Professor Humperdink III

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30.5.08

Quirigua


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In Quirigua. Pedro and Manual ask us to help them stand up a leaning pillar. They say that it is an archeologically significant Mayan calander, and should be vertical. Juan claims that the pillar is, in fact, the gnomon of a large Mayan sundial and that we should leave it alone. Looking at the pillar, or gnomon, Bakulebe claims that he can see spirits. We put this down to his having recently tested Juan’s new toddy, enriched with local herbs. Flagrantly behind schedule, we wish Pedro and Manual the best of luck, and push on through the jungle as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

28.5.08

Santa Fé de Guanajuato


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Stop off in Santa Fé de Guanajuato for some more silver, after a few hours smelting we need refreshment and head into town, hoping to find a party. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Santa Fé de Guanajuato do not appear to be wildly enthusiastic party people. Disappointed and morbidly behind schedule, we had for Guatemala as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

27.5.08

Teotihuacán

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Passing the Sun Pyramid, it is nice to see the old place still standing. A small tunnel, known to all the local kids, leads into the depths of the pyramid. Juan and his friends, when they were children, used to crawl through the tunnel and hack pieces from the walls, to sell to tourists. Children have been doing this for thousands of generations and the place is virtually hollow, honeycombed with caves, and liable to collapse at any moment. When he grew too big to crawl through the tunnel, Juan, irritated at his loss of earnings, sold the entire structure to a Texan billionaire.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

26.5.08

To Kicking Horse Pass


Connaught Tunnel
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When Juan and Bakulebe commandeered the chancellor’s private train, Voinovich responded by destroying their only escape route, the railway tunnel. Unfortunately, when this happened, they were in the tunnel. Although Juan was irritated with the delay, he had a large supply of whisky and, with bats, rats and a wide variety of insect life available, food did not present a problem. Bakulebe, however, because of his beliefs, does not drink alcohol or eat meat. For him, the three months they spent trapped in the tunnel were unpleasant. Consequently, he is very nervous about entering tunnels. Before entering the five-mile long Connaught Tunnel, he slows the train down to approaching absolute zero. Lugubriously behind schedule, we have no choice but to leave Bakulebe with the train, requisition a car and head for Kicking Horse Pass as fast as we can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

25.5.08

New Brunswick


Our logjam
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Bakulebe's new train
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Haplessly behind schedule, hauling black spruce in New Brunswick. In order to travel faster, we abandon the train and throw the logs in the Nipisiguit River. Because we unload too much timber too quickly, we cause a massive logjam. Logjams are broken by moving the key logs, the logs around which the jam forms. Finding the key logs quickly is a highly skilled, difficult, cold and very dangerous job. Fortunately, before we start work, Bakulebe turns up with a new, faster, train. We immediately donate the timber to whoever wants it and head west, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

20.5.08

Ogden's Point


Grain elevator, Port Arthur
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Grain elevator, Ogden's Point
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Bakulebe's new train
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Heading south
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The grain elevator at Port Arthur was a depressing sight but, the next time we surface, we find ourselves looking at another grain elevator, this one at Ogden’s Point. As we were expecting to see the lovely bay and palatial buildings of Rio de Janeiro, seeing, instead, another British Columbian grain elevator, makes us bad tempered. Fortunately, Bakulebe turns up, with a new train. We collect some logs, as there are plenty of trees, then, farcically behind schedule, head south as fast we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

19.5.08

Thunder Cape


Thunder Cape
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Port Arthur
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Juan, looking through the periscope, claims that he can see a sleeping giant named Nanabozho. I assume he is talking nonsense but when I check for myself, I realise that he is quite right and that we have surfaced off Thunder Cape. We were hoping for the casinos, beaches, music, wine, dancing, nightclubs and the fabulously beautiful women of Rio. Silver Islet, a collection of sheds on a lump of volcanic rock in Lake Superior, is not a comparable destination. We carry on to Port Arthur, but that doesn’t seem to promise much in the way of nightlife either and the crew are disheartened.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

18.5.08

To Brazil


Finny
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Finny arrives. Although we are very sorry to leave Scotland, we are extremely happy to be heading for South America. Juan, to celebrate, throws a party, and provides barrels of vintage malt whisky. Presently, although we are unsure of our location, speed, depth or direction, we hope to arrive in Brazil very soon.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

15.5.08

Dumfries


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Psychotically behind schedule and desperate to leave for Brazil, we have no choice but to telegraph aunt Humperdink and ask her to send one of her submarines. Unfortunately, Dougal, the only telegraphist in Buchanhaven, has such primitive equipment that he can barely raise Peterhead; much less communicate with South America, where aunt is waiting for us. Our only option is to head for our studio in Dumfries. After broadcasting our request, we visit the Bladnoch distillery. Hitherto, Juan has refused to accept that Lowland whisky is even worthy of the name whisky, but after consuming several gallons of Bladnoch’s wonderful 'Spirit of the Lowlands' he accepts that he has been wrong all these years and orders several hundred barrels.
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Before leaving Dumfries, our friends ask us to take part in some local sports events. We have a go at the tug of war, as it doesn’t involve confusing rules and simply requires the application of brute force, we easily win. After the tug of war, we attend a cricket match. In England, cricket is played until it rains, at which point everyone repairs to a public house to drink and discuss the game. In Scotland, because it rains all the time, the cricket grounds are permanently flooded. The spectators bring their own beer and whisky and spend the time drinking, singing and fighting until it gets too dark to continue when everyone heads for a pub to continue the action.
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During the afternoon, we are asked to take part in a football match. Athough Juan has never quite grasped the rules of the game and tends to attack other players whether or not they have the ball, we enjoy ourselves immensely and so do the large crowd that gathers to see us. After the match, we hold a party during which we distribute thousands of gallons of Spirit of the Lowlands, although we are very much the worse for wear, we are now cataclysmically behind schedule so immediately requisition two new aircraft and, horribly befuddled, fly east as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

14.5.08

Buchanhaven



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Arrive in Buchanhaven, to collect more whisky. The Canadian Highlanders, who are visiting their parent regiment, hold a very nice parade for us, after which we throw a party and distribute the remainder of our vintage Highland Park and Scapa, which our Canadian cousins enjoy immensely. Barbarously behind schedule, we are desperate to continue on to Brazil as fast as we can; luckily, our old friend, Ropkind Scharf, is in the area and lends us his aeroplane. Unfortunately, within a few minutes of take off, Juan and I become involved in a heated argument over the relative merits of Laphroaig, Bowmore and The Macallan, the argument evolves into a brawl and neglecting to fly the aircraft, Juan allows the aeroplane to crash. This irresponsible behavior is typical of Juan and, once again, we are hopelessly delayed.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

12.5.08

Leaving Peterhead



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Perilously behind schedule, we quickly find another ship; load it with gold, for our Brazilian friends, and, aware of weight limitations, barely enough vintage Glen Grant, Tamdhu, Glenfiddich, Mortlach, Dufftown, Aultmore and Strathisia for the voyage. Unfortunately, the weight of the whisky, again, causes our ship to sink almost immediately. This is depressing as, although we can replace the ship, and have plenty of gold, the loss of this amount of fine Highland single malt is enough to make even the staunchest Scotsman weep.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

11.5.08

Peterhead



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Arrive in Peterhead clownishly behind schedule. Quickly load our ship with silver, for our South American friends, and enough vintage Glenlivet, Glenfarcias, Macallan, Aberlour, Balmenach, Cardhu and Knockando to see us through until we arrive in Brazil. Unfortunately, the weight of the whisky causes our ship to sink within a few hours of leaving Peterhead. This is annoying, not so much because of the loss of the ship, or the silver, but because, tragically, we have lost a huge amount of valuable, rare and irreplaceable single malt.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

9.5.08

Leaving Donside


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Perfidiously behind schedule, we leave Bakulebe to fix the train, quickly requisition another motorcycle and head to the coast as fast as we can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

7.5.08

Leaving Aberdeen




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Meet up with our old friend Doug, and his daughter Deoiridh. Doug has been caring for Max, who has been suffering heart palpitations after consuming some of Juan’s toddy. Deoiridh makes us some delicious atholl brose, then we head for Donside, where the Highland drummers give us a wonderful reception, followed by a party during which Juan shares out a huge amount of Longmorn, Talisker and Deoiridh’s atholl brose. Now, destructively behind schedule, we head north as fast as we possibly can, unfortunately Bakulebe, although he is an extraordinary skillful train driver, owing to vast consumption of single malt, is somewhat under the weather and we immediately crash.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

5.5.08

Aberdeen






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Land in Aberdeen where the military put on a very nice parade in our honour. After the parade, we play Ca’ the Yowes to the Knowes, Up and Waur them, Willie, and some other traditional tunes. Our old friend from the desert campaign, Jock Black, Commanding Officer of the Black Watch, invites us to join in with some sports, Juan tosses the caber but, typically, he resorts to brute force and forgets the basic rule that the object is not the distance of the throw, but, rather, to have the thick end of the caber strike the ground first. As Juan spins the log several times in the air, it lands with the thin end striking the ground first, this means that, although he has thrown the log eight or nine feet further than his nearest rival, he is this immediately disqualified. Complaining that it is a stupid rule he goes off to check on his cattle.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary



4.5.08

To Aberdeen








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We receive word that Craig, Juan’s young nephew, is in hospital after falling from a cliff. This is the result of the young man showing off to some girls, an unfortunate trait that runs through Juan’s family. Although we are deplorably behind schedule we are, again, delayed by having to return to London to visit him. The Guards, hearing of our arrival, put on a very fine parade and, afterwards, aunt Humperdink asks us to choose some fruit for her new jam factory. Juan, inspired by the fruit, spends an inordinate amount of time boiling up some new toddy in the factory, using the fruit and several thousand gallons of Royal Lochnagar. The result is malty, smoky and very fruity. We join in with our friends at the factory in testing the toddy and then quickly set off for Aberdeen. Unfortunately, Bakulebe has consumed too much of the new Lochnagar toddy and, although he is a truly wonderful train driver, the toddy has a deleterious effect on his driving and we promptly crash. Juan and I immediately borrow a motorbike and sidecar but, suffering from the same problem as Bakulebe, we lose control of the vehicle within a few hundred yards. Now, preposterously behind schedule, we have no choice but to requisition another aeroplane and, extremely befuddled, fly north as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

1.5.08

Bolton



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Arrive in Bolton immorally behind schedule. Owing to recent intelligence reports regarding potential assassination attempts by Voinovich, the cavalry very kindly escort us through the city. Tom, one of our top instructors, turns up and, looking forward to meeting the new recruits, we head for our training facility as fast as we can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary