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A Stirring Tale

by BryanW 

Posted: 07 December 2013
Word Count: 743
Summary: For the 486 Challenge. Sorry about the beached whale simile. I couldn't think of another at the time but I sense there should be a metaphor or simile there! Feel free to replace it with a better one of your own.

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"Camera Four! Close up on the old girl’s beating ... That’s it. Hold. Camera Three, extreme close up on her strained face. Show the effort. Good. Get the pain. Good. Good. Camera Two, Pan to Brad. Yes. Zoom slowly in on his smiling face. Hold. Extreme close on eyes. Wait for his wink. That’s it. Move down ... Slowly ... To his hand ... Follow hand as he takes lid off his Mixichef. Brilliant. Slow zoom out. OK. Hold on Mixichef. Hold. Wow. Yes.”

Jane, the attractive young intern, looked like she was enjoying her first day at the television studios. She was watching and listening intently in the control room as Monty Mountbank, the legendary-in-the-world-of-television-directors director directed the camera crews. She whispered to Dave, the assistant director, who she was shadowing, “Dave, I want to thank you so much for bringing me here. I’ve watched every minute of this series at home. You see it's of special interest to me because ..."

Dave cut her off. "No worries Jane." He leant over and, slowly breathing into her ear, said, “Tell me, Jane, is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Mmm. Erm Dave, Can you explain why the director keeps directing the cameras to the Mixichef food mixer? He's been doing it all series.”

"Product placement,” Dave confided, knowledgeably.


"Product placement. Monty’s making a fortune from Mixichef, the lucky beggar."

It was the final of Champion Cook Live - a programme that had caught the imagination of the nation. Twenty million viewers. Advertising rates sky high.

“Oh Dave?”

“Yes Jane.”

“You couldn’t take me on set during the commercial break could you? I’d really, really love to meet the two finalists.”

“Yep. Sure. I can do that for you, Jane.”

At 78 years old, Lillian Jenkins, one of these finalists, had surprised most of the viewers, and had cost the smartphone betting companies a packet, by making it this far. Wiping her hands on her flowery, floury pinafore she listened as Bertrand, the presenter, spoke to her, “Ah, Lillian ma cher. You really should not 'ave to put so much of ze, ‘ow you say, elbow grease into your whippings of ze mixture. Why no 'ave a electric mixer?”

“Well, Bertie," she replied, "I can't be doin' with all that. When I started cooking you just couldn't rely on the electrics, so I never got to using one.”

The other finalist was Bradley Biggley, who had been the bookies' favourite right from the start. Confidence oozed out of Brad like the centre of a hot camembert. His handsome face appeared on all the television listings. And he loved his Mixichef. Indeed, during the series, shares in the company had soared like some out-of-control soufflé.

“Bradley,’ow's it going?” Bertrand asked, after the break.

“Yo, Bertrand. A quick whizz with my Mixichef and I’m done.” Picking up his half glass of Burgundy, he slowly mouthed thank you to the viewers and took a sip. Camera Two followed his other hand to Mixichef's gleaming on/off button.

What happened next was to go viral on You Tube within an hour.

The mixer did not spurt into action. It did nothing. The unwhisked lumps of chocolate lay there on top of the heap of cream-infused-with-vanilla-and-saffron, like beached whales on the exotic sands of some tropical island.

“Camera Four. Back to Lill’s whisking. Quick!”

“Shit! Shit! The effing Mixichef’s not working!” Brad's voice boomed out across the set. ”A whisk. A whisk. My cake needs a f***king whisk!”

Lill carried on mixing.

Later that day…

“Independent Television unreservedly apologises for the inappropriate language used by one of the contestants in tonight's Champion Cook Live.”

The following morning ...


Front Page Banner Headline:


Below the headline was a picture of Lill behind her winning cake, holding aloft her trusty egg whisk.

Business Pages Headline:


Two months later ...


Monty Mountbank seen leaving the Independent Television Centre today after being sacked for receiving illegal payments from Mixichef during the recent series Champion Cook Live. A whistleblower from the production company, Ms Jane Jenkins, was commended for her courage in coming forward with evidence.

… and on the same day …


Dear Jane,
Having a lovely time in Bermuda with
the winnings.
Can't wait for you to join me.
Thanks again for the wire cutter.
Great-gran Lill

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Comments by other Members

fiona_j at 17:43 on 07 December 2013  Report this post
I love the cheekiness of this story. The ending was great. I think you may have been able to add a couple more hints in there, for the reader. Maybe an exchange between Jane and her gran during the commercial break tour, before going back to the presenter talking to them and the mixer not working.
I would have thought someone would have seen a cut wire though. Maybe something else could have gone wrong. Most people wouldn't notice a missing fuse for instance?

Overall though, I thought this was a good story with a very funny ending.

Fi x

Dave Morehouse at 18:56 on 07 December 2013  Report this post
Hey, Bryan. I liked the dialogue most in this story. The voice in the opening paragraphs seemed genuine with just enough stage jargon. I liked the ending but would have preferred to have it delivered by an MC. I am not a fan of the '...two weeks later' style but I certainly understand that others are. You also seem to feel comfortable with it and worked hard to keep it from jarring the reader. I like this story which definitely revolves around a household item. Well done, Dave.

Desormais at 08:01 on 08 December 2013  Report this post
A very topical story Bryan, with convincing dialogue and a nice satisfying ending. You can't beat a bit of elbow grease.


Prospero at 11:47 on 08 December 2013  Report this post
Very good, Bryan. As has been shown twice in the last few days, when technology fails our comfortable world rapidly falls apart. The disguised pun on the idea of 'stirring it' amused me greatly. Bradley Biggeley got his just desserts. ;o)



cklynn at 14:25 on 08 December 2013  Report this post
Very good, Bryan. The ending made me smile; I certainly didn't see it coming!

The first paragraph was especially strong, drawing the reading right into the action.

One suggestion I would make is in the last two "events" perhaps show Jane reading the Times, setting it down, and then discovering the postcard in her mail rather than just the straightforward reporting of what the Times said and what the postcard said.

Well done. Thanks for participating!

euclid at 15:55 on 15 December 2013  Report this post
Wonderful story, Bryan!


What CK said.

Also, you could have all the news in one newspaper
without the 2 month gap.


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