An extract from the autobiography of Twattersley Fromage MBE – History explained!
A bit of a gosh and golly moment really finding myself stark bollock naked, blindfolded and bound with ropes (rather itchy ones if I do say so myself) to a chair with a plainly volatile Italian gal prodding me all over with a sharp stick whilst at the same time hurling abuse in my direction. I must admit this episode reminded me of my prep school days and the nasty things nursie did but that’s another story! Whatever, when on a mission for King and country one needs to take everything in ones stride, I find. The thing was the gal plainly wanted something from me yet I hadn’t for the life of me got a clue as to what or indeed how I found myself in this disquieting predicament! It was thus that I thought it best to take the bull by the horns.
“Look young lady I really haven’t a clue what you want of me and suggest it would be in your own best interests to set me free forthwith.”
“You know’a what I wanna Inglese you know’a only too well.”
Still clueless as to what exactly she expected me to impart or deliver up I decided to run with that old clincher the gals always fall for when a chap finds himself not in their best books and is at a loss to understand exactly why, ‘Look if I’ve done something wrong or upset you at all I’m ever so sorry. There does that make you feel better.”
“You lie’a Inglese you know’a what’a I wanna you to say.”
Thinking on my feet (as it were) my swift riposte was, “Do you know what with you being a feisty sort I really think I could fall in love with you,” knowing that these hot bloodied Mediterranean gals are always up for a bit of the old romancing business with us prim and proper sedentary English chaps. However, with that she started spitting feathers and poured a bucket of ice cold water over my head – at least I hoped it was water. Bloody nigh froze me bits orf!
“You’a just’a tell’a me where it is.”
“Where what is?”
“I slice’a your balls off’a if you’a donna say.”
“I haven’t got you pregnant have I?”
“Right’a, you’a insult me’a, that is it I get’a my’a flick knife and cut’a them off right now.”
“I say old gal that’s a bit on the fierce side don’t you think? I mean to say I haven’t any blind clue as to how I have been entrapped here – wherever ‘here’ is – nor what it is you want of me.”
“I have’a blade’a to your’a family jewels, speak’a now if you’a ave’a any sense.”
“I own a chocolate factory in England, there I’ve said it. Set me free and I will personally make sure you can have all the free chocolate you’ve ever dreamed of.” You see I’m a man who knows the ways of women and their secret chocoholic desires well. I felt sure she couldn’t resist.
“Why’a you’a think’a I wanna your’a rubbish Inglese chocolate Inglese when’a we’a ‘ave’a our bellissimo Italian Modica, Penigina, Ferroro, Gianduiotto and Venchi…then again you’a say as much as I want’a and free…um…um…um…”
As with all my dealings with the fairer sex I just knew that the chocolate scam might wrong foot her so while she was having a jolly good think I decided a swift interjection was called for, “Look simply tell me what it is you want of me and I’ll try to assist.”
“OK Inglese what’a I wanna from you’a is whereabouts of’a Mussolini’s prototype cloak’a of invisibility. We know’a you ‘ave it tucked away somewhere. We know’a you’a ave stolen it from our Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell’Antifascismo.”
“Oh that! Why didn’t you just say? I think I had it folded and tucked away in my trousers for safe keeping as it happens.”
“You lie’a again Inglese I emptied your pockets when I’a rendered you’a unconscious with how you say…a Mickey Finn…last’a night’a and didn’t see it.”
“Of course you didn’t see it you silly moo its bloody invisible. Where did you put my stuff?”
“I’a threw it all in the Tiber.”
“You did what! Well that’s that then you may as well take this bloody blindfold off and set me free. If the truth be told I don’t understand why you I-ties wanted a cloak of invisibility for any way.”
“We need’a eet to ‘ide as our army retreats…you’a know well’a retreating is what’a we’a do best’a and once we ‘ad made many such cloaks we would’a be able to retreat whenever we wanted. Still you’a no use to us now and being Italian we have not’a kept’a instructions on ‘ow to make another one.”
Buggeration I thought to myself for that was I now recalled the goal of my covert mission. For our boys to be kitted out in invisibility cloaks would certainly make fighting the Hun in the European theatre of war hellish easier when the time came! Still at least Mussolini hadn’t got one now either so not a complete failure after all. Regardless I detected that the gal was untying me leaving it to me to rid myself of the wretched blindfold. I really must say that once my eyes had adjusted to the single lightbulb in the cellar where she held me prisoner I couldn’t help but notice she really was a bit of a corker of a gal. We got to chatting and she explained that she too was an intelligence operative and that her name was, somewhat appropriately in the circumstance Frida Inglese-Bastardo. After a little debate we decided to call it a draw and she agreed that she would detain me no longer. We seemed to be getting on ever so well and it was with a twinge of disappointed that time and tide wait for no man and Blighty clearly beckoned. Just one small issue remained outstanding (so to speak) as I was still in the buff.
“Hold you’re horses Frida what about my clothing. If you recall you’ve binned the lot in the river and it’s getting a tad parky about me crucials.”
“Your problemo Inglese.”
“Frida I really do think you’ve forgotten something…something important.”
“What’a that’a be?”
“The lifelong supply of free chocolate…ring any bells?”
“True Inglese…the chocolate I must’a ‘ave the chocolate.”
“In exchange for some appropriate togs?”
“If’a I must I suppose is alright.”
“Bingo – job done. You’ll have enough to bath in forevermore Frida.”
Not that I did actually own a chocolate factory still she believed me and I left Rome less embarrassed than might otherwise have been the case!