Saturday 12 March 2011

The Dungeon of Degradation

Rachel and I had rather hoped to see something wild and exciting on our night out (maybe some wild seething and writhing) but, this being Exmoor, our choices were limited and we’d had to settle for The King’s Speech (good in a sensible worthy BBC kind of way). Absolutely no writhing; not even a miniscule seethe.

‘That popcorn,’ said Rachel, as we drew up at the pub. ‘Tell me it wasn’t your supper?’
I shrugged ruefully.
‘Still living on free cereal?’
‘That sucks.’
‘Actually, talking of sucking, we did get some echinacea lollipops. They made a change.’

A large Alsatian barred the entrance to the pub but if it were meant to be intimidating, it failed dismally. Rachel has the largest dog you can get before they morph into ponies while it’s only small dogs that intimidate me. We fussed it and walked in.

‘It’s getting ridiculous, this money business,’ said Rachel as we huddled by the fire. I nodded gloomily and stuck my straw in our shared mineral water.
‘There must be a way we can make money.’
‘Well, the Man Pets didn’t work.’
‘Limited appeal. Dog breeding?’
Her puppy is called Beatrice – the SP’s real name is Dante. Rachel thought it was the obvious love match, despite the extreme difference in size.
‘The SP is a dog of great ingenuity – he’d find a way.’
‘Not without testicles he wouldn’t,’ she countered. ‘You were precipitate.’
I couldn’t argue that one. ‘Well, it would have cheapened their relationship anyhow. It’s a beautiful, spiritual thing.’

‘Whatever. So that’s out. You’ve tried self-help books; I’ve tried websites and welly socks. You refused to countenance children’s parties [I did]; I can’t face accountancy. We need to think outside the box.’ She stroked the Alsatian absent-mindedly then grabbed his thick studded collar.

‘Got it!’ she said, rather too loudly, making the poor dog jump. ‘That's it! We set up a dungeon.’
‘I beg your pardon.’
‘Oh don’t play the innocent. You went to bondage clubs in London.’
‘Only because my gay male best friend dragged me along cos he was too scared to go alone.’
‘Well, okay, I did like my silver rubber dress and the spiky heels. And the people were very funny - and rather sweet.’
‘There you go. I’ve got these friends who live outside London and they’ve got a dungeon and they make a killing from it. We’ve got barns.... Or, maybe it would be better in town. Hmm, you’ve got the Haunted Cellar...’
‘What? The one with the ghost?’
‘No,’ she shook her head in irritation. ‘It's no good. Not because of the ghost.  The ceiling’s too low and it wouldn’t take the load.’

Rachel did engineering at university; I could see calculations flitting through her head.
‘But, hey, you have got the perfect room actually...’
‘Perfect for what?’
‘Stringing them up.’
‘WHAT? The Oak Room?’
‘Exactly. Of course James would have to be boarding and you’d need to call Adrian down for the actual stringing up bit.’

I now had this image of plump middle-aged men in latex dangling from the Oak Room rafters, like a series of mournful bats.

She had the bit between her teeth, so to speak. ‘Adrian would have to wear lederhosen of course.’
I snorted into the mineral water. Not just at the image of my husband in leather shorts but at the idea of him calmly wandering down from his study and doing a casual bit of winching, while I put on the kettle. ‘Tea, dear?’

‘What’s the etiquette though?’ I was getting quite intrigued now. ‘I mean, would you meet them at the door in character or would you be all polite and “D'you fancy a scone?” first?’
‘Damn, I don’t know. We need to do research. And we need a name.’
‘Hmmm. “The Dulverton Dungeon for Discriminating Degradation” – it has a ring.’
‘Through its....’

More gales of laughter and we suddenly realised the pub had gone very quiet. Startled stares surrounded us. The Alsatian sat with its tail firmly between its legs. If it could have removed its collar, I think it would.

PS - since discussing the finer points of this on Twitter with People Who Know, we have decided against the plan.  Who knew?  Honestly, who knew? 


Deb said...

Aaah so this is where the leather boa might come in?! ;)

Tattieweasle said...

but its osnded so promisingh.. not to me of course but think of all that blog fodder.....
verificatio is moutatio - is that something you do with moustaches?

Mrs. Tuna said...

Leather becomes your mate.....

Bear's Editorial Committee said...

“The Dulverton Dungeon for Discriminating Degradation.”

Once we saw that, we all knew.

Full marks for playing with the ideas, though. Question: do you think Adrian would play the part? Well, if not, you could ask James. (Good education for the lad, no?)

F said...

I knew. And I hope you admired how artfully I ran like a scared puppy from that whole conversation.

F said...

Also, Leather Shorts Man looks freakishly like my brother-in-law. I think I'm gonna print that out and frame it and give to my sister. Totally weird her out.

Greta said...

Falling about laughing like a drain. As usual. Thank you.

Frances said...

Jane, you are funny.

Keep brainstorming. And while that's going on, I hope you'll be writing it all down.


Alison Cross said...

Deary, deary, me. A Dungeon?! And not a London Dungeon kind of Dungeon either :-)

Verrry enterprising. I would love to have seen the bank when the pair of you went in for a loan (those hoists and pulleys and gags don't come cheap, I'd imagine.)

It would have made for a fantastic set of blog entries. Or even a very promising idea for a book?!

Ali x

CAMILLA said...

You do make me laugh Jane.....good idea for a book me thinks.!


mum in meltdown said...

OMG you sounded as though you had really thought it through!! Hilarious and just imagine doing the business plan on that one!!

Anonymous said...

Oh God that is so funny.
I love it when pubs/cafes/staffrooms go very very quiet.
One of my posts, about Spider as Totem has/had an automatically generated link to another blog called, I think, Spider's den or some such. Of course when I noticed this, off I went for a gander.
Well. Let's just say I learned a few things, like uses for a cat collar I would never have dreamed of, and the phrase, safe word.
I have lived such a sheltered life, some times.
WV is inonson, in, on, son. Do they do these things on purpose, d'you think??
Thanks for the giggle.

Anonymous said...

Oh and ps. I also discovered coco-de-mer in London. Another education.
wv this time is weess. They do do it on purpose, I am sure of it

DD's Diary said...

Well if you want to open a London branch, our basement is currently known as the dungeon while it undergoes a very slow mutation into a kitchen ...... maybe I'll see how you get on first (and see if you get arrested!). Obviously I'll bake a cake with a file in it if you do get jailed ....

Shu said...

Bloomin' wonderful. Sounds like the money-making schemes I keep coming up with - and eventually dropping....

Toby Neal said...

I like the stud in the lederhosen. Gave me a whole new appreciation for those sweet little leather knickers.

hee hee! Great way to make a buck as we say in the States!

Amerynthe said...

It sounds as if a lot more building work might be involved ... not the case for the somewhat tamer suggestion of friend of mine: TV Dinners, a kind of 'Come Dine With Me' for transvestites. A meal, followed by a chance for a make-over, trying on some female clothes and then hitting the fleshpots of Southampton. All in the living room of my suburban terraced house. The money would have been good, but I don't think my reputation could withstand it.

Greta said...

Thanks for the laugh. Middle-aged men in latex dangling from the ceiling. Oh, ROFL. Twilight eat yer heart out.