With Rodge by now firmly on board, Podge could attempt even more dramatic and daring feats.
The following Christmas (1996), the Den crew threw a party in Dustin's grand-uncle's Cranberry Lodge,
inviting Zig and Zag over from England, pop group O.T.T., and all the regulars from Den T.V.
The perfect opportunity to spoil another Christmas, in other words.
Amongst Podge and Rodge's
preparation was to switch the crackers for their own brand, complete with cruel jokes guaranteed to disturb the party - what do you get if you cross Dustin with a fox? A fox. The 2 boys were
outdoors, watching the festivities, and began their abductions with the infernal Zuppy. With
remarkable impressions of cats ("Miaow! I'm a cat! Miaowww!!!"), they lured the stupid dog
outdoors, informed him that dogs have one life as opposed to cats who have nine, and with cries
of "hasta la vista, fleabag", they clocked him. He was thrown into an old broom cupboard.
O.T.T. were the next to go, with the 2 boys fooling them into believing that they were simpering
screaming female fans. They got the popsters to pose for a photograph, say "disappear!", and
that's exactly what they did.
Shortly afterwards, there was a knock at the door, and in walked
Derek and Thelma from "Live at 5", who demanded boiled eggs, and labeled the party, the
turkey, the pig etc. stupid in turn. Dustin informed them of all the goodwill and Christmas cheer at
the party, to which Thelma replied "Hubaloo!" She quickly turned this to "where's the loo?".
Sock Monster Sokky had been missing the musical card that his best friend Thomas had given to
him, and became most excited upon suddenly hearing the tune. Thelma claimed it was the musical
handbag that Derek had given to her for Christmas. Derek announced his desire for a duvet
stuffed with turkey feathers, before the two disappeared as chaos ensued. Some time later, there
was a load creaking in the attic. High-pitched pig Snotser, trying to crack on to pop specialist
Emma, offered to go and check it out for her. Once in the attic, he found Podge in a rocking
chair, shouting "creak, creak!!" with a pig's nose strapped to his face. "Who are you?" "Ah I'm
Snotser, the pig thing." "Ah so am I!". Podge then asked the pig if he'd mind if his Christmas was
wrecked for him. The stupid pig said "no", and tied himself up. Podge went downstairs, told
them he was Snotface, and disappeared as Sokky's card began to play again in the background.
Pop specialist Emma was the next to go, as she answered a phone call from her new hair stylist,
Rodriguez. (Her old stylist had apparently gone camping). He claimed that she looked like she
had been dragged through a hedge backwards screaming, and proposed to come over with his
mousse and gel, and to work a bit of his "hocus pocus." In the bathroom, Podge was standing in
the mirror, complete with black wig, and moved according to the distressed woman who was
appalled at her haggard appearance. Needless to say, it was off to the broom cupboard with her
as well. Sokky then noticed his prize blue bucket floating outside by the window. He went out to
retrieve it, and was whacked around the fur. Aunt Monica ran screaming into the kitchen
worrying about her cake, and came back out decidedly shorter and plumper, and declared that
her cake was grand. She called Dustin a "silly overstuffed goose", but quickly changing it to "oh,
that anorak's looking a bit loose." Zag is enticed into the kitchen to help her with the food, and
asked if he has scabies. ("I mean, he'd look well in navy.") She then turns to the turkey with a
cruel tale of stuffing and seasoning, headbutts him and disappears. Next, the Easter Bunny calls
to the door - "enough of that seasonal rubbish!!" Ray suggests that he has his dates mixed up -
"don't tell me how to do my job!" The bunny cons Zig into giving him a hand, and he too ends up
in the cupboard. Next to knock on the door are a short, plump Santa and Dudolph the (baaing)
blue-nosed reindeer. ("I'm in a song"). Meanwhile, in the cupboard, Snotser produces a torch,
and locates a Really Secret Escape Route. As you do. They all escape, and tell their tale. Podge
and Rodge are still in the room, and shocked as the real Santa crawls out of another cupboard,
thus scuppering their plans. They disappear into thin air, and curse their luck outside as the party
gets into full swing once more. Artist Don Conroy then pulls up in his car, looking for the party.
The two boys sense an opportunity to wreak one last piece of havoc - "we'll show you, Mr.
Corduroy. We'll take the scenic route...."
1992 - Another Christmas tradition besides presents and good will is turkey. Naturally, the Den
crew managed to make an equally large cock-up of this festive point. Zag was left in control of
the situation, having won a turkey in a raffle or something. A live turkey. Needless to say, the
simpering fools didn't have the heart to lop his head off and bung him in a oven. Instead, the
sickly aliens made a place for him in their home and in their hearts. And then he started to talk.
In a Dublin accent. His name was Dustin Hoffman, and a builder by trade. His first
money-making racket involved setting up McDustin's Burgers in No.10 Celebrity Square. And it
was a relative success, until one day there came a phone call from the Health Inspector. With a
faint hint of Scent of Man wafting down the phone line, the inspector was particularly concerned
with live animals in the kitchen :
Inspector : "Have you got a dog, by any chance, in the kitchen?"
Fools : "Yes, we have actually."
Inspector : "Oh really, like a dog sandwich?" (The first instance of his dogabilistic intentions...)
Fools : "No, he works in the kitchen."
Inspector : "Oh no. Oh no no no no...........I'll be around in the morning for a routine inspection."
He turned up the next day, complete with tweed jacket, overbearing wig, spectacles and
clipboard. Seeing that he was not responding to bribes, the vicious turkey took to head-butting
the inspector - the start of a long history of violence between the two. The inspector was having
none of it - "did you just tap me on the shoulder? Right, that's it, the whole gin joint is gonna
have to be closed down." And close it down he did....
His next appearance was as a moaning taxi-driver, who didn't mind the fact that his customers
from No.10 Celebrity Square always seemed to be late, because it gave him an opportunity to
lean in the window, and have a good old bitch about "insufferable bores" he had driven in the
past, unavailable car parts etc.
1996-The first appearance of Rodge occurred after a particularly classic episode involving Podge
on The Den. He showed up, without any apparent reason, and did little else besides loll around and insult all
present throughout the show. The old Scent of Man whiff, along with his increasingly rude
behaviour eventually gave him away, and the crew had surprisingly little difficulty in securing
him, before settling down and waiting for the police to arrive. A lone sergeant pulled up to the treehouse with a great
racket, and ensured the dwellers that he could take care of matters from there on. Despite being
a dead ringer for the mirthful one bound hand and foot in the corner, the Den mob scratched
their heads, wondering who it was that Sergeant Rodge reminded them of, and if he too was wearing
Scent of Man. As they attempted to get on with the show, the other 2 laughed away to themselves, swapped cryptic
comments, and generally behaved in a manner unsuited to an officer of the law and his prisoner.
Head Honcho Ray rebuked Podge for his apparent carefree attitude towards the long arm of the
law, and claimed that a spell in the slammer was just what the pup needed. With that, Sergeant
Rodge hauled the cackling offender away, and sniggeringly informed the onlooking victims that
they had nothing to worry about.
Some time later, Ray suspected nothing when intended rocking pop guests the Carter Twins
answered "he's Brian, and I'm Declan", and minutes later "Robbie and Jack" when he asked them to introduce
themselves. The fact that they could not sing, or that they also reeked of Scent of Man still didn't
give the game away. It was only when the Carter Twins' manager rang the Den, to apologise for
the fact that his clients wouldn't be able to make it that day, that the penny dropped. A scuffle
followed, and the 2 brats escaped once more cackling and ridiculing.
And so, to connect their illustrious past with what they do now. The two reside in Ballydung
Manor (phone no. Ballydung 666), which is occasionally accidentally referred to as Ballydung
Asylum. It can be found just off the bypass, past Ballywank. Rumour has it that their parents left
them in the asylum many years ago, and in revenge, Rodge took an axe to them both. But no
bodies were ever found. Their Granny, (or a psychiatric nurse who went mad after caring for
them), lives downstairs. They have a cat, Pox, who suffers from rabies, the pox, and extreme
violence at the hands of its 2 owners. Their hobbies include cock fighting and exorcisms - Father
Flange occasionally does special sessions. And their aim is to host a chat show when A Scare At
Bedtime has run its course. (Their CV suffered no harm during a special broadcast during Telethon 98, which saw the two giving details of
events in Ballydung involving dolphins and blow-holes).
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