Hoodening Play 1993

(Moll enters with Dobbin limping and sweeps up)
Moll:
The Hoodeners are here
Well I am — and this useless horse
The others'll come along in due course
They've work to do down the farm
Clearing up behind the barn
Let me introduce myself: I'm Molly
And this ain't Mary Poppin's brolly
This is in fact my old birch broom
To sweep away all the doom and gloom
Our work-shy horse has cast 'is shoe
And left the men with more to do
When we get the rest of the mob in
Then we're off to shoe old Dobbin
(Dobbin rushes out)
Oh dear! What shall we do?
The Boss will turn 'im into glue
(Dobbin comes in again, this time with Harry)
Harry:
I met this smelly creature outside the Bell
Moll:
Why, have you got Sam there as well?
Harry:
No I haven't, you stupid old hag
Go smoke a cigar, you old rat bag
And Sam's still working down the road
They'll have time to shift one more load
Moll:
Huh! Work's not one of Sam's gifts
Wind's the only thing that he shifts
We'll have to get old Dobbin right
Before the Smithy goes home tonight
[Harry's special lines]
Harry:
It won't take long to fit his becks
If he doesn't break one of our necks
He shies just at the mention of the word
Moll:
What word's that?…
(Harry whispers in Moll's ear)
          … Don't be absurd!
I bet 'e won't move, if I say "Shoe Dobbin"
(Off goes Dobbin again)
Oh dear! What shall we do?
They'll sell 'im to the French for stew
(Back comes Dobbin, held by Sam)
Harry:
What you doing, knocking off early?
Sam:
Shut up! — and stop being so surly
I've done me bit, now it's time for a… break
Time for a drink and a piece of cake
I've left the boy to finish up
So I could come and have a sup
Of a glass of beer, or p'raps mulled wine
And something to eat — we've plenty of time
[Sam's special lines]
Harry:
You really are a lazy slob
I left you there in charge of the job
The boy's a prat, and we all know it
The simplest job — and he'll always blow it
Sam:
He's only a few bits left to lob in
Anyway… When're we going to shoe Dobbin?
(Molly tries to put her hand over Sam's mouth, and of course Dobbin goes out again)
Moll:
Oh dear! What shall we do?
He'll end up as lion food at the zoo
(Back comes Dobbin; Boy is lying backwards along Dobbin's back, and before getting off says…)
Boy:
I tried to stop him! Stood in 'is way!
That's how I've ended up this way
Harry:
Boy! Can't you do anything right?
For goodness' sake get out of my sight
Moll:
Look you lot, stop yer bickering
Sam:
Did she say "Get more liquor in"?
[Boy's special lines]
Harry:
First we must sort out this horse
Sam:
That was my first thought! — of course!
To prevent the old nag from feeling queer
It would be better if the Smithy came here
Do you think these folk here would mind?
Moll:
No, they're all relaxed, beginning to unwind
Boy:
I saw the blacksmith out in the street
He's just the chap to see to his feet
But don't anyone mention the fatal words
Or the room'll be full of horse's turds
Harry:
Don't be vulgar — I've told you before
Or I'll kick your arse straight out the door
Now go and fetch the man and 'is tools
We don't want to stand 'ere looking like fools
(Boy looks slowly at Harry and the others and laughs, and then walks out to find George)
Moll:
Just like Sam in Gone with the Wind
Harry:
Shut up! — unless you want yer lip pinned
(Boy turns back…)
Boy:
But surely Sam was in Casablanca
Moll:
No, this one's just our local banker
(Boy comes in yet again)
Boy:
I'm sure 'e was…
Moll:
Clear off will you…
Harry:
We'd better lay a sheet down on the floor
'Cos when Smithy George comes in the door
Poor old Dobbin's going to drop his load
Either in here or out in the road
Moll:
He has a bit of trouble with bowel control
And we'll need a bucket or a bowl
Sam:
I wouldn't bother — don't make a fuss!
Moll:
If he makes a mess they'll all blame us
Look here comes the boy with Smithy George
Perhaps he found him up at the forge
(Horse poops himself)
Boy:
No. I found him in the pub
He's had a few, and here's the rub
I don't think he can control his faculties
Moll:
He's all right until it reaches his knees
Sam:
All of this is beyond his grasp
Can't even hold his little rasp
I think we need a sober farrier
His alcohol content's through the barrier
George:
Where's this wheel you want me to mend?
Sam:
Oh my Gaud, he's gone round the bend
Harry:
It's the horse that you need to see
(George shuffles about from foot to foot)
No, you haven't got time for a pee
He needs a shoe, his hoof looks sore
Sam:
Not that end! That's the horse's jaw
Look, pillock! The horse needs to be shod
I don't know why you're such a stupid sod
Look, this is the hoof that's causing the trouble
Harry:
Get it seen to, and at the double!
Boy:
I'll hold on to Dobbin's bridle
I don't stand around looking idle
George:
Hold him steady while I have a look
Sam:
He hasn't a clue — he'll need a book!
George:
I've got a shoe that'll fit a treat
And these nails to make it neat
Harry:
I'll hold the nail while you fit it
George:
When I nod my head, you hit it
Sam:
What a good idea! Give the hammer to me
He won't feel a thing — he's pissed you see
I reckon I will give him a clout
Moll:
Watch out — Dobbin's lashing out
(Dobbin kicks out and knocks George flat on his back. George fits large nail over his head.)
Too late — now old George has had it!
Boy:
Laid out like some old dead rabbit
Sam:
Forget about him! Get this shoe off my breeches
(Molly starts to fumble with Sam's braces)
Boy:
Look how quick Sam's braces she unhitches!
Sam:
I don't trust her round my nether parts
Boy:
I'd be worried in case he… farts
Harry:
Put some of this liquid on the burn
Moll:
Give it to me, let me have a turn
(Sam pulls up his trousers and makes himself tidy)
Sam:
I'm not having her hand down me trews
She's got hands like a Wandering Jew's
Harry:
We can't leave our corpse just lying there
Otherwise people will begin to stare
He always was a really good chap
It's a shame about this little mishap
Sam:
He always bought his round of drinks
Moll:
And gave us girls one of his winks!
He was well-dressed when out on the town
I won't have people running him down
Boy:
It's a bit late, I think Dobbin just did
Harry:
What do you mean, you stupid kid?
Boy:
Run him down is what I meant
Now I'm afraid he's heaven sent
Sam:
That's enough! Show some respect
Who will tell his wife about this subject
He won't be missed, she won't make a search
She's out ringing bells down at the church
They'll toll for him — it's oh, so solemn
Who'll put his name in the "obits" column?
Boy:
Don't get me wrong, I liked the man
It's a bit of a shame he's kicked the can
He really was the best of all fellows
I liked to help by pumping the bellows
I liked to see the flashing sparks
And hear his disgusting remarks
While striking the anvil with his hammer
Or tightening his nuts with his spanner
Moll:
He could always mend a pan or kettle
In fact anything to do with metal
Sam:
He even mended my old bike
He could repair whatever he liked
Harry:
Like most of us he had his vices — ha-ha
And he used all his tools and devices
(Moll wags her finger at Harry)
Sam:
His Granny Smith was the apple of my eye
And she made a jolly good pie
Firm and ripe and ready to eat
And her skin always looked a treat
In fact, she was perfect right to the core
When you had one you just wanted more
Moll:
If we lift him up and carry him out
Will it disturb their drinking bout?
Boy:
Do you think we should sing a lament
Before his body starts to ferment
(They all sing "Here's a heath to the Jolly Blacksmith", badly but softly)
Let's make a retreat — that's my guess
Use Moll's broom to sweep up the mess
(Sam picks up the discarded bottle)
Sam:
Bottle's empty — it wouldn't have helped
Harry:
It worked when my old whippet whelped
Chuck it down near the deceased
George:
What the hell's this — axle grease?
Moll:
He's alive!
George:
This 'ere nail didn't help my senses
I really thought I was in past tenses
Boy:
We all thought you were a gonner
George:
Now to fix that shoe would be an honour
(They all set to and shoe the horse)
George:
Is the shoe still hot… ?
(We all create smoke to the best of our ability)
          … Yes, look at the smoke
Boy:
Call the Fire Brigade, it's no joke
George:
Oh — the air always gets hazier
When I shove this in my brazier!
Boy:
Isn't that what Molly wears?
You know, those things come in pairs!
Moll:
Don't mention my unmentionables
All my things have M & S labels
George:
The parish piddlers could put out this fire
We could bid goodnight, and then retire
Let these kind folks enjoy themselves
While we empty all the pub shelves
Boy:
It's all right for you with yer 'ollow legs
George:
I'll drink anything, even the dregs
We're sorry, friends, for causing a stink
Boy:
Sorry for bringing the missing link
Where's Dobbin go when he feels ill?
All:
Don't know…
Boy:
          … To the Horsepitil!
George:
Well, we're pleased it didn't end in tears
But before our Happy Christmas and New Years
Moll:
Some bits have been too rude to mention
But to embarrass was not our intention
George:
So let's have no sign of dissension
But necessity is the mother of invention
And the necessity of this Tear Appeal
Is to give enough to help to heal
To provide enough emergency cover
Next time it might be your mother or brother
Harry:
We're collecting with some urgency
To try and keep 24-hour emergency
Sam:
At Margate Hospital throughout the night
For poorly people who need putting right
Call an ambulance for this disaster
With nurse and bandages and plaster
Together with rope to make a sling -
And a bed pan — they'd better bring!
Tessa Tapp's our collector in charge
She'll accept any money little or large
And as we've tried to make you laugh
Please be generous on her behalf
Moll:
We've told you all about our collection
It's all about a bit of protection
George:
It doesn't mean we'll call the Firm in, mate
But our play is about to terminate
Sam:
No, we won't call in the hit men
It's all about keeping fit men
George:
And women and fathers and misses
Giving 24-hour emergency services
At Margate General Hospital
Boy:
So whether you're big or little
We want you all to boost our funds
Sam:
Pound, Francs, Schilling or Irish Punds
We'll accept all donations on their behalf
Harry:
Now that we've all had a good laugh
All:
For if ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need

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