(A23)Mac Hatter & the Gutterfly

by Jerry Lydon, July 1999

The continuing saga of Mad Mac and his Multiplex


The once important chief planner MacHatter was awoken from his dreams of glory by a dazzling light. On the brink of an enclave quite mundane but presuming himself on the very threshold of some celestial kingdom, he opened one eye, only to behold an old Blue Nun bottle, sadly as empty as the once glorious multiplex now was, which had found its rightful place amongst other twinkling debris adorning the gutter, once such an innovative feature of the tinsel terraces!

From this bottle emerged the not entirely unfamiliar face of a gutterfly who had made the bottle her personal Crystal Palace.

"After all", she said to anyone who would listen, "any old bottle at the end of the day is basically in the same style as the original Paxton bottle."

And where better for conducting a liaison with a blue bottle who could surely add a few dirty tricks to her already wide repertoire?

Forsaking the confines of her palace she proceeded to hiss a most unlady-like sounding four letter word into the ear of Mad Mac - a word the likes of which Mad Mac had used so often to counter the Crystal Palace Complainers but not one he would have expected from an ex-clone-cillor or from any other council grub.

Now Mad Mac would have crushed a clone-cillor or even a Hatter-pillar - they were mere crawlers - but now the boot was on the other foot. Here was a gutterfly who could "stamp". This vaguely occurred to Mad Mac though not precisely for he had not heard of a gutterfly that could stamp: his reading had been somewhat limited to council minutes and other works of fiction.

Finding Mad Mac rather slow on the uptake the ex-clone-cillor decided to sting him into action: not though with the sort of sting that Mad Mac was wont to deliver. Here, after all, was a princess, from a Crystal Palace no less - exasperated by a parvenu!

"K-R-A-P" she hissed, evidently exhausted from her pollutions around the neighbouring boroughs. "What Bromley needs is a super shopping mall and I have the ideal site and what is more we can market it as the Keston Ridge Aid Package. What regeneration! What employment! And what a trickle down effect from such a ridge! Mad Mac sat up. This grub was no gutterfly! And for the first time in years - not since the launch of the much needed multiplex - Mad Mac permitted himself a fleeting smile until he realised that a boot, like a glass slipper, sometimes fits a different foot and wearily he retrieved his tea and sixpenny hat before rejoining the dormouse and the march hare and all the other clone-cillors whose names I entirely forget!

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15/1/06 Last Updated 15/1/06