TROLL IN THE OUTHOUSE- And other stories- From Alice

Worzel here–Beatrice feels very strongly, and readers may concur, that our book contains far too many references to toilets. Be things as they may, my friend, The Vagabond Godfrey did not seek out toilets, they found Godfrey, and he felt there could never be too many. 

Today, I napped until now, and garnered the strength to open sister Alice’s packet of writing, excerpts from her book, “Alice, A life in Praise Of Myself”. It was a facinating glimpse of her summer in Nova Scotia, with Nudge Giggleswick and The Outhouse Museum.

ALICE ACROSS THE WATER-   For ten roily days and nights oer the Atlantic steamed Nudge and I to far Nova Scotia , we wreaked havoc aboard,disrupted the nightly Bingo by cheating, and at every meal of herring, the folks at our dinner table were eating.

    “The Pride of Poland”was a thing of the past, to the age of steam ships glory, the warped faded deck planks, the ancient children’s nurse, in her proper starched smock and cap told a story. The ocean was calm as the rill back home, steady the old tub did ride, with Nudge who long claimed seafarers blood, spewing all over the side.

I kept Nudge alive reading lurid romance novels, to him as we lurched cross the sea, we oft could be found leaning over the bow, and herring was served breakfast, lunch and tea.

Nudge writes- Left were us in a cloud of dust, the taxi cab racing away, Alice and I at “The Outhouse Museum,”on a hill overlooking away. The weeds were tall, between them all, for summer was at its peaking, outdoor loos forlorn, abandoned, with doors blown open and creaking. And as Alice her beauty nap in the shade snored, I gathered stink-willies, made a daisy chain for she, Alice whom I adored.   And later looking over The Outhouse Museum, her brother’s legacy, Alice with medicinal brandy told me this story…

TROLL IN THE OUTHOUSE-  Oh Alice, Oh Alice , come here!, come here!, there’s a troll in the outhouse, a mean one I fear!. Curled up warm, I ignored the loud plea, from the outdoor loo, of my wee brother Godfrey.

    For our humble cottage had an outdoor dunny, and in it I oft tormented my brother in ways I found terribly funny.  Oh Alice, Oh Alice come here, come here, there’s a troll in the outhouse and Ma no where near.Bring the cricket bat, call the dog, for I so need to use it, the cold outdoor bog.

With three rubber gloves, knitting wool, wooden spoon, and my brilliant mind, I rigged a creation so when Godfrey sat, slapped him square in the behind.” Oh Alice, oh Alice, it is deep in the hole, it reached up and slapped me  when I sat, I felt the furry old hands of a troll.”

My brother Godfrey was an odd little chap, believed everything I would say. “There’s a troll in our toilet'”he told his teacher, before the whole class the next day. Our Ma,who could not abide a phone, instead was surprised on a Tuesday, by a visit from teacher and district nurse at our home. I hid with Godfrey, as they chatted with Ma over tea..

“He dislikes beets, he is adamant there lives a troll down your toilet”, Nurse Commerford, (she spits when she talks) informed Ma. I heard the telltale clink of the teacher’s flask as she added to her tea, malt whiskey, I tried so very hard not to laugh, I tried to the stars of heaven, as I lay on the rug, behind the piano, as they all trooped outside to wee, they found my creation of gloves and wool, dropped it all down the hole, while calling, calling for me. But what of the troll?…as I fled cross the fields, what of the troll? I heard Godfrey”

BEACH BUM- From Nudge-Always modest is Alice, a proper old maid. When summer rain ceased, we found a remote beach, hung our wet things to dry. I wrote this  sonnet behind private rocks, a sunbeam caught me in repose, put a glow in my curmudgeon’s cheeks,  reddened my tender buttocks”.

VIKING- From Alice-    I want to go back in time when I expire, by reward to place and age of my liking, may I turn back the tide of pickled herring, may I be re-born a Viking. now yes, they were an uncouth lot, did not bathe regularly, plundered with sharp weaponry, but I would be a Viking bold, no trencher of herring before me, a velvet painting, a portrait would hang, bold of braid, horned helmet, wrapped about in Musk Ox hide. Alice “The Dreadful” it would hang in a gallery- “Of Herring she could not abide”.   

Worzel here, prepare for more later, my feet are cold, and Alice’s packet deep…

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I NEVER KNEW BORSCHT- From Worzel and Godfrey

Borscht- The very word reminded Godfrey “of the sloppy sound of rubber boot clad hordes, of bullies bearing beets chasing after me.” “I knew every alley, every loo and place to hide, the years I was a child who disliked beets, back home in Batley.

Worzel writes- “It was a Sunday morning, he’d gone out to fetch a paper, came home much later, with no paper, soaking wet.”I walked the wrong way, explained Godfrey, wrong way through the crowded Sunday market . “Borscht was on the lunch board  menu, at the bakery cafe, where I usually buy pastries on a Sunday”. “Borscht” on the next cafe sign outside in chalk, after quite an uphill walk”.  “Borscht”, in canning jars glinting crimson on the first market table, fresh beets piled high on the second and the third one”….

“The only time they say, as a baby I cried, is when beets were served by my dear loving Ma, boiled or fried”. “Sister Alice told me beets came from rendered Slibber Sauce, made from old trolls when they die. “Back then I never knew Borscht, or why.’ Many years passed…

“There was a thick rime of fat round the rim of the ancient jar, beets seepage had formed rust…twas Worzel’s Grandma and Grandpa invited us for lunch, not long after we met”. “it was a long drive cross the prairie to Neepawa, with her stepmother Mrs Gibberflat in the car”. Godfrey recalls- “It was a sad house, a worn out yard of scorched brown grass, never really a lawn, smelling foul of tom-cat, old tractor parts strewn about” . “I sat alone on the steps as inside the family quarreled, over the jar of Borscht for lunch,( they had nothing else), or going out’. “The Hotel Neepawa had a buffet we never saw, Worzel ate the Borscht  to be polite”. “She spent the journey home with her feet on me, head in the only paper bag that we had, was not a pleasant  drive home that night”.

“I disliked beets, thus had no lunch or food, we bought a load of groceries for the Grandparents, before we left and the entire family spewed” “So, you ask where is the paper I went out to get, and the pastries, the coffee cream, the lemon you requested, and why am I late back, and soaking wet?”.   “I walked the wrong way through the market square, paused by the table of a woman selling old books and used “tat”, panting beneath it a pompous poodle sat, the samosa seller gave me water for free, when I gave it to the dog’s owner, noted how much they looked alike, she dumped the cold bowl over me..”Twas all because of Borscht, I walked the wrong way through the market, that Sunday, wrote Godfrey”