Coningshall Parish Council Leader George Sterling turned on the projector and showed the images to a stunned council chamber.
“These images were obtained a few days ago, at great expense, by an undercover operative in Scarsbury.” He was of course referring to himself having taken the pictures in their neighbouring rival town.
“Shocking images, I think you’ll agree. This decorative garden looks the bees knees! They’re just about to unveil it at the height of the tourist-rich summer season, giving us no chance to respond in kind. They’ve even built it right on our border, rubbing our noses in it! So, Ladies and Gentlemen, what do we do?”
After a long silence, a few suggestions filtered in.
“Create our own!” (What, overnight?)
“Ask Scarsbury to go halves with us!” (As if they’d ever agree!)
“Let’s have a Coningshall Air Show!” (We like the sound of this!)
A few heads were nodding at the last suggestion until George pointed out that the lack of an airfield and/or air museum could be a major stumbling block.
Just then then the old-school ring of the Red Phone cut through the chamber. This was not usually a good sign. The phone was the Hot Line from Recently Deceased Solicitor, and Former Council Leader, Peter Kipper.
“My clients, all former Coningshallinans, are not happy. Scarsbury have got one over on us again. George, you’ve got to up your game! I’m working on something from this end, but you’ve got to come up with a response, and sharpish!” The line went very dead.
The meeting broke up and all ten of the councillors adjourned to the Red Lion pub for consolation drinks. The landlord, Reg Lyons (He always answered the phone, “Reg Lyons at the Red Lion!”) was a annoyingly cheerful fellow. But he was a little tight when it came to money matters. He passed round the complimentary drinks to his fellow councillors (one small bottle of out-of-date lemonade or cola per person, maximum.)
Reg spoke up. “I’d be prepared to host a ‘Mice Bucket Challenge’. We could get some mice from the local pet shop. Mind you, we might get some hassle from Animal Rights activists. Still, what’s the worse that could happen?” Not surprisingly, there were no takers.
George was getting a little desperate. “ I’ve got an actor friend, Paddy, who could make the occasional public appearance in town. He once auditioned to be a Dalek in Doctor Who. He didn’t get it though, they said his face didn’t fit.”
Jim Stamp the owner of the Coningshall Gazette spoke for the first time today. “What we need is a bit of controversy to pull the punters in. You know how they found the remains of King Richard lll in a car park? What if we buried a body in the pub car park? Then someone digs it up. It’d make a great headline!” The ideas were beginning to get even more outrageous, when fortunately, a familiar old-school ringtone cut through the conversation.
George pulled out his Red mobile phone and turned on the loudspeaker.
“Hold the front page!” Peter Kipper sounded almost cheerful. Almost. “George, I’ve been doing some digging through title deeds here. It seems that Scarsbury have bungled. Almost all the land they’ve used for the gardens is actually owned by Coningshall. Check your old maps! By rights, Scarsbury will have to give you three quarters of the profits, or sell you the whole thing at a knockdown price. Am I good, or am I good! You owe me one. Good day, George.”
There were cheers all round, apart from Jim Stamp, who still liked the ‘Body in the Car Park’ idea.
Coningshall was to have it’s own Public Garden Paradise! Maybe George’s actor friend, Paddy, could do the official opening?
The photos and story were prompted by the Pixel Post Challenge, hosted by Amanda Lakey at www.UniqueArtChic.com.
Click the logo for more details.
To view the other entries in the challenge, click the Blue Frog.