Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 3)

With sufficient shots available in the photo library, and a few words scribbled down too, it’s on with the third episode…

Meanwhile, in a nearby sector, a talented engineer, by the name of Gregor Arsentickler, was deporting himself with grace along a narrow maintenance corridor…

He enjoyed many responsibilities, one of which was the repair of recalcitrant Café Puke vending machines. And, by chance, it was the machine in the temporary TWIT office to which he had been summoned…

He went unnoticed by Bunty as she stared mindlessly at the ceiling. He too failed to register her presence. Instead he set straight to work. But, after a while, he couldn’t help but become aware of an annoying noise. It was Daisy and Ginger in conversation…

“Well, I said,” Daisy mouthed-off loudly, “my boyfriend can jump over much bigger puddles than your boyfriend.”

Ginger was intrigued. “What did she say to that?” 

“Nothing.” Daisy replied boastfully, “what could she say: it was true: my boyfriend lives on a houseboat: he’s been jumping from the deck to shore and back again all his life. Sometimes he does it just for fun. I once watched him do it blindfold with one leg tied to the other.”

Then, with an abrupt change of subject, Ginger said: “I never did learn to tie my shoelaces: now I’m told that the government or someone has banned them. All that practice – for nothing. I tell you – I’m getting sick and tired of stuff these days. It’s not like when we were kids.”

“What, like last year, you mean?” Daisy interrupted.

“Yeah,” Ginger grumbled, “and the year before.”

“They go by so quick, don’t they?” Daisy said whilst nodding sagely. “At the rate we’re going at the moment, we’ll be old before we’ve had the chance to grow up!”

Gregor looked across at the TWIT guard, who had clearly been enduring the conversation for some considerable time…


He appeared proto-catatonic, and failed to respond to Gregor’s surreptitious wave.

And the Ginger- Daisy combo continued…

“You know,” Daisy said as she threw a glance in the direction of the mentally absent Bunty, “her dad fell off his scooter last week.”

Ginger looked down at the floor and wished that she could ‘zone-out’ like Bunty: she didn’t like tales of pain and anguish. Then she thought that if she failed to respond, Daisy might take the conversation in a nicer direction. She was wrong:

“Yeah,” Daisy continued, “he really grazed his knee. I had to put a plaster on it. But it wouldn’t stick: I had it the wrong way ‘round.”

Then, to Ginger’s relief, Daisy did change the subject:

“What do you think Bunty’s thinking about?” But before Ginger could answer, she said: “Oh look, I’ve got one of them ulcer things on my tongue.”

“I’ve never been a fan of ulcers.” Bunty said, despite the fact that her gaze remained, clamped firmly upon the ceiling. “I’ve heard they curdle the milk.”

“Yeah,” Daisy agreed, “I’m glad I haven’t got any. Milk, that is: not ulcers. I’ve got an ulcer, look. Can you see it, Ginger?”

Gregor was experiencing difficulty concentrating on his repair work. Fortunately the TWIT operative – Nature Beast – chose that moment to enter…

Gregor was more than relieved: and how the TWIT guard felt about the interruption, he could only guess.

Nature Beast didn’t believe in preamble. He didn’t have much time for short words that joined others together either. As was usual for him, he spoke of himself in the third person…

“Nature Beast got results of test.”

Bunty came down from the ceiling. “Are they good?” She inquired.

“Nature Beast can’t read.” Nature Beast replied. “But colleague told me what’s what.”

“Did he tell you that we passed?” Daisy asked hopefully.

Nature Beast took a moment to consider this difficult question. “Hang on.” He replied. “Nature Beast need moment to think.”

Ginger had the distinct feeling that things were not going their way. “This colleague,” she said to Nature Beast, “was he, by any chance, Major Flaccid?”

A dull light went on behind the monster’s eyes. “Yeah.” He bellowed. “Maybe you not some dumb-ass as Major say.”

But that was as good as it got. As he reduced his volume, Nature Beast added…

“Major say – we got enough dumb-asses in TWIT already: don’t need three more.”

Naturally this was not well received. Bunty was particularly annoyed: “But we took a day off doing…ur…stuff and other important things…to come here: why have you wasted our time?”

The words came too quickly for Nature Beast: he took a few moments to assimilate them before replying with: “Major say – dumb-asses waste my time with stupid test: I waste their time back. He say it reciprocal stuff.”

This reply enraged Daisy so much that her eyes crossed. “You’ll rue the day that you crossed the three…ah…the three…um…us

…And remember this, you weird excuse for an earplug: revenge is a dish best served…um…is best served…”

“With olives.” Bunty yelled angrily. “Now kindly open the door and let us depart with a modicum of pride…or ‘proudness’, as my mum calls it.”

Moments later Gregor watched his positive read-outs flash up on the wall screen; but secretly listened as Nature Beast showed his guests the door…


An idea was forming in his head, and he didn’t want either Nature Beast, or the reanimated TWIT guard to notice his change in demeanour…

So, as the two TWIT operatives went about their next duty, Gregor Arsentickler tossed aside his itinerary – at least metaphorically – and went in pursuit of the three girls.

He found them commiserating over a cup of ghastly coffee…

“Ladies,” he said as he approached their table, “I believe I can be of some assistance to you.”

He then explained exactly how he knew that they had failed their job interview…

“But I have good news for you.” He added. “All is not lost. If you wish to impress Major Flaccid, be at these co-ordinates upon the Wide Blue Yonder just after the artificial sun goes down.”

He then handed them a hastily-written note.  As he turned from the girl’s excited exclamations and walked away…

…he said: “You never know; this could be your lucky day.”

But he didn’t really mean it: he had motives of the ulterior kind.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021


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