Dark Intrigue Surrounds Doris Brazil

Dear Doris,

Thanks for your thank-you note which arrived today. I am glad to see that the Appleton Marsh Post Office has finally got the hang of airmail.

The note, and your recent blog post actually caused me some alarm because I didn’t get around to dispatching a parcel to DBLW this year and so I fear we may both be the victims of some kind of scam.

Could I ask you to check very carefully the bottle opener that arrived in my name? Are you quite sure that it features the features of the late Pope John Paul 1? I ask because I imagine this is quite a rare item–the poor man wasn’t really Pontiff for long enough to create much demand for souvenirs. If indeed it was a diecast JP1 (glasses, creepy looking fringe, bad shave) that dropped  on to the DBLW doormat I fear my name and yours may be a cover for international kitsch thieves and I must warn you to expect a visit from thugs pretending to be thirsty. Just hand over the bottle opener Doris and ask no questions.They are probably members of an international gimcrack ring.

Of course, if the bottle opener features the more popular and robust JP2 (kindly expression, no fringe) then I have a wholly different set of qualms and questions and must warn you to expect unpleasantness forthwith.

As you know, I have long suspected Spud Hughes of walking off with my momento of everyone’s favorite Pope. My reasoning:

  • Spud is a man who likes a beer
  • Spud would not consider a Protestant cutlery drawer a suitable home for papal memorabilia and there is a history of liberation fighting (Pah!) in his extended circle stretching way back to 1916.
  • Spud is known to bear a grudge and there is an incident involving my mangling of his favorite potato masher in our shared past (a little trouble with an undercooked swede. IKEA implements are so flimsy).

Could I ask you to check the jiffy bag and see if the parcel was postmarked Newry? Did the handwriting smack of hedge school? If the postage was underpaid we need look no further…we will have our man.

For the last couple of years, I have been denied the pleasure of deploying the Pope every time I want to pop a beer and Spud has hotly denied any involvement in the Papal disappearance which begs the question why now Doris? and why you?

It could be that the man has a conscience and this is one way for him to return the stolen goods, assuming that you would regift the bottle opener to me next year, either because you dimly remember that I collect curios from the Church of Rome or (more likely) because you wouldn’t remember that it was supposed to have come from me.

Or it could be more sinister. Perhaps he had hoped to turn us against each other the next time I chanced by Appleton Marsh. He couldn’t have known that you would immediately write a thank you note upon receiving the precious item. He probably relished the thought of me turning upon you in anger the moment I found the Pope hidden ‘neath the pickle forks.

Or perhaps he’s short of cash and hoped to extort money with menaces, knowing you would never hand over a gift you supposed to have been selected, wrapped and sent by me all the way from the United States.Check the post carefully for ransom notes and beware of anything postmarked County Down.

It’s a mystery to be sure Doris–very Da Vinci code– and something which threatens to cast a pall over the Holy holiday season.I suppose we will just have to sit tight and see what happens next.

I am glad to know that you had a good time on Christmas Day. Did Sebastian buy Kirsty’s Picasso or must everyone in the Cheriton Bishop licensing district drive a car named for a Cubist? Thanks for the trousers. I suit a drop crotch and of course mustard is my color. Very thoughtful I must say.

Yours aye, Blabs.

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Christmas with the Crone, Crone as fashion icon, Crone as Pen Pal, Culture with the Crone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dark Intrigue Surrounds Doris Brazil

  1. Doris Brazil says:

    Dear Blabs,

    How often is it these days that one feels the need to reach for the word ‘disquiet’? Yet I feel its use in these circumstances is entirely justified. What sort of mischief-making is it to send a mature lady in Devon such a thing and then deny it? Let’s examine the evidence – 1) It was sent from the USA and I only know one person in the USA; 2) this “one person” owns their own papal bottle opener and knows furthermore that I have long coveted it; 3) the prankster behind a deception of this grand theatrical scale would need to be highly creative – the sort of person who might say, reach for phrases like “international kitsch thieves” to squeeze out of a tight spot.

    I can see right through you, Blabs! Who else would send me a JP1 opener? The Pontiff’s short reign only adds to the allure of the object which, as a I type, sits proudly on my mantlepiece betwixt my Capo di Monte figurine of a seated clock maker and a letter from my local MP, Neil Parish about proposals for restricted parking on the High Street. The introduction of Spud Hughes as a potential suspect was a master stroke, Blabs, but the narrative thrust of this plot was always going to reveal you as the criminal mastermind. History will remember Spud as a henchman. The Irish connection was also a plot cul-de-sac but it was an interesting diversion nonetheless.

    Yes, I can reassure you that Sebastian does drive Kirsty’s Picasso when’s he’s ‘in town’. Other makes of vehicle are available in the South Hams but I know what you mean, we are rather Picasso-centric here.

    I have very much enjoyed your posts of late. Nobody transports me away to another place like you do. Your descriptive powers are showing no sigs of diminishing with advancing years which must be a real comfort. I wish the same could be said of Flo. Did you ever get around to writing that children’s book? Snoa, the publishing arm of DBLW, is looking for new’ authors after Don Chaff confirmed his intention to publish the second volume of his acclaimed ‘Circular Walks Around Bovey Tracey’ through Faber & Faber. I can’t say that I’m not disappointed. Securing your talents would be a real morale booster for the management and staff at Snoa – for your info, submission guidelines can be found here: http://www.dorisbrazil.co.uk/page6.html

    You catch me as I’m pricing up the January sale stock. The drop crotch pants have been a big success but, on reflection, I should never have ordered 1,152 pairs – not when Mayor Pepé is talking down the economy and preaching austerity at every opportunity. Tell the Cackler all drop crotch pants will be reduced by 5% from next Monday with an extra 1% discount for Platinum card holders.

    Speak soon.

    With great affection,


  2. Spud says:

    Astonished. Aghast. Such a despicable accusation.

    I have no truck with papacy, given their predilection for small boys.

    Lawyers have been informed. And The Contessa, now running an organisation of highly paid English Barristers, is opening a conversation. The Lead Lawyer is a Catholic of high standing and will not be best pleased.

    Batten down your hatches…….

  3. Doris says:

    Don’t mess with the Spud, Blabs. Litigation can be avoided of you admit it was a half-baked notion of yours and you made a hash of it. When the chips are down, if you don’t apologise, you could fry for this, Blabs.

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