Ghost story

News arrives of a haunted pub in England, plagued by a ghost who sneaks around pinching people’s bottoms. One who fell prey to the phantom was Paula Wharton, the assistant manager:

“One night three of us were talking and I mentioned that I’d felt this pinch on my bum, and everyone else said that it had happened to them too,” she explained.

That’s a pretty disturbing incident, but one shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the ghost is an octopus-like creature extruding a plethora of groping arms. Humans (and apes) can be quick with their hands, and the victims could have been goosed in rapid succession rather than simultaneously.

The pub has hired a team of ghost-busters to expel the incubus, but in my view they ought to discover its identity first. It might be the ghost of someone famous like Benny Hill, which would make the pub a major attraction. I dare say the late comedian has millions of fans who would be honoured to have their arse tweaked by his astral being. They could easily find out whether it’s him by hiring a bald midget to sit on a bar stool and listening for the sound of his head being slapped. That was certainly a more definitive Benny Hill trademark than bum-pinching, which innumerable less distinguished men have dabbled in.

Incidentally, when I first saw Benny Hill on TV, many years ago in my circus days, I didn’t realise those head-slapping noises were electronically generated. In my eagerness to try it myself, I persuaded a clown to shave his head clean so I could pat it repeatedly. You can imagine my disappointment on being unable to replicate the TV noises, no matter how much wrist I put into it (and in all modesty, my wrist action is worthy of a table tennis champion). I eventually gave up in frustration and massaged some ointment into the clown’s sore scalp.

It’s quite possible, of course, that the ghost is some common-or-garden pervert who was hanged in the 16th century for groping Anne of Cleves. You don’t become a ghost unless your spirit is restless and unable to find peace, which it would be if your life had been cut short in the prime of your bum-pinching years. If so, they might have to lure it out of the pub by hiring a fat-arsed woman to prance about in the street outside. The ghost could then be tempted to pinch her juicy rump all the way to the nearest castle, where it could safely be disposed of.

One thing I’m glad about is that no one can accuse Silvio Berlusconi of being the ghost, for the obvious reason that he’s still alive. The latest allegation against him is that he invited strippers dressed as nuns to a “bunga-bunga” party. So what if he did? Everyone knows that nuns are passionate women who are only able to abstain from sex because their minds are so imaginative. Making them sex symbols is obviously an act of homage in a Catholic county.

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