everywhere I look of late, in your magazine, I see stories about the cucumber. Why is this? I am writing to register my disapprehension of these mostly sordid tales of the humble cucumber.
Remember: cucumbers are not the only fruit, as I think Shakespeare said in one of his sonnets, and Annie Lennox later quoted in her big hit after she left the Heuristics and took up the market gardening as well as solo singing; they are just one among many that people could focus on for their innuendings. In fact, the cucumber is not a fruit at all, which gives the lie to their fallacy.
Instead of making light work of the poor cucumber, perhaps these critics might consider some cucumber facts in the light of which to render a more balanced prospectivity.
- The cucumber is a long type of gourd; the shorter varieties of gourd are not entitled to qualify for the entitlement
- The cucumber was called "that most eloquent cucumber" by the character Toby Nunkerton in George Eliot's novel "Hattie Greene"
- There are three variants - "burping", "cubing" and "fellating"
- The epic tale of Gilgamesh mentions handmaidens in Ur keeping the cucumber warm overnight before making jam out of them or poultices for the fallen warrior
- The Roman Emperor Tiberius kept a cucumber in his laurel-hat as a lucky oracle
- 16th century bison-hunters carried stocks of the cucumbers to use as barter with American Indians, who called it "green pleasure-engine"
- 60% of all cucumbers are grown in Gary, Indiana - the reason they grow 60% is that they cut off 40% to feed their fowls and to make condiments, etc
Thus you can see how the cucumber is multifacilitated and a far cry from the rude tales of celebrities pushing them up etc.
What if this were to be taken into the real world? We should then see cucumbers becoming sauced items of glee and losing their wrighted spot upon the salad platter. The news would have its sports and politics and weather with ever a cucumber inserted through.
Thus the cucumber, that most elegant of gourd, should stoop to being a "wink wink nudge nudge" item on every breakfast table as per your magazine.
"A cucumber is more for slicing than for inserting."
Mrs Elijah Profitte,
Now that I have passed beyond this mortal coil, I am very proud to be remembered for playing the role of "Stan" in "On The Buses". I have to say that your magazine also celebrates "On The Buses" and "Stan" in its pages from time to time. The shows are also often repeated on the satellite channels.
This is all to the good. However, can I make a bit of a statement?
I was talking to Hylda Baker the other day. Now Hylda is known for playing Nellie Pledge in the comedy sitcom Nearest & Dearest. When I bumped into Hylda, I says to her: "Fancy meeting you here at this time?" She replied: "At what time, Reg?" I then said: "At half past, er, oh, I must get a little hand put on this watch!"
Now Hylda didn't laugh at this. She looked at me and said: "You know, Reg, there was always more to me than Nellie Pledge. Did you know I used to keep Thomson's Gazelles at a small-holding near Accrington? They even had a special tent to go in if it rained."
To my shame, I didn't know that about dear old Hylda. Not many people associate her with the Thomson's Gazelle. It made me think about my own life and how people think of me as "Stan" off "On The Buses".
They always looked on my piano playing as a joke, which was a source of dismay to me. I played the piano part-time when I was a young lad, which didn't catch on, people seemed to prefer hearing the whole song to just a part of it, but I learned and went on to play whole numbers but still they didn't take to it, it must have been my role as "Stan" off "On The Buses" that stymied it in the finish, I mean, a piano-playing bus driver doesn't seem right, do it? Not very health & safety to cohen a phrase boom boom (not that I am having a go - some of my best agents were Jewish).
I mean, how many of your readers know that when the world's first ATM bank cash machine was opened in Enfield in 1967 I sent a stunt double to be photographed using it for the first time? I was a master of the quick change, of course, having had my own show at Clacton called "Seven Faces of Reg" in which I played seven different Billingsgate Fish Porters. But I used no stunt doubles in that one, pals, it was me all over.
And how many knew my show called "The Other Other Reg Varney" which ran at the Walsall Hippodrome in the 1980s, in which I introduced myself as the twin alter-ego of the more famous Reg Varney that played "Stan" in "On The Buses".
Another one I did was "Pie & Mash", with good old Arthur Mullard, on ITV in the late 60s, we were chimney sweeps and part-time piano players who ended each show with a good-old knees-up at the "Old Bull And Identity Crisis" after getting some cash out of the new bank cash machine down the Old Kent Road.
Did you know I also kept macaws?
And Stephen Lewis who played "Blakey" in "On The Buses" was only 17 when the series started, whereas I was in my fifties when I started playing "Stan".
I made that bit up about the macaws, but how many of your readers would have guessed? I think that just goes to show what I am on about, eh?
There's a tribe in Africa who worship me, you know. The shame of it is, it's because they think I am "Stan" off "On The Buses". They've got me picture in their huts. Cor blimey, you can't win!