Magazine article The Spectator

Treble Hat-Trick: Jaspistos

Magazine article The Spectator

Treble Hat-Trick: Jaspistos

Article excerpt

IN COMPETITION No. 2040 you were invited to incorporate nine given words into a piece of prose without any in the sense of 'hat'.

Although there were only nine words to cope with, rather than the traditional 'dirty dozen', this proved a tough assignment. There was a huge sense, but few of you managing to make sparkling sense. Among those who did - and were unlucky not to win - were Chris Tingley ('"Welcome, wild sou'wester,") and Geraldine Perriam with her hatful of ideas for brightening up the garden: 'Instead of putting a boring old glass cloche over your tender plants, why not decorate it with broken mosaic tiles round the edges? Or take a heated cheesecutter and shape some polystyrene foam into a cap mushroom. . .'

The prizewinners, printed below, get 25 each, and the bottle of The Macallan The Malt Scotch whisky is Esdon Frost's. The annual conference of The Worshipful Company of Hatters was held recently at Eastbourne in a converted coastal defence pillbox, during a howling sou'wester. Delegates huddled round a stovepipe, but remained a wideawake audience for the address by the Master, Sir Thomas Beaver, `The Millinery Experience' which traced the development of such classics as the fedora, the poke-bonnet and the toque. Afterwards, cheese and some excellent South African wines were served. To everyone's embarrassment, the Master, who had partaken liberally of `les vins du Cap' was seen to slouch progressively deeper into his chair, whilst directing verbal abuse at the unfortunate wine waiter and his assistant, the cheese-cutter. Later, I asked Sir Thomas for his opinion of my designs for the `Cool Hats for the People' competition. He replied, "They were not quite goo' enough to recheive awardche.' `But,' he added more kindly, `shome of them came pretty cloche.' (Esdon Frost) There's a fatal attraction about fromage. With bulimic frenzy I besieged the Brie and gorged on the Cheddar until Monica put the cloche on it and returned the cheese-cutter to the pantry Then she eyed me alluringly: `Shall we slouch upstairs?' It was only just after ten but we were wide-awake until the small hours, and I may say that it wasn't because the sou'wester was rattling the stovepipe. Let me give you a clue: I had no need, that night, to unscrew the cap on the Viagra pill-box at the bedside. I can remember Monica's last words just before we both sank into satiated sleep: `Congratulations, eager beaver, you've just scored a treble hat-trick!' (Jeremy Lawrence)

The situation had become intolerable for the Beaver. Day after day the Butcher would slouch against the stovepipe, watching his every movement with a nasty smile. It made him so nervous that he had emptied the pill-box of its contents. Worse still, they had found a cleaver under the large cloche where the Bellman was growing his aspidistra. On being confronted, the Butcher had claimed it was only a cheese-cutter. To cap it all, the fiend had smirked malevolently when the Bellman stupidly returned the cleaver to him. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.