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4.3.09

Walled out

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Irritatingly delayed by chasms and suchlike, and deeply concerned about my rapidly diminishing Vintage Tomatin, Rosebank, Glen Scotia and Dailuaine, I am delighted to stumble across a town where I can replenish my supplies.  Unfortunately, I find that the place has been walled off, and I can’t get in. 

Knowing that, to protect their women, towns fortify themselves when they know Juan is in the area, sniffing the wind, I detect the mephitic stench of sweaty camel, and then I am overcome by the full-bodied, ripe, fruity, malty, odour emitted by a Highlander in heat.  Turning into the nidorous breeze, I see Juan, standing beside Almaz, Mahmud’s evil smelling camel.  Juan points to someone and I recognize our old friend, Jock Black, Company Sergeant Major of the Black Watch

I tell Juan that I thought he was leading my students out of the desert.  But Juan says aunt Humperdink sent him to guide Jock to Humperdinkestine, to help rescue Mahalath.  I ask Juan about the students and he says that, when he found them, they couldn’t walk very far as they weren’t eating very much, in fact, he adds, they were starving.  I say that I’m not surprised, considering they haven’t received any desert survival lessons, and they are in the middle of a desert.  Since abandoning my students in the arid wasteland of the Unknown Region, it had crossed my mind that they might not be eating well.  However, Juan is a wonderful cook and I am relieved when he tells me that he stopped with the students long enough to cook scorpion stew, simmered in Vintage Glenmorangie, lizard’s brain and single grain Mortlach soup, camel spider crunch with Tomatin Reserve dip, and raw snake eyes, steeped in Scapa Private Reserve.  He says that, for some reason, despite being hungry, the students didn’t eat anything.  More importantly, however, I am concerned that the young agents have enough to drink, but Juan says that they although they are low on Vintage Bladnoch, Pulteney, Glendullan and Tullibardine, he left them barrels of Glen Spey, Aultmore, Balvenie and Brackla, to make up for it.  This is reassuring.

After leaving the students, Juan shouts, over a sudden, thunderous display of dromedarian flatulence, aunt Humperdink told him to come with Jock, to help rescue Mahalath.  I wait until Almaz finishes producing methane but, as soon as the gas runs out at one end, it comes out of the other; yelling over a series of loud, repulsively malodorous belches, I tell Juan and Jock that I urgently need to replenish my malt, but I couldn’t get over the wall of the local town, and that we should ditch the camel.

We all agree that to attempt a rescue without adequate supplies would be foolhardy, I shoo Almaz away, and, as he gallops back to Mahmud, his explosive wind emissions echoing from the ancient walls, breaking the silence of the land, we sit down, open flasks of Juan’s Special Reserve and offer toast after toast to the success of our mission, then, reminding each other that we should rescue Mahalath quickly, rather than slowly, and that we are lost, bosky and fustilarianistically behind schedule, we link arms and, shouting, cheering and singing the Song of the Fighting Haggis and the Lass of Ardbeg at the top of our voices, we march around in unsteady, flustered circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary