Titchener vs. Titchener

Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s “The Archers” might enjoy this. The rest of you should go and read something else.

Court report.
The case of Mrs. Helen Titchener vs. Mr. Rob Titchener continued yesterday in the Borchester Family Court, Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot presiding. It concerns the custody of the Titcheners’ five year old son Henry.

Mr. Tinklebury Snapdriver, appearing for Mr. Titchener, alleged that Mrs. Titchener is unable to provide a safe home for Henry, having shown herself to be incapable of basic motherly duties such as running a warm bath or making custard. Mr. Titchener’s parents, Bruce and Arsula, have generously arranged for Henry to attend Narkover Preparatory School For Boys, a prestigious establishment free of any feminising influences.

Mr. Cocklecarrot interjected that he has no idea what a feminising influence is, but Narkover School is well known for the consistency of its custard and the temperature of its showers. Polite laughter was heard from all sides of the court.

Mr. Snapdriver went on to consider protecting Henry’s identity, as his mother is soon to be the subject of a high profile case in the Borchester Crown Court that is likely to attract much media attention. As has become normal practice members of the public had been invited to suggest names in an online poll. After discounting frivolous suggestions such as “Henry McHenface”, “Titchy McTitchface” and, bizarrely, “Boaty McBoatface” all that remained was “Hoover”. Mr. Snapdriver observed that this is a strange choice, but it is at least better than “AB” or “CD”.

Dr. Smart-Allick, headmaster of Narkover school, had written to say they already have a boy called Hoover in the school, so Henry would be known as “Hoover Junior” upon his arrival. This revelation provoked much hilarity in the public gallery.

After order was restored Mr. Cocklecarrot asked why the name “Hoover Junior” was the cause of such merriment. At this point twelve red-bearded dwarves arose and began to run haphazardly around the courtroom, holding their hands out in front of themselves and making buzzing, whirring and humming sounds.

After order had been restored for a second time Mr. Cocklecarrot demanded to know how the twelve red-bearded dwarves were involved in this case. One of their number, a Mr. Sean O’Connor, explained that they were due to appear before Mr. Cocklecarrot later in the week, but because on several occasions recently one day’s events had been spread over several days they no longer knew what day it was. They were now in the habit of arriving early for appointments to be sure of not being late.

Mr. Cocklecarrot saw no alternative but to clear the court and adjourn for the day.

The case continues.

(With apologies to J B Morton, author of the “Beachcomber” newspaper column.)

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