Today, for some reason, I found myself with an urgent desire to track down the Mice from the Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ that used to appear on 1970s Children's TV Series Bagpuss.
Now I bet you are all thinking Bagpuss; Saggy, cloth cat, baggy and a bit loose at the seams - Yeah Right! That is all "front". He was an evil manipulator that made Jabba the Hutt look like a thoroughly decent fellow - that stuff with Han Solo and the carbonite was all a misunderstanding that was sorted out over a few drinks a long time ago ....... in a Galaxy far, far away.
Sorry, bit of a digression, back to Bagpuss - That shop was a front for all sorts of criminal activity including drugs and prostitution, Why do you think that you never saw much of Emily in any of the episodes? She was too busy upstairs "earning" to pay for Bagpuss's opium habit.
If you look closely at the character you can see that they are all nefarious individuals; Madeleine - Brothel Madame, Gabriel - a Drunk Musician and Professor Yaffle - a Gay Intellectual that amuses Bagpuss or Don Bagpuss as he is better known.....
..... and now to the Mice, that evil cloth cat had them hooked on drugs and enslaved them to work for him in that sham shop; fixing thing and putting them in the window for their owners to find and collect. What sort of Business Model is that? How can you run an Organisation with approximately 10 employees, that we know off, with no apparent income. It just doesn't add up. That cat was up to something - something VERY BAD.
Well I can report that every dog has his day and that dog was Shep. With little to do when not on the Blue Peter set he used to Moonlight as a Sniffer Dog for "The Met" and Don Bagpuss was one of his first major Busts. The Don was put away for a long time. Personally I think that he should have gone to "the Chair" but they could never get anyone to testify to the allegations about the Clangers "sleeping with the fishes".
Madeleine did a 10 year stretch in Holloway which was reduced to 3 after she spilled the Beans about Magpie hostess Jennie Hanley.
Yes, the Mice, they did OK - after rehab they took to the High Seas and became Pirates. They fashioned a Long ship from a Nike Training Shoe using the lace holes for the oars and can be seen locally when the stream is high singing in their high pitched voices......
"we will rape and we will pillage,
we will burn your bloody village ...."
I love a happy ending.