Friday, 31 October 2014

The Fanny Club



When not composing her much loved symphony in D minor, which she did often and wisely, Fanny Mountjoy-Williams could be found picking up stray boys lost on the streets of downtown Dungeness. Her mission was to round them up and escort them to school, thus ensuring that they received an education of sorts. Some people mistook Fanny’s activities as being purely altruistic, but Fanny had an ulterior motive for her kind deeds. Few people knew it, but during the early sixties Fanny was recruited as the international, global, and universal ambassador for Persil soap powder. Fanny took her promotional duties very seriously and was not adverse to mischievous tinkering.

In her role as ambassador, Fanny would locate a random urchin, preferably grubby from playing on the bombsites, give him a good scrubbing with carbolic soap, and then clothe him in a shirt that had been soaked overnight in a solution of 5 parts hydrogen peroxide, 7 parts ammonia, 4 parts baking soda, 9 parts arsenic, and a pinch of plutonium [do not try this at home]. This recipe would guarantee that the shirt would radiate a blinding white. To emphasise this unnatural whiteness Fanny would dunk the urchin in a vat of homebrewed ale to give his skin a hint of a healthy tan before dressing him.

As we are all aware, Fanny Mountjoy-Williams was a formidable woman; by the age of twelve she had already written a groundbreaking thesis on high wire acrobatics and aerial fire eating, which in turn led to her being nominated for a Nobel prize in chemistry, so it is of no surprise that other women were easily impressed by her lofty demeanour and the luminous urchin that accompanied her - who could blame them for peeking into her wicker basket and, on seeing the box of Persil, jumping to the wrong conclusions. Boxes of Persil flew off the supermarket shelves, but buyers were disappointed.... their children were still dismal dull and slightly grey in comparison to Fanny’s.

Not a woman to miss an opportunity, Fanny realised that she could make a pretty penny at the school gates by selling her secret recipe; eventually, due to demand, she formed The Fanny Club, collectively known as The Fannies. They were a large group of discerning women who would meet every other Tuesday for Fanny workshops to discuss amongst other things, laundry; folding techniques; and what to do with two large sheets in a high wind. Not only did club members have a secret sneer to greet each other with, but they also had a nod and a wink. The club motto, which they would recite at the start of all club meetings in reverence to Fanny Mountjoy-Williams, was as follows:- Persil washes whiter and it shows, but add a touch of Fanny and then it really glows.

In 1975 the Fannies were disbanded after a member complained of breaking out in an unsightly rash after using the secret recipe. Overuse of baking soda was thought to be the cause.