Every day millions of readers write in to say: “We want more Psychic Historian”. Well, actually, it was one – and she was far too polite to demand. But numbers don’t count. It’s not quantity, but quality that matters. So, in order to keep the several million (and one) happy – here is another extract from this wondrous e-tome…
A young male hamster – perhaps only a short while out of his adolescence – sat upon the seat of a busy train. Like the passengers around him he was peddling furiously, and hating every second of it.
“I think that it’s disgusting.” A middle-aged female of huge dimensions spoke haughtily beside him, “It’s not enough that we have to pay for our seat: Now we have to power the train as well!”
The young hamster nodded sadly. “Indeed madam,” he replied, “but you know what this socialist government’s like: Any popular bandwagon – and they’re aboard – with bells ringing and whistles blowing. The Eco-Green Liberals said that steam, electric, and diesel trains were abominations: The government thought that everyone agreed: And here we are – peddling for all we’re worth.”
“Yes,” the middle-aged female gasped, “and when people stopped using the trains as often – the same idiot government decided that since fewer trains were running, they could cut the services, tear up all the tracks, and melt them down to make bombs and suchlike. It’s lunacy: Sheer lunacy!”
“Are you going all the way?” The young hamster inquired.
“To Poxford?” The middle-aged female responded after taking a few puffs upon an inhaler. “Yes – if I don’t suffer a myocardial infarction before we get there. My litter lives there you see. I’m visiting – possibly for the last time.”
“The last time?” The young hamster was suddenly alarmed, “Do you expect to perish soon?”
The middle-aged hamster tried to laugh, but she couldn’t spare the oxygen, “I don’t plan to.” She managed, “It’s just that this is the last train to Poxford. The line closes tonight. And I can’t drive a go-kart because I don’t know my left steering string from my right steering string. And the principle of breaking into corners confounds me mightily. Until some brain-box starts up a bus service, or I evolve into a non-corporeal being with the ability to teleport, I’ll have to stay at home and pine for my offspring.”
This information came as quite a surprise to the young hamster. “If this is the last train to Poxford – how will I get home again after completing my business there?”
By now the middle-aged female was close to collapse. “Fluffed if I know.” She gurgled before slumping unconscious in her seat.
Moments later the conductor entered the carriage. Spotting the comatose female he barked, “This simply isn’t good enough. We can’t have slackers slowing down the
train: We have a time-table to keep to.”
He then stopped the train, and had the poor unfortunate female lowered to the side of the track, where she was rolled down an embankment by several members of the galley staff, and left sitting upon a roadside bench with a sign around her neck that read ‘Useless Slacker’.
“She can find her own way to Poxford.” He spat.
Soon the train was underway once more. Several disgusted passengers had chosen to disembark with the comatose female, and gesticulated rudely as the train pulled away. As a result of this there were far fewer legs to power the train along, and so it was an age before it finally drew into the station at the beautiful university town of Poxford.
Soon the young male hamster found himself walking along a colonnade of (what appeared at first sight to be) market stalls. But rather than being the purveyors of fruit, vegetables, unpleasantly sweating meat products, and sunglasses of dubious origin, the stalls were actually the point of contact between any would-be students, and the representatives of the town’s universities.
“Come and scrutinize our literature. Study our informative prospectus.” Those who manned the stalls would cry out. “Look how nicely we’ve laid out our campus.”
The young hamster was impressed by their entrepreneurial skills. He stopped and chatted with several before finally settling upon a college that enjoyed the moniker, ‘The Chunder Bellows School for Blistering Idiots’.
“Hello.” He smiled as he introduced himself to the ageing wood mouse behind the counter, “I’ve checked-out all the other colleges here today, and I’ve decided that your college is the one best suited to my needs.”
The ageing wood mouse took up a quill made from the tail feather of a wren, and dipped into a pot of ink. He then prepared himself to write upon a large sheet of headed notepaper.
“Name?” The wood mouse inquired in a disinterested tone.
For a moment this seemed to stump the young hamster. Then realization struck, and he smiled: Obviously the old mouse was almost blind. “It’s there – at the top of the page.” He informed the wood mouse.
“Ugh?” The wood mouse responded in puzzlement.
“Chunder Bellows School for Blistering Idiots.” The young hamster nodded pleasantly – pleased to have been able to help.
“You what?” the wood mouse was now even more perplexed. “Your name is the same as the college you wish to join? That seems more than coincidental.”
Now it was the turn of the young hamster to be confused. “But my name is Lancelot Ballesteroid!” He cried out in surprise.
In an instant the ageing wood mouse understood. “Ah,” he began to write the words Lancelot Ballesteroid in the box marked ‘name’, “it appears that you have indeed selected your college well: For certainly you are a blistering idiot.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019