Coq au Vin

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s fevered imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual dinner parties in SK9 is largely coincidental.

♫ “You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen

Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life

See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen.” ♬

“Ladeees and gentlepeople. Dinner is served. Switch off your mobile phones, pull-ease.”

“Abba and prawn cocktail. Very seventies. Good choice, Bev.”

“Well, blame Petey. Seventies was his idea. My worry was I’d have to find some bell-bottoms from somewhere.”

“So here’s a toast. To the eight of us. Chin-chin.”

“We did the menu between us. Dead simple, really.”

“Cheers. And to Timmy, poor thing.”

“Made mine from some curtains.”

“How long have we been doing this, now?”

“Happy in dog-heaven, no doubt.”

“Hmmm? Fifteen, twenty years, possibly?”

“He was so good with the children, wasn’t he.”

“Wonderful. Great companion. Kept us quite fit, what with all the walking.”

“And we don’t have the monthly insurance to pay.”

“Every penny helps. Especially if you’re still planning that trip to Spain. You reckon?”

“Well, Bev. Delicious. Excelled yourself. As usual.”

“Have you seen how much space supermarkets give to pet foods. It’s amazing.”

“Yeah. Somebody’s making money out of moggies for sure.”

“Nice glass of red, Petey. Good choice.”

“Well, I heard we spend a few billions on our pets each year.”

“You thinking of replacing Timmy?”

“Moggy money!”

“It ain’t right.”

“And that’s just us. Ha ha.”

“Billions? No way. Never. Maybe millions.”

“Special offer at Tesco. Got a dozen bottles.”

“More wine, everyone?”

“Billions. I read it somewhere.”

“D’you remember when our Marmite got run over? We saw a massive drop in our supermarket bills. That moggy could eat like a horse.”

“Not at this stage. Having a think about it.”

“Careful. Plates are hot.”

“The guy was delivering pizzas I seem to remember.”

“Whatever. It’ll be a lot. Could feed a few hungry mouths with that.”

“Coq au vin. I think it’s a seventies dish. At least I hope so.”

“Yeah. Good point. We should suggest some sort of campaign to OXFAM.”
“What really pisses me off is, y’know, all the dog crap on the pavements.”

“Nigel Slater has a recipe in one of his books. So it’s still in vogue.”

“Obviously with your secret spice mix.”

“It’s getting better. All those warning signs, ‘Don’t let your dog blah blah blah’.”

“Still a goer. Just making sure we can book the kennels. Old Rusty won’t stay anywhere other than at the hotelly thing on the airport road. Expensive but the food is tops and they change the bedding regularly. And free of fleas.”

“We did consider chicken kiev, but we’d hate to lose all our friends.”

“Some people are scooping into bags and then leaving them lying around.”

“That contributes to the millions or is it billions people spend. You can see how it mounts up.”

“You looking forward to Spain?”


“We had one on our lawn recently.”


“If I catch them next time I’ll strangle both the dog and the owner, I promise.”

“All those warning signs. It’s just more clutter in the street. There should just be a law and then prosecute them.”

“And put their pets down”.

“Timmy was wonderful. And so good with the kids.”

“Not sure about that. The pets are innocent, after all. Castrate the owners!”

“What? Old Mrs Benson?”

“And opposite the post box somebody has put up a sign in their garden and on the lamp post saying dog owners are being watched and photographed.”

“Well, maybe not her.”
“Bloody 1984.”

“Another bottle, Petey.”

“I saw that. There’s one of those cameras like you get in department stores. Like a small bluish dome fixed to the wall. A sad case.”

“Yeah, but more clutter. I’ve a mind to take them down.”

“Mmmmm. Tender, this.”

“She’s actually quite careful with her old Bully’s poo. Does the bag bit properly.”

“I’m sure that’s against the law. Privacy and all that.”

“Why don’t you write to Rupert Murdoch – he knows all about that sort of thing.”

“Then you get all those signs up on the lampposts when little Molly goes missing. Photo and phone number. Much missed member of family.”

“Slow cooked.”

“And offering rewards.”

“Or not. He seems to have screwed up with News of the World.”

“And that Rebekah Brooks.”

“And they put up dozens of these.”

“And never remove them even when Molly’s found.”

“Well, she’s certainly not unattractive. I wouldn’t mind bedding her.”

“The secret is to use good wine. Un bon vin, you know.”

“Yuk, yuk.”

“If the fox ain’t got her.”


“Black forest gateaux! Whoa my waist line!”

“Gentlemen, please. Half a bottle of wine and they’re sex crazy.”

“And quite economical. Surprisingly so.”

“There’s a lot of it about right now.”

“Sex? Hadn’t noticed.”

“No, stupid. Missing pets. There are at least three moggies gone walkies in the last few weeks if the lampposts are to be believed.”

“Someone’s selling them. They can be quite valuable.”

“Ah. The flame-haired one.  Sorreeee.”

“These look just like ordinary mongrel cats. It’s probably a pride of hungry foxes living somewhere around.”

“Or Poles. Or other eastern Europeans.”

“They say she looks better in real life.”

“That’s lions. A pride of lions. Foxes are a den or pack or something.”

“What? They eat them?”

“Or homeless people.”

“There’s a notorious gang of foreign work-shy catnappers in the area. Call the cops.”

“Give over. Wonder what cat tastes like. I’ve eaten horse before. In France. It was okay.”

“We had whale once, didn’t we?”
“Crows? A murder of crows.”

“Needed mustard to make it more palatable. But okay.”

“Can’t believe anyone would eat cat. Our Abigail would be as tough as old leather.”

“Who’s next month?”

“Instant coffee? Wow! Seventies in extremis!”

“I think it’s us.”

“Yeah. Polly and Richard. Balderdash again. Or is it Pictionary?”

“Drive carefully, you lot.”


“Good, this.”

“Yeah. Single malt. Not for sharing.”

“I’m whacked. Tidy up in the morning?”


“Well, that all went well.”

“Abso-bloody-lutely. Especially the coq au vin.”

“Or moggy au vinaigre. Tender. Slow cooked.”

“We should publish a recipe book for migrant workers. ‘As tested on the Cheshire middle class’.”

“C’mon. Time for bed, you red-haired vixen.”

“Darling. You dog, you.”

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6 Responses to Coq au Vin

  1. Sarah Ann says:

    Very clever the way you maintain all these conversations without tags and it all makes sense. Although remind me not to go ‘in’ to dinner in Cheshire.

  2. Sarah Ann says:

    Very clever writing to keep all those conversations going and for it all to make sense. Remind me not to go ‘in’ to dinner in Cheshire.

  3. Elaine Peters says:

    Very clever and fun. Love the ending. (Remind me to watch what I eat at your house!)

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