I hope you enjoy the posh outing in this week’s episode. I’m still unwell so please enjoy doing your best posh accent while reading. As always, please excuse the typos!
Episode 32: Pleasingly Posh
Glynnis Billington was slightly on the pucker side. She’d grown up with a father who prided himself on elocution; a mother who never left the house without a set of pearls, and as the only child, the teenage Glynnis enjoyed such luxuries as having her own slick sports car while having the best education. She’d been groomed to take over her great-grandfather’s business from her father… and he was so posh that he could pull off having a name like Squishy.
Glynnis sighed as she trudged up the driveway to her parents’ house. Squishy was not like his name because there was nothing soft about him. He might have been in his nineties but he could still pout with the energy of a teenager.
‘Do you think this is a good idea?’ her husband, Jamesly George Wibblesworth the fifth, mumbled as he straightened out his suit. ‘He is still rather good with his croquet club.’
Glynnis merely raised a posh eyebrow— It took genes and years of practice to achieve such dismissive brows—and surveyed him. ‘Are we still having issues remembering where our backbone is?’
Wibs, as she affectionately called him… in the rare instances she liked him… sucked in his double chin. ‘You are frightfully mean, Glynnie. I was duped by Trevor and it pained me to admit it.’
‘Yes,’ Glynnis tapped the knot on his tie. ‘I’m still uncertain why you believed I had several affairs with Janis.’
‘She managed to win Ceri over and she was besotted with Trevor,’ Wibs said and fussed to undo and redo his tie. ‘Better?’
‘He will still find fault,’ Glynnis said with a sigh then flattened the errant strand of hair over Wibs’ bald patch. ‘I’ve never had an affair, dear, I was too busy running a business, raising children, and getting my hair done.’
Wibs tutted like he didn’t believe it. ‘I still think Janis can sway a girl. It’s the beard… a woman with a beard… how can you resist?’
Glynnis rolled her eyes and checked her earrings were placed correctly. ‘I would say it was her Charleston personally.’
Wibs’ double chin wobbled as he humpfffed. When he was young, he used to impersonate his own father doing just the same gesture. ‘I still blame the beard.’
Glynnis rang the doorbell then smiled at the maid. ‘My father in?’
The maid glanced to and fro. ‘Um…’ She shut the door then scurried off.
‘How was class?’ Wibs asked as if they were in Miriam’s waiting room at the dental surgery.
‘I danced,’ Glynnis said and checked her nails weren’t chipped. Andy was fantastic with a nail kit and Paulette was equally as fantastic with the polish. She’d told them to have a business side-line together but they’d laughed it off and told her having Agnes was keeping them busy enough.
‘I know you danced. It’s a dance class.’ Wibs pursed his lips and rubbed over where his moustache had once been. He’d looked rather fetching with a moustache. He looked… odd… without one. ‘What kind of dancing?’
The maid opened the door. ‘Ummm….’ then she glanced to and fro. ‘No.’
Glynnis gave her posh brow. ‘My father who is currently sitting in the parlour drinking tea is not in?’
The maid looked to and fro again. ‘Ummmm….’ She closed the door and ran off.
‘Did you do tango?’ Wibs asked as he checked his bald patch in the window. ‘Waltz?’
Glynnis met his eyes. ‘You enquire as though you care.’
‘I do care,’ Wibs said and did the chin wobble hmmpf again. ‘I didn’t just return home to avoid the damp in the shed.’
‘No, your golf club membership needed renewal.’ She did her best impression of his ‘hmmpf’ then turned back to the door. ‘And you didn’t want to have to live with Trevor and Barry.’
Wibs narrowed his eyes. ‘I really didn’t want to live with Barry.’ He held up his puffy finger. ‘However, I quite enjoy your company when you’re not being mean.’
‘When have you ever enjoyed my company?’ Glynnis gave him the posh dismissive peer. ‘You married me so you didn’t have to marry that girl who produced bubbles from her nostrils when she laughed.’
He screwed up his face. ‘Oh, she was… in need of nose spray.’ He shook his head. ‘Glynnie, you were quite a catch besides the financial security.’ He nodded with complete delight in his eyes. ‘There aren’t many at the golf club whose wife can look like you dancing.’
Glynnis focused on the door but she was awfully pleased with her dancing outfits… Mary-Lou and Andy were wonderful shopping companions. ‘Quite.’
The maid opened the door again. ‘Um…’ She looked to and fro. ‘He’s not in the parlour, Mrs Billington.’
‘Mrs Wibblesworth-Billington,’ Wibs muttered as he had done the entire time they’d been married.
Glynnis waved him off. ‘He is in the parlour as is my mother.’ She gave the maid the posh peer and focused on projecting her voice. ‘But if he’s so set on not seeing me; he won’t be able to know if I have left Wibs for Janis and am going into refuge collection.’
Wibs chuckled beside her then put his hand over his mouth.
Her father and mother poked their heads around the corner.
‘You’re leaving Janis’ refuge collection?’ her mother asked fiddling with her ear. ‘When did you hire Janis?’
‘I thought she married Trevor?’ her father said dipping his white eyebrows. ‘I was sure she married Trevor.’
‘No, he left Ceri for Barry, the man who collected refuge,’ Wibs said loudly and leaned forward, dipping his brows like her father was. ‘Ceri married Janis but she built the garden centre.’
Glynnis’ mother shook her head. ‘Barry collected refuge, you say?’ She screwed up her face and leaned onto her walking stick. ‘Seems like the refuge market is rather busy.’
‘I’ll say,’ her father said then wobbled his chin much in the way Wibs did. ‘But I don’t know why Ceri built the garden centre, she’s never been good with construction.’ He pulled his mouth around so his chin wrinkled and the corners of his mouth dipped making him resemble the bronze statue of a hound in the doorway. ‘She once tried to put up a shelf in the store… looked rather good until someone put a book on it.’ He shook his head to himself. ‘Milton was never quite the same after that bump on the head.’
‘I recall,’ her mother said turning to her father and leaning in further so they were nose to nose but still squinting. ‘Ceri was good with cleaning.’
‘She’s a dental nurse,’ Wibs said leaning in like them. ‘She married Janis.’
‘I don’t think she’s strong enough to carry Janis, dear,’ her mother said to Wibs. ‘Janis is quite that much taller than her.’
Glynnis peered at the maid. ‘The three of them can’t see in front of their noses yet none of them have poor vision according to the opticians.’
Wibs straightened up and hmmmpf’d again. ‘I have perfect eyesight.’
‘I would say that Trevor needs the optician if he’s run off with Janis,’ her father said with a stern nod that wobbled his chin and his cheeks. ‘Must be the beard, I say.’
‘She’s married to Ceri,’ Wibs said again in a loud voice. ‘Ceri and Janis got married.’
Glynnis leaned against the doorjamb. They could be a while.
‘Ceri and Janis married whom, dear?’ her mother asked and patted her father on the arm. ‘Janis has a beard?’
‘Yes, she’s the one who works in the community centre,’ her father said then they walked in perfect harmony over to the bench in the hall and perched on it together. ‘She once fixed my car with gum.’
‘I don’t think that’s legal,’ her mother said then surveyed the doorway. ‘I do hope she took it to a garage.’ She smiled a doting smile. ‘I’ve heard that a young man called Ricky runs it.’
Glynnis chuckled. ‘Ricky will sell you a car, mother… or strip it.’ She shrugged when Wibs eyed her. ‘I like Ricky, he grows on you.’
‘Does he have a beard?’ Wibs muttered then turned back to her mother. ‘Janis and Ceri married each other.’
Her parents stared at him.
‘It’s the beard,’ Glynnis said hoping it would help the confused looks. ‘And Janis is wonderful with gum.’
Her father blinked and his eyebrows dipped with the motion. ‘They married each other?’
‘Yes,’ Wibs said leaning forward again. ‘They love each other… but Trevor started it.’
Her parents peered at each other.
‘Trevor ran off with Barry,’ Wibs said as Glynnis stifled her chuckle.
‘He did. He still lives with him although he’s pretending he doesn’t while trying to target Ceri.’ Glynnis smirked at the maid who was looking anywhere but her parents. ‘He isn’t great with the girls.’
‘I’ll say if he has run off with a fella,’ her father said with a dazed expression. ‘He told us that Ceri had left him and taken his money.’
Glynnis nodded. ‘Which is why I’m here.’ She opened her handbag and pulled out a cheque. ‘Do you remember Agnes?’
Her father beamed then cleared his throat and shook his head. ‘Never heard of her.’
Her mother glowered at him. ‘Everyone remembers Agnes, dear. She makes the cakes… very attractive.’
Her father scrunched up his chin. ‘Wouldn’t notice. I had you at home.’
Wibs raised his eyebrows then looked at Glynnis as though she’d explain.
‘Agnes has been trying to help Ceri and Janis and the girls…’ Glynnis paused waiting for the usual reaction.
Her parents broke into beaming smiles and ‘ahhh’d’. They really doted on the girls.
‘They are growing so tall these days,’ her mother said and clasped her hands together. ‘They are up to my nose.’
Glynnis nodded gently… Hedges was taller than her mother at four foot nine. ‘They adore Janis.’
‘I know,’ her father said. ‘She’s adopted them.’ He scrunched up his chin again. ‘I never really got why they needed adopting as they have parents but nevertheless.’
‘They married each other,’ her mother said staring at the maid. ‘Explains a lot.’
‘Yes, I wondered why they brought wedding cake.’ Her father furrowed his brow again. ‘Agnes definitely made that cake.’
‘Thought you didn’t remember her, dear?’ Her mother said to him.
‘No, but I remember the cake,’ he said back with a rakish grin.
They both chuckled.
Wibs looked at her again for explanation.
‘Anyhow, the tango class pitched together with some help from Hedges idea on street shows and Agnes’ ability with a surveillance camera… and we found where Trevor had put your money.’ Glynnis motioned to the maid who looked from her parents to her then back.
‘Ummm…’ the maid dashed over to them threw the cheque and sprinted back to the door.
Her father stared at the maid. ‘Right.’
Her mother picked the cheque up from the bench. ‘I can’t see it… they use such small writing these days.’
‘Yes,’ her father said, chin wobbling.
‘They really do,’ Wibs said joining in the chin dance. ‘It’s to replace the money Trevor stole, Squishy.’
‘What money?’ her father asked.
‘Your money,’ Wibs said with an exasperated sigh.
‘He stole my money?’ Her father shook his head. ‘Why?’
‘He’s Trevor,’ Glynnis said feeling the need to visit the Bee for cheap plonk. ‘He’s like Wibs’ father.’
Wibs glowered at her.
‘He is like your father.’ She gave him the posh brow.
Wibs sighed. ‘He is… but we’ve got the money back for you.’ He puffed himself up. ‘I even got involved.’
‘He did,’ Glynnis said as much in shock as her parents. ‘He really does have a backbone. I’ve never seen anyone attack a refuge collector with a slipper before.’
‘Barry needed holding off… I was inspired by the Pink Plimsole.’ Wibs nodded, completely delighted with himself. ‘I did it because I love her.’
‘Who, the Pink Plimsole?’ her mother asked.
‘I don’t know, I lost him… I’m just hoping it isn’t Barry or Janis… I think they have enough spouses.’ Her father rubbed at his jowls.
‘No, Glynnie,’ Wibs said like that should be clear. ‘I realised I am awfully in love with her.’
Glynnis stared at him.
Her parents stared at each other.
‘She’s a catch,’ Wibs said as though in his defence. ‘She can do the cha-cha.’
Her mother gave him the posh brow. ‘She does what?’
‘Dance, mother,’ Glynnis said trying to hide her smirk. ‘I dance with Andy who does the roofs.’
Her mother blushed then schooled her face. ‘Never heard of him.’
Her father pursed his lips. ‘hmmpf.’
‘Oddly Wibs doesn’t think I’m running off with him,’ she smiled at Wibs who gazed at her.
‘I’ve seen him as Ruby.’ Wibs cleared his throat.
‘Wibs is running off with the roofer?’ her father asked then rubbed at his head. ‘I’m not sure that’s a good call, Wibby.’
‘I’m not doing a Trevor,’ Wibs said with a haughty laugh. ‘But I’m not going to challenge him to dancing either.’ He shrugged at Glynnis. ‘I can’t do the cha-cha but I can clap.’
‘I’d like that,’ Glynnis said then raised her eyebrows at herself. She looked at the maid. ‘I’m not doing a Trevor either… that’s a turn up, isn’t it?’
‘Ummm…’ the maid shrugged then sighed. ‘I… er…’ She ran off.
Her father shook his head. ‘Some people are awful confusing.’ He turned to Glynnis. ‘I’m glad you retrieved our money.’
Her mother nodded. ‘Well done, dear.’
‘They are doing the show in Squishy,’ Wibs said with a proud smile. ‘Mary-Lou is having a small audience to see what they think.’
Her father pursed his lips. ‘You sold Squishy.’
‘But I still have shares and I still have shares in the garden centre… and the landscaping business… and the dentists… and the Bee… and the chip shop… and the hair salon… need I go on?’ Glynnis held his gaze. She was a Billington, you know.
He beamed. ‘I knew you must have more sense.’ He clapped his hands and smiled to her mother. ‘Best we attend the show… I want to scope out the plant display Hedges’ put together.’
‘And Agnes’ cakes,’ her mother said with a smile.
‘And Andy’s roofing skills,’ her father said pursing his lips. ‘Problem is, dear, we lent the car to Trevor.’
Wibs groaned. ‘You did?’
‘Yes, Ricky advised it,’ her mother said with a wink. ‘Nice boy.’
Glynnis laughed then gave her parents a kiss, closed the door herself—it was easier than dealing with the maid—and led Wibs back to the car.
‘I was hoping you might entertain liking me too,’ Wibs mumbled as he got into the passenger side. ‘I showed backbone, didn’t I?’
‘I didn’t tell them you left me to live in a shed, did I?’ Glynnis fired back and drove them down the long driveway. ‘Grow a beard and I’ll think about it.’
Wibs raised his eyebrows, rubbed over his chin then chuckled. ‘It worked for Janis… worth a go.’
Glynnis patted him on the knee and relaxed into her seat. As confounding as her parents were and how much Wibs hmmpf’d. She did quite like them. Yes, sometimes it was awfully good to love someone just as pleasingly posh.