Fortunately, just as I am getting somewhat fed up with wandering around the desert, I bump into my old friend Cyril, one of our top agents. After sharing a dram of Special Reserve, I tell him that, because of Juan’s reckless idiocy, I don’t know where I am, and ask him for directions. Unfortunately, it turns out; Cyril is in the same situation as me. He tells me that he’s been lost for years and that he doesn’t have the slightest idea where we are. He asks me where I just came from and, when I indicate the general direction, he looks at me in alarm, then he shakes his head sorrowfully, then he taps his nose with his forefinger, as if to say, ‘look, this is my nose’, then, crossing his eyes, sticking his tongue out and violently slapping his forehead, he waves his stick toward the distant horizon. I am not entirely sure what all this means, although, when he whispers, ‘the voices, the voices, I can’t stop the voices’, tears his clothes off and skips away over the desert, waving his arms up and down and singing ‘I’m a daffodil today, I’ll be a butterfly next week, then, I know, I’ll be a mouse, eek, eek, eek’ I realize that Cyril may have spent too long in the desert.
Leaving Neddy to escort Cyril home, thankful that, at least, I am not as mad as my friend; I wade on across the burning desert, only occasionally stopping to throw my head back, balance a scorpion on my chin and bunny hop up and down a sand dune, barking like a seal. Desert survival experts always recommend this as, without such diversions, as can be seen with Cyril, the mind-numbing boredom of the desert can send perfectly healthy people completely around the bend.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary