Once upon a time
there was a blue polka dot oyster called Ollie.
Ollie was born with a hole in the side of his wardrobe and this was
the cause of many an exciting adventure which made Ollie's life so
much richer than that of any other blue polka dot oyster.
His five hundred and twenty seventh wardrobe adventure*
occurred on the eve of his brother Graham's bar mitzvah which Ollie had
decided not to attend because he would always end up squabbling with
Graham over whether the UNIX operating system was better than Windows NT.
And it was just as well that he had stayed at home that evening for no
sooner had he finished the design stage of his plan to invent a new name
for Baffin Island a man from the council arrived with a wooden disc and
a large tub of Evo-Stik wood adhesive.
"We've had complaints from your neighbours," said the man.
"What sort of complaints?" asked Ollie a little worried.
"Well, there's a bit of a funny smell in your street," the man
explained, "We suspect it may be coming from the hole in your
"There are no funny smells coming from the hole in my wardrobe," said
Ollie, "I hose it down with fresh yak's blood every evening."
"Nonetheless," replied the council man, "Your street niffs to high
heaven of prawn biryani and lime pickle and I must investigate."
He barged his way into Ollie's house and headed straight for the
wardrobe. There he stuck his nose through the adventure inducing hole
and took a deep lung full of air.
"See," said Ollie, "Not the slightest aroma of Indian cuisine."
"That's as may be," said the man, "but if I take this brinjal bhaji
that I just bought from the new Balti House that has recently opened
across the road . . ."
He produced a small foil carton from a plastic take away bag and peeled
the cardboard lid off it.
". . . and hold it to your hole," he continued, "and blow."
He blew on the curry.
"See, the smell wafts straight through your hole."
"Oh dear," said Ollie.
He had to concede that his wardrobe now minged like a Bombay Barbecue.
"I'm sorry, but in the interests of health and hygiene I'm going to have
to fill in your hole."
The man placed his wooden disc into Ollie's hole, which fit precisely,
and applied a lavish smearing of Evo-Stik to its circumference.
"But how am I going to have any more wardrobe hole precipitated
adventures now?" said Ollie.
The man shrugged his shoulders.
"Dunno," he said.
Then he ate his brinjal bhaji and left.
Ollie was determined he was going to vindicate the hole in his wardrobe.
He stepped out into the street and observed that there was indeed a bit
of a pong in the air. He crossed the road and entered the Balti House
at which the council inspector had purchased the condemning brinjal
"I'd like a take-away," he said to Mr. Rajdoot the owner who greeted him
at the door.
"You'll get nothing here," snapped Mr. Rajdoot sharply, "We don't want
the likes of you and your foul smelling wardrobe hole contaminating the
neighbourhood. This is a decent street with decent people. Now clear
off or I'll set the chicken jalfrezis on you!"
"Look, I just want to find out what's wrong with my wardrobe hole," said
Ollie, "Why is it causing all these curry odours?"
"Right, that's it! I warned you!" said Mr. Rajdoot, "Ramesh! Release
There came a fierce snarling and snapping sound from the kitchen. The
doors burst open and two ferocious chicken jalfrezis charged towards
Ollie. Ollie turned on his heels and fled. The jalfrezis chased the
oyster into the street where a small boy was playing with a piece of
coal in the gutter. Ollie dashed into his home, slammed the door behind
him and slid the bolt into place. Cautiously, he watched the jalfrezis
from his kitchen window.
And it was as well he did. For having lost
their quarry the jalfrezis looked up and down the street for an
alternative target. Their blood was up and they were not going back to
the Balti House without a kill. Unfortunately, the only choice they had
was the coal playing gutter boy.
"Oh no!" gasped Ollie, "That poor boy's in terrible danger."
The jalfrezis stalked the boy who was so far oblivious of his
Ollie opened his window and shouted, "Small boy who is playing with a
piece of coal in the gutter! Quick, get in here!"
Suddenly, the jalfrezis sprang towards the boy who screamed in terror.
"Hurry!" cried Ollie, "Climb through my window."
The boy hurried over to Ollie's window and scrambled inside, the
jalfrezis snapping savagely at his feet.
"Upstairs! Quick!" exhorted Ollie.
Boy and oyster mounted the stairs and ran into Ollie's bedroom. The
glue on his hole was still wet and Ollie was able to remove the wooden
"Hide behind the wardrobe," commanded Ollie.
The boy did so closely followed by Ollie. The jalfrezis entered the
room, looked around and sniffed the air. They caught the scent of the
brinjal bhaji coming from the wardrobe and immediately leapt through the
hole where they landed with a splat on two of Ollie's favourite ties.
Happy with their kill, the curries clung contentedly onto the stained
garments, secure in the knowledge that would be no dry cleaner in the
land that could ever remove them.
Ollie and the boy came out from behind the wardrobe where they met the
man from the council who had just unexpectedly returned.
"The hole in your wardrobe," he said, "has saved the life of this small
boy. The Balti House, however, is a danger to the community. You may
keep your hole. I shall close down the Balti House."
The Balti House closed with immediate effect and a few days later there
opened in its place an Oyster Bar.
"Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!" said Ollie excitedly, "A bar specially for
oysters. I must visit it straight away."
Ollie entered the Oyster Bar where a City stockbroker picked him up and