What's Under Your
   Wooly Hat?

by Jack McLean

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The fast black picked them up outside the hotel just as it started to rain. It had been threatening all day and held off until the moment The Sullum Voe Brothers exited the hotel. In the short space between the hotel and the fast black The Sullum Voe Brothers were soaked to the skin, thus was the power of the rain that was falling.
“Where to gents?” asked the fast black driver in his cheery cockney way.
“Eh, we’d like to go to the BBC,” answered Bob, water dripping from his nose as a puddle began to form on the back seat and floor of the fast black.
“Come again?”
“ The B… B… C… “ repeated Bob.
“Gotcha me old son The BBC it is.”

The Sullum Voe Brothers were in London to take part in a popular TV talk show hosted by Jonathan Dross. It was their first ever appearance on TV and the lads were a bit nervous…and wet.
“What do you think he will ask us?” asked Bill.
“I’ve no idea,” replied Bob, “but whatever it is I’m not changing the way I speak so that he can understand me”.
“What do you mean?” enquired Bill.
“ I mean, haven’t you noticed how nobody understands anything we say to them,” said Bob with a slight tone of exasperation.
“What?” .
“ I mean nobody understands us when we are talking to them,” .
“What?”
“They can’t understand the way we talk when we’re talking to them, they can’t understand us,” said Bob with an even more exasperating tone in his voice.
“Sorry Bob I can’t understand you, you’re talking funny,” said Bill with a straight face.
Bob looked out of the window of the fast black. The rain was pouring down, smashing off the pavements of Great Portland Street.
“ I’m not in the mood for it Bill,” obviously angered by Bill’s ‘the old one’s are the best’ line of humor.
“ Sorry Bob just trying to lighten the atmosphere”.

The fast black pulled up outside the BBC and The Sullum Voe Brothers ran to the entrance receiving another fresh soaking on the way.
“Good evening Gentlemen, may I help you?” the receptionist asked in a typical BBC snooty manner.
“ Yes, we’re here for the Jonathan Dross show,” water dripping from the tip of Bob’s nose.
A puddle started to form on the carpet in front of the reception desk.
“Excuse me, what did you say?”
“ I said, we’re here for the Jonathan Dross show,” repeated Bob with a sigh.
“ I’m sorry could you repeat that once more?” said the BBC receptionist obviously not sorry in the least.
“ No, I’ll write it down for you,” said Bob with great self control.
He wrote down the answer to the BBC receptionist’s question using a handy piece of notepaper and pen on the reception desk.
A puddle formed on the desk.
“Oh I see,” said the snooty BBC receptionist in her most condescending voice, “and who are you?”
“ I’m Bob and this is my brother Bill,”
“ I’m sorry, I beg your pardon, could you repeat that?” anything but sorry and really looking like she was enjoying the situation.
“No, I’ll write it down for you, it’s lucky for us you can read,” said Bob under his breath.
“ It’s lucky for me you can write,” said the snooty BBC receptionist.
“Yes it is, you seemed to have understood that alright,”
The snooty BBC receptionist read their names, checked them on a list and suddenly changed her attitude.
“Oh, Mr. Campbell sir, please wait one moment and Mr. Dross’s assistant will be right with you,” said the now cringingly polite BBC receptionist.
A moment later Mr. Dross’s assistant arrived.
“ Good evening gentlemen, please come this…Oh my goodness! you’re both soaked to the skin, I’ll take you to the wardrobe department and we’ll find dry clothes for you,”
“ No it’s alright we’re fine,” said Bob.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“ I said, It’s alright there is no problem we’re fine,” said Bob knowing what was going to happen next.
“ Excuse me?” said Mr. Dross’s assistant with a nervous look on his face.
“ Oh for Christ sake,” said Bob reaching into his sporran for a pen and notebook.
He wrote carefully, ‘It’s alright we are Ok we don’t need nor want dry clothes’ and handed it to Mr. Dross’s assistant.
“ Oh I understand, very well please follow me this way to makeup,”
“Why? we don’t wear makeup, we’re men!” said Bob roughly.
“S…S... Sorry?” said Mr. Dross’s assistant, his eyes big with apprehension.
“ Nothing,” said Bob, and they followed Mr. Dross’s assistant to ‘makeup’.
At ‘makeup’ their pale, blue-white skin colour was given a healthy but fake looking tan. The makeup girls and boys giggled and tried to dry out their wooly hats with their hairdryers.
Presently Mr. Dross’s assistant returned and asked the Brothers to follow him to the studio set.
“ Please sit here, make yourselves comfortable and Jonathan will be with you in a moment, he’s really been looking forward to meeting you,” said Mr. Dross’s assistant cheerfully.
“ What did you say?” asked Bob with a glint in his mascara eye.
“Sorry?” replied Mr. Dross’s assistant.
“ I said, what did you say?” repeated Bob.
“S…s…sorry?” replied Mr. Dross’s assistant, the apprehensive expression returning to his face.
“ Nothing,” said Bob, “never mind”.
Mr. Dross’s assistant gave a nervous giggle and rushed off.
“ I’m not enjoying this at all,” said Bob.
“Me neither,” said Bill.
“ I bet Jonathan Dross isn’t going to understand a word we say,”
“ Yes you’re probably right,” said Bill, “ What are we going to do?”
“Nothing it’s his problem,” said Bob with a touch of anger.

Just at that moment Jonathan Dross came on to the set.
“ Hi guys very pleased to meet you at last, so sorry I wasn’t able to meet you sooner,” he said in his most friendly TV talk show voice.
“Eh, it’s nice to meet you too,” said Bob, “ don’t worry about being late it’s your party,”
“ Sorry?” said Jonathan.
“ No problem Jonathan, don’t worry yourself,” said Bob.
“ I beg your pardon?” said Jonathan with a confused look on his face.
“ We aren’t bothered that you are late, we weren’t doing anything anyway,” said Bill.
“ Eh? eh… Ok, well let’s get settled in and we’ll start recording in about 10 minutes.
“ Yes, no problem Jonathan,” said Bob, with a resigned look on his face.
10 minutes later the show began. The lights in the studio came on and revealed a large audience there to provide background laughter and atmosphere.
Jonathan introduced the Brothers and launched in to his first question.
“ So you guys dress in a, shall we say, ‘traditional way’ and I bet everyone is thinking the same thing, what is under your…wooly hats?”
The audience laughed.
“ What do you mean, what’s under our wooly hats, what kind of a question is that?” asked Bill.
“ Yes I’m not sure what you are on about?” said Bob.
“Sorry?” said Jonathan.
“ We said we’re not sure your question to us makes any sense, it doesn’t mean anything,
we’re not sure what you are getting at,” explained Bob.
“ Eh… I’ll put it another way, you guys are always pictured in magazines etc. wearing wooly hats and I bet everyone wants to know what’s under them,” said Jonathan putting it another way but without the punch line of the previous way of putting it.
He looked in to camera 1 and gave a big grin and rolled his eyes up.
Bob and Bill looked at each other and slowly removed their wooly hats.
”Our heads are under them,” they said in the deadest pan voice the could muster
“Eh?” said Jonathan.
At that point The Brothers stood up and left the set.
With a slightly bewildered look on his face Jonathan watched them leave, then he turned to the audience and made some glib comment. After a moment he regained his professional TV talk show host persona, prattled on a bit more and introduced his next guest.
The audience laughed.
Outside The Sullum Voe Brothers got in to a fast black, Bob turned to Bill,
“Funny guy that Jonathan Ross”.
“ Yes,” agreed Bill.
The rain continued to pour as they headed back to the hotel.