Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 12)


No preamble: just story…

But time is a great healer, and five minutes later the happy couple were on their way for a pre-disembarkation tinkle…

Then it was just a matter of catching the courtesy shuttle bus to the space port’s largest hotel – Hotel Gilb…

As a blue earplug guided them to their room…

…Magnuss noted that the authorities on Tah-Di-Tah seemed very keen on giving their noteworthy structures four-letter monosyllabic names. He recited the three with which he was familiar: “Snid, Glob, and Gilb.” He said.

To which the blue earplug responded: “Yeah, guess so. Got a tip?”

Once inside their room, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger elected to wash away the sweat of fear that had accumulated upon their silicon skin since encountering the doomed turquoise planet…

But were really cheesed off when they discovered that the bubble bath had a built-in timer. They had just enough time to rinse off before all the water drained away. Then, following a quick peek out of their high-level window at the bright lights of the City…

…it was time to hit the streets…

Initially those streets seemed almost empty. But, as they followed the signs that would take them to the bazaar, the crowds began to build…

In fact the central thoroughfare became almost crowded…

…with more and more thrill-seeking visitors arriving with every passing second. Magnuss and Hair-Trigger slipped in unobtrusively behind a pair of Ethernet Cable Ends who could only have come from Scroton…

Magnuss was tempted to engage them in conversation, and perhaps boast of his friendship with their leader. But a dig in the ribs from Hair-Trigger put paid to that idea. So instead he decided to savour the atmosphere, and try to identify as many different species as he could…

And there were a lot of them – including a happy pair of enormous Polystyrene Blobs…

…one of whom (and much to the distress of her partner, wanted to whip off her knickers and jump in the canal…

Cripes, Hairy,” Magnuss whispered, “this is all so cosmopolitan. I’m feeling decidedly parochial here. Look at those unusual long-snouted earplugs: I’ve never seen that species before. I wonder where they originate?”

Of course, during her bounty-hunting career, Hair-Trigger had visited many worlds with their fair share of strange beings. She was less impressed than her husband. But she was mildly shaken when one of the Cable Ends fell head first, down an open drain and, as a direct result, broke wind both violently and pyrotechnically…

This incident was the turning point for Magnuss…

“I think we need to find somewhere quieter. Follow me.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

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