Five Hundred Eyes

Mr Benn's Incredible Adventure

It was an ordinary day in Festive Road as Mr Benn walked down the road. He wondered for a moment why everyone else in the street was standing still, and where the orchestra was playing the tune he could hear, and then continued frog-marching down the road, smiling all the while. He stopped outside an Old Fancy Dress Hire shop with the words "Old Fancy Dress Hire Shop" in the window and thought to himself, "Hmm. This looks interesting. I think I'll go inside and have a jolly good adventure."

Mr Benn walked into the shop and looked around. Everywhere he could see clothes racks, with brightly coloured costumes hanging from them. "Gosh," he thought, "this must be an Old Fancy Dress Hire Shop." Suddenly, as if by magic, a little man wearing a funny hat and an inane grin appeared right in front of Mr Benn. Mr Benn rubbed his eyes in amazement.

"Gosh," he thought.

"Hello," said the little old shopkeeper. "Can I help you sir?"

"Yes," said Mr Benn. "I'd like to try on one of your fancy dress costumes, please."

"Certainly sir," said the shopkeeper, with a little bow. "Is it for a special occasion?"

"Oh no," explained Mr Benn, "I just like dressing up because I'm having a mid-life crisis."

"Of course sir," said the shopkeeper. "Which costume will it be today?"

Mr Benn looked round the Old Fancy Dress Hire Shop by flicking his head sharply from left to right, and reminded himself to go and see a Doctor about his chronic neck trouble. He could see lots and lots of costumes inside the shop. Do you know what they were, children?

There was a fireman's uniform, a policeman's uniform (with a little riot shield), a nurse's uniform, an old brown Labour MP's suit, a suit of red Knight's armour, a transparent chiffon number with golden nipple tassles, and, hanging in a dusty, cobwebbed corner, an old shirt and waistcoat with some faded brown sandals, blue jeans with flowers painted on them, a large brown wig, and a headband.

"Can I try on the hippy outfit, please?" said Mr Benn politely.

"Certainly sir," said the little old shopkeeper. He reverently lifted the costume off its hook and placed it in Mr Benn's arms. "Will you be paying by cash, cheque or luncheon voucher?"

"I'm sorry," said Mr Benn, "but I don't believe in the concept of money."

"Yes, of course sir," said the little old shopkeeper. "I can really relate to that, you know what I mean, I can really dig what you're saying."

"Groovy man," said Mr Benn dreamily, wafting two fingers in the air.

The little old shopkeeper nodded, and then, as if by magic, he walked slowly across the room and out of an open door.

"Crikey," thought Mr Benn, rubbing his eyes again.

Mr Benn walked into the little red-draped changing room and smiled very happily. He took off his bowler hat. Then, as if by magic, all his other clothes, his pin-stripe accountant's suit, his shirt, his public-school tie and his white vest all disappeared, except of course his y-fronts, because this is a nice clean and wholesome children's story. Then Mr Benn put on his hippy costume and looked in the mirror at his reflection.

A moment later, Mr Benn pulled back the curtain of the little changing room by a small green lizard and looked out in joyful astonishment. Instead of the inside of the Old Fancy Dress Hire Shop, magically he could see a view of countryside, fields, trees, knives and forks stretching out before him. Mr Benn walked out, wondering where on earth he could be, and why the sky was, like, purple and all shimmery at the edges, and bubbling, man. Mr Benn shook his head, rolled his eyes, and decided to ask the giant herring standing in the tub of yoghurt next to him where he was. He floated over to the herring in his orange milk float and cleared his throat politely. "Excuse me," he said to the herring, "can you tell me where we are please?" The herring turned its head slowly towards him, which is quite difficult for herrings to do because they haven't got any necks, really, like, wow, not at all, yeah?

"I'm sorry," said the herring in a deep, plummy voice, "I can't tell you where we are because I'm afraid I'm only a hallucination."

"Oh," said a puzzled Mr Benn. "Well, thank you anyway."

The herring spat a melon at him and Irish-jigged off over the sunset.

Mr Benn looked around, flicking both his heads from left to right, very very confused. This wasn't a very nice adventure he decided, like, man. It was decidedly, like, y'know, unmellow in fact. The sky was too dark and un-hip, and he hadn't met any talking frogs, seen any really groovy psychedelic patterns or strawberry fields, gone flying, or had a very nice time at all. It wasn't a patch on that really way-out bit at the end of episode three of 'Kinda', even. In fact, it wasn't very interesting at all. Mr Benn decided that when he saw that shop-keeper again he'd punch his face in for selling him sub-standard LSD.

Like, hey, wow - THE END, okay man?

La-La Love You

Oh darling Lalla, Lalla Ward
You're a sexy little girl timelord
You've captured my heart, oh my Romana
You freak me out, like marijuana

I love the way you act so high-brow
I love the way you raise your eyebrows
I love your eyes, I love your hair
I dig the groovy clothes you wear -

In 'City' you dressed as if at school
St Trinians-style, that made me drool
The hunting gear in 'Horns' was hip
Why don't you come round, bring your riding whip

Or come with me, in yer sailor's frock
To the Leisure Hive beach, and let's Brighton Rock ...


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