After the massive success of our flagship email soap opera, The Flatmates, we have great pleasure in delivering to you our brand new series, Blue Hotel.
You have been chosen at random to receive this award winning* comedy and payment will be taken from you by the new 'ultra-direct debit' system, @DVANCE which Vance Productions has personally agreed with each of your banks. This replaces our previous, less profitable, system of asking people to pay if they could be bothered.
The new charge is £9.99 per episode flat rate. We hope you appreciate how lucky you are and enjoy the series.
*Winner of 'Best and Only Comedy Award' at the 1999 Vance Productions Comedy Festival.
It was July the first, 1998. Hornstiff Mansions Hotel was due to open its doors to the public for the very first time at 8:00am; in five minutes. Its manager, Jane Plain, was very nervous. This was obvious as she pretentiously puffed on her expensive, daft looking cigarettes through one of those ridiculous cigarette holder things that make the smoker look like a first class prick. As opening time drew nearer she puffed ever quicker, as she stood looking over her newly assembled staff. In the 'Recruitment' section of the local newspaper, staff had been sought by the hotel, advertised as "a most magnificent place with all the luxuries of a three and a half star hotel and the tranquillity of the countryside which will suit the needs of the fussiest of Lancashire's travellers and businessmen as it is also right next to the M60." Anyone would agree it sounded classy.
A number of people applied for work. Seven to be precise. First to apply, and to be given a job was a small boy called James, fresh from the local sixth form where he had an after-school job 'cleaning' his teacher's bottom. This had led nowhere, and Plain Jane felt obliged to give him the job of 'pantry boy' when he turned up three days early for his interview and cleaned all of her 96 pairs of shoes before she arrived at the office.
James, who spoke with a very camp voice and insisted on being called Jimmy (something to do with it sounding more like 'Jesse') was quickly followed through the door by Recky; literally. Recky, short for Werecca, was a certified nymphomaniac who had chased Jimmy through the door while he was carrying out his first task for Jane: burning the piles of cotton wool and tissues used for putting on her make-up in the morning; but had failed to catch the nimble little fellow as he swiftly manoeuvred his cute little backside into the gents, where he was looked upon with curiosity by a man who shouldn't really have been in the hotel in the first place. Incidentally, if James had thought before he went into the gents (for which he would first have required some time and a brain), then he might have chosen somewhere more out of bounds to Recky, as she was no stranger to even the darkest corners of a gentleman's toilet.
Recky had got the job by asking Jane if she "needed any girls". She was immediately taken on as a waitress; Jane obviously misinterpreting the question. Also taken on were Liz, a happy and honest waitress who had the respect of all who knew her; Mick, a musical chef; Faniella, an Italian woman who was given the job when Jane misheard her request for directions; Blue Mel, who was given the job purely on the strength of his name; and Carole, a posh student-type who had a funny dance.
Jane knew that she would have an enormous job in running a hotel properly with this crew as staff, but she cared little. No matter what, she would be able to swan around, calling people 'sweetie' and things like that, smoking her daft cigarettes and telling the odd person off at random. The hotel would survive by over-charging for meals, stealing from customer's coat pockets, and taking a cut from staff tips. It would be bliss.
One minute to go. Liz stood with her arms folded. Jimmy stood with his arms limp. Faniella leaned down and whispered something about Liz in his ear. Carole was dancing in front of the large reception mirror. Blue Mel was waiting at the front desk, just about to start pretending to do some work and making sure only he could answer the telephone if it rang. Mick sat on the stairs and Recky sat on Mick. Mick threw Recky to the ground. He did not want this 'girl' on his lap. What if one of her eyebrows, which were hewn from willow, were to fall on his kneecap and put him in hospital. He had only just come out of plaster after a freak accident involving a lobster and some large drumsticks, and he was in no mood to go back in.
It was time to open the doors. Jane pulled down the lock.
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© 1999 Vance Productions. Blue Hotel is a work of fiction. All characters portrayed herein are entirely fictitious and any resemblance to actual people, living or dead is purely coincidental. It really is. Blue Hotel tubby toys are now available by mail order from VanceProductions. All subscriptions taken by @DVANCE direct debit.