Samuel Pepys and YE DRED'D ARSE POLISHER OF OLDE LONDON TOWN
High time we dropped in on our old pal Samuel Pepys to see how he's getting on. One hopes that it's not something dreadful, like, you know, having his arse painted black by persons unknown. Oh.
February 13th 1667: Awok'n before dawn by shouts of "Fire!" com'ng from outside. "Pull ye other one, it has brasse knobbes on" I shout to the miscreants, for I have been dragg'd from my sleep every night since September last who think it funny to make light of ye Great Fyre so soon after London's Weeke of Tragedy. Besides, we are still liv'ng under My Lord Sandwich's roof since our abode fell victim to the flames, despite it being several miles from the main conflagration and ye insurance losse adjustor call'ng me a "chanc'ng bastard".
Imagine my surprise, then, to find my breeches set aflame as I sleep, my buttocks shin'd with boot-black and a lit candle shov'd up my arsehole. I have, dear diary, fall'n victim to YE DRED'D ARSE POLISHER OF OLDE LONDON TOWN
February 14th 1667: Still weak from my ordeal, I am visit'd by a Mr Grissom of ye Night Watch, who makes several and various measurements of my still blacken'd haunches with instruments beyond my understand'ng. He tells me that he will use SCIENCE, MATHS and a big magnifying glass to capture the blackguard. I thiank him kindly, keen to leave the scene of this dreadful crime and settle my lusts on Saint Valentine's Night with the most expensive slattern my fortune will allow. Alas, hav'ng paid a florin to Warty Alice, she laugh'd at my black arse and I was unable to perform the Acts of Venus upon her. Worse, she brought my attention to a sign which reads NOE REEFUNDS INN ANE SIRCUMSTANSES. Deflat'd returned to our cell at My Lord Sandwich's house, and so to bed.
February 15th 1667: Office day. Settl'd the accounts for HMS Antelope, HMS Plunger and HMS Death to the Papists, just return'd from the Indies. Grissom call'd to say that by use of SCIENCE, MATHS and his big magnifying glass, he has determin'd the culprit has left a clue on my still blackened fundament, viz: a hand-print, and would like to inspect it further. However, I declin'd to present the evidence in the office as My Lords Sandwich and Downing were both present with their wives. "That is how it should be," said Grissom. "We shall perform the amputation elsewhere. Perhaps in the street outside."
It transpires that the experiments that Watchman Grissom is to undertake can only be carried out on a corpse, and I point'd out that I am very much alive, damn'ng his wig for his lack of observation.
February 16th 1667: A great wail'ng rous'd me from my slumbers before dawn. My charm'ng wife Elizabeth nowhere to be seen, I rush upstairs to My Lord Sandwich's chambers to find My Lord face down in his bed, breeches alflame on his night-stand and his Lordly Arse blacker than the night, room lit by the candle protrud'ng from his chocolate starfish. There can be no doubt: Ye Dred'd Arse Polisher of Olde London Town has struck again. Rush'ng to the near'st tavern to find help, I meet my wife, cover'd in boot-black. She tells me - in some distress - that she was runn'ng to rouse the servants when she fell into a silage pit, emerg'ng to look like someone who was cover'd in boot-black, but it was silage. Silage. Hav'ng found no help in the tavern, I stay there for the next sixteen hours, in case some help should arrive.
February 17th 1667: The reign of terror continues. In the last night Ye Dred'd Arse Polisher of Olde London Town has attack'd on no less than nine occasions, the victims all be'ng males known to My Lord Sandwich, all their breeches set aflame, all with arses expertly shin'd to the rare buff that my darl'ng wife puts into my fin'est boots. One fart'd, sett'ng fire to three houses, and rumour abounds that the Archbishop of Canterbury has awoken to find his rear blacker than the dark'st pits of HELL.
Alas, Grissom is no closer to solv'ng theese terrible crimes, and still insists on amputat'ng the buttocks of the poor victims to inspect at his leisure. Growi'ng weary of his excuses, I confront him in his rooms, whereupon the cur breaks down and confesses: "I'truth, I am not a watchman. I just like bottoms. Is it a crime?"
February 18th 1667: I arrive home late after celebrat'ng the solv'ng of these heinous crimes with my fellow victims to find my darl'ng wife still scrubb'ng the foul-smell'ng silage from her blacken'd hands. "That Grissom was bloody well hung" she told me. "No he wasn't, my love. They cut his head off." Such innocence. And so to bed.