From ‘ Trans-Uranic Elements: The Dark Side of Uranus’. Available later this year.
Bell Bottomed George.
Wayne and Ken had to sit down as they watched the embrace of the two cousins, Hanny and Mutch. It was an exotic hug with breasts squeezed gently together, arms around buttocks and sloppy kisses. Hanny and Mutch had not seen each other for many a year, so there was lots of catching up to do. Mutch told tales of swashbuckling murdering Pirates, nights of derring-do, nights of doing dares, adventure on the High Seas and shopping for nice dresses in the spring sales; while Hanny recounted tales of stinking bottoms, soiled underwear and a Pixy with Piles.
Oh how they laughed!
Meanwhile the Masters of Reality, Tom and Magdalene, inspected the boatyard in search of an appropriate vessel to take them to Witchland. In their searching they came across Sankyu Fairy Admiral George, known to all and sundry as Bell Bottomed George. He derived this moniker due to the supernatural connection between his rusty bullet hole and the ships bell. So every time Admiral George emits a toot from his ringpiece, the bell tolls! This then leads to cries of ‘that rings a bell!’
All the Sankyu Fairy’s laugh, except at eight bells as the ensuing trumpet voluntary inevitably leads to severe trouser stains, and some poor fucker will be assigned to clean them.
“Good day to you, Honourable Admiral. I hope you’re feeling well,” said Mad Tom in his greeting.
“I am feeling absolutely wonderful and marvellous and beautiful and everyone can understand why!” said the Admirable Admiral.
“And why is that?” asked the smiling Mad Man.
“I don’t know but everyone else can understand why. Perhaps I’m hanging round to steal a car?” admitted the befuddled Matelot.
“But there aren’t any cars on Uranus,” said Tom.
“Maybe that’s why I feel so good. I’m hanging round to do something impossible so don’t feel too guilty about committing a crime that can never happen!”
Bell Bottomed George looked Tom straight in the eye.
“Thanks for clearing that one up for me, I feel even more absolutely wonderful and marvellous. In fact I’m in the air – well I think my brain is anyway,” added the sagacious sailor.
At this point there could have been one of those pauses that last for a while, then drags on and ruins the flow of the narrative. But we won’t bother with that one today. What we will do instead is some blatant sketchbook padding, just like Keith and Steve did on the Art portfolio to get into the University of Birmingham.
Not that that was any worse than the shit they show on television between adverts.
“So,” said the farting Admiral, “why have you lovely lot come into my boatyard? What can you ragtag and bobtail collection of oxygen thieves want with the Sankyu Fairy’s? You have some enemies to sink? Pirates to hang? Shopping to do?”
Mad Tom decided to coat his face with a stern look.
“Actually Captain we need to go to Witch Land to destroy the annoying RING. We must slaughter or capture Maurice the wan King of the Witches, and the Witch Iz who is the most dangerous female on Uranus!” he declared whilst maintaining the stern look.
“Did you know you have a face like the back of a boat?” asked George.
Yet again there was a pause in which the Admiral, who was also a Captain, deliberated which Witch it was which was being talked about.
“Sounds cool,” he said. “Are we allowed to decapitate any of them?”
“If you need to,” said Magdalene, remembering that she was still a part of this tale.
“Good. It’s nice to pull the head off every now and then. Keeps a Fairy happy!”
Meanwhile Ken and Wayne wandered round the docks, and wondered round the docks. Why where they admiring the array of fighting vessels. All of the Fairy Boats are labelled FB something or other; actually that is not strictly true as only one of them is called the FB Something or Other. The Elf’s admired FB Daisy an eastern styled craft, and FB Royal Iris, named after a stupid Queen from long ago; FB Clematis look bright and gay, festooned in many colours; FB Woodbridge for some reason reminded Ken of a former girlfriend; Wayne was attracted to FB Floating Log.
“So,” said Admiral George, “you lot want to get to Witchland to sort out the Witch Iz and the winking wan King Maurice. I’m up for a bit of that! We could do with eradicating Uranus of some more scumbags. The detritus that inhabits Witchland needs to be scattered to the five corners of the Universe and washed carefully with bleach; preferably bleach from a trusted source known to have minimal environmental impact.”
George could name any price he wanted for availing the Inquisitive Questers of his ship; it mattered not as Tom or Magdalene could move back and forth between Bank Accounts like a Chancellor of the Exchequer raiding pension funds. In reality Admiral George would settle for a zero fee as long as he had the opportunity to slice off a few Witches’ Heads.
“I can promise you that possibility,” said Tom.
“How can you Make such a promise?”
“Because it’s what happened next time!”
It would be a while before they could be fully provisioned, fully laden, full enough and full of crap.
“There are laws we have to follow,” explained the metaphysically festooned farter.
“Such as?” enquired Tom, feeling slightly madder than usual.
“Well first we have to ensure we maintain Adams’ Law for the crews complement,” he said.
“I’m happy to give your crew a compliment; they seem to a bunch of very beautiful Fighting Fairy’s,” said Magdalene.
“Highly amusing,” stated the Emanating Emir of the Sea. “I mean we have to get the numbers right or things will go awry. Sailors are very superstitious you know?”
“Superstitious! Yes the writings on the wall,” agreed Tom, having noted earlier that there were many suspicious writings on the Wall, along with mini-temples, burnt offerings and plates of bungy.
“By the way, what is ‘bungy’?” asked Magdalene.
“It’s a curious cheese based dish meant as an offering to the Man In The Moon,” explained the farting frontrunner. “Sailors are keen to keep him keen. A High Tide and a High Ride and a Surf Tide and a woe betide! All grist to the Mill!”
“So what is the full complement?” asked Tom.
“Forty two, of course,” snorted the admirable Admiral. “Everyone knows that. Forty two is always the answer; ask the mice!”
Magdalene concentrated on mental arithmetic for a while, considering all sums that could have an answer of 42. For a while she was all at sixes and sevens but some things just didn’t add up. When she returned to Time Travel Central Station she would seek out her old friend Mo Lybdenum to ask for some advice. The she might feel she was twenty one again.
Mad Tom was getting to feel as Mad as a Hatter, but as he felt that might somehow smack of plagiarism, he decide to grab hold of Magdalene and fiddle with his pleasurable diversion.
The Travel Gravel worked.
“Well that’s all on board,” drawled Bell Bottomed George. “Company all present and correct!”
Apart from those stupid Elf’s, thought Mad Tom.
“So can we go now?”
Admiral of the Anal Analysis paused.
“We have to wait to fulfil Dodgsons Law yet,” he declared.
“We have to wait for a porpoise before we set sail!”
“No ship should ever set sail without a porpoise! Else we could end up mocking the turtle. And we all know what the turtle said!”
“No he didn’t say that!”
“Did he say this?”
“Well actually he did say this and that, and even went to his lessons. But there is more!”
“Number four, The Turtle Said!”
It was getting to be more like Ireful Tom and Choleric Magdalene, though it is best to say they were just feeling slightly madder than usual.
Another paroxysm of Travel gravel saw a school or a pod of porpoises or dolphins in front of the Royal Iris.
Hence with a high tide, a high tea, a high five, a high horse, high hopes, top ropes, a hie thee hence ho and a touch of wind, our five heroes set sail from Hlither Poler, heading West across the Mere Sea, facing a destiny with danger.