Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mrs Goodwythane

Mrs Goodwythane was a patient woman.

She pushed herself out of her armchair and shuffled her thick pink slippers across the carpet and made her way towards the front door, which had just made a knock-knocking sound to indicate somebody wanted her attention.

The triple locked door made a clunk, click, clunk noise as she slid the heavy duty security bolts, chains and locks open and slowly edged her head to the inch wide gap to the outside world.

Her cat Pusspuss, ran inside and through to the kitchen. A tall figure blocked the world and cast an uninvited shadow into her house.

Hello. My name is Lemiwell Jones.” Smiled the well built stranger.

Do I know you?” waivered Mrs Goodwythane.

Um.. no.” admitted Lemiwell. “I’m canvasing in the area. I’m just letting people know that I plan to stand in the election next year and I hope I can count on your vote.” He smiled a friendly smile.

A piece of paper in his hand was offered to mrs Goodwythane and she took it without thinking.

This is my manifesto and what I plan to do for Stockdale and everyone who lives here. I want the town to succeed.” He said.

He seemed a nice gentleman, by all accounts, she thought and thanked him. “I’m sorry I can’t stay at the door. I’m expecting guests any minute….” She explained.

Of course.” Said the gentleman. “Thankyou for you time.” And with that Lemiwell Jones walked off towards next door and continue his journey for prospective votes.

Mrs Goodwythane closed the door, retraced her shuffles and sat back down in her armchair. 
She had just put the pamphlet on the coffee table, next to a tray of cakes and small sandwiches when the door knocked again.

Goodness me!” she exclaimed to herself. “It’s like a piccalilli circus in here today.”

She pushed herself out of her armchair again and shuffled her thick pink slippers across the carpet and made her way towards the front door … again. This time the build up of static electricity created a small but significant spark as she unbolted the door.

Come on COME ON!” growled the voice on the other side of the door. It was the voice of Mrs Baker, her friend and fellow cake eater. “It’s brass monkeys out here Ada… hurry up!

Come in… come in.” smiled Mrs Goodwythane and ushered her friend inside.

Coats and hat were removed and hung on the pegs in the hallway and the two old ladies settled themselves in the front room. Mrs Baker was a tall thin woman with thick brown fingernails almost as long as her bony grey fingers. Her heavy set eyes were surrounded by folds of wrinkles and her tight mouth and whisper thin lips gave the world the expression “Bulldog chewing a wasp”.

Everyone who ever met Mrs Baker would tell you she was horrible old bag. In days gone by she would have burnt as a witch. Not because she practised the dark arts but because it would have made life a lot easier for everyone without a condescending, judgemental of hag bothering them all the time.  

Wednesdays were the set days for morning tea in the Goodwythane household and Mrs Baker was the last to arrive.

It was a point of some contention with Mrs Baker that Mrs Goodwythane had the wrong name.

Nothing would have made Mrs Baker happier to have two friends name Butcher and Candlestickmaker thus creating a nominative determinism trio who would have fun made of them by small children in the street, which in turn would give justification to Mrs Bakers’ hatred of the world, not that she needed any other reason that her want to hate the world and everyone in it.

As it was, there are very few people in the world named Candlestickmaker.

There are even fewer name Goodwythane, but Ada Goodwythane was a very timid lady and although her surname is technically Goode, a combination of having to spell her name over the phone, uninterested customer service advisor's and lack of confidence has resulted in so much of her post coming in the name of Goodwythane, the laws of averages fell into play and it was a lot easier to keep it with the new spelling.

Where’s Betty?” Growled Mrs Baker just as the Betty in question entered the room.

Oh ‘ello love” said the so far unmentioned Betty Butcher. Who had just returned from the bathroom. “I didn’t flush Winnie love.” She said helpfully. (Mrs Goodwythane was on a water meter and all old ladies on a water meter refuse to flush the until everyone has had a go in order to keep the cost down…. It’s not easy being on a pension y’know)

Are those scones fresh?” Barked Mrs Baker, bringing the story back on track.

Freshly baked yesterday morning.” Said Mrs Goodwythane.

Well, they’re not fresh today then are they!” She sneered.

Hmm….” Mrs Goodwythane mused.

Betty Butcher picked up a small cucumber sandwich (triangle shaped – no crust) and noticed the leaflet on the table.

Oh, what’s this then?” she asked, picking up and reading it.

A vote of Lemiwell Jones is a vote for the Future?” she queried.

Mrs Goodwythane wiped a crumb from her mouth. “That’s who was at the door before Mrs Baker came.” She said. “He was canvassing for the election.

The election?” spat Mrs Baker. “That’s not til next year. Honestly, it’s bad enough they put bloody Christmas adverts on in the middle of summer – there’s easter eggs in the shops now y’know!” she lied.

They have to start early. Lot’s to do to get folks on their side.” Argued Mrs Betty Butcher.

Nonsense. They’re just on the rob. Probably foreign as well.” Mrs Baker munched through her third scone.

There was more than a moments silence as the unnecessarily racist comments hung in the air like bad smell.

Mrs Baker failed to notice and continued. “I’ll be voting for that nice Nigel Farage. He’s got his head screwed on.” She nodded to herself.

Mrs Goodwythane and Betty Butcher both winced and nibbled their sandwiches without saying a word.

It’s what this country needs y’know?” She continued a she stood up, brushing crumbs on to the floor.

A bit of bloody common sense.” She walked off to the toilet and left the two others alone.
Hearing the bathroom door slam Betty leaned into Mrs Goodwythane and spoke softly.
It’s not her fault dear. She’s just set in her ways….

Mrs Goodwythane offered a small smile. It didn’t last long. She never had a reason to smile in life.

Her husband had long since left, no children to phone or invite round for Christmas dinner. It was just her and her own thoughts.

Sometimes those thoughts took a turn for the worst…

The flush of the cistern upstairs indicated it was time to leave. Mrs Baker would not want to hang around after going to the loo. Not at her age and not with her bladder (not that she would admit to it).

Mrs Bucher and Mrs Baker said their goodbyes (at least Mrs Butcher did whereas Mrs Baker offered a mild grunt) and left Mrs Goodwythane to clear up the plates and uneaten scones. Putting the plates into the sink, Mrs Goodwythane watered her pot plants and scratched the cats chin. “Not for you puss puss.” She winked and scraped the scones into the bin.

As she walked out with a nice cup of tea Mrs Goodwythane replaced a small bottle into her baking cupboard.  Her secret recipe, especially for Mrs Baker, included an ever increasing amount of antifreeze.

For years she had put up with ‘that woman’ and her outdated views, abusive language and not once…. Not even on her birthday, did Mrs Baker ever say “thankyou.

Not once.

But revenge was on the menu. It had been for a long time and soon it would be all hers.

Mrs Goodwythane was a patient woman.


  1. There are many good reasons why I never have tea and scones with gangs of little old ladies, and it appears the list is getting longer the more I find out about this strange and ancient ritual handed down from little old lady to little old lady. . . . Strangely the story so far has a remarkable similarity to certain little old ladies I have known in the past. I used to live next to one who had a stash of arsenic in her shed, she swore by it as the best weed killer you could get. . . .I dont know where she got it from though.

    Great so far . . . . I love it, nothing quite like a bit of nostalgia for the good old days?

    1. You just can't trust old ladies anymore.....


Poop deck. - hahahahaha I said poop!