Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 4)

The photos have been taken and processed. The words to accompany them have been written. Why not post them? No reason not to. Here’s episode four…

Moments later the lights dimmed; a stage was rolled in; and the Trumptations broke into a special wedding version of their hit, Beauty is Only Skin Bleach

This was followed by the booming bass-driven sounds of a Hambledon Bohannon track, which was expertly danced to by the Greenhorn Girls…

Then, to ice the metaphysical cake, Las Bragas returned… 

 …and everyone ‘got down’ to the Latin beat…


 …though Nigel had to make a quick exit. He was needed elsewhere. Elsewhere like the museum’s Red Tower…

Shortly he joined Cushions and the slightly bemused newlyweds…  

“I’ve never been here before.” Magnuss confessed. “Where are we going?”

“That would be telling.” Cushions replied.

“It’s a mystery location.” Nigel added. “Very few people know where it is – including me.”  

But when the signage petered out, it transpired that Cushions didn’t have much clue either…

“Oh dear,” she explained, “I’ve only been here once – and that was with your former husband, Hair-Trigger: I’m afraid I wasn’t paying enough attention: Hunting was trying to tickle my bum with a feather boa that he keeps in his utility belt.”

Hair-Trigger nodded sagely in response: she well-remembered Hunting’s feather boa. Fortunately a scientist in Lab 17 was able to shout directions through the bullet-proof glass window. But less fortunately the glass was also sound-proof, and none of them were particularly adept at lip reading: so before long they were hopelessly lost. But Cushions put a call through to the Security Suite, and a holographic image of one of the on-duty RoboSecGuas appeared in half-size form and showed them the way…   

Nigel was impressed. “Nice technology.” He said. “From the future?”

“Isn’t everything in the museum?” Cushions replied as they followed the hologram’s directions.

Soon Cushions found herself on more familiar ground…  

“Ah, yes, I remember this bit.” She said confidently. “But it’s a bit dark: I wonder where they keep the dimmer switch?”

But she didn’t need to worry. Nigel lived up to his name and emitted a golden glow…  

…that allowed them to see their way to a large observation window, beyond which something resided in a most interesting manner… 

 “I’m getting a good feeling from this.” Magnuss said as he peered down from his high vantage point.

“It’s a bit like that trip you took to the Martian ship building facility.” Hair-Trigger reminded him.

Magnuss had to agree. But then he thought on: “But there is no ship building in the Red Tower.” He replied.

But he said no more: the lights had come up and a small space ship had trundled into view upon an advanced and futuristic conveyor belt…  

“The Scroterton Pancake.” Cushions announced. “Brought here in flat-pack form aboard Nigel’s star ship. If you like it, it is your honeymoon barge – to take you wherever you want to go.” 

]“Designed and built in our second great city, Scroterton.” Nigel informed them. “Of course if red doesn’t float your boat, how about a more subtle shade of grey?” 


Following a deep intake of breath by both Magnuss and Hair-Trigger, Nigel added: “It’s called the Sir Goosewing Grey. It’s named after a great captain of industry on Scroton – Goosewing Grey, whom I knighted for his creation of the Snotty-Nosed Sharon children’s toy. It revolutionised the way Scrotonic children play. Previously they’d always spent their formative years picking their noses: now they had a doll that could do it for them. I.Qs leapt overnight.”

 “I’d like to meet him.” Magnuss replied. “He’s not dead, is he?” 

But before Nigel could answer his inquiry, Hair-Trigger spoke. “The Scroterton Pancake looks a bit threatening. I wouldn’t want to go scaring alien species with its evil red colouration. And the grey one…well it’s so dark, we could lose it in a fog.” 

Cushions was about to say something that might have gone: “Ungrateful git; you should be thankful for whatever’s on offer.”

But she didn’t get the opportunity, because a third vessel – cloaked in shadows – appeared in the window…

 “Lights!” Magnuss shouted.

Instantly the new arrival became bathed in a suffuse light that did it all sorts of aesthetic favours…  

“Oooh,” Hair-Trigger sighed appreciatively, “nice. A rich blue upper fuselage; and a stealthy black underside. I’ll take it.”

Magnuss didn’t argue – not that he would have, even if the colour scheme had made him retch. “Tankerville Norris.” He added. “What does that mean?” 

“Well,” Nigel replied as he settled himself down to tell a tale, “It wasn’t supposed to be called the Tankerville Norris. Not originally. Originally it bore the moniker, The Love Hutch. But one of our engineers thought it sounded a little risqué, so he suggested the Bunk-Bunk Bunson – named after the factory in which the prototype was developed.” 

Magnuss held up a hand to stem the flow of words. “I know I’m going to regret this; but why was the factory called Bunk-Bunk Bunson?” 

To his surprise it was Cushions who answered this inquiry…

 “Honestly, Magnuss,” she scolded, “haven’t you been keeping up with the trans-Galactic news network? Bunk-Bunk Bunson was an earplug who travelled to Scroton from the future. Actually his name wasn’t Bunk-Bunk Bunsen: it was merely Bunson. But he was so nervous – when he was arrested by the Scrotonic security forces – that he stammered when asked for his identity. From then on he became known as Bunk-Bunk Bunson.”

“Oh,” Magnuss responded, “I’d like to meet him too.” He then turned to Nigel: “I suppose he had the designs of the new ship in his back pocket, and you took them off him?”

“Quite so.” Nigel smiled proudly. “Then we sent him on his way – back to the future – where the Time Police most probably arrested him for disturbing the time-line or some such. In recognition of his great sacrifice, we named the factory after him. It was the least we could do.”

It was Magnuss’ turn to nod sagely. “Yes, I understand completely. So the original design was labelled Tankerville Norris. Yes, it all makes sense.” 

Then the light that shone upon the Tankerville Norris shifted subtly… 

 …and revealed Susan, in her amorphous blob mode, as she searched for Chester whilst they played Hide and Seek. 

“That’s handy.” Hair-Trigger said as she turned to watch, “that gives us something to compare the ship with. Until I saw Susan, I couldn’t gauge its size or scale.” 

“Hey, that must be Chester in that forward observation window.” Magnuss cried out with glee. “Good place to hide, bro: Susan is too big to get through the airlock.”  

“Ah,” Nigel said with an air of knowledgeability, “the forward observation window. Great care must be taken with that. It is made from patrisha nancitate, and has a magnifying effect – to better see distant planets of course. But it also works both ways. People outside can see you inside – magnified hugely. It can scare the hell out of primitive alien life-forms: they think everyone inside is a vast giant – and take to their heels without hesitation. It’s also best to keep your trousers on when using it. It’s a modesty thing. I think you’ll understand.” 

This concerned Hair-Trigger. She didn’t want to go scaring primitive alien life-forms: and she sometimes liked to use observation windows whilst in her night gown. “So why isn’t Chester huge and scary?” She inquired. 

“It only works in space.” Nigel replied. He then pressed a button on the window frame. The view of the Tankerville Norris was instantly replaced by an image of the ship in flight…

 …and it was Game Over. 

“Give me the keys,” an eager Magnuss pleaded, “give me the keys: I gotta check this baby out!” 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

There, wasn’t that nice! “Are there sufficient photos for a Part 5?” I hear you ask. Silly question: of course there are.

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