Hoodening Play 1990

(Moll enters)
The Hoodeners are here!
Come on, you lot — clear a space
Do it with poise and with grace
Come on, you lot — move right back
Or I'll lay you flat — I've got the knack!
(Boss's Son enters)
Oh NO! Get out of the way!
It's the Boss's son! What's he got to say?
Boss's Son:
Out of my way, you silly old bag
On your broomstick, you wizened old hag
Now Pater has given me my first job
To get the Hoodeners fit — and save a bob!
Moll:  (to audience)
Oh dear — his mother always doted
But above his station he's promoted
(Joe, Sam, Boy enter)
Joe:   (to audience)
I see you've met the Boss's son
A simple soul — but he's the one
Who just might muck things up for me
How? Well you'll have to wait and see
For some time now these folks have thought
That I've been getting overwrought
My hearing's p'raps been "on the blink"
That's what I want them all to think!
That way, I get to hear, you see
Just what they really thinks of me
And if they're plotting for the worst
I've got 'em sussed — and get in first
But the Boss's son — well he could screw
The best laid plans of me or you!
Besides, my ears they seem to me
Less functional than they ought to be…
I'll have to play things pretty cool
And try to fox the stuck-up fool
Did you say something, Sam, or did you just nod?
He's deaf as a post, the silly old sod!
Joe:   (deafly)
What did yer say? I can't hear a word
You're speaking in whispers. Don't be absurd
Still, here we are, all nice and cosy
It's the end of the day and I feel dozy
Just get me some grub and a nice big jar
Then I shan't need to move too far!
I think he's got senile and old
Always complains about feeling the cold
Too much food and too much bitter…
Boss's Son:
I'm in charge of getting you fitter!
Boy:   (aside, to audience)
If Joe's too old, it'll cause a commotion
But I think that I'm in line for promotion
If I creeps a bit round the Boss's spoiled brat
I might even make it to wearing Joe's hat!
Boss's Son:
(to Joe, who doesn't hear him)
Daddy says you're not pulling your weight
You're always tired and always late
Regular exercise is his solution…
Might even reduce old Sam's pollution!
I mustn't move myself too fast
Or I will give one great big blast
Enough to knock you off your feet
And leave a smell like rotting meat
More raw veg — and something salady
Might help to lift his current malady
Boy:   (to Boss's Son)
What sort of exercise you got in mind?
They're all getting on, so try to be kind
Old Joe is just too old to move
(aside to audience)
Which is just what I intend to prove!
Boss's Son:
Cut out smoking that smelly weed
And with a bit of luck, we may succeed
Now — let's start with some physical jerks…
(Boss's Son starts jumping up and down)
We can't do that — we'll look right berks…
Anyway, lad, where's your trousers?
This place is full of female browsers
Next thing you know they'll be frettin'
For something that they won't be gettin'!
Please stop talking — let's do as he says
(aside to audience)
Joe's job should be mine in a couple of days!
What did you say that you wanted to stop?
Boss's Son:
Let's start again — right from the top
Up, two, three…
          My guts won't like that!
Why is HE prancing about like a prat?
Let's get started — up, two, three…
Joe can't hear as far as I can see!
P'raps there's something wrong with him?
He's looking old — and looking grim!
He could be deaf…
          Or even worse
Get on the phone to call for a hearse
Joe:   (to audience)
I must be going deaf — I thought I heard
Sam utter a somewhat sensitive word
Grope for my purse? That's just his style
Though p'raps I misheard; I don't see a smile…
(to Sam)
D'you say mauling a nurse…? / grope for a purse…?
          Why don't you listen?
I'm SURE part of his hearing's missing
Let young master look in his ears
He's a clever lad for his tender years
I'm sure that he's a brainy chap…
But mostly talks a load of crap!
SAM! Let him look — but hold Joe tight
You know what he's like for starting a fight
Sam:  (to Moll)
YOU act as a nurse and hold him down!
Hold his hand — that'll make him frown
I don't fancy getting involved
I'll sit back till the problem's solved
I might even go for a couple of beers…
If there's one thing upsets me it's poking round ears!
You MUST assist with the inspection
Sam:  (shrugs)
Then I'll hold his feet, if you've no objection
Give me an injection? No! Leave me be!
Just SPEAK UP A BIT — Stop whispering at me
Sam:   (grabbing Joe)
I've got his legs — you grab his collar!
          Well, hear him holler!
Boss's Son:
Hold him still while I look inside
A tiny labyrinth; not very wide…
Don't need much space for his brain to hide
(Anything to do with ears I just can't abide!)
Boss's Son:
His Eustachian Tube's a bit under par…
Sam:   (glancing at Joe's nether regions)
I didn't know you could see down that far!
Mind you don't pierce his old ear drum
Hold his hands tighter — he's pinching me bum!
Boss's Son:
Now that's cleared the outer ear canal…
That'll keep him off the doctors' panel
If anyone can, this young man will
Boss's Son:
Well, we've got through to his hammer and anvil
His what? You make me want to puke
It turns me up — I just can't look!
Boss's Son:
His ear wax is forming a sort of grommet…
It's too late — I am going to vomit!
You can see right down to his little cochle-a…
Moll:  (aside)
His missus has mentioned that to me-a
Boy:   (shouting into Joe's ear)
Not even a twitch, and with all that row
Not even a movement of his wrinkled brow
I'm sure you've killed him anyhow
Get out his wallet and look for some money
I don't think that's very funny!
Joe! I reckon you've been having us on!
P'raps I have — p'raps I ain't — but I'm not letting on
Glad you're speaking up now, not muttering a whisper
(aside to audience)
It just COULD be, of course, that my hearing is crisper!
(to Boy)
Here — where's old Dobbin? Ain't seen him all night!
He really looks a most dreadful sight
He's out by the door looking all forlorn
Like a cow with a bloody crumpled horn
Yes — Dobbin's lost interest in staying alive
It just seems that he don't WANT to survive
His coat's all dowdy, and his brass don't glitter -
You'll have to give up on the poor old critter
Well — here he comes, on his last legs
It wouldn't surprise me if off he pegs
What's that what you've got by HIS ears?
This time the boy's gone too far, I fears
The Boy's gone mad…
          … or had too many beers
No — it's my invention and it's how I steers
What do you call this new appliance?
A hearing aid…
          Oh, the wonders of science!
P'raps if we operate — like we did with Joe
We wouldn't need this contraption in tow
I'll do to the horse what you did to me
I'm not sure he's up to it — but, let's see…
Boss's Son:
You say that with a shade of glee -
Don't blame Dobbin — just blame me
It's not Dobbin's fault if he's unwell
Joe:   (looking in Dobbin's ear)
You hold his bridle — I'll soon tell
Cor! Look in here at what I see
It's so cluttered up it amazes me!
There's anvils and 'ammers and a stirrup -
But yours was covered in waxy syrup
No wonder Sam is looking so green
On that sort of thing he's never been keen
We'll let the youngsters sort it out
While we pop off for a glass of stout
Too much energy's being wasted…
And I think they've got a beer that I've not tasted!
(Boy and Boss's Son examine Dobbin's ear; Joe retires)
You just lie down and enjoy getting better
No — I'll just stand here till my throat gets wetter
I can't bear to look on what they're doing
(Boy and Bosses's Son attempt to clear out Dobbin's ear with sharp implement)
You're not missing much — though trouble's brewing
Dobbin won't be too happy with THAT in his ear…
Glad they're over there and we're over here!
But the Boss's Son — well, he's too close
Of horseshoes and hooves he'll get a dose
(Dobbin rears, knocks down Boss's Son, and runs out, pursued by Boy)
Off goes Dobbin at a rate of knots
Hold on, Missus, to your pans and pots
Look — our stallion's off out the door
At least the ear-poking won't upset me no more!
Oh well — they've gone off out of sight
Out into the darkest night
They really must have upset Dobbin
He went faster than Sam's Reliant Robin
Like Reliant itself, my Robin's bust
The car like the firm has bit the dust!
What you say don't say much about Dobbin
A SLUG could go faster than my old Robin!
He's off like the wind, then, suffice it to say…
Now there's a thought!
          Sam-propelled, in a way…
The Boss's Son still on the floor
Look at that great hole in his jaw!
Ooooh! Look at all the blood and gore
Who'll tell his father what we saw
About old Dobbin's fatal achievement
I don't think they'll enjoy bereavement
I'll tell his Daddy — it'll make my day
Never liked the ****** anyway!
An expensive coffin to lay him flat in…
Nicely trimmed with fine white satin
Lined around with silks and linen
That'll put a stop to the young heir's sinnin'
Let's see if there's bounty in his pocket
If the Boss finds out, you'll get a rocket
Before you thieving pair get started
Let's make sure he HAS departed
(Moll sounds off discarded "hearing aid" right by the Boss's Son's ear)
THAT's enough to wake the dead!
Boss's Son:
Hell's bells! That hurts my head!
Just like the bells of Notre Dame
But now they've stopped, and it's quite calm
Just when we thought he was dead as a Dodo
He comes a-round like Quasimodo
Boss's Son:
I can hear SOMETHING — but I'm not sure…
Hush! MY hearing's clear and pure…
I hear bells and yells and brasses
He's coming back! Protect your …!
Moll:  (interrupting hurriedly)
Hold on to all the chairs and tables
They're on the way back from the stables!
With hooves like his, this I will wager
He'd alter YOUR cabinet quicker'n John Major!
(Dobbin and Boy return)
Quick, Joe, grab hold of his bridle
Pull his gear lever — make him idle
We don't want him working faster
We work fast enough for the master
His coat's much cleaner — what's he done?
He's feeling better and wants to join the fun
I hope he's shaken off his devilry
And come to join in with our revelry
Before he does, I'm left one task
'Bout our collection, I should ask
The kids at playgroup and village school
Need picnic tables outside by their pool
For lessons outside when the weather's good…
Boss's Son:
And to feed the birds with their lunchbox food
The playgroup also want a tunnel…
For this cause, the Boss's son'll
Help them out — and so can you…
By letting us have the odd pound or two
We all want you to dig down deeper
As a tribute to old Dobbin's keeper
For if ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need

Produced by Ben Jones (contact details). All rights reserved. .