Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Novel Defence

Thomas Lester (Ben Archer)

There was drama at the meeting to discuss the proposed new road, with the presenter, Mr. Stevens, being given a hard time by the anti-Route B faction. Charlie Thomas is there, but he leaves early. As he does so, a half brick narrowly misses him and hits the door. Shaken, Charlie says he’ll find out who did it.

Well, it certainly didn’t take long, as the next day PC Burns interrogates Ben Archer at Brookfield; Ben cracks and names Freddie as the culprit, then immediately worries that Fred will find out that he’s grassed him up. Rooooth says she’s ashamed of him and “you can’t throw bricks at people - someone could have got hurt.” Ben’s defence was an unusual one; “it was only half a brick”. That’s OK then - perhaps this tactic could be adopted by felons elsewhere - “Yes I shot him Your Honour, but it was only a .22”

Anyway, Rooooth drags Ben down the pub, where Charlie is telling an unhappy Rob that he wants him to speak up at the forthcoming Open Day about the advantages of the proposed new anaerobic digester. Rob doesn’t believe in the second AD, but Charlie makes veiled threats about how those higher up wouldn’t be happy to think that Rob wasn’t being supportive. PCB and Rooooth enter, leading Ben in chains and manacles. Ben apologises to Charlie, who tells him that if he wants to protest, he should take a leaf out of Rooooth’s book and do it legally. Sadly, Rooooth doesn’t smack him over the head with a bottle, but she apologises too. “It’s over - it’s forgotten” Charlie says magnanimously.

Now we come to Ed Grundy, who I am coming to believe shouldn’t really be let out on his own, as his grip on reality gets ever-more tenuous. Consider - he damaged the combine harvester last week and this week he asked Adam if there was any work going? Adam tells him that, as far as Charlie is concerned, Hell would freeze over before he saw Ed on the payroll again.

At the pub, Ed tells Kenton and Rooooth that he feels he should talk to Charlie and they both advise against it. So what does he do? You guessed it - he apologises to Charlie. It becomes obvious that Charlie’s magnanimity only stretches so far as, instead of saying “It’s over - it’s forgotten”, he heaps abuse and sarcasm on Ed, saying that he cannot believe that Ed would seriously believe that Charlie would ever give him work ever again. The situation becomes heated and a fight nearly ensues when Charlie calls Ed “a yokel”. Ed retorts that just because Charlie has a fancy degree, it doesn’t make him a farmer. Charlie rants and raves and Rob tells him to “listen to yourself” and “sit down and shut up.” If Charlie wants to get the locals onside about the AD, suggests Rob, calling them yokels in the pub isn’t exactly going to help. I wonder whether Charlie is in for a shock, as, towards the end of the week, Jim, Shula and Pat are talking about the new AD, with Jim saying that the waste would be trucked past his window. “Could you get one of your nephews to throw a brick?” he asks Shula and the week ends with Jim musing “Is there another way to throw him off balance? I wonder.” Watch this space.

Back to the brick-throwing; PCB has taken Freddie to the police station and he is adamant that he will not apologise, telling Elizabeth that Nigel would have been laying down in front of the bulldozers by now, which would be a bit tricky, as there aren’t any. Liz despairs of her stroppy son and confides her fears to Roy. Roy confronts Freddie later and gives him a dressing down, asking whether he thinks Nigel would have wanted him to make his mother cry? Elizabeth is working all hours to make Lower Loxley a success, says Roy, and she’s doing it all for Freddie and Lily.

Freddie agrees to apologise - pity; I’d like to have seen him banged up, or deported - and Liz is grateful to Roy, saying that Freddie really needs a father figure. Quick as a flash, Roy volunteers his services as he can’t stop thinking about Elizabeth. She says ‘no’ and Roy says “what if I left Hayley?” That’s a bit sudden - what could Liz offer over Hayley, apart from a country estate and a stately home? Anyway, Elizabeth says “no” and you can’t help hoping that Roy will take the hint before long.

PC Burns didn’t spend all week terrorising young thugs, as he has found what he believes is the ideal vehicle for Fallon and her business and they go to see it. It has only had three owners and is a joy to drive, so what a pity Fallon cannot afford it. No worries - the owner drops the price by £200. I’m surprised that Fallon didn’t manage to flog him a truckload of upcycled tat into the bargain.

Elsewhere, Susan dropped in to see Jennifer (“casual like”) and Jen thinks she’s come about her old kitchen units. Take them down the tip, woman! No, Susan is angling for her invitation to the kitchen unveiling and Jennifer revealed that Ed had the invitation ages ago, so that’s him marked down for death. Susan says she’ll have to check her diary to see if she’s free that day. What’s the betting?

Let’s go back to Ed and Emma. He’s in one of his “God I’m a failure” moods, telling Emma that they’ve been living with Susan and Neil for 18 months and he can’t even provide a decent home for his family. Emma reveals the paucity of her ambition when she says she loves him and “Our life together is all I’ve ever wanted.”

1 comment:

  1. Is there some deep conspiracy about to persuade us that Rob isn't actually loathsome, but a decent, balanced and sensible person? Is that, in fact, Charlie's sole purpose in life, to expose us to someone worse?