Letter of CB Fry
December 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
23rd of Febrary 1899
Yesterday I attended the illustrious Olympiad for the World’s strongest man held at the Crystal Palace of London. They came from all four corners of the world.
LittleJohn of the North, from a grim place named Cleethorpes, the mighty Tom Cribb from Hackney Wick, Goliath, who lives in Runcorn, and a French pretender named Xerxes who heralded originally from the Rhone valley, but left to set up a roofing business in Paignton in 1872, where he has resided ever since. All were in attendance, the mightiest men in the world, brutes Poesy. .
In amidst this muscular symphony I caught sight of a familiar face. For there, dressed in a leopards-printed maillot, whiskers twitching four to the two, was the cur himself, Mr David Nivens. He had recovered the cock that had so deserted him that fateful night last December. Indeed, despite a certain paleness of his cheek, which may have indicated gout or perchance jaundice, I know not which Poesy, despite this ague, the presence of this unwholesome corona, Mr Nivens appeared in fruitful health.
He bounded up to me like a dog with constipation as I stood performing my stretching routine and hollered in his chafing tone
“What Ho Fry! Planning a little performance are we?”
To which I countered with disdain
“Like the performance you gave us last Christmas Mr Nivens?”
To which he replied
“Yes my performance, good, hahahaha, very good Mr Fry…”
The argument won, I sauntered off to take my mark in the wings.
It was quite obvious that I was going to trump all and sundry and trump them I did. For the first event, the clutch, I set a new champions ship record of 40kg, which nobody else perforce could master. It was indeed the third year I had set this mark. This was followed by the second event the lunge, wherein I took a bell in each hand and thrust the leg out in forwards motion. My score of 32kg was a new world record.
And thus it came to the final event the clunge.
Somehow the reedy Dr Niven had made it to the final stages. However it was time for misfortune to strike. As he strode onto the stage, a moment after Xerxes of Ramsbottom and two minutes before Goliath of Paignton, I noticed something amiss. Indeed Poesy, twas a small thing visible to only the keenest of human eyes.
For as he strode onto the stage, there, cradling in the leopardskin maillot (which in latter days has come to be known as the ‘leotard’ after that French chagrin Leo Tard) was a bulge! Yes dear Poesy, priapus stirred. Of course no one else noticed this but I did. I had to! For herein lay Mr Niven’s secret!
And so he climbed onto the stage to tackle the biggest beast of them all—the never before stirred 50kg bell.
As he was doing this I, yes I Poesy, was in the wings rifling through Dr Niven’s surgery bag. And there I found it—the horny root! Clutching the horny root I paced it back to the stage just as Dr Niven was raising the old iron over his head and bellowed—“Mr Dr Nivens! Once again your felony has been discovered. You are unmasked and now you must pay.”
Well his eyes fairly bulged, while his moustaches twitched with that feverish anxiety that one only sees displayed on the face of the mountain goat (capra hornus) during the mating season.
O glorious conclusion Poesy, for he fell back in a perfect parabola, the iron slipped from his clutches and flew into the face of Xerxes who collapsed with a roar. The resultant hulbubabaloo rendered him moribund and he fell down clutching his face in a vain attempt to feign injury! The cur. The damned insolent cowardly cur. While the judges (bufoons all) clamoured around him to look I, of course, was not to be fooled and ran onto the stage to deliver him a procession of blows and kicks of such dexterity that priapus was, for once and for all, quenched.
They gave me my medallion and sceptre and crowned me the World’s Strongest Man for the third year running. Meanwhile Mr Nivens was banned from the Olympiad for three years hence and slumped home with his sceptre shattered. Yet again I triumphed.