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4.1.11

Gordon’s horses





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Fatty throws beer over me, to wake me up, and tells me to pay attention. Seeing Juan, asleep on the ground beside me, I kick him awake, tell him to pay attention to Fatty, and lapse back into unconsciousness. After only a few seconds, Juan pokes me in the ribs with a broken bottle and tells me that Fatty is talking about serviettes and he can’t stand it. George and Albert are sitting near by, looking glazed. I imagine that this is because they have been listening to Fatty, but George mumbles something about being rescued. I tell him that that is a good idea and that he should contact the Agency Rescue Service. Albert says that we have already been rescued. I missed it, George says, because I knocked myself cold when I fell off a pub roof. I can’t remember any of this so I ask George what I was doing on a roof. Albert says that I fell on the roof from a tree. I ask them what I was doing in a tree. George says that I fell on the tree from a balloon. I ask why I was in a balloon, Albert says that I was trying to get on to the pub roof with a balloon, I consider asking more questions but decide not to bother. However, one thing puzzles me; the last thing I remember was hiding from a giant robot, which has vanished.

Juan, who doesn’t look to be in peak condition, groans and reminds me that, when we saw the robot, we hid behind a thorn bush, then, with nothing else to do, we started the New Year’s celebrations by drinking Vintage Auchroisk, Balmenach, Laphroaig, and Glenlivet Special Reserve, to honour the spirit of the season and to wish everyone a creative and peaceful New Year. Then, invigorated with fine single-malt, we decide to destroy the robot. We rushed wildly toward the monstrosity, but the bush got in the way and, by the time we ripped ourselves free, Albert has discovered that the robot isn’t a robot, it’s just a piece of projecting apparatus. Juan asked what it’s projecting from, Albert say that it’s not projecting from anything, it projects images of stars. Juan asks what use that is, and he wants to know if it will project pictures of women, I tell him that, if it was a cloudy day, and you were lost, you could project stars onto the clouds and use them to navigate, which you couldn’t do with women. Albert explained that this wouldn’t work because, if we were lost, we wouldn’t know what stars we could see, if we could see the stars. George says that this was too complicated for anyone to understand, so we ignored Albert, decided to take the projector with us, to help us navigate to a pub, and, to celebrate a good decision, and not being attacked by a giant robot, Juan broke out the Brackla, Caperdonich, Glen Keith, and Glenfiddich Private Reserve, which he keeps for such occasions, and, with some difficulty, we made our way to a pub.

Juan says that he can’t remember very much about the pub. Fatty says that Juan was knocked unconscious after head-butting a wall, because it wouldn’t get out of his way. They carried us from pub to pub, Albert says, but we only ever woke up long enough to start a brawl and we had to be knocked out again. According to George, the wonderful people that we met and the fantastic fun that we had, more than made up for the fights that got out of control, our firework display, that went terribly wrong, the pubs we burnt to the ground, the fire engine we crashed, the police station that we demolished, the town’s population who we terrified, and having to be rescued by the Agent Rescue Service. This all sounds very memorable but, irritated, I tell everybody that they might have had a lot of fun but, as I was unconscious, I’m not interested in their stupid stories. I also remind them that we are peistishly behind schedule and have to move on immediately. George says that we need transport, but he doesn’t want to fly any more. Albert says that, in one pub, he met our old friend, Captain Gordon McClellan, who said that he is setting up a cavalry unit nearby and, if we want any help, we should call in and see him. George says that we should borrow some horses off Gordon. This is a good idea and we set off immediately.

The projector doesn’t help us navigate, and it's heavy to carry; it takes us days to find Gordon’s unit. When we arrive, Gordon says that he will be happy to lend us some horses. Fatty says that he will need a big horse, but Gordon says that he has a horse that will carry two people so it should be able to carry Fatty. I tell Gordon that we need fast horses; again, Gordon reassures us that his horses are very fast, especially the ones that have wheels. When Gordon shows us his horses I point out that they are wooden horses. Gordon says that we will have to make do as it is a new unit and the real horses haven’t arrived yet. This isn’t a perfect solution to our transport problems but, as George points out, the horses will not need feeding and they won’t get tired. I agree, adding that it would be ungracious to decline Gordon’s generous offer, so, to celebrate, Juan breaks out his Special Reserve, we offer toast after toast to Gordon’s new cavalry unit, then leaping on the horses and, yelling “gee up” and “charge”, we wheel around in circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary