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9.10.09

Lost and found










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After running across the desert for a day or two, I ask Juan to check the map, to see where we are. He takes a ragged, crumpled, stained, map from his bag, tries to flatten it, wipes off some the filth, then looks at the map for a long time, then he turns it sideways and stares at it, in a puzzled fashion, finally turning it upside down and, after staring at it some more, informs me that he has no idea where we are. Peering over his shoulder, I can see that it won’t help us get to Aberfeldy. It is exasperating, and typical of Juan’s idiocy, that, when all we need is a simple map of the world, he produces a map that seems to be of another planet entirely.

We stop, to consider the situation. To assist our considerations, we open kegs of Vintage Lagavulin, Bruichladdich, Tomintoul and Scapa Special Reserve and, between offering toast after toast to the well-being of everyone lost in barren wastes, Juan reminds me that, if we were at sea, our best advice would be to stay with the ship, if we had a ship, and he recommends that we follow the same policy here. Before leaving the canyon, I cut and sewed some rags and formed a piece of material that, to the casual observer, would appear only to be a roughly-made quilt, but, torn and crumpled in a particular fashion, would reveal a message that could be understood by aunt Humperdink’s Agent Rescue Service. I left the quilt behind and I am sure that, by now, it will have been found, so there is no particular need to worry, but I do point out that we are not at sea, and that we don't have a ship, but Juan says that there's one in the sky. I go to some lengths to explain to him, with diagrams, that the large vessel he can see floating in the sky is just a common mirage, but then I look up and, floating towards us, I see aunt Humperdink's experimental skulk ship, The Lion.

This is a wonderful sight, my quilt must have been found, and the message deciphered, then, when it was discovered that we weren't in the Cheeky Monkey, The Lion came to search for us. The desert is very beautiful, and walking for hundreds of miles over inhospitable reaches of blistering sand is very good exercise, however, we are criminally behind schedule, travelling in The Lion will be a lot faster than hiking over the empty wastes and, as the ship contains at least seventeen excellent bars, a good deal more fun. We raise out mugs, salute farewell to the majestic serenity of this mighty desert with hearty swigs of Vintage Longmorn, Oban, Benrinnes and Glenordie Private Reserve, then, to attract The Lion's attention, we wave our arms around and, screaming and yelling with excitement, we stumble around in befuddled, shaky, circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary