Mrs. Jibber-Jabber was Public Enemy Number 1. She never, ever stopped talking. She talked like a Kalashnikov, to anyone and everything, or no-one if need be. She was a menace in Tosco's, lurking in the freezer amongst the peas and sprouts, attacking shoppers with her blow-by-blow accounts of various clinical procedures:
"They put a camera in my rectangle you know...."
And unfortunately her house was situated on the main route into town, her front door open on to the pavement and the only means of escape for unsuspecting passers by. She would sit in her deck chair, all day, on the pavement, snaring tourists and holding them hostage to lurid tales of family history. She had a parrot once long ago, but it was seized by the RSPCA after it rang the Samaritans about to hang itself from its perch....She was banned from the Womens' Institute after giving a lecture on her Family Tree and three of its oldest members threw themselves on their hat pins after ten hours.
The Chipwick Cheerful Club moved their Meetings and didn't tell her as they were swiftly becoming the Chipwick Cheesed-Off Club, No one could get a word in edgewise, even a miserable expletive, till they were all ready to ram their smiley badges down her throat.
She was becoming a major problem for the Chamber of Commerce who called an Emergency Meeting. It was put forward by Councillor Fiddle that she be re-homed, preferably in Outer Mongolia, or even better on Mars. But how to do it without her kicking up a stink and sueing them for discrimination?
"Can't she be de-barked like a dog?" suggested Councillor Backhander.
"It's not legal or humane."
"SHE'S not legal or humane."
"If only she would catch a cold, it would be some respite, we're losing trade..." moaned Mr. Aubergine from the Greengrocers.
"The tourists don't get any further than her door..." Said Mrs. Tacky from the Gift Shop.
"They come all the way from Hong Kong just to hear about her Great Great Great Grandfather who was a haggis in the Boer War..."
"They've seen most of the rubbish in your shop already anyway..." Said Mrs. Greaseburger from the Greasy Chip.
"They probably made it..." Muttered Mr. Cobweb from the Antique Shop.
"We're missing the point here..." Said Mr. Loadacrap from the Pound Shop.
"If we offered better value in our shops they would trample Mrs. J-J in the stampede to get to us...."
"Very true..." Said Councillor Fiddle filing a letter of complaint about the state of the pavements in the waste bin.
They drew up a plan: they would permanently close her road for roadworks. The Council workmen were deployed to fiddle about and look busy (no change there then).
They worked shifts. Two hours each leaning on their shovels while the others dug a neverending hole and put the soil back the next day. Another one yawned in a lorry for two hours, while another walked about with traffic cones every half an hour.
Mrs. Jibber-Jabber got excited when she saw the activity. She put her deck chair outside and waved to the workmen.
"Perhaps the old dame will make us a cuppa..." Said Mr. Teabreak. They hadn't been warned about the danger. Besides, it was the cushiest job they'd had since being assigned to counting locusts last Summer. They only found one grasshopper. Mr. Biffa observed: "That aint no locust - they eat houses like in that film The Ten Condiments with Humphrey Gocart.
"Humphrey Gocart wasn't in The Ten Commandoes - it was Charlton Heslop" Said Mr. Wheelie Bin.
"No, it wasn't, it was a geezer called Moses." And they sat around and ate donuts.
Mr. Skive sauntered over to Mrs. Jibber-Jabber.
"Can we fill our kettle lady?" Dear old soul, he thought.
"Course you can...did you know my Grandmother - Elizabeth Frump Hogg - was the first lady to iron a pair of trousers on top of Mount Kilimanjaro?"
"You don't say? Didn't know she was the FIRST...."
"Come and look at my photo album....I even have a button with frostbite.."
Mr. Skive would rather look at photos than pretend to work. Three hours later his hair was white and he'd chewed the edge of the door to a pulp. Next day he was winched out by a Chinook and sectioned under the Mental Health Act, screaming that he wanted to be eaten by locusts.
A delegation of shovel-leaners marched on the Town Hall with the threat of Industrial Action if they were not pulled out. They were instructed to fill in the hole, preferably with Mrs. Jibber-Jabber in it.
The plan had failed miserably. Time passed and Mrs. J-J claimed twelve Canadians, twenty four Chinese and a coach load of Outer Mongolians ("PLEASE DON'T SEND HER HERE.....!")
And then one day Councillor Fiddle received a very important memo from MI5, and went to see her...
"Ah Mrs. Jibber-Jabber, can I have a word...or should I say 10,000?" He chuckled. "We have a job for you."
"A job? What sort of job? I haven't worked since Emily Pankskirt threw herself under a greyhound. My family didn't believe in working you know. Did I ever tell you about Great Great Grandfather Frightful Buffoon who was related to Attilla the Hun?"
"IT'S TOP SECRET....WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT." He cranked his voice up a few decibels and drowned her out.
"OO...like James Bond you mean?"
"Will I have a car with guns and smoke and all that?"
"Not exactly. We might provide you with a hat that fires peanuts. It's meeting some very important visitors."
"A very long way away."
"Abroad you mean?"
"Sort of. Another planet actually."
"But Councillor Piddle..."
"The name's Fiddle..."
"Will I be like a sort of Matador?"
"Ambassador? Yes that's it exactly."
"What are they called these people?"
"Oh I know THEM...cute little creatures from Wimbledon..."
"I will be delighted. I will have to dig out my Family tree charts to entertain them."
"That's the idea Mrs. J-J." He rubbed his hands.
There was a nice little earner in this for him if he pulled it off. And the future of mankind depended on its success.
"When do I meet them?"
"At the Town Hall?"
"No, they are landing in the Park."
""What time does their plane get in?"
"Around 8 o'clock."
"Will there be a grand banquet, and will I be on the top table?"
"Of course, you will be the Guest of Honour."
"I'll tell them about Great Aunt Temperance Haddock who worked in a cup hook factory and knitted fish. Did you ever hear about her Mr. Diddle?"
"It's Fiddle...." His mobile played Mission Impossible very loudly so that Mrs. J-J dropped her photos of Great Uncle Geronimo's Chiropodist.
"Hello? Yes this is Fiddle. Right, be there in nine minutes, scramble the binmen and the gardeners, all leave cancelled. Gotta go Mrs. J-J. A wheelbarrow has jack-knifed in the Park and spilled a load of compost into the water feature to commemorate the eradication of camels in the town.."
"But there aren't any camels round here..."
"Exactly. Effective wasn't it?"
On Tuesday a limo arrived to take Mrs. J-J to the Park. There was no-one there except Erasmus Pratt the Mayor and Councillor Claptrap.
"Where is everyone? I thought there would be crowds waving flags and throwing their knickers?"
"It's Top Secret Mrs. J-J, no-one knows except us. And you, because you are one of our oldest most respected citizens."
At last they had the chance to solve two problems in one fell swoop. Divert a World Take-Over bid, and eradicate Public Enemy Number 1. The Wimbles - a nasty extra terrestrial race of critturs from a far off galaxy - had contacted NATO with their intention of taking over Planet Earth at 8 o'clock on August 6th, weather permitting. They agreed to send a delegation ahead to meet members of the Government to discuss living accommodation etc. 10,000 Wimbles in Britian, 50,000 in USA and the rest scattered over the Globe to colonize at random.
But....they hadn't bargained on the British Government's Secret Weapon. Forget your Scud missile, or your B52, this was formidable. This was the WMD to end all WMDs - THE JIBBER JABBER.
Already they were dropping like flies in the portakabin Opps. Room. where Mrs. J-J was to be launched from.
At last the huge craft blotted out the Sun and people were looking skywards, except Mrs. J-J who was talking about Euphemia Twat who was included in the 184l census and was killed when a piano fell on him.
"Ok..we've gotta work fast, send her in..."
"You can go and meet the VIPs now Mrs. Jibber Jabber, we'll escort you to the woods, then you're on your own."
"But...do I have to entertain them all by myself? What language do they speak?"
"It doesn't matter, they won't be answering you, they won't get a word in edgewise, just be yourself..."
The craft landed in a clearing and two Police Officers escorted her to the opening.
"There you are Mrs. J-J, enjoy yourself..." Said the Copper, ready to handcuff himself to the nearest charging rhino.
The door slid open and a ramp came down. The Wimbles met her apprehensively. She was a strange looking life form. They eyed her up and down with their one eye in their double chins. Mrs. J-J didn't even notice. She sat down on a rotting triffid and opened her photo albums.
"Now this is my Family Tree...we'll start back in 1415 when my Great Great Great Uncle Phisogg made the tea at the signing of the Magna Carta..."
"Pardon? Never mind, here is my Cousin Ephraim Uriah Weird who had a pair of Captain Scott's boots from when he climbed Mount Everest.. croutons and all...."
"Don't interrupt please..."
Back at Operation Rentamouth, the radio controllers were losing contact.
A knock on the door, an aide came in:
"We've had a wire from a Professor Boffin in the Amazon Jungle, he's studied the Wimbles, he says he's on his way and do nothing until we've consulted him..."
"Too late. Countdown has begun.."
"But Sir he says...."
"Stuff Boffin! We know what we're doing..."
An hour later Mrs. J-J had only reached 1630 and the Knights of the Round Knitting Stool.
Suddenly, all hell broke loose.
The craft started to flash its lights and spin.
The door slid open and she came out again, faster than she went in, still clutching her albums and still banging on.
"It's working....they're leaving!" Yelled Fiddle.
"They were supposed to take her with them!" Screamed Pratt.
Inside the craft the Wimbles had turned a peculiar shade of purple.
"*******#####+++!!!" Translation: "WHOSE CHUFFIN' IDEA WAS IT TO COME HERE? They can stick Planet Earth where their anal probe should go...Let's get the hell outta here pronto...."
"*****<<<>>>>>" Translation: "But they've got Broadband, and Big Brother, and Weston-Super-Mare..."
Back at the Control Room, Boffin rushed in, fresh from Carbon dating shrunken heads in the jungle.
"STOP! Don't send that woman in.....!" He yelled, bursting his bead necklace in the heat of the moment so that two or three tiny heads rolled away across the floor.
"What do you mean? It's too late, and anyway she's expendable...."
"I mean....the Wimbles are the only race that have the power to-----"
The door imploded and Mrs. J-J came in.
"Did I do well Mr. Widdle?" She said, holding the door open for Mrs. J-J, and another, and another, and another....all jibbering, all jabbering, all lethally boring....
"-----duplicate any living thing they come in contact with..." Said Boffin, his voice trailing off miserably like a whelk seller whose awning has blown down.
Councillor Fiddle went off to throw himself into the water feature built to commemorate the eradication of camels in the Borough of Chipwick.