Posted tagged ‘Chibber Papers’

Chibber at the Ballet

December 11, 2014

(Taken from the Chibber Papers)

The British secret agent sits in the balcony and watches the ballet with opera glasses. When M told him he was going to the ballet, he thought she meant Bali, Indonesia. Now, here he was in the coldness of Volga without a Siberian hat to his name or head and it was still at the height of the Cold War. BRRRRRR. He peers/shivers at the spectacle below.


What a lot of tripe. Why are the men mincing all over the place? I can’t make head nor tail of this and what’s so special about the big Alpha blouse on stage that we want him to desert? What possible secrets does he know that we need? How to leap over fences? How to strike a pose? How to circle and circle and circle? And his name- Rudolph Pureflesh! A riddle wrapped in enigmatic tights. This is a farce. I hope the big balloon falls on his-

Harry Chibberson’s (AKA Chibber 007½th) private investigational thoughts were interrupted by something obscuring his view. He lowered his glasses and there, hovering in front of him was a terrifying Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle(UCAV) otherwise known in the game as a combat drone. It was armed to the teeth and gums. Chibber did what any Glaswegian man would do when confronted by a drone. He gave it a kiss. The drone dropped down. Deid.

The Volgans must know I’m here. I knew I shouldn’t have worn this Hawaiian shirt. What’s this, I can’t move. There’s gum on my shoe. Litterbugs, Di-di-di-Litterbugs. Wee bit of Wham there for you. Ballet lovers are the most dirtiest theatregoers on earth. Thrash metal concerts are much cleaner in comparison. Look at all this rubbish on the floor- discarded Ceri Radford novels, Hershey Bar wrappers, torn up Louis van Gaal posters, Marmot fur, bat guano and Canary feathers. Don’t they read the signs: Keep Volga Tidy. Ok, better move before they think I’m a gumshoe.

Chibber descends the playhouse avoiding the Volgan security guards, though he did stop for an ice-cream at the kiosk. A shaken not stirred strawberry sundae, in chashe you were churious as Sean Connery would shurely say. He noticed his target had left the stage, obviously his part was not in this scene. His place as the star attraction seemed to have been taken by someone all in pink cavorting to a song about Sailor Boys. This was Chibber’s chance. He heads for the dressing rooms. He found his mark and asked.

“Are you Rudolph?”

“Yes I am. Who are you?”

Just for the hell of it Chibber said “I’m Santa Claus,” then adds “I’m here to help you defect.”

“What’s the plan?” enquires Rudolph.

“I’ve taken care of the guards at exit stage left so all we have to do is walk across the stage and exit at the door.”

“You fool, every man and their dog and especially the Volgan authorities will be watching the stage. There is a ballet going on, after all. A live show. Duh!”

Chibber has got behavioural issues and he says to the defecting Volgan “You call me a fool again I’ll give you a red nose, Rudolph.”

The great balletmeister, tougher than he looks, men in tights can be superheroes, swats the threat away as if it were a weak second serve hitting the ball on the rise down the line for a winner says “Hold on I know what we can do. We can hide in plain sight. You change into a ballet costume and we’ll enter the stage, mix in with the ensemble, do a ballet routine and then the left. Leave for freedom. Exiting this leftist state from the left.”

“Did you say put on a costume?”

“Yes, come on dear. It‘s the only way out.”

Ignoring Chibber’s protests the ballet dancer strips the secret agent derobing him of all of Q’s dangerous gadgets: a watch with a laser, shoes with hidden daggers in the heels, a snake belt that glows in the dark. Squeezing him into a leotard Rudolph places Chibber in front of a mirror and does some adjustments to the costume. Pulling it a bit here, stretching it a bit there, tugging it a bit here, smoothing it a bit there. His hands are all over the Chibber body.

If the guys in the housing scheme could see me now. Stuck in a dressing room all dolled up for the ballet with an effeminate companion rubbing me up the wrong way. Ow, what’s he doing now? Oh my god, make-up. He’s putting make-up on me. I am usually plastered after a Gary Player but I’m never plastered this way. I’m blushing under my blusher.

The two of them make for the wings before they enter the Grand Finale on stage. Amid much fanfare Rudolph and Chibber leap into the cluster of dancers and assorted props. The great Rudolph Pureflesh is now in his pomp. He executes a series of pirouettes moving into a Changement then a Revoltade and after a magnificent Triple Run culminates his performance with a high-speed Fouette en Tournant. The crowd are going bonkers. In the jamboree Chibber plays his part and does a jump or two.

The curtain comes down to mad applause and the spy and the defector exit stage left straight into the arms of a troop of Volgan soldiers.

Oh Nutcracker! I’ve got my exit stage lefts in a twist. We should have went right. Hold on, what’s happening? They want a few autographs from Rudolph. And me, too. They want my autograph. And a selfie. The Volgans…with me… in a leotard…doing selfies. That’s one-nil to me because James Bond never done this.



Chibber in the Jazz Age

July 4, 2012

It had been another of those social gatherings where we felt out of place. On Twitter you’re anonymous and foxes paws are irrelevant, at a high class event it’s different. It’s hard to become invisible especially when all you bring to the party is inanities. Try as we might, me and Chibber just couldn’t compete with the Joneses or the Powells or the Ashford-Webbs of this world. They had us beat in the paddock in the intellectual stakes; we were definitely oxymoronically double-dashed: an also-ran non-runner.

Chibber kicked an innocent stone that was lying in the pavement as went home.

“Did you hear that double-breasted suit guy? I can speak six languages.”

“Seven. It was seven.” not for the first time I corrected Chibber.

“Six. Seven. Doesn’t matter. It’s still more than one.” Mathematically, I did not argue with this statement. Chibber went on. “Then the other geezer. I can play nine different instruments. And they’re all those stupid snobby instruments. The piano. The harpsichord. The clarinet. And…and…all the rest.”

“You’re right. He didn’t say anything about a guitar now did he?”

Me and Chibber were both failed six-string guitarists. It’s easier listening to rock music than playing it. Various excuses were mooted and mantrad (sic): hard to fine time to practise, fingers too fat for the frets, hard to fine time to practice, fingers too fat for the frets, hard to find time to practise, fingers too fat for the frets.

“I’m going to learn to play the trumpet.” said Chibber.

“The trumpet?”

“Yeah. Think about it. It’s only got three buttons-”

“Valves. I think they’re called valves.”

“Valves then. Three valves. Now all you’ve got to do is blow and finger three buttons, um, valves. There can’t be many combinations in three valves. In layman’s terms, basically, the trumpet is a three cross: three singles, three doubles and a treble.” Chibber was over the moon. I tried to fell him with bigger numbers.

“Some trumpets have four valves. That‘s a Yankee combination”

“No. No. Forget the Yankee, Yankees are impossible. I’m going to learn on a three-buttoner.”

We walked along and Chibber ignored the discarded crushed can that was left in his path. I could tell he was in a charitable mood. I didn’t want to upset him but I had more things to say on the matter.

“If it were that easy, we’d all be trumpeters. Maybe there’s a certain way of blowing that takes skill or the valves have different settings. Quarter open or half open or something like that to get different sounds.”

“You’ve always got to rain on my parade , haven’t you?”

We walked on and I tried to cheer him up. “Juggling. Why don’t you become a juggler? Everybody likes a juggler at a party. Ashford-Webb’s sonatas would have to take a back seat to a guy levitating balls in the air.” I waited for his reaction. It was forthcoming.

“That’s it. You’re right. Juggling is an art,” he said, he was totally convinced. “and how hard can it be to juggle three balls? At every given time there is one ball in your hand so there’s only two balls to keep an eye on.”

“That’s right,” I said “and to really shatter Jones and his Bechstein Grand, to tongue -tie the multi-linguistic Powell, nay, to trump the high society set in all its splendour you could juggle four balls. That’ll show them whose boss.”

“No. No. Forget four balls. Three will be hard enough.”

Chibber in the land of upright people

March 18, 2011

(Taken from The Chibber papers)

In 1974 Bobby Fischer was considered the greatest chess player that ever moved. He had dominated the game, was the youngest ever Grandmaster, won the Cold War with Spassky and declared that Karpov shouldn’t be on the same board as him, thus giving the Russian the title by default. Press reports seeping from Britain had made him angry as he believed everything that was written in the newspapers-and they said the chess world had a new star.

The young Chibber was unbeaten; none of his matches had gone more than five moves. Fischer wanted to know the hold Chibber had over opponents who conceded from a winning position. He contacted his friend, Kerry Packer, to promote a one-off, winner takes all game, to be held in Ouagadougou. Let’s see if the stupid British hacks can spell the venue.

The stage was set-up for the gladiators. To jazz up proceedings, Packer wanted the combatants to enter with a signature tune played by a trumpeter. This corny gimmick became popular in the future at other sports events. At the time the professorial rank and file chess set were unmoved by the opening razzle dazzle.

Chibber arrived with pomp and circumstance to the chords of “Hey, Good Lookin’, whatcha got cookin'”. The record books have no note of the Fischer tune, though historians agree it would probably have been something by Wagner. Chibber had won the toss and choose white. He opened play with-

1. G4

This was Chibber’s favourite move as it gave him room to manoeuvre his King-side bishop. Though as a staunch Presbyterian he called the bishop- The Elder. Under the table he kicked Fischer in the shins twice. This opening salvo was the best part of the game for him. He had read up that professional chess players traded kicks underneath, it was what encouraged him to play the game.


Fischer rubbed his shin and opted for a traditional controlling the midfield strategy. The American could play a good game below as well and he swung a brogue at the Scotsman’s knee.

2. F3

Chibber never felt a thing. His mind was prone to wander during matches and he wondered why there was no Lower Volta. He upped the ante with an explosive kick at Fischer’s ankle that made his rival scream out in agony.


Fischer, now in considerable pain, saw that the game was there to be won with a simple Queen H4 checkmating move. Before he touched his Queen he sensed another missile from Chibber’s boot. He managed to avoid the deadly projectile that thundered off the legs of Fischer’s chair. The chair deflected onto the table rocking the chess board. The Black King wobbled before it over-dramatically fell on the battlefield. Chibber’s celebrations drowned out Fischer’s protests.

A Chibber Vignette

August 29, 2010

An old lag once told me “There are no tough guys. When the lights go out you can hear them crying.” Tough guys don’t seem to live long as there is always somebody tougher. My mate Chibber is a tough guy, still living, more through luck than anything else. Tough luck.

It was a Christmas and I arrived fashionably a little late. The party was still sober though it was jolly. From the corner of my eye I spied Chibber wearing a Christmas hat he’d pulled from a cracker. It was blue, naturally. I laughed at him. He likes me so I get away with these things.

“What are you doing? You’re sitting there with paper tissue on your head.”

Affronted he was and you wouldn’t like to see him when he gets affronted. He grabbed the hat from his head, wrapped it into a ball and ate it. Chibber had done the proverbial “eating your hat” for real. Trouble was it was only paper. Not as tough as eating wood, rocks, metal or a boater, now is it?

Chibber at The Garden

June 23, 2010

(Taken from The Chibber Papers)

The cab driver was motoring in rectangles, driving from west 54th street onto 1st avenue then west 56th street, east 56th street to 2nd avenue. The cabbie told us he was a septuplet or octuplet, he couldn’t remember. He also couldn’t count for Hershey bars.

Eventually we arrived at Madison Square Gardens for a very important event. Harry Chibberson, Chibber to his friends, was about to box Mike Tyson for the Heavyweight title circa late 1987. As his manager that day and if my memory serves me correct, most of the following is true.

The pre-fight weigh in of a few days before produced its usual scuffle. Chibber was unhappy with the constant swearing of Tyson. Cus this and Cus that. All that Cussing with ladies present angered Chibber. I tried to explain to him that the Cus was for Tyson’s former trainer: Cus D’Amato. Poor Chibber, not a contender for brain of Britain.

Sitting in the changing room I was glad I wasn’t in Chibber’s shorts. Here he was about to fight the undefeated, undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world, the baddest man on the planet, the ferocious young man from Brooklyn nicknamed Kid Dynamite. Now its one thing making haggis of the unwashed benefit cheats on Royston Road, Iron Mike doesn’t have a sheep’s liver. Chibber had every right to be scared and looking at him, I wondered what was going through his mind at this minute.

“Rocky versus Aliens would make a good film, don’t you think?”

Final preparations were made before we entered the Coliseum. I offered Chibber a gum shield that he declined. He said the gum guard makes him talk funny. Trying to warn him of the dangers of breaking a jaw he was unperturbed and would rub Bonjela teething gel on his mouth if it were sore.

To the screams and taunts of the baying horde in the auditorium we were first into the ring. Harry Carpenter was ring side and he wished Chibber good luck. “Get in there, Chibber!” Dance of the Knights blared from the speakers signalling Tyson’s entrance. And now he was angry, this wasn’t his usual rap drivel welcoming music. Incandescent, he was hurling punches at various members of the mob and looked absolutely terrifying. No one would forgive Chibber throwing in the towel at this moment and he made the profound comment.

“She’s got legs that go right up to her bum.”

I surveyed Tyson before I cottoned on to what he was talking about. Chibber was eyeing up the leggie lovely ring girl.

After the preliminaries the fight got underway. Tyson started strongly with a one-two combination and a thundering left hook. These blistering hits would have weakened most men but not the ice cold Chibber and he started sledging.

“My granny can hit me harder than that.”

Tyson’s gum shielded response was unintelligible. It sounded something like this.

“Ayt. Fayt ak bampot, Cus.”

“I’ve had enough of your bad language.”

Pow! Bang! Banjo! Wallop! Crash! Thud! Chibber pulverised the New Yorker who must have thought it was Hogmanay. Tyson was lying concussed on the canvas with a loft of pigeons circling his head. The referee began his count.

“One-ah, two-ah…three..ah, five? No, three-ah, five-ah. Is it five?”

Chibber and I both thought we knew this ref from somewhere. He was the double of the cab driver, one of the other septuplets or Octuplets; A Waltonian family with the counting prowess of a walnut. To knock some sense into the ref’s head Chibber gave him a small jab to his skull. He collapsed like a lead balloon onto Iron Mike just as Tyson was beginning to come round and during this clinch he nibbled the ref’s ears.

Chibber at the Court

April 16, 2010

(Taken from The Chibber Papers)

From the street anybody passing by the indoor tennis court would have heard the squeaking of rubber shoes and the curses of the players. Inside the heat was stifling as the battle raged on. On one side was the British challenger, Harry Chibberson, Chibber to his friends. He had crossed the channel to duel with the French Champion: Henri Thierry LeCount.

Le Count had miscounted the score a few times and Chibber was thinking of knocking Henri’s cheating head off. The two combatants were locked in a pulsating game of real tennis. Although as Chibber was wont to say, well it’s not going to be dummy tennis, now is it?

The scoring system in place was the same as for today’s more cultured lawn Tennis. Even though LeCount had stolen a few points, Chibber was serving for the match and the game was tied at 40-40, more commonly called deuce, but there was no time for drinks. (more…)