“DOMESTOS”- Was Alice Spiked The Punch- from Worzel

   He had the stout spirit of a roadside weed, did my friend, the vagabond Godfrey. He could live with very little and be happy, with wide open air and poetry. So it was on this Thanksgiving, when neighbors came to dine, our land lady Mrs Feerce, brought a bottle of “Domestos”…a full bodied blend of sherry and red wine…   

      Godfrey did not drink, but did not judge those who did, this I knew, in horror he whispered to me. “Domestos was the bleach my old Ma used, to scour stubborn beet stains from the sink and clean our loo”!. He told me a story from his youth, that made me guffaw, and I will now share with you.

“I attended a wedding, a cousin’s summer wedding, in the church cloak room sobbed the poor bride. “We all had to pass by her furious dad, as the young groom hid in a hedge outside” . “Daring Clementine, my first true love, refused to sit hours on a cold, hard pew, so I went with Beatrice and good friend, Sugar Mulgrew”.

At the awkward age, I was of fifteen..”The service long, Sugar  passed naughty drawings from the bible, and scary stories , as Beatrice and I sat between…”God will smote you for that! whacked my mother, wielding her heavy wedding day hat, with a broach that was nasty and sharp”. We escaped to snitch cakes from the reception room, before the kissing, and last gloomy notes of the harp”.

“And that night, we danced, danced to” The Uncle Lou Band” “I drank the fruit punch as we danced in the hall, for I did not want alcohol. “My sister Alice, six years older than me, usually canty, full of mischief, was sipping fizzy drink from a tin, sitting oddly quiet near”. “Hot from dancing, I delighted in the punch, twas upon standing up next,, my balance went queer”. “I fell off the balcony of the church hall, due to the affects of alcohol.

I landed with kilt in disarray, for sister Alice spiked the punch, on cousin Cynthia’s wedding day. “Landing in a flower box, covered with wet fertilizer, missing were my drawers and one good shoe, when woken by an equally wobbly Sugar Mulgrew, she wore her only dress, in lieu of a hat red hair tucked under a scarf, “Sugar prodded me with a mop handle, gently though, lest I need to barf”.   “For we had danced, danced across the wide church hall, which vaguely I remembered, despite the alcohol”

“I sat up when Sugar poked at me twice, sat up too abruptly, fell once again into a deep bush of gorse” Sugar left and returned with the fire brigade, most of the local force” “Stalwart chaps in protective gear, my Uncle Lou in command, they hoisted my shivering carcass out, from the brambles and helped me to stand”. Not feeling well at all, due to Alice’s alcohol.   “Let go with a warning, now near early morning, I bid good evening to Sugar Mulgrew, made it as far as a nearby playground crawled into an old concrete, hollow airplane, that turned, but no longer flew”

“Flat on my side, warm in my plane I dreamed, the first voices I heard as I slowly came to were indignant, the third Welsh mother who glared in at me, shrilly screamed”. “My kilt snagged on the propeller blade as the cops pulled me out, I never saw my good shoe again”. “Was driven by van to the local “Nick”, hosed down with cold water, given beets for lunch, refused to tell the coppers, was Alice who spiked the punch”.

“I was handed a gallon of “Domestos”, and  a toothbrush by the aptly named matron,” Miss Doome”, made to scrub the toilet pail with it, and wipe down the rank, filthy cell room”. “What of Beatrice?, in all of this chaos I asked, inseparable were you two?” “Godfrey told me , she made her way back to the church, slept head cradled softly on a pile of hymnals, till dawn neath the amen pew”.

“Beatrice survived her youth, with the stout spirit of a roadside weed, as anyone who knows Beatrice knows”, and that Thanksgiving, all but Godfrey, who was laughing, raised a glass of Mrs Feerce’s Domestos….

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10 thoughts on ““DOMESTOS”- Was Alice Spiked The Punch- from Worzel

  1. ‘twas Godfrey paid the piper
    When Alice spiked the punch
    And we all got slightly tipsy at the ball.
    How well I remember
    Those weddings in the church
    And tea and little cup cakes in the hall.

    • Love this John, my dad had 12 siblings, they all seemed to get married a lot, we spent most of summer twixt beach and wedding hall, my sister and I scarfed the little cakes, it was I threw up on the dance floor, she who was blamed, my brother who was found- “With Several Youths, Passed out in The Vicinity Of the Hall”- read the small town headline..Cheers.

      • That’s what some people don’t understand about the stories we write. We are all the time mixing up our Beatrices with our Godfreys and making them each do different things.

  2. I’ve never heard of Domestos bleach, but the very idea of a full-bodied blend of sherry and red wine makes me feel a bit woozy as well. I think many of us have our own versions of lingering too long at the bar, then the ball; and too often our capers occur at weddings. Tis the only way we can get through them.

  3. Good evening Janet-” Domestos”, at The Peace Camp in England, we had a commode for the older women, up a pleasant trail in the gorse, the Scottish Nurse and I cleaned it, I was strong enough to pry open a man hole- she dumped the pail, and swished it with “Domestos ” while I dry heaved in the brambles, no words ever exchanged, one look across the fire and I knew, it was our special time. This week at work I had to clean, knelt in bleach in my good trousers..ah such memories…

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