Friday, 16 March 2012

Improvisation - Fanny's Spring Fête for the Church

The £4,500 box of Chinese fireworks - a display of Catherine Wheels and Cracker Bombs - has been placed at strategic points around the estate, all the coloured balloons have been inflated, the orchestra is set to begin at 12 noon, and the marquee tent is at last up.  Tomorrow, I am honoured to be staging a Spring Fête, in the grounds of Fanny Towers, to raise money for the local church, who wish to replace their north transept window.  Many people, including local dignatories, and church figures, will be attending.

However, I have been popping Valium like there is no tomorrow due to the sheer incompetence and insubordination of several of my staff.

Fanny likes to plan these events with military precision, months in advance, and to brief the staff by 32-page Memorandum, so there can be no room for doubt in any of their tiny brains as to what is required.

Imagine my surprise therefore that this ridiculous structure had been delivered, in place of the marquee tent:

Yes, that's right, it's known by many as a Wendy House.  Quite how this arrived at Fanny Towers and was expected to host three hundred people, I do not know.   This was clearly either a grave mistake or a banal joke.  After many threats to bulldoze their offices with my on-site JCB digger, the hire company finally came and replaced it with this:

The hire company manager quipped that two opposing Product Order Codes on their website are one digit apart, and due to human error, an infant's 1 metre by 1 metre Wendy House was delivered instead of a 300-person marquee tent the size of a tennis court.

I will have, however, an eternal grievance against the hire company, for their mistake and the cavalier curtness of their manager, whose photograph - taken directly from their corporate website - I am happy to publish here in an attempt at shaming him for his disservice to me.

Cook has been baking a dazzling selection of cakes for the occasion, with instructions by none other than moi to create pastries and delicacies that give a strong nod to the local church and general religious themes.

Here is one particular such cake.  Isn't it lovely?  I do hope the vicar will like it and recognise the religious symbolism.

I have always believed the saying "the devil is in the detail" and I would normally serve this type of cake on a doily, such as this:

However, the 'unskilled labour' calling itself my staff, completely failed to order these Collectors' Items, pink cake doilies with lace trim at all, leaving me embroiled in a standoff battle against a hornets' nest of scullery maids and personal secretaries who, in my opinion, should be sacked with no pay and thrown into the streets to beg for scraps.

Driven into a murderous rage by this, I drove myself in the general direction of Swindon, hell-bent on finding a good alternative at Asda or somewhere else.

En route, overcome by a splitting headache and nausea at the impending doom of not having doilies and having to "make do" with rubbish Asda equivalents, I called in at my favourite exclusive restaurant for a gin and tonic and a steak tartare.   Just as I was using the conveniences, I noticed these:

These delightful devices, made entirely from plastic, and coming in three different colours, are known as Urinal Splash Mats.  I couldn't believe when I saw them there.  I whipped them out, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and put them into a plastic carrier bag and drove straight back to Fanny Towers.

I intend to use these Urinal Splash Mats as the perfect alternative to the doilies!

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