Home > News > Umpire's dream holiday ends in scandal
Tabitha in full flight during a performance of Barry Butterworth's ever popular show: One Flute Over the Chicken's Egg.

Umpire's dream holiday ends in scandal

An umpire who holidayed in the Sussex countryside found out that life there compares favourably to rural Hoggshire. Sadly for Larry Tugg it will be sometime before he is able to return.

Tugg, 63, admits that most people find the Hoggshire wilderness unappealing. "We have a few mad cows, Barry Butterworth has a performing chicken called Tabitha, and you get the occasional Yeti sighting," said Tugg.

"Other than that it is mainly locusts, tumbleweed, and old bones. Whereas in Sussex they have bountiful crops and exotic animals - just like I'd imagine Africa used to be."

And it wasn't only the flora and fauna that was different. "The people I met were very kind," said Tugg.

"I was out rambling one day when I met a farmer who told me he was going to feed the ewes. It was a very generous offer but I had to turn him down because there was only one of me and I wasn't hungry."

"The locals taught me how to identify all sorts of things: goats, midgets, even finger puppets."

It wasn't only agricultural differences that the veteran umpire had to adjust to. Whilst waiting to be served in a Sussex pub he witnessed a credit card being used for the first time.

"The woman next to me gave the barman something very similar in appearance to a library card, and then wandered off with two pints and a bag of nuts," Tugg remembers.

"I asked the barman why he gave them to her for free. He looked puzzled and said: 'she paid'.

"'Well it's about time Bob Geldoff did something for British farmers,' I replied, and made a mental note to mention this to Barry Butterworth. He might be eligible for chicken-aid?"

The locals may have been welcoming but they also enjoyed a laugh at the expense of a newcomer. Fortunately for Tugg he was equal to the occasion.

Tourists rarely visit Hoggshire country pubs.

"I was having a drink in another pub with a chap who tried to sell me a pineapple plant," said Tugg.

"Well I may be a townie but I am not gullible enough to believe that pies and apples grow on the same tree. I told him I was more of a plumb in the front bush type of man.

"This seemed to impress the landlady because she said 'you're barred'. I just said I am neither a poet nor a fool and left."

Tugg's holiday took an unexpected turn for the worse when he overheard a pea farmer complaining that a female deer had been eating his crops. Recognising the business potential this presented, the umpire offered to catch the troublesome beast and take it back to Hoggshire.

"Given what little wildlife we have in Hoggshire I knew this was the perfect opportunity to start a petting zoo," Tugg revealed.

"An umpiring colleague of mine does a bit of gardening at local schools so we had all the contacts necessary to create a successful business.

"I explained this to the farmer saying: 'I'd love to take a pea doe home with me. I know an umpire who can fix it for school children to come by and visit the pea doe. There's more money in this sort of thing than there is in umpiring."

Tugg's entrepreneurial ambitions were dashed when the pitchfork wielding farmer ran him out of town. Upon his arrival home he was quick to warn his fellow umpires of the unexpected hazards that lurk in the strange lands that lie to the south of Hoggshire.