Copyright 2004 to <mijita@thetreehouse.net>. Please respect this copyright. Don't distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it's not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.

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[Image of Little Miss Naughty] Ground Forced
by Mija

[Background: I discovered BBC America shortly after 9/11. Maybe it was the insecurity of those days that caused me to take comfort in a program unlike any I'd ever been addicted to before. Maybe it was my missing Pablo/Britain (the two are very linked in my imagination). Or maybe it's just that they're very good. At any rate, I became hooked on Ground Force, watching it daily for about 19 months.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, it's a 1/2 hour gardening show, where a garden is given a makeover in 2 days while the owner is away (and always very surprised by the outcome). Here's a link in case you want to know more about the main characters:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/tv_and_radio/gforce_index.shtml

Most of the time, family members and friends of the person being surprised work very hard on the project. But just occasionally that's not the case.

The following never (to my knowledge) happened. But it should have . . .]

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FROM A PRIVATE OUTTAKE REEL

[A large builder does the final smoothing on a newly-laid concrete slab. He surveys it proudly, just as a small, yapping dog runs across it.]

TOMMY: Oh, DOG! That was freshly laid!

[He looks into the camera as one injured and exasperated.]

[Charlie looks at Tommy, laughing and throwing her red tresses back.]

TOMMY: [pointing at Charlie] You can just keep quiet.

CHARLIE: [mock innocent] I said nothing!

[Giggles from a dark-haired, fair-skinned attractive teen. We later learn her name is "Amanda". Her father is having this makeover done for her stepmother.]

AMANDA: [scooping up the dog] I'll just look after him then, shall I?

[Alan comes over to the group, leaning on his spade.]

ALAN: Young lady, isn't that what you promised last time?

AMANDA: [still giggling] Yes, but he got away from me. Sorry. I was, um, painting the shed, like you asked.

[Cut to the shed shows it to be remarkably unpainted.]

ALAN: Which shed would that be?

[A look, not unlike guilt, struggles with defiance on Amanda's young face.]

TOMMY: [in mocking tones] Whatever should we do with you?

[She shrugs.]

CHARLIE: Indeed. That telephone call really was a bit much . . . A bit of corrective persuasion may be in order.

[A check of earlier footage shows a call to the house with Amanda pretending to be her mother, about to arrive home.]

ALAN: [nodding and flexing a fiberglass garden stake into an arc] Time for a sharp attitude change, as me old dad would say. [He looks at the girl’s father, as if for permission.]

FATHER: I’ll just be painting the fence, if you don’t mind.

TOMMY: [looking between Alan, Charlie and the painting father] Well, my dad would have said it was past time for a good hiding!

CHARLIE: Right-o! [she grabs Amanda's hands and quickly bends her across the as-yet-unpainted bench at the side of the shed.]

ALAN: This'll be me then! Lights! Camera! Action!

[The garden stake swishes through the air, landing three swift cuts on the seat of the girl's jeans before she yanks her hands away from Charlie, stands and lands a stinging slap to the red-head.]

AMANDA: B*tch! Let me up or there'll be trouble.

[Camera shows Alan looking quite unconcerned.]

TOMMY: I'm not sure why you should have all the fun, Alan. It's my concrete that's spoilt.

[Cut to paw-printed concrete and Willy on all fours smoothing it.]

ALAN: So plant your size 13 on the bench and take your turn!

[The teen is upended across Tommy's bent knee, feet dangling above the ground as his large heavy hand smacks into her bottom with hard, sharp spanks. Tears of pain and frustration shine on her face.]

ALAN: [looking around] Charlie? Charlotte? Mr. Tommy here is defending your honour! The least you can do is watch!!

CHARLIE: [off-camera, over a muffled sound of running water] Sorry Alan!

[She reappears, holding something rubber.]

CHARLIE: I just thought we might try and fit a water feature in after all!

[REEL ENDS]

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