by Robert Williams
Des received an unusual letter in the post one morning. He was so intrigued that he took it to the regular morning meeting in the cafe.
"Take a look at this!" he exclaimed.
"What is it?" asked Mick.
"It's a letter!!" exclaimed Des. "From the Des Wednesday Fan Club!" answered Des.
"The what??!!" said Clive, incredulous.
"The Des Wednesday Fan Club!" repeated Des.
"Somebody's actually set a fan club for you?!" said Clive. "It's a wind-up!"
"No it's not," said Des. "Listen to this: 'Dear Des, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Trevor Trellis, and I am the patron of the newly formed fan club. I'm married to my wife Sylvia, who is also the club secretary, and we have both been avid readers of the books that chronicle your lives for many years. We would therefore like to invite you to speak at our first annual convention, which will be held at St Herbert's Church Hall in Andover next Wednesday (Wednesday - get it??!!)'. I don't understand that...um...'we would be truly honoured to be blessed by your presence..."
"In Andover?" said Wayne.
"Yes, it's in Hampshire," said Mick.
"In Andover what?" said Wayne.
"What?!" said Mick.
"In and over what?" said Wayne. "It don't make sense! Is it in Andover Andover And over again"
"Is it true that Wayne's IQ is lower than his mental age?" said Des.
"Well are you going to go?" asked Mick.
"But of course!" said Des. "This is such a privilege, to have my very own fan club! There must be hundreds, even thousands of members all over the country - maybe even the world!"
"Come on," said Clive. "Surely only numbskulls with barely one brain cell each could be daft enough to join!"
"Can I join?!" said Wayne. "The Des Wednesday Fan Club sounds FANTASTIC!!"
"I'd like to join too," said Des. "I wonder what you get when you join. Maybe there's a monthly newsletter." Clive sniggered.
"You can't join your own fan club!" said Mick. "Do you think, for example, that Chris Tarrant is a member of his own fan club?"
"I don't think anyone's a member of the Chris Tarrant Fan Club!" said Des.
"Forgive me for laughing," said Clive, laughing, "but I still can't get my head round this. The Des Wednesday Fan Club?! It's ludicrous! What kind of loonies would want to start it up? That Trevor Trellis and his wife are probably a couple of sad losers with beards who wear tweed jackets and woolly hats and glasses with a bit of tape round them! Actually, they're probably your kind of people, Des."
"That's just the kind of nasty comment we've come to expect from you," said Des. "I'm sure they, and all the members, are perfectly normal, reasonable people. Just like me!"
The following Wednesday, Des and Wayne (none of the others wanted to be seen to be sad enough to be visiting a convention of the Des Wednesday Fan Club) drove down to Andover and parked outside the church hall. They were met at the door by a couple of sad losers with beards (well not Sylvia) wearing tweed jackets and woolly hats and glasses with a bit of tape round them.
"Hello Des!" they said cheerily.
"I'm Trevor!" said Trevor, shaking Des by the hand rather furiously.
"And I'm Sylvia!" said Sylvia, who was all excited. "Ooooooh!!"
"Err...pleased to meet you," said Des.
"I'm sorry about Sylvia, I think she's a little overcome with emotion about meeting you for the first time!" said Trevor.
"Oh Des, I feel so privileged!" said Sylvia. Then she fainted.
They carried her inside the hall and sat her down on the two chairs that were sat in the middle of the hall. Before long, they had managed to revive her.
"I'm so sorry Des," said Sylvia. "It's just that I've been such a huge fan of you for so long, now I've finally been able to meet you for the first time, the excitement got to me and I, well..."
"Fainted," said Des. "It's understandable. So when's everyone else coming?"
"Everyone else?" said Trev.
"The rest of the club?" said Des.
"What do you mean?" said Trev. "We are the club!"
"You're the only members?" said Des.
"Yes!" said Trev.
"Oh..." said Des.
"I'd like to join!" said Wayne.
"And you are?" said Sylv.
"Des," said Des.
"No, no, I mean you," said Sylv.
"Yes," said Wayne.
"And you are?" said Trev.
"Fine, thanks," said Wayne.
"I'm sorry about him. This is Wayne," said Des.
"Oh! Of course!" said Sylv. "The mechanic!"
"Naaah, I'm the winda cleaner!" said Wayne. "Need yer windas cleaned guv..."
"Of course you can join!" said Trev.
"What about me?" said Des. "I want to join too!"
"You can't join!" said Trev. "It's your own fan club! Do you think Dale Winton is a member of his own fan club?"
"Well..." said Des.
"What do I get for joining?" said Wayne.
"I'll get you a chair, Mike," said Sylv.
"Wayne," said Wayne.
"No, Sylvia," said Sylv.
"Sylvia, look at the time!" said Trev. "It's time we got going!"
Sylvia and Wayne sat down on their chairs, while Trevor went up onto the stage and took the microphone.
"Good afternoon everyone, I'm so glad you could all make it. My name's Trevor Trellis, and welcome to the inaugural annual convention of the Des Wednesday Fan Club!"
The other three clapped.
"We have a full programme events today, consisting of a talk by none other than the man himself. So let me delay the moment no longer - let me introduce the one and only, the great man, Des Wednesday!!"
The miniscule audience applauded as Trev sat down in his seat and Des walked up to the podium.
"Well, ahem," said Des, clearing his throat. He tapped the microphone and then blew onto it. "I'm Des, hi there."
"Isn't he wonderful?" said Sylvia. Trev and Wayne nodded in agreement.
"Um, anyway...it's a great pleasure to be here..." said Des, who hadn't actually prepared anything to say. "Um...yes, right, er...let me tell you about my life...I was only a baby when I was born..."
Des rambled on incessantly about the most tedious parts of his life.
"...I went to school with many other children of similar age...", "...err...the whole of my school was on one level, except the upstairs...", "...I first bought a Fiat 126 in 1975...or was it 1995...anyway, I bought when I read a 'What Car?' road test in which it got two out of five and was placed just third behind the Austin Metro and Skoda Estelle...", "...I bought my first microwave in 1988...probably..."
After three hours of babbling on, Des finally got to the end of his life story. The audience gave him a rapturous standing ovation which lasted at least 14 seconds.
"Thank you so much for coming!" said Sylv. "Your speech was one of the greatest moments of my life! It was simply magical! I can't wait for next year!"
"Me too," said Des, not really meaning it. "(What on earth will I talk about next year??!) Come on Wayne, we've got to go."
Trev and Sylv followed Des and Wayne out of the hall and up to his car.
"Well it's been so nice to meet you," said Des, lying through his teeth. "Goodbye!"
Des and Wayne got into the car.
"Well Wayne, Clive was right," said Des. "They're a couple of sad losers."
"They still 'aven't given me anything for joinin'!" said Wayne. "Not even a badge!"
Des was about to drive off when he noticed Trevor and Sylvia knocking on the window. Des wound it down to see what they wanted.
"Des, my old friend," said Trev. "Would it be too forward of me to ask if we could possibly come back with you and stay at your house tonight? The problem is, the council have evicted us from our shed."
Des was too polite to refuse, and so he reluctantly let the Des Wednesday Fan Club into the back of his car.
"What's this?" said Des as Sylvia brought in with her a domestic animal with four legs and a waggling tail that went 'woof'.
"It's a dog, Des!" said Wayne.
"He's the club mascot," said Sylv. "He's called Des. He's named after you."
"Oh no, that's gonna get so confusin'!!" exclaimed Wayne.
They had a dull drive back to Des's house and Des had a dull evening spent with Trev and Sylv sat in his living room, listening to them droning on about the funniest things that had ever happened to them, like that hilarious time Trev's neighbour borrowed his hedge trimmer and didn't give it back for three weeks, and the time Sylvia missed the bus by two minutes even though she was three minutes early. Meanwhile Des the dog ran about the room knocking things over and leaving hairs everywhere and jumping up and licking Des in the face.
Eventually Trev and Sylv bored themselves out, and went to bed in the spare bedroom, while Des, who had nodded off some time earlier, slept in his armchair. He awoke in the morning to find the dog in his lap.
"Aaarghh!" he exclaimed in surprise. "Oi Des, geroff!!" The dog wouldn't budge.
"Good morning Des!" greeted Trev, walking in. "Would you like some coffee?"
"I haven't got any," said Des. "It's such a shame you have to leave this morning."
"No, no," said Trev. "We don't have to leave. We thought we might just stay a few more days - if that's all right with you, of course."
"Errr..." said Des.
"Oh look, isn't that nice!" said Sylv, walking in. "Des, you're so kind to look after our Des! He likes you!" The dog started licking Des's face again.
"Maybe I'll set up a fan club for him," said Des through gritted teeth.
Later that morning Des popped along to the cafe for the meeting, followed by Trevor and Sylvia.
"Who are they, Des?" asked Mick as they walked in.
"They are the Des Wednesday Fan Club," said Des. He introduced Trevor and Sylvia to the rest of the crew.
"All two of them!" exclaimed Clive. "Ha, ha!!"
"Three, actually!" said Wayne. "I've just joined as well! But they still 'aven't given me anything yet! 'Ere Trev, do I get a badge?"
"Badge?" said Trevor. "We can't afford those, Mike!"
"I'm Wayne, actually!" said Wayne, on the ball as ever.
"It's so nice to meet you all," said Sylvia. "We've been reading about you all for so long, and Des has told us so much about you!"
"You must be Mick," said Trev, shaking Clive by the hand. "Good to meet you!"
"And you must be Clive," said Sylv, shaking Mick by the hand.
"And don't tell me - you're Mrs Greasy!" said Trev, shaking Mrs G by the hand.
"Ha!" she said. "They got my name right!"
"Will Farmer Dickie and Dave the Vicar be in later?" said Sylvia. "I'd love to meet them too!"
"So would I," said Des. "Whoever they are."
"So tell me," said Clive. "I'm fascinated. Why on earth did you set up a fan club for a dipstick like Des?"
"Isn't it obvious, Mick?" said Sylv. "There is surely no one else who comes close to Des!"
"That's because he smells so much," said Clive.
"He's so amazing and talented and interesting!" said Sylv. "He's a complete star!"
Des sat there grinning.
"Would you like something to eat?" asked Mrs G.
"No thanks," said Trev. "I don't mean to be rude, but Des told us your food is revolting!"
"Oh did he?" said Mrs G.
"Oh look, is that Roger?" said Sylv, going over to the cage in the corner. "Your hamster? Des loves hamsters!"
"He's a gerbil and his name's Gerry!" said Mrs Greasy, crossly.
"I didn't know you liked hamsters, Des," said Mick.
"They mean their dog," said Des. "Named after me."
"So what are you two doing round here?" asked Clive.
"Des is so kind, he's invited us to stay with him for a few weeks," said Trev.
"Weeks??!?!" exclaimed Des.
"We've become such great friends in a short time!" said Sylv. "Trev, do you think we should ask them now?"
"All right," said Trev. "I'll ask. Would it be too forward of us to ask you all, and feel free to shoot us down in flames, if, as your very humble friends, could we join your
There was silence. Eventually Des spoke.
"Yes of course!" The others groaned as Sylv hugged Des and Trev shook him my the hand.
"Thanks a lot, Des, mate," said Trev. "We're so looking forward to spending all our time with you all!"
For two weeks Trev and Sylv lived in Des's spare bedroom and followed him around everywhere, borrowing his money and asking his advice on everything.
"Des, we've run out of baked beans," said Trev, for example. "What should be do?"
"Um...go down the shop and buy some more?" suggested Des.
"Of course!" exclaimed Trev. "We can always rely on you for the best advice!"
"Des!" said Sylv on another occasion. "I want to put the washing out, but it's started to rain!"
"You could use the tumble drier," said Des.
"Oh Des, I don't know where we'd be without you!" said Sylv.
Eventually Des decided he had had enough. While his fan club were hoovering the bedrooms, he went round to see Mick.
"What am I going to do? I've had enough of them! All right, it's handy having them go all the cleaning and housework for me, but they just won't leave me alone! And their stupid dog keeps going round and leaving little messages for me! I wonder where it learnt to write..."
"Just tell them to leave," said Mick. "It's your house."
"Right," said Des. "I'll do that."
Des went back to his house and stood in front of the mirror.
"Um...I'm sorry Trev, but...um...you've got to go!...no, that's too harsh...um...I've got Mr Blobby coming to stay and I need the bedroom...no, too ridiculous...the council are going to knock my house down so you might as well leave now...no, it'd be better if I told them the truth...Trevor and Sylvia, I've had it up to here with you, I want you to leave my house now..."
"Pardon Des?" Des turned round and saw Trev standing there.
"Trevor! Hello! Well, there was something I wanted to tell you. You see, the problem is, that, um, unfortunately, you see, the thing is, um, I'm going to have to, sort of er, how shall I put this, um, ask you if you wouldn't mind, you know, er..."
"We're leaving!" said Trev, suddenly.
"What?" said Des.
"We're buying a house," said Trev.
"Thank god for that," said Des. "Is it far from here?"
"Quite far," said Trev. "Three doors down."
"That does it," said Des later on, in the morning meeting, while Trev and Sylv were looking round their new house.
"How can they afford to buy a house when they used to live in a shed?" said Mick.
"Trev's late father's inheritance has come through," said Des.
"This is getting very bad," said Mrs G. "Every day, they come in and insult my cooking!"
"I thought you'd be used to that," said Mick.
"Des, you're right," said Clive in a rare moment of agreement. "I'm fed up with them poking their noses in everywhere! And they still can't get our names right!"
"Don't worry, I have an idea," said Mick.
"Oh dear," said Des.
"The only reason they're moving into our street is to be near their idol - that's you, Des. So why don't you just go and insult them . Make them hate you!"
"Oh I don't know, I'm not naturally nasty," said Des.
"Get Clive to write down some insults for you then!" said Mick.
Des agreed, and everyone else decided to join in as well. Clive wrote down some insults on bits of paper and passed them round. Just then Trevor and Sylvia walked in.
"Hi everyone! Hi Des!" they said. "We've bought the house!"
"Oh no, you don't really want to..." started Des.
"You impertinent half-witted swag-bellied barnacles!" exclaimed Clive.
"You beslubbering boil-brained rough-hewn moldwalps!" exclaimed Mick.
"You dankish pribbling fly-bitten hugger-muggers!" exclaimed Mrs Greasy.
"Des!" said Trev. "What's happened to our posse? They weren't like that before! Tell them off for insulting their friends like that!"
"No, they're just telling you what they really think of you!" exclaimed Des. "And I agree! You're just a pair of gorbellied fawning spleering gut-griping clay-brained beetle-headed ill-nurtured hedge-pigs!"
"I don't believe this!" said Sylvia. "So this is what they are really like!"
"Except him," said Trev, pointing at Wayne. "He hasn't joined in with their childish insults!"
Wayne had been too busy reading his comic to notice.
"Wayne!" said Clive. "What about your insult! It's written down there! Look!"
"Uh? What?" mumbled Wayne. "Oh...Mickey Mouse went round to see Donald Duck..."
The others groaned.
"That's it!" said Trev. "From this moment the Des Wednesday Fan Club is no more!"
"Yes!" said Des.
"And I can announce the formation of the Mike Coach Fan Club!" said Trev.
The others looked at each other in bewilderment.
"Mike Coach?" said Des. "Who's Mike Coach?"
Trev and Sylv went round and shook Wayne by the hand and hugged him.
"Mike, you're the best!" said Sylv. "You're so talented and amazing, you really deserve your own fan club!"
"Thanks," said Wayne. "But my name's Wayne, by the way. Can I join?"
"Can I have a badge?" asked Des.
Copyright © Robert Williams
Random story: The Circus