Category Archives: Photography

Wallpaper 478: Light, Shade, and Clematis

You may have noticed, from earlier posts, I rather like clematis.

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Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 21)

Later that day, all five Earplug Brothers received their knighthoods. In addition Marnus Pongfinger contacted the Iceworld’s sole robot space freighter…

…which had recently been loaded with the first cargo of ice and had been despatched towards the Waterworld, where the primary commodity was to be used in gin and tonics, rum and colas, vodka and limes, and other variations of alcoholic beverages. Naturally the robotic captain was cybernetically thrilled to receive a call from his ruler…

And when it passed on the news to the lower ranked robots aboard…

…they responded by saying, gleefully: “Goodie; we’re off to the Museum of Future Technology. Our cargo is going to be used in the hospitality suite there. Alone it won’t solve the museum’s insolvency; but it will cut down, dramatically, on bar costs.”

So, with their task complete, the five heroes prepared to depart the city. But Chester had a farewell to make…

He found Trubbol Attmill enjoying the huge communal bubble bath.

“Chester.” She squealed. “Why don’t you join me? The bubbles get everywhere: it’s such fun; and it makes you clean too.”

So, as Chester leapt into the foaming embrace…

…he said: “Great – just as long as they don’t get up my nose. My nasal cavities are fragile and easily irritated. Otherwise I could be sneezing for a week and a half.”

Fortunately they didn’t; and Chester’s nose was just fine. But time was of the essence; space tides demanded that the Chi-Z-Sox depart the Iceworld’s region of the galaxy; and Chester had to make the farewell to which he had alluded earlier…

“Oh, Trubbol, there goes the ship’s claxon.” He said. “My brothers and I have to go. But I promise to return one day soon – when our quest is complete; and we’ll bathe together again.”

“I look forward to it.” Trubbol replied, as she gazed lovingly at the young pink earplug of Terrestrial origin.

Then he was gone; rejoined with his siblings…

…and feeling really down in the dumps.

“Hey, Chester.” Rudi spoke from directly behind him. “Get those feet moving, man; we gotta ship to catch.”

So, as the quintet passed into the snow field beyond the city walls…

…natives would question each other concerning them.

“Aren’t they handsome?” Some would say.

“Is that a question, or a statement?” Others would reply.

Then, with Rudi taking the lead, it was time to march swiftly across the ice…

Back to the vast vessel of space that awaited their arrival…

…where other natives spoke enviously…

“Big show-offs.” One of them said, as he looked around to make sure that no security forces could hear him. “If I had a ship like that, I’m sure I could fly all over the place – asking for help or money too.”

But no one bothered listening: they thought he was a mealy-mouthed git; and were in too much awe of the Earplug Brothers.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 20)

With the confidence of a tyrant, Marnus Stenchnee stepped forward…

“Yeah.” He growled. “And if you don’t like it, you can shove it in your ear.”

To both Chester’s and Miles’ dismay, Magnuss equalled Stenchnee in both physical act and style of verbal attack…

“If anyone is going to get something shoved in their ear,” he snarled his reply, “it’ll be you, you big red dope.”

Stenchnee didn’t hesitate for a nanosecond: his response came quickly and was delivered with the assurance of an earplug who believed himself to be in complete control of the situation:

“I wouldn’t test me, Pinko.” The words slipped from between his lips like a string of mercury-coated sausages. “The power generator has a urine bomb strapped to it; and I have the trigger in the palm of my hand. Any silly buggers from anyone and the generator gets flooded with my personal piddle.”

Under normal circumstances, this information would have been enough to quell any thoughts of insurrection: but the Earplug Brothers didn’t believe in normal circumstances. A split second later…

…Magnuss delivered a karate chop to the side of Stenchnee’s head. The world-leader went down like a sack of month-old cabbages, which pleased Marnus Pongfinger immensely. Then realisation struck the ancient, white-haired earplug: “By the Soiled Cacks of the Supreme Being,” he wailed, “we are undone. My evil brother’s puny grip upon the trigger has loosened. Within seconds the power supply will fail. We’re as good as dead!”

“Calm yourself, President Pongfinger.” Magnuss said with a smile. “No such calamity shall assail your fair city. The bomb has been neutralised. Shall I explain?”

“I wish you would.” Uda Spritzer replied as everyone crowded around to kick the inert Stenchnee. “The expectation of a freezing death is…er…killing me.”

“Well,” Magnuss began, “it all started with one of your loyal subjects. His name is Trubbil Dounpitt; and he made a galactic emergency call. One of our ship’s crew heard it and duly took the information to the captain. He, in turn, informed us. As a result we discovered Stenchnee’s despicable plan. But let’s have someone else continue this tale. Let’s hear it from the metaphorical plugmutts’ mouth. Let me introduce my brother, Valentine.”

Valentine didn’t bother with small talk: “Right on.” He said into the resulting, expectant silence. “Rudi and me left Magnuss and Miles holding the fort whilst Chester kept your guide busy…

We thought she looked kinda cute; but we couldn’t take any chances: she could’a been a spy. Know what I mean? Anyway, we went straight to the Nul-Space power generator…

Of course we couldn’t access the urine bomb from up there, so we put on our cossack hats…

…and took the back way inside. Then I emptied the ginger beer from inside my hip flask – all over the bomb. The fizzy goo sealed the bomb in five seconds flat. Then it burned its way through the protective sheath. And that was that: no matter how many times that joker bro of yours pressed his dumb trigger, that bomb wasn’t gonna go splat – no way.”

With that Valentine turned away; happy in the knowledge that he had left his audience in a better frame of mind than they had felt five minutes earlier.

“Gosh, that was good news.” Pongfinger opined quietly to Cruton. “I can’t wipe the smile from my face.”

“Indeed, Sir.” His manservant replied. “But I wonder if Valentine’s reference to his ginger beer-filled hip flask was, in actuality, a euphemism.”

“I was thinking the same thing.” Uda Spritzer added. “I’m a scientist. As a result of which I know a heck of a lot about a heck of a lot of things; and I’m far from certain that ginger beer can burn  through protective sheaths – even the alcoholic kind. It’s a metaphor. You mark my words. A metaphor for his bladder. It’s my scientific opinion that Valentine is no ginger beer drinker: instead he simply possesses the ability to deliver a vast quantity of corrosive wee-wee, on command, with precise accuracy. I just wish I had half his talent.”

“If so,” Pongfinger concluded – if a tad illogically, “I’d hate to be in a cupboard with him when he breaks wind; there’s no knowing what damage he could do to my nasal passages. Have him knighted immediately.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 18)

So, whilst Scroat Titan emerged from the cave into which he had teleported; and duly spotted the nearby Metalworker’s encampment…

…and even more duly entered it, where he was spotted by a clandestine local…

 

…his nose led him to a vast pile of excrement…

 

…which steamed alarmingly.

”Jeepers,” he’d yelped in surprise at the discovery, ”that sure looks fresh to me. It can’t be more than a few hours old. And it definitely belongs to a cork!”

 

Then realising that he must be getting close to finding Ballington, he’d made straight for his next destination – the Time Shard Museum of Future Technology…

…where fate cast him into a situation whereby he encountered Yelli Smello and the other former inmates of the Sloshed Antlers penitentiary. But, naturally, the Earplug Brothers knew nothing of this. And even if they had, they wouldn’t have cared less. They had a quest of their own; and it involved the ice planet’s capital city…

…in which Chester continued to admire Trubbol Attmill’s rear end – as she led him upon a pleasant tour…

Trying to break through Chester’s fixation upon her devilishly curvaceous buttocks, Trubbol told him all about her enjoyment of precipitous ledge walking; and how, during the Great Thaw, she had been left stranded when a ledge gave way before her…

”Gosh.” Chester exclaimed. ”I bet that was really annoying. Were you late for tea?”

”I was late for tea; the following day’s breakfast; and every meal for a month.” Trubbol replied. ”The surface of the planet had broken up. But I was one of the lucky ones: I had a flask of soup and a packet of doilies in my knapsack.”

Moments later she opened a door to the outside world, where…

…quite unexpectedly, a vicious fog had descended.

”Ooh-er.” They said as one.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 17)

Meanwhile, far, far away, upon Henhouse Island – the home and place of imprisonment for Ballington Cork – the Cork God’s field agent, who was known by very few as Scroat Titan, had arrived by means unknown…

He then proceeded to conduct a fact-finding search, which included Ballington’s necessarily low-maintenance cactus garden…

He was seeking out the spore of his quarry. He even looked down a long, dark sewer…

…but the light at the opposite end told Scroat everything he needed to know. Clearly Ballington hadn’t produced a huge turd in many months, which meant that either he remained in suspended animation (which he didn’t), or he wasn’t on the island.

“Bum!” He bellowed, as only a Cork God field agent can. “Now I’ll have to go search somewhere else for him. What a huge pain in the posterior!”

But before he set off towards his next destination, he thought he’d take a moment to enjoy the cliff top view…

Then he was on his way…

…to none other than…

…the mountain citadel of Lemon Stone, where he arrived at the observation post that was usually manned by Mr Zinc, but which was now empty because the aforementioned megalomaniac had taken up ski biathlon and was away competing in the world championships…

From there he wandered into the monastery where he took in a couple of religious icons, which made him see red, because he knew, for certain, that there were only a few true gods, because they financed his mortgage and broadband payments…

Thereafter he checked out the monk’s anachronistic toadstool-like dormitory…

…where he finally realised that he was on the wrong track entirely and transitioned, by apparently magical means, to another location…

And this time, he swore on his Great Uncle Gut Titan’s grave, that he would find Ballington Cork’s useless carcass, and lug it back to Henhouse Island – dead or alive.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018