Sunday, 31 May 2015

I Presume That Was A Rhetorical Question, Kenton?

Richard Attlee (Kenton Archer)

Ambridge seems a nice place but, have you noticed that, when things start going against you, it’s just one damn thing after another. Let’s take Kenton and Jolene - having spent money lavishly - money which they didn’t actually have - and seeing The Bull flooded out, they are in a bad way financially and heap the blame on David, whose efforts to assist are turned down flat.

Never mind; at the Single Wicket match, Kenton is commentating and he and Jolene are running the beer tent, which does a roaring trade. Another ray of light on the horizon is the forthcoming FA Cup final, which The Bull will be showing on the big screen TV. If the takings on the earlier semi-final weekend are any thing to go by, it looks certain to be another money-spinner, so what could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that is ‘the big screen TV’ - Jolene gets a call from the pub that it is on the blink, which takes the shine off the day, somewhat. However, it’s an ill wind, as they say, and Shula hatches a plan whereby she, David and Elizabeth will buy a replacement TV as a present. David agrees, as long as he doesn’t have to talk to Kenton directly and it looks as if the Cup Final screening is back on again. “And if it gets you and Kenton talking again, so much the better” Shula adds.

It certainly does that, as a couple of days later Kenton, who has heard about the plan, confronts his brother, saying “What are you doing - just butt out of my life!” He is just the other side of incandescent with rage, telling David that “you can stuff your surprise” and accusing him of getting Elizabeth and Shula involved. David replies that they were just trying to help, to which Kenton says “Let me spell it out for you one more time - we don’t want your help. Get it?” He goes further, saying that he could have sworn that he was the older brother in the family. “Of course you are” David says and Kenton (practically foaming at the mouth by this time) rants “Then why do you keep treating me like a child?”

This is the rhetorical question of this week’s title. Could it be because Kenton is behaving like the biggest kid in the playground, perhaps? Let’s face it - if he had a bat and ball, he’d take it away, whilst spitting out his dummy and throwing toys out of a pram. Give it up, David - you’ve tried your best on more than one occasion and been rudely rebuffed, so I wouldn’t bother if I were you. Just get on with your life and leave your brother sitting in a corner, sucking his thumb.

Kenton is determined that the Cup Final will be shown in The Bull and he tells Tom and Ed that he and Jolene are a pretty good team. “We will overcome” he tells them. His plan was revealed on Friday when he turns up with a new TV, which he bought on credit. Jolene is not wildly impressed, as their credit card is maxxed out since they consolidated all their debts on to one card. Kenton explains that this is the beauty of his plan - he bought the TV on one of the other cards. “Trust me - you won’t regret this” he tells his wife. Oh yeah?
What was that about being treated like a child? I wouldn’t be surprised if Kenton wasn’t one of those people who think it’s ok to keep writing cheques, as long as there are some left in the chequebook.

Going back to the Single Wicket, the final is between Rob Titchener and Toby Fairbrother and, in a close-fought match, Rob wins it off the final ball. Kate took part (she lost to Phoebe, whose comment upon learning that her mother was playing was “I’ll be amazed if she even knows which way to hold the bat”) and Toby said “It could be fun to take her on.” Please Toby, don’t go there - you seem like a nice chap and you could do so much better; one of Brookfield’s sheep, for instance.

Phoebe and Josh are preparing clues for a Young Farmers’ Treasure Hunt and Kate has a brilliant idea - why don’t she and Phoebe enter as a mother and daughter team? Using the patient voice that she saves for Kate’s less sane utterances, Phoebe explains that she is setting the questions and she knows all the answers. “Even better, we’d be guaranteed to win” Kate burbles. “That’s called cheating” her daughter admonishes her, no doubt wondering how the hell she ever qualified for her college course. We are also treated to a load of garbage about how Kate needs to balance the Yin and Yang of hard work and relaxation and she moans that Brian seems to want her to study 24/7. No he doesn’t Kate, he’s like the rest of us and would like to see you go back to South Africa, or anywhere else a long way away from Ambridge.

Open Farm Sunday is looming and David seems to have been caught on the hop (probably all that worry about his brother). As well as Brookfield, Berrow Farm is opening to the public and, as Charlie tells Rob, Justin Eliot is keen that the public is made aware that it is all for the benefit of the local community. A massive PR campaign has flooded the village with posters and there is the chance to win a 4x4 driving day and many other prizes. By contrast, Brookfield has a couple of posters drawn by Rooooth, and their OFS gives punters the chance to look at a cow, or a sheep, or both if they are really lucky.

But wait - all is not lost; they can get Tom in to do one of his famous hog roasts. Or rather, they could have if Charlie had not asked Tom a fortnight ago. Charlie also proves that he has no shame when he asks Adam if he’d like to take his big combine to Berrow Farm on OFS. Adam - who lost the BL arable contract earlier in the year - says “We don’t get paid to do the work but it’s OK for us to provide you with free PR?” Charlie tells him that that’s about the size of it, but Adam would be welcome to sell his strawberries on the day and there will be a party afterwards. Adam says “Well, Brookfield haven’t asked us…” Another opportunity missed, David.

Charlie’s investigations into who, if anybody, blocked the culvert on the night of the flood seem to have hit a dead end. On the day that he is interviewing staff, Rob eventually tells him that Stefan (Berrow Farm’s own stoolpigeon) has returned home - his mother has broken her leg and he is the only one who can look after her. Charlie is not best pleased; even less so when Rob says that he has tried to contact Stefan, but he’s not answering. This raises a number of questions - did Rob sack Stefan and the injured mother story a lie? Or did Rob arrange for her leg to be broken? Or will Stefan’s lifeless body be found - blocking up a culvert, maybe? We wait to see. Rob keeps downplaying the importance of the blocked culvert and Charlie keeps reminding him that he nearly drowned and, to him at least, that makes it pretty damn important.

Lynda and Lilian drive across the county to a pet rescue centre - a dog, resembling the description of Scruff, has been found. Lynda is full of hope (it was her birthday) - surely it must be Fate? As it turned out, her hopes are dashed, as it isn’t Scruff. I thought dogs were supposed to be microchipped nowadays? Never mind, it was a nice day for a drive.

Ed comes back from honeymoon and we learn that, while they were away, Will actually tidied up their garden for them. What’s going on? As a reader of this blog asked, “Are we going to have to start liking Will from now on?” That will take some doing, for me at least.

Shula persuades her aunt Chris to visit Woodbine Cottage for the first time since the flood. Chris, who is living at The Stables with her niece, is not keen and has to psyche herself up. When they get there, the place has been looted and valuables (like her mother’s wedding ring) have been taken. Shula cannot understand how anyone could loot a house left empty after the flood. That’s because it’s easier than looting a house when a family is living in it, dear. Shula says she’ll call the police - as if PC Burns hasn’t got enough on his plate with trying to track down Fallon’s missing bunting.

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