Haddenham, England

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“Hadden Ham, don't pull my plonker.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Haddenham

Haddenham is a large village in Buckinghamshire, England. It is about 5 miles south west of Aylesbury and 2 miles north east of Thame. Haddenham is the center of Redneck culture in England. Situated in the Deep South of a region to the north of it but including it, The 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th centuries have passed Haddenham by; the 18th century did come through Haddenham but it did not stop. Haddenham is twinned with similar places around the world: Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Sodom; Swindon; Gomorrah; Etowah County, Alabama; Clarkesville; Tosser City, Georgia and Lansing, Michigan. Unusually for England, the church is dedicated to St Ignatius of Antioch.

Origins

The village name is Anglo Saxon and means Haeda's smoked pig. It was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hedonism, a reflection of the indulgent, pleasure-seeking inhabitants . Later in 1142 it had taken on its more modern form but was still called Hedonism, a further reflection of the indulgent, pleasure-seeking inhabitants.

Early history

From the Norman conquest to the time of the Dissolution of the Monkees the village was in the possession of the Convent of St Blair. It was during the Dark Ages that Haddenham reached its zenith, with literacy and hygiene levels at an all-time high. In 1198, many of the inhabitants of Haddenham went on the abortive Fool's Crusade to free St Peter's Port, Guernsey from the infidel Saladbowl, son of Saladin. Led by anti-pope Sextus XII (also known as Sistus XII), a mangy troupe of intinerent journeymen, hermits, women, children and an unusually large number of dachshunds set sail. Upon landing in Copenhagen to collect supplies, there was little opposition. Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, the standard of Pope Pius II (also known as Pisser Two), was raised; a frenzied melee broke out, brother fighting brother, sister fighting sister, hermits disembowelling themselves and children kicking dachshunds. Finally, after more than an hour, only Ruben de Sandringham (Marquis of Ilmer) and a dachshund called Spot were left alive. As Sandringham picked his way through the bodies, he slipped on some blood and was impaled on the gunwales. Spot then sailed solo to the Adriatic and set up a hermitage in Dalmatia.

The Mayweed

In 1609, a full ten years before the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, English dissenters, kitten-huffers and hugger-muggers, who lived in Haddenham, led by Kilometres Standish boarded the two masted Mayweed (built by the May Ship Company), at the hastily-built quay (built by the Hasty-Building Quay Company). 103 settlers were out to seek their fortune in the New World having persuaded the Rhode Island Company to sell a private tobacco plantation, for the sum of only three thousand British pounds. Everybody crowded aboard the Mayweed for a stormy six-week voyage, fearing disease and sudden death. When the ship unexpectedly started listing the complete works of Aristophanes, cargo was thrown overboard and it is suspected that at least four children and two adults also met their end over the side. The ship's crew, who were mostly stupid and had been pressed into service, suspected non payment of wages, murdered the captain Walt Whitman and then turned ugly, although for most of them they were 90% there already. Three chickens, a small bantam and a rooster lost their lives in the three-day orgy.

After forty-two long days, that had felt like six weeks, the cry went up from James Magoo in the crow's nest - "Land Ho!". As the settlers went ashore, Dorothy Bradford-Airport, the wife of one of the leaders, tripped and was drowned. Some of the settlers made it clear that that they would obey no law once they landed. The sense of impending lawlessness was made worse as storms lashed down, and the only leech the settlers had brought with them died of gingivitis. The settlers drafted their own "4-door Compact", a charter for anarchy, rather than civilization. The settlers were in injun country and battled with the angry natives. They called the settlement "New Haddenham" after the village they had left - barely ten feet away. What they had not realised was that Haddenham was over seventy miles from the sea and the "May Ship Company" had sold them literally up the creek.

The Witch Trials of 1692 (locally the Wychert Trials)

This was one of the most shameful events in Central Buckinghamshire history, rivalling the Massacre of the Inhalents in Monks Risborough in 1403.

Events leading up to the trials

The Witches of Owlswick had moved to Haddenham in the fall of 1690 having followed the 'Ewe of Prosperity'. They, in turn, were followed by other Owlswick residents leaving their sleepy collection of hovels on what became a veritable exodus to Haddenham on the propensity of bettering themselves with the aid of sheep. For example, T. Bonemel followed the 'Teg of Comfort'; the Crowshank family pursued the 'Twinter-Ewe of Eloquence'; two men and a girl, whose surname was Yunge (or Younge) escorted the 'Ram of Virility'; Rev J.P.R. Hudson, B.Div(Dublin) was closely associated with the 'Grimmer of Logical Positivism'; Mashood Akram strung along behind the 'Tup-Hogget of Determination' and a carpenter called Miles (apologies - I am unsure if this is his Christian or surname) tail-gated the 'Rogan Josh of Accomplishment'; the list could go on. This mass movement of people is said to be the original derivation of the word Bimbo - Bovine Intellectual Migration By Owlswickians. The people of Owlswick had always been known for their close association with even-toed ungulates (sheep and goats specifically); so at first their actions were dismissed as just perversion. However, the sleeping ogre that was Haddenham had noticed the influx and was stirring!

They're all bloody mad!

In December previous year, Haddenham had been quiet apart from the noisy trudging of sheep from Owlswick bringing with them their human detritus hanging onto their daglocks. The home of Reverend Samuel Brussells was as quiet as any, with the blacksmith's forge in the one room downstairs and the 36 swine, 19 geese and a hamster called Gerald in the one room upstairs. Betty Brussels, age 9, and her cousin 11-year old Abigail Millers-Genuine-Draft relieved the tedium of their house-bound tasks by talking with 'the village sensible', red-hatted Titieboobo, a woman of uncertain years from the uncertain village of Stone. Note: Haddenham was alone in having just one sane person "the village sensible", the rest were idiots; most 17th century English villages did it the other way round. N.B. The tradition continues to this day, although finding the village sensible is getting more difficult.

In January following year, the girls and some friends, ranging in age from 22 to 106, began to be taken with complete sanity, sitting quietly, reading theological books and conversing about the cosmological issues of the day. Village doctors, a vet and two itinerent kitten-huffers examined them closely, under the covers and behind closed doors. Their diagnosis after intimate examination - the illness was not within their ken, but could they make a second examination.

"Who torments you?" members of the sane girls' family pleaded to know. The girls all gave the same answer "Titieboobo, with that red hat". In March, preliminary hearings were held in the court house. While Titieboobo, did not invoke the name of Luton(the God of Hatters), she did say she had several hats. The village senior said "Which Hat were you wearing at the time? Which hat?". The villagers present thought he had said "Witch hat!" or "Wychert!". They ran home and returned with their flaming torches, nooses and large trees with stout boughs, with which to lynch Titieboobo; she died within minutes suffering painful agony, which had followed the hours of painful agony. Over the next months, the mob of villagers tried all villagers who had had hats, finding most guilty - the innocent ones were stoned to death. The cry of "Wychert are you wearing?" was heard again and again as people with just a good head of hair were accused of having headwear.

The aftermath

October 1692 like a child awakening in a wet bed, the people of Haddenham, slowly found themselves conscious of their terrifying deeds. Since March, over 235 men, women, sheep, goats and a slug had been executed for wearing a hat. 147 had been hanged and 87 had been burnt alive and one, who had had his tongue removed for stubbornly refusing to talk, was buried alive. The slug had in fact escaped the hanging, slipping out of the noose, and took to its heels, running away. After an hour, it was found 12 feet away and tried a second time and was burned alive.

Most of the "hats" were worn by respected parents, grandparents and animals wandering the village green. A minister, a deputy cordwainer and a pet lamb were amonst the number. All those that were killed professed their innocence, while all those that confessed were spared (and then killed anyway). At that time, more than 60 people and sheep from Haddenham, Owlswick and Aston Sandford crowded the dank prison called the Green Dragon Inn awaiting trial. But to their good fortune, the people of the village began to rouse themselves from their insanity; although they didn't wake up and they just rolled over onto their other side facing the wife. As a result Mad Penny, probably one of the sanest there, set light to the Inn destroying all those inside. A sad end to a sad incident.

Cover-up

To cover up the injustice, new huts would be built within Haddenham, for surviving families and orphaned sheep. Bricks and normal construction materials being unavailable, test huts were built using various materials: mud and straw; Frosties and milk; dung and yak hair and Lego; these building material tests were called the Wychert trials in an effort to divert attention from the foolishness that had happened. The winning material was the dung and yak hair, which has since those days been called wychert.

Ungracious Losers

Haddenham is synonymous with the term "ungracious loser" in many sports and other activities. The recent research from the Genome Project has located the gene (#76,876) which transmits this behavior on Chromosome XIII just round the back, above the gene responsible for that involuntary twitching of the left eyelid, which can be most annoying (especially at parties). Recent studies have found that this gene is dominant around the area of Towersey, Aston Sandford and Haddenham. For more information see also Uncyclopedia entry 'ungentlemanly behavior', As a result the Paddy Trophy is kept in Haddenham Village Hall.

The Legacy

Nowadays, residents will gather around the village pond once a month with rakes and hoes and attempt to rescue the Moon when it appears to fall into it. Their guttural sounds and shrieks fill the air when one of the Moonrakers snags one of the many bicycles on the pond. During the total eclipse of the Sun in August 1999, foul-smelling mobs attacked nearby Cuddington razing it to the ground causing almost twelve pence worth of damage - however, the mental scars are still there. Unlike the rest of Southern England Haddenham is a desolate area of abandoned cars and one storey stick-and-dung buildings, usually with an old hag at the door, cigarette hanging from the bottom lip greeting passers-by with the Haddenham phrase "Watchoo looky nat?".

One 20th Century phenomenon which has passed Haddenham by is the "dumbing-down" of society, it is actually hoped that dumbing down will spark an intellectual Renaissance in the village.

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