Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 8)

Naturally, both being wonderfully advanced pieces of technological magic, the two Wet World vessels separated with such ease that it seemed as though they’d been liberally coated with a futuristic form of Teflon, which, of course, they had. Immediately the Chi-Z-Sox ignited its orbital drive unit…

Of course several crew members of the Brian Talbot raced to the Observation Dome…

…to watch the older ships’ departure to realms unknown. They were joined by an enthusiastic Folie and Placebo, who grabbed a spot by the forward window…

Other, more experienced, space-watchers settled into comfy seats. But when the Chi-Z-Sox increased power…

…and headed away at ever-increasing speed…

…Placebo’s excitement at the spectacle caused him to break wind forthrightly, which, in turn, caused a crew member to faint and fall from his seat. Not that either youngster noticed: they were too enthralled by…

…the sight of an unimaginably vast region of space that appeared to be almost empty of either light, matter, or (apparently) energy. So they missed the Chi-Z-Sox let rip with its star drive…

…as did the others in the dome, because of Placebo’s involuntary assault upon their olfactory senses…

…the pong of which even had a negative effect upon the new-found friends themselves…

…and gave them second thoughts about traversing the Galaxy, cooped up in a huge tin can…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 7)

A split second later…

…Folie and Placebo had their atoms re-combined upon the bridge of the Brian Talbot.

“Hi.” The Captain – Cedric Mantequilla – said cheerfully as their sentience returned. “Welcome aboard. Pease don’t be alarmed…

…by all the clunking and clanking; but we’re currently docking with the Chi-Z-Sox, so that we can take on much-needed supplies…

Meanwhile, aboard the aforementioned star ship, Hideous and Perfidity had settled themselves into their comfy Ready Room seats…

“Nice lads, weren’t they, Hideous?” Perfidity said, once she’d ordered a powerful mug of coffee from the dispenser.

“Large one was apt to break wind in the Observation Dome.” Hideous replied. “Indiscriminately, apparently. Or so I’ve been told.”

Aboard the Brian Talbot, the latest guests asked if they could visit the Observation Dome.

“I can feel a really good fart coming on.” Placebo whispered over Folie’s shoulder.

“Excellent.” Folie whispered back. “I’m feeling distinctly methane-depleted.”

Fortunately Captain Mantequilla was too busy issuing important commands. So he heard nothing that passed between the youngsters. This was just as well, because the ships were about to disengage…

Naturally Cedric called a ship-wide Red Alert…

“Ah, this is more like it.” He said, as a hooter…er…hooted: and the bridge turned a deep crimson. “You can’t beat a good Red Alert. That’s what I say anyway.”

Equally naturally, the more experienced Captain Gout enjoyed a more relaxed atmosphere…

“Ah, I feel the ships un-docking.” He said, as the deck trembled. “I hope there’s time for a quick trip to the bog before its back into action, so-to-speak.”

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Dreams are Crushed Beneath the Weight of Years

I say that, because recently I discovered a comment that I made in 2009 upon someone else’s blog, which talked about writing and being a writer. At that time I was writing avidly and had great hopes. This is the comment I made back then:

During the 90’s I tried desperately to get into writing for TV – and came horribly close once or twice. But eventually my resolve was worn down, and I quit – everything – and went on a sabbatical to Spain. There I discovered ‘proper writing’. Or rather I discovered that I could write fiction – and, surprisingly, comedy too. But it wasn’t until I created my two WordPress sites (The Bucktooth Times and Nauseous Nolan) in 2008, upon which I posted extracts of my comedy material, that I found that other people shared my off-beat sense of humour, and not only encouraged me to publish my work, but actively went in search of it upon Lulu, Amazon, E-bay, etc . And the amount of blogs that have plagiarized me is astounding: So I guess I must be hitting the right keys in the right order every so often. But although there is the potential for millions of readers to view my work – out there upon the internet – until those same people can actually hold my book in their hands – or at least conjure up its electronic equivalent upon their Sony Reader or Kindle – I can’t really call myself a writer.
Opinions anyone? P.S – yes I know one should never begin a sentence with the word ‘And’ – but rules are meant to be massaged and reconfigured into interesting new shapes – aren’t they? And anyway – I like it – it suits my style.
Paul Trevor (Tooty) Nolan

So what the heck went wrong? Whatever happened to The Bucktooth Times and Nauseous Nolan? I can’t even remember them! And when did that air of confidence evaporate? And see – I can still begin a sentence with ‘And’.

On the upside, I did discover that I’m now available on Walmart. Somehow that seems fitting. Check it out.

P.S This shot comes from the above era. Now, sadly, I’m a wizened gnome.

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 6)

Several hours later the main drive of the Chi-Z-Sox grew silent…

…and the huge vessel drifted – as though waiting for something to happen…

Hideous Gout then invited Folie and Placebo to the bridge…

“I expect you’re wondering why this fine craft is adrift in the deepest recesses of outer space.” He said.

Doctor Perfidity Gout was surprised by Folie’s response. “We’re lost?” He suggested.

This made the Captain chuckle into his greying beard…

“No, you silly sod.” He replied. “Come, join me and look at the view screen. You’re in for a big surprise.”

Naturally the youngsters obliged; and moments later Lieutenant Kevin Mistlethrush announced…

…”Large vessel approaching, Captain. Putting it on the main screen now.”

Those in the know – namely the bridge crew – smiled…er…knowingly when…

…a remarkably familiar craft swam into view.

“But…but that’s the Chi-Z-Sox!” Folie blurted.

“How can that be?” Placebo wailed. “We’re aboard the Chi-Z-Sox. Is this some kind of sadistic trick? Are you torturing us on an intellectual level?”

But when the mystery vessel came alongside, Placebo recognised the sheer stupidity of his outburst…

“It’s another star ship.” He said needlessly. “Just like this one!”

“Wet World has made a second ship.” Folie observed and stated the obvious. “What’s its name?”

“Ah, that is a superb question, young earplug.” Hideous replied. “There was a great debate upon my home world. We felt that naming the Chi-Z-Sox after a dead rapper was extremely daring. Consequently we didn’t want to repeat something we’d done before. The ship you see beside us is brand new; so we decided to go for something equally new for inspiration.”

“We chose to name the ship after our world’s Submarine Motocross Champion.” Perfidity interrupted. “Brian Talbot.”

“Wow!” Folie exclaimed, as…

…the two ships matched velocity. “It must be really difficult railing those berms and avoiding vicious kickers with an aqualung strapped to your back. I’ve never heard of Brian Talbot: but anyone who rides Submarine Motocross surely deserves to have a star ship named after him. I’d sure like to board it!”

“Funny you should say that.” Hideous said as his chuckle returned. “Because it’s aboard the Brian Talbot that you two are going to complete your adventure. Byee.”

A split second later both the young earplug and the polystyrene packing piece dematerialised…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

Photography: Morning or Evening Light: Which is Best?

Generally speaking I like to take most of my snaps in the early morning – when few people are up and about; and, if I’m caught short, I can placate my enlarged prostate by taking a leak in the bushes unseen. But recently my relatively orderly life has been turned topsy-turvy by circumstances beyond my control, which have forced me to alter the timing of my jaunts around the local countryside. In short, mornings are out; evening in are in. So now, instead of the white light of late dawn, I’m getting used to the warmer hues of early dusk. But which is better? To find out, let’s take a dekko at a couple of my aforementioned photos. Here is very nice morning shot…

And, of course, here is a piccie of the opposite end of the day…

But, it occurred to me, perhaps those aren’t fair comparisons. They were taken at different times of the year after all. Surely two pictures of the same thing, taken several hours apart, would create a better comparison. So I went to the bottom of my garden and shot this Clematis in the morning, around breakfast time…

I then waited until after dinner to take this…

So which is better? Frankly, who cares? They’re both bloody gorgeous!  In any case, Britain is usually dull, grey and cloudy; so it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 5)

So, whilst Perfidity did her thing in the privacy of the bridge lavatory, the Chi-Z-Sox continued to race across the cosmos.

In the Science Lab, the Science Staff studied galactic anomalies…

But, being trainees, they found it all rather nauseating…

Then, unknown to either of their guests, the crew slowed the ship’s rapid forward progress…

…so that Perfidity could enjoy the sight of two stars coalescing…

…and for Hideous to make radio contact with a deep space beacon…

In the Observation Dome, Folie and Placebo became concerned…

“I have nasty feeling about this.” Placebo said, as he stared up through the transparent roof.

Folie’s feelings dwelt slightly lower than Placebo’s. Mostly in his bowels, actually.

“Yes,” Placebo continued, as though his friend’s stomach had remained mute, “that looks suspiciously like a deep space beacon. It can mean only one thing: either we’re being recalled; the lavatories need unblocking; or interstellar war has been declared.”

Little did Placebo know, as the Chi-Z-Sox hung like a Christmas bauble beside the deep space beacon…

…but all the while Hideous had been in communication with the unmanned device. And what it had informed him were no less than the co-ordinates of his next destination. So, without further ado, the Chi-Z-Sox got under weigh once more…

“Yee-hah.” Hideous yelled. “Feel that kick in the pants!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Return to Hamster Britain!

Yes, it’s time for another Hamster-Sapiens extract. On this particular occasion I’ve selected a sample of this fabulous tome…

Wendy stood atop a single raised dais in the centre of the dell. She took a deep breath in preparation for her opening speech, but quickly released it when she noticed a knot of small boys seated upon the ground beneath the dais. They appeared to be trying to look up her skirt. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have been a complete disaster for the public servant, but tonight a certain situation existed whereby she must avoid such scrutiny: She’d planned to get herself thoroughly rogered during the intermission by her mysterious new personal assistant from Darkest Jungle Land – Plops M’Banjo – and had decided to circumvent his heavy-pawed attempts to relieve her of her under garments by leaving them in her knickers drawer at home. Now she’d spotted that one of the small boys held a compact camera and a cardboard periscope in his paws, and her plans lay in ruins.

“I say.” She called across to P C Chest, who was busy chatting animatedly with his girlfriend, Amy Crumpet, “Can you have these ruffians removed?”

It was an inauspicious start: Hamsters were generally very fond of their younglings, and since time immemorial the young boys of the town had sat at the feet of the mayor on Remembrance Thrudsday – or Danglydong Dell Diaries Day as it was more popularly known – and many of those nearest shifted uneasily upon their roughly hewn logs, and cursed quietly under their breath. Some went so far as to spit. And someone who looked suspiciously like the recently removed mayor – the disgraced Chester Bogbreath in disguise – broke wind forthrightly.

Wendy quickly caught the mood with her sensitive snout, and like the brilliant politician she was, intuitively altered tack. “Indeed, Constable.” She added, “Take the little darlings for a ride in the mayoral limousine. I’m sure that they’ll enjoy a quick thrash across the field, down the lane, and around Farmer Jacksey’s motocross circuit, followed by a motion sickness-induced vomiting session. It’s much more interesting than listening to my boring old oratory.”

Of course she was correct, and within moments the youngsters had scarpered, and she was able to relax and begin again – only this time properly…

“Fine upstanding citizens of Hamster Heath,” she boomed in a voice that was remarkably free from the usual shrillness commonly found in female hamsters, “once again we find ourselves seated within the hallowed earthworks of Danglydong Dell – to hear the personal stories of this year’s chosen town-folk. In keeping with tradition, those who have received the most votes from the town council Diaries Commission will be invited to stand upon this dais, and read an especially prepared extract from their personal diary. Naturally, as is the way of rodents in general, and hamsters in particular, each entry will have been ghost-written into third person narrative by our guest author; and will read much as a piece of fiction would – rather than egocentric, me-me-me, self-aggrandisement. After all,” she chuckled, “we wouldn’t want to bore ourselves silly with dull, tedious, prose written by complete amateurs, would we!”

“Who’s the guest ghost-writer this year?” Bootsie – the retired former town police constable – bellowed from somewhere at the back.

A shadow crossed the face of the mayoress. She was well aware that almost everyone present was expecting her to reply to Bootsie’s question with the answer ‘Granny Arseblower’. But she had bad news for them, and she prayed that her reply wouldn’t make them turn ugly. She didn’t do’ ugly’ very well, and usually resorted to violence when confronted by it in private. But this was a very public affair, and she knew that she would have to maintain a modicum of decorum.

“Well obviously we would have loved to have Granny Arseblower be our ghost-writer again this year.” She began positively, but quickly lowered her tone, “But unfortunately the town Medium – Molly Horseblanket – discovered too late that her magic whoopee cushion had perished during the summer heat wave, and all attempts to contact the spirit of her forebear using a Ouija board failed miserably. Fortunately we were able to contact the late, and very famous, Freda Bludgeon at the eleventh hour to help us out.”

She chanced a toothy grin at the assembled horde. There were a few weak smiles in response, which boosted her confidence considerably. She was about to continue when she was rudely interrupted

“Freda Bludgeon?” The less than feminine voice of Farmer Niblet from the Farm Workers and Associated Dung Flingers section exclaimed. “She was an old hack. Couldn’t write for nuts. All her novels were re-writes of earlier stories. Why – she was such a shit writer that she took up farming. I should know – I’m one of her descendants, and I can’t string three words together what make sense to some one.”

Wendy ground her incisors together for several seconds before replying. But when she spoke it was with succinctness and utter authority.

“Tough shit, Farmer Niblet: It’s either Freda Bludgeon’s work – or the evening is cancelled.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 4)

With their passengers stowed safely in their cabin, the crew of the Chi-Z-Sox soon had their mighty vessel blasting free of Earth’s gravity well…

“Whee!” Many of them squealed with delight as the stars of deep space began to glare un-winking and balefully. Their number included the Captain’s wife – the First Officer, Doctor Putridity Gout…

“Have a care, Dearest.” Hideous whispered from the Captain’s chair. “The crew are apt to think you’re an excitable wally. I don’t want a mutiny on my hands, you know.”

Naturally Folie and Placebo released themselves and joined several off-duty crew-folk in the observation dome…

“Golly, Placebo,” Folie said nervously, “isn’t space really big!”

Placebo couldn’t argue with the facts that supported his friend’s assertion. “Yeah.” He replied. “But wait until we blast out of orbit: then space will look so big that you’ll feel like a tiny, tiny, bacterium in comparison.”

Moments later the ship did as Placebo had intimated…

“See?” The large white being said…

“I do.” Folie replied. “It’s great – feeling like a bacteria, I mean. All the worries of life just trickle away.”

Because the Chi-Z-Sox was a nippy ship, it took mere minutes to reach, and fly-by, the planet Neptune…

Then Hideous Gout instructed the Helmsplug to hit the Really Fast button. A split second later…

“Oh, Hideous,” Perfidity gushed, “I do so adore going faster than light. If only I could train my bladder to enjoy it too. Excuse me whilst I nip off to the loo, would you?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 3)

Placebo must have harboured similar thoughts, because…

…he said: “Of course it might only be coincidence that this poster appeared on the way to our destination: but I can’t help thinking that it’s here to bolster our sense of loyalty to such a generous museum.”

Folie didn’t respond immediately: instead he continued past the hoarding and mounted another ‘Up’ ramp…

…where, simultaneously, doubt entered both youngsters’ mind.

“Ooh-er.” Folie said intellectually. “Has doubt finally entered your young mind too, Placebo?” He enquired.

“It has, Folie.” The tall, crimson-eyed polystyrene blob replied. “But I’m not backing out now: this is the opportunity of a life time. Let’s go!”

So, several seconds later, they found themselves at the passenger airlock of the Chi-Z-Sox and were confronted by two burly guards – one biological; the other a silver android..

“Who the heck are you?” The biological earplug demanded.

“You ugly sods.” The android added – rather unnecessarily, or so thought Folie.

“Placebo Bison.” Placebo replied calmly – un-phased by the guards’ apparent belligerence. “And this is my colleague, Folie Krimp.”

A smile spread across the earplug guard’s face. “Yeah, we knew that.” He said…

…”We were just fooling about. Travelling about in space does that to you. By the way – welcome aboard.”

“Follow us.” The android instructed.

Soon, Folie and Placebo…

…had gained the dizzy heights of Deck Six.

“Wow,” Folie whispered to Placebo…

…”Look – a green glow on Deck Six: it can mean only one thing.”

“Oh, by the Saint of All Earplugs.” Placebo squealed. “We’re actually standing on the bridge. The bridge of Wetworld’s sole star ship. I’m so excited, I could vomit!”

“Hello, boys.” the designer and captain of the Chi-Z-Sox, Professor Hideous Gout, said. “Hope you don’t mind being filmed by Rupert Piles and his huge TV camera…

…This is excellent PR for the museum, you know.”

“Not at all.” The rapidly-calming Placebo answered the rhetorical question. “Just as long as he doesn’t follow us into the toilet.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

They’re Back! The Earplugs Have Returned!

Happy days are here again. All of those miserable Earpluggers, missing their fix of derring-do in a universe inhabited by sentient ear plugs, can rejoice once more. The latest tale is taking shape. And it’s already appearing upon the Internet. Whatever you do, dear Earplugger, don’t miss a moment of ‘Distant Land’.

Click HERE to catch up with your missed first excerpt: and HERE for the second. You know it makes sense.

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 2)

Under normal circumstances, Major Flaccid’s subordinates would have leapt into instant action. But on this particular occasion those manning the control room of the T.W.I.T HQ, Swottan Hetty, were trying out the latest office chairs from the future and  were engaged in animated conversation about them…

Which meant that the good Major was forced to pass on the vile coffee and answer the call himself.

“What?” He roared angrily at his consequent summons to the Great Hall. “Can’t a RoboSecGua accompany your stupid guests to the Great Hall?” But then he remembered that the museum’s robotic security guards were having a brain overhaul…

…and so grumbled: “Very well, I shall accede to your demand.”

But when the Major arrived, he was alone…

“Sorry.” He explained to the waiting curators. “But my lads are busy testing some new office equipment…

…It’s a priority assignment: they’ll be along momentarily.”

And, much to everyone’s surprise, it really was only a few moments before they arrived…

…with Placebo Bison and Folie Krimp in tow.

Naturally the two young new-comers to the museum smiled sweetly, if uncertainly…

But when they learned of the special offer available to them…

…Placebo’s smile became knowing – almost as if he had anticipated something like it. And Folie was so surprised that he squeaked.

“That’s right.” Cushions Smethwyke assured them through her vast portcullis of gnashers. “You are going to go somewhere that no non-paying guest of the Museum of Future Technology has gone before: you are going into outer space!”

“Jeepers, that sounds fun.” And exuberant Folie yelped. “When do we leave?”

“Oh-Twenty-Seven hours.” Montagu informed him. “Now might I suggest that you take the intervening time to get to know each other.”

“After all,” Sir Dodger Muir added kindly, “from now one you’ll probably be spending a lot of time together. As we all know, space is huge; but space ships less so.”

So it was a slightly bedazzled pair of visitors that departed the Great Hall and began ascending an Up ramp…

“Tell you what, Folie.” Placebo said to his new yellow chum, “we should take one last look at this place. From the highest vantage point preferably. You never know, we might suffocate in the vacuum of space and never see it again.”

Although the highest vantage point was almost two kilometres above sea level, the futuristic elevator soon had them staring out at wondrous vistas…

“Cor, would ya look at that.” Placebo gasped. “The whole museum laid out before us. I guess we’ll never see anything in space that can compare to this.”

Folie decided to keep his own council. Although he appreciated the view, he couldn’t help wondering why he and Placebo were being treated so especially. This feeling was exacerbated when they came upon a huge cardboard cut-out…

Of course it hadn’t occurred to him that they were being effectively drafted.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Tasty Earplugs

Perhaps ‘tasty’ isn’t quite the right word. Maybe I should have titled this post ‘Earplugs Taster’. But if I had, then it is possible that it might not have gained your attention. But whatever, here is a visual ‘taster’ of what is to come in the latest Earplug Adventure. And very nice it is too!

Yes, I’ve been hard at work. Now please reward me by returning to read the resultant story of adventure and derring-do.

Junior Earplug Adventures: Distant Land (part 1)

Deep within the vast edifice that was the wondrous Museum of Future Technology…

..in which technological artefacts from future eras had been sent back through time for safe keeping in the past, several key curators assembled in the Grand Hall…

“Well,” the hugely-toothed Cushions Smethwyke began proceedings, “with the museum’s greatest hero, Magnuss Earplug, lost in the past with his girlfriend, Hair-Trigger Provost; and his heroic brothers now engaged on the task of finding him, it’s up to us to discover other earplugs to replace them. What have we done so far, Montagu?”

The turquoise biological android earplug turned to Cushions. “We have initiated a study of brain-boxes from all over the world.” He answered. “The smartest have been invited to visit the museum free-of-charge. Hopefully some of them will stay on afterwards and help protect us all from the multifarious threats that we seem to habitually face.”

“Good idea.” The bi-coloured Bubbly Salterton chipped in. “Do any stand out so far?”

“Two, old chap.” The ageing former thespian, Sir Dodger Muir, replied on Montagu’s behalf. “One is a sweet, if slightly tubby, yellow chap named Folie Krimp. The other is exploring one of our highest towers, as we speak.”

“His name is Placebo Bison.”

“And, I’m slightly reticent to relate, he isn’t an earplug at all. In fact he’s…

…a polystyrene packing piece. But, in many respects, he possesses the earplug attributes that we seek. Dare I say, he dreams of…

…touching the stars.”

“Excellent.” Cushions seemed to conclude the discussion. “We’ll decide what to do with this pair later. Now on to other business. Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to our latest curator: Big Purp…”

On cue, the huge purple earplug, known to everyone as Big Purp, stepped into view. Naturally Rupert Piles rushed forward to record the event upon his huge television camera.

“Hello.” the vast silicon being said with a surprisingly high-pitched voice. “I’m so pleased to be here, I could scream.”

“Now, as I understand the rules of curatordom,” he continued, “as a newbie it’s up to me to suggest an action that appears altruistic, but actually benefits the Museum of Future Technology.”

“And you would be correct.” Cushions assured him.

In response Big Purp instructed Winston Gloryhole to activate the comm system…

“Who would you have me call?” Winston inquired.

At that very moment, far across the unimaginably gigantic building, the commanding officer of T.W.I.T, Major Flaccid, was…

…in the act of selecting a horrible cup of coffee from the Head Quarters’ coffee dispenser. Without warning, the comm system chimed for his attention.

“Bum wipe!” He bellowed, as only a commanding officer can. “Someone get that, will you? I can’t decide whether to plump for Crappachino or Cafe con Spittle.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019