Day 328: Walking Bottom

Peaslake is in Surrey, a picturesque village of 1,500 or so that is surrounded by forests and chalk hills. It is a very popular area for bicyclists, and among the array of usual village businesses is a bike shop. Laetitia and her group rented bicycles and did a tour around the countryside before returning to the village in the afternoon. Her real reason for choosing Peaslake was that she had found a street there in Rude UK named Walking Bottom. By this time, the people who joined Laetitia’s tours were used to the unusual, so they all went along without complaint when she told them they were going next to Walking Bottom. As they walked down that street, a woman in the group named Arlette mused about what a walking bottom would look like, and she shared her vision with the group. Laetitia turned her vision into the limerick of the day.

When about Walking Bottom, she heard
Arlette had a vision absurd:
A rear like an orzo
Without head or torso
With thin sticks for legs like a bird.

Day 327: Dickerage Road

At the Emerald Victorian Laetitia searched the internet for pictures of Pratts who live in Pratt’s Bottom and found several. They looked perfectly normal. She concluded that Ms. Pratt from yesterday’s trip had an overactive imagination.

In Kingston-on-Thames, in Surrey, Laetitia and her group went on an excursion boat trip that lasted several hours. Returning to Kingston-on-Thames in the afternoon, they did a walkabout on Dickerage Road, a street distinguished by its inclusion in Rude UK. When they came to the end of their walkabout, a member of Laetitia’s group asked, “Did I miss it? Where was the dickerage?” Her questions inspired the limerick of the day.

If a parson lives in a parsonage
And a vicar’s home’s called a vicarage
Those folks whose abode
Is on Dickerage Road
May wonder who lives in a dickerage.

Day 326: Pratt’s Bottom

Near Badgers Mount in Kent is the village of Pratt’s Bottom, now part of greater London. In the eighteenth century it was called Spratt’s Bottom, but somehow the S was dropped from the name. It consists of a village hall complete with village green, two churches, a pub, a shop, a school, and a few side streets. Pratt’s Bottom is listed as number 77 in Rude Britain. Its inclusion is especially appropriate, since, as fans of slapstick comedy know, a pratfall is a mishap where the comedian falls and lands on his or her buttocks.

It didn’t take long for Laetitia and her group to see all the places of interest in Pratt. Fortunately an American woman had joined the tour because her surname was Pratt. She was a woman of some means who was unmarried and had made the genealogy of her family names her life’s work. Her genealogical search became the focus of the tour group.

Laetitia didn’t have the heart to tell her that she might have been better off looking for Spratt (like Jack who could eat no fat) in Pratt’s Bottom, but sometimes things done based on flawed logic do yield results. She found that the name Pratt is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word “praett.” The word translates as “trick,” and it might have been a name applied to a magician. She had also found Pratts (albeit spelled “Prat”) in Kent as far back as the twelfth century, and did find some Pratts living in Pratt’s Bottom.

According to Ms. Pratt, when she called on the townsfolk with the same last name, the family resemblance was obvious. Their body shapes resembled that of the schmoo, a 1940s cartoon character created by Al Capp that somewhat resembles a plump pear with legs. The Pratts were pleasant folks and were well accepted by their neighbors, but every so often newcomers made irksome jokes about their surname, the village name, and their body shape. They became the subject of the daily limerick.

Pratt’s Bottom’s a town that can claim
That it’s blessed with a memorable name
But its townsfolk named Pratt
Who are pear-shaped and fat
Are sure to be jokesters’ fair game.

Day 325: Badgers Mount

Badgers Mount is a community in Kent that was one of 100 places chosen by Bailey and Hurst for inclusion in Rude UK. The origin of the name is obscure. Presumably, someone once saw more than one badger on a hill in the area at some time in the past. Laetitia and her group went hiking on a hill in the area that might or might not have been the original Badgers Mount. On the trail, they met a group of female hikers wearing t-shirts that had “BADGERS MOUNT WOMENS’ HIKING CLUB” emblazoned on the front. They stopped to talk before heading on down the trail. A man in Laetitia’s group asked a member of the hiking club if they’d seen any badgers. A woman named Mary answered, “No, we always look, but we’ve never seen any.” It spawned the limerick of the day.

For more times than Mary could count
She’d gone out to see Badgers Mount
But no badgers were found
Where she thought they’d abound
Not even a tiny amount.