Dampatch: 16 – The Cunning Plan


The taxi arrived at the Registrar’s Office in Gold Tops on Saturday 24 November 2007 at 12:25 and Riesling got out dressed in her lemon silk dress with matching handbag and shoes. She had a yellow rose pinned to her hair which did its best to conform to the solemn occasion but failed by springing in all directions just like it always does regardless of the circumstances. Riesling had spent the morning at Leila’s Boudoir getting the usual treatment of the full £195 make over which she had a few weeks earlier. By shear coincidence, Leila the owner of the beauty salon was visiting the Newport branch. She congratulate Riesling on her wedding and as a special treat, she gave Riesling a facial to end all facials! Riesling never looked more radiant or felt happier in her life.

Accompanied by Sandy Price and Clarice Davies, her two colleagues from work, Riesling walked into the Registry Office to find Walter already waiting for her. Riesling relaxed and gave a big smile. Mr Williams looked up and Walter turned around and a tear of joy rolled down his ruddy cheek.

At 12:45 the bride, groom and two female witnesses piled into a taxi and drove to Mrs Riesling Dampatch house for bacon butties, Champagne and nibbles. Considering there were only four people and a single black cat, the reception was a noisy affair. Sandy and Clarice were partial to Champagne and got tipsy very quickly. Their cackles could be heard all the way to the River Usk. They found everything Walter said very amusing and he found them very puzzling. Walter told them that Riesling was good at anagrams and they begged her to do anagrams of their names. Riesling obliged and without making too much of an effort said DENY A CRISP and DIAL A C SERVICE. That made the two women cackle so much they fell on the sofa and made Izha run out of the room in disgust. At four o’clock, the Champagne and bacon butties ran out and Riesling said she and Walter were tired and needed to rest. The two tipsy women cackled some more, exchanged knowing winks before saying goodbye and leaving the newly weds in peace and quiet. As they were leaving, Clarice stumbled and had to be propped up by her friend. Clarice apologised and said Champagne always made her see things in 2dimensions instead of the normal 3-D.

Riesling asked Walter to make them coffee while she changed into something more comfortable. While Walter was filling the kettle, he was suddenly struck by something Clarice had said as she was leaving. He ran into the lounge to look for a pen and some paper. He found a biro but no paper so, he ran back to the kitchen and the only thing he could find to write on was a roll of kitchen paper. He sat down at the kitchen table and began to scribble. Riesling came down dressed in a flowing and voluminous black nightie looking a vision of loveliness. The problem was that neither Walter nor Izha were quite interested in visions of any kind and they promptly ignored her. Riesling asked Walter what he was up to but he was deep in thought so, she shrugged her shoulders and made the coffee herself. She handed him his mug of coffee and walked into the lounge to put her feet up until Walter had finished his scribbling

Walter: hello! Are you awake my Sleeping Beauty?

Riesling: oh hello pet, what time is it?

Walter: eh, about 3 in the morning!

Riesling: have I been asleep all this time?

Walter: I think so. Listen, I have got it!

Riesling: have you pet? What have you got pet?

Walter: you know you wanted me to come up with a new feature for the iBall? I think I have got it

Riesling: well done pet. Do you think I can have a glass of water and get my head together before you tell me all about it?

Walter: you stay there my Champagne Drop and I will get you a nice glass of water


Riesling: right pet, now tell me what you came up with

Walter: well, it is all thanks to your cackling friends really

Riesling: what you mean Sandy and Clarice?

Walter: absolutely, it was something one of them said about seeing things in 2-D instead of 3-D, which set me thinking about the iPatch idea

Riesling: I still don’t follow you pet. Can you explain in simple terms please?

Walter (rolling out many sheets of kitchen paper): put simply, I am going to add a design feature that will allow the user to watch the downloaded video or film in 3-D

Riesling: Walter pet, I said we wanted a feature that will discredit the iBall not make it even more fantastic!

Walter: yes, yes, yes, it will

Riesling: making it 3-D strikes me as making it better not worse, isn’t it?

Walter: yes and no

Riesling (wishing she stayed asleep): what do you mean pet?

Walter: Scientists call this the 3-D Disorientation Syndrome or 3DDS. You see, humans can handle 3-D providing they see the same image in both eyes simultaneously but, if one eye sees a projected image in 3-D while the other eye is focused on say the real world around them, the brain divides itself to cope with the two different sources of information

Riesling: I think I follow you so far, but where is the problem?

Walter: the problem comes when you stop watching the projected image. If you lie there or sit still for a few minutes, the brain re-unites and there is no harm done however, if you happen to be walking at the time or you stand up to go for a glass of water or what not, you might fall over or crash into something, causing yourself untold damage! Well, what do you think?

Riesling: BRILLIANT! Now pet, are you sure of these facts?

Walter: absolutely. You can try it for yourself if you like

Riesling: how can I try it pet?

Walter: you can go to London or Bristol to the IMAX Cinema to watch a 3-D movie and if you close one eye for the duration of the movie, at the end of the film, try to get up straight away and see what happens to you.

Riesling: well, lets go to Bristol tomorrow and test your theory before we end up helping Gill Bates make even more money out of our efforts, isn’t it?

Walter: that’s a funny way to spend your honeymoon my Honey Bee

Riesling: a honeymoon is as good as the person you spend it with, not where you spend it pet

Walter: in that case, I am going on the best honeymoon in the world

Riesling: oh you are a love pet! Now, let’s go and have a good night sleep, we have a lot to do tomorrow

Walter (with elevated blood pressure): right you are my Fluffy Duvet

The following day, the newly weds arrived in Bristol at around 1:00 o’clock and made straight for the IMAX Cinema at Bristol Harbourside. Riesling was looking resplendent in her trendy ShowSee boots Walter bought her in Cheltenham. A double bill of “Ant Story” animation movie with a short 3-D film about the “Grand Canyon” in North America were due to start at 2:00. They bought two tickets and walked to a café for bacon butties and a hot soup. By a strange co-incidence, sitting at the table next to them were the Greenaway Family from Cirencester who have come to Bristol to also watch a 3-D movie at the IMAX. Sam was smoking a cigarette at the same time as snogging a boy who was half her size; the mother was collecting the forks, knives and salt and pepper mills and dropping them in her handbag without making any attempt at hiding her actions; the young fat brother was tugging at his father’s sleeve and saying: “Dad, dad, can I have a harpoon?” not surprisingly, the father who was preoccupied cleaning his finger nails with a switch blade said “no, and give me back me bleedin knuckle duster before you scratch it”.

When they walked into the auditorium, Riesling gasped at the size of the 21 by 15 meter screen. The short film on the Grand Canyon was to be shown first. Walter instructed Riesling to keep her left or right eye shut for the duration of the 20 minute film. Riesling couldn’t trust herself to keep her eye shut so, she took out her handkerchief and wedged it between her right eye and the special coloured glasses she was given as she entered the auditorium to watch 3-D movies with. Walter laughed at his wife’s sight with a hankie stuck against her face. The film began and it was breath-taking. It showed a helicopter ride along the magnificent gorge of the Grand Canyon that nature carved through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau in North America. The effect was so realistic, when the helicopter banked from side to side to avoid the rocky sides of the canyon, the audience screamed with fear and had to grip the railings in front of them. Finally, the film ended and the lights came on for a short interval. People got up to go to the toilets or to buy refreshments. Walter said to Riesling: “right, this is when the experiment begins. Open your closed eye and let’s walk to the foyer for ice cream and popcorn. Walter got up and took Riesling’s hand, Riesling followed him and as they began to descend down the stairs, Riesling felt disorientated. She was unable to decide when to put her foot down and kept on missing the steps. Walter however, had no trouble walking steadily and he kept Riesling from causing herself an injury. When they reached the foyer where the ice cream and popcorn kiosk was, Riesling had to sit down in one of the chairs because she thought she was going to faint. Walter returned with two ice creams and a huge bucket of popcorn that could easily house a family of four.

Walter: how are you feeling my Toffee Popcorn?

Riesling: oh pet, I really went all unnecessary there. How about you?

Walter: I had no problems, I kept both eyes open

Riesling: you cheat! Why did you do that pet?

Walter: I know what I told you was true so I didn’t need to test it and besides, if we were both falling about, I might not have been able to look after you my Twinkle Toes

Riesling: oh pet, you are so lovely!

Walter (handing her the popcorn): well, what do you think?

Riesling: I think this is a lot of popcorn pet

Walter: no, no, no, what do you think of the 3-D Disorientation Syndrome?

Riesling: I believe you pet. Now, let’s go and see the second movie

Walter: are you sure you are alright now?

Riesling: never felt better pet

The newly weds returned from Bristol and went straight to Riesling’s house, picked up Izha, a few of her personal effects as well as the kitchen roll on which Walter had scribbled his latest idea on the 3-D feature. 35 minutes later, they arrived at Walter’s house to start working on their fight back plan.

Following the drama of Izha meeting Zatar for the first time, where a great deal of miaoing and spitting was exchanged, Walter showed Riesling the computer he bought for her on Friday which he had already unpacked and installed the necessary software on. He went over to his own computer and was about to change his name on it into Walter Dampatch but Riesling said he should not do this just yet.

Walter: well, we don’t want him to keep spying on me, do we my Little Spam?

Riesling: that’s exactly what we want him to do pet

Walter: is it? How so Light of My Life?

Riesling: we have a new computer which we will have in our new name of Dampatch and anything we don’t want Gill Bates to see, we will enter on the new computer but, if we want to set him a trap, we will do it on your old one, isn’t it?

Walter: Brilliant! Fish Fingers, you are brilliant!

Riesling: now, can you show me how to use this thing?

Walter spent an hour giving Riesling a crash course on computer usage, including how to surf the internet using GATES software. To start with, Riesling refused to use GATES but Walter explained she had no choice in the matter because the software was the only way to access the internet, which made her hate Gill Bates even more. Walter was surprised by how quickly Riesling picked things up; she took to it like a Welshman to singing.

For the next two hours Walter sat on his own computer entering his 3-D idea while Riesling experimented with her new computer by surfing various sites for quizzes, games, on-line shopping and music download. Every now and again, she would ask Walter a question like: “pet, how do I make notes about things I am interested in?”, or “pet, how do I find British only websites?” or “oh pet, I am getting lots of naked people on my screen, oh no, it’s disgusting!”. Walter would answer her and then go back to his task.

At around midnight, Riesling switched her computer off and said to Walter he should come to bed now because he has to go to work tomorrow. Walter said he needed 10 more minutes to finish off what he was doing and would come up straight after that.

Izha and Zatar decided to burry the hatchet and called a truce. Each cat chose a warm corner to curl up in and resolved to ignore one another until such time they felt like another argument.   Meanwhile, the human beings lay in bed and recapped what they have to do next.

Riesling: tomorrow I am going to my house to let the estate agents and the furniture dealer in, then I am going to bring the rest of my belongings over

Walter: tomorrow I am going to work and write to the iBall applicants asking them if they have any amendments to their application before I make a final assessment

Riesling: tomorrow I am going to come back and re-arrange the house a little bit if you don’t mind pet

Walter: tomorrow I am going to get you the names of the people who were co-applicants with Gill Bates

Riesling: now remember to check against Geist Ball not Gill Bates and don’t forget to get all their contact details

Walter: I have written it down so that I don’t forget my Notebook of Poetry

Riesling: tomorrow I am going to cook you something delicious

Walter: tomorrow I am going to love you more than today my Crème Brulé

Riesling: ah, will you pet? Nighty night pet

Walter: nighty night my Cuddly Bear

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