Of a guy named Sneezeby, a girl named Raspberry Ripple and a small English village

This is a true story that took place in a small village in rural England, some years ago. I knew some of the people involved, and — like I said — it is true.

In this small town there was a fellow named Paul Sneezeby. Really. That was his name. Well, Paul was perhaps not the brightest light on the Christmas tree, but he was a nice enough chap, if a little slow. And he showed me his motorcycle once. He said, “That’s a great black beast, she is … that’s a great black beast, she is … that’s a great black beast, she is…” and so on for a while.

The main part of the story is that he had some kind of job, working with some dangerous machinery, and one day he cut off three fingers. So after some healing, he managed to get a settlement of 5000 pounds from the company.

He decided to take his 5000 pounds and go up to London and make his fortune. Of course, there would have been some folks in London who rubbed their hands together at the thought of this yokel coming with a fistful of cash. And sure enough, in just a few weeks his money was gone.

However, he met a woman there and they got kind of serious about each other, and since she wanted to get out of the big city and go live in a small village, she agreed to go back with Paul.

Her name was Raspberry Ripple. Really. That was her name, or at least she said that was her name. 

So Paul Sneezeby and Raspberry Ripple showed up back in the small village, but they weren’t happy. 

He went to the local pub one evening, with Raspberry Ripple, and apparently he announced he would give Raspberry Ripple to anyone that would pay him one pound.

Or perhaps he announced he would give a pound to anyone that would take her. It doesn’t matter. 

A gentleman enjoying a pint in the pub took him up on the deal, whether paying a pound or taking a pound is not clear, but he went off with Raspberry Ripple as his new woman.

Now here’s the kicker. Within a year, that gentleman and Raspberry Ripple were pillars of the community, active in the church, schools, community organizations and the rest, highly looked up to by all, and a very fine couple indeed. You just never know.

And I suspect they still are a fine couple. I also suppose Paul Sneezeby was still telling folks to look at his great black beast of a motorcycle…his great black beast of a motorcycle… his great black beast …

True story.