Hoodening Play 1999

All:
Hail to the master and the mistress, Here's to the household one and all,
Here we are keeping our old custom, Once in the year we come to call.
Now on the Hoodener's night we beg for mistletoe gifts in house and hall.
If you have nothing you can give us, Bid us be off upon our way,
Only a forfeit we will ask you, Your oldest girl to take away.
[Enter Moll]
Moll:
The Hoodeners are here!
All right you lot, cut out the racket
Too much noise and I just can't hack it
There'll be a surprise for the next one that blurts
I'll stick my brush up right where it hurts
I'm sorry if I seem a bit overwrought
My nerves are tight, my temper taut
It's putting up with our 'orrible crew
Ah here they come! Tell us, what's new?
[In they come]
All:
Whoa Dobbin! Whoa! Whoa!
Whoever:
I'll tell you what's new if nobody minds
I've got it all down in these special lines…
[SPECIAL LINES FOR EACH HOUSE]
Boy:
He's frisky tonight, I can't hold him still
He's been like this since we stopped at Sarre Mill
Now settle Dobbin, don't cause a fuss
He's more unreliable than a Stagecoach bus
Sam (aside):
That is unreliable!
It's been murder out in the fields today
Ain't eased up since the tail end of May
George:
It's dark so early — we need the light
Ploughing's so hard once the frost starts to bite
'arry:
I can't get warm, it's parky tonight
That easterly wind makes my skin go tight
It penetrates my clothes with one intention
To shrivel the parts you just can't mention
Moll:
You should wrap up…
Sam:
I'll second that!
Moll:
… with a nice warm coat and a woolly hat
We are all suffering and feeling the cold
Spose it's part of getting old…
Boy:
Speak for yourself, you wrinkled old crow
How old are you? Does anyone know?
George:
She must be old but she is quite nifty
Boy:
I reckon she must be a hundred and fifty
Moll:
You cheeky…
'arry:
That's enough!
We've been Hoodening now so it appears
For coming up to one thousand years
Moll:
That's what the "M" word is all about
'arry:
Don't start on that, you'll make me shout
Boy:
One thousand years, it makes you think
That's about the time since Sam bought a drink
'arry:
It's longer than that Sam, own up to your guilt
More likely before Stonehenge was built
Sam:
You reckon George he's after a fight?
George:
Nah I'm with him, he's probably right
Others (aside):
You sure? Is that your final answer? Ask the audience? Phone a friend? 50-50? etc.
[Dobbin gets restless]
Boy:
He's at it again, the fidgety dude
It must be something he had in his food
He staggers around and then he slips
Ain't bin the same since that eclipse
Moll:
He started off home when the skies got black
Done ten yards then had to come back
'arry:
The speed of it all ended his dash
The whole bloody thing was over in a flash
Sam:
I couldn't work out where the sun had gone
George:
So he got spooked and hid in the corn
Sam:
I put down me glass and I'm not joking
The sun came back out and something was smoking
Boy:
The sun through the glass burnt the corn you see
Sam:
It certainly put the sh… up me!
Moll:
Next time the corn starts a turning
Remember Sam discovered stubble-burning
'arry:
By the time you sat down in the evening noshing
You found you 'ad black bits all over your washing
George:
About this stuff in Dobbin's diet
Is it that thing they're trying to keep quiet?
Boy:
It could be them new oats he tried…
George:
Naa — you reckon he's bin genitally modified?
Others:
GenETICally!
Boy:
They've certainly done something down under
Usually he farts like thunder
'arry:
There's obviously something wrong with his brain
That's why he's been so awkward to train
Sam:
Could've been them wurzels from up top field
He eats 'em whole…
Moll:
          They should've been peeled
George:
Praps he'll go completely nuts
Sam:
Worst of all, could upset his guts
'arry:
We don't want that anymore
Moll:
Certainly not with this clean floor
[Dobbin farts and craps on the floor]
All:
Oh no!
Sam:
You can see by this mess on the rug
The cause was this 'ere Millennium bug
Boy:
On him doing this we were reliant
It means he's now "two thousand compliant"
'arry:
What can we do? He's damaged for life
The look on his face says nothing but strife
Boy:
He's fixed with what seems a permanent frown
Sam:
It's best then that we have him put down
Others:
What?!
Sam:
We should do the right thing
Moll:
          Right thing, like what?
Sam:
Take him to the knacker's and have him shot
All:
Sam!
Boy:
We could flog the carcass and see what it makes
Or sell him — to the French — for steaks
Sam:
Or to make that extra little bung
We could also sell 'em all this dung
Boy:
And for an extra little treat
They'll give it to their cows to eat
George:
If he can't work he ain't no use
If he starts to breed what might he produce?
Sam:
At his age he's past it, that I'll declare
Unless of course he's a Tony Blair
'arry:
Let's call out the vet to complete the task
Who's going to be the one to ask?
Moll:
Boy, off you go, before it gets late
Boy:
I want to be back for my hot date
[Boy goes off… Bang!]
'arry:
While he's gone praps we should say our good-byes
Cheerio Dobbin!
Moll:
          The look in those eyes
Sam:
They're all misting up, a pitiful sight
Moll:
Hankie George
George:
          Aye, you're right
'arry:
Ah here comes the boy… the 'orse is no better
Boy:
Vet couldn't come but she gave me this letter
George:
That vet's useless, a right old state
Sam:
She reminds me of that Zoe Tate
George:
Ah, she's the one I really like!
But isn't she a bit of a …?
Boy:
I'll be veterinary, 'cos we ain't got all day
And with animals I have a certain way
Sam (aside):
So I've heard…
Boy:
Just what's wrong with this old jade
Sam:
He needs putting down — let's get a spade
'arry:
He's been GM'd [Gumudu], I feel quite sure
Others (aside):
Gee-Emm-ed!
Moll:
Go on, whack 'im under the jaw
Boy:
A soft spot is needed for a needle to go in
George:
Try his brain!
Boy:
          Yeah, let's begin I've got this needle which might well do
Makes me cringe, dunno about you
I can't quite reach
Moll:
          Go on Boy, Get on his back
Boy:
          I'll have a tr(o)y
George:
Steady lads, he's ready to buck
'arry:
What's that George?
Sam:
          Watch out, duck!
[Boy gets tossed off; both get injected; Dobbin gallops away]
Moll:
The Boy's on the floor, he's banged his head
Sam:
It's worse than that — he's dead
'arry:
No he can't be, speak to us mate
George:
Too late now, he's met his fate
Sam:
Where's that horse?
'arry:
          He's galloped away
Moll:
We'll get him later and make him pay
Sam:
Well he's done a good job if you ask me
Moll:
Typical, Sam… 'ave my knee!
George:
What do we do now?
'arry:
          Get a sheet
George:
                    OK
'arry:
Cover him up 'fore the flies start to lay
Sam:
Their eggs will hatch out quite soon I fears
And the maggots will start to come out of his ears
If you leave him like that, he'll pay for his lying
Moll:
Like Jeffrey Archer!
George:
          No his career's dying
Moll:
Cover him up so he's hid
We'll never know what that needle did
'arry:
This empty carton seems to state
What's been injected… 'ang on, wait…
This could mean both the Boy and the horse
Have had a dose which could make 'em worse
Sam:
Lucky he's dead then!
[Re-enter Dobbin, with two heads]
Sam:
… but not so Dobbin…
Moll:
What's happened? Has he interbred?
George:
Where did he get that extra head?
[Song: after Rolf Harris]
Our Boy's there dead, deedle eedle eedle um,
That's Dobbin's extra head, deedle eedle eedle um.
The veterinary's jab gave 'em both a stab
Didn't cure their phlegm — just gave 'em GM
So our Boy's dead, deedle eedle eedle um,
And Dobbin's got two heads, deedle eedle eedle um.
George:
Good job them lot did the prancing
I never could stand Morris Dancing
'arry:
Grab him quick!
Sam:
          There's no way of knowing You can't tell if he's coming or going
Moll:
Put the sheet over his extra head (just suggestion)
Maybe then he'll be easily led
Back to the farm, he is in a stew
Sam:
Praps we can charge the public to view
Moll:
Sam!
Sam:
Put it on posters, let everyone know
Tonight's "double header"… The Dobbin Show
'arry:
Don't be cruel — but I know what you meant
He could neigh to himself to his heart's content
[Dobbin runs off]
Moll:
Have a peep under the sheet
I want to check how many feet
George:
He could have more, look what happened to the horse
By now the injection will have run its course
Sam:
I don't believe it! Is the light playing tricks?
It seems to me he's got two…
Moll (interrupts):
He'd have no problem if nature calls
Seems he's also got four…
'arry (interrupts):
I think it's there for all to see
He's twice the Boy he used to be
Boy:
Ahhh… Get off!
George:
He's coming round, he was only concussed
Boy:
Help me up
George:
          Well, if I must
All:
He's alive!
Moll:
How are you Boy? You look hung over
'arry:
Looks as if he'll be in clover
Boy:
I feel OK… I'm off for my date
I've got to hurry, case I'm late
[Boy goes off… again. Re-enter Dobbin, "normal" again.]
Moll:
Dobbin, you're back and all is intact
He looks much better — blooming, in fact
Sam:
The effect of the jab has now worn off
[Dobbin coughs]
Sam:
And all that is left is a bit of a cough
'arry:
Something's needed to clear his throat
To soothe his mane, put a shine on his coat
Sam:
Well I feel parched, a drink would be handy…
Moll:
And I could manage a half of shandy
'arry:
What a good idea! Let's sing to our host
While raising a glass in a seasonal toast
[Song]
Come Landlord, fill the flowing bowl, until it doth run over,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be, tomorrow we'll be sober.
Sam:
I wonder when the Boy will be back
Staying power he seems to lack
George:
He'll be back through the door, before too long
The lure of an ale will be too strong
[Enter Boy]
Boy:
Did someone call, and mention a drink?
I'm so knackered I can hardly think
George:
You're walking strange, a little bit bandy
Moll:
What he needs is a good stiff brandy!
'arry:
Well did she show? Was she OK?
Boy:
She sure was! We headed for the hay…
She got real fruity and mucked about
Sam:
What happened next?
Boy:
          I think I passed out The effects of the jab wore off, you see
I went all weak, it buckled my knee
I reverted back to my usual pace
'arry:
I bet she left with a smile on her face!
[Enter Clover]
Clover:
Ahhh, there you are, you useless wimp!
I've never seen anything quite so limp!
Our courting's over, it's run its course…
You'd best forget it — I'm off with the 'orse!
[Clover tries to drag Dobbin away]
Moll:
That's enough… but before we go
There's something these people need to know
George:
Our cause this year — before you all dash
The Friends of the Church are pleading for cash
Boy:
We did them last year but we've still got to ask
'cos they still need more to complete the task
Sam:
So please do a favour for this poor old hag
And dump all your cash in her old nose bag
All:
For if ye the hooden horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need!

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