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Got The T-Shirt: Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

Clichés can be so irritating, but they can also be fun when used deliberately, as Steph Spiers and her writing class demonstrate.

Stetson pushed firmly back over his bald spot, Bronco Billy Brownlow, Blackpool’s follicly challenged answer to Jim Reeves, stepped proudly over the threshold, the proud new owner of 'The Ponderosa' Guest House.

Only hours had passed since the auction when 'The Ponderosa' had changed hands, even at twice the guide price it was going to be another goldmine on the Golden Mile. A licence to print money, that’s what Lois said, worth its weight in gold. 'The Ponderosa' stood out from the crowd; this Victorian old lady had had a cosmetic make-over in the 70s; its façade was painted in bright orange stucco with fake beams in the Mexican ranch house style. My first thought is this is just the place for a Cowboy Duo to hang up their hats, Lois had said.

Where ever Billy hung up his hat was home. Grinning broad as a Cheshire Cat the singer dragged in the amp and slung his guitar over the newel post. What did he care that bloke at the auction had called it the ‘hacienda that time forgot’? Jealousy! The green eye of the little yellow god, that’s all that was.

Meanwhile back at 'The Ranch', Billy and Lois’s other dilapidated B&B safely tucked away next door to the 'High Chaparral' chip shop on North Street, Lois, a true romantic, was indulging her passion for daytime TV. Very few casual guests beat a path to their door. Lois just knew, Location, Location, Location was the key to her fairytale dreams of making it big in property development. Her priorities had changed, she wasn’t as young as she used to be, neither was Billy. The bald 'Bucking Bronco' act wasn’t pulling the punters as much as he used to; Billy was past it poor lamb. Bricks and mortar was where their future lay.

She had to plan outside of the box and, using blue-sky thinking, move on to pastures new, a life of peace and quiet wasn’t her idea of the high-life. No! She wanted to be part of the 24/7 culture. For her and Billy to hit the big time. ‘The Ponderosa’ was a step in the right direction towards her life time ambition. Conveniently situated, this unloved property was now all part of the big picture for the singing duo. Everything was going to plan.

But just at that moment Billy wasn’t so sure. Perhaps they had bitten off more than they could chew. Having an 'open aspect' shouldn’t mean tiles missing of the roof should it? The brace of pigeons nesting in the bath was a bit of a clue something was amiss. Still they’d expected a few hiccups along the way. It was all part of the fun. A lick of paint and they’d be back on track for their long-term plan towards providing a regular income.

'Okay it’s a bit past it’s sell by date,' said Lois, 'but when it’s done up it’ll be a nice little earner.'

Just at that precise moment in time, rescuing his hat from something with a long pink tail which was living in the sofa, Billy had his doubts.

Master of all he surveyed it crossed his mind this restoration was going to be quite a lot of work and perhaps spending fifty quid on a survey report might have been a good idea after all if they wanted to live happily ever after.


We think there are 65 clichés in this.


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