Saturday, 25 December 2010

Uncle's Christmas Message

Uncle’s Annual Christmas Message as broadcast today:

Hail to Glorious Uncle Anthem – intro pictures of the Great Hall at Homeward

Cut to Uncle at his desk in front of the Great Christmas Tree.

2010 has been a difficult year for many of you, in particular for those in Badgertown facing the economic downturn and deepening recession. We, here at Homeward, are weathering it all better than most – due to my excellent head for economics.

Sadly, I have noticed that some of you dwarfs have been missing your rent payments – even though I only charge a farthing a week!

At this special time of year, all over the World, we celebrate the spirit of community so come on, let’s see a bit more civic responsibility and pay your rent on time!

The spirit of community should not just be for one or two days; it should be something for every day, but you have all got a bit lax and selfish recently

What is the solution to this sorry state of affairs? There is only one.

Sport, sport and more sport!

I have decided that 2011 will be a “Year of Sport” in Homeward.

There shall be a singing competition, dwarf throwing events, a new Spigots league, and a water cricket tournament!

In the spirit of fraternity, I have even agreed to a friendly game of “mob football” between the people of Homeward and Badfort.

This will be played on the ground between the two castles involving an unlimited number of players on the opposing teams.

The winner will be the first team to get an inflated pig's bladder into the opposition’s moat.
I have Beaver Hateman’s word that his players will not have skewers or Duck Bombs secreted about their persons.

By the end of the year I am sure we shall see a return to that traditional community spirit so typical of our proud City, and we shall once again see Homeward united!

Remember, be an upstanding citizen, pay you’re rent, and you will always have a friend in Uncle!

A very merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, 24 December 2010

The Elementalist, A Christmas Ghost Story

A final Christmas tale of Stiener Brashburg's Antique Shop 'Temptations'.

As I have previously recounted, each purchase from Brashbag's comes with "a big novelty surprise". For those who pay a fair price this surprise is generally good, but for those that cheat Brashburg - well, a nasty fate awaits all of them.

Sigismund Hateman came to rue the day that, whilst out of sight of Brashburg, he put the price tag of a cheaper snuff box on the one he wanted to buy.

Brashburg sold him the box at the altered price, bidding him farewell with a cheery "I hope you enjoy snuffing it."

When sniffed, snuff causes one to sneeze - but the preparation contained in this particular snuff box was none other than Gleamhound's "clear your nose" snuff - as his concoctions always work backwards Sigismund soon found his nose completely blocked. Unfortunately, however, this was not the only damaging aspect to the snuff box - for it had once been stolen from the Haunted Tower.

"Dis snuff has bade be all blocked up" complained Sigismund as he sat by the fire in Badfort Castle. "Id going do ruin by Bismas! - an I god a pain in by ear too!"

Hootman walked in and let out a yell! "I'm not surprised you got a pain in your ear! There's a bloomin Elementalist sitting on your shoulder poking it with a skewer!"

Being a spirit, Hootman can see other supernatural beings that are unseen by ordinary mortals.

He cast a few runes and managed to make the Elementalist partly visible - Hitmouse tried to skewer it but as it was made of something like a thick fog, this was no good.

"You rotten little ghost! You are spoiling our Christmas!" shouted Beaver.

"Well, what do you think its like being stuck in a snuff box over Christmas?" wailed the Elementalist. His voice was piercing, and so strident they all had to put their hands over their ears.

"Alright, alright, thats enough screaming and wailing!" muttered Beaver "You can stay with us for Christmas - if you behave yourself!"

The Elementalist was ecstatic "Oh Brill, nobody has ever invited me to spend Christmas with them! They usually try and exorcise me !" he said joyfully.

"Blimey, don't tell anyone we were nice to you! It'll ruin our reputation!" laughed Beaver. "Here, have a flagon of Black Tom, and join us in a few choruses of a good old Christmas song!"

The elementalist sang in a high falsetto voice, with the Badfort Crowd.

On a bitter winter's night
By the gates of METZ
I waited in the fading light,
In my torn VEST.

So, once more, Stiener Brashburg's Antique Shop 'Temptations' had worked its magic - even the Badfort Crowd had been imbued with something of the Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Gatecrasher, A Christmas Ghost Story - Part Two

As you will recall, I was recounting the tale of the mirror that I had bought from Stiener Brashburg's Antique Shop 'Temptations' as a Christmas present for the Old Monkey.

Rather foolishly, we had agreed to the Muncle's suggestion that we hold a Christmas seance.

Suddenly, a ghostly figure appeared in the mirror and floated into the room crying "feed me, feed me!"

It was none other than Hootman - Beaver Hateman's spectral schemer!

"Begone, you conspiring anarchist - you are the one responsible for plotting most of Beaver Hateman's schemes against me!" I cried.

But the Old Monkey pleaded the waif like spirit's cause "After all, it is Christmas, Sir, and he does look very hungry" he argued.

"Oh alright, as it is Christmas.." I began, but, suddenly, the rest of the Badfort Crowd appeared from the mirror!

"Cheers Unc!" declared Beaver "We have been waiting ages in that Netherworld for some rich old fool to buy this bloomin' mirror from Brashburg's shop!"

Being Christmas, I had no choice but to invite the Badfort Crowd to join our feast.

I had organised a mighty meal. My feasting table was so loaded with provisions that it had actually to be supported in places by casks of ham!

Even so, the Badfort Crowd were soon stuffing themselves and grabbing the tastiest morsels before my guests had a chance to sample them.

As the clock began to strike midnight, Beaver shouted "Cheers Unc!" and extended his hand to shake mine.

However, I spotted the spiky sprig of holly tucked away in his palm and looked at him coldly.

"So you won't shake hands?" began Hateman. "Right lads get out your duck bombs, it's Midnight. Christmas is over, truce is over! We are going to take Homeward and teach this despotic elephant a thing or two!"

The Badfort Crowd drew out their weapons and looked menacingly at my guests.

But, as the clock finished striking twelve, a mighty wind pulled Beaver and his cronies back into the mirror!

I admit a feeling of relief, each purchase from Brashburg's comes with "a big novelty surprise" and I had thought that, despite my exemplary behaviour, mine might have been about to be a nasty one.

We looked into the mirror at the Badfort Crowd shivering in the cold, dingy, infernal realm inside.

"Merry Christmas!" I cried to Beaver - and he scowled back at me. "I think that we shall leave them to reflect on their appalling behaviour for a few days before we ask Brashburg how to release them." I suggested to the Old Monkey "In the meantime, they can watch us enjoy the rest of the festivities!"

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Gatecrasher, A Christmas Ghost Story - Part One

Another Christmas tale of Stiener Brashburg's Antique Shop 'Temptations'.

One Christmas, I was doing my usual search, at his shop, for unusual curios to give as presents.

Prominently displayed was a most splendid antique mirror - "How much for that wonderful artifact?, my good man" I inquired.

"Oh, I am afraid that is a moost unique item, Sir. I would have to ask £50 for it, really." replied Brashburg.

"Nonsense it is worth far more than that - I shall give you £100!" I replied, feeling full of beneficient Chrismas spirit.

"Oh thank you, Sir, that is most generous!"

As I have previously recounted, each purchase from Brashburg's comes with "a big novelty surprise". But for those who pay a fair price this surprise is generally good, so I had no qualms over my purchase.

On Christmas day I gave it to the Old Monkey and he was most pleased.

However, the trouble began when the Muncle suggested that, it being Christmas - a time when the spirits are supposed to walk abroad amongst their fellow men, we should hold a seance.

I knew that no good would come of you will see.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Door, A Christmas Ghost Story - Part Two

Yesterday, I told of how Beaver Hateman conned Stiener Brashburg into selling him an antique door, reclaimed from the Haunted Tower, for half a crown. A nasty fate awaits all who cheat Brashburg - for the items he sells all exact retribution, good or bad.

"Brilliant Boss!" cried Hitmouse when Beaver returned to Badfort with his prize "But, where we gonna put it?"

"I fort it would make a brill new door for the Black Tom Store!" declared Beaver. As you know, Black Tom is a noxious, but extremely, intoxicating brew - much favoured by the Badfort Crowd.

Their Black Tom store is huge - the size of a large dungeon.

The Badfort Crowd celebrated Beaver's find with much drinking of this liquor.

However, The Door began to exert a strange fascination over Hateman - mainly because he was very thirsty and the Badfort Crowd had soon drunk all the jars of Black Tom in the Feasting Hall.

To resounding cheers from his cronies, he declared that he would fetch some more Black Tom from the store.

But when he opened the door, the enormous store of alcohol had mysteriously turned into a tiny Stationery Cupboard!

Standing in it was a small ghost, muttering "I did it! I took the photocopy paper!"

Beaver was unsympathetic "Where's our Black Tom gone you horrible little runt!" he shouted.

A bucket of coal happened to be standing near and Beaver picked it up and emptied it over the ghost.

Beaver was about to turn around and call in his gang, to interrogate the diminuitive spirit, but found the door had shut fast behind him.

"There is no escape!" cried the ghost "This Stationery Cupboard was in the Haunted Tower - I was trapped inside when I tried to steal some stationery supplies and I starved to death! It traps all those who enter through it!"

"We'll soon see about that!" cried Beaver bringing out his trusty axe from beneath his sackcloth robes and proceeding to smash the door.

As he did so the Stationery Cupboard began to crumble. "Oi, you can't do that!" cried the Ghost "That's vandalism!"

Finally, Hateman managed to break the door from its hinges and in a puff of dust the Stationery Cupboard once more became the Black Tom Store.

"Ooooh errrr! what am I going to do now?" blubbed the ghost "I've got nowhere left to haunt?"

"You're welcome to haunt Badfort if you like mate!" said Beaver "here have a jug of Black Tom - That'll cheer you up!"

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Door, A Christmas Ghost Story - Part One

Everyone enjoys a good ghost story at Christmas, so, over the next few days I thought I would regale you with some of the curious incidents that have taken place here at Homeward.

As you know, I always like to do a Christmas shop at Stiener Brashburg's Antique Shop 'Temptations'. He always has the most interesting curios - eighteenth-century crabtree cudgels, medieval boaster's stools and the like. His motto is "Offers You Cannot Resist".

One Christmas, I arrived rather late - having stocked up with bargains from Cheapman's Store first. He had a number of electric cars at the bargain price of five shillings so I snapped up fifty of them for the Homeward Taxi service.

"Any interesting curios, my good friend?" I inquired.

"Well, I did have the most magnificent ancient ornate door - reclaimed, I thought, from the Haunted Tower. I priced it at £200. I think that you would have most impressed." he replied.

"A bargain - has someone beaten me to it, then?", I responded, sadly. I must admit I was somewhat disappointed that this wonderful artifact had slipped through my hands.

"I'm afraid so, Sir. A mister 'Hateman' came in early this morning looking for a present for his dear maiden aunt, he said. He spotted the door and was quite aghast at the price. He informed me that it might well be worth the asking price - it it were not for the fact that it was clearly a reproduction. He offered me half a crown to take it off my hands - as it was Christmas he wanted to do me a favour. In the circumstances I accepted his offer. Such a shame, I was sure it was an original from the famous Haunted Tower!" said the despondent Brashbag.

"Hateman, you say? I fear that you have been tricked, Steiner. Hateman is the leader of the Badfort Crowd and is renowned as a con artist." I replied.

Brashbag was furious - and Hateman had made a grave error of judgement in cheating the proprietor of this store. For each purchase comes with "a big novelty surprise". For those who pay a fair price this surprise is generally good, but for those that cheat Brashbag - well, a nasty fate awaits all of them.

What would fate bring Beaver Hateman as a reward I wondered?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Wheelchair Attack!

Last night, whilst on a visit to the King of the Badgers, a man in a wheelchair hurtled towards me and ran over my foot!

I was in fear for my life!

Luckily, a vigilant member of the Badgertown Police bravely dragged my attacker from his lethal weapon and threw him to the ground.

It transpired that he was merely an autograph hunter, but in these times of unrest in Badgertown one cannot take chances - anyway, one should not go around dressed in sackcloth if one does not want to be mistaken for a member of the Badfort Crowd. He could well have been Beaver Hateman in one of his nefarious disguises!

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Prince of Philanthropists

I have been forced to reprimand Piers Morgan and Sir Alan Sugar for their unseemly behaviour on Twitter.

It really is beyond the pale to bicker over who is raising the most for charity, it is unseemly conduct which could lead people to question the actions of all us multi-millionaire and billionaire philanthropists.

It is also a pointless exercise - for am I not known as the 'Prince' of Philanthropists?

Have Mister Morgan or Sir Alan ever been presented with a painting, by a world renowned artist (Waldovenison Smeare), depicting one of their charitable acts?

I talk of course of the famous work of art "Uncle opening the Dwarf's Drinking Fountains" - one of my many great deeds of benovolence.

How many civic leaders have had a statue dedicated to them by students of the university they have funded?

For it is true, in recognition of my bountiful dedication to free university education the students of Homeward University erected a fine effigy, of myself, to grace the entrance.

Mind you it makes sound economic sense - I can only charge uneducated dwarfs a farthing a week rent (although they do get a fair wage down my mines) whereas graduates get far better paid jobs and I can charge them a halfpenny!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

King of Badgers poked!

It is an absolute disgrace!

The King of the Badgers was poked last night by violent student protestors.

No doubt encouraged by that yob, Beaver Hateman.

I admire the King's fortitude of spirit, coming under such violent assault, - apparently he only fainted twice.

Of course, I have some sympathy with the protestors - coming from humble beginnings myself I would never have had the opportunity to have gone to University or to have enjoyed the many edifying recreational pursuits therein if it were not for the fact that I was able to gain a scholarship.

However, the rule of law must be upheld and The Badgertown Police were right to enforce this with the utmost severity.

As always, one must be magnanimous - I have sent the hospitalised student badgers a crate of bananas and a crate of grapes to show there are no hard feelings over the matter.

Monday, 6 December 2010

King insulted on Radio Badfort

The King of the badgers agreed to appear on Badfort Radio News this morning, to discuss the spending cuts he has been forced to implement.

I told him not to, but he refused to heed my warning.

As I suspected he was insulted before even coming on air.

Beaver Hateman claims that it was a slip of the tongue and that he meant to say "Coming up we have the Head Brock, himself, the King of the Badgers..."

But, in what he blames as a spoonerism, he declared "Coming up we have the Head *ock, himself..." and then dissolved into a giggling fit.

How can anyone say that on the radio! It's a disgrace.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Homeward under Snow

As usual, it is a fierce winter here at Homeward.

We had to mobilise Cowgill's digging machine to look for a family of badgers who had got lost while searching for a Christmas tree in the heavy snow.

Having found them, we then had to go and rescue passengers from a steam train that Noddy Ninety had rather foolishly driven into a snow drift.

The Badfort News, however, is claiming that I engineered this snow event to distract everyone from the final crisis of capitalism!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cables expose Hateman's 'mafia state'

A very interesting article has appeared in the Homeward Gazette:

Badfort is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Beaver Hateman in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a "virtual mafia state", according to leaked secret diplomatic cables that provide a damning American assessment ofthe Badfort regime.

In his cables the US ambassador details countless examples of the theft and extortion carried out by the Badfort Crowd:

1) The farmer, Butterskin Mute, reports the theft of his largest pumpkins by Mister Hateman.

2) Mister Hateman pretended that he owned Lonely Tower (belonging to Uncle) and charged the occupants excessive rents.

3) Mister Hateman impersonated a school inspector and forged a permit to Sweet Tower for the children in order to appear generous at Uncle's expense.

4) Mister Hateman attempted to defraud Uncle by substituting gold for gilt lead.

5) Mister Hateman attempted to extort free food from Cadcoon's Store and when he was refused set the store on fire.

The ambassador went on to say:

"Beaver Hateman cannot be trusted - he likes to portray himself as the champion of the people, a modern day Robin Hood. But it is quite clear that his main aim is to steal from the rich (Uncle) and give to himself. His cloak of revolutionary fervour is merely a mask for criminal activity."

Beaver Hateman made clear he was not amused by a US diplomat's description of him . "To be honest with you, we did not suspect that this [criticism] could be made with such arrogance, with such rudeness, and you know, so unethically," he remarked.

Well, perhaps these yanks are not so stupid after all! Alongside such abuses as the slanderous statements made about myself, there are a host of cables, such as those that reveal the true nature of Hateman, that reflect very much better on the United States.