Dredly.com

 

 

 

5

Getting Stuff Done.

Dredly walked back into Albert's kitchen, where the old man was sitting at the table looking at the Coke can, planning how he could open it up and get to the nectar within.
"I'm just popping back to ours to make a phone call." Dredly spoke loudly and clearly - not because Albert was deaf, but to rise above the sound of hammering that was already coming from the shed.
"Er... Calorie and Sage are just doing a bit of electrical work..."
"They're not building another ground to air rocket defence system are they?" Albert was wary after the previous system had malfunctioned and caused an international incident.
"If I have to negotiate with another Secretary General of the UN..." Albert protested.
"No, it's okay, it's only a surveillance system - very low impact."
"Good. 'Cos I'm not cooking for the peace-keeping force if there is a problem."

Dredly went home, slumped into the big sofa in his sitting room and picked up the phone. He dialled the airport information desk using the third finger of his right hand. After only two rings the phone was answered.
“Hi,” He said in his clearest English, “I’d like to book some tickets for New York for tomorrow night.”
“Caramba! Tomorrow night?” Came a heavily accented Mexican male voice, “You is crazeeee! Ha! Ha! Ha!”
The man then proceeded to laugh a deep, guttural laugh for the next five minutes. Dredly had never been able to work out how the Mexican banditos had won the contract to run airport information. Though the rumour was that they'd killed all the other contractors in a desert shoot out, thus winning the tender by default. If that was true, Dredly mused, then the other contractors had deserved what they got for being foolish enough to tackle the Mexicans on their home ground. The bandit on the phone finally paused for breath amidst his laughter and Dredly knew he had to interject before the man laughed some more.
“Excuse me, but this is my phone bill you’re wasting here.”
“Sorree gringo.”
“So what’s so funny about getting tickets?"
“Nothing. But we have no teeckets. We have no teeckets zees sree weeks paast. Try again next year - goodbyeee!”
The line went dead. In the distance Dredly could hear the sound of Albert swearing as he tried to chisel his way into the Coke can. Dredly pondered the problem and decided to call one of the airlines direct. This time when dialling, he brought the middle finger of his right hand into play - perhaps it would succeed where the other finger had failed. The phone rang twenty times and Dredly was just about to give up when it was answered.
“Hello, I...” He began, but was instantly interrupted by a woman’s nasal voice.
“Hello, British Flyways - putting you on hold.”
Suddenly Dredly was being subjected to the choral section of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony. Normally that would not be unpleasant, however this particular version was not one he recognised. It sounded like someone had recorded it in their kitchen on their bon-tempi home organ. Furthermore, the Ode To Joy was being sung in English by what sounded like Julio Inglesias. To add to it all, the supporting choir were all Julio soundalikes. Dredly grimaced and held the phone away from his head. However, they clearly had a surveillance team watching him, because the volume of the tape turned up as he took the receiver from his ear. There was no escape from the sound and he had to stand grimacing, desperately trying to find some redeeming feature in the piece. Finally, thankfully, it ended. Dredly, a cold sweat beading across his forehead, breathed a sigh of relief. But then a dread thought overshadowed him - what would the next piece be? The Ride of the Valkyries sung by the Smurfs? Nessun Dorma sung by Garth Brooks? Or worse - what if it was In The Navy sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Dredly steeled himself, but what he heard was beyond his worst nightmare - the Ode To Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth recorded on a bon-tempi home organ and sung by Julio Inglesias. It was a looping tape!

Dredly menaces the phone with a gun in one of the humor books at Dredly.com
“Oh God no!” Dredly screamed and started looking around the room for something he could kill the phone with. There was a gun in the desk and he pulled it out. It was only a cap gun, but at least he’d be able to beat the phone insensible with it. Dredly raised the gun aloft, but stopped as the nasal woman came back.
“British Flyways - please hold!”

“No, listen, I...” He spluttered but then it was back to the muzak.
“Bitch!”
Dredly aimed the gun at the phone but held off, instead taking the option of smothering the receiver with a cushion. Another five minutes passed. Julio was just about to loop again, when the nasal woman spoke her words of wisdom once more
“You are in a queuing system, if you do not hold you will lose your place in the queue.”
“But what about my phone bill?” Dredly squealed.
“Don’t worry, sir, we have a deal with the phone company.”
“Oh, so this is costing me less?”
“No, it’s costing us less in line rental, thank you.”
Dredly left the phone off the hook to keep his place in the queuing system and went upstairs to do his packing.

Dredly’s bedroom was quite frankly something of a Gothic monstrosity. He’d painted the walls purple in a fit of ennui and even though it was a large room, the effect was somewhat oppressive, especially in tandem with the navy blue, scarlet and gold Persian carpet on the floor. It was the sort of room that would send the House Doctor into a tailspin. An enormous four-poster bed took up a good deal of space and its mahogany posts were deeply scored with claw marks. Calorie had claimed that the marks were the start of a project to carve images of famous cats down the ages into the wood, but Dredly knew that it had been an act of revenge for the time he had shot Calorie during their first and last paintballing ‘group bonding’ day. Yes, that had been a disastrous day all round: Calorie had gone spare when the paint wouldn’t come out of his fur and they’d had to shave him; Albert had managed to shoot himself in the face two seconds after the game had started and had been hospitalized for a month; Sage had outwitted Dredly by luring him into a pit he’d dug, but then fallen in himself and the two had spent 3 miserable days stuck in it until they were found by a passing rambler; while Mrs. Pudding had gone postal and rampaged through a nearby town before being taken down by police marksmen with tazers. The long and the short of it was that the bedposts were well and truly scratched and Dredly hadn’t got round to fixing them.

Two of the walls in the room were devoted to bookshelves heaving with works of philosophy, theology, the occult and topiary. Dredly had studied Theology and Comparative Quantum Gardening at the Sorbonne, so he was duty bound to fill his shelves with nonsense. There was a big, red leather easy chair in one corner, a large, Regency writing desk next to it and a door in the far corner by the window, which led into the spacious walk-in wardrobe. The room hadn’t originally had a walk-in wardrobe, but one week when Albert had gone on holiday to Nantwich, Dredly had knocked through the wall separating their houses and stolen a third of Albert’s back bedroom by putting in a partition wall. On his return from Nantwich, wind burned and crusted with salt, Albert had hardly noticed the change, although he did sometimes wonder where his back window had disappeared to. Between the writing desk and the wardrobe door there was a full-length mirror in an ornate silver frame.

Dredly looked at himself in the mirror. Although he was wearing his black tailcoat and trousers, his reflection was wearing a pair of scraggy cut-off jeans shorts, a Hawaiian hula shirt and – Lord preserve him – sandals! This was what you got when your reflection was a doped up surfer dude. Dredly looked askance at his reflection and his reflection looked askance back at Dredly. Each shook his head and they said in unison,
“Why?”
Dredly looked his reflection up and down.
“You have absolutely no style. Sandals!”
“Oh yeah, like you’re totally rad’.” Dredly’s reflection said sarcastically in a southern Californian drawl that matched his look.
“Dude, you blow!”
Dredly sighed.
“We’re going on holiday and I’ve got to pack.”
“Woah, cool. So, like, we going somewhere hot? You gonna pack some clothes that I’d wear? Black ain’t good for the beach, man.”
“We’re going to New York, so I don’t think the beach bum outfit will really be necessary.”
“Beach bum!” Dredly’s reflection exclaimed as Dredly walked into the wardrobe. His reflection caught up with him in the smaller mirror above the mahogany dressing table inside.
“Chicks dig this look, man.” He continued as Dredly started picking out suits from the long racks. “And not just surfer chicks or hippy chicks, but all kinds of chicks, y’know like business chicks – I even had me a dentist chick.”
“And I’m sure they’re all thrilled to be referred to as ‘chicks’.”
“Hey, I ain’t never had no complaints.”
Dredly was so rankled by such an ignorant misuse of English that he decided not to grace the reply with a comment and simply pulled a suit from the rack. It was a copy of a Prussian Hussar’s uniform from the Napoleonic wars.
“Dude, that is so lame!” His reflection laughed. “That kind of outfit is the reason why you only ever pick up gothic chicks. What was your last one called?”
“Zenobia.”
“That’s it… She was scary, man. Yeah, talk about your mistress of the dark! You should never go out with anyone who lives in a mausoleum instead of a house.”
“Well I quite liked her.” Dredly replied through tight lips as he opened his suitcase and put in his plum coloured smoking jacket, followed by his smoking cap with the gold tassel.
“Yeah, she was a hoot… Right up to the moment the angry villagers hammered that stake through her heart.”
“Don’t you have a wave to ride or something?” Dredly said irritably.
“Okay, don’t blow a cylinder, girlfriend. I’ll catch you in the Big Apple. Smell you later!” And with that, Dredly’s reflection disappeared, leaving him to finish his packing in peace.

Albert attacking a Coke can with a jackhammer in one of the humor books at Dredly.com

 

 

Once it was all done, he went back to the phone, but he was still on hold. He silently cursed British Flyways and the phone company and went to check on Albert. The old man had glued the can of Coke to the floor and was trying to pierce the lid with a jackhammer. Dredly tapped him on the shoulder and he stopped.
“If you do make a hole in the lid, how are you going to drink the Coke if the can's glued to the floor?”

“Ah, I’ll use a straw!” He replied smugly.
“But you’re all out.” Dredly said. Albert's face fell. “Sage borrowed the last one yesterday.”
“Damn!” He looked down at the can and the thirty empty tubes of Superglue strewn around it. “Do you have any solvents?”

Dredly went up to Albert's sitting room, which had been converted into a makeshift control centre for the surveillance operation. Calorie was sat in the middle of the room surrounded by circuit boards and thousands of wires. He was working on one of the boards and Dredly had to admire him. The cat might not have opposable thumbs, but he really knew how to handle a soldering iron.


"How's it coming along?" Dredly looked to Sage, who was screwing a bracket onto the wall.
"Not bad. We've set up the remote cameras in the back alley, the garden and the kitchen, but we're having a bit of trouble with the directional controls."
"Directional controls? All we want's a bit of advanced warning, not a televisual extravaganza!"
"Yeah, but you know what Calorie's like - he's such a perfectionist."
"Cals, I really think..." But Dredly was cut short by a curt 'Gneiow' from the cat.
"All right!" Dredly backed off. "You know best... But remember it's your avocados that are the bait, so if you haven't got the system up and running it'll be your loss.
"Reiow." Calorie replied, not even looking up.

Calorie doing some soldering in one of the humor books at Dredly.com

Dredly went back to the phone. He was still on hold. There was only one course of action - he'd have to put the phone down. Dredly went out to fetch the vet. And it was only when they had returned and the vet was getting the lethal injection ready that the nasal woman broke into the 2000th rendition of the Ode To Joy.
“British Flyways, how can I help you?”
“Ah hello, yes, I’d like to book some tickets, please...”
“I’m sorry, sir. This is the enquiries desk. The booking desk is on extension 2487, goodbye.”
“Damnation!”
“Do you still want me to do the phone?” Asked the vet, syringe at the ready.
“No, it’s okay, but could you neuter the microwave? He’s been getting frisky and straying. We’ve had complaints from our neighbours about him trying to cook their food for them.”
“Sure thing.” The vet replied and went into the kitchen. He was a good man and had helped Albert's DVD player deliver a litter of Star Wars DVDs the year before. They turned out to be fine, digitally re-mastered versions, too, so Albert was indebted to him.
Dredly picked up the phone and dialled the new number. Maybe his index finger would be the one that broke the deadlock.
“Hello, British Flyways bookings - putting you on hold.”
“No!” He cried and wished he could reach down the phone line and throttle the person at the other end. Suddenly the sound of the Smurfs singing the Ride of the Valkyries burst out of the phone.
An agonised scream pierced the clogged London air, and then was still.
Dredly sat in a semi-catatonic state as the Smurfs worked their way through the entire Ring Cycle. At last the telephonist came onto the line.
“How can I help you, sir?"
“You could pay my phone bill.” Dredly replied, clearly annoyed.
“Do you want to go back on hold?"
“No, no, please! I’ll be good! I’d just like to book some tickets to New York...”
Within two minutes, Dredly had booked them onto the flight. Once the transaction had been made, the receptionist asked,
“Do you have any more questions, sir?”
“About the flight?"
“Anything you like, sir. It’s just that this has been a rather quick call and I have a quota of people I have to keep on hold. You see, I normally wait until I have at least three hundred calls waiting before I let people go. We’re still a hundred and seventy three short."
“Oh, well... Er... What do you think of the Kantian Categorical Imperative?”
“Now that is an interesting concept...”
An hour later Dredly and the telephonist parted on good terms, having both come to the conclusion that if Kant had got out a bit more, he might not have been so long-winded.

The sound of a shotgun being discharged broke Dredly from his reverie. He ran to Albert's kitchen. The sight was not pretty. Diet Coke was sprayed across the walls and floor, the can - once so proud and shiny - had been ripped up by two barrels of buckshot and lay, limp and blackened, on the top of the fridge. Albert was on his hands and knees, licking the floor where the cola had spilt.
"Just for the taste of it..." Dredly breathed - this was the power of advertising in raw, ugly reality. "You know, you could have gone to the shop and got some more."
“It’s the principle of the thing!” Said Albert. “I’m not being fiddled out of my drink by some walking rug!”
It was a fair point.
“I’m going to give Calorie and Sage a hand. When you've got your caffeine fix, you might want to set a trap.”
Albert looked up, “And then we get the bear, right? We do the bear?”
“Yes, we’ll do the bear.”

“Great!”

 

 

Will they really do the bear? And what does 'doing' a bear involve? Will next week's episode have to be triple X rated, thus exponentially multiplying our site traffic?

Find out in the next potentially naughty chapter...

"BEAR FACED CHEEK ."

Want to buy one of our funny books? CLICK HERE

 

Tweet  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Victor Nash And Steve Hill.   To Protect And Serve... is not our motto.