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Gumbo's Night In

Gumbo wor gerrin ready forra big night in. There wor a pie in the oven, he’d gorris TV Times an ‘is hot water bottle all ready and wor abaht to settle dahn inis armchair when suddenly ‘is mate Shonar bust through the door girrin ‘im a rite shock. ‘Bloomin heck gal, I nearly dropped me snack tray!’

‘Sorry Gumbs! I was just excited to show off my new unitard - look!’ Gumbo grimaced at the rainbow of lycra as Shonar ripped off her coat and bent into downward dog. ‘You need to start taking better care of yourself Gumbs!’ Shonar said, eyein ‘is belleh wirra disapproving smirk. ‘I’m doing dry veganuary - except for my Activia yogurt, gin and slim, and a chippy tea on a Friday as a treat. I’ve never felt better!

He won’t sure wot she wor on abhat so he busied ‘imsen wiris hankey and let Shonar carry on. ‘...I was going to do Janu-hairy but I just couldn’t face my aqua-aerobics class looking like Hagrid - anyway, what about giving this place a spruce?’ she asked, eyeing up his ode Countdown tapes. ‘Do these really spark joy Gumbs, coz if not they have to go.’ She wor startin to gerron ‘is wick and he began to slowly inch towards ‘is armchair an that plate o’ bourbons he’d left aht for ‘imsen.

‘Your problem is your too stubborn to try anything new new. Why don’t you try Tinder, Gumbs? I hear that lady you’ve got the hots for from Post Office is on it. Pauline isn’t it?’ Gumbo gave a puzzled glanced at his wood store. ‘What yer on abht? I’ve gor enough kindling to keep mesen goin till July. An what’s Pauline got ter do wir owt? She got one of them gas thingamys wirra win ont Premium Bonds.’ Shonar wor shaking her head wirra look of exasperation when the kitchen timer started ringin to tell ‘im ‘is pie wor ready. ‘Saved by the bloomin bell!’ he thought to ‘imsen as he strode towards the kitchen.

He wont lerrin no lunatic inna leotard gerrin the way of ‘is night - he’d been plannin it for some time. ‘Enough of this!’ he blared, grabbing a tea towel and shooing Shonar to the front door. ‘And don’t bloody come back until you’ve ‘ad some Rosé and come te yer bloomin senses.’


Gumbo Barley is a collaboratively improvised serial, composed using the "Exquisite Corpses" method of writing a sentence, folding the paper and passing to the next person.

It is written in a Nottinghamshire dialect and should be read as so.

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