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The Tale Of Ollie The Oyster
Mike Stools

Once upon a time there was a blue polka dot oyster called Ollie. Ollie was born with a hole in the side of his wardrobe and this was the cause of many an exciting adventure which made Ollie's life so much richer than that of any other blue polka dot oyster.

His five hundred and twenty seventh wardrobe adventure* occurred on the eve of his brother Graham's bar mitzvah which Ollie had decided not to attend because he would always end up squabbling with Graham over whether the UNIX operating system was better than Windows NT. And it was just as well that he had stayed at home that evening for no sooner had he finished the design stage of his plan to invent a new name for Baffin Island a man from the council arrived with a wooden disc and a large tub of Evo-Stik wood adhesive.

"We've had complaints from your neighbours," said the man.

"What sort of complaints?" asked Ollie a little worried.

"Well, there's a bit of a funny smell in your street," the man explained, "We suspect it may be coming from the hole in your wardrobe."

"There are no funny smells coming from the hole in my wardrobe," said Ollie, "I hose it down with fresh yak's blood every evening."

"Nonetheless," replied the council man, "Your street niffs to high heaven of prawn biryani and lime pickle and I must investigate." He barged his way into Ollie's house and headed straight for the wardrobe. There he stuck his nose through the adventure inducing hole and took a deep lung full of air.

"See," said Ollie, "Not the slightest aroma of Indian cuisine."

"That's as may be," said the man, "but if I take this brinjal bhaji that I just bought from the new Balti House that has recently opened across the road . . ."

He produced a small foil carton from a plastic take away bag and peeled the cardboard lid off it.

". . . and hold it to your hole," he continued, "and blow."

He blew on the curry.

"See, the smell wafts straight through your hole."

"Oh dear," said Ollie. He had to concede that his wardrobe now minged like a Bombay Barbecue.

"I'm sorry, but in the interests of health and hygiene I'm going to have to fill in your hole."

The man placed his wooden disc into Ollie's hole, which fit precisely, and applied a lavish smearing of Evo-Stik to its circumference.

"But how am I going to have any more wardrobe hole precipitated adventures now?" said Ollie.

The man shrugged his shoulders.

"Dunno," he said. Then he ate his brinjal bhaji and left. Ollie was determined he was going to vindicate the hole in his wardrobe. He stepped out into the street and observed that there was indeed a bit of a pong in the air. He crossed the road and entered the Balti House at which the council inspector had purchased the condemning brinjal bhaji.

"I'd like a take-away," he said to Mr. Rajdoot the owner who greeted him at the door.

"You'll get nothing here," snapped Mr. Rajdoot sharply, "We don't want the likes of you and your foul smelling wardrobe hole contaminating the neighbourhood. This is a decent street with decent people. Now clear off or I'll set the chicken jalfrezis on you!"

"Look, I just want to find out what's wrong with my wardrobe hole," said Ollie, "Why is it causing all these curry odours?"

"Right, that's it! I warned you!" said Mr. Rajdoot, "Ramesh! Release the jalfrezis."

There came a fierce snarling and snapping sound from the kitchen. The doors burst open and two ferocious chicken jalfrezis charged towards Ollie. Ollie turned on his heels and fled. The jalfrezis chased the oyster into the street where a small boy was playing with a piece of coal in the gutter. Ollie dashed into his home, slammed the door behind him and slid the bolt into place. Cautiously, he watched the jalfrezis from his kitchen window.

And it was as well he did. For having lost their quarry the jalfrezis looked up and down the street for an alternative target. Their blood was up and they were not going back to the Balti House without a kill. Unfortunately, the only choice they had was the coal playing gutter boy.

"Oh no!" gasped Ollie, "That poor boy's in terrible danger." The jalfrezis stalked the boy who was so far oblivious of his predicament.

Ollie opened his window and shouted, "Small boy who is playing with a piece of coal in the gutter! Quick, get in here!"

Suddenly, the jalfrezis sprang towards the boy who screamed in terror.

"Hurry!" cried Ollie, "Climb through my window."

The boy hurried over to Ollie's window and scrambled inside, the jalfrezis snapping savagely at his feet.

"Upstairs! Quick!" exhorted Ollie. Boy and oyster mounted the stairs and ran into Ollie's bedroom. The glue on his hole was still wet and Ollie was able to remove the wooden disc.

"Hide behind the wardrobe," commanded Ollie.

The boy did so closely followed by Ollie. The jalfrezis entered the room, looked around and sniffed the air. They caught the scent of the brinjal bhaji coming from the wardrobe and immediately leapt through the hole where they landed with a splat on two of Ollie's favourite ties. Happy with their kill, the curries clung contentedly onto the stained garments, secure in the knowledge that would be no dry cleaner in the land that could ever remove them.

Ollie and the boy came out from behind the wardrobe where they met the man from the council who had just unexpectedly returned.

"The hole in your wardrobe," he said, "has saved the life of this small boy. The Balti House, however, is a danger to the community. You may keep your hole. I shall close down the Balti House."

The Balti House closed with immediate effect and a few days later there opened in its place an Oyster Bar.

"Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!" said Ollie excitedly, "A bar specially for oysters. I must visit it straight away."

Ollie entered the Oyster Bar where a City stockbroker picked him up and ate him.


*Readers who are interested in Ollie's prior 526 adventures can bleeding well write their own.





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