Hoodening Play 1989
- (Young Moll enters)
- The Hoodeners are here, Young Moll's the name;
I'm still pretty new to this sort of game.
Old Moll was away this time last year -
That gave me the chance to drink all her beer!
Also included was the use of this brush
Which helped me to sort out most of the hush.
Old Moll was away at the birth of her son.
She's a father again! (I'm not sure how that's done.)
- (Moll enters)
- Oi! That's my job; come here, you prat.
What right have you got to be wearing my hat?
- (Moll and Young Moll swap hats)
- I may have been absent for one night last year
But I ain't finished yet, never you fear!
- I thought at last I'd found a good job
Controlling the likes of this rowdy mob.
Now, I suppose, it's back to the dole -
There's not many openings for a YTS Moll.
- You'll not be needed unless I get the sack;
So go on — SOD OFF — and don't hurry back!
- All right — I'm going — don't lose your rag.
You can stick your damn' job. (Stupid old bag!)
- (Young Moll exits, turning briefly to stick up two fingers)
- Now — let's do it properly…
- (Moll exits and re-enters)
- The Hoodeners are here, so keep out of the way.
Sit down, and listen to what I have to say.
They're not coming in till we've got us some hush.
If anyone talks, it's a clout with my brush!
Where are all the others? Why are they so late?
- (Enter Joe, Sam, Dobbin and Boy — in that order)
- Ah! Here they all are — old Joe and his mate;
With our old nag Dobbin — and even the lad.
They look pretty rough 'cos the weather's been bad.
- Cor! It's freezing out there! My feet have gone numb.
My clothes are all damp — and there's chaps round my bum.
- [SPECIAL LINES FOR EACH HOUSE]
- I've been flogging my guts out all this week;
Working all hours, down there at Sarre Peak.
Slaving away through the sleet and the rain;
Ploughing at this time of year's such a strain.
- What — you STRAIN? That WILL be the day!
(He's done bugger-all since we got in the hay.)
Whenever you see him lifting a fork
He'll be eating his dinner — a WHOLE SIDE of pork!
- (Sam farts)
- … oh — and beans!
- You two can moan, but none of you work
As hard as what I do — why, I NEVER shirk.
I rise at four thirty; I'm hoeing by five…
- … and then at five thirty he's gone for a skive.
- Old Sam never was much of a go-getter;
P'raps he'd improve if his diet were better.
- Dobbin's changed his, and it's altered his ways;
A damn' sight more bran and plenty of maize.
Our nag's gone orgasmic…
- Orgasmic? I thinks you means ORGANIC. (I HOPES you means organic!)
- Our nag's gone ORGANIC — we're turning him green.
A chemical-free diet has made him more lean.
- He's much better for it — we're seeing its worth;
We've even enrolled him with Friends of the Earth!
- This natural food has its drawbacks, of course;
It's all very well being an organic horse,
But it upsets his guts — all that fibre for starters.
It's made him the most prolific of…
- (interrupting) JOE!
P'raps he'll show you just what we mean;
His 'greenhouse effect' has just got to be seen.
His eyes go all misty; his face looks in pain…
- Then he lets rip — and laughs like a drain.
- (Dobbin farts)
- OH NO!
- The poor ozone layer just curled up and died
Once it got a quick snifter of Dobbin's inside!
- Man-made CFCs have got nothing on this.
(We get acid rain when he goes for a …)
There must be an answer to stop this pollution.
Sam, my old mate, can you find the solution?
- A catalytic converter would be useful, I think.
'Twould clean up the air and remove the foul stink.
- (Young Moll rushes in)
- I just so happen to be carrying a spare…
- (Boy takes c.c. Young Moll is hustled out)
- Let's try and fix it — I think it goes there…
- (Sam points vaguely at Dobbin's tail)
- That's clever, Sam. Who're you trying to impress?
- (Moll looks under Dobbin)
- Let's see… by the way, which side does he dress?
- Not under THERE, Moll; back here by his tail.
(To Boy) P'raps you could secure it by using a nail?
- (Young Moll rushes in with some hardware)
- Here's some nails, an old bolt and an interesting screw…
- Look — WILL YOU GET LOST — take your junk with you too.
- (Young Moll is hustled out again)
- If you twiddle and push it, I think it might fit.
- (Though gawd knows what happens when he needs a …)
- (interrupting) THAT'S done it! He ain't looked so healthy for weeks.
It's certainly brought a nice glow to his cheeks!
It really seems to have had some effect!
He's looking bright-eyed, and his ears are erect.
- (Sam looks at Dobbin's nether pipe)
- His EARS, Sam!
- Well, he's been frisky lately — though I can't think why.
He's been up to something. It's that glint in his eye.
- (stage whisper to others)
Our Dobbin here has got a dark secret;
Scarlet's her name — he hoped that I'd keep it!
He's known her for ages — well, quite a long while -
Whilst he were still married.
- No! That's not his style!
- (Dobbin starts tottering)
- Hang on a bit, Moll, something's not right.
He's gone a bit PURPLE — he does look a sight!
- He's looking quite weak — 'fact his knees are a-shaking;
He's hunching his back — hear that noise that he's making?
- (Dobbin groans down the c.c. pipe)
- We'd best get the nag back home to his stall.
I'll get on his back — I hope he don't fall!
- (Boy mounts Dobbin)
- WHOA! Steady, Dobbin! He's going for the count!
He's swaying! He's falling!
- (falling off) I think I'll dismount!
- He's down! He's collapsed! He's laid right out flat.
Snuffed it, I think…
- … dunno about that.
- He's tried this before — playing possum — our horse.
It's his way of getting attention, of course.
That's all he's after — he's just being cranky.
Just waiting for Moll here to get out her hanky.
- Convincing, I'd call it — this faking of death.
It's now two full minutes that he's held his breath.
- When Olivier died, his folks weren't reacting
For over two hours — 'cos they thought he was acting!
- But this time — he's had it; cried wolf the last time.
Let's drink his remembrance; mine's lager and lime…
- How COULD you?
- (I'll say — he should have asked for bitter.)
- Have you got NO respect for the dead?
I think it's plain WICKED those things you've just said!
- We should cover him up. Get that sheet over there.
His carcass could turn in this warm, heavy air.
- (They cover him up)
- P'raps we should sing a memorial song.
What about this one? It won't take that long…
- (Song — to the tune of "White Christmas")
- I'm dreaming of a green Christmas
We hardly get snow any more.
Though it's dull and greyer
The ozone layer
Has shown Santa's sleigh the door.
We're thinking of our horse, Dobbin.
He brought the wind if not the snow.
Through his taste for lashings of greens
And a nosebag full of fresh-picked beans.
- Now what shall we do? we can't leave him here.
Just LOOKING at corpses makes me feel a bit queer.
- (Sam looks startled and retreats from the Boy)
- That's TWICE you've said something that's suspect and all…
Let's cart the nag off… but keep backs to the wall!
- To old Bernard's cemetery, down near Pluck's Gutter.
We'll stand at his graveside, sad dirges to mutter…
- What about Scarlet? His "lady" should know.
I'll go try and find her.
- Right, Boy, off you go. (Exit Boy)
'Course, if we were in France, I'd know just what to do
They EAT horse over there — thay might pay us well, too.
Just think — eating horses — and frogs' legs — and snails -
Keep digging that tunnel — right on through to Wales!
- We might still get a bit for this battered old jade,
But there's no local butcher round here, I'm afraid.
- … or grocer, or baker…
- … or decent bus service or a post office in Sarre or a chemist…
- SAM! WILL YOU SHUT UP, you moaning old varlet…
Ah, here comes the Boy…
- (Enter Boy leading Scarlet)
- … and this must be — Scarlet!
- (Scarlet trots round)
- She's a fine looking mare, and ever so fruity;
She's been helping old Dobbin get over Black Beauty
Who passed on last year — it fair broke his heart —
But he found him another to help take her part.
- You know a lot, Boy, about this latest lady.
What's your source? It certainly sounds a bit shady.
- I've got a new camera — some photos I took.
When the film is used up, you can all have a look!
- Where did they meet? At what kind of places?
- It were a while back — down at them Folkestone Races.
We had a day out, did our Dobbin and me —
I'd stopped for a minute to go for a pee -
Dobbin was loose, and not being too gallant…
- … he wandered around and eyed up all the talent!
- Then along came Scarlet and — quick as a flash…
(Oh, the things that can happen when you go for a slash!)
- … so when Beauty passed over, was with him no longer,
Their friendship became just that little bit stronger!
- (Scarlet sniffs round Dobbin's tail)
- There's something that mare is trying to say.
She's sniffing around Dobbin's rear-end way…
- (Scarlet pulls out the catalytic converter; Dobbin gets up and runs around, farting madly; dropping poops everywhere)
- He's alive! He's made it! He will be all right!
That contraption he had was on FAR too tight!
- He's once more become, now that thing is unfurled,
The Le Petomane of the equine world!
The build-up wind caused a blow-back, I guess.
His recovery's impressive — but look at the mess!
- It was Dobbin who blew — if you can recall -
The initial hole in the Berlin wall.
He's OK now but he's shmelly and dushty.
He'll have fewer friends than that man, Salman Rushdie!
- Hold on a bit! Just look at that pair.
She's telling him that we know of their affair!
- They both look quite cross — the Boy's in for trouble!
I think he's got problems… this time, at the double!
- (Dobbin and Scarlet back Boy up against the wall)
- All right! All right! The film was a fake…
Come on, now, get off me! Give me a break!
Get down! Get away! Get off me, you beast!
Your secret is safe (for a short while, at least).
- Come on, now — calm down. We all need a drink.
- But we'll need some cash for a piss-up (booze-up), I think.
- But we've nothing to barter — 'cept these poops down here.
(They should fetch a good price in this very green year.)
Just 10p a turd — but hang on to your noses -
I'm told they're the best for growing prize roses!
- Before we start drinking, we'll stop. Take a pause
And we'll tell you about our collection and cause.
- Leukaemia Research we'll collect for this year.
Come on, now — dig deep — give the price of a beer…
- Or even a ROUND if you've that much to spare.
Please fill Dobbin's nosebag — show that you care.
- We'll send round our Molly — don't go till you've seen her.
All notes are welcome — 'cept Yugoslav Dinar.
Let's hope a large sum we'll be able to donate
In collective remembrance of a dear but lost mate.
- For if ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need.
Produced by +Ben Jones (contact details). All rights reserved.