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Taher Shah's "Angel"

Radio Drama: "Little Happenthatch" (1969)

1969-72_gto"Little Happenthatch" first aired May 23, 1969, on Beyond Midnight.

Thoughts Before Listening

This is going to be great because it’s called Little Happenthatch. How can this not be great. This is going to be great.

Thoughts While Listening

Oh it’s a South African production! I am excite.

Is it racist to be excited about this simply because it’s South African?

Yes it is.

A dude is expounding on a Mrs. Bert Smith I think is the name? Who is a widow, who is peculiar and who is so beautiful. She is, as beautiful, peculiar widows often are, the cause of the strange happening that we are going to hear about.

Whatever it was, it happened in the summer and it was so weird like he can’t even tell you.

I think all of this is taking place in Little Happenthatch.

Was kind of hoping Little Happenthatch was the name of a person. Specifically, a small girl with a thatch face and a winning personality.

Biotex soap powder is sponsoring this show! Just soak! Just soak in Biotex!

That’s an awfully spiffy tag line. Mentions the name of the product and also tells us what to do with it.

Ok it’s starting.

Dude is having a working holiday and having wine at lunch. This is not that interesting, even though he tries to make it look like it is.

His housekeeper Mrs. Smith casts no shadow and we are about to learn something grotesque about her! Yay!

She is wearing a thin muslin frock! Ok!

Dude suspects there is precious little under the frock, which is a rather fruity thing for the dude to say.

Maybe she has a tail!

Wtf they just cut to another scene without telling us the grotesque thing!

Whatever. Dude is now in some drinking establishment telling the esteemed gentlemen of said establishment that he is writing a book called the Epistemological Implications of Practical Psychiatry, which is just the working title because he seems to be an ass.

No one can tell the dude anything about Mrs. Smith because she is so quiet and self-effacing with absolutely no presence on social media platforms.

Did he just say, ‘If she had no shadow, had she any wrists’?

It’s one of those things that doesn’t not make sense.

I listened to it again and the second time it sounded like wrist-up so I think we will leave it at wrists

Oh, reflection! Well ok then.

Now someone has thought they shot a witch and someone else was like nono you just shot a woman and no one seems to be asking omg why the fuck are you shooting women.

Ok apparently it was something that made a noise like a woman and vanished.

How do you make a noise like a woman? Do you scream the word ‘uterus’ repeatedly?

I want to be totally honest here. I just paused this and went on the Youtube and watched a bunch of clips from the Jim Bakker show.

MEANWHILE! We learn that there was a witch-burning held there not long ago, about 200 years ago in fact, thus showing an interesting interpretation of the phrase ‘not long ago’.

Hahaha they just said there were a lot of queer grandfathers in someone’s family queer grandfathers are the best grandfathers imho.

Now they are talking about the good vicar exorcising witches and someone said they would love the exorcizing of a female witch they would hahahahaha wow.

Another guy invited the dude for coffee or something and SCENE!

Little Happenthatch had a thatch face and all the other children used to throw matches at her and one day she caught fire. That is a great story.

That is not a great story.

I may have overestimated the power of the name Little Happenthatch and the South African people.

Is that racist too? It probably is.

MEANWHILE! Dude has admitted that he has, over time, learned to take pleasure in watching Mrs. Smith move about the place. This doesn’t sound that bad if you pretend Mrs. Smith is a marmoset.

Mrs. Smith is now relating the story of her life, which includes a dead husband and the fact that she went away but then came back (obvs) and then dude is like lucky for me because you make me so comfortable and I get to watch you walk around because I’m good at making things all about me.

Dude feels like a new man! Not sure why! But he does!


A lady just said ‘oh grandpa’ in an alarmingly orgasmic way and I’m feeling really uncomfortable right now.

This show, on the whole, has been rather fruity.

Dude is supposed to be doing final revision but he’s like Mrs. Smith is a fair looking piece mmmmmmm. Dude you’re gross.

And he’s like Mrs. Smith is such a silly name wtf.

Dude is thinking of the guy that shot that other woman and then he’s thinking of Mrs. Smith’s bandaged arm and working on that connection instead of asking why that dude was shooting women in the first place.

He is now thinking of casting her in a play? As Joan? Not really paying attention actually.

A week later, everything is the same as the week before and we are thankful to the dude for letting us know this exciting fact.

Despite the difference of class, dude feels he would have had a go with Mrs. Smith because her skirts make him crazy for love YOU ARE SO GROSS DUDE.

One guy in the drinking establishment is like I saw a woman stretched out on the tomb at midnight and this other guy starts giggling and the first guy is like when I called out she picked up her petticoats and ran and this other guy is like did she have nice legs because everyone on this show is gross.

Ok so now dude is going to the churchyard because that’s what has to happen now in this story.

He’s found a headstone! In the graveyard!

It is Herbert Smith’s headstone, who died in 1795? Also Phoebe Smith is there because though they may have been divided on other issues, they were not divided in death hahahaha sorry.

It’s raining now.

Dude is now home and filled with more lust than ever for Mrs. Smith who is dead and whose skirts make him crazy for love.

He is now feeling indescribable feelings so he has fallen asleep in a chair.

This is one of those stories where it feels like nothing is happening all the time forever.

Everyone is going to the church now and lightning has hit the tombstone.

Now he’s saying it was a meteorite.

I say it was a parsnip.

Or Donald Trump.

Inside is a woman clad in a muslin frock blah blah blah

Why couldn’t this have been about a girl named Little Happenthatch? Why?

Just soak! Just soak in Biotex! Oh fuck off already.

Thoughts After Listening

It has since been brought to my attention that the woman’s name was not Smith but Smiff, but that doesn’t necessarily make this any better for me. I’m not sure why someone who probs had witch or vampire superpowers would come back to be some gross dude’s housekeeper. Then again, I may not have listened to this very well but the thought of going back and listening to it again makes me so sad like I can’t even say. So for me basically this show was called Little Happenthatch and everything went downhill after that.