Posted tagged ‘Ralph’s enthusiasm’

4.2 The Chinese take away

June 21, 2016

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

(old Chinese proverb)

“We’re going to be rich beyond our wildest dreams” Enthused Jeff to Ralph. Ralph had his doubts and he expressed them.

“These things never  work out the way they’re supposed to.”

“This is a home run, a slam dunk, a bull’s eye, as sure-fire as a Kung Fu chop.” Jeff mimicked a David Carradine downward slice. It wasn’t pretty and truthfully, it wouldn’t have cut butter.

“The Chinese take away is situated on the outskirts of town but it’s the best take away in town. If you know what I mean. The majority of customers phone their orders in. Very few customers actually enter the premises. All you’ve got to do is answer the phone and all I have to do is deliver the goods. It’s easy money. So we in, Liondance.” Ralph agreed.

The take away opened at six o’clock and immediately the phone rang.

“Told you Ralph, the phone lines will be busy but it is an easy job.”

“You could be right, Jeff” Ralph, with great sunny delight, picked up the phone and took the order. He wrote it down together with the address. He punched the air before putting the phone down. “That’ll be the first of many and the more we sell the more we make.  With tips and all that.” Ralph picked up a flotilla sized toy dragon’s head costume that was behind the counter and danced a Chinese dance. it was like New Year all over again.

A half hour passed without any further calls. Jeff had been sent to deliver the solitary order. The chef and owner weren’t in a rising sun mood and the mandarins scowled a grasshopper of a scowl at Ralph.

Jeff returns and sits with Ralph. Two hours pass without any more orders. Ralph is afraid to look at the phone which is the white elephant in the room. The air is filled with tension. The proprietors were holding their fire-breathing breaths. Ralph breaks the silence.

“A waiting kettle never boils. That’s an old British proverb.”

Just then an irate customer walks into the shop. I’d rate him about negative ten. He shouts.

“I’ve walked three miles to get here. What’s going on? I’ve tried to phone since you opened. The phone is constantly engaged.”

Ralph and Jeff  look at the phone. It is slightly off the hook but off the hook nevertheless. The chef picks up his meat cleaver and the owner falls into a Bruce Lee pose. Ralph checks the writing on the wall and utters.

“Hey, don’t forget your old proverb,” he replaces the handset and it begins to ring. “See, we’re back in business.” he speaks into the phone “Good evening, can I take your order”.

The waiting customer is furious and screams at Jeff “I was here first.”

Jeff, in self-survival mood answers “I’m just the driver.”



4.1: The Jaws Theme

March 28, 2016

Passing by a guitar shop, Jeff said to his friend, “Hey Ralph, aren’t you learning to play the guitar just now?”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Did you know that in these guitar shops they let you try before you buy?

“I don’t want to buy another guitar. The little cheap one I’ve got does me fine.”

Jeff shook his head and said, “You dummy, you don’t need to buy it. You get a free shot of a good guitar and then tell the salesman, nah you don’t like it.”

The penny dropped and Ralph said “I like it. A free shot on a good axe. Let’s go in”

Ralph’s eyes lit up as bright as a sunburst Stratocaster. It was an elephant’s goldmine of guitars. Almost immediately a salesman, sensing a sale, accosted our twosome. After a short discussion Ralph decided to try an expensive Les Paul Gibson. The salesman hooked him up to an amp to try out his instrument.

“I don’t have much of a repertoire. The Ralphy set list is bare” he said

Jeff helped him out. “Do the Jaws theme. You’re good at that.”

“Yes, that’s right. The two note menacing tune. watch out. The Great White Ralph is about.”

Jeff shouted to the staff and customers. “You’re gonna need a bigger guitar shop.”

Ralph played the opening bar.

He was surfing the fretboard with his two notes. Gradually getting faster Ralph swung the guitar neck in the air so that it was impersonating a shark fin. Jeff, seeing his cue to join in, did his best Sheriff Brody impersonation, by shouting at everyone “get out of the water”. Now completely lost in the dramatic piece of music he was playing, Ralph chased the salesman around the shop. Unfortunately, he forgot he was wired up to an amplifier that was rocking back and forth. The amp wire had reached it’s stretch limit and snapped. The coil smashed into one of the glass shelves while the amp fell onto a stack of guitars.

The guitars swayed from side to side like a wave…until their banks burst.

Ralph and Jeff could only watch in shock! horror! as an almighty gathering of Fenders and Epiphones flew through the air. The people in the shop had to duck and dive for safety. The store was like something out of Sharknado. And when the dust settled it was an elephant’s graveyard of guitars.


3.5: The faulty electric window

October 18, 2015

“Gymnastics. Not for me. I hate sports that are subjective. Artistic impression, my left foot. Who do they think they are- Monet Renoir?”

“You’re in a foul mood today, Ralph. Whoa. look out for that fox.” said Jeff.

Ralph swerved round the animal and continued driving, still in a rant. “I hated gym at school. Black sandshoes and stupid exercise routines. Waste of time. Give us a game of footy any day.”

“Talking of gym class. What did you think was the harder to do? A forward roll or a backward roll?” asked Jeff.

“Good one. They were both tricky, weren’t they?” Ralph hoisted the car round the bend on two tyres. He was about to give his answer but his thoughts were drowned out by the sounds of a siren. A police car was on his tail.

“Better pull in, Ralph. It could be that dodgy tyre of yours that has got their attention.”

“It’s only a bit bald, Jeff, I might get off with a warning.” He pulled the car into the side. The police motor parked behind him. The blue lights flashing. A policeman approached Ralph’s car. He indicated to Ralph to roll down the window. Ralph pressed the button but nothing happened.

“Oh no, Jeff. The electric window is not working.”

“Good job we’re not going to a drive-thru fast food seller.” said Jeff. “It’d be hard to put an order in. You’d need to shout through the glass. FOUR BURGERS AND FRI-”

“-Always thinking about your belly. Help me out here. What will I do?” The cop was tapping on the window. The old bill didn’t look happy.

“Just open the door.Tell him the window is faulty. Play the truth card.” said Jeff.

“Truth card?”

“Just open the door.”

Ralph did as he was told and caught the policeman off guard. The cop was hit by an unexpected force and somersaulted backwards. Artistically impressed,Judges would have called it a perfect backward roll. Ralph, horrified, got out of the car.

“Don’t move.” the policeman’s partner, a policewoman, entered the scene, “Put your hands up.”

“You what? I don’t have a gun.” uttered Ralph.

The policewoman shouted into her walkie-talkie. “Officer down, Officer down. Request back up immediately.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. It was an accident.”

The policewoman pulled out handcuffs and moved towards Ralph. He took a few steps back and stumbled over the policeman’s supine legs. Don’t resist arrest, shouted the cop and she lunged at Ralph. Both of them fell over the outstretched legs and performed a beautiful forward roll duet. It was so synchronised that Jeff felt like applauding. A further development was that in the melee the handcuffs hit one of Ralph’s tyres and loosened the wheel trim from its prison.

The trim rolled down the road. Round and round and round it went. Escaping into the night.


3.4: The back garden

May 6, 2015


(Ralph and Jeff are sitting in Ralph’s back garden. It is a beautiful sunny day. The birds are tweeting, the bees are buzzing and all is well in the world)

Ralph: It’s amazing the amount of girls that are named after flowers. Lily, Ivy…Rose, Daisy-

Jeff: -Hyacinth.

Ralph: Good one, Jeff, but this one is a hollow victory. While I was making up a list of the obvious names you had time to think of something more elaborate.

Jeff: Sometimes it pays to be second.

Ralph: We’re sitting here. soaking up the rays, having a few beers, enjoying the countryside and great outdoors. It’s so tranquil, we should continue in the same vein. Can you think of any pastoral names? First or last names. You go first this time.

Jeff: Ash. Can be used as a first name and surname.

Ralph. Ha, ha. Did you just go the letter A and that was all you could come up with.

Jeff: What have you got?

Ralph: Warren. Also a first and last moniker.

Jeff: I’m not sure about that. Give me examples?

Ralph: There’s Warren Beatty the film star and Tony Warren. Tony was the guy that created Coronation Street. Sometimes it pays to read the credits in programmes.

Jeff: You could also have said that it can be a book. Warren Peace. (Jeff laughs)

Ralph: There must be a fantastic name out there that is fitting to this occasion. It’s time to get our thinking caps on and get a really good pastoral, flowery, garden type name.

(Several minutes pass without words. The men deep in thought. The kids next door accidentally kick their ball into Ralph’s garden)

Ralph: Don’t worry, boys. Here’s your ball back (he throws it over the fence)

Jeff: You should have kicked it back. Shown the boys how good you used to be. You were a great football player once.

Ralph: Yeah. (he sighs)

Jeff: I’ve got it. What a peach. Trelawny. That is a belter of a name. It is a name, isn’t it? Oh no, don’t tell me it’s a made up one.

Ralph: No, you’re right. Trelawny is a name. Though I don’t know anybody called that. It is a name. We could get the phone book to check it out but I have heard of it. Looks like you’re the winner, Jeff.

Jeff: I don’t want to rub it in but Trelawny works on so many levels. Think about it. Tre for tree and Lawny for lawn. A double-barrelled outdoor name.

Ralph: yeah, yeah, yeah.

(Again the ball from next door ends up in Ralph’s garden)

Jeff: Kick it back, Ralph. We didn’t call you Rocketshot Ralphie for nothing.

(Ralph hits a rocketshot over the fence. Unfortunately his kick is wayward and the ball lands up in a tree at the bottom of the next door garden)

Boy next door: You better get our ball down or I’ll tell my dad.

Ralph: (quietly, to Jeff) What am I going to do? I can’t climb trees, you know that. And this little grass is going to dob me in. And his dad is one mean guy. You must have heard of Grumpy Larry Moody.

Jeff: Grumpy Larry is your next door neighbour! Oh man, you shouldn’t have kicked the ball.

Ralph: You said-

Boy next door: -Hurry up. We want to play. (The boy shakes the tree. The ball falls down onto a different branch)

Ralph: What’s that noise?

(From the tree comes the unmistakable sound of a ball deflating)

Jeff: The ball must have lodged in a splinter. You’ve burst their ball, Ralph.

Ralph: I didn’t burst the-

Boy next door: NYAAAAHHH. (he starts crying). DAAAAAADDDDD.

3.3 The Pain, The Pain

March 13, 2015

“Some friend he is.” thought Jeff.

Visiting time at the hospital was over and Ralph had not appeared. No doubt he was manufacturing a lame excuse. Having a broken leg limited Jeff’s mobility so, stuck in this hospital room with the leg raised in a stookie, he switches on the TV. An episode of Phantom Hospital was on the screen.

How do painkillers know where the pain is? Why can they identify the exact spot of discomfort, pondered Jeff. It must be metaphysical or something. His musings over he eyeballs the box.

“Scalpel” said the doctor on the TV. He was performing a heart transplant operation and the tension was building in the theatre. A phalanx of white suited medical experts hovered over the patient.

“Jubilee clip.” It was nearing the change over of parts. Tense music played in the background.

“Hand me the good heart with the shovel” demanded the surgeon. An assistant passed the parcel but the doctor dropped it on the floor.” Silly me. Butterfingers. No harm done though. Think of the five second dropped food rule. This is just the same.” Behind the face mask he smiled.

He picked up the heart and was about to sew the patient up when an aide remarked. “Doctor, there’s a piece of dust on top of a ventricle.”

“Dust buster” shouted the doctor.

“Heyyyyy” good old Ralph enters the room.

“You nearly gave me a heart attack,” gasps Jeff “and you’re late. How did you get past security?”

“Ducking and diving, Jeffy boy. I’ve brought you some hard candy balls and carrots.”

“What kept you anyway?”

“I was watching an episode of Phantom Prison but I didn’t realise it was on Phantom channel plus two and a half hours so I lost track of time.” Explains Ralph.

“Well you’re here now. Answer me this. How does a painkilling pill know where the pains is?”

“That’s a good question. A better one is what does it do if you have two separate pains? Does it rush to the sorest or split the difference and halve each pain?”

Jeff was the curious type and knowing the answer to this riddle would benefit all mankind. He could become as famous as the man that split the banana. He crunches on a carrot which gave him an idea for an experiment. “only one way to find out. You have to break one of my fingers then I will take a pill and we can see if it treats my finger or leg.”

“Jeff, I worry about you sometimes but then other times you can be an absolute genius. Right, give us a finger. You ready.”

Ralph pulls Jeff’s finger back causing him to scream violently. The noise alerts a nurse and burly security guard that rush into the room.
Ralph releases his hold though Jeff still howls with pain. The pain is coming from his finger not his leg. The stookied leg hides a smirk.

“What are you doing?” Asks the nurse.

“He wanted me to break his finger.”

The nurse was having none of it and says to the guard “Take him away and phone the police” the nurse then tends to Jeff’s wounds.The guard grabs Ralph by the wrist and gives him a half Nelson. Ralph is man-handled by Big Daddy out the room.

“Ow, ouch. You’re breaking my shoulder.”

3.2 The Birthday Present

February 13, 2015

“That’s what friends are for, Ralph”

Ralph gives his friend, Jeff, a warm handshake. Man hugs in this rough public bar would result in beer and blood being spilled so the simple shake would suffice. Although the pledged present was that good Ralph would have gone the whole frog and kissed Jeff’s cheeks, French style.

“So this can happen anytime?” asked Ralph.

“On the day. Anytime.”

“It is amazing what these entrepreneurs think of. This will be the most exciting birthday present I will ever have had. I can’t wait to do some amatuer dramatics and suspend my reality.”

“I knew you’d like it. Have a good one. Right, we going home now.”

The two men leave the inn and head to Ralph’s car as it was his turn not to drink tonight, though Ralph is drunk with anticipation of his birthday tomorrow and the special gift. Just as he beeps his car doors open a stranger emerges from the dark with a gun in his hand and shouts.

“Open the trunk or I’ll shoot.”

Jeff is terrified while Ralph suppresses a smile and lifts open the boot.

“Gimme the keys then both of you get in the trunk.” Demands the gun-toting maniac.

“Wait a minute,” says Ralph “He’s not supposed to come along.” He points at Jeff. “I’m the one you’re after.”

“Shut up and get in.” For good measure the carjacker hits Jeff on the head with the side of his gun. Car Blimey, this guy is really good, thinks Ralph, Jeff’s head is cut. Nice to see him take a hit and just for me.

The two hostages are bundled into the boot arguing with one another about the lack of space. After much jostling the pair of them twist into the confined area. The robber slams the lid shut leaving Ralph and Jeff in darkness, cramped and literally cheek to cheek.

“This is the works, isn’t it?” Says Ralph

“What are you talking about?”

“My birthday present. I have always wanted to be in the boot of a car driven by a gangster. I see it so many times in films. You said that Fantasy Dreams are a compnay that provides actors that cater for all your needs. I’m telling you that robber is one nasty piece of work. What an actor! Thank you Fantasy Dreams I’ve enjoyed the interaction. And thanks, Jeff. I can mark this one off the Bucket List.”

“You fool. Your birthday is not until tomorrow.”

“What, you mean…”

“Yes. We have been mugged. For real.”

Just then with a screech of the tyres the car shoots off and the two passengers are jolted back and forth as the car at breakneck speed hurtles over the potholed ground. Bruised and battered the two prisoners have no wriggle room in their tightly-packed cocoon. Ralph is first to complain.

“This is all your fault, Jeff.”

“And how do you work that one out?”

“It was your idea to drink at the Scarface Arms. You know what the clientele is like in there.”

Jeff protests “I wanted to get you in the mood for your hijacking tomorrow so I brought you to a rough area. Uhh, your present. Do you still want it or should I cancel the booking?”

Before Ralph can answer there is the unmistakeable blaring sound of alarms and loudspeakers. The police are obviously on the scene. Undetterred, the car thief speeds on his way. Then gun shots are heard as an almighty shoot out is in earnest. A bullet hits the boot of the car narrowly missing Ralph. Jeff has no sympathy for him. As the firefight rages on, he says.

“Why didn’t you just ask for a cardigan as usual.”

3.1 The Accident in the Afternoon

September 24, 2014

There was only one chocolate éclair left in the bakery and Ralph was the fifth in line. Nervously, he looked over the shoulders of the leaders. He didn’t want his prey to get away. The alternatives were unappetising.  There were four custard slices available for sale on the counter.

“Hot Dog! Those custard slices look delicious.” he said with a ham actor’s relish.

His cunning plan seemed to work as the two old ladies at the front of the queue bought Ralph’s enthusiasm and ordered the slices. The third in line wavered, her head rolling from side to side before deciding to buy a custard slice. Ralph was now in second place and the prize was in sight. The burly man in front of him looked at Ralph and said.

“Hey man, there’s only one custard slice left and I know you want it badly. I’ll let you have it. I’ll take the chocolate éclair instead.”

* * * * *

Ralph was walking along the road with egg on his face. He couldn’t very well not take the custard slice and so he forced it down the hatch and down his jumper too. I didn’t count things out properly there, Ralph thought. In future he vowed that he would make the right decision and he would make it fast. Just like those self-help books for unassertive people.

And then tragedy came into view and it wore the shape of a beautiful woman.

Sauntering casually, a chocolate éclair on legs, the princess was unaware that a vehicle on the road had hit an oil patch and was swerving towards her. Ralph made a decision fast. He would be brave and bold. He launched himself at the woman and pushed her onto the road out of the way of the juggernaut. In hindsight later Ralph would say he acted too fast. It was as if he forgot to read the last chapter of the How To Make Decisions Fast book. The one about count all the angles. That counting thing again.

The driver of the car corrected the swerve and stayed on the road. Unfortunately, he now had the object of the woman directly in his path. He tried his best but couldn’t avoid her and he clipped her with his wing. She fell down.

From nowhere the scene was filled with dozens of extras rushing to the woman’s aid. The mob were in agreement over who was to blame. Their spokesman shouted at Ralph.

“That was your fault. Were you trying to kill her?”

“I was saving her.”

“Saving her? You lunatic.”

“You’ve got this all wrong.” said Ralph.

By this time the shocked driver had got out of his car. He had heard the previous conversation and now he also remonstrated with Ralph.

“Is that right? Did you push her?”

“I did push her but I thought I was pushing her to safety.”

“What, on to the street? Yeah, that’s safe. We should string you up.”

By this time Ralph was beginning to lose his cool with these strangers that have misread the situation. First the chocolate éclair and now this. There’s only so much a patient man can take. And, after all, he was brave and bold.

“String me up. I’m a hero. You should be giving me a medal.”

“A medal?”

“That’s right. A medal.”

From the swarm someone shouted “she’s alive and she’s coming round”. There was a huge communal sigh of relief. The other thing that was coming round was an ambulance. It would be followed soon by a police car.