Nottingham freelance news-hound and reporter Bartholomew Uttersthwaite (69), has been out on the streets of the City Centre, to get the views of the local proletariat on the upcoming local elections in three weeks time.
It was originally intended for him to go on his '1954 Raleigh Superbe Roadster' pushbike, to enable him to get around the new pedestrian routes to interview the public. But one of the stabilisers fell off, so he used his zimmer frame and bus-pass instead.
Alighting the bus on the suitably named for this mission Upper Parliament Street, he noticed a large queue at the tram bus stop a few hundred yard up the road, and made his way towards them, pen and notepad ready in hand.
By the time he arrived at the stop, three trams had been and gone, and all the passengers departed!
Undaunted, Bartholomew asked a nearby parking attendant having a fag up an alley, what date it was, and he wrote it in readiness at the top of notepad page. Doing this, his pen ran out of ink.
So he hobbled along the 200 yards to the Pound shop on Clumber Street, to buy a pack of ten biro's.
Twenty minutes later he arrived, and thought he's interview some of the shoppers there. He thought it wise to clip on his official 'Big Issue' Reporters badge first, but found he's left it at home on the draining board.
Having been rebuffed by the first three people he tried to speak to, one of them threatening to 'bash his face in', he bought the pens, and left the store.
He limped into the Victoria shopping centre across the road, where a multitude of shoppers, yobs, pickpockets and benefit seekers were available to be interviewed.
Unfortunately, they all seemed to be rushing about with mobile phones attached to their heads, many of them knocking him off balance as they nudged into him. He nervously retired from the centre, and leant up against the wall outside to regain his balance, equilibrium and senses.
He decided he needed a sit-down and a cup of tea before continuing on his up to know failed mission to obtain the political views of the populace.
He limped into the nearest cafe... saw that tea was £1.20 a cup, and limped back out of the cafe.
He shambled back up Upper Parliament Street, and espied a large group of people outside the Job Centre Plus offices, and made a bee-line for them.
They were still there when he arrived, and kicking away the empty cider cans, he approached them, asking the nearest one, Wayne Ivanovic (19) for his views on the upcoming local elections, who belched, took a drag of his spiff and replied:
"Not good man, but ain't it always, I knows... giz a quid!"
Bartholomew withdrew, not hearing the full verbal insults that were being given him by the mob, as his left hearing aid battery had just ran-out.
Now this gave him an excellent idea! He thought he'd visit the NHS Audiology Services Centre on the Ropewalk, and do interviews and get his hearing aid batteries at the same time, and it was only 10 minutes away!
He arrived there 40 minutes later, and teetered into the large waiting hall, joined the queue at the desk, and got his batteries, inserting one into his left hearing aid, he was now ready to carry out some interviews at last, with dozens of waiting patients to pick from, but he kindly did not bother any of the many who had fell asleep.
He approached an elderly couple who were sat on the long bench at the back, and sat beside them for their views on the upcoming local elections.
The man replied "I'm 89 you know!"
Bartholomew repeated the question:
The lady: "What does he want Cyril?"
The man: "He asked if I still get erections Mabel"
The lady: "Well tell him to mind his own business!"
The man, directed at Bartholomew: " Mabel say's she don't get acidness, but I do!"
The lady: "What day is it?"
The man: "Yes I pray too!"
Bartholomew smiled, put his pen back in his pocket, thanked them and moved on to try a younger looking gentleman sat on his own. Asking him the same question.
"I bilmiyorum sizi Ingilizce!"
Bartholomew thanked him, and left the building.
His morale and enthusiasm now flagging, he shuffled down the hill back to the City Centre.
Another idea of sorts hit him! Should he try the library? But remembered he got thrown out for talking last tine he tried to do interviews there, so decided not to go there.
By now his arthritis and angina were playing him up somewhat, and he needed the loo.
Another idea hit him! He'd try up near Nottingham Castle, it was quieter there, and he'd be near the public toilets!
So he waddled up to the castle. Near the graffiti covered gates, he espied a group of students sat at a table having an al fresco snack, and approached them for their views, asking the first one Naseem Malobodu (19) what he thought of the local elections.
"My mother and father sent me here to be educated, and not to interfere with England's democratic and Royalist system, no matter how stupid it seems to we Saudi's!"
He thanked him and scuffled off back to the bus stop to go home.
Unfortunately, as he was crossing the the zebra crossing to the bus stop, a pigeon shat on his shoulder, and he lost his footing as he tried to wipe it off, and fell in front of the bus he wanted to catch as it arrived.
When he can talk and use his left hand again, he intends to do another political report (from ward E29 Men's Surgical) amongst the hospital staff tending to him, and will publish it here on the Spoof for us... hopefully.
He sent his best wishes to all of us, as he fell out of the bed whilst trying to interview a buxom nurse.