I have changed the name Flunkbum to Wisselbum. Sorry if this leads to any confusion.
They say that good luck and bad luck always comes in three’s? That is rubbish. Who are ‘they’ anyway? Do you know? Does anyone? No. Me neither. In fact, to be perfectly frank with you, I have forgotten how much good luck or bad luck Fishy Fishface has had so far. But let us for the sake of not having an argument say it is about equal. Certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, it was very lucky indeed for Fishy Fishface that Albert Wisselbum whilst being tossed about and gasping for breath in the raging torrent of floodwater should happen to swallow him. I mean, come on what’s the chances of that happening? Swallowing a fish? A goldfish? In a river? No way. Added to that Albert Wisselbum had also lost his false teeth whilst being tossed about and gasping for breath in the raging torrent of floodwater. So, there was no risk whatsoever of Fishy Fishface getting bitten accidentally. Okay, perhaps a slight risk from a mild gumming but much less than if Albert had his teeth in you must admit.
What do you think the odds of Albert Wisselbum getting hooked by a fisherman as he floated rapidly down river were? A million to one? I would say that’s about right. But, and I know you won’t believe this, that is exactly what happened. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
Old Cromwell Smelly the local poacher, had fished this river for nigh on fifty years, man and boy. That should be boy and man but nobody ever says it that way. Man, and boy eh? Perhaps I’ll make that nigh on seventy years because if he started fishing when he was a boy of let’s say ten and he was old now he must be ninety years old at least. I don’t know when people started calling him Old Cromwell Smelly but he would have been quite old when they did. I suppose one day someone said, “Here comes Cromwell Smelly,” and someone else said, “He’s looking old,” and from that day to this he is known as Old Cromwell Smelly?” Makes a lot of sense to me. Let’s make it that he had fished there for nigh on eighty years. I mean, he could be a hundred years old for all I know. Yes, all right he had fished there for nigh on ninety years. However long it was, it was a heck of a long time and he had never bought a fishing permit in all that time.
He had caught some big fish in his long lifetime but never anything as big as Albert Wisselbum who was, to put it indelicately, and not taking political correctness too seriously, a right proper lardy fatso. But here luck makes another fortuitous appearance because Old Cromwell Smelly was using the same type of fishing line as that which is used to catch sharks. Don’t ask me why. He just was, okay? Not little sharks either. Oh no. We are talking Great White Sharks here. Okay, you can ask me why. It was a job lot he picked up cheap at a car boot sale.
Anyway, he reels Albert Wisselbum in and pulls him coughing and spluttering up the bank. You would think, wouldn’t you that Albert Wisselbum having just been saved from drowning, would be grateful? But no. Not a bit of it. Don’t forget Albert Wisselbum works for the river authority, normally wears a peaked cap, and is therefore, duty bound to be a pain in the ar… neck, making him an actual jobsworth. “’Ere,” he says to Old Cromwell Smelly, ‘ave you got a permit to fish here?”
“No I ain’t,” says Old Cromwell Smelly angrily, “’ave you got a permit to pollute the river with your fat, bloated carcass?”
“Ere, that’s enough of your cheek,” says Albert Wisselbum in reply, “I shall be reporting you to the authorities in that on... What’s todays date? Oh, never mind. I shall be reporting you for fishing without a permit on whatever todays date is.”
“And I,” said Old Cromwell Smelly with an air of quiet satisfaction, “shall report you to the Health and Safety busybodies at the town hall for being in or on the river without a life jacket.”
Albert Wisselbum was so shocked by this audacious counter argument that he began to splutter with rage and then he began coughing again until after one particularly strong cough who do you think popped out of his mouth? Yes, that’s right. It was Fishy Fishface. Well done for paying attention.
“And furthermore,” went on Old Cromwell Smelly looking down at Fishy Fishface flopping weakly on the ground, “I shall be reporting you for cruelty to this innocent little goldfish.”
“Oh you will, will you?” said Albert Wisselbum, “in that case you will need some proof,” and with that he quickly scooped up Fishy Fishface and shoved him into the pocket of his hi-vis health and safety jacket with the stuck zip and walked off along the riverbank looking back over his shoulder and laughing, “Hahaha, where is your proof?”
I would like to say, he laughed all the way back to his house, but I can’t because I don’t know and besides, it was getting dark. If I had to guess though, I would think not, because it is difficult to keep laughing when your boots are wet and your socks all squishy.
What Albert Wisselbum failed to notice due to being soaking wet and cold was the young man who had filmed the whole thing on his smart phone and was now uploading the video to Facebook. Where in just a few hours it will have notched up over twenty million views. Not that it makes any difference to this story. Because I probably won’t be mentioning it again.