Naturally panic ensued. Those with the wit to flee did so…
“Run.” Blinky yelled. “Run – before the conflagration reaches the emergency toilet!”
Fortunately for the owner of the venue, super-heated botty burps, like other gaseous anomalies, are susceptible to the forces of nature and laws of physics. The flaming gases shot up to the ceiling and vented into the atmosphere through the auxiliary fart flue. This meant that Bubbly could exit the building, hours later, as dawn broke, with both his self-esteem and wallet intact…
But not the rear section of his trousers, of course. All thoughts of impressing the Joyfulettes were banished. ‘In fact,’ he considered, ‘I’ll do well to keep my job after this debacle.’
The same thought must have been running through the minds of George and Edie too…
…because as a sign appeared in the doorway, the two ageing pea farmers accosted Bubbly and offered him a job.
“We’re getting too old to walk up and down the mountain picking peas.” Edie said. “We need someone young and desperate to do it for us. And any electrostatic charge that builds up in your nylon underpants can be used for lighting fires or paraffin lamps. The job is yours, if you want it. What do you say?”
And, of course, Bubbly said yes. After all, he’d always liked mountains, and peas were his favourite vegetable.
Elsewhere – that is aboard the X1 – Magnuss and Nigel decided that it was probably a good idea to practice some emergency procedures…
“There’s a hypothetical space pirate vessel approaching.” Magnuss suggested. “What do we do?”
“Open hypothetical fire?” Nigel replied.
“No weapons – remember?”
“Oh, yeah, no time to fit them. Okay…swerve.”
“Correct. Now we’re about to encounter space turbulence: our seatbelts are in the wash: What do we do?”
“Easy.” Nigel answered…
…”We don our see-through helmets.”
Magnuss was most pleased with his colleagues grasp of procedures. “Very good.” He said. “But what should we do if the landing engine fails?”
“Other than poop in our pants, you mean?” Nigel responded. But before Magnuss could speak, Nigel had flicked a few switches…
“Inflate the giant transparent air bag.” He answered.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017