Wot – No New Comedy? An Explanation.

Generally I try to avoid blogs and posts that are ‘in the moment’, or, to put it another way – pertinent to NOW, but not necessarily to a point in the future. Oh, cripes, what I’m trying to say is: I don’t do Facebook style communication. I’m here to entertain. I always plan my post to stay here a while. But today I’ve put that reticence aside – to explain why I have been posting excerpts of ancient works and why I haven’t produced any new episodes of Distant Land. Well the simple explanation is this: I’m not in the best place (mentally) that I could be. A year ago my wife and I were on holiday, where she complained of pain deep inside her. Long story short, we discovered she had cancer. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy both failed. In fact they seemed to really piss the cancer off. Short story shortened: she had to undergo a massive operation to remove pretty much everything. As I write this post she is in a specialist hospital 75 miles away from me. The operation is over, and has proven successful. She is in Intensive Care and “doing fine”. Whilst I am hugely relieved that she is still alive (and presumably the cancer is gone), I can’t relax until she is at my side once more. So, if the comedy is a little sporadic, please bear with me: I will be firing on all cylinders before too long: I promise. But don’t expect this post to hang around for long: I fully intend to delete it soon. News quickly gets old. And I don’t do Facebook, remember?

Tooty

In lieu of a picture of her (which she has banned, by the way) I present this representation…

   

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Distant Land (part 34)

Shortly Princess Cake returned to the royal chambers…

…where she returned to her fretting…

…about all of her surviving subjects who were out in the cold of the resulting nuclear winter. She even felt a smidgen of pity for the four scientists that had caused the disaster, and who now helped the search teams in their quest to bring those survivors into the bosom of the museum…

“You gits.” One particular survivor shouted at them from the deck of passing hover truck. “You’re lucky this truck is moving: if it wasn’t, I’d leap from this deck and give you all a good kick up the arse!”

Knowledge of this made Princess Cake almost wistful…

“Why, I do wish I’d thought of that: I’d have loved to kick Whoops Brannigan up the arse.”

Meanwhile, the loud-mouthed (but essentially harmless) survivor’s twin brother arrived from the opposite direction aboard another hover truck…

But he was too traumatized to say anything. Instead he avoided eye contact completely.

“Whoo, lucky.” Frutilda whispered to Dido. “I was certain that one was going to kick us up the arse really hard.”

Despite her eagerness to conjure up a brilliant plan to save the population, Princess Cake seemed singularly incapable. This concerned her…

“Honestly.” She complained to herself. “What kind of nominal ruler are you? Surely it can’t be that difficult to save the world!”

Meanwhile, out in the cold, word got around…

“Really, I think its lamentable.” Whoops said to Dennis. “That female is getting ideas above her station. If anyone is going to think up a brilliant alternative to a slow dissolution into extinction, it should be us.”

And Dido said to Frutilda: “I don’t know so much: maybe a good kick up the arse would give us just the impetus we need to activate our genius genes. Tell you what: I’ll kick you first: then you kick me.”

Naturally Princess Cake had secret microphones everywhere; and when she heard this, she felt confident that, perhaps, the day might yet be saved…

“They’ll think of something.” She said with a relieved sigh. “I’m sure they will.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 33)

Meanwhile the nominal ruler of the museum, Princess Cake of Potwell, had fretted her way to the lower skateboard park…

As she did so, above her current location, upon the surface…

…Frutilda was amused by Whoops’ self-destructive behaviour and mocked his frozen assets.

“Come on Whoops.” She finished. “Pull yourself together. Let’s find a way to put this situation at least half-way right. You and I together. This is no time for feeling guilty: let’s do the right thing.”

Below, Princess Cake’s thoughts followed a similar furrow…

“Those useless stupid butt-wipes.” She grumbled as she stepped into the glow of the emergency lighting. “I’m going to pull royal rank and make a few suggestions to that quartet of risk-taking, scum-bag scientists.”

She found a shivering Dido Warblington standing at the entrance, which now closely resembled an ice cave…

“What is the temperature outside, Warblington, you deviant slob?” She inquired.

Like Whoops, Dido was feeling great guilt concerning the civilization-ending balls-up that he and the others had perpetrated. “Dunno.” He replied morosely. “Why don’t you go check for yourself?”

Princess Cake, had there been any guards present, would have had Dido arrested for impertinence; but since they were alone, she decided to act upon the scientist’s suggestion…

“Flaming heck!” She exclaimed regally. “It aint half bloody chilly out here!”

A fall of ice crystals from one of the museum’s many towers then made up her mind for her, and she re-entered the skate board park…

“Right then, Warblington.” She growled majestically. “You’re gonna get those other three scum-suckers together and figure out how to save the survivors – on a permanent basis. Me, I’m gonna start acting like a proper queen. I’m gonna go for a walk and try to come up with some ideas of my own. So get your arse into gear!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 32)

For a short period, after their return to the Museum, Whoops, Dido, Dennis, and Frutilda tried to live normal lives in a changed world…

But deep down inside each of them suffered…

…as they tried to ignore the curator’s attempts to save the survivors of the disaster that they had caused. Although they were aware that search teams traveled far and wide to aid desperate earplugs…

…they chose, as best they could, to enjoy life within the huge edifice…

And while they looked out upon a world that had slipped into nuclear winter, the curators dispatched rescue craft…

…into the mountains…

…where members of isolated communities were invited to return to the safety of the museum…

“Nice vessel.” Some would say. “Where are the passenger seats?”

To which the welcoming crewplugs would reply: “Sorry: standing room only. We need to pack you in like small silver marine creatures in tomato sauce.”

On one occasion, Frutilda and Whoops fell into a sullen conversation…

“You never know.” Frutilda said optimistically, “the Gravity Whelk...

…might yet return with the answer to our world’s ills.”

But Whoops was far less hopeful: “I think I want to go outside and suffer a little for my hubris and egotistical stupidity. You’ve been a bit of a turd too, Frutilda: care to join me?”

Naturally Frutilda, concerned for Whoops’ state of mind, duly slipped through a side window with her boss…

But even she was surprised by what Whoops did next, which was to jump into a deep drift and sink up to his bum in freezing snow…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

 

Distant Land (part 31)

And he was very nearly right, because the parched land soon gave way to scorched desert. But fortunately, for the gallant foursome, their route took them to an outlying public lavatory that, by a freak of geography, had been protected by the blast of the energy spill from the alternative universe…

“Hoorah.” Dido cried out in relief and joy. “I’m an expert on public lavatories. This model has a reserve water tank in the roof space: we can have a wee, wash our hands, and have a drink – almost simultaneously!”

“Excellent.” Whoops replied. “The mere presence of this ingenious working class bog proves that we’re on the right track. The Museum of Future Technology believed in spreading futuristic toilets far beyond its borders, you know – as part of a public service. This can only be one of those; I can feel it in my bowels.”

“Great.” Frutilda grunted. “But will the toilets flush?”

“Who cares?” Dennis answered. “I’m desperate: let’s go!”

So, two minutes later…

“That was disgusting.” Dennis complained. “The heat evaporated all the water. I had to wash my hands in sludge!”

But Frutilda was made of sterner stuff. “Come on boys.” She said as she departed the lavatory. “Get over it. The museum’s this way, by the way: I can almost smell its vaulted towers above the stench of that vile toilet.”

And she was right too…

…because soon an artificial walkway replaced the desert. Relief quickly joined to joy when they realized that the museum pathway illumination system was still active…

“Oh goody.” Frutilda said, as the pedestrian guidance system glowed invitingly. “The museum has power. Hopefully the security system will recognize our passes.”

Dennis wasn’t quite so optimistic…

 

“What if someone bolted the door before going to bed last night?” He argued. “We’ll never get inside!”

But his pessimism was unwarranted: the designers of the building from the future had…er…designed it well, and built it even better. Soon Dennis stood at a peephole…

 

…and snatched his final glimpse of the barren, burning land that lay beyond the museum’s limits…

and felt unadulterated gratitude to his mother, who had insisted he give up his job at the sewage works, and go to university.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019