Will Vigar

poet. writer. imposter.

Dudley and Eunice

When the storms Dudley and Eunice were wreaking havoc on the land, my friend Mark remarked that they sounded as if they had escaped from an Alan Bennet play… My Friend Woodstock and I also had a Bennet-based conversation that led here…

Dudley and Eunice

An English Tea Room. Silent, but for the occasional clink of spoons against china. Dudley and Eunice, both in their seventies, both dressed in their Sunday best sit at a table. Even though it’s Thursday, they are there to be seen. They try to be genteel, but the table wobbles slightly. They ignore it for appearance’s sake. Eunice is being Mother. Dudley picks up his cake fork and takes a small piece of battenburg cake. He chews thoughtfully.

DUDLEY

“Lovely battenburg, Eunice. Just the right side of moist.”

EUNICE

(leans in conspititorially)

“She only gets them in on Thursdays, If we’d come tomorrow we’d have had to have a Vanilla Slice.”

DUDLEY

“Oh, that wouldn’t do…they’d think we have airs.”

EUNICE

“Mrs Thing at Number Thirteen, now she had airs. Made a lovely marmalade though.”

DUDLEY

(Raises and eyebrow)

“It was from a tin…”

EUNICE

(Shocked)

“And she took first prize, with that!

DUDLEY

(Firmly)

“It’s all in the stirring, though, tin or no tin.”

EUNICE

“Perhaps. I’ll bet she warmed the sugar first.”

DUDLEY

“Oh, yes. Success is in the details.”

(PAUSE FOR A SIP OF TEA)

EUNICE

“Ooh, that’s lovely. She knew her way around a good preserve, did Mrs. Thing.”

(PAUSE)

DUDLEY

“Well… As long as you don’t count that chutney.”

EUNICE

“Chutney?”

DUDLEY

“She used salt instead of sugar.”

EUNICE

“No!”

DUDLEY

“Claimed it was an old Indian recipe and won because it was ‘exotic’.”

EUNICE

“Well I never… was that the year that lime pickle came third, and…”

DUDLEY

“And there were only two entries. Yes.”

EUNICE

“I was disappointed. I tried that thinking it would be like Roses best.”

DUDLEY

“Their lemon is a treat.”

EUNICE

“For special occasions.  I wouldn’t call it a daily preserve. Anyway, some of that lime stuff slipped under my bridge work. Couldn’t get rid of it for days.”

DUDLEY

“Oh dear.”

(PAUSE)

EUNICE

“I’d bought some of Mrs. Ollernshaw’s cream horns, too. I couldn’t eat them, of course. I was afraid the cream would turn.”

DUDLEY

“You didn’t waste them!”

EUNICE

“Oh no, I diverted them to the milkman in lieu of a Christmas box… I don’t think he was grateful.”

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