Disclaimer: I do not own Hi-de-Hi
A completely usual morning was the start of all the trouble. The entertainment staff were gathered in the staff room in their usual positions: The male yellowcoats stood nondescriptly against the wall, the female yellowcoats were draped over the chairs, Ted was whispering to Spike in the corner, Barry and Yvonne sat like they were in the county dump, Fred and Mr Partridge were arguing about smelling of horses and alcohol and, of course, Gladys was in the office of the tragically boring entertainments manager. At that very moment, she and Jeffrey burst through the door. "Listen here. We have another letter from Mr Maplin."
There were several groans from the staff, causing Gladys to notice that there was one member too many. "Get out of here Peggy." The common Chalet maid sighed and scampered off. Jeff looked pitifully at her, though he wouldn't dare disagree with Gladys, and read on. "Right you lot, get a load of this, that's the letter not me…" the yellowcoats exchanged bored looks. " The yellowcoats really need to get in shape. When they run they are all over the camp. They need to fix their hair. They need to wear braziers. When I was last here I told them to get some. If you don't listen one more time it's out the camp before you can say Maplins and that potty Chalet maid has the job." There was a loud cheer from another room in a distinct common accent, causing Gladys to yell "Get about with your business, Peggy!" Suddenly, murmurs filled the room.
"I can't get sacked…"
"Peggy can't do our job, she's not right…"
"I'm going to be a YELLOWCOAT!"
"Attention." Jeffrey muttered. "Attention." The staff continued to murmur. Jeffrey grabbed his coffee cup and started banging it with his spoon unsuccessfully. Finally, in frustration, he threw his coffee cup down on the floor, causing it to shatter. Everyone turned to him at once, and he continued to read the letter. "Once again, that Welsh bit Gladys (Gladys was not pleased with this remark) was outstanding. Tell her that she is not only chief yellowcoat but she is now head of appearance and dress. Make sure she gets those girls in line because if they are not and the camp is condemned it will just come back to yours truly. Get stuffed, Joe Maplin." The gaping staff all stared at Gladys, who was filled with joy at the thought of enforcing her dress sense on Sylvia. "Okay. You three (she pointed to the three yellowcoat girls) you are to see me at Twelve o'clock sharp."
"But that's half an hour until our lunch break!" Protested Betty. Sylvia and Tracy nodded.
"Oh. What a pity." Gladys said, without sympathy. "Twelve thirty, then." The girls' jaws dropped. "The rest of you may go." The staff stormed out the room, casting dirty looks at Gladys.
"Oh, Jeffrey." Gladys swept into the office while Jeffrey was on the phone to his wife's solicitor. "I see you're not busy." She pulled the phone from his hands and slammed it down. Jeff stared, shocked, at the phone; he had been in the middle of a crucial phone call. "Now that I'm head of appearance, I've decided something. I think you should wear a yellowcoat."
Jeff picked up his coffee cup. "Yes, I totally agree… WHAT?" he dropped his cup, causing coffee to spill all over his suit.
"Well, everyone else wears them, and I think you should too. I'm getting to Ted too." Jeff glared at her.
"But Gladys, I'm management." He quoted one of Gladys's favourite sayings. "I decide what I wear."
"But I'm head of appearance. Here, I ordered you one." She handed the blazer to him. "Now, if you excuse me, I have a meeting with the girls." She exited the room, leaving Jeff fuming and covered with coffee.
The three yellowcoat girls were conversing during Gladys's talk with Jeffrey. "I hope she doesn't go overboard like she did when she was first head yellowcoat. Those stripes were ridiculous." Tracy was saying as Gladys came through the door carrying a box and three white envelopes. "Ah, girls. First things first, I've ordered new yellowcoats for you." She passed them each a yellowcoat.
"These are the same as our other ones." Protested Betty.
"No." cried a horrified Sylvia. "LOOK!" she pointed to the blank space where the pockets once were. "That's right." Smiled Gladys smugly. "And to match them I've bought you new braziers." she handed around hideous, shapeless things in the same yellow as the coats (with blue straps) that were intended to press down the girls' chests and make them look flat. The three yellowcoat girls stared in horror at the hideous clothes they had to wear. "And one more thing." She passed them all an envelope. "I've arranged for you to see the camp hairdresser…"
"Not regulation haircuts too!" wailed Tracy. She loved her hair, her shiny chocolate-brown curls that had taken forever to grow shoulder length after a hideous haircut imposed by her mother. Gladys knew this, and her face curled into an evil smile. "Yes. Joe Maplin said that you need to fix your hair, so there! Now get cracking! I want to see new uniforms and fixed hair by tomorrow morning." As the girls slunk sadly out the room, Betty started to open her letter, but Gladys slapped her hand away. "No reading that. It's for the camp hairdresser only." With a sigh, Betty tucked the envelope in her pocket and left the room. Gladys looked after them with an evil smile.
The three yellowcoat girls were in the camp hairdressers, fuming about Gladys. They were not allowed to watch the camp barber cut their hair, but they were all incredibly sad at the loss of their hair.
"She can't get away with this. Joe Maplin likes us to have long hair and good figures. Surely he won't be pleased." Betty complained.
"Yes, but he did ask Gladys to keep us in line, so he can't sack her for doing what he asked."
"Keep us in line, not ruin us! She's really gone too far… Yvonne!" Tracy spun around to see the ballroom dancing instructor sitting next to them with a sour look on her face. "Hello Tracy. Hello Betty!" she smiled. "Hello Sylvia." Her tone of voice to Sylvia was less cordial.
"What on earth are you doing here?" Betty asked her.
"What do you think? Gladys has made me get a regulation haircut. How disgusting!"
The yellowcoats nodded. "This isn't fair. Gladys is going overboard! What next, asking Ted to shave off his moustache?"
At that very moment, Gladys was going to speak to Ted in his Chalet. "What a disgusting place. Clean it up at once." She sniffed. Ted glared at her.
"Look, you may be head of appearance but you are NOT head of cleanliness."
"Not yet." Gladys muttered under her breath, then turned to Ted. "I have come to ask you to wear a yellowcoat."
"WHAT!" bellowed Ted. "Honestly Gladys, you wouldn't make Jeff wear a yellowcoat."
"Yes I would. He's wearing one now." Gladys smirked proudly and thrust a huge yellow blazer into Ted's face. "And I need you to shave off your moustache."
Ted glared at her, screwing up his face. "You've gone bonkers, you have."
"Well I'm head of appearance. Now do as I say." She strutted out the Chalet door, slamming it in an angry Ted's face. In a few seconds, she returned. "And tell Spike I want to see him."
Gladys was heading over to the laughing cow when she noticed Spike in there, talking to the women working there. "Can I have a word?" she asked him and, without waiting for an answer, dragged him to a table.
"What is it Gladys? I try to keep my uniform in shape…"
"It's not about that. It's about your funny costumes."
Spike breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh. What about them?"
"I think they should all be in Maplins colours."
"WHAT?" Spike yelled, slamming his fist down on the table, or to be exact his chocolate biscuit, which crunched and shattered into tiny pieces. Gladys rolled her eyes. "Would you please keep your voice down!"
"I can talk as loudly as I like! You can't expect me to wear that! It's an outrage!"
"Oh, yes I can!" snapped Gladys, leaning in angrily until she was an Inch from Spike's face. "I'm head of appearance, and Joe Maplin lets me do whatever I like!" she pulled back into her seat and studied Spike, who was close to shaking. "Now, if you'll excuse me, the male yellowcoats have come in, and I need to have a word with them too!"
"You've gone too far, Gladys!" Spike cried, but Gladys just smirked at him and took a seat at the next table.
"Hello, Gladys." Chorused the twins. Gladys pulled out a chair and sat down.
"Okay, all of you. As you well know, I'm the head of appearance, so there are going to be a few changes. First of all, I want one of you two to dye your hair." She pointed at the twins, who gaped. "I think that you two should look different. I've had a word with the camp barber, and one of you is to cut and dye your hair so you look different. As for you, Gary… grow a beard."
"WHAT?" yelled Gary. "I can't do that!"
"Oh yes you can. It'll stop you hanging around with those girls all day. I expect a full beard by tomorrow."
"Hang on a minute… he can't grow a full beard in one day!" protested Bruce.
"It'll take weeks!" added Stanley.
"Oh, that won't be a problem." Gladys smiled evilly and drew a curly blonde false beard from her bag and handed it to Gary who, blushing angrily, put it on. The effect was instant: he looked much older and much less handsome. "Hey… this is real hair!" he stroked the beard.
"That's right. It was freshly cut this morning from one of the yellowcoats, Betty to be exact…"
"You mean you scalped Betty and made it into a beard?" cried Gary, outraged. Betty was his favourite of the yellowcoats, the one who would always make secret trips to his chalet.
"Not scalped. It was a regulation haircut." Gladys smiled maliciously before pulling out the chair and exiting the milk bar, leaving several staff member fuming.
The day after Gladys's talks with everyone, an angry Jeff (clad in a yellowcoat) was flicking through his stamp book when the three Yellowcoat girls came in. Jeff gasped: they now sported hideously unflattering uniforms, and their beautiful long hair had now been cut in styles that exactly matched Gladys's short, unfashionable cut. "Girls… what happened?"
"It's Gladys!" cried Tracy. "She's abusing her position and annoying everyone! Even Yvonne…"
At that very moment, the Ballroom champions burst in. Jeff tried not to laugh at the sight of Yvonne: her hair had also been cut in Gladys's style, and her clothes…
"Mr Fairbrother!" she ranted. "You simply cannot allow me to wear such a disgusting ball gown!" The dress was the same style as her former one, except it was now an eye-stinging, almost fluorescent yellow, brighter than the yellowcoats, furnished with a blue belt of the same description. "Gladys must be stopped!" Barry cut in. "Why, if Yvonne's hair is short it gives her a rash on the back of the neck!" Yvonne nodded.
Jeffrey sighed in frustration. "Look, you all heard what Joe Maplin said. I'm sure it'll turn out alright…" But at that moment Mr Partridge and Fred Quilly burst in, also furious.
"Gladys has to be stopped. She made me dye my Horses' manes and tails blue and Yellow!"
"And she made me wear a giant Mr Punch outfit, complete with makeup!" Mr Partridge gestured to his ridiculous clothes. Jeffrey stuck his head in his hands, frustrated. "Look everyone, please…" But, of course, the rest of the staff burst in, all shouting at once.
"There is no rule saying I can't have a moustache!"
"You can't have a policeman wearing the Maplins Logo on his hat!"
"Look at my hair! She made me dye it!"
"Why can't we look the same?"
"I have to wear a beard! Honestly! A BEARD!"
"Do you think I could be a yellowcoat?" This remark came from Peggy, who wore a Gladys wig on her head.
"Jeffrey! Peggy's making fun of me!"
The staff all started talking at once, shouting and shoving each other in the overcrowded office. This overwhelmed Jeffrey. "Could you all PLEASE stop talking!" he cried, frustrated. Everyone shut up at once, and turned to him. "I have a letter from Mr Maplin." He produced a letter from his desk and started to read. "I must say, you done it. I visited the camp Yesterday to see if you were carrying out my suggestions and I was surprised. That Welsh bit Gladys has really cleaned up the camp. Those yellowcoat girls are all in line now. I like it how everyone was wearing yellow and blue, even those horses. I like to advertise. There's no more I can say. Keep up the good work, Joe Maplin." There was silence in the office. Everyone, including Jeff, was glaring at Gladys. "Well." She sniffed, sticking her nose up in the air. "That shows you that I was right, all along. You're just a bunch of snobs." And with that, she stalked to the door. Half way there, she turned back around. Everyone had pulled out of their seats and was advancing on her, glaring. "Now, now, there's no need to overreact!" she cried. The rest of the staff chased her out the office. "Please! As head yellowcoat, I command you to stop!" Then she toppled backwards and, with a loud splash, fell backwards into the pool. Jeff clapped his hands. "Right, well, lunchtime is over so get back to your duties." The staff nodded and hurried off. Gladys pulled her soaking head out, her make-up running and hair soaking, spitting out some water.