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28.2.09

To Humperdinkem

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Before crossing the Humperdinkestinan wilderness, I check my supplies and notice that I am short on Vintage Allt a Bhainne and Lochside.  As the prospect of running low on such fine malts is enough to make a Highlander strangle himself with his garters, I head for Zeeb’s well, for fresh supplies.

Arrive at the well just in time to hear my old desert companion, Stephen, telling new recruits that our fellow instructor, Jehoshaphat, had drunk too much well water and that this was a bad example, as moderation, rather than excess, was the key to desert survival.  I interrupt and tell everyone that there is nothing wrong with the water, and that they should take as much as they want, any time they want, as fast as they can.  But Phi’daius reminds me that, the last time I was here, I poisoned the well.  But say that I did not poison the water, I enhanced and illuminated it.  I was training recruits in tunnel navigation, I explain, and, demonstrating how Juan and I lit the interior of the pyramids, I shone a light into a bottle of Juan’s Special Reserve.  When I poured it into a bucket, the light and the malt flowed out together.  I immediately shared the luminescent malt with the recruits, telling them that, using this method, they can keep themselves refreshed and navigate the darkest tunnels.  While passing out the effulgent whisky, Merom accidently dropped the bucket into the well.  

Stephen tells me to go away, but, pointing to Jehoshaphat, as proof, I insist the whisky did not contaminate the water, but gave it unique properties that all agents find essential, and, rubbed into a beard, will rid it of all unwelcome creatures.

Pygarg asks me what I am doing in Humperdinkestine.  Stephen says that, whatever I am doing, I should go and do it elsewhere.  I tell everyone that I’m ballooningly behind schedule and have to get to Humperdinkem, to rescue Mahalath.  The recruits, desperate to escape the tedium of Stephen’s lesson, ask if they can help.  Stephen complains, but I tell them that Mahalath must be in a very dangerous situation as, normally, she is rabidly efficient at escaping from tight corners, so everyone is welcome. 

Bearing in mind that we may cross a dark, barren wilderness, we fill jars with radiant whisky then, offering toast after toast to the success of our mission, I blow up my bagpipes, everyone links arms, and we crash around in a wild, exultant, Highland Reels until Phi’daius accidently hurls Stephen into the well.  Shouting down the well, I tell him we’ll get him out after rescuing Mahalath, and that he should just relax and enjoy the bright-lit splendour of the glorious water, then, clapping and cheering and hullabalooing with excitement, we lurch to the rescue, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary