Tark And Mara Go On Retreat And Find Themselves

Embed from Getty Images

Mara swept Billy goat’s-curd serum from her upper lip and sat up. She would know that noise anywhere. The man she loved was in pain. She had to go to him.

She wound a bamboo hand-towel around her fleshless frame and donned sunglasses before exiting the treatment room. She was only three minutes into a two-hour Deeply Detoxifying Core Cleansing Sluice, and she was covered in goat, gold leaf and Manuka honey, but it couldn’t be helped. Her husband needed her.

Tark was in the treatment next door to hers in the High Holistic Healing and Wholeness Centre, surrounded by black-tunicked staff. He was keening over a photograph in his hand. Mara swallowed. She hadn’t seen Tark like this since he was last threatened with a tax audit. It was time to step in.

“Tark?” She kept her voice firm, channelling through the white noise of the indoor waterfall. Tark dropped the photograph and she strode over to him with as much dignity as a bamboo towel and the distinct odour of goat’s curd could muster.

“Darling. I’m here. What have they done to you?”

Embed from Getty Images

Tark raised panicked eyes to his wife. “What have they done? No, no. What have we done to ourselves?”

This was not good. Mara had suggested that they came to the High Holistic Healing and Wholeness Centre in order to do a Lenten retreat, because it was ruinously expensive, and impossible to get into.

Word also had it that not only had Kim and Kanye spent the night there, getting the Limerick washed off them following their honeymoon bike ride, but that Madonna had taken refuge within its walls after flashing her arse at the Grammys. Rock royalty came to reconnect with their humility, because self-denial was the new must-have accessory.

Mara had thought it might be a good for them, too. Tark just hadn’t been himself since the news that he had slipped down to #17 on the Irish rich list. She feared that he was forgetting how magnificent he truly was, by virtue of having been so magnificent for such an eternity. He’d taken some persuading with regard to the retreat’s six-figure price tag, but he’d eventually agreed.

The booking agents had warned her the process might be difficult. They had not warned her, however, that they would try to dismantle her husband.

“What did they say to you?”

Tark And Mara Go On Retreat And Find Themselves

They can take your money. But they can never take your greed

“They said that to appreciate the true value of what we have, I have to give something away!” He looked at Mara pleadingly. “They said I had to choose between the Caravaggio, the Bentley and the open invitation to Branson’s island.  So I had to choose the Bentley. But I can’t possibly give it up, my darling poison pill. It’s killing me!”

A toe therapist entered a tick on a sheet of paper clamped to a clipboard and smirked. But Mara had an eagle eye for smugness on the part of anyone save her husband, whose conceit was at least 83% of his sex appeal.

“You,” she said sternly to the toe therapist, who jumped. “Yes, you there. Give that here. What are you writing?”

One of the benefits of being wafer-thin was that people often didn’t see Mara coming. She snatched the clipboard out of enemy hands and scanned the document rapidly.

“Just as I thought. Tark, we are about to extend our stay here for some time.”

Tark was startled. “Why would we want to do that?”

“I think you’ll find that the High Holistic Healing and Wholeness Centre are about to make us a very special offer.” Mara paused for effect, enjoying her Scooby Doo moment, before delivering the killer blow. “They’ve been experimenting on Class-A celebrities, and releasing the results of unauthorised psychological tests to the socialist movement.”

Embed from Getty Images

Tark gasped (but to his credit, disparagingly). “I should have known, my tantalising tarantula. I was a fool to let them bring me down so low.”

“But for the fact that I was first to be swathed in gold leaf, it could have been the other way around, darling. I’m sure they were going to ask me to choose between the first edition Chaucer, the Marie Antoinette mole and Coco Chanel’s underpants.”

A hirshute therapist coughed. Mara had hit the nail on the head.

“They won’t want this to get out,” said Tark.

“They certainly won’t.”

“We’ll do anything,” said the sweating head minion of the High Holistic and Wholeness Centre, her rank clearly delineated by the unsuitability of her shoes.

“I thought as much. So we’ll be having no more psychological tests,” said Mara. “And we’ll be taking all treatments together from now on. We’ll expect the Presidential hammocks for the rest of our stay.”

“And you can arrange for the paparazzi to accidentally catch us walking about the wild grasslands by the southern bowling green in our robes on Friday,” said Tark, drawing himself back up to his full five-foot-four. “The tip-off fee can be paid into the same bank account as the deposit refund.”

Mara grasped Tark’s hand and looked at him admiringly, at arm’s length on account of the Billy goat’s curd.

“We’re back, my vinegared vixen,” said Tark, pressing his lips to Mara’s gold-plated hand. “But this time, we’re bulletproof.”

Tark and Mara Go On Retreat And Find Themselves

The Wild Grasslands of Paparazzi Plains


  32 comments for “Tark And Mara Go On Retreat And Find Themselves

  1. March 12, 2015 at 11:55 am

    *Mutley laugh*


  2. March 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    More! We want more!


  3. johanna buchanan
    March 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    So Tark and Mara are on tour? How about a trip to Lough Derg next time? Or Croagh Patrick? Or Knock?


    • March 12, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Could you imagine Lough Derg with Tark and Mara? The baying queue of podiatrists following the barefoot vigil? I can’t even contemplate Croagh Patrick. It’d bankrupt the country. Now Knock, they might do.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. March 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Tark and Mara, huh? Tark and Mara need to visit the mid-western United States. Perhaps a vacation in Detroit would do them some good.


    • March 12, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      You never know, Naptime. Although whatever they do sells out immediately, so it might be a bit late for Detroit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 12, 2015 at 2:57 pm

        Perhaps the deep south, then? They love foreigners down there.

        Liked by 1 person

        • March 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm

          Oh, yes. Apparently, some have even heard of them.


          • March 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

            Are you suggesting that America might have a few hillbillies living in our beloved deep south? Here’s a little fun fact for you, Alabama’s State Motto:
            Hey, We’re not Mississippi.


            • March 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm

              I’m not suggesting anything, Naptime. I am making out-and-out statements. So, what’s Mississippi’s state motto? “There is no ‘i’ in Alabama”?


  5. March 12, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hilarious. I love these two. I’m sure I once met them while quaffing bolly in the Horseshoe bar… Pre detox of course 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      They might remember you, Trish. Were you wearing a bowl of fruit on your head?


  6. March 12, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Excellent. That pair seem to really enjoy the sort of life the rest of are glad we can’t afford, if you know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 12, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      I might know what you mean, Conor, but the important thing is that they don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. March 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I think the press have found that experimenting on class A celebrities is now illegal .
    Good old Tark and Mara. They remind me of Bertie Wooster’s aunt Dahlia and Uncle Tom – possibly because of their aversion to paying tax.


    • March 13, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Tark and Mara are flattered to be compared to such literary royalty. They are also insulted, however, because of the fact that they are real, and any references to fictional characters are deeply resented.

      But I calmed them down, Elaine. I did that for you.


      • March 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm

        Thank you Tara. I am so sorry to have offended them. I’m sending them a case of naturally sourced, completely organic, Louis Vuitton sparkling wheatgrass essence as a token of goodwill.
        BTW, I was reading something the other day, completely serious, about how really really cool people hand out business cards – with nothing on them. Apparently they’re so famous why would they need to advertise? So why hand out a card is my question. I spect Tark and Mara have them. Made out of handwoven vicuna or somesuch.


        • March 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

          Thanks, Elaine. They had some of that yesterday, but you can never have too much of a ridiculously expensive thing. I absolutely adore the idea of the business cards and will chat to Tark and Mara. It sounds like something they’d do; in fact, the more I think about it, I think it sounds like something they WILL be doing.


  8. March 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Oh such pleasure – a laugh a second. I’m not sure I can bear any more posts tonight until I have slept this encounter off… Shome mishtake there.


    • March 15, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Hope you’re feeling better the morning after the night before, Hilary. Tark and Mara can have that effect on their fans. I’ll ask them to tone it down.


  9. March 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Frank Sinatra once went to a Swiss clinic to get injections of ‘rejuvenating’ sheep cells, which prompted the Sun ‘s best ever headline, ‘I got ewe under my skin’ .
    I expect Tark and Mara have already booked their appointments…


    • March 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      It’s a great idea, but unfortunately it’s too passé for Tark and Mara by the time it’s reached headline pun status. I’ll have a word, though. Maybe brushing them down with live sheep will float their boat.


      • March 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

        They’d have to be special sheep, though. Patagonian Lop sided ones, or the Tasmanian three-legged.

        Liked by 1 person

        • March 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

          Oh my ever living Blog. Patagonian Sheep-Rubbings. That is IT. We’ll make sheep dips of money.

          Liked by 1 person

          • March 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm

            They can go to Beethoven symphonies especially scored for nose flutes. Oh yes and then there’s all that art we can make out of sheep droppings….oh, I forgot, it’s been done already.

            Liked by 1 person

            • March 18, 2015 at 5:47 pm

              After the nose flute symphony, they can shear the sheep and kit them out with woolly jumpers, thus illustrating the futile cannibalism of fashion, blasting the entire world of art into nothingness, and simultaneously doubling the value of all art currently in existence! Brilliant. By then it’ll be Thursday lunchtime, and they can relax with a lanolin shake drunk out of a lamb’s nappy.

              Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: