Wetwang, Wet Wang, Museums and Unfulfilled Promises

This post is satire and any resemblance to reality is misinterpretation by the reader.

In the corner, behind the entrance portico, in a place of worthy honour, but nevertheless, barely visible, is the statue of our Prime Minister, facing, on the opposite corner, the Queen. At night, when everything is still, when even the clatter of a minimum-wage cleaning bucket has desisted, they whisper across the marble space. This evening, Her Majesty is particularly taciturn, and with good reason. The PM is not noted for his conversational skills as one never knows if he is serious, making things up or just daft. She watched the PM draw breath, and cringed.

‘That school group today Ma’am – barely respectful and their teacher said nothing.’

By Matthew Well Flickr

The Queen was reluctant to comment. She was supposed to enter a debate on the good old days. No! She couldn’t stand it for a fifth night in a row. She’d had seventy years of fun-poking at her institution, and specifically, at her expense, although the future King had mopped up quite a few of the hostile barbs over the last 40 years. But her PM, had endured barely 12 months of being an idiot. Well, that wasn’t quite true. There were the mayor debacles such as the buses and bridge and getting the sack a few times for telling porkies, never mind the pay cut he took to become PM.

 The building of a Museum of Unfulfilled Promises, supported by Wetwang Civic Society, was the worst slight her class had been asked to endure, and then be demoted to the basement, along with the cloakrooms and lockers, dripping umbrellas, and school classes eating sandwiches at lunch, was the limit. It was insufferable and coming at the end of her long and bumpy reign, highlighting the idiocies of more governments than she could name, was especially hurtful to a public servant who had given her best.

‘Public Servant’. Now she was doing it.

That gnawed within her breast and caused most pain. Her reign and events surrounding it were housed in a cellar-room called, ‘Public Servants.’ Her status as a servant was proclaimed in letters two-foot-high at the top of the wide stairway down. Was it deliberate? Didn’t they realise how titulated she became when forced to share with the servants? And downstairs!

Of course, the PM – the lecher PM, noticed every time they stiffened. What more had she to endure?

And where in heaven’s name, had Wetwang Civic Society found the money to purchase Frisky Manor, a fine 18th century, 20 bedroom country house that was destined to become a boudoir hotel with golf course? When the Civic Society gazumped Best Western with an eye-watering offer, and proceeded to increase the tourist trade with this damned museum, life became unbearable. What was the matter with golf? Her mother had assured her golf was the best way to divert blokes who couldn’t keep their dicks in their pants and thus allowed a woman to retain some kind of dignity. Then, to cap it all, the PM had discovered that the chair of the civic society ran the village chippy. A gentleman would have kept that to himself.

‘Oh, can there be misery loftier than mine,’ she sighed. She’d learned at school it was a quote from Milton. Another false promise! Bloody Hamm got in on the act when bored by his own immortality. If only they knew how bored she was by hers! She loved to quote Shakespeare. ‘Not to be’, would be the way forward, but for that fool of a son of hers. Now she had to outlive him. And why did nobody remember Milton, but everyone knows Endgame by some unfathomable, minor-league, Irish writer who just happened to get a Nobel prize for scribbling.

She had gleaned from chattering visitors ascending the stairs, that every unfulfilled promise since 1952 was chronicled in the basement rooms. There was even an analysis of Eton Old-Boys who made it to PM during her reign. Anthony Eden – made a fool of himself over Suez. Harold MacMillan, such a safe pair of hands, promoted Profumo, who was Bullingdon and liked affairs with spies and call-girls. Douglas-Home, the chinless wonder who either couldn’t pronounce or couldn’t spell his own name. She had never been able to make up her mind which, he came and went so quickly. Cameron who started the whole Brexit mess because he couldn’t keep his Bullingdon back bench under control and of course, the present fool, the magnitude of whose folly had still to be assessed.

They were all there – in the basement, larger than life, in wax, each dripping with their unfulfilled promises. She was sure the Eton masters must have groaned when their proteges went into politics. They must have known. Teachers are rarely as stupid as their pupils.

She heard the click of the light switches, then darkness, followed by the crash of the front door, buzz of the security set and the hammer of the final staff exit at the rear. That all took a few minutes, but the knowledge of what was to come next made them endless.

The darkness brought out the Unfulfilled promises like hungry cockroaches. Where had they been hiding all day? She couldn’t see, but imagined them crawling from the wainscoting, pelmets, from behind bookcases, from within the books on political memoirs, under seats, behind architraves, through keyholes and skirting boards, the PM’s hair. The list was incomplete, she knew that, but the chattering of thousands of unfulfilled promises was relentless, and the worst was, one knew one was part of their mockery – keywords like queen, royalty etc. betrayed that, but she couldn’t follow the sentence for interruptions from other promises.   

Often, she mused, ‘Why Wetwang?’ Then a sign appeared, within her vision. Wetwang, from Viking Vertvanger or field of justice. The ancient chiefs met here to decide and apply the law. A cold shudder shook her wax as she noticed the modern meaning, quoted from the urban dictionary. ‘A wet wang (n) – to give someone a good rogering.’

‘Nuff said,’ she sighed.

Published by Clive La Pensée

Clive La Pensée, ex-science teacher, recognised writer on history of beer, novelist, expressionist, dreamer, believer in never giving up, empathiser, hopeful for a future without class, gender or racial prejudice. It's tough and at the moment, one has to remember distance travelled, rather than where we are at.

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