Bryntin hasn’t attempted any flash fiction for a long while but recently saw the #BlogBattle prompt for January appear in his WordPress reader.
This, coupled with having the dog wake him up earlier than usual this morning to be let out, which gave him ‘racing brain’ on his cold return to his postage stamp-sized share of the bed afterwards but no return to sleep – when everyone else was perfectly fine and comfortable now, thank you – gave him most of the post you see below.
Which probably explains a lot.
This then, is his attempt for the January prompt word of ‘Bucket’.
To set the scene, one Mr Ors has been sitting in the BBC London office of the Head of Real Life (Light Documentary) Programs, awaiting the arrival of a Mr R. Peregrine.
He had been offered, and had now been supplied with, a cup of tea while he waited and was at first pleasantly surprised to see that he had also received a small saucer with some biscuits on it. Unfortunately, the biscuits were all ‘Rich Tea’, which, as far as he was concerned, were the most ironically named biscuit as there was absolutely nothing rich about them or, in general, the sort of people who normally purchased them. Give him a good Custard Cream any day, he thought.
As he reluctantly ate the last biscuit, as not doing so would be wasteful, the door opened and a 30 something young man with bright red glasses and similarly coloured trousers with braces holding them up tightly over his yellow shirt bounced in.
Mr Ors instantly surmised that he was very probably called Rupert.
The man sat down opposite him behind the desk, smiled and a conversation ensued.
Mr Oars, sorry I’m a little late. Thank you for coming in. I’m Rupert.
It’s Mr Ors.
It’s Mr Ors. You said Oars, but it’s Ors.
Oh I did? Umm… Sorry. Er… what exactly is the difference?
Well, Oars is like you use to row with, in a rowing boat.
Yes, I thought so. And umm… Ors?
Well, it’s the word for ‘bear’ in a lot of Germanic languages.
I see. And tell me Mr Ors… are they spelt any differently?
Yes. There’s no ‘a’ in Ors.
Right… jolly good, well, learn something new every day they say. I do apologise Mr Ors.
That’s OK, I get it all the time.
Right, down to business. We at the BBC were very pleased to get your idea and detailed pitch for a new real life documentary series and it had many positive sides to it.
Yes, many positives. The following of different authors, from idea to final triumphant publication, or making a program or sketch from a script, or not of course. Yes, very good. Many opportunities for the peaks and troughs of the drama, and yes, we can see the potential for dramatic cliffhangers between episodes… all sorts of things can go wrong… and, of course, right.
Yes, I thought that when I wrote the pitch.
But I’m afraid the BBC won’t be commissioning it Mr Ors.
Yes, I am very sorry but it doesn’t pass one of our first criteria for documentaries on the BBC featuring real life occupations.
Oh, I see. Umm… What is that criteria, out of interest?
Yes, buckets. You see, the BBC, being funded by the people of the country in general, has a simple rule about the kind of occupations we feature in Light Documentaries. And that rule is, we only make real-life documentaries about people who have a job in which it might be reasonable to see a bucket being used.
Well, yes. Have you not noticed?
Well, I can’t say that I have, no.
I see. Well, we do have Real Life Light Documentary programs featuring farmers, vets and fisherman for example.
Yes, I’ve seen them, I do work from home all day.
And lifeboat men. Firemen. Zookeepers of course.
Yes. As I said…
Yes of course. They all have a good reason for there to be a bucket in the scene, don’t they? Whereas we don’t have Light Documentaries about stockbrokers. Or accountants. Or lawyers. Generally anything really that could be as… um..
No, I was thinking more sort of… well, not in the experience of most normal people… licence payers… umm… Well, just not jobs ‘ordinary’ people do.
Yes, OK, I think I get what you mean.
Well of course, you see, if a program scene has a bucket in it, in something about a stockbroker, you’d think ‘Hang on, why does that man have a bucket? He’s never done an honest day’s work in his life.’ Whereas, it is perfectly natural for, say, a gardener to have a bucket. Or a lorry driver, say.
Well, this is a new perspective on things I hadn’t really noticed. But now you say it, yes, I can see how it works. I mean, there’s no problem with an old bucket in an antiques shop. Or used by the cleaners in a hospital. Particularly after a messy scene in an Accident room.
Indeed. Oh I’m so glad you can see it now Mr Ors, a lot of people do have some difficulty understanding the workings of the BBC. So you see, we cannot do a series about writers.
Hang on Rupert… I have an idea.
Mr Ors leaned forward, grabbed the printout of his lovingly written program pitch in front of Rupert and screwed it all up into a rough ball. He then leaned over and threw it on the floor, near to the waste basket behind the desk.
I say, somebody might be interested in it yet Mr Ors. Don’t give up!
Oh, I haven’t yet. Why don’t you put that in the bin Rupert?
Or, should I call it, the ‘waste bucket’?
Ah… I see Mr Ors… Yes, very clever. No.
You see, this is the British Broadcasting Corporation, and of course there is no way we will call that a ‘waste bucket’ here.
Bugger. Oh well, I’ve got a meeting with Channel 4 this afternoon. Hopefully they’ll have less rules. And Custard Creams.
Fewer rules, Mr Ors, fewer rules please. This is the BBC.
Note: If you like what I wrote up there and, lets face it, it is quite unlikely but still possible, then why not press one of the buttons that shares it to other people you know?
Or of course, if you don’t want them to know you’ve enjoyed this, or just feel ashamed now and want to keep it to yourself, don’t. Feel free to leave a comment though, even if it’s just ‘Stop it, please!’