An extract from the autobiography of Twattersley Fromage MBE – History explained!                                             

Ever the determined Englishman I had overcome the trauma of crash landing my trusty old Lysander just outside Deauville, breaking my collar bone in the process and thereafter was forced to accept the charity of an old equine breeder Froggie chum who had readily loaned me his top stallion in order to fulfil my covert quest. Yet after weeks riding across the agreeable terrain of Europe I had almost starved to death as both nag and I journeyed the deserts of Arabia. It is thus that you will understand my disappointment upon finding a McDonald’s on the outskirts of Baghdad only to discover there was nowhere to tether the horse!  Still when King and country come a ’calling a man must focus upon duty and duty alone. Onwards and upwards I always say!

This episode of my life had begun with a simple telephone message from darling Maud, my former lover from days gone by – indeed a lover who had left me all those years ago for a muscular bearded Russian Kulak (a peasant by any other name).  You see I had been out and about in the Shires of Blighty evicting plebs and my old butler Cribbins, silly old sod that he is had scribbled down the gist of Maud’s telephone call. The note he handed me upon my return read, ‘It’s been a long time Twatters hasn’t it! The thing is I’m in a bit of a pickle. You will understand I can’t say too much over the telephone yet I need both your body and, importantly, that much fabled beach ball of yours most urgently. You will be able to track me down by following the GPS co-ordinates. Let me just say it is a matter of the gravest international importance – plainly I would not have bothered you otherwise. Yours always, Maud.’

The clue was in her coded message, namely the ‘beach ball’ for that ball defied the laws of physics and had properties about it that no scientist could ever fathom. Whatever, Maud a double agent for the Soviets back in the day, had plainly remembered that I still retained that old family treasure, ‘The Beach Ball of Freedom’. Furthermore, such reference to said ball could mean one thing and one thing only and that thing meant the very sanctity of this great nation of ours and perhaps that of our Allies was at risk.

These days Maud still, I was given to understand from the tabloids, remained as beautiful a gal as ever; had returned to the fold and was ‘one of us’ once more. She had been the one who was there with me the very day I, using the very minimum of force, had bounced ‘The Beach Ball of Freedom’ against the Berlin Wall causing it to collapse thereby freeing the citizens of East Berlin from the curse of a communist dictatorship and ultimately unifying Germany.  This the same ball Joshua of Old Testament fame (a distant ancestor from my late mother’s lineage) had done the self-same thing with at Jericho centuries earlier; the same ball Uncle Cuthbert dropped overboard whilst aboard the Titanic on that fateful inaugural trip across The Atlantic – later mistaken by those on the bridge who should have known better for an iceberg no less! Regardless, that beach ball had history to it.

Upon checking out Maud’s co-ordinates I discovered that she was holed up in a little town in Northern Pakistan no less and had wondered what the gal might be up to. Albeit suffering with malnutrition, my trusty steed near death I eventually, aided so very well through the auspices of modern technology, arrived at a small bungalow in the middle of nowhere. I hoped against hope I was not too late – and additionally, given that Maud had mentioned she wanted both my ‘body’ as well as the beach ball I remained buoyed at the prospect she just might want to thank me for my endeavours in kind (so to speak)!

Imagine then my dismay upon entering her dwelling place unannounced only to find Maud sat upon the lap of a cigar smoking American general and in the company of a number of his senior staff all in various stages of undress playing strip poker!

A beaming Maud greeted me thus, “Oh I say Twattersley you made it at last. You’re a tad on the late side and frankly I don’t need your assistance now. You see I had an important message about the whereabouts of this terrorist chappie Bin Laden that I was so very desperate to impart to our NATO allies – hence I am now surrounded by soldiers from the nation that bought us Friendly Fire and very grateful they are for what I had to say. The thing was when I phoned you I had been stuck in the loo for hours what with the lock seemingly jamming and simply had to escape ASAP. I thought that that ‘Beach Ball of Freedom’ you have would be the perfect thing to open the toilet door with. In the event I realised I had simply turned the door handle the wrong way, silly me.” 

“Maud, dear Maud you tell me I have risked life and limb crossing the continents only to find you did not need me in part or at all?” 

“Sorry Twats but that is just about the strength of it – save for the fact the General Knackertuglet III here (and I must say I have grown ever so fond of him and he I, cheeky rascal that he is) is of the view your ‘Beach Ball of Freedom’ is just the very item his troops could make good use of to breach the walls of this Bin Laden’s compound the details of which I have provided thus enabling the boys to retain an element of surprise when breaking in. Don’t suppose you’ll lend it him will you? Other than that, see you around sometime.” 

“Here General whatever your bleddy name is you can have the fucking ‘Beach Ball of Freedom’ and shove it up your arse for all I care.”

I left Northern Pakistan a broken man.






  1. I have often been a victim of poor Maude’s plight…that is stuck in a bathroom for hours without thinking to simply turn the knob the other way. The problem there is I don’t have access to a telephone else I can only imagine who might show up to help me out of that predicament.

      1. I suppose I do. You know, this one really hit home because there is a bathroom in my son’s rock school where the knob turns…well whatever way it’s not supposed to turn when opening from the inside. Despite the fact that there is a note on the door telling you which way the knob turns, I still have trouble getting out!

      2. As a left handed dyslexic who drives his lovely wife insane with his complete lack of practical skills I feel for you…should have phrased that differently…I understand!

      1. The mention of Gunga Din brings back a feast of memories. My mother regularly quoted, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!” Rudyard at his very best – did you know he had the classic London cockney accent?

    1. That is truly appreciated – old Twattersley is me by any other name i.e. a complete idiot with a massive list of embarrassing failures with the ladies (in my younger days particularly). He’s an idiot yet every so often I have to bring him out for a skit! Thank you again and all the very best.

  2. The beach ball of freedom, oh god, tell me it isn’t so. Yet another multi-billion dollar weapon system that will not die…. My lord, we can’t even retire the venerable B-52’s that are being flown by the grandchildren of the original pilots. They say, “but, but, but, the B-52’s carry cruise missiles…” Yeah, so do second-hand 727’s.

    1. B-52’s – that was it! I had a skit in mind the other day about – do forgive me – America’s gift to world of ‘Friendly Fire’ (a simple satire of course and not to be taken that seriously) but couldn’t think for the life of me the number that followed the B! You’ve cracked it…missus, pass me my pen! Do 727’s actually carry cruise missiles only you’ve got me worried now, more so since the Russian navy flitted through the English Channel before my very eyes just the other morning? Freezing day yet a number of their chaps were working away on deck in just t-shirts!

      1. Whenever I am at a loss to recall the designation of the aircraft, I bring to mind the new-wave band whose females members wore bee-hive hairdos shaped like the nose of the aircraft – hence their name, the B-52’s.

  3. Bwaahaahaaa!!!!!!! Sir Mike, this was hilarious! I love when you have anything of something else, like the beach ball of freedom or the shoelaces of doom, etc., but this was a hoot! All that travel to open the loo! And all this creativity locked up in your head! WOW! Bravo!

    1. Oddly – what with it being so cold outside – I sat down and wrote a new Twattersley just yesterday. I’ll post it soonish as Shirley has given it the seal of approval. He spends the whole skit naked. Hard to write trying to keep the story clean and amusing at the same time!

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