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Missing Marseilles

Lost, befuddled and slaveringly behind schedule but, drifting downward, we are excited to see Marseilles beneath us. Everyone loves Marseilles and, to celebrate, I open barrels of Vintage Cragganmore, Bowmore, Glenfarclas and Balmenach Private Reserve, then, offering toast after toast to the glorious French culture, and looking forward to having a wonderful time in the most romantic city in the world, we prepare to land in the Old Port.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we find that we cannot land, as the garrulous Marseillais generate a city-wide column of hot air, which bears us away, eventually depositing us over Nalut. This is irritating and I explain to the passengers that Nalut does not have any world renowned French restaurants so, although we will not be able to enjoy top class French cuisine, as we had expected, I will be able to provide a dinner of scorpions stewed in Vintage Miltonduff Private Reserve, followed by camel spider crunch, with Humperdink Dip, made with squashed Mucus Humperdinka, a previously unknown fly that I recently identified, suspended in Vintage Strathisla Special Reserve; a delightful, protein-rich dip, created by Juan, in honour of aunt Humperdink, the greatest desert traveller of all. Some English people do not like eating scorpions, dead or alive, but all the passengers are enthusiastic about desert fare. They explain that they all regularly commute on English trains and, compared to the filthy muck served in the buffet car, stewed scorpion and crunchy spider is an attractive meal.

However, before we can sit down and enjoy all this, we have to land safely. I explain to the passengers that the best way to land safely is to jump out before we crash and, as it looks like we are about to crash, yelling with excitement and screaming “Geronimo”, we leap out of the balloon and tumble down to the welcoming sands, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary