Once upon a time in a very strange land called Singledom, there lived an ever so slightly green (and occasionally windy) Ogre called Derek. He wasn’t rich, famous or even particularly clever but he was kind, decent, had a good heart, and really, that’s all that mattered to him.
Before making the long trek to the land called Singledom he lived in a very popular land called Marriagedom where he had many great adventures, escapades, near misses and the occasional pratfall because, if truth be told, he really was quite an adventurous Ogre! By some mysterious magic which he didn’t fully understand, he had somehow managed to grow two baby Ogres (it was a mystery wrapped in an enigma), they turned out to be greener and much smellier than him! (Yes, I know, hard to believe!)
However, now he lived in Singledom and Jolly Gosh!, wasn’t it a spooky place, full of other Ogres, old dragons and some really quite scary monsters, occasionally even he had quite a fright! He’d lived there for more than ten years and yet even after all that time, he still hadn’t figured out the very odd ways there.. (Yes, he really was quite dim..an intellect rivalled only by garden tools)
For starters, he checked out some of the inmates – oops sorry, I mean inhabitants passport photos and he was surprised at how different the photos were from the actual inhabitant. “I’ve put some weight on since that photo was taken” seemed to be a common refrain or “did I not mention my co-joined twin?”. In all fairness, it seems the male inhabitants of that land were very partial to the same behaviour too, one of his Ogre friends went to meet her 6ft ‘athletic build’ Ogre date, it turns out he was 4ft and circular! Cor Blimey! I guess he worked in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory..
And then there were the natives who didn’t actually live there, they were illegal immigrants! How naughty! Big chief Ogres Donald Trump and Nigel Farage nearly choked on their cornflakes! They earnestly told him that they had full residential status but when he checked they actually lived in his old neighbourhood country Marriagedom and had sneaked into Singledom just to play with the toys! Hiss! Boo!
The other thing the green-ish one found a bit difficult was the language barrier. He spoke English (well, OK, maybe with quite a strong brogue but still recognisably English!) but over there it was a very curious version. For example, he didn’t understand LOL, AFAIK, CU, FWIW or SFLR, he thought – was it Welsh?
Plus the really odd names like BigButts and Glitterfarts, he would never name his little Ogres that, no matter how smelly they got! He found grammar rules seemed very loose, a few of the natives didn’t seem to know the difference between there, they’re and their or your and you’re or to, too and two, and hadn’t a clue what a serial comma was (hint – you just passed one, now wash your hands).
And then there was the idea of an actual date. In the swamp where he was hatched, dating meant meeting up and spending time with the same lovely lady Ogre, at least until they both decided they were flogging a dead horse (or a dead donkey!) (Oh poor donkey!) but in Singledom they used an expression he had never come across before. Apparently one would date lots of Ogres all at the same time and then eventually settle on one by saying “Shall we date exclusively?” Well, he thought, that was very… ummm.. modern..
Singledom was awash with strange customs, some inhabitants appeared happy to write endless messages but when it came to actually meeting up they seemed extremely reluctant. This threw the green one somewhat, in his much younger days this was known as ‘having a Pen Pal’!
And some inhabitants seemed to have extremely poor social skills, they seemed incapable of saying anything more than “Hi”, “Hello” or “HiYa?”. The big green one suspected they just repeated the same message to everyone in Singledom parrot fashion no matter what but that would just be really annoying. Silly Ogre, surely they wouldn’t do that, would they?
Then one day the green-ish one was contacted by a dusky maiden in a land far away called Nigeria. She told him that God had spoken to her in a dream and informed her that she and the Green One were to get married, have lots of little Ogres and relocate to a castle in the land called Scotland. All he needed to do was send her 400 gold coins to buy a magic carpet and she’d be there in a jiffy.
He thought this sounded wonderful and readily agreed but did query as to why God just didn’t make the 400 gold coins appear on her pillow. Confusingly, this angered her greatly, she swore at him and she cursed him, his little Ogres and his pet Hamster.
Snowy hasn’t been the same since!
Another time he was contacted by a Princess from the land called Arabia telling him that he was her dream Ogre! Wow! She was very much younger than him but a lovely shade of green and suitably round absolutely everywhere. He couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been betrothed to some gallant Knight before him but he was really pleased and enormously complimented, she seemed completely genuine!
Then she told him that she had secreted away a huge treasure chest full of gold and silver! Wow! He couldn’t believe his luck! She wanted him to look after it for her and she would share it with him, she just needed his bank account details and she guaranteed he would get a large tax free share of it!! Oh my goodness gracious me! What luck! He wrote back asking what a Bank Account was, he’d never had one of those but then tragedy must have struck because she immediately disappeared right after that. How peculiar..
One day another inmate contacted him from Singledom, she seemed just as genuine as all the other but he feared she had a broken pencil because her message was full of errors;
Hello, Nice meeting you,how are you? Hope you are alright. my name is sally! i have interest in you that makes me leave a massage for you and also I wants you as a friend also want you to write me. i like green skin. tell me were you leave and also send me your pictures; Is my plesure to meet you here in this site. Yours sincerly Miss sally!
Well, at least Miss Sally seemed completely legit.
Oh dear, he wasn’t doing very well so he thought he might try visiting the market town called Waitrose. He’d heard that it was a very big market with lots of very high class and tasty morsels. There was food too! He went there one afternoon with donkey and his wooden shopping cart hoping to fill it up with some beauties but all to no avail. He placed himself by the freezer cabinet and struck his best pose; chest out, bottom in and a puzzled look on his face as he stared at two gherkins in his hand but not one single damsel came along to help him. Oh Bother! (He couldn’t stay there too long, it was very chilly on his willy!)
Then he heard about Cinderella meeting her Prince Charming at the Ball, so off he went to the local Tavern called Stringfellows. He put on his best white(ish) suit and hit the dance floor, who could resist? He was sure he could impress the local maidens with his Kentucky Chicken, his Gangnam Style Funky Chicken, his Mashed Potato and then his Hokey Cokey (cos that’s what it’s all about!). Sadly the maidens in Stringfellows were immune to his charms (and his Harlem Hustle) and he was asked to leave with an Achy Breaky Heart after being too enthusiastic with The Bump.
Poor Ogre, he was getting a bit bored with all the shenanigans of Singledom and wondered if a life as a Trappist Monk awaited him. (or a life tending his swamp with his over-talkative Donkey) he wasn’t sure which fate was worse. . He had travelled the length and breadth of Singledom, from the icy north beyond the Great Wall of Hadrian (protecting the island from the fearsome white walkers) to the very southern lands of ancient Cornish (who made the most delicious ice cream!) but all to no avail..
BUT THEN.. something happened. Completely randomly, after many many false starts he finally met a fair maiden called Fiona, another long suffering inhabitant of Singledom. She had just as many tales to share with him, all of them sounding very familiar..
She had smarts, was strong, feisty and could out-stink even him! They spent a lot of time chatting, laughing, arm wrestling, mud bathing and cutting the cheese. It seemed too good to be true!
And then one evening he treated her with kindness, love, respect, tenderness, burned weevils and a lovely bunch of weeds when something magical happened, she rolled onto her back and was transformed into a purring pussycat!
This was somewhat inconvenient, he was completely allergic to cats, so he swore to himself never to do that again!
However, they both went to consult with the Witch of Superdrug. She told them she couldn’t break the spell; treat Fiona lovely and she would be transformed…. but she could adjust the spell slightly so instead of transforming into a cat she would be transformed into a DOG! And not one of those silly poodle dogs but a proper man sized dog, one that came up to his knees!
This was the best of both worlds; feisty fighty funny flirty frisky and furry all rolled up into one, she was the ideal companion! His friends joked about her being a bit of a dog but he didn’t mind, she was fun to be with and he loved her very very much!
(Plus they were doing a special on doggie treats in the market of Waitrose, hurrah hurrah!)
And they lived in Happily Ever After
The Irish Shrek