Bleach and Tonic is delighted to announce a new member of our team. Please welcome..Dr Harpic. Dr Harpic, our West Country correspondent, will be dispensing dirty jokes, tips, medical advice and dirty jokes. She joins the team of Mr Bleach; dogsbody, Ms Tonic; Creative Director and England’s best cleaner, and Mrs Gin, whose attempts to remain aloof from this whole farcical enterprise have become slightly desperate.
Let us tell you how Dr Harpic joined the team. Yesterday we were at an exclusive wedding somewhere (Stevenage) in the south of England. How exclusive? Lets just say we got some ASTOUNDING gossip about a public figure that, if revealed, would have Bleach And Tonic shut down within the hour. We did not really fit in at this wedding, to be honest. Someone drops gossip like that; what can we give in return? Our encounters with celebrities and successful people has been remarkably brief. ‘Once we pissed on Keith Chegwin’s car’ we could have said. But who wants to hear about that? Exactly. No one. Everyone was swanning around holding Pimms and conversations, and being successful. We did not have our car, so we had nowhere to hide. We walked around and around the building, holding our tepid mineral water, desperate to return to the hotel to watch ‘Escape to Athena’ on YouTube, again.
Rounding the corner we heard a voice say:
“…A five year old in the back of my van” followed by a machine gun cackle of laughter. It was Dr Harpic telling an appalling joke to our eldest child. There was a pause and then our child laughing so hard he struggled to breathe. We were exceedingly pleased to see her. Prior to us finding them, we had flitted from group to group, barging in on conversations that were not designed for us:
‘Oh ya, business is going very well, actually, we’re expanding…again. God.’
‘Well, we’re taking a villa in Martinique for the whole summer. It just makes things easier. The heat is tiresome but Camilla insists upon it.’
And so on. We tried to join in, with little quips about life in Manchester, but it went down badly. Southerners, rightly, do not want to hear about the north.
We stood there. Dr Harpic continued talking to our child :
“So there’s this guy, right? And he goes to the doctor and he says ‘Doc, you’ve got to take a look at my arsehole, it’s absolutely ruined’ So he drops his trousers and bends down and the doctor takes one look at it and says ‘Good heavens man, what the hell happened there?’, and the patient says ‘Well’
But then seeing us, she breaks off and said:
‘Oh it’s you. I was hoping to bump into you’
‘What happened to his arse?’ asked my son
‘Go away, boy’ we said and off he mooched
‘Listen’ she said ‘Your website” she said “I’ve told loads of people about it”
“You can’t do that we said”
“Stop being so shy” she said.
We stood there, blinking”
“I, er, well” We sputtered. We sneezed and sniffed and then sniffed, again
“I want in” she said. “You’re onto a good thing with it. I adore cleaning. What do you think of Cif?’
‘We like it’ we said ‘Our mother does not. She has been boycotting it ever since it rebranded from JIF. Every time we buy some, we are assuaged with guilt” It felt good to be standing there in the sun talking about cleaning products. From a distance we may have looked successful ourselves. From a distance, mind you. Everything looks OK from far enough away. Even us.
‘Cif. I want to review it’ said Dr Harpic
‘Of course’ we said. Ms Tonic swanned up, holding a Pimms. She had been in Tuscany.
Whilst she was there, we had taken an walk through Stockport to see where the Mersey met the Goyt:
‘You need a name’ said Ms Tonic. “I am Ms Tonic, (England’s best cleaner)’. She pointed at us, in -it has to be said – a slightly dismissive way
‘And that’s Mr Bleach’
‘What about..’ We began
‘I want to be Dr Harpic’ said Dr Harpic. And now she is.