folks' baked it fresh this morn!"

"Thanks, Barty," sniffled Barbara. "Look, I'd better be off, Prime. George will be home soon!"

I was watching The One Show with a bit of knitting when I heard the front door open. It was Michael, looking oddly guilty. "Alright, love?" I asked. "I heard there was a bit of a kerfuffle in work today?"

"Er... yes," replied Michael, wincing. "I suppose Barbara told you?"

"She did indeed. Poor George."

"Yeah. Erm... but, er, on the bright side, I got a promotion!"

"Did you?!? Oh, Michael, that's-" And then the penny dropped. "You've been given George's job?"

He just nodded. "So what happened?" I asked. Michael put his briefcase down and took a seat. "I was in my office this morning when George came in. 'Michael, Michael, have you heard? The Flumpton Deal is up for grabs! Whoever can secure that is on the gravy train! I tell you, if I get that deal I'll be so happy, I'll convince Pumphries to let you have a c'mp'ny car!' (I hated the way George pronounced 'company car'!) As it happened I was on the phone to Flumpton himself, and was in the process of securing that very deal! 'Er, keep it down, George, I'm on the phone,' I whispered, putting my hand over the mouthpiece.

"Just then, Sir Pumphries himself came swanning into the office! 'What are you two simians up to?' he barked. 'Sir Pumphries,' I said, in hushed tones, 'bit of business here...' Pumphries told me to carry on, but sidled up beside me, rather disconcertingly. I noticed that George had huddled up too, an increasingly-concerned look on his face.

"I carried on with the conversation. 'Yes, Mr. Flumpton... 5,000 radiators? No problem! Er, Manford, sir. Yes, I will! And thank you!' It was obvious to all what had transpired as I placed the phone down. 'Roper,' announced Sir Pumphries, straightening up, 'I want you to clear out y'desk... Manford is now the Head of Sales here at Playmex Radiators!' George was gobsmacked... 'B-but, sir... you can't-' Pumphries cut him off in his tracks. 'Oh yes I can! Michael my boy, get ready to move into Roper's office... I'm sorry, George but your fired! Manford here has proved his mettle, while you were left floundering!' So you see, Prime, it's a bittersweet victory for me. I don't think I'll ever be able to look George in the face again... he was the one who got me a job at Playmex in the first place!"

One afternoon, about a week later, I went into the garden to hang some clothes out when I noticed Barbara doing a bit of trowelling in her flowerbeds. We hadn't spoken since that morning in the kitchen, and I have to say, it took more than a little courage just to pipe up and grab her attention. "Barbara! I say, Barbara!" It took a few moments, but eventually she downed tools and looked over her shoulder. "Oh, it's you," she said, sourly. "George told me what happened. He's gotten a new job, don't you know... as a bus inspector! A lousy bus inspector! He's grown a new moustache and everything... I think he's gone off his rocker!" Before I could even reply, Barbara was running into her house, in floods of tears.

Poor George. But that's life, eh? We had two children to support (not to mention an eccentric uncle on a meagre pension!), a mortgage and a life to be getting on with... I hated to admit it, but it was about time our little macaque/gorilla family started 'keeping up with the Joneses', so to speak. It's a tough old game, and it was about time we started moving up in the world. If that meant losing a friend and neighbour or two, then so be it... oh, I knew that was all bollocks! Sod it, but I'm a good-natured macaque at heart and this whole affair had left me feeling lousy. But suddenly, that steely old macaque in me came to the fore. And I made a decision. 'I'm not having this,' I said to myself. And that was that. I would have it out with Michael tonight, and we would sort this whole mess out, whatever the cost!

Thankfully, however, I needn't have worried. Michael had been very quiet that week, and was clearly deeply unhappy about the situation he had landed himself in. He came home that very evening with a somewhat curious expression on his face.

"What's up?" I asked him.

"George has his old job back. I had a word with Sir Pumphries, said I wasn't yet cut out for the job... and he agreed to bring George back into the firm. He even admitted he had been a little harsh on him!"

"Oh Michael, that's wonderful!" I cried, giving him a big hug. "Well, it means I'm back on me old wages... but hey, I'm sure things will turn out all right." But what of he and George? "I'd rather not talk about it right now, love. Hey, any jaffa cakes going?"

The following afternoon there was a tap at the door, and heading into the hallway, I could just make out the outline of Barbara's head through the frosted glass of the door pane. She came in carrying a lovely fruit flan. "That's for a friend," she smiled, giving me a peck on the cheek. She took a seat in the kitchen as I prepared the cuppas, looking quiet and and serene. "I wonder," I pondered, tentatively, "I wonder how George and Michael are going to get along after all this... after all, they have to work together... will their friendship rekindle, as ours has?"

"I wouldn't worry about that," grinned Barbara, taking a bite of flan, "I was on the phone to George this morning, he said to put the dinner in the oven... himself and Michael will be in the pub this evening, setting world to rights over a brandy or three, no doubt!"


« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 01:41:53 PM by Glebe »


  • it's summertime and all is fine!
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2019, 02:59:50 PM »

Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2019, 12:33:54 AM »
big laugh

Me too. That damn Mr Pumphries doesn't know if he is coming or if he is going, dementia? Anyway fantastic start to my day Glebe reading this.


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #73 on: May 12, 2019, 07:57:04 PM »
"Here Prime, have you ever... pondered the mysteries of the rich tea biscuit?" wondered Malcolm, holding a single round, sweet-tasting bakes before his eyes.

"No, Malcolm, you sick and twisted nutter," I though, but prudence told me to hold my tongue. "Er... not really, Malc, if I'm honest." I had other things on my mind, what with Little Macaque hanging out with Benny the Bonobo again. Benny was a good kid at heart, but had recently fallen in with a fairly unsettling group of misfits. They're only kids, bless 'em, but they're into that kind of dark, goth-metal thing, and I'm concerned about LM getting all doomy and erratic. He'd patched up his differences with Benny over Melanie the Doom Metal Marmoset, and was palling around with an odd bunch that included Charlie the Crestfallen Chimp and Mandy the Black Metal Mandrill.

I had been hoping his grim new mates wouldn't be putting him in a 'downer' mindset, as it were, but an item I discovered in his bedroom the night before had got me worrying. I now removed the dreaded evidence from my bag and dropped it down on Malcolm's counter, where it landed with a doom-laden thud.

"What's that?" inquired Malcolm, a troubled look spreading across his flipping face. "It's a special 2-LP version of My Dying Bride's The Angel and the Dark River," I explained. I found it in Little Macaque's room... I'm worried about him, Malcolm."

Malcolm merely raised his eyebrows and frowned, distractedly. "Hmmm. Didn't know the kids were buying records again, I thought it was all this 'streaming' and 'iPods'. Is this a new fad, this 'Dying Brides'?"

"No, Malcolm, it came out in 1995. But y'know, it's like us growing up, we were listening to Zeppelin and Dylan and all that, long after they first hit. "I was always partial to ABBA, meself," noted Malcolm. "They're incredibly popular again now though. For a time when they were considered terminally unhip... a bit like me," he added with a sigh. "Is that a naked woman's torso?"

"Anyway, I just wanted your opinion," I remarked abruptly, ignoring his last inquiry and placing the collectable goth rock double-discer back in my bag. "We're going out with Barbara and Malcolm tonight, and I don't want this business to ruin my evening." Malcolm smiled, reassuringly. "Now, Prime, don't you go letting Little Macaque's growing pains spoil your dinner," he piped. "The lad will find his feet, don't you worry. In the meantime, you just go out and relax and enjoy y'self!"

Malcolm was right. As concerned as I was for my lad's wellbeing, I didn't want to mollycoddle him. So with that in mind, I thanked TV's Norris Cole and went home to prepare for the evening ahead.


"Left turn here, love?" Michael had intended to follow George's car, but we were running late and had to make do without the GPS, which was broken. "I think he said left at the old farmhouse... I think that's just a barn," I replied. We were making for The Old Pheasant, an Essex eatery which Barbara had assured us was "quite lovely". But aside from our directional quandaries, there was the matter of Major Cuthbert Tarquin-Smyth to consider. George had recently embarrassed himself when he accused Barbara of having an affair with the Major, who was her boss at the wool factory. Major Cuthbert had wanted to patch things up between himself and George, and so had suggested an evening out. "He said it was 'on him', Prime," Barbara had told me, "Oh he's such a gentleman!" "Easy, Barbara," I had warned. "Remember, it was George's jealousy that caused all this kerfuffle in the first place!"

We arrived at the bistro a mere ten minutes late, and discovered George busying himself about the bar. "Hello, you two! Brandy, Michael? A gin and tonic for you, Prime, I should imagine!"

Barbara and Cuthbert were seated at the table, going over their menus. "She's wearing that blue blouse again," noted George, from the side of his mouth, "he loves that flipping thing... just look at him!" The Major was undoubtedly happy to see Barbara, but again, it seemed like George was letting his imagination run away with him. Myself and Michael took our seats and gave our greetings.

"How are you both," smiled Cuthbert, ingratiatingly. "George tells me you're been embroiled in some 'friendly competition' at Playmex, Michael!" Michael went red, but George saved his blushes. "Hmmm, yes, well you know what Sir Pumphries is like, Cuthbert. He always has to have a favourite!" "Sir Dennis Pumphries, yes..." mused Cuthbert. "We were at Cambridge together, and in the same regiment too, doncha know! Rum sort of chap, if you ask me... and you can tell him I said that!" he added, with a wink. "I don't think I'd have the courage!" grinned Michael.

And it was then that everything went pear-shaped. Looking down, Michael noticed a piece of paper on the floor. "Er, is this yours, Cuthbert?" he inquired, handing the Major the paper. "Oh... er... what? N-no, I don't think so," replied Cuthbert, looking flustered. And it was no wonder. George, who was standing behind Cuthbert making comical 'strangling' motions, leaned in closer and read the just-legible scrawlings on the paper, aloud, for all to hear;

"What's this... 'Dear Barbara, I have missed you so much. I will call you after this evening's festivities... make sure George is not about!'" George turned red with rage. "A LOVE LETTER TO MY WIFE?! THAT'S IT, CUTHBERT! COME ON, BARBARA, WE'RE LEAVING!"

"No, w-wait, Barbara, George, there's been some kind of m-misunderstanding!" stuttered Cuthbert. But it was too late. George had dragged a protesting Barbara from her seat, while myself and Michael just sat there, mortified. "I'm sorry Cuthbert... he's mad!" cried Barbara, as George pushed her out the door.

The three of us, myself, Michael and Cuthbert, sat in awkward silence for some moments. Then suddenly, Michael pulled a face. "Hang on," he noted, examining the incriminating letter, "That's George's handwriting! I know it from work!"

Cuthbert's brow furrowed imperceptibly. "That scheming fool!" he grumbled. "I'm so sorry for all this, you two... I had planned to surprize you all with a week's holiday in Spain, all on me!" he added. "The offer's still available... provided we can sort George's latest humiliation out!"

Myself and George exchanged a wry smile. Knowing George, the chances of an all-expenses paid holiday would be too much to resist!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 08:50:02 PM by Glebe »


  • The Year of the Macaque.
Re: Catching up with the Macaques.
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2019, 08:05:31 PM »
It was a pitter-patter at first, but then came the deluge. I looked up from my Take a Break crossword just as the heavens opened.

"Oh dear... still, nevermind, I'd say it's just a sunshower! Any road, tea's up!"

"Thanks, Malcolm." On lunch breaks or days off from my secretarial job (which I had returned to after maternity leave), and with Uncle Barty babysitting Little Gorilla/Macaque, I often enjoyed popping round to Cole's Cavern, the local newsagent run by my friend and Corrie-star, Malcolm 'Norris Cole' Hebden.

"You still on for this Spain trip, Malcolm? Everybody's going!"

"Yes, of course, Prime... you're getting to be right jetsetters after that New York trip!"

"Barbara's boss, Major Cuthbert Tarquin-Smyth is paying for it... well, Sir Pumphries has thrown a few quid in too, and is coming along 'as a moral booster!' Not short of a few bob, the pair of 'em! The Major and George have buried the hatchet after yet another embarrassing incident... George is convinced that Barbara and Cuthbert have been having an affair!"

"Crikey! Maeve and Sheamus are coming too, I believe?"

"Yes, they're flying in from Shannon and will meet us at Luton. Little Macaque has guilt-tripped us into bring his mate Benny the Bonobo along too. It's going to be a right caper!"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world. Anyway, drink up, y'brew's getting cold... that's Tetley, that... a proper cup of tea, as Brian Glover used to say!"

"It's not a bad cuppa," I said, "although as you know, I'm more of a PG Tips fan m'self."

"The chimp connection!" we both said in tandem, and laughed. "I well remember them ads with the chimps," noted Malcolm, "though I hear PG have a dark and mysterious history behind them!"

Just then the shop door tinged and a customer came in. "Well Malcolm, I'll be off... thanks for the tea!"

I arrived home to find Michael and Uncle Barty sitting in their respective favourite chairs. "Hello, you two... enjoying your day off work, love?" I added a wry smile after this last comment, just in case Michael thought I was being sarcastic.

"Well, I would be enjoying it if it weren't for these bloody sales reports Sir Pumphries has asked me to go over!" he grumbled in reply. "How's Malcolm?"

"Oh, he's alright. Y'know... Malcolm's a Tetley Tea man, whereas we're a Typhoo family... but y'know, it's funny, I always say I prefer the PG Tips! Used to drink it all the time!"

"Well if you want to switch to PG then be my guest, I'm not fussed," replied Michael absentmindedly. There was a brief pause before Uncle Barty lowered his newspaper, a thoughtful look crossing his face.

"PG Tips... PG Tips... now that's a name I've not heard in a long time."

"It's just a tea brand, Barty," I commented. "I'm partial to it because of the old chimp ads, I suppose... we are simians, after all!"

"Yes, but them chimps have a surprizing family connection," noted Uncle Barty. "What's that, Unc?" asked Michael, looking up from his paperwork. "The PG chimps, lad... there's a strange story behind them and it involves your great, great grandfather, as it happens."

"That's amazing!" I exclaimed. "Malcolm was just saying that there's a dark history behind PG Tips... so what's the connection to you and Michael?"

"Well, it's a long story - but I'll try and make it brief," noted Uncle Barty. As he continued, the room went still and we were drawn into his tale; if you can imagine, it was like a moment in a movie, with the camera slowly zooming in on Barty, bathed in an an atmospheric light, and a spine-tingling score heard in the background!

"It all started back in the Great Baboon Wars. My great grandfather - your great, great grandfather, Michael - was a private stationed out in Kilimanjaro. He was a chimp named Charlie the Chimp. I'm going by his old letters here. One day, he was called into the barracks of his regiment's commander, Colonel Peter Raffles - a macaque, as it happens, Prime. Col. Raffles had a particularly fieresome reputation, but was apparently rather kind to Charlie. Anyway, on this occasion, he had called Charlie in to get an update on the regiment's moral levels. 'Ah, Charlie, come in!' he said, 'I'd offer you tea, but we seem to have run low on supplies!'

'Not to worry!' chirruped Charlie, 'I've got me own stash, right here!' And with that, he produced a small tin containing some tea bags. The Colonel took the tin gladly, but gasped when he opened the lid. 'Where did you get these, Private?' he asked. 'I can't remember, Sir, but I've had them for some time,' replied Charlie. 'Why... this is incredible!' gasped the Colonel, 'These are PG Tips tea bags... and not just any old PG Tips tea bags, mind y',but rare, ancient ones!' In what was perhaps a foolish move, Charlie only went and let the Col. keep the priceless tea bags! But many years later, there were to return to our family in a surprizing way."

The suspense was clearly killing myself and Michael. "Go on, Barty," I whispered, "What happened next?"

"It was the late 1970's," continued Barty. "Sir David Attenborough was filming his classic series Life on Earth, and needed a few silverback gorillas to do a bit of extra work. This is where I come in. We had some long days shooting out in the wild, and Attenborough would often hang out with us during downtime. One afternoon after lunch, I was sat minding my own business when Sir David came over and introduced himself. There wasn't much conversation, but after a few moments, he took a look around and piped up.

'It's quiet out there,' he said. 'Too quiet,' I replied. 'I hope the rest of the crew haven't been eaten by wild animals,' Sir David whispered after a minute or two. I laughed at this, but Sir David wasn't smiling. Then suddenly, a quizzical look came over his face. "You look strangely familiar... did you ever have a great grandfather called Charlie the Chimp?' This took me by surprize, I can tell you. 'Yes," I answered, 'He was a soldier stationed out in Kilimanjaro back in the day. But how did you guess we were related?'

'There's an undeniable family resemblance," noted Sir David. Just then, he reached into his jacket and produced something which caused me to drop my bamboo shoot in surprize. 'This tin contains raaare tea bags,' commented Sir David, opening it up. 'The are of the PG Tips variety... and are thought to derive from the very first box of PG Tips!'

"I gasped. 'Charlie wrote about this in his letters!' I exclaimed. 'He obviously didn't realise their true import...'

'...or he wouldn't have given them to his Commanding Officer,' finished Attenborough. 'You look puzzled,' he added.

'Yes,' I replied. 'One thing has always bothered me... PG Tips tea bags were launched in the 1930s, that I know, but that was some years after Charlie was in the army...' Sir David gave me a wry look. 'Yes, they didn't officially appear till then, but their origins are actually quite old... so old, in fact, that they are said to date back to mythic times. Legend has it that an Arabian Prince named Brooke Bond crafted a special casket out of some ancient cardboard paper. And into this casket, he poured the original batch of PG Tips tea bags. And into those tea bags, he wove the souls of a thousand chimps. The Prince later settled in Andalucia, in Southern Spain. There, he built the Al Mandrilla, a great palace adorned with beautiful runes. It is said the box of tea bags was placed within a crypt below the palace... but before the crypt was sealed, a few of those tea bags were removed. They floated around the world for centuries, and ended up, incredibly, in your great grandfather's tin. He gave that tin away... but, through various wranglings, I have obtained them, and hand them back into your care, Barty!'"

Having finished his story, Uncle Barty slowly rose, and went over to the sideboard. He rummaged around for a moment, before returning to his chair with a mysterious object in his hands. He placed the tin - yes, the tin - on the coffee table, and opened it.

"These are the legendary PG Tips tea bags," he announced. "They are imbued with powers from beyond our realm, of that I am now certain. They must be returned to their original resting place, else a great doom befall us."

"Wait a minute," said Michael, "You said David Attenborough claimed they were kept in a palace in the south of Spain... we're going there in just a few weeks!"

"It's quite a fortuitous coincidence!" I laughed. "Well... it seems like this holiday is going to turn out to be one really crazy caper!"

« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 08:39:52 PM by Glebe »