Copyright 2004 to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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[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
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:
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 . . .]
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
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?
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
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
FATHER: I’ll just be painting the fence, if you
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
ALAN: So plant your size 13 on the bench and take your
[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!
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