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To the Cheeky Monkey


After searching for our platform for a week or so, we are very happy when we bump into our old friend Dr. Martin McWilliams, from Buchanhavan. Martin says that he is conducting some underground experiments for aunt Humperdink. We tell him that we are perniciously behind schedule and ask him to direct us to the platform, where we can catch the Angad Express, but Martin says that, as Bakulebe is driving the train, it doesn’t matter if we find the platform or not.

Bakulebe considers subterranean train driving to be particularly dangerous and approaches tunnels very slowly, with extreme caution, and, once in a tunnel, accelerates to maximum speed, in order to get out of the tunnel as quickly as possible. He will not slow down or stop, so passengers have to jump on to the speeding train as he passes. As the extra weight of passengers would slow Bakulebe down, he removes all steps and hand-rails, welds spikes in their place and coats the train with grease. We tell Martin that jumping aboard a spiky, greasy, speeding train is always a lot of fun, but remind him that Bakulebe has also had the train electrified and it constantly discharges deadly bolts of electricity. Martin says that that, once aboard, Bakulebe’s trains are famous for their luxuriance, but he understands our reluctance to attempt to board the train and he asks us if we would prefer to go directly to the Cheeky Monkey, in Aberfeldy.

We tell him that, of course, we want to go the Cheeky Monkey. Martin shows us a door and tells us that it leads into a tunnel that runs directly under Aberfeldy. This is wonderful news and, to celebrate, we open a barrel of Juan’s Special Reserve, which Juan always keeps for such occasions. Wishing Dr. Martin the best of luck with his experiments, we offer toast after toast to all miners, then, cheering and shouting with excitement, we stagger through the door and into the tunnel. Juan says that, after all this time in a mine it will be nice to see the Birks of Aberfeldy, and the women of Aberfeldy who are, he claims, the most beautiful women in the world. I tell him that, at least, it is impossible to get lost in a tunnel and we will definitely arrive in Aberfeldy without any problem. However, when we emerge, it is obvious that we are not in Perthshire.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary