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Clapham South tube station.

Picture by Dan’s photos

The Cockfosters Penis Acclimatisation Society meets weekly, in a room above the local pub.

“Honourable Members,” the President says, then pauses to make sure that nobody is sniggering. “Honourable Members, welcome. Please take your places and remove your trousers.”

There are women in the CPAS nowadays, but the Constitution was written in the 1930s, and makes no allowance for their presence; like the men, they stow their tidy piles of shoes, socks, trousers and underpants in the basket beneath their chair.

“Thank you,” the President says, watching as twenty-seven penises flop into view across the room: large and small, pointy and blunt, pallid and dark and ruddy. “I now call upon Reverend Talbot to lead us in the Declaration.”

The Reverend (large, blunt, ruddy) moves to the lectern. “Penises,” he intones, “are not funny.”

“Penises are not funny,” the group repeats in unison.

“A penis is a body part like any other.”

“A penis is a body part like any other.”

“We gather here in Cockfosters once more, and we feast upon spatchcock, knob celery and spotted dick. And as we feast, we repeat: penises are not funny.”

“Penises are not funny.”

“Thank you,” the President says. “Please, everyone, be seated,” and the group complies. “Our first order of business is the new logo. Mr Cartwright?”

Mr Cartwright (small, pallid, pointy) switches on the projector and fiddles for a few moments, trying to get his computer connected. “Sorry,” he says, “laptop problems.” There’s a muffled cough that could have been a laugh; the President looks pointedly towards the corner of the room near the door, and only relaxes his gaze when the presentation begins behind him.

The new logos aren’t, the Society agrees, sufficiently phallic. “No,” Mr Cartwright says, “I quite agree. I’ll have another word with the designer. I think she’s afraid she’ll end up in one of those news articles about amusing double-entendre logos.”

The President raises an eyebrow. “Perhaps you could assure her,” he says, “that when a logo is specifically intended to resemble a penis, it is merely a single entendre. Shall we move on to the new baking initiative?”

Mr Farleigh (small, dark, blunt) and Miss Dunbar (n/a) stand, and report an update: their most recent biscuit, the Oaty Todger, has yet to catch on, but two family-owned tea shops and a nearby grocery store have agreed to stock it on a trial basis.

“And in the last order of business before lunch,” the President says, “we have some very good news about the balloon.”

Vice-President Chancerby pulls a cord, and the plans unfurl.

“Fund-raising for the balloon,” the President says, “has now reached the fifty percent mark, which means we can put down our deposit and start the construction process. We have even, after many false starts, managed to locate a contractor who maintained due solemnity when presented with the plans.”

The penis-shaped hot air balloon has been, for many years, the ultimate goal of the CPAS. Each night when the President closes his smooth eyelids, he dreams of flying up, up, high above the streets of London, a magnificent dacron phallus above him; and there, cradled in its basket, he will take his high-powered rifle and shoot at every upturned sniggering face. The Piccadilly-line crowds who say “Cockfosters” to each other with loud laughing drones; the teenagers who stare in chortling astonishment at spotted dick, blocking the supermarket aisles. Everyone who names a pub Ye Olde Cock and laughs, and everyone who lunches there and smirks.

“The penis,” he says loudly, hands upon his own, “is a body part like any other!”

“The penis,” the Society responds as one, roaring, triumphant, “is a body part like any other!”

“Let us go,” the President says, “and make it so.”

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