Mrs. Allcock looked down her nose for the tenth time that night. It was chilly night and she was feeling the cold. It was 10pm, the night was coming to a close and she was glad to be packing up her wares and heading home where a warm fire burnt and her husband the Honourable Frank would have a steaming pot of tea ready for her.
The last of the stragglers filed out of the public house as Mrs. Allcock handed out her Temperance League pamphlets only to see them go the way of every other pamphlet that night, straight to the ground.
Mrs. Allcock was on her own this night. The other ladies usually at least six in number had bailed on her but as she was determined to do her bit and stand her ground against the evils of alcohol she had carried her stand of pamphlets on her own and had withstood the taunts of the men and women who left the public house a various of states of intoxication.
Mrs. Allcock never saw herself as a wowser, she liked a nip of brandy on a cold night but on drinking to excess she took the moral high ground. After all she thought these men were incapable of walking in a straight line and very likely unable to think in a straight line and would go home to wives and families in this state and one feared what might happen. Mrs. Allcock did read the papers and listened to the neighbourhood gossip.
As she plodded her way home she thought how lucky she was to be married to a man like the Honourable Frank. He was a good man, loyal and hardworking and always treated her with the respect she demanded.
It then came as a surprise and a shock to her upon opening the front door to find the Honourable Frank engaged in a less than honourable act with Shelley Oberdie the dairy maid.
Frank was considerably drunk, as evidenced by his slurred greeting, his pants down around his ankles and his hands fondling Shelley’s voluminous breasts as he repeated “milk maid, milk maid”.
Mrs. Allcock had the unfortunate Christian name of Gladly and it was something that bugged her a lot as at the time of her marriage she had been so naïve as to not realise the significance of her name and Franks being placed side by side.
At that very moment Frank was living up to his name in no uncertain way and Shelley was rejoicing in the fact.
Frank oblivious to his good wife’s presence made the unfortunate statement: “I’m Allcock by name and Allcock by…” just as Mrs. Allcock hit him behind the ear with her rolling pin.
There was a deathly silence as both women looked at the prostrate Frank lying on the floor.
Said Mrs. Allcock: Everything should be in moderation. I try to be patient with my husband but he breaks out every so often.
Said Shelley: I believe in balance and Frank was very good at it. We had such a good connection.
Said Mrs. Allcock: I think he’ll heal ok.
Said Shelley: I was just going with the flow it wasn’t my purpose to lead him astray.
Said Mrs. Allcock: It’s an odd transformation that occurs in him like he has no sense of direction.
As the Honourable Frank lay unconscious on the floor the two women sat at the table and discussed things temperance over a hot cup of tea.