Jeeves saves the vote!
Telephone: CENtral 2278
6th May 2021.
Good afternoon El Reg readers,
Jeeves awoke me at some god earthly hour with the cup that cheers and a silver platter containing letters from various people I've been trying to avoid like the plague and also during this plague.
I asked Jeeves to deal with these coves in his usual expeditious style.
However, Jeeves held out a communication marked "Polling Card". Strange I thought, how did the bally blighters got my info?
Jeeves informed me that he'd held the card back for a few weeks as it was not needed until today. I gave him a short stare.
The penny dropped after breakfast... Aunt Dido is currently stepping out with this bounder "Bingo Johnson", and the word on the old bush telegraph is that he's currently flying in rather high circles in the Civil Service or Government, not much difference I guess.
The old grey matter stewed a bit more and I concluded that Aunt Dido had slipped Bingo Johnson my address to sign me up for a vote!
The card gave the date of the poll, today. Opening times and location being Brambly Bottom Village Hall, it contained an instruction to "BYOB" - Jeeves interjected and solemnly informed me that this stood for "Bring Your Own Biro".
I told Jeeves I would happily take a bottle of Port to the hall, but a Biro, certainly not. Bingo Johnson has the old finance to stump up a few shillings for a writing instrument.
As the card was posted from Her Majesty I could hardly refuse the invite, Jeeves agreed, he had apparently had an invite for these "polls" for a number of years.
The invite specified our polling station and opening times, so no need to rush, I suggested to Jeeves we scoot round after luncheon.
Well I tried to telephone Aunt Dido without any luck about the poling situ in the afternoon, was even tempted to send her a Telegram.
Though Aunt Dido is careful with money and would disapprove of not getting a "bang for your buck" in the strongest possible terms.
So at 6.00 on the dot Jeeves got the old two seater and we trundled from the nest to the Village Hall.
We turned into the village square and parked outside the hall. Bob Merryweather was on the gate outside the hall and helpfully told us to put the plague masks on, unless we had TB or smoked 40 Captain full strength a day. We donned the masks that Jeeves had managed to purchase a job lot from Debenhams.
Above the entry to the hall I spotted Bill Baxter* from nearby Middleton. He was aloft his ladder and was putting the finishing touches to the new sign "Nightingale Bottom Village Hall" a whiff of fresh oil paint and stale pipe tobacco emanated from his direction.
On the door to the inner sanctum stood a rather rotund bald chappy wearing a black full length jacket, tie and trousers coupled with a white shirt.
He was a rather menacing type, an armband strapped to his arm with a plastic badge he polished at regular intervals. A walkie talkie was squawking from his large waist the muffled voice repeating "make sure the punters have got a biro, no biro they ain't fucking coming in...over and out" He replied "Roger" though I'm bally sure the voice sounded very much like Aunt Dido....
He grimaced at Jeeves and I. More me for some reason. He questioned us about our supply of Biro's and cautioned us that we must have them in our possession.
I took the lead (as usual) and told him we had suitable writing instruments that met his criteria. I think the words "writing instruments" had too many syllables for his grey matter to process.
He snarled at us and let us pass. Jeeves at this point buttonholed me and pointed out we had no "Biro" instruments on our persons. I told the fellow to get a grip and we proceeded to the tellers desk. "Name?" she asked I said we had our cards. "No" we want your name "Bertram Wilberforce Wooster" I replied. "Address?" I furnished it to her with the greatest respect I could muster. Jeeves got the same interrogation. The polling cards were just a ploy, redundant, forlorn and placed in a dustbin.
We were handed on to a more happy chappy, "Hi my names is Sandy how can I help you today, thanks for visiting the Nightingale" the previous minion whispered loudly that we had passed the identity check i.e Name, Address.
Sandy flung open his ballot sheet papers and proceeded to give them a good banging with his stamping machine. He appeared to gain great satisfaction from a small machine. Finally having being presented with the ballots Sandy enquired as to whether we were in possession of our own Biro's individual Biro's.
This was the time to come clean and spill the old beans. I informed Sandy that we didn't have the requisite items and could he lend us a bookies or Argos pen for the duration.
In a blink of a second Sandy rose to his feet and in a high, very high pitch tone shouted "Security Security Code Biro". In a flash the grimacing door chap rumbled over and restrained and sat upon ... Jeeves.
Jeeves had been spotted pulling something out of his waistcoat pocket.
A short while later Jeeves and I retired to the Portobello Club (Est. 1867) (No Riff Raff allowed) We sat there in a numb fashion and happened upon a couple of American guys from the Dominion Voting Company Of America Inc.
We had a few drinks together, they preferring this ghastly Southern Comfort concoction. We played safe with the newly invented "High Commissioner" blended whisky.
We chatted about things that are different over the pond. Jeeves explained he has secreted two Biros on his person and was about to flash them at Sandy. Well in the end no harm done. Jeeves voted Socialist, I for Bing Johnson.
As for the American voting machines Johnnie's. I told them straight. Nothing more than a pen (or pencil) is need in this Great British Democracy.
* Bill Baxter, a gentleman and superb signwriter from Middleton, Morecambe. Lancashire. Bless you Bill RIP.