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STORY, 4 July 1980

(Thanks to Anneloes for the translation from the original Dutch!)

Miss Brahms is crazy about her many little friends

[Translator's note: this is a word play -- "verkikkerd" would be like "froggered", which is Dutch for 'crazy about']

Wendy Richards [sic], better known as Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served?, is crazy about . . . frogs! You know them, the little green jumping ones. At home she has many . . .

Wendy Richards is not married. Still she shares her apartment with many little friends. [Translator's note: "little friends" is also "boyfriends" in Dutch.] Stop! Wait! No, it is not as bad as you think. Most people would consider Wendy's little friends to be monsters. She takes good care of them. If it is up to her, she would like to have tens more.

Before you get very confused, let me explain.

Wendy's little friends are frogs. Not actual frogs; Wendy Richards collects frog objects. She has a teapot in the shape of a frog, a planter, candleholders, and so forth.

It doesn't matter how accurately they resemble frogs, or what they are made of. Antique? Fine! Made of plastic and simply purchased at a department store? Fine too. Wendy is not concerned about the value, but about the collecting.

Nevertheless she has five golden frogs in her collection. And every now and then one of them will be around her neck as a necklace pendant.

Wendy has over four hundred frogs, but as far as she is concerned, she can never have enough.

She lets us alone with her collection for a little while and steps into her kitchen, which is decorated with frog wallpaper. There she makes the tea which is served a little later in the frog teapot.

She sits down and tells us why she started to collect frogs.

"It all began on the day that John Inman told us a joke about a frog," she says, giggling. "I won't tell you the joke, because you won't dare to publish it anyway. In any case, I decided to buy a mechanical frog to tease John. One night I opened the door to his dressing room a little and let the mechanical frog hop in. John was terribly shocked, but I started laughing uncontrollably."

The whole house is covered

The mechanical frog was the first of Wendy's unusual collection. She searches the markets, looks in little shops and gets plenty of the little green ones from colleagues. The whole house is covered in them. One would think that by now no new ones would fit in. But that's not true.

"I can always find a place for it," she says confidently. "If one of your readers has a little frog for me, they are welcome to send it!"

So, if you happen to have a little statue of a frog somewhere, and you want to part with it, then you can send it to me. I'll make sure it arrives at the right place.

Apart from the frogs, Wendy is very fond of her boyfriend Will.

"He makes commercial videos and such," she says. "I've known him for six years. I was introduced by a friend. He has proposed to me a couple of times, but I've refused. I don't want to get married. Not yet. I'm an independent person. By marrying I would loose that independence. I don't want to become a housewife. Not that I have anything against it, but I'm not the type. I'm simply afraid that I would have to give up my career at some point..."

So for now Wendy will continue to share her apartment with her little green friends. Will remains out of the picture.

Pierre D. F. van Daalen

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