Friday, 31 October 2014

Alton Towers It Isn’t

Trevor Harrison (Eddie Grundy)

Let’s start with one of the minor stories of last week - Eddie’s idea for a turkey marketing extravaganza to boost sales, which was a plan worthy of one of the Rev. Alan Franks’s more off-the-wall ideas to mark Lent. It began with Eddie asking William if he had any souvenirs at home from his trip to Mexico, resulting in Eddie bringing home a sombrero and other tat.

Clarrie wants to know what’s going on and Eddie reveals his master plan - a Christmas interactive turkey experience, charting the history of the bird, which originated in Mexico, hence the sombrero. We then move on to Rome, where they used chickens to tell the future, and Eddie has a suitably mystic-looking turkey lined up for people to ask questions. Then we have the piece de resistance; Eddie is going to pardon a turkey for Thanksgiving. He tells Joe and Clarrie that he can already see the photo in the Echo of him and a plump turkey in front of the Stars and Stripes. Presumably with the caption ‘do not on any account approach this man’.

The idea is to draw the massed throngs through the experience, into the turkey shed and hopefully flog the punters some holly and mistletoe as well as a festive bird. Eddie pours scorn on Clarrie’s objections, saying “Inform, educate and entertain - who won’t stump up for that?” Well, me for starters. I suspect Carol Tregorran might be a bit doubtful too; when Joe explains the whole experience to her while introducing her to the taste of the Grundy’s cider, her response is a mystified “I don’t know what to say.”

So much for the light relief. It was a busy week for Ed too - it began well with brother William offering him the job of beater at the forthcoming shoot (at father Eddie’s suggestion). It was both offered and accepted with bad grace on the two brothers’ parts and it is a measure of how desperate Will must be for the shoot to succeed (it was one of Charlie Thomas’s ideas) to offer his brother a job. Normally he’d rather rip his own arms off, but needs must.

Ed later moves into full moaning mode, telling Jazzer that he can’t stand living at Ambridge View much longer (this is after yet another of Susan’s lectures about clearing things up). While in mournful mood, Ed also says how the milk round has lost another four customers and what’s the point of it all? Jazzer suggests a good old session at the pub and they decide to go on Friday.

As they enter the pub, they spot Roy, and Jazzer, subtle as ever, calls him “The Lothario of Lower Loxley.” This is an improvement on a comment he made earlier in the week, when he said “Getting your leg over with the boss is a canny move.” Perhaps Ed should take note and start stalking Mike. Both Ed and Roy are depressed (“It’s like drinking with a couple of Dementors” - Jazzer) and the drink flows freely. Ed stumbles home, totally shot away, only to find Susan waiting up for him. He says that she’s always so angry and they both need to lighten up a little and how about a hug? Susan thinks not and Ed finally upchucks all over the sofa, with Sue calling him “A disgusting boy”. There’ll be words tomorrow, Ed, I reckon.

While Ed and Jazzer were enjoying their last couple of pints in the 10 minutes before closing time, a totally inebriated Roy decides to walk to Lower Loxley to see Elizabeth and stands outside, yelling at her to wake up and talk to him. He begs to be allowed in for a talk and Elizabeth, afraid that the kids will be woken up by his drunken bellowing, lets him in. Roy breaks down and says that he couldn’t go home, as there are too many reminders of what he has done. Lizzie tells him: “We’ve got to get through this - things will get better for both of us.” Roy misunderstands and reaches for her, only to be rebuffed, with Lizzie saying she’ll make him a coffee and then call him a cab to go home. At least he didn’t vomit over the tapestries or wee in a Ming vase.

News of Lizzie and Roy’s fling is spreading - David and Rooooth find out and Peggy (who learned it from Carol) suggests that Jill should know and tells her. Jill goes to see Lizzie, and is angry at first, but then, after Liz has broken down and wept, tells her she is her ‘brave, beautiful daughter’, without adding ‘even if you are a bit of a slapper.’ Jill realises what Susan’s enigmatic questions have been hinting at and she makes a point of going to see her in the shop. Susan says “Things must be hard for Elizabeth, as she and Roy were very close.” Jill replies that “It isn’t really anybody else’s business and if you hear any gossip, I hope you’ll say the same.” She adds that Liz has had a difficult couple of years and has always tried her best and “We should always be supportive of people who need our help, shouldn’t we Susan?” A flustered Susan agrees, so Jill doesn’t have to add “Don’t forget I know where you live, you gossiping witch.”

Will Brookfield be sold? Brian tells David he’s finding it hard to get his head round the possibility and a lot of people would miss him (no mention of Rooooth). Joe Grundy makes a special trip to tell David what a good bloke he is and how Brookfield’s loss would be a tragedy for Ambridge. David’s attitude is that, if Route B is adopted, selling up would seem to be inevitable, as they couldn’t farm the way they want to. He tells Brian: “At the end of the day I’d rather move Brookfield than see it lose its soul.” Photographs have been taken for the sales brochure and the possible sale moves a step closer - surely it couldn’t really happen, could it?

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