Chapter 5 : Regulars

Regulars are still streaming in and gathering around Prez, as Chairman taps the microphone a few times. “Hi folks, I now call this AGM to order. We will start with the Treasurer’s financial report, followed by the President’s address – yes Prez, we will play the ‘Imperial March’ from ‘Star Wars’ as u requested …” Prez is turning red with anger. “… we have annulled all postal votes in the election due to a technicality …” Prez’s face is now the color of beet root. “… the returning officer will then announce the ballot box results, and I will give my Chairman’s wrap-up speech and then the AGM will conclude. Oh, and the Board has decided we won’t be taking any motions at this AGM.” Now Prez is bristling with rage.

His fists are clenched. Murmurs become shouts and there’s a sense of unease in the entire room. Petanquers are rubbing their boules as they stare at the Croquers, who in turn are casually swinging their mallets. The Marblers are securely tucking away their favorite marbles into their pockets. Treasurer looks up, his little pink face hidden behind huge spectacles, and his hands start to tremble. His statement is in one hand, while the other is shaking so badly he is spilling his pot of raspberry soft drink into his bag of chicken chips. Snow rushes up to the board, turns toward the crowd and yells: “We demand a powder room! A unisex powder room!” Skipper is thumping the floor with his cue, growling: “No running around the pool table!” The Returning Officer comes out of the voting room and whispers in Chairman’s ear. Chairman taps an app on his mobile, and the floating overhead security camera moves from above the Bar to hover over him and the Board Members. Chairman:”Folks, I’ve got some important news. Someone’s poured pasta sauce into the voting box and all the voting slips are ruined. Therefore, we will skip the voting process and keep the same office bearers and Board Members for another 12months, and let’s move on with AGM business.” Club Manager knocks off for the day, so Bar Manager is now in charge. He is expecting another difficult shift. Prez and his entourage rush up to the Board’s table, crashing through the Marble Members who are sent flying. Tombowler loses his marbles! They scatter everywhere. More Marblers drop their bags and marbles go bouncing in all directions. They desperately dive for them; Members are tripping over everywhere; an angry boule is hurled towards the Croquers but it is expertly dispatched with a mallet and it strikes Cricket Captain, who goes down. His team launches a full retaliatory strike with deadly accurate full tosses and smashing sixes. Chairman: “Let’s remain calm folks. Remember, we have the latest security camera technology – the Eye in the Sky – to keep you all safe here at the Club.” Treasurer’s eyes roll upwards as he slumps in his chair and slowly slides to the floor. It’s now pandemonium. Boules and balls are being whacked in all directions by mallets and bats; the floor is a sea of marbles. In a corner, the Poker Cards section Members are laying bets on who’ll survive, but refusing to take wagers from the resurgent Tarot Cards section, who are demanding to be treated as equals. In the mayhem, a hand shoots across the Bar and grabs a bottle Johnnie Walker Black; but it instantly let’s go, following a stinging flick on the wrist from Bar Manager’s tea towel. The tea towel is now a blur as it flicks in all directions, like an Aegis point defence Gattling gun, protecting the chips, the peanuts, the Kittychaser chalk, from opportunistic marauders. Scottish Barmaid has grabbed the AED heart defibrillator off the wall and, down on all fours as projectiles whizz overhead like bullets and bombs, is desperately crawling towards Treasurer, whose complexion by now has gone from pink to purple. A Darter jabs her in the butt with his dart, grins, and says: “Now you’ll remember to fill my pot of beer all the way to the brim!” Scottish Barmaid mutters “Bugger the Treasurer”, cracks open the defibrillator and zaps the Darter on the kneecap. He screams and drops. She begins zapping every kneecap between her and the Treasurer. The Skipper by now is crouching under the pool table, and still bellowing: “No running around the pool table!” Prez, clutching at a small tear on the shoulder of his Presidential blazer, has ripped a Fractal pennant flag from the wall, tied it to a pool cue and, waving it frantically about, is yelling: “To me men, to me, rally to me! We shall build a stockade at the Bar!” The Man from Manchester is punching the air and declaring: “I don’t care about the election outcome, I lurrrrrrv this Club! This is better than a Saturday night in Glasgow!!” Snow is pointing at the ducking and weaving Board members, and screaming from the top of his smoke preserved lungs: “You buncha caaaaaaarnts, give us our powder room!” Poker Cards section Members are laying bets on who’ll survive the fracas, but refusing to take wagers from the resurgent Tarot Cards Members, who are demanding to be treated as equals. Chairman mumbles something about how he can’t wait for Summer when the kids can again play outdoors. Outside, a bus full of Chinese tourists on the Historic Fractal Tour has pulled up, and they are peering through the Club windows, clapping each good shot and telling each other how corrupt Western politics is so much more exciting than what they get back home. They are asking the tour director, when do the executions begin? Choof Wolfs are barking at the door. Snow has now locked himself in the handicap toilet, and is using the toilet roll dispenser to punch holes in the plasterboard wall, still screaming “powder room! powder room! powder room!” Scottish Barmaid is checking the Treasurer, who suddenly coughs up a chicken chip. It shoots across the full length of meeting room but is disintegrated by a tea towel flick from Bar Manager, behind the stockade. Chairman, ever eagle eyed, notices that the Darters on the doors have loaded up and cocked their elbows, aiming at him and the Board Members. “Damn,” he mutters, “A double double cross!” He taps the app on his mobile as the Darters, in unison, let fly. Overhead, strips flip open on the side of Eye in the Sky and tiny lasers shoot out pencil-thin beams, knocking all the darts to the ground. The lasers then turn on the perpetrators, who flee in every direction. Chairman looks at fellow Board Members and sagely asserts: “The security cameras are a good investment. Wait until u check out what the new breathalyzer can do!” It’s at that very moment that ****Great News! Murdoch Mass News Network has purchased this website! CLICK HERE to continue reading this fabulous story and to receive your introductory offer to Global Full Digital Access****

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