Local Talent

Karen welcomed Old Mrs Sindy who was getting her notoriously frizzy and course hair done at Ken’s Unisex Salon, her regular appointment had been moved as there was an unexpected rush on this week.


As usual the place was a hive of activity, buzzing with the sound of whisperd gossip, clippers and heady waffs of hair lacquer. Old Mrs Sindy watched as a confused young man tried to get the assistants attention.


Karen just walked right past him several times while he tried in vain to get her to notice him.

“Er excuse me Miss”


He looked very awkward until the suave salon owner Ken came to his rescue

“Have you got an appointment, love?”

“Yes, I’ve been here for my 3.30 trim” Both the young man and Ken looked at the clock, it was quarter to 4.

Karen whispered loudly, “I swear I didn’t see him.”

“Put your glasses on, you silly moo.” Ken chastised his assistant jokingly, “He’s wearing the same colour blue as the walls!”

IMG_5172As Ken ushered the confused young man to a vacant barbers chair, in walked the very smart and dashing Sir Charles; he rapidly scanned the waiting area and spied Old Mrs Sindy. ‘Perfect’ he thought to himself as he politly nodded across to her, ‘Splendid.’


“Beautiful morning Madam, your hair looks perfection, if I may say so?”

“Ho ho, I haven’t had it done yet, young man!” she chuckled in delight, it had been many a year since she’d had a complement from the rougher sex!

“Ah, I will be interested to see how young Kenneth can surpass your natural beauty.” Sir Charles was incorrigable in his persuit of new prey.


Old Mrs Sindy giggled and blushed.

“I haven’t seen you here before?”

“I’m new to town, recently moved on…I mean in,  not far from here but its only temporary until I can get settled properly.” Sir Charles looked wistfully off into middle distance, as if transpoted on a distant memory.


Old Mrs Sindy studied this dapper military chap, his slightly dull brass buttons and battered cap, there were frays on his cuffs and his boots had seen better days; apart from that he was a fine looking man of indeterminate age.


At that moment Ken bustled through with a final spray of lacquer on his latest hair masterpiece.

“And that my dear is how I create perfection….” He was in a very jolly mood today, although he generally was a happy fellow, there seemed to be a special skip and bounce in his step.


“You, my dear are ready for the ball,” He exclaimed loudly,

“Are you entering the contest too, Ken?”

“I may be ” He tittered and winked and gave yet another final spray.


“It’s all just too exciting!” Sindy entered to collect her friend for some more rehearsal practice.

Sir charles couldn’t help but ask what all the fuss was about and the girls were more than happy to tell him

“A Talent Contest at the Ritzy, there will be celebrity judges and maybe a TV show…” Mindy explained.

“Or record contract..” Sindy butted in, hardly containing her obvious enthusiasm.

“…and huge cash prizes.” Mindy finished.


This was exactly what Sir Charles needed and his brain whirred into overdrive.

In the meantime he continued his persuit of the comely Old Mrs Sindy, even if he had to shout over the dryers.

By the end of his salon visit he had successfully arranged a date to take her out to the new Tiki themed cocktail bar next to the Wimpy on the High Street.


As ususal it was adorned with the beautiful people being all elegant and fashionable, Ken  regularly popped in and out for a top up and to chat with his new friend the barman.


“Oh isn’t it….colourful? I’ve always wanted to come in but not on my own.” Old Mrs Sindy was so glad Sir Charles had asked her.

“What cocktail would you like, my dear?”

“Oooh they all sound….so exotic, I really don’t know, I usually have a port and lemon but what do you recommend?”

“A Piña Colada…that springs to mind, dear lady….for some reason.”

“Oh go on then, you Devil!’ Old Mrs Sindy was ecstatically happy, for a change.

Jolly good.


Meanwhile Burt was busy in the garden when Barry visited on his way to the match.

“Have you had one of these? Sindy is making me hand them out and I’ve only got three left.”

Burt read the flyer as Barry told him how impossible Sindy has been recently,

“She can’t speak of anything else but at least she’s let me go to the footie while she’s rehearsing.”

“Good for you Barry.”

“Well, are you entering then?”

“Hmmm.” Burt murmered thoughtfully.


Later that afternoon, Burt’s mind wondered to his long distant dream of show business and the bright lights, he could almost hear the loud roar of applause and something deep inside him stirred into life.

YES he will be entering!


So the night of the contest had arrived and there was a huge crowd queuing for tickets outside the Ritzy, all the way up the street and almost to the station. The contestants had been practising all afternoon, getting their props and stage routines perfected; everyone wanted to win, it was the biggest thing to happen in this sleepy town since the Tiki bar opened next to the Wimpy.

Darius, the enigmatic owner and proprietor of The Ritzy was to be compare for the night but the rumoured celebrity judges were still a mystery, you would not believe the wild guesses flying around, some were just plain obsurd!


“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, please take your seats Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen!’ It was all very cosmopolitan and the audience loved it.

“Without further ado, our first contestant for tonights extravaganza is …..(drum roll)…. The Magnificent Burtini.”

The crowed were so excited they clapped with all their might as the curtain opened to a darkened stage, the spotlights lit up and there, standing on his podium was a veritable beast of a man.


Oh how the ladies swooned at the sight of his rippling muscles, the oiled thighs and sheer animal magnetism (I’m sure one even fainted!)

With loud grunts of pure energy Burt ( for it was none other than our old friend just using his stage name) managed to lift the enormously heavy barbell weights high into the air.


Of course the whole auditorium cheered encouragingly at his amazing feats of strength, Burt was almost tossing it into the air with apparent ease, posing as each wave of applause reached a crescendo – what a man!


At this point I shall break off and compose myself for the thrilling second half of this tall tale on a small scale.

You may wipe your brow too.

….to be continued shortly.




©Juliette Dodd 2020


Buffet Party

Sindy was getting really excited about tonight, it would be her very first Buffet party and she’d invited all her friends and neighbours.

The food was lovingly prepared following all the latest recipes, oh it was so very modern and she really wanted to impress her guests with exotic delicacies.

After a relaxing soak in a bubbly bath to freshen up, Sindy tried hard not to feel tense and nervous.

Meanwhile Barry was also in the bath getting ready for the weekend after a long and heavy working week, his latest job as a bin man wasn’t as much fun as others he’d had and it made him sweat bucketloads.

‘Oh no is that a spot coming’, she was devastated at the prospect.

Preening in the mirror, Sindy had just the product that would sort this problem out and it was quickly applied.

His trusty back scrubber reached those hard to get places perfectly, Barry was now truly as clean as a new pin in every possible place.

‘I feel pretty, oh so pretty…’ Sings Sindy as she beautifies herself, the building excitement is beginning to give her butterflies in her tummy.

‘As close as a man can get,’ is the slogan to this part of Barry’s routine, he wants to impress and knows how Sindy can’t stand bristles.

‘Not too much lipstick, keep it subtle,’ Sindy applies her make up, ‘I’m NOT a tart!’

“What you looking at?’ Barry puts on a pretend American accent.

“You talking to me?”

“You talking to ME?” He flexes as he poses, what a handsome fellow, a fact no one could deny.

‘Just some extra napkins to fold’, Sindy has prepared everything beautifully and laid a table fit for a King, now its just a case of waiting for the guests, soon her nerves were twitching.

‘Just a small taster to see if everything’s nice,’ Sindy ate to calm her and she enjoyed every savoury mouthful.

‘Who’s that?’ she thought as she heard the back door open and slam shut.

Barry waltzed into the dining room loudly opening a pocket of crisps.

“Nice spread, Sinders.” He remarked as he eyed the sumptuous table heaving with goodies to eat. She hated that nick name.

“I’m so glad you’re here to help me Barry.” She really was relieved he come early instead of stopping off at the pub first ( it has been known).

Barry greedily sampled every dish on the table, he was starving although he didn’t think much of those green olives, yuk, too wet and salty.

“NO BARRY! Wait until the guests arrive.” Sindy chastised him in an affectionate way. just as he reached for (another) devilled egg.

She didn’t like him eating eggs as they had an unfortunate and very anti-social aftermath.

The guests all arrived on time at 7 ‘o’clock on the dot, her best friend Mindy and her cousin June plus a host of neighbours; things suddenly got very busy at Sindy’s buffet party.

“Is that your boyfriend then?”Asked Cousin June curiously.

“He seems to be very friendly with her?” Commented Mindy.

Barry was deep in conversation with …Sindy wasn’t sure exactly who that girls was, a niece of her neighbour maybe?

Busy being the perfect hostess Sindy couldn’t help but notice Barry was STILL chatting to her some time later. If looks could kill, that poor girl would have been mortally wounded by now.

‘Oh yes please.” Cousin June grabbed at a succulent sausage as Sindy mournfully gazed over to her boyfriend while offering the final meat platter around.

“I’d never let my boyfriend talk to the likes go her.” Mindy ranted, although she didn’t have a boyfriend anymore, not since Paul had come out.

Shortly afterwards the uninvited guest made her excuses and left early.

“Bye bye and thank you for coming,” Sindy called out politely as she disappeared through the door.

Things got a bit awkward quite quickly as everyone else made their excuses and slinked away.

“Who was that girl you seemed so engrossed with?” Sindy may have had a few more sherrys than she was used to.

Her friends left the scene.


“I was just being nice to your friend.” He didn’t think there was a problem, Sindy was being a little over the top.

“She wasn’t my friend.”

“How was I to know, I’m not a mind reader, I’m off till you calm down.” Barry grabbed his jacket and the last devilled egg and walked out the door, leaving Sindy suddenly all alone.

‘Nooo.” She wailed as the door slammed behind him.

“I didn’t mean….”

Before she knew what she was doing the secret stash of chocolate had come out and she was scoffing for England

Caramac, Marathon, Bounty and Curly Wurly bars, the whole confection selection was consumed.

Just beginning on a huge family sized chocolate bar did Sindy come to her senses.

Gosh, that’s better.

“I am a silly billy and with all this washing up to do!” She cleaned her teeth and busied herself with the Buffet party aftermath, although all of the food had gone ( except the olives)

Meanwhile, Barry had route marched his frustration down to the town centre, as he passed the bright inviting lights of The Ritzy he was drawn into the lush interior and the promise of a quiet drink at the bar.

‘Have you got any change for the Duke box?” Called a sweet voiced as he stormed like fury through the foyer.

Barry fumbled in his pocket but he only had a nice crisp fiver from yesterdays payday, he never liked to go out with a pocket full of shrapnel.

“Ooh, mines a cocktail, if you’re offering?” she giggled, Barry wasn’t but how could he refuse such big beautiful eyes and pretty smile.

“A blue cocktail, to match you’re eyes.” He really knew how to flatter a girl and it worked a treat.

Her other admirer had stocked up the records and the joint was jumping once again.

“You must come here more often, I work here most nights.” She tittered while sexily swaying to the latest tunes. Barry was certainly interested.

He was a lonely man in need of comfort.

“Come up and see me.” She seductively handed him her hotel room keys, number 304 and winked.

Barry was shocked, never in his wildest dreams did he imagine this would happen to him, it was like a film story.

Now he was flung into a moral dilemma.

Should he stay or should he go?

Her big beautiful eyes said yes…..

What would you do?

This story continues in the ‘Bingo Hall’

©Juliette Dodd 2019