Maddeningly, the recruits continue to set each other nonsensical problems. Succa’athites said, “Abaron’s dog, Misgab, was sitting on a stool, but although Abaron walked all round the stool. The animal always turned to face him the whole time. When Abaron had walked around the stool, had he walked round the dog?” Zeeb replies, saying that he thinks that Abaron had not walked around the dog. When Succa’athites says that Zeeb is correct, for Abaron never saw the dog’s back, which he would have if he had walked round the dog, and all the recruits agree, I tell them it doesn’t matter if the dog was sitting quite still or spinning on his nose, the dog was on the stool and, if Abaron walked around the stool, he definitely walked around the dog, in fact, I add, the only way he could not have walked around the dog, was if the creature was sitting on the North Pole and Abaron was walking anti-clockwise around the freezing animal at the speed of the earth, in which case Abaron would effectively stay still while the frost-bitten canine revolved, not only that, I advise, if Abaron stood still and Misgab turned around to show Abaron his shivering, ice-encrusted back, Abaron could not be said to have been around the dog, although, if they swapped places periodically, they could go around each other, but doing this, at the North Pole, I think, would be a waste of time.
The recruits look at me as if I had gone insane and Calphi tells me that I don’t understand; Abaron, despite circumnavigating Misgab, did not see the dog’s back, therefore, Abaron did not go around the animal. There is something so final in this argument that I can’t think of anything to add and, as my brain is imploding with the tedium of this discussion, I leave the recruits to argue about the meaning of ‘around’ and how to revive a hypothermic dog. Then, reminding myself that I am wiveishly behind schedule and have to rescue Mahalath, after fortifying myself with flasks of Vintage Scapa, Tullibardine and Glencadam, topped up with Vintage Single Grain Macduff and Juan’s Special Reserve, shouting with excitement and singing Scots Wha Hae and Aye Waukin’ O! At the top of my voice, I stumble towards Humperdinkem, as fast as I possibly can.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary