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A Winter's Tale
(Inspired by Watford substitutes Gayle and Blizzard)
By Matt Semple
"DARLING(TON)[14] have you heard the weather forecast?" said Lady BULLIVANT.

Lord LEWINGTON, who had arrived straight from his CHAMBERS[19] at Lincolns Inn and was a house guest at the Vicarage (the quaintly named NOBLE House of the Bullivants) said, "No, is it bad?"

"Terrible," said Lady Bullivant, "within the hour we'll be in the eye of a storm with GAYLE[15] force winds and a driving BLIZZARD[22]."

"I knew as much," piped up Lord Bullivant. "My gout is playing up and my cold is getting worse - BOUAZZA[25]!"

"BLISS(ETT) you," said Lady Bullivant.

"I must get my trusty CHAMBERLAIN[1] to prepare for the worst - we don't want to find that all we have to eat are some old COX[5]'s orange pippins that COOK bakes in a pie, served on paper DOYLEY[20]s," said Lady Bullivant.

"That's the least of our worries, how will we keep warm? The COLEMAN hasn't been and not enough wood has been CHOPRA'd" said Lord Bullivant.

Lord Lewington said, "What about your livestock? The FERRELL[11] animals will come out of the forest looking for food. You will need to HERD[26] up your YOUNG[27] cattle and put them in the BARN(es). The horses MAYO[3] need to go to the SMITH[21]y, and I can see DEMERIT[29] in digging a DYCHE[6] to keep the wolves out."

One Hour Later:

"Great Scott FITZGERALD[12]! What the GUNNARSSON[4] and HELGUSON[18] was that?" said Lord Bullivant. "It sounded like the outhouse going for a BURTON. Let's go and find out."

"Brrr!" shivered Lord Lewington as he reluctantly ventured outside. He thought to himself, "This is the wrong weather to come away without my JACKETT - I wished I'd visited my TAYLOR in Savile Row before coming to this god-forsaken place. I haven't even got my McNAMEE[23] (Er, mac with me!)!"

The wind buffeted the pair, and the snow drove like shards of GLASS painfully into their faces. Then they realised they were lost.

"Where the DEVLIN[10] are we? I can ARDLEY[2] stand in this wind, and there is nowhere to HYDE, unless we can make the LEE[16] side of that cottage over there. Perhaps there will be someone there we can COLLINS[28] to GIBBS us a HAND[17]."

They knocked on the door three times, but no answer. "It's no good, we're doomed. I can only see a DIAFUTUA if this DYER[7] WEBBER[9] continues," said Lord Bullivant.

Lord Lewington said, "Stop MAHON[8]ing, things are never as bad as they seem. Look, there's a woodshed over there, it might give us some shelter. Let's sing to keep our spirits up. How about something Christmassy - The First NOEL (-Williams)?"

"No, something patriotic," said Lord Bullivant, "I've always liked that Jerusalem - you know - 'NORVILLE[24] I cease from mental strife, nor shall my sword sleep in my HAND (again!)'."

Another hour later numb with cold, Lord Lewington nudged Lord Bullivant. "Don't go to sleep - I thought I was delirious, and fantasising, but suddenly out of the swirling snow I could see a figure all in white at a white grand piano." As the figure got closer he could hear the strains of 'Candle in the Wind' and knew that ELTON JOHN had come to their rescue and return them to the VIC.

PS: Apologies to DIAGOURAGA (and Graham Simpson) for not fitting them in.

PPS: Includes the 28 First Team Squad; 2 Fringe Squad; 3 of the Management Team; 4 Ex-Management; 6 Former Players; and 1 Honorary Life Vice-President.