Everyone was looking forward to the village fete. Children knew that adult defences would be down; sweets would be easy to come by, so too rides, then slipping off and out of sight. For parents; one must simply up the sweet rations, pay out for a few rides, and let them slip off – someone would have an eye out. The pious and the pubbed could live and let live, even intermingle: the one involved in jams, the other in ale; the one acquiescing to perhaps the one – the other buying enough for a lifetime!
Mrs Yeoman, the wife of Mr Yeoman, was looking very much forward to wearing her new black and red polk- dotted dress, which her husband – on the board at Debenhams – had recently brought home. They were a wealthy family; attractive, good-humoured and well-regarded in the village. It was a status they enjoyed and worked hard effortlessly to maintain. The fete was the perfect outing for the new dress.
So you can imagine the dreadful hilarity when Mrs Jones the butcher’s wife appeared in exactly the same dress as Mrs Yeoman! The deeply embarassed laughter (covered by the lightest, as if it were a cousin merely who had chosen the same dress) of Mrs Yeoman and the deep (but surely not vengeful) laughter of Mrs Jones, to whom a dress was a dress, peeled out through the village and over the hills. They laughted about it for years.