“The Grumblies – As Socrates used to Say!!”

The Grumblies Directory


Series 1 – Episode 6

“As Socrates used to Say!”

Albert, George and the girls Mavis and Esther were all looking at their surroundings as they looked out of the windows of the small log cabin they found themselves in. Bunk beds of three high no less stood in rows alongside one side of the wall. Albert counted six rows, so 18 beds and you would be polite to call them beds. They looked more like slabs of straw with a rough blanket thrown on top.

“It’s a bit rough and ready… isn’t it?” He asked the room … “I mean, Esther did you deliberately book a holiday is Stalag 13 or are you as surprised as me?”

Esther, never one to be put out or show herself to be wrong smiled …”It’s all part of the environment Albert. Eddy came over one night when you were at the pub with George and filled me in … it’s a very natural holiday with lots of adventure and because it is filled to the brim with all ‘sorts’ of adventures the expense of the holiday is NOT hyperfocused on the accomodation and niceties, so knuckle down boys, it is indeed time to get ready for rough, rough, rough! Back to nature it is …. oh there ‘s more than a mere log cabin in the woods with no amenities what so ever, no la di da’s on this holiday Albert … l assure you!”

Albert looked at her smiling, and wondered exactly what else Eddy had filled her in with, because this wasn’t just some rough and ready holiday for the outdoorsy types – but if anything looked to be a holiday in hell!


“So you are completely okay are you Esther with the outside facilities then?” Albert asked pointing to the toilet shack leaning against the broken wall and covered in moss – which having already used it and discovered that it was home to more than two buckets one of which was empty whilst the other filled with sawdust that itself had seen better days and he would not be surprised if it was used sawdust judging the colour!

Esther looked at where her husband was pointing, and admittedly felt that rising horror in the pit of the stomach –  as one does when faced with the unknown, she already believed  that Eddy was a swindling bastard who for some unknown and bizarre reasoning seemingly thought it would be funny sending the four of them on this holiday …. what Esther hadn’t told Albert, George or even Mavis was that they were to be the very first to trial it all out, they were the guinea pigs and this was the pilot programme.

She was not going to tell Albert that of course … Eddy had said it would all be a bit rough around the edges with very few pretty aspects to it, but that is why it was so cheap. However, looking at the toilet shack, with its sombre exterior, broken windows and overall appearance, she did feel a little concerned, especially now as it was getting darker and it seemed to be getting so dark, so hauntingly dark? 

Where on earth had the two guides disappeared to after they left them at this ‘cabin?’ They had been there one minute and then the darkness just swallowed them up! She couldn’t quite understand why they had to walk almost ten miles to get to this location … it creeped her out a little if honest. they had seen other people on their trek here, and the guides had said they were ‘fellow inmates’ and then corrected themselves and said ‘holiday makers ….” She thought perhaps it was European humour …

It’s not often you see naked people hanging by their toes getting paddled like that … well it had been a long time since she and Albert had taken a holiday together. But she did notice Mavis and George looking a little pale as they trekked further into the depth of the forest … she thought Eddy had gone to a lot of trouble to make it appear as if it was like that film she saw once a long time ago , what was that called again Severance or was it Hostel? She always got a little confused …

“Yes Albert, of course l am fine with it … l just have to squat, quite used to it, l used to have to do squats when l was a dancer, okay so it HAS been a few years since then, but we must think of the adventures we are going to experience on this holiday – Eddy said our guides would be explaining the itinerary to us tomorrow and from the few things l could see l am … astonished , l think that’s the easiest way to describe it all. This part of the holiday is l think to prepare us for the adventures themselves – to strengthen us, to toughen us up, to award us more stamina … l think. So, a bit a crummy looking shack for the loo for a few days is nothing!”

With that, as if to prove to everyone she wasn’t worried she stormed off and out into the dusk and marched her way to the toilet……!


The three of them watched her go.

Like Albert, George had paid a visit upon arrival to their shack … or log cabin or whatever this was … and decided that he would simply take his chances with the actual woods rather than venture into that small shack again [or just pee in one of the corners of this building]. He daren’t tell Mavis and was a little concerned about her ‘funny tummy syndrome’ and wondered how many tissues she had actually brought with her. There had been a rather strange looking plant growing on the inside, and he was pretty sure it was giant hogweed and again pretty sure that meant severe burns …. mm. This could be tricky!

A deep, nasty terrible scream of pain and anguish came from the ‘toilet’ and suddenly the door flew open and Esther came flying out her jeans down by her ankles, her face contorted in terror … screaming, “Get it off, get it off, get it off!!”

Albert and George ran to her side whilst Mavis herself shrieked and ran to hide behind the beds….


…. Esther had always hated spiders and the one in her hair, well what could be said? Big wasn’t the right word or a description of the size. Albert and George had never been that bothered, but this thing looked like it came armed with a spiked baseball bat of it own!!

Once the spider had been tossed out of the building and Esther had calmed down, she pulled herself up to her full height and said she was retiring for the night! George and Albert watched her go and watched as Mavis consoled her and the two girls spoke in hushed tones whilst every now and again, Mavis gasped and paled a little more and looked absolutely mortified!

“Blimey Albert, ” George said, “Whaddyer think then?”

Albert looked at his brother sternly and thought for a moment or two, before answering “Mm well George, l think as Socrates used to like to say , “We might be a little bit fucked here! But l could be wrong, l could be very wrong. It might not be right to say we are up shit creek without a paddle but ….. l don’t even think we have a boat! I am a little bit concerned, but then, not one to say ‘I Told you so … but l did!”

George looked at his brother, “Oh well l guess the easiest thing to do is ‘sleep on it eh?’ Everything is usually brighter in the morning. Bit of sunshine, some breakfast … do we get breakfast here Albert or do we have to catch it, kill it and cook it ourselves??”

“Yeah, l guess you are right George, not like we can do anything about it now. We are deep, deep in Europe somewhere, who knows where  … let’s call it a night and sleep on it.” Albert said and both he and Geroge walked off in the direction of the triple bunk beds. Mavis and Esther were sharing one bunk and huddled together in fright.”

As Albert shut his eyes, he took one last look at the creeping darkness, thought of Esther’s spider the size of a melon, Mavis looking terrified and George trying to brave it up. He then thought of a hundred ways of flaying Eddy the next time he saw ……….. if he ever saw him again, that was!

“Goodnight all!”

No one answered him, but somewhere outside, Albert could of sworn he heard a bear digging … and drifted to sleep believing he had answered the age old question of ‘Does a bear shit in the woods? Must do, because it would be mad to use that bloody shack!!”


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15 thoughts on ““The Grumblies – As Socrates used to Say!!”

  1. Excellent! I was just thinking it had been a bit since we last saw our “vacationers”.
    I’d say Eddy has some explaining to do and I cant wait to read how he does it.

        1. Probably, who knows …. 🙂

          Well as l like to say my reality writing is 85/90% fact and just tweaked to protect, but my fiction is usually made up of around 50% of me in most formats … what do they say the best way to lie is to tell the truth or keep the truth to the lie .. well l don’t lie, but people think l do, or they think l ‘fib’ ha ha – l just mostly tell it as it is, irrelevant to whether it is reality or fiction – who knows anymore ….. 🙂

            1. just getting it formulated – this particular story is based on a twenty three paragraphed poem l created 10 years ago called The Bucket List – so l am converting it over to fiction story for the Grumblies – it’s mostly making it work 🙂

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