It's just possible that the crossover between people who remember Terry and June and people who watched Tales from the Crypt (the Amicus version) will not be large.
However, for those few people who fit in that group and enjoy smutty jokes about sitcom characters...
Today was a red letter day for Terry. He hummed his purposeful hum as he hopped out of the car and strode up the garden path of their little house at 23 Tennyson Drive. It was his special hum for when he felt dynamic, based on the 1812 Overture, but with elements of Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet added. He liked to think that if Beethoven could only hear it, he’d nod approvingly and have to admit that Terry had improved on his work. He lengthened his stride as he headed round the back of the house to see if June was pottering around there. He had big news for her. This could be the evening that changed his career, that set him on a route to the top. He swung round the corner, mouth open to tell the glad tidings and -
He felt a twinge of irritation. He had specifically asked her to dead head the azaleas. It wasn’t as if she had anything else to do all day. He was out making the big bucks to keep them - well, maybe not big yet, but that could all be about to change. He gazed round the garden for a moment before heading into the house, veering to one side to avoid the sun lounger. June must have moved it. He was sure it had been further to the left, past the rhododendrons. He would have a word with her. But later. It could wait till after the big night. He threw open the back door, calling to her in the voice that he knew she loved so well.
June was in the bedroom, wondering what had gone wrong with her life. She’d had plans once and ambitions. She was going to see the world and leave Purley far behind her. How had things come to this? Living with 2 hundredweight of tedium dressed in C & A polyester slacks and drip dry bri-nylon shirts. A man with the conversational aplomb of a haddock and the sexual technique of a sweaty octopus. She wondered occasionally what his reaction would be if he knew what she did while he was at work. The uses Paul had shown her for heated rollers. The threesomes with Tom and Margo. Rene, the flying helmet and the wet celery.
Her train of thought was broken as she heard the cracked tenor that signified the arrival of what she tried to think of as her husband. She had been brought up that it was best to say nothing if she could not say something nice, and so she said little about him and thought less. Ah well. At least she had plans for tonight.
“Ju-u-u-une?” The wheedling voice was heading up the stairs. Stitching a smile onto her face, she headed out of the bedroom.
“Hello, darling,” she said brightly. “How was your day?” This was usually a good way to start any conversation. Terry would launch into a lengthy account of what little had happened to him, leaving June free to wander off mentally into something more interesting. Tim, Graeme and Bill. Turned out when they said that they did anything, anywhere, anytime, it wasn’t just a slogan.
“Oh, June,” he spluttered. “I’ve got wonderful news. This could mean great things. Sir Dennis - he’s coming for dinner tonight. He’ll be here at six.” He paused for a moment as a thought crossed his mind, like a lone traveler crossing the Mojave desert. “That does give you time to cook something special, doesn’t it?”
June sighed and exchanged her “bright welcoming husband” smile for something a notch less cheerful and with a hint of reproach. “Well, dear, I think I can arrange something. Luckily, I’ve got something in the oven already. You remember we invited Mr Grimsdyke for dinner tonight?”
Colour slowly drained from Terry’s face as his mouth fell open, forming a perfect “O” of horror. The overall effect was not unlike a cream cheese were it ever to be on the point of achieving sentience. While his brain struggled to adjust to this news, his mouth apparently declared independence, determined to reclaim its sovereignty. “But what um er I. Oh,” he commented before his brain had the chance to regain control.
“But that’s terrible, June,” he wittered. “Don’t you remember what he did to Sybil when we made a foursome for golf? All she did was knock the ball with her foot and next morning she’s an eyeless corpse with a breakfast menu reading ‘Play the ball from where it lies. That is why you have no eyes.’
Ah yes, thought June. Sybil. She did go on so. Mind you, she was surprisingly adept with a mashie niblick… Thoughts of a happier time were abruptly punctured as she realised that Terry was still talking.
“Look at what happened to Tony. All he did was mention what happened at the end of “Lady Don’t Fall Backwards” and then he’s found choked to death with his own astrakhan hat with a message on the last page of the book reading “The name of the killer should be a mystery. That is why you are now history.”
Tony had been a bit of a disappointment. So full of himself. Although the things he could do with alphabetti spaghetti… Even if he did insist on checking her spelling.
“And then there was Captain Peacock. Just because he snapped at his wife once. The next morning, his private parts were up a tree in Rutland and there’s a docket for 3 dozen shirts stapled to his forehead reading “Treat your wife as though she’s Venus. That is why you have no - “ He broke off, shuddering.
The Captain hadn’t been much of a loss, June reflected. Peacock by name… Not that she had anything against water sports. It was the asparagus. Made it so difficult to air the house out afterwards. She’d had to tell Terry it was ingredient of the month on Woman’s Hour.
She noticed that Terry had finally wound down. “Come on, dear,” she said brightly. “Let’s go sit in the garden for a few minutes. I’ll make you a drink and you can calm down.”
The garden did look particularly fine. Terry gulped at his gin and tonic - Gordon’s, of course. He insisted on it. And just a slice of lemon. He’d avoided the sun lounger by the rhododendrons and was standing on the patio, his back to the house, gazing out over the garden. His kingdom. He was king and it was time he put his foot down. “June, he brayed. “I don’t want that Mr Grimsdyke here this evening. Now I don’t often give you orders, but today I’m going to do - “
He came to a halt, an expression of surprise on his face and looked down to see a wizened hand protruding from his rib cage. “Well, that’s just typ -” he managed, before exiting this life. Mr Grimsdyke withdrew his hand and Terry’s corpse fell backwards onto the sunlounger, as if it had been placed there specifically for the purpose.
June beamed at Mr Grimsdyke. “I know it’s not Valentine’s Day, but I’d like you to have this,” she said. A moment of apprehension might have crossed what was left of his face. It was hard to tell. He opened the card and read “Mr Grimsdyke, from the start you have always had my heart.”
You can tell a lot from a back garden. I don’t advise peering over the fence into no 23 Tennyson Close, but if you were to do so as the sun sets, what would you see? The eviscerated corpse of Sir Dennis, mounted on the arboretum. A light in the sitting room window as a voice can be heard saying, “But darling Mr G, I simply can’t find a rhyme for innards”. And the lifeless corpse of Terry Medford, his ambitions come to naught, as the sun lounger finally gives way and spills him onto the patio, where he rolls over twice before coming to rest, face down in the azalea bed.