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Counting the cost

August 24, 2016

A BBC commentator said the gold medals Team GB won at the Rio Olympics cost £4 million each. He forgot to take into account the cost of the other 40 medals won. Maybe he thought they cost nothing to win.


With all the emphasis on money as the main reason for the success of Team GB how come our national football team is so useless when considerably more money is invested in the game on a weekly basis?


Perhaps it wasn’t money that won success for Team GB.


Paddy Joe Mulcahy announced to the men in the pub that he would take up cycling if the Lottery would fund his holidays to places like Rio. He rejected our arguments that he would have to train seriously and win races if he was given the money. He argued that taking part was what counted and not all this hype about winning. This was rich coming from a man whose marrows in the giant marrow competition at the village autumn fete are always subject to doping checks because of suspected (and often proven) illicit pumping.


Bert Caustican, a loud and vulgar member of the fete committee, shared a view that anyone who has cheated more than three times in previous autumn fete competitions will this year suffer the same treatment the Russians were given at Rio. Paddy Joe took this remark as a personal slight when everyone stared at him, even though his name was not mentioned.


Drinking returned to its more gentle cycle of fill, sip, pause, savour, murmur approval, drink deep and pause, when the two combatants were thrown out into the car park to continue their fracas there.


The dark cloud still hangs over the future of the pub following the leak of the highly confidential information that the landlord is moving on. Rumours that he had found a better deal were quashed when we heard he was actually going back to Wales. A collection to ease the pain of that fate was put on hold at the rumour that the brewery might close the pub and sell the site if the bosses could not find a new landlord.


The treachery of the current landlord in looking to his and his young families future rather than thinking about the drinkers who gather to moan about life, did little to rouse any support for his plight. He has been landlord for ten years and already some of the villagers have taken the trouble of getting to know his name even though he came to us from Cardiff. This is how he repays their efforts.


Mickey Crookshore says he knows a bloke in Redditch whose neighbour’s cousin said he could build twelve posh houses on the pub site, or twenty-five three bedroom social houses or five three story blocks of flats. The sightings of builders vans driving through the village on four separate occasions in the last ten days convinced everyone that the threat of the pub closure might not be all fairy talk.


Ellie Mistook, the loudest member of the Parish Council and the self-appointed guardian of village morals and not making noise after 9.00 in the evening, has proposed that we apply for Lottery funding to keep the pub open. The next meeting of the Parish Council to formally approve this approach will take place next Tuesday. The meeting will be held in the pub, guaranteeing a full attendance of council members and a supportive audience packing in to show support.


Should Ellie fail to win Lottery funding she will attempt to persuade Nick Skelton to donate his gold medal to the village to be sold for the £4 million it cost. This would put it to better use that wearing it around his neck when he goes shopping at Waitrose in Alcester.


Beefy Claymore’s suggestion to kidnap Nick, the gold medal equestrian, and steal the medal was ruled out of order because the medal would be worth far less if we had to fence it. Since Nick lives in the area he would most likely recognise his kidnappers. A personal assault of this nature could reignite the inter-village feud with Alcester that started in 1878. At the first smell of bad blood the Studley inhabitants would join in showing favour to neither side, indiscriminately attacking anyone who wandered over their borders.


It was agreed by all present that the Olympics had a lot to answer for and it would be better in future if all such games were confined to Greece where they originally started. Gold medals won at the Greek games could be confiscated as athletes left the country and sold to pay off the Greek debt to Germany.


Three villagers have seen holiday posters about Greece and said the Greek people looked friendly and would probably donate to keeping the pub open, especially if we promised to serve Greek food. At the mention of more outsiders coming in, the conversation dwindled away to sucking noises and Martin Brogden flicking his fingernail against his glass as a sign he wanted a refill.


It’s all down to Ellie and the meeting next Tuesday. She won't win any medals no matter what happens.




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