Ey up, mi Ducks! Davey Sim ‘ere, phonin’ in mi latest report live ’n’ direct from England’s Queen of Counties, Royal Derbyshire.

Nah then, last time I were ower in Brigahs chinwaggin’ wi Dickson Tystone down the Badgerbaiter’s Arms, ‘e’s tellin’ mi it’s no Bobbies’ job tryin’ ta find folks who’ll borrer ‘im their cars to do road test. There’s nowt to be ‘ad, as it goes.

“Nah, let’s be raight,” I tell ‘im. “Five cars tested, five written off. That’s a mixed record you got there, reet enough. So let’s not mank abaht axin’ people first. Test first, ax questions after, I tell ‘im.”

That wipes the mardy gleg off ‘is cleck. Near fell ova ‘is sen wi excitement. “Davey Sim, you’re secretly an undiscovered genius!” ‘e tells me barsily, fairly shekin’ wi gleesomeness at an evil plan that’s just clonked ‘im round the nutelm.

“Your man Nige L Paget’s coming over in a bit to have a quiet word with some of the lads in here,” ‘e says. “If we can get his keys off him, you can nip out, give his car a test, and have it back before he’s any the wiser.”

“Nah, ‘ang abaht, Dickson,” I tell ‘im, tekin fright all a sudden. “Dunna get carried away.” See, Nige is sort of a big Sage Derby in the car parts world. Which, as it ‘appens is the same world I move in, when I do move. I’m not sayin’ I’m puddled or owt, but I’ve ‘ad a couple of jars an’ thought of pranging Nige’s motor fairly puts the jubbers up me.

Tystone’s not tekin’ no for answer, though. “Man up,” ‘e tells me. “You’re doing it – or that business with the Scropton tea ladies goes public.” Nah, ‘es got me dibblers in crodger there, ‘an ‘e knows it.

That same minute, doors fly open an’ in strides ould Nige, half-soaked from the rain, mac comin’ off as he bowls over to our table, keys and phone in ‘and. I’m on mi feet at once, an’ off to bar, ‘opin’ Nige ‘ant clocked me.

“Arate Youth,” I tell some lads ormin’ abaht bar, clitterin’ place up. “Utch up an’ let dog see rabbit!” They move aside, chunterin’ all mardy like. “Pint of Cobblers, Barman,” I blart at the back end of the banty-legged ould bladder-o-lard busy pigglin’ away tryin’ to nuke some kind of toasty in twave.

Wassock tries to tell me I’ve ‘ad enough an’ I should drink some pop instead. “Get pullin’ Grandad, or I’ll cloth yer one,” I warn the ould sket, half-minded to clout the miserable tunnock round tabs anyway, just for good measure. But ‘e tells me to tek missen ‘ome or ‘e’s bellin’ the slops.

Suddenly feelin’ too sloshed, taitered, and generally daddied ower to fuss, I decide i’ll mek messen scarce. But Tystone’s calls me ower at top of ‘is voice. Nige spots me and nods a skitty nod, but ‘e’s deep in conspiratorial with a grisly ould local called, as Tystone tells me, Black Benedict.

Seems Nige is ‘avin’ a spot of bother with Chafer Grubs or some such attractin’ badgers who’ve been firkin’ up his lovely lawns. As the name suggests, Dickson’s local is a hot spot for what you might politely call badger “specialists”.

What these lads specialise in (though it’s all hush-hush) is terminating the little snuffwaddles with minimum fuss and maximum savagery. Not pretty, but if you’re in a bother wi badgers, these lads’ll get job done, an’ no mistek.

While Black Ben’s quizzlin’ Nige on whether it’s Brown Chafers, King Chafers or Cock Chafers, Dickson seems to be tryin’ to hold hands wi me under table. “Clack off, you greeby nardler,” I start tellin’ him. But then I kendle ‘e’s palming me the keys to Nige’s ride outside.

So with a lornin’ heart I trudge out front and thumb the gurndle on electro-fob to plip doors on Nige’s jet black 3 litre Range Rover Sports Hose. There’s no way I’m skizzin’ off anywhere in prized gangstermobile of actual Chief Executive of Europe, I decide.

All very leathery and spruce in here. As black inside as out. No dearth of buttons and dials an’ such. I feel sneeze brewin’ and when it blows, out (along wi various natural secretions) flies unexpected wodge of Badgers’ pizza. I wipe up wi some red an’ white wooly thing wi ZEJAW writ on it.

As I’m stowing the wooly wiper back in glovebox, I spot old Tesco’s bag wi summat in it. Ey up, I think. What’s this ere? Turns out it’s a bunch of typescript pages. Seems ould Nige is writing a book or something called A Brief History of Cop Art. Constable? Sargent? What about that Belgian bloke, Le Dounaier was it? Or is that a customs officer? Nog-ache settin’ in. I let out a weary belch as I stuff bag and papers back in glovebox.

So there I am, just mimberin’ abaht, idlin’ by times, when one of buttons I’m dibbin’ at random sets the RRS rollin off down ‘ill towards Taste of Ghandi curry house cross road. I’m scribblin’ abaht for brake, when I see bloody great truck battin’ down lane straight for us.

I bale, in the nick, scurry back indoors an’ hurl messen down behind pool table at very same moment thunderous crash of glass an’ metal errupts outside and folks rush over to window to see what’s goin’ on. I’m on mi feet again in a jiff an’ slam the keys back on the table before anyone reks what I’m abaht.

Dickson’s giving me this look. But we’re neither of us sayin’ owt.

As for that review, I’d say the RR Sports Hose is a tidy little motor, reet enough.

Controls are a bit brainravellin’ though.


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