The show was to be presented by the four Outlaws – William, Ginger, Henry and Douglas. Violet Elizabeth had had to be admitted to the organising committee for the simple reason that she refused to stay out of it. With the memory of the recent invasion practice fresh in his mind, William had at first firmly refused to allow her any share in the proceedings, but his firmness was not proof against her persistence.
“I’m not like that now,” she had protested when William sternly reminded her of the Mock Invasion. “I wath younger then, William. It’th nearly two weekth ago.”
- Number: 25.4
- Published: 1945 (1943 in magazine form)
- Book: William and the Brains Trust
- Synopsis: The Outlaws try to make the war a little more cheery.
Although a ‘staycation’ means holidaying in the UK rather than abroad, in wartime it became necessary for people to holiday literally at home rather than elsewhere in the UK.
But the Outlaws are determined to make this sorry state of affairs a little more cheerful by organising a “WAR-TIME HOLLYDAYS AT HOME FUN FAIR” (“ENTRUNCE ONE HAPENNY”).
“Ladies an’ gentlemen,” shouted William, “The first item is a dog race between Jumble an’ Hans. Jumble’s my dog, an’ Hans is Ginger’s aunt’s dog that we’ve borrowed for the race. He looks like a German dog, but he’s not a Nazi one. He’s same as a refugee. You know, the ones that come over in rowing boats.”
“He couldn’t row a boat,” objected the girl with
red hair. “He couldn’t possibly row a boat. Not a dog.
Well, have you ever seen a dog rowing a boat?”
“I never said he rowed a boat.”
“I didn’t. I said he was same as the people that come over in rowing boats.”
“How can he be the same? He’s a dog.”
“Oh, shut up!”
There follows a very light plot on which is hung amusing description after amusing description of the chaos that the Outlaws have organised.
And an amusing punchline comes in the form of Percival’s report to Mrs Mason – the innocent little lad, sent to observe proceedings on behalf of his visiting writer mother, enjoyed himself enormously, though somehow got the wrong end of every stick there was going.