Sunday, 14 October 2012

What The Romans Did For Us

John Rowe (Jim Lloyd)

I thought I had tuned into a Monty Python sketch this week, as seemingly every day someone was banging on about how we owed practically everything to the Romans, from cement to baths and, for all I know, nuclear power stations. And the (admittedly extremely unlikely) source of all this knowledge? None other than Jazzer, who had been reading up on the subject in Jim's books and giving anyone who'd listen – and quite a few who wouldn't – the benefit of his knowledge. The thing that staggered me was that hardly anyone seemed to know any of the facts that spilled endlessly from his lips – has no-one in Ambridge ever seen Life of Brian?

Jim seems to have high hopes of turning Jazzer into something approaching a human being and he may be succeeding, as one night Jazzer announced that he was going to bed – and this around the time when he was usually getting ready to go out. Mind you, the conversion process looks like it might take some time, as he was watching a "toga and sandals" DVD, which Jim spoiled by pointing out that the soldier's sword was the wrong shape. Jazzer's reply was "I've had a hard day, so no more history lessons." Careful Jazzer – don't forget whose house it is. It seems that the conversion process is not all one way, as David remarks that he saw Jim and he looked a wreck ("too many lagers and a late night"). Which will give in first – Jazzer's willpower or Jim's liver?

There was a brief moment of elation when Lynda admitted to Robert that she was finding it hard to cast Much Ado and "my regulars are deserting me." Alternatively, perhaps they are coming to their senses after years of being cajoled and bullied. She's on the verge of giving it all up when her prat of a husband comes up with a spiffing wheeze – don't do Much Ado, but take bits from different plays – a sort of Shakespearian Pick 'n' Mix. "I'll even build you a Globe Theatre in the Village Hall" gushes rent-a-gob Bob. Lynda's enthusiastic response was drowned by the sound of my sobbing, I'm afraid. And we were so close to an event-free Christmas!

On the feline front, all is not well between Pusscat and Tiger – Lilian is still annoyed about the way Matt treated Joyce and Arthur, while Matt – devious as only he can be – is fixing the blame firmly on the hapless Darrell. Lilian Confronts Darrell in the pub and, after giving him some uncomfortable moments, tells him that she knows it wasn't him. Darrell mentions in passing that the man in charge of the church restoration project (Paul) asked after Lilian the other day. With (presumably) fluttering heart, Lilian says that, should Darrell be speaking to Paul, be sure to pass on her best wishes. Be careful Pusscat – Tiger won't like it and it might all end in tears.

Ed and Emma are still slowly starving and Ed confides in Fallon, who finds him eating a chocolate bar that he bought in the shop, that he is really annoyed because Will is flashing his money around while he (Ed) has cut every expense he can, including the money he pays himself. "I can't see a way out" Ed tells Fallon – well, stop wasting money on chocolate for a start.

Things get worse for Ed and Emma when George comes home one day, yelling excitedly "Look what Dad bought me" and showing them a karate outfit. Emma is incensed and Ed's not best pleased either when Emma points out that Will obviously knows about their financial problems. Will really is a thoroughly nasty piece of work – first he bought the guinea pig and now he rubs their noses in it with the karate outfit. I've said it before – Nic is way too good for him.

Fallon is also feeling down, but her mood improves when Rhys returns early from holiday – will they get together? It doesn't help that Kenton and Jolene have decided that they want to spend more time together and Kenton has the wonderful idea of having Fallon take over his role at Jaxx's while he works full time at The Bull. "So I'd be working in Borchester" said Fallon, in the same tone that one might use when asking "So I've got three weeks to live, have I doctor?" Well done Jolene and Kenton – they noticed that Fallon had lost her spark, but somehow I don't think this is the answer - unless Rhys goes with her.

And now the good news – like me, no doubt you have been tossing and turning, wondering whether or not Tom will find anyone to cook the Ready Meals. Fret no longer – not only has he found someone, but they can do it on their organic day, thus preserving the Tom Archer brand's – that's the Tom Archer brand – organic reputation. Earlier on in the week, Tom was considering giving up the organic nature of his products until Brenda told him that would be a really stupid thing to do and what would Pat and Tony think? Like Tom would even think about that – if he has a middle name, it certainly isn't 'considerate'.

Tom takes Brenda to check on the pigs (this boy knows how to treat a lady) and, while reminiscing about the past and admiring the view, he says that "this would be an ideal place to build a house if we could get planning permission." Cue sounds of Brenda retching and rushing to the Council offices to file her planning objection…

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