The Parish Council Minutes #10

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘Good lord, these people are clearly morons.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE ACTING CHAIR convened the meeting at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

‘I’d leave it a few months if I were you’

Cyril Keenly, the Clerk of the Parish Council, dialled into the meeting because he was self-isolating. Councillor Watterson asked if anyone else was self-isolating because there was just him and the Acting Chair in the Council Room.

The Clerk confirmed everyone else was self-isolating though Councillor Pritchard didn’t really count because he was still in a coma after someone had attacked him with a pick-axe, Councillors Dean and Tomkins didn’t count because they were on trial for murder after the dismembered bodies of their ex-spouses were found at the Cow and Banjo and the Chairman didn’t count because he’d been photographed doing something ‘right dodgy’ and quite possibly illegal, forcing him to resign in disgrace.

The Clerk said Councillor Martin wasn’t able to attend the meeting because of a prior engagement with the Russian Mafia.

Item 2

Councillor Boothby, Acting Chair, asked Councillor Andrews if he could switch off his webcam. While Skype enabled Councillors to run meetings during the current pandemic with public gatherings restricted, this didn’t mean it was appropriate for Councillor Andrews to attend meetings sat on the porcelain. Councillor Andrews apologised and switched off his video feed. He also muted the audio, but not before everyone heard a tiny plop.

Councillor Boothby said the Parish Council needed to show real leadership during the public health crisis and should encourage social distancing.

Councillor Lathers said she’d practiced social distancing for years, mainly from her ex-husband, estate agents and people who read The Daily Mail. Councillor Watterson said that with supermarket shelves now cleared of loo roll because of panic buying, he’d found The Daily Mail to be soft, strong and very, very long. Councillor Andrews, switching his audio back on, said he’d heard rumours that The Sun was actually softer if you were a folder and not a scruncher. He’d also heard The Daily Telegraph was more absorbent, with a quilted edition on Sundays. He muted his audio again, but not before everyone heard a soft groan and splash.

Councillor Lathers said she’d touched a copy of The News of the World once and had to self-isolate for fourteen days.

Item 3

Councillor Gooding said this whole thing with the pandemic was just scaremongering and that Britain had survived the Blitz. Councillor Boothby said she was no expert, but understood you couldn’t generally catch the Blitz by somebody coughing next to you on a bus. You also couldn’t catch the Blitz by walking round in large crowds in deliberate ignorance of advice from qualified health experts that people should stay at home as an entirely sensible precaution to minimise the risk of infecting the elderly and those already in poor health.

Councillor Watterson added that he was no expert either, but understood that comparing the pandemic to something that happened in World War II was at best naïve jingoism and at worst the intellectual reasoning of reckless simpletons.

Councillor Gooding said that British people were made of stronger stuff and even though he’d caught the virus at a darts match in the pub last Wednesday and had since gone to three concerts, nine supermarkets, two schools and a hospital, it would all turn out for the best if everyone just thought more positively, and believed harder, and Got Virus Done. At this point he coughed loudly and his line went dead.

Item 4

Councillor Boothby said it would be a truly beautiful thing for the people of Shufflehampton to set aside their longstanding and ultimately meaningless differences during this crisis to do all they could to work together for the sake of the most desperate and disadvantaged. Already Councillor Boothby had seen many inspiring examples of selflessness and love in the community which, in their compassionate simplicity, had done much to restore her ailing faith in the precious, innate beauty of humanity. In desperate times, she mused, it was astounding how distance could bring people together when proximity so often tore them apart. It was the ultimate paradox.

Councillor Watterson said they’d run out of Ultimate Paradox in the chemists but he’d got twenty boxes of Lemsip and what was left of the hand sanitizer.

Councillor Boothby hoofed Councillor Watterson in the cobblers.

Item 5

The Acting Chair asked if there was any other business. Councillor Andrews, switching his audio back on, said he didn’t know but he’d keep at it for a bit.

He muted his audio again, but not before everyone heard his wife come in.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, with absolutely no pasta anywhere.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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The Parish Council Minutes #9

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘I’ve heard this stuff might be made up.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE ACTING CHAIR convened the meeting at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

Cyril Keenly, the Clerk of the Parish Council, confirmed there weren’t many Councillors left because several had been suspended, or arrested, or had murdered some people, or all three. Councillor Boothby, Acting Chair, said she hoped that those who remained could at least organise the Christmas lights display in the town square without this also becoming a total fiasco.

Item 2

Councillor Watterson reminded everyone that Christmas was a season of peace and goodwill to all men, and more recently women and children. In this vein it was important to extend a cheerful message to the people of Shufflehampton, even though the Council clearly disliked each other in private with some relationships having descended into bitter, pathological hatred. Councillor Lathers seconded this, saying she absolutely loved Christmas but detested Councillor Watterson, wanting nothing more than to yank his boxer shorts vigorously in an upwards direction so that his eyes would water for 4-6 weeks.

Artwork (c) Cllr T. Watterson

Councillor Gooding said this brought back bad memories of bullies giving him wedgies at school. Councillor Martin said she’d had a lovely plateful of spicy potato wedgies at the Cow and Banjo last week.

Councillor Gooding said that whatever happened, the Council shouldn’t ask Mark the Sparky to wire up the Christmas lights again after last year’s debacle. Mark had set up everything so dangerously that when celebrity guest Eric somebody from the Bay City Rollers had switched on the lights he’d been thrown backwards into the air and propelled over the road, smashing through the upstairs window of the barber’s shop into Malcolm the barber’s boudoir while Malcolm and Gladys were midway through some sneaky slap and tickle.

Councillor Martin said she hoped that Malcolm’s wife hadn’t been too upset. Councillor Gooding said she’d been very upset when she’d found Malcolm in the bedroom with Gladys.

Councillor Watterson said he wasn’t familiar with the phrase ‘slap and tickle.’ Councillor Lathers said this was when mummy and daddy were tickling each other very much.

Councillor Boothby said Mark the Sparky was still on the sick after being injured trying to fix the wiring. He’d somehow managed to pass electricity through himself, instantly burning off his unfeasibly shaggy bodily hair and permanently magnetising the larger of his trouser clackers. Even now, this caused his right leg to violently and uncontrollably spasm, like last week when he’d kicked the postman’s bike into the path of that bus, causing it to swerve uncontrollably into the local parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party.

Item 3

Councillor Lathers said she was happy to go with any reasonable plan so long as organisers made sure the Christmas lights weren’t arranged in a rude and suggestive shape. She’d recently heard about a village in the East Midlands whose Christmas lights had looked like something very saucy one year when viewed from a pavement outside a restaurant which she seemed to remember had been called Oscar’s. She’d found a photo of the twinkling monstrosity in the Nottingham Evening Post which had made all her female friends chuckle and all her male friends feel inadequate.

Councillor Martin said the village in question must have been really embarrassed and probably wouldn’t want to be reminded about it, possibly by way of a column in the village newspaper. Councillor Gooding said the only way this could happen was in the medium of satire and only if the writer was friends with the editor.

Councillor Lathers urged everyone to stop making puerile jokes about this, and conversation returned to this year’s Shufflehampton Christmas lights erection.

Item 4

Michael Buble, yesterday

Councillor Boothby asked if there was time to get a celebrity to switch on the Christmas lights because the local parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party had suddenly become unavailable. Councillor Martin said she was a big fan of The Krankies and would be sure to ask them if she saw them in the newsagents.

Councillor Watterson said that if necessary he could always dress up as Santa because it would make a change to do this for the general public and not just for his wife. Councillor Boothby said what about Michael Bublé. Councillor Watterson said this was a better idea, but he didn’t have a Michael Bublé costume.

There was a polite pause as Councillors Boothby, Lathers and Martin clearly had simultaneous naughty thoughts about Michael Bublé, judging by the expressions on their faces.

It was agreed that the Council reconvene in a week to firm up plans. There was no further mention of Councillor Watterson’s Santa costume because this just made everyone dead uncomfortable, to be fair.

Item 5

Under ‘Any Other Business’, Councillor Watterson said he could no longer restrain himself and Councillor Lathers was a loathsome harpy with spite and malice in her cold, black heart.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, with Councillor Lathers yanking Councillor Watterson’s boxer shorts vigorously in an upwards direction so that his eyes would water for 4-6 weeks.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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  • Michael Bublé c/o Wikimedia Commons
  • Christmas card c/o

The Parish Council Minutes #8

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘If democracy wasn’t already dead, it would be dead now.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE CHAIRMAN convened the meeting at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

Councillor Martin’s gangster friends, possibly imaginary, yesterday

Cyril Keenly, the Clerk of the Parish Council, confirmed that the minutes of the last meeting were to be amended to show Councillor Pritchard not being brutally slain with a pick-axe. While Councillor Pritchard had seemed dead when he’d been found in the hallway, it later emerged he’d only been seriously injured when he woke up suddenly in the morgue, making the cleaner do a big poo in his undercrackers.

Councillor Lathers said she’d been denied entry to the hospital ward by armed police but had learned that Councillor Pritchard had fallen into a coma, stopping him from spilling all he knew about the bodies recently found under the Cow and Banjo and also from coming to meetings for a bit.

Councillor Martin said all this silly nonsense could be sorted out discreetly and professionally through her contacts in the Russian mafia, and would anyone like a coconut macaroon.

Item 2

As per the new procedure, the Chairman asked Councillors to declare any murders.

It was noted that no Councillors had murdered anyone since the last meeting. No Councillors had tried to murder Councillor Pritchard either because they all had perfectly plausible alibis, and anyone who thought any different could jog on, quite frankly.

Councillor Boothby said she was concerned about the reputational damage all this was causing the Parish Council but was glad there was nothing else anyone knew about which could make matters worse.

Councillor Watterson said not so fast, baby cakes.

Item 3

Councillor Watterson said the recent ladies’ night hosted by Shufflehampton Women’s Institute at the village hall had descended into debauchery. As was the case with a similar event at the Cow and Banjo, food and drinks were served at tables to sozzled guests by half naked waiters, causing innocent people to be hurt and / or lightly fondled in the process.

Councillor Boothby said her son Brian hadn’t been one of the waiters this time because he was still being treated for the severe burns he’d received last time from that red-hot sausage plait. This had been so traumatic it had put Brian off any future career in catering, semi-clothed or otherwise, and even now he couldn’t walk past the hot pastry counter at Greggs without getting unpleasant, involuntary twinges. Often, he’d wake up screaming in the night with a recurring nightmare about being chased down a corridor by a giant, freshly baked steak and ale slice with hot coals for eyes, laughing at him.


Brian, still in pain, still applying the cream

Councillor Martin said the involuntary twinges she’d had at the ladies’ night hadn’t been unpleasant at all and she’d not had feelings like these since that holiday fling with Enrique in Marbella in 1978.

Councillor Watterson said he’d seen photos on Twitter of Councillor Lathers canoodling in a hedge with a young male model and Councillor Martin hoisting a pair of enormous frilly knickers up a flagpole. Councillor Watterson said several Parish Councillors were setting an appalling example to the community and it was high time they were removed from office.

Councillor Gooding agreed, showing Councillor Watterson a photo on his mobile of Councillor Watterson at a karaoke party, standing in a bowl of warm custard, drunkenly singing Barry Manilow’s Copacabana with a colourful peacock feather sticking out of his sequined hot pants. At this point Councillor Watterson stopped speaking.

The Chairman asked if anyone had any dirt on him. Councillor Gooding passed the Chairman his mobile to look at some other photos, and the Chairman immediately resigned.

Councillor Martin said all it would take was one phone call, and Sergei and Anatoly could make all these problems go away. One phone call.

Item 4

Councillor Boothby assumed leadership of the meeting as Vice Chair. She said that in the circumstances it was probably best to end this meeting and reconvene another time. Those Councillors who hadn’t already left the meeting in shame, embarrassment or disgust agreed with Councillor Boothby, and then left the meeting in shame, embarrassment or disgust.

Item 5

Under ‘Any Other Business’, there was no other business because there was no-one left, to be fair.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, with Councillor Martin making a phone call.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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The Parish Council Minutes #7

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘My mum was on the Council, and she was a total headcase.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE CHAIRMAN convened the meeting at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

CSI Shufflehampton, on location at the Cow and Banjo

Cyril Keenly, the Clerk of the Parish Council, confirmed that Councillors Dean and Tomkins were suspended from the Council pending police investigation after two dead bodies were found under the floorboards at the Cow and Banjo.

Councillor Pritchard said there was no way Councillors Dean and Tomkins had brutally murdered their spouses back in 2014, buried them under the cricket pavilion and then moved the remains to a shallow grave under the pub to prevent these being found when the pavilion was knocked down for redevelopment.

The Chairman said Councillor Pritchard’s comments were interesting because none of this had been publicly reported and the bodies hadn’t been identified yet.

Councillor Pritchard suddenly seemed worried and said he needed to make a phone call, leaving the room very quickly.

Item 2

The Chairman welcomed newly-elected Councillors Gooding and Martin to the meeting. Councillor Gooding said he was looking forward to making a real difference to the people of Shufflehampton. Councillor Martin asked if this was the meeting of the Women’s Institute because she’d baked a lovely pavlova.

Item 3

The Chairman asked Councillors to declare any interests. Councillor Watterson said shouldn’t Councillors declare any murders first.

The Chairman said it was unusual for murders to be declared at a Parish Council meeting. Councillor Watterson said it was unusual for murderers to be on a Parish Council. Councillor Boothby said it was unusual for someone to think it was unusual for murderers to be on a Parish Council.

The Chairman said he didn’t want to ask Councillors to declare murders every month. Councillor Watterson said so why not declare murders quarterly.

The Clerk said this was tricky because any murders committed by Councillors in July might only be declared in September meaning the police wouldn’t know anything about them for three months. Councillor Watterson said perhaps one way around this would be for Councillors to tell the police about any murders straight away, but only declare them to the Council on a quarterly return.

Councillor Watterson asked that if Councillors had just seriously injured someone but they hadn’t died yet was there a requirement to also declare maiming.

The Chairman, gently rocking, said that he ‘gave up, he chuffing well gave up.’

Shufflehampton Woods, five years ago

Item 4

In a change to the agenda, the Chairman asked Councillors to declare any murders. No murders were declared, though two possible murders were noted as pending at the pub.

The Chairman asked Councillors to declare any interests. All Councillors declared an interest in the two possible murders.

The Chairman thanked the Council for its valuable input.

Councillor Martin declared a pavlova.

Item 5

Councillor Boothby confirmed that the Village Fete would be opened by Tom Hardy, a part-time children’s magician from Tunbridge Wells, because the famous actor Tom Hardy had pulled out due to a TV interview with Graham Norton or something.

Councillor Lathers said this was disappointing because the village had been looking forward to a celebrity opening the fete, and even if the part-time magician was an absolute genius he still wasn’t the dreamy bloke off the movies who she and her friends really fancied and would be very keen to smother in jam and lightly tickle just to start things off. Councillor Martin said if there was an invitation going spare, she’d happily bring along the jam and also a pavlova.

Councillor Boothby said that if an update on the Village Fete had to be recorded in the minutes, maybe it could be buried in bad news somewhere.

The Clerk said did Councillor Boothby mean ‘bad news’ as in Councillors maybe having killed some people under item 1.

Councillor Boothby said yes.

The Clerk said righto.

Item 6

Under ‘Any Other Business’, the dead body of Councillor Pritchard was found in the hallway outside the meeting room next to a bloodstained pick-axe.

The Clerk updated the Declaration of Murders register. Councillor Martin handed round paper plates and napkins.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, with police cars and a number of arrests.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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The Parish Council Minutes #6

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘I moan about them lots on Facebook, but never turn up to vote.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE CHAIRMAN convened the meeting at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

Iron Man, sacrificing himself to defeat Thanos, yesterday

Cyril Keenly, the Clerk of the Parish Council, reminded Councillors that official email addresses were only for Council business and not for personal use. Councillor Dean asked if ‘personal use’ included buying exotic underclothing off the internet. The Chairman said not if the underclothing was for official business. Councillor Dean said this was fine, he only wore it to meetings.

The Chairman asked the Clerk not to record what Councillor Dean just said in the minutes. The Clerk said yes, he could keep a secret. Councillor Watterson said no, the Clerk couldn’t keep a secret because he often revealed spoilers about films which Councillor Watterson hadn’t got around to seeing yet. The Clerk apologised for this, and Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame.

Item 2

Councillor Lathers said she’d received several complaints about plagues of slugs in the village allotments. Councillor Boothby said there were lots of slugs at this time of year but they pretty much exploded when you poured salt on them. Councillor Dean asked did they actually explode, or was this just an exaggeration. Councillor Boothby said she didn’t think a protective vest was needed when you poured salt on a slug so there was no need for alarm. Councillor Dean said what about some kind of robot sniffer dog, just in case.

Councillor Tomkins said if slugs exploded, you’d have to be careful on an aeroplane in case hijackers strapped slugs to themselves and threatened to add table salt if the FBI didn’t give in to their demands. She thought that one way of combating this might be to ban taking salt onto aeroplanes, like they do with deodorant and possibly toothpaste these days.

Councillor Dean said all this was very well but what if hijackers just smuggled the salt onto the plane disguised as icing sugar, or crack cocaine. Councillor Tomkins said this was a good point, and actually it was probably harder to disguise slugs, so maybe it was slugs that should be banned from aeroplanes and not salt. Councillor Pritchard said it was easy to disguise a slug by putting a shell on it and calling it a snail.

Councillor Boothby said there was no way you could smuggle crack cocaine onto an aeroplane, but based on current discussions it was obviously very easy to smuggle it into a council meeting.

The Chairman thanked everyone for their valuable input. Changing the subject, he said he wanted to book a speaker for a Council function next month and did anyone object to David Cameron, former Prime Minister and MP for Witney. Councillor Lathers said hadn’t she been in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner.

Item 3

Councillor Morgan excused himself from the meeting, once again realising he was a Parish Councillor in a different village and had come to this meeting by mistake.

Shufflehampton Woods, five years ago

Item 4

The Chairman asked for an update on Village Fete plans. Councillor Boothby said that while Tom Hardy was free to open the event, this wasn’t the actor Tom Hardy because she’d sent her tweet by mistake to Tom Hardy the painter and decorator from Tunbridge Wells, and not the actor Tom Hardy from the Mad Max films.

Councillor Boothby said she’d now sent a tweet to the correct Tom Hardy (the famous one) and told Tunbridge Wells Tom Hardy (the not-so-famous one) that his services were no longer needed because no-one had heard of him and why would anyone book a painter and decorator from Tunbridge Wells to open the Village Fete, for pity’s sake.

Tunbridge Wells Tom Hardy had said bear him in mind anyway, because he did a children’s magic act on the side and was DBS-cleared. He also did something very imaginative with a rabbit.

Item 5

Under ‘Any Other Business’, the Chairman said he’d just been told by the police that the bodies of two people had been found under the floorboards of the function room at the Cow and Banjo.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, when Black Widow also died in Avengers: Endgame.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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The Parish Council Minutes #5

  • More utterly riveting dispatches from Shufflehampton Parish Council, England. ‘You really couldn’t make this up.’ MADE UP QUOTE

THE CHAIRMAN convened the meeting of the Twinning Sub-Committee at 7.30 pm.

Item 1

Some rather attractive leather shorts, with words on the buttocks

Cyril Keenly, the Secretary of the Sub-Committee, confirmed that Shufflehampton was to be twinned with Kurtlich zum Bummen in Bavaria, Germany.

The Chairman offered to show the Sub-Committee a letter from the town’s Burgermeister. Councillor Watterson said he preferred KFC. The Chairman explained that ‘Burgermeister’ was the German word for ‘Mayor’ and wasn’t a popular fast food chain. Councillor Watterson said he usually went for the Zinger Tower.

Item 2

Councillor Dean said he was worried because ‘Kurtlich zum Bummen’ sounded like a really dirty instruction you could give to someone called Kurt.

Councillor Pritchard said there was no-one called Kurt living in Shufflehampton, so no risk of someone called Kurt being upset by the words ‘Kurtlich zum Bummen’ or taking them as an instruction to do something dirty.

Councillor Dean said it wasn’t really the ‘Kurt’ part he was worried about so much as the ‘lich zum Bummen’ part, which might make villagers complain, or giggle.

Councillor Watterson said hang on, weren’t there lots of people in Germany called Kurt who might already be upset by the words ‘Kurtlich zum Bummen’ and did the Germans get any complaints and could the Sub-Committee get the advice of Germany. Councillor Boothby said it would be difficult to get the advice of the whole of Germany because some of it might be on holiday at the moment.

Councillor Lathers said none of this was necessary because in Germany, ‘Kurtlich zum Bummen’ was simply the name of a Bavarian town and wasn’t taken to mean: ‘Kurt, lick these buttocks,’ which was totally a puerile English thing.

Councillor Boothby said perhaps it would be best to find a different twin town, or persuade Kurtlich zum Bummen to change its name to something less rude. Councillor Pritchard said he’d once visited a place in Scotland called Twatt.

The Chairman thanked the Sub-Committee for its valuable input.

Pedro from Guadalajara (or possibly not), yesterday

Item 3

Councillor Watterson said he was really excited about visiting the new twin town because he’d never met anyone who looked identical to himself before.

The Chairman suggested that Councillor Watterson may have misunderstood the idea of ‘twin town’ at a conceptual level.

Councillor Watterson said he was still looking forward to grabbing a bite to eat with his doppelganger.

The Chairman explained that ‘twin town’ didn’t mean a town full of people who looked exactly the same as all of the people in another town, for pity’s sake.

Councillor Watterson said it was perfectly reasonable to assume this was what ‘twin town’ meant because identical people could be found everywhere and he knew someone called Pedro who’d just moved to Shufflehampton from Guadalajara who looked just like him. Councillor Lathers said this was clearly cobblers, and that Councillor Watterson was just trying to save face and not look like a place in Scotland Councillor Pritchard said he’d once visited.

Councillor Watterson excused himself from the meeting. Councillor Pritchard said he’d also driven through a place in Essex called Fingringhoe.

Item 4

Councillor Tomkins said that if the mayor of Kurtlich zum Bummen was available, couldn’t he open the Village Fete. Councillor Boothby said no, the actor Tom Hardy had now confirmed he would do this.

Item 5

Before Councillor Boothby could continue, Councillor Watterson re-entered the room wearing a sombrero, fake moustache and a poncho, grinning manically. The Chairman asked Councillor Watterson what he was doing, to which Councillor Watterson replied: ‘Me eez not the Councillor, hombre! Me eez Pedro from Guadalajara. Ole!

Despite many attempts to reason with him, Councillor Watterson did not break character. He was gently escorted from the premises and put into a taxi.

The meeting ended at 8.01 pm, with the shaking of maracas.

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Minutes of previous meetings

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  • Lederhose c/o
  • Mexican outfit c/o Wikimedia Commons.