Grubtown News Latest

**********March 2014**********

HELLO! THIS WEBSITE IS ABOUT TO GET THE DECORATORS IN
AND GET A WHOLE NEW LOOK AND A FRESH LICK OF PAINT

SO, FOR ALL THE LATEST ARDAGH INFO
Be sure to check out:

Philip Ardagh’s NOT-TO-BE-MISSED BLOG
by clicking here or on the menu bar on the right
rather than reading the out-of-date info below.

THANK YOU!

ADULTS CAN FOLLOW Philip Ardagh ON FACEBOOK
& @PhilipArdagh ON TWITTER

Now, back to the out-of-date stuff you should be blipping over:

FEBRUARY 2012

BEARDY ARDAGH BACK ON WEBSITE AFTER A YEAR AWAY
“I WAS TRAPPED IN MY BEARD FOR 12 MONTHS AND COULDN’T FIND MY WAY OUT,” HE CLAIMS
from our facial hair correspondent

Grubtown’s very own resident author and beard wearer, Beardy Ardagh, who’d been missing from this website for the whole of 2011 was finally found in what had been thought to be a yeti costume, lying ignored in the corner of his study.
He was discovered by former duck-gatherer Jilly Cheeter and her very best best-friend Mango Claptrap, probably best known for his ridiculously short shorts. “We got suspicious when we realised that things had been a lot quieter round her lately,” Jilly Cheeter told me.
“And then we noticed 365 milk bottles outside the Ardagh house,” said Claptrap, “along with a smell of damp beard.”
Following what sounded like “a rhino trying to clear its blocked nose under a blanket of coconut matting’, the pair finally discovered the two-metre tall author snoring in his own tangled beard. “He was trapped like Sleeping Beauty in a forest of thorns,” Jilly Cheeter went on, “but not so pretty, of course, and with size 16 feet.”
“It’s great to have been rescued after all of this time,” Beardy Ardagh told reporters, once he’d  had a chance to trim the beard, burn his clothes and have three baths. He was then asked to stop talking and get dressed.
Beardy Ardagh — Mr Ardagh to his friends — has promised to update his blog soon, with pictures and highlights from 2011 including a camel ride in the desert.
This reporter can hardly wait…
*
GUEST REPORTER ‘OBSCURE QUICHE’ WINS GRUBTOWN DAILY HERALD COMPETITION AFTER SERIOUS (BUT FUNNY-IN-PLACES) FIRE WRECKS NEWSPAPER OFFICES
from our let’s-all-be-friends correspondent

Recent months have seen a flurry of activity in The Grubtown Daily Herald offices in a bid to find a budding new reporter who can then be tricked into writing for the paper for very little money indeed. A competition was run through our sister website www.visitgrubtown.com to find the best young would-be reporter of Grubtown news.

“I was amazed by the number of entries,” said Grubtown Daily Herald editor (and my boss, so I’d better be nice about him) Flimflam Midway. “I wanted the mayor’s son, Tundra Gomez, to win because the mayor said that, if Tundra didn’t win, he’d fill the Herald offices with pingpong balls, from floor to ceiling, which would make it a very difficult place to work.” When Tundra Gomez didn’t even bother to enter the event, Flimflam Midway was left with the difficult task of having to ring Mayor Flabby Gomez and ask, “Would you like Tundra to win anyway?” As it turned out, Flabby Gomez was extremely angry with Tundra for having just used one of his (fairly large) sandwiches as a sofa when watching a programme about breakfast on breakfast television, apparently leaving “a bottom shape” and “elbow marks” in  the bread. “Do what you like, Midway!” he replied.

The editor was so surprised at having the opportunity to give the prize to a deserving winner rather than simply doing as he was told that he burst into tears over his computer, causing it to short-circuit and start a small fire. This became a much larger fire when it was discovered that the liquid inside the fire extinguishers wasn’t actually water but something which fed the flames, turning them from small-and-licky-little-orange-ones into a RAGING BLAZE.
Once the fire was extinguished, the office rebuilt, and the website back in action after two months of sorting through the ashes, a special edition of the newspaper was published, including articles by the winner, Obscure Quiche, and three others singled out for special mention: Parched Sponge, Jangle Hem and Variety Warp. Mr Midway did not, however, get to chose the winner. That task was given to local author Beardy Adagh by the mayor, causing the Herald editor to sulk and kick his desk chair. The chair was not injured.
The same cannot be said for Mr Midway’s foot.
*
BEARDY ARDAGH TO APPEAR ON STAGE AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE, LONDON.
GRUBTOWN STUNNED
from our ‘Who Saw That Coming?’ correspondent

When asked, during a press conference, what he would be doing on his birthday this year, Grubtown author Beardy Ardagh revealed that he will be appearing live on stage at the National Theatre with former children’s laureate Michael Rosen.  Singing sensation Shoona Loose who had convened the press conference to announce the launch of her latest charity to raise money for bald eagles afraid of heights, was apparently so surprised by this news that she started choking on her bagel. Leaping immediately to her aid, Chief of Police Grabby Hanson slapped her on the back, causing a piece of bagel to fly from her mouth directly into the face of Mrs Awning. who promptly fell down fourteen flights of stairs, badly bruising her ego.

The Slovak National Theatre, where Beardy Ardagh will NOT be appearing.

The Slovak National Theatre, where Beardy Ardagh will NOT be appearing.

Shoona Loose later admitted that holding a press conference for bald eagles afraid of heights at the top of Lupus Tower (built by crazed millionaire Tartan Lupus in 1858) hadn’t been her best idea, but she’d managed to get the venue cheap following a last minute cancellation from the Vertigo Society.

Fortunately for Mrs Awning, she landed on Mayor Flabby Gomez who had still been struggling up the stairs as she came down the other way. “I’m Flabby by name and flabby by nature,”  the mayor told this reporter, “and, once again, my flabbiness has saved the day… Well, Mrs Awning’s neck at least.” He then ate eleven birthday cakes — supplied by Minty Glibb of Minty’s Cake Shop — to celebrate.
“I don’t know why Shoona was so surprised to learn that I’ll be appearing at the National on September 11th,” said a put-out Beardy Ardagh. “I’ve appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and in the Purcell Room at the South Bank before now…” His voice then became inaudible when his microphone was taken away by Chief Grabby Hanson for questioning. (It was later found for sale in a secondhand store on Glum Street.)

Posters of Beardy Ardagh are put up around town.

Posters of Beardy Ardagh are put up around town.

Beardy Ardagh will be appearing at the National Theatre as a part of celebration for Roald Dahl Day. “At first, I thought I was being asked to appear because they wanted someone to play the heavily-bearded Mr Twit from Roald Dahl’s The Twits,” said Ardagh, “and, having a beard of my own, that would save them from having to hire one. It turns out that they’ve asked me because I won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. I shall be reading from my award-winning Grubtown Tales.” It was at this stage that one of the bald eagles, brought to the conference by Ms. Loose, bit Beardy on the nose.
Once Mayor Gomez got his breath back and finally reached the top of the stairs, he proclaimed that “this is a great day for Grubtown. This is a beautiful town — apart from the truly horrid parts — and I hope Beardy Ardagh’s appearance will encourage other to visit or, at the very least, encourage them to send me food parcels. The bigger the better.”
For more information about bald eagles afraid of heights, ask your local bird of prey handler.
For more information about Beardy Ardagh’s appearance at the National Theatre on September 11th, visit: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/59996/platforms/the-roald-dahl-funny-prize-with-michael-rosen-and-philip-ardagh.html
*
GRUBTOWN TOURIST BOARD LAUNCHES NEW  WEBSITE
AND LUNCHES AT THE RUSTY DOLPHIN
by our Internet and quick cuppa correspondent

The Grubtown Tourist Board, famous for accidentally destroying three of Grubtown’s most historic sights and for getting into a big fight with Mayor Flabby Gomez over whether it should be “sights as-in-things-you-see” or “sites as-in-actual-places-you-visit”, has finally produced its first V.I.P.
“That’s not V.I.P. as in Very Important Person,” explained Assistant Head of Grubtown Tourism Clammy Handbrake, “but V.I.P. as in Visitor Information Pack. We were thinking of calling it a Visitors Information Pack — because we want more than one visitor — but then we thought that people might think that we were suggesting that it belonged to the visitor — or visitors — as in Visitor’s Information Pack or Visitors’ Information Pack… and then we’d be accused of forgetting to add the apostrophe, and who knows where it might have ended?” He then sat down and sobbed for a while, occasionally wiping his face with a copy of the Grubtown Tourist Board Visitor — singular, no “s” or apostrophe — Information Pack.
The last time the Grubtown Tourist Board forgot an apostrophe, their offices were picketted by local annoying person Wide Brim Petty-Mandrake. And he ended up pumping rice-pudding through their letter box in protest. (So the tourist board’s worry is understandable.)

"Hmmm... This isn't a Visitor Information Pack, it's just page after page of pictures of Beardy Ardagh... I LOVE IT!"

"Hmmm... This isn't a Visitor Information Pack, it's just page after page of pictures of Beardy Ardagh... I LOVE IT!"

Because there are no maps of Grubtown, the V.I.P. does not contain a handy fold-out map but it DOES contain something which does look remarkably like a map, which is called DEFINITELY NOT A MAP. This is because, although it shows a great many of the most popular places in Grubtown and one very unpopular one, none of them is shown in the right place… but this really doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest because the whole idea of the V.I.P. is to direct people’s attention towards: www.visitgrubtown.com a FANTASTIC new interactive website.
“It changed my life,” Mayor Flabby Gomez announced at his weekly press conference.  “Before there was the www.visitgrubtown.comwebsite, I coudn’t visit the www.visitgrubtown.com website, but now there is the www.visitgrubtown.com website, I can!” He then ate three plates of sandwiches — including the plates — out of “sheer excitement”.
According to the V.I.P. (and to Assistant Head of Grubtown Tourism Clammy Handbrake), as well as a weekly story and changing locations, there are also freedownloads, “lots of goodies” and a chance to do a whole load of neat stuff. Of course, they could be lying.
It wouldn’t be the first time. (They said they’d pay for the lunch afterwards…)

Made in association with Slackjaw Gumshoe's Paint and Hardware Store

Made in association with Slackjaw Gumshoe's Paint and Hardware Store

*
GRUBTOWNERS TO CELEBRATE WORLD BOOK DAY
BY ‘WEARING SILLY BEARDS’
from our clean-shaven correspondent
Mayor Flabby Gomez, who hasn’t grown a real beard since the time he was accidentally handcuffed to a radiator for a month, has announced that, as a tribute to local author Beardy Ardagh, all townsfolk will be expected to wear false beards on World Book Day, 4th March 2010.
“This even applies to those people who already have beards,” he told reporters gathered around the bath where the mayor was enjoying a  ‘Sunday soak’ (even though it was a Monday). “They can either shave their beards off before donning false ones, or can simply place an artificial beard over the genuine facial hair,” he added. Diagrams of this method of approach were provided by Rambo Sanskrit, who is currently recovering from minor burns to his bottom having stood too close to the heated towel-rail. Sanskrit, Grubtown’s official job-giver-outer, has been given the additional role of Grubtown’s false-beard-giverer-outer.

Beardy's World Book Day title

Beardy's World Book Day title

Grubtown’s Beardy Ardagh is one of this year’s official World Book Day authors, with GRUBTOWN TALES: The Great Pasta Disaster being one side of one of the official £1 flip-books. He has not been excluded from Mayor Flabby Gomez’s orders, so will be wearing a false beard himself. “This is utterly ridiculous!” said the strikingly handsome author on hearing the news. “Surely people will be wearing beards as a tibute to me and I’ll look less like myself if I’m wearing a disguise?” He was promptly arrested by chief of police, Grabby Hanson.

“Beardy Ardagh’s arrest has nothing to do with his disagreeing with the mayor,” Hanson stressed. ”The timing of the arrest was a complete coincidence. Beardy Adagh is simply helping us with our inquiries over the matter of some unpaid parking tickets.” When it was pointed out that Mr Ardagh neither drives nor has a car, Grubtown’s top policeman suddenly remembered that he had something important to do. And hid under his desk.

*

GRUBTOWN ACCIDENTALLY CELEBRATES NEW YEAR
A WEEK EARLY
Mayor Skips Diary Page By Mistake
from our fizzy-drinks-filled correspondent

Grubtown’s official celebrations for seeing in 2010 began on 25th December when Mayor Flabby Gomez accidentally turned over two pages — thinking that they were one — in his week-a-page diary. “I wondered what had happened to Christmas,” the mayor later admitted, “But I assumed I must have slept through it. It wouldn’t have been the first time.” Angry residents were forced to miss their Christmas dinners and listen to a series of compulsory speeches from Mayor Flabby Gomez, many shouting that it wasn’t even New Year’s Eve.

“Mayor Gomez couldn’t hear the shouting because he had his ears stuffed with pancakes,” Police Chief Grabby Hanson later explained. “This is a Grubtown tradition dating back to the days when Flabby Gomez’s father, Big Man Gomez ran the town.”  No-one knows how the tradition came about and everyone was too frightened to ask Big Man Gomez at the time (and he’s dead now). Not that he would have heard the question, what with rolled-up pancakes in his ears, anyway.

It was only after the fireworks and free doughnuts that local children Jilly Cheeter and Mango Clatrap managed to convince the Mayor of his error. “Every Grubtowner still recieved his or her official New Year’s Day party bag, containing a free edible statuette of my good-self made either from luncheon meat or a meat-substitute for vegetarians,” Flabby Gomez explained, “but they’re not getting another one when the real start to 2010 comes around.”

Wrong Time of Year, Wrong Animal, Otherwise Just Fine.These tasty statuettes were made by Pageant Conquest, the chief of police’s sister.

The only injury was to local resident Mrs Awning who was somehow became stuck to a Catherine wheel — a type of spinning firework —  having already become covered in glue while making homemade Christmas decorations prior to the week-early celebrations. “She looked lovely,” said artist Partial Coggs. “Her burning hair brought out the colour in her eyes.” Apart from a singed wig, her most serious injury was a severe bout of dizziness, according to Dr Fraud (who isn’t really a doctor but is happy to be quoted in this newspaper on medical matters).

Website Editor’s important note: NEVER PLAY WITH FIREWORKS. THEY CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

The untimely celebrations ended with the setting off of a dragon-shaped firework display. “This was to commemorate the Chinese Year of The Dragon,” Mayor Flabby Gomez told reporters, “even though this wasn’t the Chinese New Year either and 2010 is, in truth, the Year of the Tiger.”

Hetty Glue-Pen, manager and projectionist at SMOKY’S cinema, captured the whole accidentally-a-week-early event on video. “I had been planning to film my kids around the Christmas tree, but when the mayor ordered us out onto the streets, I just kept on filming.” She plans to show an edited version of the New Year’s Eve Party That Wasn’t at SMOKY’S on the actual 31st December.

*

BEARDY ARDAGH WINS ROALD DAHL FUNNY PRIZE. GRUBTOWN STUNNED
from our gobsmacked correspondent

Grubtowners were stunned by the news that local author Beardy Ardagh has won the prestigious Roald Dahl Funny Prize, announced at the Unicorn Theatre in London at a glittery award ceremony on Tuesday 10thNovember. “He trod on my foot with his size 16s once,” said sign-painter Marley Gripe, “and I didn’t find that in the slightest bit funny.”

"Mine was the best book," says winner.

"Mine was the best book," says winner.

“When I crashed into Beardy Ardagh’s house that time, he didn’t see the funny side,” sulked Mickey ‘Steamroller’ Johnson from his Grubtown Jail prison cell.

“He’s hardly a laugh a minute,” admitted Mayor Flabby Gomez in a hastily convened press conference, “but we do often laugh at him behind his back for his choice of trousers, so it’’s nice that he’s finally been recognised. When I say recognised I don’t mean recognised as in ‘Look! There’s Beardy Ardagh!’ because he’s always been very EASY to recognise, being so big and having such a hairy face. No, I mean recognised as in having his writing talent recognised.”

“He keeps telling everyone that he’s the greatest writer of his generation and, even if the Roald DahlFunny Prize doesn’t confirm this, it does confirm that he’s funny,” Chief of Police Grabby Hanson told reporters before climbing out of the window with their coats which he’d just stolen from the claokroom. “I’ve always thought he was a bit funny,” said local accident-waiting-to-happen, Mrs Awning, before falling down an open mine shaft (which she herself had finished digging moments earlier.)

The prize founder, and chairman of the judges, Michael Rosen said of Beardy Ardagh’s winning book, Stinking Rich & Just Plain Stinky: “Noddy and Toytown it isn’t. [There's] a cast of characters crazy enough to wake Spike Milligan from his home on the Ning Nang Nong.” This comment caused some surprise in Grubtown Town Hall. “Mr Rosen appears to believe that Beardy Ardagh MADE US UP,” said Mayor Flabby Gomez, “and, if that wasn’t bad enough, he seems to think we’re crazy!”
One thing not in dispute is Beardy Ardagh’s beardiness. In a separate interview with a separate (lesser) newspaper, Rosen is quoted as having said: “[He] is one of the most bearded writers of all time, out-bearding Karl Marx and Charles Darwin. What’s more, his jokes are much better than theirs. Much better.”

Beardy Ardaghshares the prize (and prize money) with the illusrator of the Grubtown Tales, Jim Paillot but told reporters that he’d rather not talk about that. “Let’s make this all about ME,” he said.

Winner, Beardy Ardagh with a bunch of unidentified weirdos

Winner, Beardy Ardagh with a bunch of unidentified weirdos

*

‘MAGNIFICENT GRUBTOWN SEND-OFF’ FOR FAIRLY GOOD AUTHOR
HEADING OFF TO TOP LONDON AWARD CEREMONY
from our I-go-anywhere-for-free-food correspondent

With the announcement of the winner of this year’s Rald Dahl Funny [Book]  Prize less than twenty-four hours away, the people of Grubtown — well, some of them —  gathered in Dung Street to wish Grubtown’s resident author, Beardy Ardagh, the best of luck and, in the case of Hobo Brown, to ask him for enough money to buy a frothy coffee (from THE RUSTY DOLPHIN CAFE) and an iced bun (from MINTY GIBB’S CAKE SHOP).  Beardy Ardagh will be spending the night in his second home, in Tunbridge Wells Kent, before heading for The Unicorn Theatre in London on Tuesday morning.

“I hope this isn’t a trick,”  Beardy told waiting reporters. “I know there are no such things as unicorns so perhaps there’s no such thing as the Unicorn Theatre either… Maybe the Roald Dahl Funny Prize is made up too. It does sound a bit funny, now I come to think of it…”

Beardy Ardagh's handsome features gracing the cover of yet another glossy magazine.

Beardy Ardagh's handsome features gracing the coverofyet another glossy magazine.

In a short speech, lasting less than three hours, Mayor Flabby Gomez told the crowd, “I’ve not ready any books on the shortlist but it’s unlikely that Beardy Ardagh’s is the best. Having said that, he’s the only Grubtowner on this list and for that reason alone, we should all hope that he wins.”

Carlo Monty, manager of the illegal gambling ship, The Crooked Sixpence, moored just off Grubtown, told The Gruntown Daily Herald, ‘I’m not an expert on body language but when I recently saw the reaction of Michael Rosen (Roald Dahl Funny Prize founder and former childen’s laureate)  to seeing a copy of Beardy’sshortlistedtitle, STINKING RICH AND JUST PLAIN STINKY, I’d say he rated it somewhere just above the delights of being trapped in a lift with a sack of horse manure. But only just. It wasn’t all sunny smiles I can tell you.”

Beardy Ardagh has announced that if he DOES win this prestigious and coveted prize, he’ll give the money to charity, but he did say this very quietly indeed — probably hoping that no-one would hear him — and he DID have his fingers crossed.

A number of those who had gathered to wish Beardy Ardagh well, and to enjoy the free orange squash, had their wallets and purses stolen. These were returned when chief of Police, Grabby Hanson, arrested himself for trying to pick the mayor’s pocket. He found the stolen items concealed inside his own policeman’s jacket.

WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH: Michael Rosen expresses his delight at seeing a copy of 'Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky'

WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH: Michael Rosen expresses his delight at seeing a copy of 'Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky'

BEARDY ARDAGH SHORTLISTED FOR BOOK AWARD. “I’D LIKE TO PUNCH HIM ON THE NOSE!” SAYS ANGRY BUNTY FOX
from our shortlists and boxing correspondent


Grubtown’s resident internationally best-selling children’s author, Beardy Ardagh, has been shortlisted for this year’s ROALD DAHL FUNNY [BOOK] PRIZE. “It’s further confirmation that my work is universally adored,” he told reporters, not that they were asking. “As well as my physical beauty and several personal hygiene awards, it would be nice to add this trophy to the cabinet, so long as I don’t have to dust it.”

Beardy Ardagh 'the favourite in all walks of life'.

Beardy Ardagh 'the favourite in all walks of life'.

After a quick snack and time to comb his beard, the larger than life — that’s newspaper-speak for ‘overweight’ — author continued: “The judges of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize obviously felt that it would be good to have the Ardaghnameassociated with Roald Dahl because, being dead, he is unable to produce any more humorous books of his own.”

Ardagh refused to discuss the other shortlisted books in what is agreed to be a very strong field of contenders. “Why should I want to give them publicity?” he said. “That’s their job. Let them do it.”

The press conference was broken up when Bunty Fox – co-owner of KILL ALL DUCKS, a shop devoted to badly-made homemade models of duck suffering nasty injuries — took the opportunity to accuse Beardy Ardagh of portraying her ‘peace-loving and friendly’ family as being ‘nasty and unpleasant’ in each and every GRUBTOWN TALE.

Mrs Fox then threatened to give Beardy Ardagh’s nose ‘a good punching’, and beat Officer Mustard Tripwire over the head with a baguette from her shopping bag when being forcibly removed from the room.

“Such a blatant waste of good food will not be tolerated,” Mayor Flabby Gomez said later from his newly-knitted mayoral residence, with his mouth full.

Philip Ardagh will be touring his own back garden in an open-top bus for the next three Wednesday evenings. To avoid disappointment, booking is advisable.

[Check blog entry for more details.]

*

NEW-LOOK BLOTCHY MILK CHURNS MAKE ME FEEL SICK SAYS LOCAL UNDERTAKER
from our slighty queasy correspondent

The new-look blotchy Wretching's Dairy churns.
The new-look blotchy Wretching’s Dairy churns.
*

BEARDY ARDAGH WINS ROALD DAHL FUNNY PRIZE.  GRUBTOWNERS STUNNED
from our utterly gobsmacked correspondent

Wrteching’s Dairy, famous for the black-and-white  cow logo which appears on all its products from milk cartons to yoghurts, has now painted all its milk churns with the distinctive black-and-white Jersey cow markings. Clam Wretching, founder of Wretching’s Dairy, described the new churns as being “snappy and zappy” and “hippy and peppy” before rolling over and going straight back to sleep. Grubtownresidents, it seems, have mixed feelings about the new-look churns, however.

Professional complainer, and town undertaker, Wide Brim Petty-Mandrake has already written 463 e-mails of complaint to the council about the churns. “One look at them and I keep seening blotches before my eyes,” he claims. “They make me feel sick. They make me want to retch. This is no laughing matter, it’s a barfing matter.”

Grubtown’s resident pretend-doctor, Dr Fraud, has been quick to assure fellow Grubtowners that the look of the churns poses no threat to public health. “And I’m not just saying that because I have a big cheque from Wretching’s Dairy in my pocket,” he told reporters at a news conference. “For all I know, the milk in the churns could be deadly poisonous, but the blotches won’t do any harm.”

Unfortunately, local resident, Mrs Awning, was slight injured when sixty-two of the churns rolled over her, one at a time, when they fell from the back of a Wretching’s Dairy lorry at the end of the news conference. “I haven’t laughed so much since my brother got ill,” said local sign-painter Marley Gripe.

MAYOR FLABBY GOMEZ HAS ‘QUIET WORD’ WITH BEARDY ARDAGH ABOUT ‘SHAMELESS SELF-PUBLICITY’
from our quiet words correspondent

The Beardy Ardagh poster on Rank StreetThe critical success of Beardy Ardagh’s first two Grubtown Tales has resulted in the local author having had an enormous poster of himself put up on the billboard in Rank Street, near the abandoned bowtie factory. Following such plaudits as ‘Philip Ardagh writes funny like he can’t help it’ from The Independent on Sunday, ‘Extremely inventive’  from The Daily Telegraph and ‘This man is a god!’ from Beardy Ardagh Weekly (in which the author reviews his own books), Beardy Ardagh has been described by some fellow-Grubtownersasbeing ‘even more big headed than someone with a really, REALLY big head.’

A source close to Mayor Flabby Gomez  — in fact, Pritt Gomez, his wife (and you can’t get much closer than that) — has told this newspaper that the mayor called Mr Ardagh into his office to say that if ANYONE was going to have lots of posters of his face around town it was going to be him and not Beardy. He said it very quietly, though, so those listening in the corridor could only hear the words ‘thistle’ and ‘teapot’, though they might have been mistaken.

Beardy Ardaghwasunavailablefor comment last night, stating that he was too busy building himself a golden throne.

*

FOX FAMILY ‘REALLY VERY ANGRY’ ABOUT BEARDY ARDAGH’S GRUBTOWN TALES
from our angry Grubtown residents correspondent

The Fox family, GrubtowWill Beardy Ardagh's latest tale be decent, honest and fair?n residents and owners of  the local shop KILL ALL DUCKS, have expressed their anger at the way in which author Beardy Ardagh has portrayed them in the first two of his GrubtownTales. “He’s made us look like duck-hating nutters,” Derek Fox told me, while making a clay model of a duck withitsfoot caught in a piano. “If he doesn’t show us in a better light in Book 3, we’re going to put a hosepipe through his letter box and fill his house with yoghurt. We’re NICE, I tell you! NICE!” He then threw me out onto his front lawn.

Beardy Ardagh was unavialable for comment. He was too busy taping up his letter box.

The third Grubtown Tale, The Far From Great Escape, is published later this year.

*

GRUBTOWN DUCKLINGS SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING TEAM WINS SECOND PLACE
from our waterfowl formation dancing correspondent

Quackling (top left) breaks formation during all-important cartwheel manoeuvre

Quackling (top left) breaks formation during all-important cartwheel manoeuvre

Despite bad weather, a polluted pond and the Fox family throwing stale rock buns and shouting, “Ducks aren’t very nice!”, Grubtown’s ducklings synchronized swimming team managed a silver medal at this years’  No-Training-Allowed Because-They’re-Wild-Animals-And-Not-Pets Animal Sports Extravaganza.

This is an animal sports extravaganza in which there’s no training allowed because the contestants are wild animals and not pets.

“Of course we were hoping for first place,” said Grubtown’s mayor, Flabby Gomez. “But second is better than third which is better than fourthwhichis, without a doubt, better than fifth.”

The competition was neck and neck with the ducklings of nearby Merry Moss, until a Grubtown duckling named Quackling (top left of photo) broke formation in the final cartwheel manoeuvre.

“It is, of course, against the law to bet on the competition,” said former riverboat gambler Carlo Monte and manager of the illegal gambling ship The Crooked Sixpence, “but I did it anyway, and made lots of money.”

Mayor Flabby Gomez went on to point out that it is better to come fifth than sixth and sixth than seventh.

The only reported injury in the three-day event was to a Mrs Awning who got a carrot stuck in her left ear.

*

The first of the signs, fixed to the side of Mayor Flabby Gomez's shed home.

The first of the signs, fixed to the side of Mayor Flabby Gomez's shed home.

THE SIGN OF THE TIMES
from our why do I get to write about boring old road signs correspondent

Following a near miss between a mummy duck and Grubtown sign-painter, Marley Gripe, Chief Grabby Hanson has put up a number of road signs at popular duck crossing points (including that nasty bend in Nasty Bend Road) to warn drivers to steer clear of ducks. “Luckily, Marley Gripe was on his bike,” said Hanson. “”If it had been Mickey ‘Steamroller’ Johnson, on his steamroller, things could have been a lot worse.” (Mr Johnson is currently in Grubtown Jail for flattening Minty Glibb’s cakeshop, and for trying to flatten Minty Glibbs herself.)

“Under normal circumstances, Marley Gipe would have been asked to paint the signs,” Chief Hanson told me, ”but, because he was the one who nearly hit the mummy duck, Mayor Flabby Gomez declared that Mr Gripe should not make any money from the signs put up to try and put a stop to such things. Instead, he had me have the signs made at the nearby GOMEZ SIGNS factory.”

“I think it’s a great idea,” said passing village idiot, Formal Dripping. “But what if  — er — the ducks can’t read?”
*

CHIEF SOLVES CRIME BEFORE IT HAPPENS
from our floating gambling den and crime statistics correspondent

Grubtown’s chief of police, Grabby Hanson, has announced some of the best crime-solving figures since crime was invented. “Unlike other police forces,” the chief told reporters on the illegal off-shore gambling ship, The Crooked Sixpence, “here in Grubtown I carry out most of the crimes myself. This means that all I have to do is to arrest myself or to give myself up at the police station, making Grubtown a better and safer place for everyone!”

During the press conference, three reporters had their notebooks stolen, two TV crews ‘lost’ their cameras and TV presenter, Lobby Concourse, was kidnapped. All were found in Grabby Hanson’s locker and were returned in just a few hours. On her TV show, Lobby Concourse said, “I couldn’t have been grabbed by a nicer or more handsome person.”

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GRUBTOWN TO WELCOME BACK NEARBY-VILLAGE IDIOT
from our drooling fool of a correspondent

Being GrubTOWN rather than GrubVILLAGE, Grubtown has never been allowed to have its very own village idiot but, thanks to the generosity of the nearby village of Werty, it will be visited by one this summer. Formal Dripping has won many national and international village idiot awards and, over his long career, has dribbled many gallons of drool. He will be bringing his ever-popular pig’s bladder on a stick, and promises to point at everything (and nothing in particular) guffawing loudly and stupidly for no apparent reason.

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FOX FAMILY ACTUALLY SELLS SOMETHING IN SHOP
from our absolutely stunned correspondent

Ever since its opening a few years ago, KILL ALL DUCK (a shop which sells nothing but badly made models of ducks involved in fatal accidents) has not had ANY customer except for the shop-owners themselves. The Fox family opened their shop when Mrs BuntyFoxclaimed that she failed her driving test when a passing duck put her off with its QUACKING. She drove the car into the sea.

Husband Derek Fox told our reporter that they’d actually sold a model of a duck being struck by lightning, made by their daughter Garrideb. “We were amazed and delighted,” he told The Grubtown Daily Herald.

KILL ALL DUCKS’s first and only customer was later found trying to boil his own foot in a saucepan of nettle soup and is currently in the care of Dr Fraud.

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MAYOR FLABBY GOMEZ NEEDS YOUR WOOL!
from our doing-what-the-mayor-tells-me-to-do correspondent

Work is well underway on the knitting of  new home for the mayor and his family. Mayor Gomez is doing all the knitting himself, but needs all the wool he can get his hands on. If you have any unwanted balls of wool, or are willing to unravel any old socks and sweaters, please leave them in any of the official ‘wool drop bins’ located around Grubtown. While work on his new home is underway, Flabby Gomez, wife Pritt Gomez and son Tundra Gomez continue to live in a garden shed.

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JILLY CHEETER GRUBTOWN’S OFFICIAL DUCK GATHERER
from our wildfowl and recently employed correspondent

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Jilly Cheeter

Young Jilly Cheeterhasbeen awarded the important job of being the town’s new duck gatherer. The job comes with a duck-call whistle and a big key to The Duck House. “I didn’t apply for the job,” Jill Cheeter explained. “I was sent to the council offices to complain that we don’t have a cane toad living in our compost heap though our nextdoor neighbour does, and went through the wrong door.”

Before she quite knew what had happened, Grubtown’sofficial council job-giver-outer, Rambo Sanskrit, had made her duck-gatherer. “It’s lucky that I love ducks!” she said.

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MANGO CLAPTRAPS SHORTS FRIGHTEN DRAGONFLY
from our out-of-fashion correspondent

Young Mango Claptrap is a very familar sight around Grubtown with his very short shorts. There is much debate about whether he has lots of  look-so-alike-you-can’t tell-them-apart short shorts, or whether he just wears the same pair all the time. Eitherway, Grubtowners everywhere can spot Mango Claptrap (and his short shorts) from a long way off. “I’m happy for the citizens of Grubtownto wear whatever they like,” Mayor Flabby Gomez announced at a recent town meeting, “but I’ve heard reports that young Claptrap’s short shorts have been upsetting some of the local insects, so I will be keeping an eye on the matter.” The mayor strongly denied rumours that he might be introducing a ‘clothes tax’.

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Ill? Dying Or Just Plain Old badly Injured?
Then call DR FRAUD on Grubtown 882.
“I may not be a real doctor, but I’m cheap and have my own stethascope.
No bils too big, no cuts too small.

Looking for a clean shirt or a wedding ring?
Then why not vist SCORN’S LAUNDRETTE & JEWELLERS on Wrong Street?
Lefty Scorn has years of experience unblocking dryers,
filling the washing-powder-dispensing machine
and sllingfinejewellery, most of it genuine.
“SCORN’S. We put the sparkle in your laundry and on your fingers.”

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KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST GRUBTOWN NEWS BY READING ‘GRUBTOWN TALES’
Children’s books just got a whole lot siller!

An extremely exciting and exceptionally silly new series from the creator of Eddie Dickens. Grubtown is certainly a town and certainly grubby - except for the squeaky clean parts - but everything else we know about the place comes from Beardy Ardagh, town resident and author of these tales …

Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky
Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky

Grubtown is full of oddballs - from the singing Grumbly girls to a family of duck-haters, and an out-sized mayor who’s knitting a new house - but Manual Org is too repulsive even for them. Getting him to leave town is top priority, until the discovery of a humongous diamond changes everything …

The Year That It Rained Cows
The Year That It Rained Cows

A startled cow falling out of nowhere onto Limbo Goulash while he’s riding Marley Gripe’s bicycle marks the start of a chain of events strange even by Grubtown’sstandards. With Mayor Flabby Gomez throwing a wobbly, all chief of police, Grabby Hanson, can do is have the cow-fearing townsfolk watch the skies. Underground, meanwhile, there lies another big surprise …

Chief of Police, Grabby Hanson

Chief of Police, Grabby Hanson

Don’t forget to check out the latest news from Philip ‘Beardy’ Ardagh in his blog