I have been busy these last few days setting up a home-brew petrol distillery in my cellar. Obviously I don’t wish to divulge the secrets of my production methods - but in essence what I have done is to obtain a number of small mammals and insects (mice, spiders, cats, pine martens, silverfish, a couple of dogs, rats, beetles, a stoat, etc) and placed them in a very big box with some compost.
I did have a bit of trouble finding a reliable supply of pine martens, to be honest. They seem to prefer the Scottish heath and highland environment to a life scavaging in the dustbins of South Manchester. Nevertheless, I was assured by a team of technical experts that they were a near enough essential element on the list of mammals required for the distillery project. This is precisely the sort of niche requirement that the Internet can satisfy beautifully. Sure enough, 10 minutes searching around led us to the on-line store of Duncan’s Pine Marten-U-Like, Perth, from where we were able to obtain a plentiful supply.
Obviously, commercial confidentiality prevents me from providing too much detail about the actual process involved in my state-of-the-art installation. In essence, though, what I did was to take a number of each of the mammals in question and place them inside a very, very large box in my cellar. I bunged in a few spadefuls of compost, then set about piling loads and loads of really, really heavy things (rocks, large furniture items, etc) on top. A matter of minutes later, I opened the tap at the bottom of the box and out trickled a stream of the finest quality 95 octane-rated home-brew available.
Sure enough, within a few hours, I had harvested enough petrol to guarantee power to the pistons of the Manc R’s Fiat Uno as far as Barnsley. Even as I speak, several wheely bins in the cellar are slowly filling with this new fuel - and the fumes are engulfing a large part of my street. Actually, that reminds me - I must remember to notify the firework & pyrotechnics testing factory at the bottom of the road. Oh, and just as a sideline, once the petrol crisis is finally over, I’ll be tweaking the production process slightly in order to produce diamonds - please contact me directly for a price list.
It felt so good to be free of the petrol chaos that had turned the population into fossil fuel-starved wolverines, chasing around Manchester in a vain and laughable attempt to get hold of half a pint of unleaded. Only the night before, I had been forced to queue for over an hour to get onto the forecourt of our local garage - and I only wanted to use the air pressure thing. In fact, I’d had a whole week of petrol-related angst, during which I inadvertently upset a number of people who were clearly in no mood for debate or questioning.
It started on the Tuesday, when I innocently dialled 999 to ask the police when, given the chaos, disorder and panic sweeping the nation, it would be considered socially acceptable to begin looting. The tube on my telly was knackered and I didn’t really have the money for a new one, but the so-called public servants at the other end of the phone seemed extremely reluctant to help. Indeed, they seemed much more interested in tracing the address I was calling from. Luckily, I don’t pay my council tax, otherwise I would be very upset at the service I received from them.
Only a day later, I somehow incurred the wrath of the 4x4-owning Cheshire Set by spending a month’s pay placing my own designed billboards around Wilmslow and Alderley Edge (that’s the bit where posh folk live). Apparently, my catchy public service slogan - ‘Oi! Stuck Up Bastards! Get On A Bus.You Won’t Fucking Die!’ - had upset some of them. Anyway, thanks to the patent-pending Manc R’s Distillery, owned and operated by Manc R’s Fuels UK (a subsidiary of Manc R’s Holdings), we were game on for a trip to the capital city of regional stereotyping - Barnsley.
By lunchtime on Saturday, I was freewheeling down the Yorkshire side of the Woodhead Pass, looking forward to yet another tip-top Rangers display of slick passing and clever movement. However, a glance at the petrol gauge revealed that Manc R’s unleaded home-brew petrol required a little adjustment to the manufacturing process, as it was not offering the economy suggested by the team of mathematicians working back at our laboratories in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
I was therefore extremely grateful to stumble upon a little garage, eight miles outside Barnsley, selling a maximum £20 unleaded to those prepared to degrade themselves by queuing. Which I was. Not too long afterwards, I was on the forecourt topping up. However, once again my maths were slightly out, and by the time the pump was clicking to indicate that the tank was full, I had only received £16.74 of my £20 allowance.
Obviously my left-wing principles had to be upheld in this situation. The absence of any available petrol cans in which to store the remainder of my allowance left me with a problem. I couldn’t be seen to be favouring anyone else in the queue by offering them the extra bit I had been unable to use - that would be undemocratic. Equally, it would have been entirely wrong not to use up my allowance. After all, I was entitled to a full £20. So I took what I considered to be the only truly ethical decision under the circumstances, and set about spraying the remaining £3.26 worth of unleaded across the forecourt.
Yorkshire folk are strange! Far from applauding me on my brave and principled stance, they became agitated and violent - especially after the police decided that, for safety reasons, the garage would be forced to close immediately and remain so for 48 hours until the fumes had dispersed. I tried to point out the error of their simplistic capitalist ways, but they were having none of it.
As I drove off towards Barnsley, with the needle pointing proudly and directly at the ‘F’ on the scale, I waved cheerily at the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cars left in the queue. I suppose most of them must have seen my QPR stickers in the car, because they seemed keen to engage me in all sorts of friendly local banter as I trundled by, waving cheerily. “Cockney this…”, “Southern that…” Oh, how I enjoyed their cheeky taunts.
A 1:15pm arrival in Barnsley left me with plenty of time for a couple of looseners before the game, enjoyed in the company of the convivial Yorkshire R's and Jarrow R’s. And that was it. A wonderful day out in Yorkshire, courtesy of some extremely high quality Manc R’s home-brew. Well worth the £2.21 per litre we’ll be charging for it once it goes into full production.
Oh, the game… can’t say I remember it, to be honest. I was too busy on the phone negotiating mallard duck prices with my commodities broker.
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