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A day in the life of a parliamentary candidate (3)

by Alan Townend

The crowd remained good-natured for the first part of his speech and Henry was feeling pleased with himself. And then, suddenly, half a dozen tractors roared onto the field.

"Do you like tomatoes?" shouted one of the tractor drivers. Henry hesitated for a moment and then replied: "Yes, I like them very much."

"Well, we can't sell them at a profit," said the tractor driver, "because the imported ones are too cheap. So rather than let them go to waste, you can have them!"

It was then that Henry noticed that the tractors were loaded with boxes of tomatoes, which the farmers started to throw at him. Unfortunately for Henry, two of them hit him full in the face. He realized that he had to say something quickly to win the crowd over to his side. "Thank you for your generous gift, but I really prefer them in sandwiches. And now let's get on with the meeting."

The crowd started to cheer and Henry managed to finish his speech without further interruptions. In the meantime the police had made a thorough search of Henry's house and assured him that there were no hidden bombs. He went back to his sister's house to collect his family.

Vera      I've got some supper ready. I'm sure you must be
Henry     You shouldn't have bothered. We can all go back home
          now. The police have searched the house thoroughly and
          they found nothing at all.
Vera      Well, at least stay and eat the nice salad I've made.
Henry     All right, Vera. Just so long as there are no
          tomatoes in it!

After supper, Henry and his family went home. Later that evening the phone rang.

Henry          Hello.
Man's voice    Oh, Mr. Orpington. I've been trying to reach
               you all day. This is Paul Harris. I called you this
Henry          You did indeed! I think you owe me an explanation.
Harris         Yes, I do. When I phoned you this morning I was cut
               off. It was a bad line or something.
Henry          Well, what about the bomb?
Harris         The bomb? What on earth do you mean?
Henry          That's what I'd like to know. You said, "I want to
               warn you about a bomb."
Harris         Oh, dear! I'm afraid there's been a
               misunderstanding. I didn't have time to finish
               my sentence. You see, I'm a farmer and I overheard
               some of the other farmers planning to break up your
Henry          I still fail to see what all this has got to do
               with a bomb.
Harris         Well, if we hadn't been cut off I was going to
               warn you about a bombardment of tomatoes!

The Parliamentary Candidate
The Parliamentary Candidate (2)
The Parliamentary Candidate (3)
The Parliamentary Candidate (4)

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There was absolutely no doubt that Henry Orpington liked politics. He talked about politics all the time. All the members of his family were pleased, therefore, when Henry was adopted as the prospecti
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Henry Orpington's first engagement that day was an open-air meeting on a large housing estate at ten o'clock. As most of the men were out at work, his audience consisted mainly of women and young chil
parliamentary candidate         man or woman standing for
                                election to parliament as an M.P.
                                (Member of Parliament)
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