"THE APRIL FOOLS DAY MASSACRE"
otherwise known as
“THE COUNTY CUP”
It’s a Very British Civil War, and what could be more Very British than a very temporary truce for a bracing day’s charity event at the Hereford Golf Club (in aid of the County Widows and Orphans Fund)?
Invitations to participate in “The County Cup Charity Challenge” have been accepted by all notable personages in Hereford’s VBCW. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the greens are freshly mown; but clearing the fairways and woods of all the detritus of the VBCW has proved far beyond the resources of Sir Alan McGuffin (Chairman of the Club) and his Committee of County worthies. Ammo dumps, broken down or under repair vehicles, hidden supplies or abandoned war materials still litter the course, ready and waiting to surprise (or delight) each and every player - and it’s every player for himself.
That’s right - it’s every player for himself. With the County Cup at stake and the whole of Fleet Street watching, command structures are put to one side, factional allegiances unravel and old alliances dissolve (or perhaps reform in unexpected ways). The winner can expect a morale boosting bout of national publicity and the special favour of the King/the Prime Minister/the Archbishop of Canterbury/the Kremlin/the Eisteddfod/the local Landowners (as you will) - even if he has to beat “one of his own” to claim the prize.
Sir Alan had expected his guests to arrive with only a caddie and a bag of clubs for company. But trust is in short supply, and the truce is only very temporary. The Committee look on in horror as each player attends the course with his own combat ready retinue of well-armed “supporters and well-wishers”. Some - in fact, the majority - have had the temerity to bring along tanks, tankettes, armoured cars (“that’s my golf buggy for the day, Sir Alan, don’t worry”), troops of cavalry (“just in case I slice it, old chap - damn’ useful for finding a lost ball”) and even field guns (“a little insurance, don’t you know?”).
As each player “tees off”, Sir Alan and his now terrified Committee gather around the County Cup. The Club Secretary consults the Rules of Golf, but there seems nothing to cover “blowing up an opponent”, “replacing the ball in the event of a massacre”, or “playing through a party with superior firepower”. Just one misunderstanding amongst the players, and this could all go most horribly wrong.
A shout of the traditional golfer’s warning, and universally misinterpreted.
“Fire!” “Fire!” “Fire, goddamit!” (this last one clearly wasn’t an Anglican). Sir Alan’s truce is abandoned by universal consent. The Hereford Golf Club dissolves into the chaos of our renewed Civil War. As Fleet Street’s finest look on, the County Cup waits to be seized by the victor. And there can only be one….
The County Widows and Orphans Fund thank you for your contribution to their continuing work.