Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars

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SOME years ago Willis Hall and I wrote a long-running TV series about the walking, talking scarecrow Worzel Gummidge, winningly played by the late Jon Pertwee and starring Una Stubbs as his hoity-toity intended the wooden mannequin Aunt Sally, and Geoffrey Bayldon as their mysterious creator the Crowman.

Yesterday I chanced to be passing Scatterbrook Farm when whom should I espy but Worzel Gummidge himself, leaning on a five-barred gate and chewing his habitual elevenses straw, while Aunt Sally perched atop the gate noisily munching a turnip.

'I wouldn't scoff no more turnips if I was you, Aunt Sally,' Worzel was saying gloomily.

'I've only had eleventy-five,' said Aunt Sally. 'Anyway, why shouldn't a lady nibble a few turnips when she's feeling peckish, you stewpid sack of hay?' 'Cos they could give you belly ache, on account of the Gee Hem what's in them,' said Worzel.

'What's Gee Hem when it's at home?' asked Aunt Sally.

'It's what yewmans put in their crops,' explained Worzel.

'Same as how they puts horse manure on their rhubarb.' 'How disgusting!'

exclaimed Aunt Sally. 'I always have custard on mine. Anyway, what does this Gee Hem stand for?' 'You'd have to axe his High and Mightiness Mister Crowman,' said Worzel. 'But from what I heard him telling them rabbits in Ten Acre Field, it stands for Gentrified Mogglefried Food.' 'That's all right, then, if it's mogglefried,' said Aunt Sally carelessly, helping herself to another turnip. 'Cos I'm a top moggle, and there's nobody more gentrified nor what I ham, so that means I can eat all the turnips I like.' 'You wouldn't say that if you was a rat,' said Worzel.

'But I'm not a rat, you stewpid scarecrow. Besides, from all I've heard down at the beauty saloon, the Prime Minisir himself eats gentrified mogglefried turnips all the time, and he hain't grown two heads yet, has he?'

'Who's the Prime Minisir?' asked Worzel.

'You higgerant strawbag, he's only the toppest man there is, that's all.'

'What, even topper than his magnificense Mister Crowman, Aunt Sally?' WELL, praps not as top as that,' conceded Aunt Sally. 'But he's very important. He gives these big parties, and being as how I'm a top moggle I spec he'll invite me, but you can't go cos you're only a common scarecrow.' 'Could I watch through the winder?' asked Worzel wistfully.

'Praps,' said Aunt Sally airily.

'Praps not. You could watch me dancing with that there Peter Mantelpiece and making you jealous.' Not in the least offended, Worzel counselled his beloved: 'Just so long as he doesn't give you any gentrified mogglefried turnips, that's all, else you'll end up dead and being chopped up for firewood.' 'Don't be more stewpid nor what you can help,' scoffed Aunt Sally.

'If the Prime Minisir thought it wasn't safe to eat this Gee Hem food, he would have gone on the Richard and Judy Show and said so, wouldn't he?'

AUNT Sally hastily guzzled down the last of her turnip and Worzel servilely doffed his battered hat at the approach of the Crowman.

'Come along, Worzel,' said the Crowman. 'Back to your post, before the rooks eat all the crops.' Yes sir, right away sir, your bossiness,' said Worzel, and scuttled off across Ten Acre Field. Noticing a fat rook on the ground he thought to impress the Crowman by viciously lashing out at it with his boot.

The rook, however, simply keeled over and lay with its feet in the air.

But whether this was the result of the scarecrow's kick or of eating genetically modified crops, we shall never know.

Numbers up

THE crackdown, or clampdown - I never know the difference - on jokey car licence plates is a perfect example of bureaucracy making up rules for their own sake.

The only point of licence plates is so that a vehicle can be traced in case of an accident or theft. Tracing it depends on someone remembering the number. The most memorable numbers are those to which the Licensing Agency takes exception.

Thus if a car with a number RUB818H ran over your foot and drove off, you would be unlikely to remember every digit. If, however, the licence plate spelled out RUBBISH, it would stick in your memory.

So what's the problem? The truth is that down in Swansea there is an official who cannot abide the thought of drivers behaving as if they were individuals.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Waterhouse, Keith (1999-02-18). Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars. Daily Mail p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Waterhouse, Keith. "Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars." Daily Mail [add city] 1999-02-18, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Waterhouse, Keith. "Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars." Daily Mail, edition, sec., 1999-02-18
  • Turabian: Waterhouse, Keith. "Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars." Daily Mail, 1999-02-18, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Worzel Gummidge and the GM scars | url= | work=Daily Mail | pages=14 | date=1999-02-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
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