Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Why I Will Henceforth Always Hate Thanksgiving

Eleanor Bron (Carol Tregorran)

I wasn’t even here for Thanksgiving - thanks to Neil for stepping in and holding the fort while I was away - I was in Mexico, researching reactions to the Grundy’s Turkey Pardoning among American tourists (’The Archers - is that a soccer team?’) and seeing how many turkeys were pardoned at our resort (none). Still, someone has to conduct these arduous surveys and all at my own expense; the things I do for this blog.

So, why will I hate Thanksgiving? Let’s quickly deal with the Grundy’s pre-Christmas turkey pardoning extravaganza (if you will forgive the hyperbole). As per Grundy, it was an embarrassment from start to finish, with Eddie wearing a turban and waistcoat (the fancy dress people sending the wrong kind of turkey costume) and later on changing into a chicken costume (“Don’t ask; it’s a long story” he told Helen, who had taken Henry along in the naïve belief that it would be fun). From then on, things got worse.

Joe was dressed as Uncle Sam and proceeded to pardon the turkey in a long-winded address in an accent that rivalled Dick van Dyke’s Cockney Bert’s (Mary Poppins) in authenticity. The thing that I couldn’t understand was that, when Eddie was giving them the hard sell for Christmas turkeys, holly, mistletoe and the amazing fortune-telling turkeys, there was the sound of many hands clapping. Haven’t these people got lives? Was there nothing on TV? Were the pubs shut?

The mystic, fortune-telling turkeys are either very good or the ‘yes’ bowl has been laced with turkey goodies; consider, Henry asks if his Grandad will be home for Christmas and the answer is ‘yes’. OK, he didn’t specify which Christmas (but more of this later) but, with four weeks to go, the turkey needs remarkable healing powers. Fallon, at Carol Tregorran’s suggestion, asks “Will I come to regret a recent decision I made?” The answer is again ‘yes’.

While annoying, I agree that the foregoing isn’t enough to engender hate for Thanksgiving, but at the end of the Thursday episode, Helen and Johnny are talking about Helen’s experience she says “It was fun in an odd sort of way” (presumably in the same way that being buried alive is fun) and the door opens and there stands Tom, back from Canada. Pat has been trying to get in touch with him with no answer and we find out why, as he tells Helen that he has been in a cabin in the backwoods and only just picked up the message. There’s never a rapacious Grizzly Bear around when you need one, is there?

Even this might not be enough to make me hate Thanksgiving - after all, Tom could be on a flying visit - but on Friday Peggy (who is pathetically pleased to see her Grandson back) says that he needs to get arrangements in place to make sure Bridge Farm can function after he goes back to Canada, and when will that be? The heart-freezing response? “I’m not going back - I should never have left in the first place. I belong here at Ambridge - I’m back for good.” Peggy says “That’s wonderful”, which surely marks her down as ready for the same dementia ward as recently vacated by Jack, while the rest of us quietly weep and bang our heads against a wall.

So much for Thanksgiving, or henceforth, Unthanksgiving. But we have neglected Tony, poor lamb. Not that he knows that, stuffed with tubes, lines, drips and whatever. However, it gets worse, as Tom goes to see his Dad on Friday and is taken aback by his appearance. Helen assures Tom that Tony can hear and understand what’s said to him, then she leaves so Tom can bend his Dad’s ear. Later, Tom tells Peggy that he was sure that Tony squeezed his hand - well, be fair, the man’s ill and couldn’t reach his neck, could he?

As an aside, Tony must be a better man than I, as, when Tom first came back, I heard the voice and thought ‘who the hell is that?’ - obviously the best time to introduce a new actor is when his Dad is virtually in a coma. I go away for a couple of weeks and we have a new Tom, who didn’t mention sausages once (although he did admit to missing the pigs) and a new Pip, whose voice seems to have broken. Perhaps you could all contribute money and I’ll selflessly stay at home to safeguard the status quo, or what’s left of it.

A brief mention of the impending sale of Brookfield; the agent reckoned a good price was £4.5 million, possibly a bit more in a phone auction. Damara has offered £7.5 million - should they accept? Pretty tricky question if you ask me (where do I sign?).

Now to one of the sillier storylines of the week: Jennifer is convinced that Carol had a hand in John Tregorran’s death. She talks to Lilian, who tells her to get a life, but Jen is rebuffed by John and Carol’s daughter when she asks for a meeting. However, the (adopted) son Richard Grenville is keen and they meet. Jennifer Poirot asks him why he wasn’t at John’s funeral, as he obviously loved his father. Richard says he couldn’t face being there with his mother “Not after what she did”. Zut alors! Jen leaps in, asking did Carol have something to do with John’s death? Richard says no, but Carol leaving broke John’s heart. Jen is unconvinced and still harbours suspicions about Carol.

Jen conveys her suspicions to Lilian, saying that Carol is very keen on herbal remedies and it would have been easy to slip John something. Lil laughs in her face and asks whether the police wouldn’t haven’t have noticed something? But wait - on Thursday, Fallon delivered a refurbished table to Carol, who noticed that Fallon had a headache and persuaded her to take a herbal remedy. Remember the question that Fallon asked the mystic turkey (“Will I come to regret a recent decision I made?”) I thought it concerned PC Burns, but it could have been about drinking Carol’s remedy. Keep an eye on Fallon’s health, I say; Carol could be the new Dr. Crippen, if Jen is correct.

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