Daithidh MacEochaidh

Put it in Triplicate, kiddah

Jenkins the Tax is not even Welsh, but he still pays no tax. Once, he even filled his second best tractor with red diesel and drove all the way to London just to make sure he paid no tax. So, I suppose, Jenkins the Protagonist has been reasonably well named, despite the possibly surface implication that the subject is Welsh: so much for semantics, think syntax as my I have problems with. You could, at this point, if you so wished, enter the discussion of the chance-found relationship between the signified and the signifier, but don't. You have three wishes and don't make that one of 'em.

Back to Jenkins the Tax warming his aspirations by the television watching Farmers Blind Date with a bottle of Newky Bruun in his hand, three others in various parts of his guts, bladder and a crate in the pantry, because Jenkins the Tax don't believe in fridges, despite once dabbling with a weak form of the verification principle in Comet. The action is hotting up. There is Cilla patronising some straw-sucking, pig breeder from Wetwang in the Wold, while behind the panel a Cheviot, a Swaledale and a rare breed Suffolk, huddle and bleat and make cow's eyes at the camera despite a contradiction in terms or a possible oxymoron, that kind of kine and yet still reasonably ewers-friendly (pun, please laugh it might save me from ringing the Samaritans again.) Jenkins the Tax is getting into the show. Once, he even made it to the semi-finals but for punching some turnip-muncher from Somerset who suggested that Cilla looked not unlike a sheep's ass. Jenkins was livid, not only that, he knew a thing about sheep's asses and other such donkey work, and he knew when his sheep were being insulted. So, Jenkins the Tax never quite made it, sent home in disgrace and the second-slot sheep tucked surreptitiously down his Gabriel Oak boots (queue literary allusion, clap, ye bastards, clap). Despite the maddening crowd of studio audiences who wouldn't biblically know one end of a yowe (dialect for ewe {this is the ethnic authenticity section - okay yar}) from a walk on part in Emmerdale. Jenkins the Tax allus watches the show religiously, praying that his most fancied bit of four-legged tottering totty is chosen, even though he worries about the death of God knows what next and Nietzche's ubermensch wearing red underpants on the outsize of his tights and did you know that bulls are colour-blind and a red rag to an Orangeman would get you more of a reaction. (Aye, time for a bit of bigotry: the irrelevant Ian Paisley choking on his own tie, committing the sin of onanism 1 whilst perusing the glossy adverts for 21st century Popemobiles - get behind me, Satan!)

So where am I? Who cares. It's your man Jenkins the Tax that is important, as he earnestly awaits the results. The thick tyke from Wetwang is shuffling from welly to welly, umming and arring, enough for a walk on part in The Archers. Cilla patronises him, really quite well for a woman of her lack of standing, especially of the under variety, doesn't she realise that people only watch this for ironic purposes - ask any fecker doing an art-farty degree why they watch it and you get the same old reply - Kierkegaard's Concept of Irony and hey like, wow, you know, like, has anyone been using my vegimite, like you know, it's....can't be naffed referencing much more of this banality: after three degrees, I'd either hang the bastards or bring back national service or perhaps silver service or even upstairs/downstairs back from the dead from the dark side of repeat subscription television - get back on the box Gordon Jackson.

Jenkins is beside himself and the corner of his chair and not too far removed from his trusty bottle of bruuuuuun. There's map-references too should you wish to contact me regarding the nicer points of the compass and literary constructions of deixis. Personally, I think you'd be better off down the pub, blowing the dust off the doms and having it large with a no holds barred game of fives and threes - a muckle man's game if ever there wasn't one to hand otherwise.

"You thick shit!" Nay, not you, don't get shirty. It's Jenkins the Tax swearing at the telly, that chump from Wetwang in the Wold has dropped a bollock. It couldn't have been worse if he'd dropped a bullock, after all what is the raising of a vowel between friends.

"Sheep No.1, you like chewing turnip, hanging around with the rest of the girls and crapping," the voice over presenter says, a nice man called Nigel, who obtained his equity card in hospital radio and never recovered. "Sheep No.2, you like hanging around with the rest of the girls, licking salt blocks and crapping," Nigel continues, rather suavely for a man who was born just outside of Scunthorpe. "Sheep No.3, you like destroying any chance of tree seedlings re-establishing a native woodland, dancing around your handbag and would love to meet a tall, dark shepherd in wolf's clothing, as well as crapping," Nigel finishes, then ponders what he's going to have for supper; a large baked potato with tuna and mayonnaise, probably.

"So which one of these lovely girls are you going to pick, Harold," says Cilla, having a lorrah laughs and modelling a mini skirt that's making her look like mad cow disease dressed as mutton chops. Jenkins the Tax is off his seat, an old rocker left to him by a grandma with no hair but some of her own teeth, anyroad he's shouting at the telly, apoplectic with tension, pointing inarticulately at the sheep of his choice, unable to get a decent or even an indecent word out, lexicography never been a subject he studied at school. It's no contest in his eyes. At lang last, while Harold, the Farmer from Wetwang in the Wold, still dithers, Jenkins the tax roars: "Howay, man, kiddah, Number Two! Ye thick Yorkshire Pudding, good god man, she's got so much personality!"

"Come on, chuck, they're all lovely girls, but you've gorra pick one!" says Cilla, and the audience breaks open a can of laughter. Jenkins dances with rage and Harold still procrastinates till out, in a torrent of red hot passion, he mumbles, "I think I'll take sheep number three, Cilla."

That's it, Jenkins the Tax gans off on one. He boots the telly, smashes the remains of his bottle against the far wall, just above the mantelpiece and his picture of his divorce, just outside Clacton on Sea: one large divorce me quick hat and a not inconsiderable stick of candyfloss - happy days. It could get nasty at Home Farm, the telly is sparked out, Jenkins the tax is looking for his shotgun and another Newky Bruuuuuuuuuuun, when there is this light rap at the back door. (oo - the suspense!)

Look who's standing there, if you have that sort of surveillance equipment and you're a right nosey bastard. If not, read this space and a few after it. There, all in black like a recruiting advert for the surreal I.R.A., is Seth Oxter, a ne'er do well and back door higgler, known to the poaching fraternity for miles around, although he prefers his eggs fried with a serving of Afghan hash-browns on the side.

"What the buggering chuff do you want?" says Jenkins the Tax, a man not to mince his words, just his lambs' balls when in season and seasoned with a generous dose of black pepper and salt.

"....." The man in black says nowt. He undoes his jacket and whips out a wether, despite the rain (another pun, come on, ye gobshites - laugh, I need all the humour I can get). The beastie is looking far from happy, perhaps somewhat timorous, certainly down in the mouth, not that Jenkins the Tax is looking a gift-oss in the gob. Nay, he's stabled it around the back with the rest of Nietzsche's rantings against the herd wether you heard it or not. (Not an entirely successful bit of word-play, but you're getting this for nowt and you don't look a gift-oss in the mush which reminds me of Jenkins the Tax.)

So there we have it, Jenkins the tax whips off a welly, pulls out a wad of folding thick enough to choke a bull, though he only keeps sheep, chickens and an extensive collection of kiddie porn (Jenkins was into young goats - another pun and rather distasteful on all counts, I admit rather sheepishly.) So, out with the wongar, a squirt of spit on top and wee bit more luck money and a nod is as good as a wink to a someone who is not looking and has better things to do with their life than oversee such drivel in the driving rain. Seth Oxter is happy, he makes offski nash double quick time despite having nay sense of rhythm, just ask his wife, trying the ald natural method of birth control and a papal bull and it's not all oss play - it not funny at all for Seth, for Mrs Seth and their twenty-four childer.

The lamb of god who takes away the sins of the world has nothing to do with any of this. It is just the ald Catholic guilt seeping out of me: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, and ma x-girlfriend nay mercy at all.

The wether is in there, a death sentence for the livestock with every breath. Jenkins the Tax puts his welly back on, so the ozone layer around Whittingham might just have a chance of recovery. This is in direct contradistinction to the fate of the farm animals, which is a bit of a bugger as the slugs were just about to stage an uprising, invertebrates everywhere were answering the rallying war cry of: "Legs not bad, no legs better!" Aye, anyway, back at the ranch, which reminds me of the ald joke, did you hear about the randy cowboy, burnt his ass riding the range. Hardly Proust, but a memory nonetheless. So, nay procrastination, and without further ado, while all the nefarious goings on have been tautologically going on, a piece of coal has spilled from the fire and set fire to the lino. There's a blaze, a warm welcome for Jenkins the Tax and this also fulfils ma obligations to Rich Clegg who demanded a story containing three conditions: sheep, brown ale and a fire. And there's himself, Jenkins the Tax warming his ass, supping a Newky Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuun watching his hame gan up in smoke and gutted as a kipper and nearly twice as smoked when some interfering cunt rings the local fire brigade. The men of Alnwick whip out and sing "Men of Harlech" (do you spell it like that?) to Jenkins the Tax who fiddles with the top of another Newky Bruuuuuuuuuuun while his house burns. They are in fine voice, they ken that Jenkins is not Welsh, but they like to wind him up a bit just the same - the wags!

Not that Jenkins gives a bugger. He's ringing the ministry asking them to bring out the forms sharp because his sheep have foot and mouth and in danger of getting destroyed before they can be slaughtered.

He's in luck. There just happens to be a team on hand, working overtime at triple time and half - such selfless service. Jenkins is at the self-service, for an illiterate fucker, he makes short work of the forms, in triplicate too, mindst. Jenkins the Tax even finds time to put a claim in for his bitch, bess @£240 a day. What I want to know what does she spend the money on? There's just so many dog chews and new kennels a canine can want, surely. The man from the ministry, stamps away, his job done for the moment, and a very small moment, as Jenkins the Tax steps up to offer a very reasonable contract for the disposal of the infected herd. A blob of spit on hand, a handful of luck money from a wellington boot, more forms, in triplicate and the compensation and lucrative concept is a good 'un. Jenkins the Tax tells the man from the ministry to f*ck off his land. He never liked those civil servant scroungers in the first place, bloody waste of taxpayers money and they weren't even from around here.

The gate clangs, but nay rest for the wicked. Jenkins the Tax is up in the sheds and barns, pitchfork at the ready tossing his sheep in the flames faster that you can say fat bank account. The firemen off to put the flames out now that they have finished their rather limited collection of songs from the valleys and Negro gospels and Chas n' Dave covers. Jenkins the Tax tells 'em to shove it, as he has the house insured for twice its value. This I believe is a mistake as the boyos launch off into barber-shop versions of Black Lace hits - it's a right ald aggro-doo-do-do. Slowly, slowly spank the monkey, Jenkins is pitching in with real vim and vigour - it's hard graft this farming malarkey tha knos.

Still and all, all good things must come to an end as the last lamb gans to the slaughter alle French Farmer mode - going down in flames but still bleating. Jenkins the Tax can relax now. He's got a crate in the grate of Newky Bruuuuuuuuuuun out the back, his knocking off the top, he's gonna warm his ass on the fire too, just to be safe, then sit down for a nice bedtime read: Like a Dog to its Vomit, by Daithidh MacEochaidh, published by route, ISBN: 1-901027-07-5, price £6.95 or £6.00 signed by the author contact daithidh@maceochaidh.fsbusiness.co.uk - chuffing bargain. Jenkins looks for his beltingly good read, but first he needs to relieve himself and pisses merrily on his own fire. It's not been a bad ald evening, despite the disaster of Blind Date, Jenkins muses, till he tries to force the last few drops out...minor disaster. Jenkins the Tax, looks a tad worried, undoes his duds knowing that he's drawn mud and barks out, "Where's that bloody Book?"

Like a Dog to its Vomit, by Daithidh MacEochaidh, published by route, ISBN: 1-901027-07-5, price £6.95 or £6.00 signed by the author contact daithidh@maceochaidh.fsbusiness.co.uk - chuffing bargain.

(Sorry Rich for the shameful plug - please edit and take out all the bestial porn bits and gratuitous sex between a Shire Horse and the Late unlamented Mrs Thatcher)

1The Star Office spellchecker asked if I wanted to replace this word with unionism - says it all.

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