Father’s Day in Lower Strangling

“Ah, how thoughtful”, said Dave as he opened the white mystery cardboard box that had been given to him by Will and Eleanor for father’s day, revealing three magnum bottles of wine, which most likely had come from Paul’s wine cellar, “thanks guys.”

“No problem”, Will and Eleanor replied in unison. Dave and Sarah chuckled.

“It’s OK, guys”, answered Dave fondly.

With that, the Peterson’s dug into their full English breakfast, made with meat that came from Hans Hoggunhoffer’s butchers and eggs which came from a nearby farm.1 The breakfast had been lovingly made by Will and Eleanor under the supervision of Sarah.

A few hours later, it was time for Sarah to wish a happy Fathers Day to her father; Terome Lancaster; otherwise known as the scariest man in Britain.

The Peterson’s sat on the sofa in their living room, waiting with baited breath for the man with the cold stare and booming voice. Sarah noticed her husband breathing heavily behind her.

“For goodness sake, Dave, he’s not that scary”, she told him.

“No, I think he is,” Dave responded, knowing full well that Terome had secretly judged him ever since he married Sarah twenty five years ago.2

Just then, the whole family jumped when Termone finally appeared on the screen, staring directly at his webcam, and into their souls. He then smiled and chuckled.

“Hello, Sarah, how wonderful to see you.”, Terome said to his daughter.

“Happy father’s day, Dad”, Sarah said cheerfully, “I hope you received the wine I gave you”.

“I have indeed”, Terome boomed as he held the wine bottle to the webcam, “it’s some of the best I’ve tasted”.

“It’s come from our local wine merchant, I’ll tell him you like the wine,” Sarah answered.

Terome laughed for a moment, then stared blankly at Dave. Dave froze, terrified, his heart racing.

“Hello, David”, boomed Terome, “I hope you’re looking after my daughter well.”

“I-I-I am, yes,” Dave stuttered, like a villain’s sidekick trying his best not to be killed.

“Very,well”, responded Terome, “she seems happy at any rate.”

“Yes, she certainly is”, Dave replied, before laughing awkwardly. Just then, Terome’s wife and Sarah’s mother, Esmeralda Lancaster, sat next to her husband and said hello to the family, breaking the tension.

“Dave, Sarah, how wonderful to see you”, she said.

LIt’s wonderful to see you too, Mum”, replied Sarah. “And how are little Will and Eleanor?”, Esmeralda asked Dave and Sarah’s ten and seven year old offspring.

“We’re fine, thank you”, Will and Eleanor replied to their grandmother in unison.

And so the Peterson’s chatted to Sarah’s parents about their lives and the current political climate for the next hour or so.

Whilst the Peterson’s were having their family catch up, John was looking at his Father’s Day card from his thirty four year old daughter, Adele.

Adele and John had their differences, particularly surrounding food. Adele was a passionate vegan and believed that veganism and the vegan diet was the future and would lead to a better, healthier, human race.

John, on the other hand, preferred to stick to his ancestors carnivorous roots and believed his daughters views were a bit too extreme for his liking.

Despite this, they got along very well, mainly because John looked after Adele single handedly following his wife’s departure as a result of their divorce, when Adele was five. Because of this, they tended to cut each other some slack in regards to their thoughts on meat, but that didn’t stop them from trying to get the other to see their views.

Adele desperately wanted the Hangman’s Noose to become vegan and John desperately wanted Adele to try some bacon. So far, neither of them had succeeded.

Adele now lived in a posh flat in Hampstead, a few miles from the famous Heath. She lived with her boyfriend, Grant Corbelings; an investment banker from Goldman Sachs. John had never met Grant or heard his voice, but he didn’t mind, at least she wasn’t dating Reginald Carbstrong, another passionate vegan who she seemed to be close friends with since they met at King’s College London. John felt that Reginald might have been leading Adele astray, but hopefully Grant will set things straight, whoever he was.

Adele and Grant had given John a vegan cookbook and some gelatine-free chocolates. John accepted the chocolates gladly, put placed the cookbook in his kitchen cupboard, for when he might possibly make a recipe sometime in the future, probably within the next five hundred years.

Meanwhile, ninety six miles away, Adele Granger looked out of the window in her Hampstead flat.

“Do you think he’ll cook some recipes from the book”, said a soft Scottish voice behind her.

“Yeah, I’m sure he will”, Adele said as she turned round to face her actual boyfriend; Reginald Carbstrong.

“Do you think it will make him change his mind and support our cause?”, Reginald asked.

“Possibly. But anyway, one day I’ll be the manager of the Hangman’s Noose, and then I can turn it into a vegan gastro pub,” Adele replied.

“But who knows how long that’s going to take? veganism needs to become the norm now, he has to be the one to change the way his pub is run.” Reginald said sharply.

“I know, I know. I’m sure he might follow a recipe within the next week,” Adele replied, “But let’s forget about that for a moment, right now I fancy watching some TV with a Gin and Tonic.”

With that, Reginald and Adele made themselves a glass of Gin and Tonic each and walked into their lounge to watch whatever happened to be on TV at the time.

1Which was also where the meat came from when it was still in the form of several pigs, before it was shot illegally by Lower Strangling’s resident hog killer Bruce Richardson, who then gave it to Hans to prepare and sell on. The farmer knows about this, and is not happy about it.

2. “When you eventually fall in love with someone and marry them”, Terome had said to his daughter when she was ten, “they have to be someone who I believe is worthy of being my son-in-law.” Clearly he accepted Dave as his son-in-law, as he wouldn’t have given the happy couple his blessing if he didn’t, but Dave still knows that Terome is secretly checking he did in fact make the right decision.

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