A non-seasonal Decamot inspired by the following Decamot items:
white bearded old man, north pole, present, red nose, turkey, sleigh, hanging stockings, mince, little helper, holly
“All present and correct Mr Mainwaring sir!”
“Well done Pike! Stand at ease men!”
The assembled motley crew of volunteer soldiers collapsed into varying degrees of dishevelment as they prepared to receive their next orders.
“I won’t mince my words men but Gerry could attack at any time.”
“Is this going to take long” interrupted Sargent Wilson in his typical lugubrious tones “Only I promised Private Fraser he could be home for Hogmanay?”
“But it’s only June now Wilson. Even Pike here knows Hogmanay is in December!”
“I know sir but that equipment looks a bit complicated and, with respect, Private Walker does not have the best record when it comes to purchases on the black market! I would hate to think you might end up with a red nose through embarrassment sir.”
“A red face Wilson!”
“Er, er sorry sir?”
“If you are insinuating that Walker might be embarrassed he would have a red face not a red nose!”Private Frazer now felt compelled to join in the developing badinage in support his friend Sergeant Wilson and to demonstrate the superiority of the Scottish educational system as well as injecting an element of compromise. He really did want to be home for Hogmanay. He put up his hand.
“What is it Frazer”? Said Captain Mainwaring.
“Sir, as the nose forms part of the face it is surely possible to have both a red nose and a red face.”
Showing signs of mounting frustration, Captain Mainwaring tried to recover control.
“We were discussing linguistic figures of speech not physiology Fraser!”
“In the meantime” cut in Private Walker “The enemy is marching towards us and this premium branded DIY self-assembly instant all in one field hospital is scattered in pieces on the floor awaiting construction, Sir!!”
“You’re right Walker – where are the instructions Pike?”
“There here sir” responded Pike ever eager to please “but they are written in German!”
“You stupid boy!” said Captain Mainwaring grabbing the paper “You must be holding them upside down. I couldn’t trust you to know the South Pole from the North Pole Pike!”
Pike look crestfallen but was immediately comforted by Sargent Wilson who did his best to console him.
“You know it’s awfully difficult to tell the differences between North and South poles when you are actually there on the ground! Captain Scott always said one sleigh looks much like another in the face of a blizzard.”Fraser now joined in as he could see December fast approaching.
“If this turns out to be another turkey Walker you’ll have the wrath of the Scot’s nation to cope with”
“Do I look concerned Fraser?” sneered Walker squaring up to his platoon colleague knowing that his regular efforts to fill the obvious gaps in Her Majesties defence budget, by wheeler dealing, were never fully appreciated by the tight fisted Scot.
“If you had your way you’d be fighting on the other side wouldn’t you?”
“Well you did kill our Queen you little spiv” replied Fraser.
Ever the conciliator, Sargent Wilson immediately joined in.
“Well Frazer has a point Walker. Elizabeth 1 was a touch distracted at the time. I don’t think her heart was in it when she signed the death warrant – after all Mary was her sister!”
This latest exchange left Pike completely bewildered as he watched Captain Mainwaring disappear under the swathes of canvass lying on the floor clutching the instructions.
“How dare you question my loyalty Walker?” continued Fraser “I’ll have you know I have a photo of my father hanging stockings on the Siegfried Line.”Privates Walker and Frazer were now nose to nose but were saved another attempted conciliatory intervention from Sergeant Wilson by the sound of muffled instructions emanating from beneath the heap of canvass.
“For heaven’s sake hand me the central pole! I think I have located the hole in which it is inserted” called out Captain Mainwaring.Private Pike grabbed the pole and pushed it under the canvass in the approximate direction of Captain Mainwaring’s voice. Walker and Frazer suspended hostilities and took up positions around the room with Pike and Wilson to await further instructions from within.
“OK men” shouted Captain Mainwaring “On a count of three Walker, Wilson and Frazer should grab a handful of canvass and hold it above your heads!”
“Once colleagues have raised the canvass above head height I want you in here to help me insert the central pole. Once the central pole is in place it should give you time to quickly insert four smaller poles at strategic points around the edges is that clear?
“Yes sir but why me Sir?”
“I have chosen you on account of your height Pike! Are you sure you can cope with this important task?”
“I stand ready to serve as your little helper Sir!” responded Pike in suitably deferential tones.
“Well done, Pike. OK men, following a count of three we should all see this premium branded DIY self-assembly instant all in one field hospital rise before our very eyes ok. 1, 2, 3, HEAVE!!!!”
Unbelievably the plan worked.
Pike covered himself in glory scuttling between strategic holes with poles inserted as instructed. So well did the plan work that the entire platoon was able to line up outside the entrance of this unlikely construction to await the emergence of their triumphant commanding officer. Had this been the royal navy his emergence would have been accompanied by the sound of whistles piping their superior officer on board.
As Captain Mainwaring’s head appeared the platoon came smartly to attention and saluted.
“All present and correct Mr Mainwaring Sir!”
It was at that precise moment that they all caught sight of the unmistakeable four foot high swastika emblazoned above the entrance under which was printed in bold gothic lettering
Frazer smiled to himself but accepted that he would likely be a white bearded old man before he saw his native Scotland again but it had actually been worth it for Captain Mainwaring was last seen in hot pursuit of Private Walker bayonet primed with the finest and sharpest bunch of holly which he could find. Pike meanwhile consoled himself with the knowledge that he had been right all along. Meanwhile Wilson poured himself another glass of port.