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Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 10)

Ten episodes in and it still feels like the story is only really beginning. Magnuss and Hair-Trigger need to get their collective arse into gear!

Moments later the couple went their separate ways, and Magnuss found himself in the most futuristic male lavatory that he’d ever seen…

“Oh,” he sighed with relief, “I’ll never want to use a regular loo again. So why did they put it so far away from the bridge? I wonder what the girl’s toilet is like?”

But when they re-entered Engineering, Hair-Trigger appeared a whole lot less impressed than Magnuss…

And to Magnuss’ probing question she replied: “Bunk-Bunk Bunsen was a male – right? Obviously he had little idea of female anatomy. He really should have asked for advice first. If we ever meet him, I’m going to get the boot in first, okay?”

Magnuss smirked at this. “I can always empty the bucket for you.” He offered.

But Hair-Trigger wouldn’t rise to the bait. Instead she decided to find out what the central ‘table’ in Engineering actually did…

“Information and schematics,” Magnuss said as he nodded appreciatively. “And all displayed in the air before us. Very nice.”

Neither of them was particularly interested in schematics, and numbers just confused the heck out of them. So they decided to head back in the direction of the bridge…

But before long the conversation drifted to the subject of Tah-Di-Tah. Both were aware that it was a paradise world upon which many citizens of advanced worlds vacationed: but little else.

“How do we pay?” Magnuss asked.

“Where do we park our ship?” Hair-Trigger countered.

It seemed that, between them, they had a thousand and one questions – none of which they could answer. But, as they entered the bridge…

…they realised that the Tankerville Norris would have all the information they required. All they needed to do was ask. So they sat themselves down and did just that…

For the first time since coming aboard, the ship chose not to communicate telepathically. Instead it spoke its answers: “Nigel – the Golden One – has a line of credit on Tah-Di-Tah.” It said. “You are his guests: you need not concern yourselves with such trivia. Just enjoy yourselves. By the way – we’ll be arriving in less than an hour, so keep yourselves entertained until then.”

So, as the Tankerville Norris advanced towards its destination…

…the occupants did as they were bid. First of all Hair-Trigger checked out the multi-media library…

Then they chased each other around the bridge…

Then returned for a second visit to the lavatory…

…before settling themselves in the bridge…

…to watch their approach to Tah-Di-Tah…

And what a beautiful world it was too…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Is that right? Have they actually reached Tah-Di-Tah? Well thank the Saint of All Earplugs for that!

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 9)

If I worked on important things as enthusiastically as I shoot and write Earplug Adventures I wouldn’t need to fret about things I’ve forgotten to do: places I’ve supposed to have gone: and Government forms I should have filled in. But never mind – here’s the latest result of my labours…

“Too close for comfort.” Hair-Trigger said in a small voice.

Magnuss agreed wholeheartedly. “We’re on honeymoon.” He said

“We should do honey-moony types of things.” Hair-Trigger added.

“Do we know anywhere honey-moony?” Magnuss inquired.

Of course, merely asking the question meant that he knew the answer.

“Tah-Di-Tah.” Hair-Trigger replied. “I hear it’s a paradise planet.”

“Oh yes.” Magnuss said. “It’s over in that direction.”

So the ship made a slight alteration in its flight path…

…and set forth upon a voyage at a more sedate pace.

Chapter 3

With time to kill, Hair-Trigger and Magnuss departed the bridge to begin an exploration of their ship…

They had been pleased to discover that (although the ship would automatically up-date them on all concerns beyond the hull) the telepathic link with the vessel remained silent about its interior. It seemed, to Magnuss at least, that the ship understood that they enjoyed discovering new ‘things’ about their honeymoon barge. But shortly they grew concerned…

“What we really need is a toilet.” Magnuss said to Hair-Trigger as they traversed a long, winding corridor.

“Yes,” a slightly ashamed Hair-Trigger replied, “we can’t keep using that bucket that we found beneath the sink in the galley.”

But their need was not desperate or immediate, so they were able to enjoy discovering…

…a large compartment that might have been analogous with the Gravity Whelk’s, or the Chi-Z-Sox’ ‘Engineering’…

What struck them both most was its sheer spaciousness. It was so indulgent in a small vessel like the Tankerville Norris where usable space would normally be at a premium. They didn’t recognise any of the equipment either. Of course they hadn’t expected to, so they weren’t disappointed. But when a hitherto unnoticed curtain moved aside and disappeared into the seamless wall, Magnuss couldn’t believe his eyes. He was so amazed that Hair-Trigger couldn’t stop her own mouth falling open too…

“By the Saint of All Earplugs!” He exploded. “You realise what this is?”

“Of course,” Hair-Trigger – caught up in the moment, replied, “it’s a…it’s a…a…I don’t know what it is; but it must be terrific if you like it so much. You do like it, don’t you, Magnuss?”

“Like it?” Between breaths Magnuss’ pitch had risen several octaves. “I love it. It’s a Gravitonic Multiplicitor. The Scrotonites much have added this to the specifications. They don’t build ships without them. It’s a must-have piece of equipment.”

Hair-Trigger’s brow furrowed as she tried to recall where she had heard the name Gravitonic Multiplicitor before. Then it came to her…

She recalled that Folie Krimp and Placebo Bison had used one to move Mars into a new orbit around the Sun.  “Whoo,” she said, “with great power comes great responsibility. I hope we never need to activate it.”

This had a sobering effect on her new husband. “Yeah, you’re right. But it’s nice to know we have one – just in case we need one – which I know is unlikely: we’re on honeymoon after all.”

So, putting aside all thoughts of the wondrous machine that sat quiescent in the corner of Engineering, they set out once more upon their quest for a toilet…

“Some signage would be useful.” Hair-Trigger complained as they approached another unmarked door. “I’d like a few clues to show me that I’m going in the right direction.”

“Keep your nose tuned in for the smell of bleach.” Magnuss suggested helpfully, “Auntie Doris’s bathroom in her Spanish house always smells of bleach.”

But the aroma of ammonia was entirely absent as the couple passed into a long ill-lit corridor…

“More wasted space.” Magnuss grumbled.

But Hair-Trigger thought that she might have an explanation: “To work a Gravitonic Multiplicitor, isn’t it necessary to move it outside the ship?”

Magnuss slapped his forehead. “Of course.” He chuckled. “How could I have doubted the builders on Scroton?”

“Or Bunk-Bunk Bunsen.” Hair-Trigger added. “Other than the grainy windshield, the ship has behaved impeccably.” But she did wonder why he had placed Engineering so far from the ship’s hull.

Then their keen hearing caught something in the air-conditioning’s breeze…

“Do you hear that?” Magnuss said as they both slowed to a halt.

“It sounds….” Hair-Trigger began hesitantly, “it sounds like a dripping urinal.”

Magnuss wondered how his wife could recognise a dripping urinal, but he put the thought aside. Who knows what she had to do whilst married to a bounty hunter? “Look,” He cried. “Through here.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

If there’s one thing you’ve learned from reading Earplug Adventures, it’s this: never stray too far from a lavatory. I don’t.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 7)

Without further delay, let’s plunge back into the adventure…

Meanwhile, far, far away – across the void of interstellar space, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger had instructed the Tankerville Norris to take them to the turquoise planet. But, as Magnuss took it upon himself to make a sensor study of the unknown world, Hair-Trigger couldn’t help but notice that it looked somewhat less turquoise than it had previously, and decidedly different to the original image that Magnuss now displayed on his work station…

“Magnuss,” she called above the beeping sounds of the ship’s sensors at work, “come over here and tell me what you think of this strange manifestation.”

Naturally, being a dutiful husband of several hours, Magnuss sat his arse down in his seat. It was from this position that he did several double-takes between the two, contradictory, images…

He was still in the act of being dumbfounded, when Hair-Trigger cried out: “Magnuss, it’s changing again!”

And it was. In fact, as the ship plunged toward its atmosphere, it was now only vaguely turquoise…

Closer to the surface of the formerly turquoise world, the occupants of the Tankerville Norris grew more and more perplexed…

Whole regions – perhaps the entire planet – appeared to be quickly freezing over…

“I guess this must be winter.” Magnuss said as he shrugged his shoulders. “It sure comes on quickly around here.”

Shortly the ship flew over a once verdant forest that was now snowbound… 

Magnuss was used to flying in ships that required him to ask questions of it; its A.I; autopilot; or its Oracle. He still felt uncomfortable simply ‘knowing’ the answer to every question that he asked himself. But he felt a lot less comfortable when he didn’t ‘know’ the answer: it meant the question was outside the ship’s sphere of knowledge. All he knew was that the ship had found the planet ‘interesting’, and that he (Magnuss) was ill-equipped (technically) to properly understand what was interesting about it. The terms Gravity Shift and Temporal Anomaly sprung to mind; but they didn’t really help.

“When we get back,” he said, “I’m gonna suggest that they fit a ship’s oracle: I like to ask questions – even if I don’t get a good answer. Chewing the metaphorical cud with an oracle can sometimes produce results.”  

In the time that it took for Magnuss to say the words, the ship had left the forest far behind, and now flew low across a snow-scape, which Hair-Trigger suspected had earlier been something akin to a prairie – only turquoise instead of prairie-coloured…

Unwilling to search the ship for deep-freezer wear and snow shoes, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger investigated the all-terrain vehicle bay…

…where they found two mag-lift buggies. One was an open-topped ‘scout’ buggy: the other appeared to be a close-support enemy fire suppression attack vehicle – with a bloody great cannon on the front. Naturally they were thrilled. And by the time that the Tankerville Norris had selected a location for a soft landing…

…Hair-Trigger had made her selection…

“That’s a big cannon.” She said. “I’ve always admired big cannons. I bags this one.”

Magnuss had a soft spot for soft tops: he was more than happy to choose the scout buggy.

The ship then juddered as it slowed and descended upon a column of energized downdraft…

…and settled upon a frozen rock, from which the newly-fallen snow had been blasted…

Naturally, in an instant, it disgorged its happy travellers…

“Flipping heck, Hairy,” Magnuss all but whispered in the silence of the wintery scene, “I think we’ll give those mountains a miss: no sentient species would choose to live in such an inhospitable place. We’ll take the buggies in the opposite direction: it’s much flatter. We might find a fabulous city or something!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 5)

Volviendo al pozo de nuevo. Un pozo que necesita ser llenado, debo agregar. Pero hasta que se seque … ¡aquí hay algo más de acción de tapones para los oídos!

Momentos después, después de haberles mostrado las escaleras que conducían a la bahía de la cinta transportadora, y mientras los invitados a la boda bailaban en línea con la música de Las Bragas…  

… Magnuss y Hair-Trigger comenzaron a buscar una forma de entrar en la nave… 

 Y tampoco tardó mucho. Pero una vez dentro… 

 … reinaba la confusión.  

“Oh, todo esto es tan extraño”. Observó Hair-Trigger. “Dijeron que Bunk-Bunk Bunson era un tapón para los oídos, ¿no? Esto no me parece una tecnología de tapones para los oídos: ni siquiera del futuro “.

 Pero no debían haberse preocupado demasiado: era solo un tipo extraño de esclusa de aire con el que no estaban familiarizados. Más adentro del interior de la nave, la normalidad se reanudó…

 “Mira”, dijo un Hair-Trigger aliviado mientras pasaban por un portal que mostraba una imagen de cómo se vería el espacio, una vez que la nave hubiera despegado, por supuesto, “un elegante panel de interfaz y una flecha, apuntando hacia el puente”.

“Oh, bueno”, respondió Magnuss alegremente, “en ese caso creo que es mejor que lo sigamos”.

Aunque, según los estándares de las naves espaciales, el Tankerville Norris no era un gigante; era un poco grande para dos tapones para los oídos. Les tomó casi cinco minutos encontrar el camino hacia el puente. Pero cuando lo hicieron, quedaron muy impresionados…  

La iluminación estaba claramente en modo de hibernación, pero incluso por su débil iluminación, estaba claro para los recién casados ​​que la nave avanzaba más allá de su comprensión, aunque notaron que una de las sillas, que asumieron que eran posiciones de piloto, estaba ligeramente torcida. . Luego, un par de luces malva eligieron ese momento para estallar en una suave vida incandescente…

Hair-Trigger estaba a punto de chillar de alegría, cuando de repente se encendieron las luces principales y la silla del piloto torcida se enderezó automáticamente…  

“Vaya”, pronunció Magnuss sin aliento, “¡y ni siquiera tuve que aplaudir ni nada!” 

Luego, ignorando el hecho de que no había una pantalla de vista obvia frente a la posición del piloto, se apresuraron hacia adelante para tener una vista inversa de la silla auto-enderezadora…  

“Me gustaría uno de estos en nuestro apartamento alquilado”. Hair-Trigger expresó su aprecio por la tecnología a la que ahora se enfrentaba. “Cada vez que lo recorto con la aspiradora o me caigo sobre él en un estupor borracho, y lo envío a un giro vertiginoso, ¡no tendré que volver a enderezarlo!”. 

Magnuss se divirtió con esto; pero también le preocupaba que las sillas parecieran muy pesadas e incómodas. “Tienen muchos bultos tecnológicos detrás de ellos”. Él dijo. “Me pregunto si podemos sentirlos a través del acolchado futurista”. 

Bueno, la única respuesta a esa pregunta fue ponerlos a prueba…  

“Usted primero, señora Earplug”. Magnuss dijo. 

“No-no, nadie debería ir primero”. Respondió Hair-Trigger. “Somos un equipo. Somos uno, tú y yo: nos sentaremos al mismo tiempo, juntos “.

Entonces lo hicieron…   

Pero cuando se acomodaron en el lujoso abrazo de la silla, se dieron cuenta de una X, con pequeñas luces en cada punto, tal como aparecía en el aire ante ellos. Por supuesto, no tenían idea de lo que significaba. Y fue en ese momento que notaron la ausencia de una pantalla de vista principal.

“Ojalá tuviéramos un manual de usuario”. Dijo Hair-Trigger. Luego tuvo un pensamiento repentino: “Asegúrelo”, agregó, “creo que sé lo que es eso. De hecho, tengo la clara sensación de que sé mucho más sobre el funcionamiento de esta nave de lo que debería “.

La comprensión golpeó a Magnuss como una bota de fútbol en la parte trasera. “Por supuesto”, rugió en comprensión y comprensión, “cuando no pudimos ver el puente correctamente, se encendieron las luces. Cuando vio la silla desplazada, se enderezó. Y ahora que el barco sabe que queremos una pantalla de vista principal… “

Pero no llegó más lejos, porque…  

… La X fue reemplazada por una vista holográfica de lo que había fuera del Tankerville Norris. 

“Volteando diablos”, explotó Magnuss, “ya no estamos dentro del museo: ¡estamos flotando afuera!” 

Y ellos también…  

Esta vez Hair-Trigger chilló de alegría. “Cualquier cosa que pensemos, consciente o inconscientemente, el barco responde. Oh Magnuss: no necesitamos aprender a pilotar este barco. Ni siquiera necesitamos un piloto automático: ¡simplemente lee nuestras mentes! ” 

La gente en el museo se había dado cuenta de que el Tankerville Norris había volado por el aire. Dondequiera que estuvieran, y lo que se suponía que debían hacer, todos se detuvieron para ver cómo se desarrollaban los eventos en las pantallas públicas gigantes del museo…  

Observaron, algunos de ellos en un silencio atónito; otros con fondos muy chirriantes, mientras la hermosa embarcación azul se alejaba y levitaba sobre el estuario cercano…  

… donde un par de turistas, Clive e Indigo Firebush, estaban de vacaciones en kayak…    

… Y quién se preguntaba qué había causado que una sombra momentánea se cruzara en su camino y los asustara sin sentido, especialmente después de haber mirado hacia arriba, donde no podían ver nada más que cielo abierto.

Por supuesto, la razón por la que no pudieron detectar ningún rastro del Tankerville Norris fue porque ya había atravesado la atmósfera de la Tierra y estaba en el espacio…  

“Vaya”, dijo Magnuss mientras él y su esposa miraban a través de la enorme ventana de observación con aumento, “eso fue suave”. 

Y rápido también. Se agregó Hair-Trigger. “¿Entonces, qué hacemos ahora?” Pero, al no haber recibido respuesta de su nuevo marido, de repente reconoció la expresión de su rostro juvenil y atractivo. Estaba en comunicación telepática con sus hermanos…  

“Oye, hermano”, gritó Rudi, tanto mental como verbalmente, “tu nave está completamente equipada: tienes un complemento completo de torpedos de protones: diviértete un poco”. 

“Sí”, agregó Chester, “podemos cuidar el museo en su ausencia. ¡No somos del todo inútiles! ” 

Muy por encima de los cuatro Hermanos Earplug restantes, los sistemas a bordo del Tankerville Norris se activaron en una secuencia predeterminada…  

… Y se encendieron las luces traseras. 

Habiendo regresado al puente…  

… los únicos ocupantes compartieron una mirada; luego miró al frente. 

“¿Listo?” Magnuss preguntó. 

“Listo.” Respondió Hair-Trigger. 

En su escáner omnipresente, Cushions Smethwyke observó con fascinación con la boca abierta (y con muchos dientes)…  

Una fracción de segundo después, el Tankerville Norris comenzó su viaje inaugural… 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

¿Qué tipo de luna de miel pueden esperar Magnuss y Hair-Trigger? No es un tipo normal, eso es seguro. ¡Sintonízate de nuevo para descubrir cuán irregular!

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 5)

Going back to the well again. A well that’s in need of refilling, I might add. But until it dries up…here’s some more earplug action!

Moments later, having been shown the stairs that led down to the conveyor belt bay, and whilst their wedding guests line-danced to the music of Las Bragas…  

…Magnuss and Hair-Trigger began searching for a way into the vessel… 

 And it didn’t take long either. But once inside… 

 …confusion reigned.  

“Oh, this is all so alien.” Hair-Trigger observed. “They did say that Bunk-Bunk Bunson was an earplug, didn’t they? This doesn’t look like earplug technology to me: not even from the future.”

 But they needn’t have worried unduly: it was just a weird type of air-lock that they were unfamiliar with. Further into the interior of the ship, normality resumed…

 “Look,” a relieved Hair-Trigger said as they passed a portal that displayed an image of  what space would look like, once the ship had taken off of course,  “a fancy interface panel and an arrow – pointing towards the bridge.”

“Oh well,” Magnuss replied cheerfully, “in that case I think it’s best we follow it.”

Although, by space ship standards, the Tankerville Norris was no behemoth; it was kinda large for two earplugs. It took them almost five minutes to find their way to the bridge. But when they did, they were mightily impressed…  

The lighting was clearly in hibernation mode, but even by its feeble illumination, it was clear to the newlyweds that the ship was advanced beyond their comprehension – though they did notice that one of the chairs, which they assumed were pilot positions, sat slightly askew. Then a pair of mauve lights chose that moment to burst into gentle incandescent life…

Hair-Trigger was on the point of squealing with delight, when suddenly the main lights came on, and the askew pilot’s chair straightened itself automatically…  

“Wow,” Magnuss uttered breathlessly, “and I didn’t even have to clap my hands or anything!” 

Then, ignoring the fact that there was no obvious view screen in front of the pilot’s position, they rushed forward for a reverse view of the self-straightening chair…  

“I’d like one of these in our rented apartment.” Hair-Trigger stated her appreciation of the technology that now confronted her. “Every time I clip it with the vacuum cleaner or fall over it in a drunken stupor – and send it into a dizzying spin – I won’t need to put it straight again!” 

Magnuss was amused by this; but he was also concerned that the chairs looked very heavy and uncomfortable. “They’ve got lots of technological lumps on the back of them.” He said. “I wonder if we can feel them through the futuristic padding?” 

Well the only answer to that question was to test them…  

“You first, Missus Earplug.” Magnuss said. 

“No-no, no one should go first.” Hair-Trigger replied. “We are a team. We’re one – you and I: we’ll sit down at the same time – together.”

So they did…   

But as they settled themselves into the chair’s luxurious embrace, they became aware of an X, with little lights at every point, as it appeared in the air before them. Of course they had no idea what it meant. And it was at that juncture that they noticed the absence of a main view screen.

“I wish we had a user’s manual.” Hair-Trigger said. Then she had a sudden thought: “Belay that,” she added, “I think I know what that is. In fact I get the distinct feeling that I know a lot more about this ship’s workings than I should.”

Realisation struck Magnuss like a football boot up the rear end. “Of course,” he roared in understanding and comprehension, “when we couldn’t see the bridge properly, the lights came on. When you spotted the off-set chair, it righted itself. And now that the ship knows that we want a main view screen…”

But he got no further, because…  

…the X was replaced by a holographic view of what lay outside the Tankerville Norris. 

“Flipping heck,” Magnuss exploded, “we’re no longer inside the museum: we’re floating outside!” 

And they were too…  

This time Hair-Trigger did squeal with delight. “Whatever we think – consciously or sub-consciously – the ship responds. Oh Magnuss: we don’t need to learn how to fly this ship. We don’t even need an auto-pilot: it’s just reads our minds!” 

People in the museum had become aware that the Tankerville Norris had become airborne. Wherever they were, and whatever they were supposed to be doing, they all stopped to watch events unfold on the museum’s giant public screens…  

They watched – some of them in stunned silence; others with very squeaky bottoms – as the beautiful blue vessel eased away and levitated above the nearby estuary…  

…where a pair of tourists – Clive and Indigo Firebush – were engaged upon a kayaking holiday…    

…and who wondered what had caused a momentary shadow to cross their path and frighten them witless – especially after having looked upwards where they could see nothing but open sky.

Of course the reason why they could detect no sign of the Tankerville Norris was because it had already breached the Earth’s atmosphere and was in space…  

“Whoo,” Magnuss said as he and his wife peered out through the huge magnifying observation window, “that was smooth.” 

“And quick too.” Hair-Trigger added. “So what do we do now?” But, having received no reply from her new husband, she suddenly recognised the look upon his boyishly handsome face. He was in telepathic communication with his brothers…  

“Yo, Bro,” Rudi yelled, both mentally and verbally, “your ship is fully stocked: you’ve got a full complement of proton torpedoes: go have yourselves some fun.” 

“Yeah,” Chester added, “we can look after the museum in your absence. We’re not entirely useless!” 

High above the remaining four Earplug Brothers, systems aboard the Tankerville Norris activated in a pre-determined sequence…  

…and the tail lights came on. 

Having returned to the bridge…  

…the sole occupants shared a glance; then stared straight ahead. 

“Ready?” Magnuss inquired. 

“Ready.” Hair-Trigger replied. 

Upon her Omnipresent Scanner, Cushions Smethwyke watched in open-mouthed (and very toothy) fascination…  

A split second later the Tankerville Norris began its maiden voyage… 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

What kind of honeymoon can Magnuss and Hair-Trigger expect? Not a regular type, that’s for certain. Tune in again to discover just how irregular!

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 4)

Las fotos han sido tomadas y procesadas. Se han escrito las palabras que los acompañan. ¿Por qué no publicarlos? No hay razón para no hacerlo. Aquí está el episodio cuatro…

Momentos después, las luces se atenuaron; se rodó un escenario; y los Trumptations irrumpieron en una versión especial de boda de su éxito, Beauty is Only Skin Bleach

Esto fue seguido por los sonidos de bajo en auge de una pista de Hambledon Bohannon, que fue bailada de manera experta por las Greenhorn Girls…

Luego, para enfriar el pastel metafísico, volvió Las Bragas… 

 … y todo el mundo ‘se puso’ con el ritmo latino…

 

 … Aunque Nigel tuvo que hacer una salida rápida. Lo necesitaban en otra parte. En otros lugares como la Torre Roja del museo…

Al poco tiempo se unió a Cushions y a los recién casados ​​algo desconcertados…  

“Nunca había estado aquí antes”. Magnuss confesó. “¿A dónde vamos?”

“Eso sería contar.” Cojines respondió.

“Es una ubicación misteriosa”. Añadió Nigel. “Muy pocas personas saben dónde está, incluyéndome a mí”.  

Pero cuando la señalización desapareció, resultó que Cushions tampoco tenía mucha pista…

—Oh, cielos —explicó—, sólo he estado aquí una vez, y fue con tu ex marido, Hair-Trigger: me temo que no estaba prestando suficiente atención: Hunting estaba tratando de hacerme cosquillas en el trasero con un boa de plumas que guarda en su cinturón de herramientas “.

Hair-Trigger asintió sabiamente en respuesta: recordaba bien la boa de plumas de Hunting. Afortunadamente, un científico del laboratorio 17 pudo gritar instrucciones a través de la ventana de vidrio a prueba de balas. Pero menos afortunadamente, el vidrio también estaba insonorizado, y ninguno de ellos era particularmente experto en la lectura de labios: por lo que en poco tiempo se perdieron irremediablemente. Pero Cushions hizo una llamada a Security Suite, y una imagen holográfica de uno de los RoboSecGuas en servicio apareció en forma de tamaño medio y les mostró el camino…   

Nigel quedó impresionado. “Buena tecnología”. Él dijo. “¿Desde el futuro?”

“¿No está todo en el museo?” Cojines respondió mientras seguían las instrucciones del holograma.

Pronto Cushions se encontró en un terreno más familiar…  

“Ah, sí, recuerdo esto”. Dijo ella con confianza. “Pero está un poco oscuro: me pregunto dónde guardan el regulador de intensidad”.

Pero ella no necesitaba preocuparse. Nigel hizo honor a su nombre y emitió un brillo dorado…  

… eso les permitió ver el camino hacia una gran ventana de observación, más allá de la cual algo residía de la manera más interesante … 

 “Estoy teniendo un buen presentimiento de esto”. Magnuss dijo mientras miraba hacia abajo desde su alto punto de vista.

“Es un poco como ese viaje que hiciste a las instalaciones de construcción de barcos marcianos”. Hair-Trigger le recordó.

Magnuss tuvo que estar de acuerdo. Pero luego pensó: “Pero no hay construcción de barcos en la Torre Roja”. Respondió.

Pero no dijo más: las luces se habían encendido y una pequeña nave espacial había aparecido a la vista sobre una cinta transportadora avanzada y futurista…  

“El panqueque Scroterton “. Se anunciaron cojines. Traído aquí en forma de paquete plano a bordo de la nave estelar de Nigel. Si te gusta, es tu barcaza de luna de miel, para llevarte a donde quieras ir “. 

 “Diseñado y construido en nuestra segunda gran ciudad, Scroterton”. Nigel les informó. “Por supuesto, si el rojo no flota en tu barco, ¿qué tal un tono de gris más sutil?” 

 

Después de una profunda inhalación por parte de Magnuss y Hair-Trigger, Nigel agregó: “Se llama Sir Goosewing Grey . Lleva el nombre de un gran capitán de la industria en Scroton: Goosewing Grey, a quien nombré caballero por su creación del juguete para niños Snotty-Nosed Sharon. Revolucionó la forma en que juegan los niños Scrotonic. Anteriormente, siempre habían pasado sus años de formación hurgando en sus narices: ahora tenían una muñeca que podía hacerlo por ellos. El coeficiente intelectual saltó de la noche a la mañana “.

 “Me gustaría conocerlo”. Magnuss respondió. “No está muerto, ¿verdad?” 

Pero antes de que Nigel pudiera responder a su pregunta, Hair-Trigger habló. “El Scroterton Pancake parece un poco amenazante. No me gustaría ir a asustar a las especies exóticas con su malvada coloración roja. Y el gris … bueno, está tan oscuro que podríamos perderlo en la niebla “. 

Cushions estaba a punto de decir algo que podría haber desaparecido: “Estúpido ingrato; deberías estar agradecido por todo lo que se ofrece “.

Pero no tuvo la oportunidad, porque un tercer recipiente, envuelto en sombras, apareció en la ventana…

 “¡Luces!” Magnuss gritó.

Al instante, el recién llegado quedó bañado por una luz tenue que le hizo todo tipo de favores estéticos…  

“Oooh,” Hair-Trigger suspiró apreciativamente, “agradable. Un fuselaje superior azul intenso; y una sigilosa parte inferior negra. Me lo llevo.”

Magnuss no discutió, no es que lo hubiera hecho, incluso si la combinación de colores hubiera enojado sus arcadas. ” Tankerville Norris “. Añadió. “¿Qué significa eso?” 

—Bueno —respondió Nigel mientras se preparaba para contar una historia—, se suponía que no debía llamarse Tankerville Norris . No originalmente. Originalmente llevaba el apodo de The Love Hutch . Pero uno de nuestros ingenieros pensó que sonaba un poco atrevido, por lo que sugirió el Bunk-Bunk Bunson , que lleva el nombre de la fábrica en la que se desarrolló el prototipo “. 

Magnuss levantó una mano para detener el flujo de palabras. “Sé que me voy a arrepentir de esto; pero ¿por qué la fábrica se llama Bunk-Bunk Bunson? 

Para su sorpresa, fue Cushions quien respondió a esta pregunta…

 “Honestamente, Magnuss”, lo regañó, “¿no te has mantenido al día con la red de noticias transgaláctica? Bunk-Bunk Bunson era un tapón para los oídos que viajó a Scroton desde el futuro. En realidad, su nombre no era Bunk-Bunk Bunsen: era simplemente Bunson. Pero estaba tan nervioso, cuando fue arrestado por las fuerzas de seguridad de Scrotonic, que tartamudeó cuando le preguntaron por su identidad. A partir de entonces se hizo conocido como Bunk-Bunk Bunson “.

“Oh”, respondió Magnuss, “Me gustaría conocerlo también”. Luego se volvió hacia Nigel: “Supongo que tenía los diseños del nuevo barco en el bolsillo trasero y ¿se los quitaste?”

“Bastante.” Nigel sonrió con orgullo. “Luego lo enviamos en su camino, de regreso al futuro, donde la Policía del Tiempo probablemente lo arrestó por alterar la línea de tiempo o algo por el estilo. En reconocimiento a su gran sacrificio, le pusimos su nombre a la fábrica. Era lo mínimo que podíamos hacer “.

Fue el turno de Magnuss de asentir sabiamente. “Sí, lo entiendo completamente. Así que el diseño original se denominó Tankerville Norris . Sí, todo tiene sentido “. 

Entonces, la luz que iluminó el Tankerville Norris cambió sutilmente… 

 … Y reveló a Susan, en su modo de gota amorfa, mientras buscaba a Chester mientras jugaban a las escondidas. 

“Eso es útil”. Hair-Trigger dijo mientras se volvía para mirar, “eso nos da algo con lo que comparar el barco. Hasta que vi a Susan, no podía medir su tamaño o escala “. 

“Oye, ese debe ser Chester en esa ventana de observación delantera”. Magnuss gritó de júbilo. “Buen lugar para esconderse, hermano: Susan es demasiado grande para pasar por la esclusa de aire”.  

“Ah”, dijo Nigel con un aire de conocimiento, “la ventana de observación delantera. Hay que tener mucho cuidado con eso. Está hecho de patrisha nancitate y tiene un efecto de aumento, para ver mejor los planetas distantes, por supuesto. Pero también funciona en ambos sentidos. La gente de afuera puede verte adentro, magnificada enormemente. Puede asustar muchísimo a las formas de vida extraterrestres primitivas: piensan que todos los que están dentro son un gran gigante, y se ponen manos a la obra sin dudarlo. También es mejor dejar los pantalones puestos cuando lo use. Es una cosa de modestia. Creo que lo entenderás “. 

Esto se refería a Hair-Trigger. No quería asustar a las formas de vida extraterrestres primitivas y, a veces, le gustaba usar ventanas de observación mientras estaba en camisón. “Entonces, ¿por qué Chester no es enorme y aterrador?” Preguntó ella. 

“Solo funciona en el espacio”. Respondió Nigel. Luego presionó un botón en el marco de la ventana. La vista del Tankerville Norris fue instantáneamente reemplazada por una imagen del barco en vuelo…

 … Y se acabó el juego. 

“Dame las llaves”, suplicó un ansioso Magnuss, “dame las llaves: ¡tengo que ver a este bebé!” 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

¡Ah, no fue tan agradable! “¿Hay suficientes fotos para una parte 5?” Te escucho preguntar. Pregunta tonta: claro que las hay.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 3)

So I’ve only shot twenty percent of the photos that I need to tell an earplug tale:  so what? With that twenty percent I can tell twenty percent of the story. Why wait around until everything is in place? So I won’t. Here is a hundred percent of the third episode…

This moment, so charged with emotion, proved too much for Susan. Losing control of her constituent parts, she took on her regular amorphous shape and wailed with tears of joy… 

 …which amused everyone – even those watching far away. Those like… 

 …Placebo Bison and Folie Krimp aboard the Gravity Whelk…  

But although her outburst was short-lived, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger couldn’t quite wipe the smiles from their faces as the ceremony proper began…  

The Angel with a Huge Nose went through the necessary procedures. All that “We gather here today to,” stuff. And, “It is in the sight of the Supreme Being himself” sort of thing. And when Hunting Provost failed to step up and yell his complaint when the Angel said: “Does anyone here have anything negative to say about this union?”, they got on with the vows, which didn’t go quite to plan because Hair-Trigger got her tongue twisted around Magnuss’ middle name, and called him Magnuss Finklestink Earplug…  

“That’s ‘Finklestein’, dear.” The kindly Avatar corrected the nervous multi-coloured earplug. 

“That’s the guy.” Hair-Trigger responded cheerfully. “He’s great – isn’t he? I love him so much. I’m really glad it’s me he’s marrying.” 

When it came to Magnuss making his vows, he had no such problem…   

But he did make an addendum: “By the way, I feel the same way about her too.” 

It was whilst the audience tittered at this quiet outburst of earplugness that Cushions Smethwyke turned to the other curators… 

 “Right, I’ve got something I have to do. Cheerful Charlie, you record what happens next on your mobile phone.” Then she was gone, out through a side door that very few people knew about.

 As the door clicked shut behind Cushions, the lights in the Grand Hall dimmed once more. A blue light, created by the Angel with a Huge Nose’s holy bioluminescence, shone upon Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

“Magnuss and Hair-Trigger Earplug,” she said loudly, so that all – even the deaf sods at the back – could hear, “I now pronounce you earplug and wife.”

The Avatar then added: “Magnuss, you may now kiss the bride.”

Rupert Piles didn’t waste a second: he was in like rabid lottery ticket winner for a close-up…  

“Hello, Missus Earplug.” Magnuss said following their very public embrace.

Like the crowd in the Grand Hall, and the masses watching throughout the Museum of Future Technology, far away, upon a deep space mission, the watching bridge crew of the K T Woo all cheered themselves hoarse… 

 …until a number of them broke down in a coughing fit.  

And Yu-Wah and Way-Hey Pong couldn’t stop themselves from stepping forward for a better view of their dear friend’s union… 

It was at this point in proceedings that Nigel took the opportunity to also step forward…  

“Magnuss,“ he said in an ultra-masculine and stentorian tone that had the weaker-willed females present fainting where they stood, “you have been a great ally to my world. When Cushions called me with a problem, and mentioned that it concerned you, I put my metaphorical thinking cap on. You still haven’t decided upon a honeymoon location, I believe?”

Both Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were too overcome to reply: they merely grinned and shook their heads in negation.

“Well I have the answer to your problem.” Nigel continued. “I brought it with me, from Scroton. When proceedings are complete, I ask you to join me.”  

Naturally the two earplugs accepted. How could they not? Not that they wanted to, of course.

“Sho’nuf, Nige.” Magnuss managed – then felt vaguely embarrassed because it was something that his brother, Valentine might have said.

He was saved by Hair-Trigger’s, “Thank you, Golden One: we shall.”

Then it was time for their grand exit… 

The Earplug Brothers made up one half of the Guard of Honour. The non-commissioned officers of the Seventh Cavalry constituted the other half. And the couple departed the Grand Hall to the combined horns of Las Bragas de Alegría and three rousing cheers. 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Of course this is only the beginning of the story. Come back for what happens next!

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 2)

De acuerdo, todavía hay cientos de imágenes que necesitan dispararse para completar Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah ; pero pensé, si tenía suficientes escenas para el siguiente segmento, ¿por qué no escribirlo y ponerlo en Internet? Así que lo hice, y aquí está…

Capítulo 1

Exactamente a las trece en punto, las puertas del Gran Salón del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro se abrieron para aquellos afortunados tapones para los oídos que, la noche anterior, habían ganado boletos para asistir a la boda de Magnuss Earplug y Hair-Trigger Provost…

Fue una asamblea emocionada que tomó sus posiciones y parloteó en voz baja entre ellos mientras esperaban el momento de la verdad que tantos habían estado esperando durante meses, si no años…

Por supuesto, no se podía permitir entrar a muchos más…

Las reglas de salud y seguridad prohibían la posibilidad de multitudes rebeldes. Cushions había previsto esto y, por lo tanto, todo el contingente de RoboSecGuas del museo se desplegó para controlar a las masas frustradas que no querían nada más que contemplar el matrimonio de dos de los más grandes héroes del museo. Pero no fue del todo malo para los perjudicados por la exclusión: Rupert Piles estaba allí con su enorme cámara de televisión 3D…

… con el que transmitía las imágenes y los sonidos de los procedimientos en pantallas gigantes a lo largo de todo el vasto edificio…

Incluso los puntos de venta de Café Puke estaban sintonizados en la frecuencia correcta…

Así que sus clientes fueron los primeros en ver al hermoso Avatar del museo mientras se preparaba para ayudar al Ángel de la Nariz Enorme, que conduciría la ceremonia de matrimonio…

Y todos aplaudieron cuando se dieron cuenta de que el entretenimiento posterior a la ceremonia incluiría al mariachi, Las Bragas de Alegría…

Naturalmente, se había invitado a luminarias de muchas de las secciones del museo…

Estos incluyeron los Time Techs y miembros de TWIT….

… Que estaba al lado de la tía Doris de Magnuss y su novio, K’Plank the Space Wanderer, que había prescindido de su familiar casco espacial y se había teñido la barba de un negro más profundo de lo que era habitual para él. Por supuesto, los curadores se destacaron por su gran número…

… Detrás de quien el agente de policía Salisbury Wilts intentó ir de incógnito bajo la sombra de Sir Dodger Muir. Solo su casco de policía reveló su ubicación secreta. A un lado se encontraba un contingente del 7º de Caballería de los Armiños Unidos…

… Algunos de los cuales serían la guardia de honor de la feliz pareja. Incluso asistieron varios mutantes que Magnuss y Hair-Trigger habían rescatado de Mutant Island, y se pararon junto al rey de la discoteca, Hambledon Bohannon, mientras disfrutaban de una taza de café con leche de caramelo de Café Puke…

A lo lejos, a bordo del Chi-Z-Sox , marido y mujer genios (o genios , como preferían ser conocidos), el profesor Hydious y el doctor Putridity Gout observaban en el visor principal…

“Oh, mira, Hydious”, gritó Putridity con deleite, “¡son algunos de esos seres espantosos que liberamos de la condenada isla del Doctor Adolf Weil-Barrau!”

“Sí, querida”, respondió Hydious, “la que hicimos estallar con una bomba atómica: lo recuerdo. Pero estoy prestando más atención a esas encantadoras bailarinas de piernas largas frente a Hambledon Bohannon “.

Por supuesto, las encantadoras bailarinas de piernas largas a las que se refirió el capitán de las Chi-Z-Sox no eran menos que Margret Greenhorn y sus Greenhorn Girls…

… Que habían llegado al Museo de Tecnología del Futuro, un par de años antes, tras su escape de una realidad alternativa en la que su museo había sido superado por una edad de hielo. Y también había otros rostros famosos allí. Rostros realmente famosos. Rostros famosos realmente importantes. Líderes mundiales de hecho. Nigel – el Dorado del planeta Scroton para ser exactos…

… cuya pluma azul brillante llamó la atención de Hambledon Bohannon.

“Tengo que conseguir esa pluma, hombre”. Se dijo a sí mismo. “Es un verdadero ritmo, cariño. Tal vez lo pida después del espectáculo, asumiendo que estos otros chicos de Ethernet Cable End me dejen en cualquier lugar cerca del tipo dorado “.

Hambledon no lo sospechaba, pero los controladores secretos de Scroton estaban monitoreando los procedimientos en su base subterránea de operaciones…

Nigel había llegado a la Tierra a través de una nave espacial; pero los trabajadores de los creadores de la civilización Ethernet Cable End pudieron recurrir a la tecnología súper avanzada de sus maestros y, en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, llevar a su líder a la seguridad de Scroton.

Frisby Mumph había llegado de Marte a través del transbordador de Marte temprano en la mañana…

Había traído a un representante del pueblo marciano, o Muffins, como preferían que se les conociera, con él. Y su asistente robótico, Tangerine, estaba disfrutando de su primer viaje a la Tierra desde que se construyó allí hace mucho tiempo. Se pararon junto a dos miembros del personal robótico del museo; un RoboSecGua aleatorio y un Robot Guide aún más aleatorio.

Por supuesto, ningún evento estaría completo sin el grupo del ‘alma’ residente del museo: The Trumptations…

Y la novia de Chester, la enorme mancha verde amorfa de la Era de Piedra estaba en su configuración de tapones para los oídos de seis partes junto a la solista en falsete de los Trumptations, Cory Turpentine…

… Donde sonrió amablemente a todos y todo, independientemente de su ubicación. Continuó sonriendo mientras las luces se atenuaban y Las Bragas de Alegría se adelantaba para ofrecer una versión mariachi de la Marcha Nupcial…

Luego, cuando las luces asumieron su iluminación más brillante, los Hermanos Earplug entraron en el Gran Salón…

Por supuesto, los cinco llevaban sus famosos sombreros cosacos, aunque ligeramente maltrechos. Cuando Rupert Piles se apresuró a tomar un primer plano, fueron recibidos por el Ángel con una nariz enorme.

Cuando Rudi, Valentine, Chester y Miles asumieron sus posiciones predeterminadas…

  … Magnuss hizo lo mismo con el suyo. Luego, con una fanfarria de Las Bragas, Hair-Trigger tomó el centro del escenario…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Esto es, Earpluggers: el momento que todos los fanáticos de Magnuss y Hair-Trigger han estado esperando: ¡se casarán! ¿O son? ¿Es posible que algo salga mal antes de que se casen con el matrimonio? Después de todo, es el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro …

 

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 2)

Okay, there are still hundreds of pictures that need shooting to complete The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah; but I figured, if I had enough scenes for the next segment, why not write it up and put it on the Internet? So I did – and here it is…

Chapter 1

At exactly thirteen o’clock, the doors of the Museum of Future Technology’s Grand Hall opened for those fortunate earplugs who, the evening previous, had won tickets to attend the wedding of Magnuss Earplug and Hair-Trigger Provost…

It was an excited assemblage that took their positions and jabbered quietly amongst themselves as they waited for the moment of truth that so many had been expecting for months, if not years…

Of course many more could not be allowed inside…

Health and Safety rules forbade the possibility of unruly crowds. Cushions had foreseen this and so the museum’s entire contingent of RoboSecGuas were deployed to control the frustrated masses who wanted nothing more than to gaze upon the marriage of two of the museum’s greatest heroes. But it wasn’t all bad for those inconvenienced by exclusion: Rupert Piles was there with his huge 3D TV camera…

…with which he would broadcast the images and sounds of proceedings upon huge screens across the entire vast edifice…

Even Café Puke outlets were tuned into the correct frequency…

So its patrons were the first to see the museum’s beautiful Avatar as she/it prepared to assist The Angel with a Huge Nose, who would conduct the marriage ceremony…

And everyone cheered when they realised that the post-ceremony entertainment would include the mariachi band, Las Bragas de Alegría…

Naturally luminaries from many of the museum’s sections had been invited…

These included the Time Techs and members of T.W.I.T….

…who stood beside Magnuss’ Auntie Doris and her beau, K’Plank the Space Wanderer, who had dispensed with his familiar space helmet and had dyed his beard a deeper black than was usual for him. Of course curators were notable by their sheer numbers…

…behind whom Police Constable Salisbury Wilts attempted to go incognito beneath the shadow of Sir Dodger Muir. Only his police helmet gave away his secret location. To one side stood a contingent of the United Stoats 7th Cavalry…

…some of which were to be the happy couple’s guard of honour. Even a number of mutants that Magnuss and Hair-Trigger had rescued from Mutant Island attended, and stood beside the disco king, Hambledon Bohannon, whilst enjoying a cup of Café Puke’s caramel latte…

Far away, aboard the Chi-Z-Sox, husband and wife geniuses (or genii, as they preferred to be known) Professor Hydious and Doctor Putridity Gout watched on the main viewer…

“Oh, look, Hydious,” Putridity yelped in delight, “it’s some of those ghastly beings we liberated from the doomed island of Doctor Adolf Weil-Barrau!”

“Yes, dearest,” Hydious replied, “the one we blew up with an atom bomb: I remember. But I’m paying more attention to those lovely, leggy dancing girls in front of Hambledon Bohannon.”

Of course, the lovely leggy dancing girls to whom the captain of the Chi-Z-Sox referred were none less that Margret Greenhorn and her Greenhorn Girls…

…who had arrived in the Museum of Future Technology, a couple of years earlier, following their escape from an alternative reality in which their museum had been overcome by an ice-age. And there were other famous faces there too. Really famous faces. Really important famous faces. World leaders in fact. Nigel – the Golden One of the planet Scroton to be exact…

…whose bright blue plume came to the attention of Hambledon Bohannon.

“Gotta get that plume, man.” He said to himself. “It’s a real groove, baby. Maybe I’ll ask for it after the show – assuming these other Ethernet Cable End guys let me anywhere near the golden dude.”

Little did Hambledon suspect it, but proceedings were being monitored by the secret controllers of Scroton in their subterranean base of operations…

Nigel had arrived on Earth via a space ship; but the workers for the creators of the Ethernet Cable End civilisation could call upon the super-advanced technology of their masters and, in the blink of an eye, whisk their leader away to the safety of Scroton.

Frisby Mumph had arrived from Mars via the early morning Mars shuttle…

He’d brought a representative of the Martian people – or Muffins as they preferred to be known – with him. And his robotic assistant, Tangerine, was enjoying its first trip to Earth since it had been built there long ago. They stood beside two members of the museum’s robotic staff; a random RoboSecGua and an even more random Robot Guide.

Of course no event would be complete without the museum’s resident ‘soul’ group – The Trumptations…

And Chester’s girlfriend, the huge amorphous green blob from the Age of Stone stood in her six-part earplug configuration beside the Trumptations’ falsetto lead, Cory Turpentine…

…where she smiled pleasantly at everyone and everything, irrespective of their location. She continued to smile as the lights dimmed and Las Bragas de Alegría stepped forward to deliver a mariachi version of the Wedding March…

Then, as the lights assumed their brightest illumination, the Earplug Brothers marched into the Grand Hall…

Of course all five wore their famous, if slightly battered, Cossack hats. As Rupert Piles rushed in for a close-up, they were welcomed by the Angel with a Huge Nose.

As Rudi, Valentine, Chester, and Miles took up their pre-determined positions…

  …Magnuss did likewise with his. Then, to a fanfare from Las Bragas, Hair-Trigger took centre stage…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

This is it, Earpluggers: the moment every Magnuss and Hair-Trigger fan has been waiting for: they’re gonna get married! Or are they? Might something go wrong before they tie the marrital knot? It is the Museum of Future Technology after all…

 

 

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 1)

With only 89 photos complied for The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah currently, it is (perhaps) a little early to display the opening episode: but I couldn’t stop myself. And it’s only the prologue, so it gives nothing away. And it sets the scene for what happens in all the pictures that I’m yet to shoot – if you get my drift. This is a departure for me. But what the heck? Enjoy…

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah

Tooty Nolan

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Prologue

Yet another fine day swam into view at the Museum of Future Technology…

…and Cushions Smethwyke was already performing her duties atop the Omnipresent Scanner beside her boyfriend and museum co-curator – former bounty hunter Hunting Provost…

As they scanned all of reality for anything that might threaten the museum in any way, Hunting decided to make light conversation.

“That Descartes fellow certainly talked a load of twaddle.” He said. “Yesterday evening, just before the sun set, I was on the garden lounger with one of his books: couldn’t understand a word of it.”

Cushions wasn’t really listening: she had something to tell Hunting, and she didn’t really know how to approach the subject. “Hmmm,” she responded, “nice.”

This caught the stripy earplug’s attention. “Nice?” he queried. “What’s nice about my inability to comprehend some French guy’s philosophical ramblings? If anything, I’d say that the word ‘nasty’ was more appropriate.”

Cushions nerve snapped. “Oh, Hunting,” she wailed, “I have something of vast import to tell you: and I know that, in your heart, you are going to be devastated by it.”

“I doubt it.” Hunting sniffed disdainfully. “Shoot.”

Cushions decided to plunge ahead. “When you were on your sun lounger, Magnuss Earplug and Hair-Trigger Provost stopped by the office.”

Despite his best efforts Hunting failed miserably to hide his emotions. “That little fart?” He responded with a tremulous voice. “What did he want?”

“They’ve set the date for their wedding.” Cushions answered. “They’d come to check if you would be away on museum business as usual the day after tomorrow. They were hoping for a fait accompli: but I told them you’d decided to go next week instead. They were a tad displeased.”

“I hope you told them to go jump in the lake.” Hunting growled. “I know that Hair-Trigger and I divorced long ago, and that I should never have insisted that she become a bounty hunter, and that I’m famous for my female earplug-chasing, and that she grew bored of falling from the back of my mag-lift motorcycle when I pulled massive wheelies along busy roads whilst showing off to all and sundry: but, darn it, she was my wife: I see no reason why she would fall in love with that daft little orangey-pink oik, and then have the temerity to marry him. I mean, it’s not natural is it!”

Cushions sighed. “Actually it is natural.” She said quietly – her task forgotten for the moment. “Entirely natural. In fact it was so natural that I called Rupert Piles and his huge 3D TV camera. The four of us visited the lake, and I shot a short video in which I informed everyone in the museum of the impending nuptials.”

Hunting groaned, before adding: “They weren’t wearing their stupid sombreros, were they? I don’t think I could stand that.”

Cushions failed to answer his question – if it was really a question at all: of course they had worn their sombreros: what else would they wear? Instead she said: “They asked me to recommend a honeymoon location. I suggested the new Age of Stone exhibit: they have a lovely hotel there: it’s called the Castle of Smiles…

Unfortunately, when they visited it there had a been a terrible deluge. Apparently the climate control is acting up, and no one from this era knows how to fix it…

The central courtyard of the castle is entirely flooded. Worse still, when they tried the accommodation area, winter had set in with a vengeance…”

“Good,” Hunting snapped, “serves ‘em right. They deserve it. Well he does anyway. Hope he froze his butt off.”

Cushions decided to ignore Hunting’s venomous outburst. “I was in the arboretum when they came complaining…

…so I suggested they could go to Spain and use their Auntie Doris’s swimming pool – like they did the summer before last, when things went very badly for the museum, and the Earplug Brothers weren’t here to save us…

I think they considered it for a nanosecond. They recalled being quite impressed with the Jacuzzi…

But then they remembered Magnuss’ motion sickness problem…

…and told me to stick the idea in my ear and think of something else. I said I’d get back to them. So, in search of inspiration, I went to the Grand Hall, which was empty and silent…

…where I had a great idea. A truly wondrous idea. A Galaxy-spanning idea. An idea so fabulous that I still can’t believe that it was me who thought of it. So I’ve laid my plans and contacted everyone who needs to be contacted. So, like it or not – Hunting Provost – the show goes on at ten minutes after thirteen o’clock the day after tomorrow.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

There, that wasn’t too bad at all – wasn’t it?

 

 

 

The Set: The Scene 4

If you are one of those brave folk who have persisted with the consumption of Earplug Adventures over a long period of time, it’s quite probable that you will recall pertinent scenes by your recognition of a set – or vice versa. But just to test that hypothesis, check out the following. Here’s a simple one to start with. Two yellow earplugs standing upon a tarpaulin that has sagged and filled with rain water…

What great potentiality did I notice in this? Yes, it’s…

…two of the dancing Greenhorn Girls (can’t remember which ones) by the beach in The Missing.

So what about this fabulously vague piece of cardboard that has been dirtied by the incessant rubbing against it by lengths of aluminium extrusion, and a sheet of translucent plastic stuff that wrapped the aforementioned?

Well, combined artistically they become…

…a snow scene and a distant wintery forest. Honestly they do. Look here’s those unemployed (and unemployable) couch potatoes, D’Neferious Berk, Freda Conk, Numpty Dingbat and Clem Borstal in a scene from Time Shard Museum

Getting the hang of it? Try this one…

If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, it’s two pieces of split 4 x 2 timber, set against a sheet of styrofoam. Now clearly this is supposed to be a rock formation and a blue/grey sky. No? Well it is. And the end result of my transformation of the original shot is…

…Patti Roularde and Nobby Hollister engaged on a Precipitous Ledge Walk in a snow storm in Haunted Mars. Ah, now you remember. So what about this one..?

There’s some giveaway signage on this piece of legendary prop. What does it say? Transfer Conduit Station Seven? Lordy, has this set been used a multitude of times – though not always as Transfer Conduit Station Seven…

Here it is as Lottery Central in Winning Numbers, and in the following shot as a desert fortress in Cometh the Earplug Vol 2…

Of course I couldn’t let this set pass without displaying it as it should be seen: as the previously mentioned Transfer Conduit Station –  this time witnessing the arrival of the Jaundice Family in Unity Vol 2…

So, try your hand at this set…

Ugh, it’s a nasty rust stain at the bottom of a brick wall that appears to be on the inside of a factory or warehouse. No it’s not. Not in my make-believe world it aint. It’s actually…

…a wonderful distant city, discovered (in The Grand Tour Vol 2) by sibling adventurers Dorkan and Dawlish Deathwish. And what an adventure they had. Of course you can view all of the Earplug Adventures by clicking HERE and reading (or downloading) the complete stories in PDF. Do it now – before the servers are overwhelmed by demand.

 

Rejoice: Good News, Earpluggers…

…principal photography has begun on the 42nd Earplug Adventure – or the Forty-Two’eth episode, as I prefer to call it. And just to prove that the camera hand is still firm and capable, here’s a trio of shots for the opening segment of the tale…

Yes, that last shot features Nigel the Golden One – leader of the Planet Scroton. He’s back! Can’t wait for more? Neither can I!

Tooty’s been a-fiddlin’

When I presented the model of the next Earplug Adventure’s space ship – namely the honeymoon barge of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger the Tankerville Norris…

…I pretty much admitted that it was no ‘looker’, but that it had an excellent name. I also stated that I would make the ship believable. Well here are a few shots of it ‘in action’. We’ll start with a beauty shot…

…which proves that even the stubbiest, ugliest ship in all creation can look good from one angle. Here’s one of it in an atmosphere under cover of night…

This one looks like it might have narrowly avoided a huge explosion or disaster…

And this one clearly had either Magnuss or Hair-Trigger hitting the ‘Go Faster’ button…

So, as you can clearly see, I haven’t been entirely idle. As regards the story: other than the couple becoming a…well…a couple, I don’t have much clue. But just to get my ageing creative juices flowing I’ve given it a non-sensical title that should stretch me somewhat, and hopefully the plot will reveal itself to me. And that title is ‘The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah‘. I wonder what it means? I do make life difficult for myself, don’t I! 

Does Eight Seconds Really Make That Much Difference?

When I “do a selfie” I don’t hold the camera at arm’s length: I utilize the camera’s built-in timer. This makes it appear that it’s not a selfie at all, and that someone else took the picture. But sometimes, when I’m not paying close enough attention, I might possibly set it to the wrong time duration before it goes click. Most cameras have a 2 second delay and a 10 second  delay. If the light is bad – or if someone is approaching, and I don’t want to appear a complete narcissist to them – the tiny icons on-screen could look similar enough for a simple mistake to occur. Two could be confused with ten. But does this really matter? After all, it’s just a photo of little old me looking as good as he can, and hoping that he can fool the world into thinking that he might be cool and in full command of his corporeal existence. Well yes it does! This is what I look like after peering myopically into the camera’s sun-drenched LCD screen and selecting the wrong icon…

Then, to compound this error (and after moving to another site because someone became curious at my behaviour and started hanging around) I carelessly set the camera up facing into the Sun…

So, sorry, although I found the right icon this time, you’ll have to imagine how cool and in command of my corporeal existence I actually look.

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 26)

En ese momento, en el salón de baile, Hambledon Bohannon encendió las luces y subió el volumen del sistema de sonido a once…

Era hora de festejar…

Los que llegaron tarde corrieron por los pasillos cuando escucharon el golpe del propio monstruo de Bohannon, ‘ Everybody Slap Your Disco Thighs’ resonando a través de las gruesas paredes de piedra…

… siempre con la esperanza de que sus ojos sean asaltados por un espectáculo de luces caleidoscópicas…

Por supuesto, no se sintieron decepcionados. Ya muchos tapones para los oídos se estaban poniendo al ritmo de los graves insistentes y de la conducción…

Nada menos que Cushions Smethwyke, que bailaba con una nueva enfermera del dispensario del museo. “Me gusta tu uniforme blanco”, dijo. “¿No tuviste tiempo para ir a casa y cambiarte?”

A lo que la nueva enfermera respondió: “Oh, no, estoy de servicio, estoy aquí por si alguien se emociona demasiado y se desmaya o algo igualmente catastrófico”.

Y Simon Knights-Templar estaba tan hipnotizado por el espectáculo de luces que simplemente deambulaba aturdido. Por supuesto, asistió Rupert Piles. Ninguna discoteca podría celebrarse sin que el evento se grabara para la posteridad en su enorme cámara de televisión 3D…

Por supuesto, asistieron Rudi, Miles, Chester, Valentine y Magnuss. Naturalmente, Hair-Trigger estaba al lado de Magnuss…

Y Susan estaba allí, con sus partes constituyentes independientes del todo…

“Está bien, chicas”, se dijo efectivamente a sí misma. “Ve y mézclate con las masas. Como dijo el encantador Hambledon Bohannon: Es hora de la fiesta. Bajemos. ¡Eh!”

Pero después de una breve incursión en la pista de baile, tuvo otra idea. Momentos después hizo esto…

… Que casi derriba la casa. Eso es metafóricamente, por supuesto: después de todo, en realidad se construyó a partir de enormes trozos de piedra, que se habían construido para durar mil años.

Cinco minutos después, Magnuss seguía sintiendo los efectos del mareo por movimiento. Fue todo lo que pudo hacer para combatir los ataques de náuseas…

Pero entonces Hair-Trigger dejó caer una bomba en su regazo: “Hambledon Bohannon”, gritó por encima del estruendo de los emocionados asistentes a la discoteca y el mega éxito de los Trumptations de ayer, ‘ Aint too Proud to Fart’  “ha vuelto a mezclar la pista de acompañamiento de Los Caballeros Stupido en una versión de fusión de jazz funk de tu pieza clásica de fiesta. Se espera que tú y los chicos lo realicen, como ahora “.

No fue una solicitud: fue una orden. Así que unos minutos después se encendieron las luces, ¡para revelar a The Earplug Brothers en vivo!

Lamentablemente ninguno de ellos estaba familiarizado con el jazz, el funk o fusiones de ningún tipo; por lo que su desempeño fue menos que estelar. Pero a nadie le importaba realmente: eran, después de todo, héroes del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro. Y pronto Hambledon hizo que los tocadiscos giraran amablemente de nuevo…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

 

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Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 27)

Shortly after everyone had re-integrated themselves with the disco groove, Chester met  with Susan’s primary sub-unit, and Magnuss with Hair-Trigger.

Susan suggested that Chester and she should “Adjourn to the open air”, which Chester pretended to think about for half a nanosecond…

And Magnuss asked Hair-Trigger if she would marry him…

Fortunately the music volume was just low enough to let him hear her reply.

“Yes!” She yelled. “Yes. It’s about bloody time: I thought you’d never ask!”

Of course, standing so nearby, Chester and Susan heard everything. So it was with a cosy glow around them that they abandoned the crowded dance floor…

…and strolled into the open air of the Age of Stone exhibit…

“Up you go, Chester.” Susan said as she changed shape and slipped her ‘head’ beneath her earplug chum…

…“Let’s go somewhere quiet. Let’s get lost in the Age of Stone.”

So they did, and they had a bloody good frolic in the moonlight through the castle’s giant buttercup garden…

“Whee,” they cried in unison, “this is the best day of my life!”

Meanwhile the Rhubarb Crumble had received a summons from Mars, and so had returned to its home planet under the command of the autopilot…

The timing was impeccable because, in the rest room the entire engineering staff was watching the credits roll on the last episode of Season Two of Destination: the Stars…

“I think that was excellent. Perfect, in fact.” Budgitte Wilgoss opined.

To which Lawrence Endocarp responded: “I concur wholeheartedly.”

And Douglas Dungipon added: “And the TV show wasn’t bad either. But it’s not a patch on real life. I wonder what those Earplug Brothers will think of doing next.”

“Whatever it is,” his supervisor replied, “I hope they don’t invite us along. One adventure is quite enough for me.”

The End

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 26)

At that moment, in the dance hall, Hambledon Bohannon hit the lights and wound the sound system up to eleven…

It was time to party…

Late-comers raced down corridors when they heard Bohannon’s own monster hit, ‘Everybody Slap Your Disco Thighs’ resonate through the thick stone walls…

 

…ever hopeful of having their eyes assaulted by a kaleidoscopic light show…

Of course, they were not disappointed. Already many earplugs were getting down to the insistent bass and driving rhythm…

None less so than Cushions Smethwyke, who was dancing with a new nurse from the museum’s dispensary. “I like your white uniform,” she said. “Didn’t you have time to go home and change?”

To which the new nurse replied: “Oh-no, I’m on duty – I’m here just in case someone gets over-excited and faints or something equally catastrophic.”

And Simon Knights-Templar was so mesmerised by the light show that he merely wandered around in a daze. Of course, Rupert Piles attended. No disco could be held without the event being recorded for posterity on his huge 3D TV camera…

Of course, Rudi, Miles, Chester, Valentine and Magnuss attended. Naturally Hair-Trigger was at Magnuss’ side…

And Susan was there – with her constituent parts independent of the whole…

“Okay, girls,” she effectively said to herself. “Go mingle with the masses. Like that lovely Hambledon Bohannon said: It’s time to party. Let’s get down. Huh!”

But after a brief foray on the dance floor, she had another idea. Moments later she did this…

…which almost brought the house down. That’s metaphorically of course: it was, after all, actually constructed from huge chunks of stone, which had been built to last a thousand years.

Five minutes later Magnuss was still feeling the effects of motion sickness. It was all he could do to fight off attacks of nausea…

But then Hair-Trigger dropped a bombshell in his lap: “Hambledon Bohannon,” she shouted above the din of excited disco-goers and the Trumptations’ mega-hit of yester year, ‘Aint too Proud to Fart’  “has re-mixed the backing track to Los Caballeros Stupido into a jazz funk fusion version of your classic party piece. You and the boys are expected to perform it – like now.”

It wasn’t a request: it was a command. So a few minutes later the lights came up – to reveal The Earplug Brothers live!

Sadly neither of them was familiar with jazz, funk, or fusions of any kind; so their performance was less than stellar. But no one really cared: they were, after all, heroes of the Museum of Future Technology. And soon Hambledon had the turntables whirling nicely again…

©  Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

 

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 21)

Enorme y aterrador fue un excelente resumen de la apariencia del Ser Supremo. Y también tenía una voz realmente molesta…

“Oh, Dios”, se lamentó falsamente – y burlonamente, “para que mis ojos no me engañen: ¡realmente son los Hermanos Earplug! ¿Y qué es esto: un cambiaformas de su futuro? ¿Lo que da?”

Susan se asustó tanto que se reconstituyó a sí misma como una mancha amorfa…

Magnuss explicó (nuevamente) su misión de encontrar un poderoso aliado para combatir al Wonky SB. El Ser Supremo apropiado se sintió descontento con esto. Esperaba tener mejores noticias, aunque no tenía idea de cómo Magnuss podría haberlas transmitido…

“¿Qué piensan chicos?” Llamó a otros seres parecidos a Dios, a los que Magnuss nunca había visto antes.

“Es su problema”, una monstruosidad en forma de bala realmente desagradable…

… con un jersey con cuello de tortuga se quejó, “déjelos que lo resuelvan: tenemos un cosmos que correr”.

Otro dios, esta vez el Dios de las bolas de cuero, coincidió con el primero…

“Son gomosos”. El anunció. “Pueden salir de los problemas a rebotes”.

Pero otros no fueron tan despectivos. El Ser Supremo los escuchó con atención…

“No-no”, argumentó el dios de las narices moradas, “¿y si pierden?”

El bebé arbusto cósmico de dos pisos estuvo de acuerdo. “Wonky te llevó una vez, SB”, le recordaron a su jefe, “¿qué le impide volver y hacerlo de nuevo?”

Y los Espectros Desamparados de Woople gritaron: “¡Son tan lindos: tienes que ayudarlos, jefe!”

El Ser Supremo fue nada menos que instantáneamente decisivo, especialmente después de que el Ojo de la Eternidad que todo lo ve habló…

“No veo nada más que problemas por delante si los enviamos sin ayuda. Sabes lo que tienes que hacer, SB “.

Con eso, el Ser Supremo hundió su mano en la pequeña burbuja de realidad dentro de la cual existían sus visitantes…

… y los levantó a través de la tensión superficial que separa el Universo del Ultraverso de Dios…

“Magnuss,” tronó, “tengo una pequeña idea. Pero primero tengo que comprobarlo contigo como una mula de prueba, por así decirlo “.

En un instante, Magnuss se encontró de pie junto a una pequeña cabina roja, que miró con sospecha…

“Lo inventé hace tres segundos”. El Ser Supremo lo explicó a medias. “Ahora entra.”

Magnuss no estaba dispuesto a discutir. También creía que hiciera lo que hiciera la cabina, probablemente dolería. Hizo una mueca de anticipación…

Y cuando su cerebro se hinchó a tres veces su tamaño normal, notó que su suposición había sido correcta…

Pero justo cuando pensaba que no podía aguantar más, su conciencia estaba en otra parte…

… Aunque no pudo ubicarlo del todo. “¿Qué es este ambiente extraño?” Preguntó.

Fue puesto firmemente en su lugar cuando la voz del Ser Supremo respondió: “Yo hago las preguntas. Ahora dime, ¿cuál es la cosa más preciosa en toda la eternidad? No lo digo en un sentido genérico: me refiero a ti personalmente. Quizás debería haber formulado mejor la pregunta “.

Pero Magnuss había dejado de escuchar: sabía exactamente qué era para él la cosa más preciosa en toda la eternidad…

“Mi futura esposa.” Él respondió. “Provost Hair-Trigger”.

“Buena respuesta.” Un Ser Supremo de aprobación habló casi amablemente. “¿Qué es lo más emocionante que has hecho en su empresa?”

Magnuss tuvo que dedicar algún tiempo a contemplar la pregunta. Habían compartido tantas aventuras emocionantes juntos. Incluso le gustaba ver la televisión con ella, siempre y cuando no fuera la televisión diurna o los programas de “telerrealidad”. “Lo sé”, gritó mentalmente, “fue en ese momento cuando nosotros…

… voló sobre el océano en mochilas propulsoras y descubrió una isla secreta llena de mutantes “.

“Frio.” El Ser Supremo respondió … eh … con frialdad. “Ahora la misma pregunta, pero con tus hermanos como tema, en lugar de Hair-Trigger”.

Si la pregunta anterior había afectado a Magnuss, esta era casi imposible de responder. ¿Por dónde empezó? Pero entonces recibió la respuesta y supo de dónde venía: sus hermanos, usando su fraternal talento telepático.

“La vez que nos enfrentamos a esos robots centinela rojos en la batalla del Museo de la Tecnología del Futuro”.

“UH Huh.” Llegó la respuesta evasiva. “Ahora, ¿cómo puedo decir esto? ¿Cuál fue su gloria suprema con respecto a su última batalla frente a probabilidades abrumadoras?”

Magnuss no necesitó ayuda para responder eso. “Nuestro escudo psíquico”. Respondió…

Pero antes de que tuviera tiempo de agregar algo más, Magnuss estaba parado afuera de la cabina…

“Oye, lo estaba disfrutando”. El se quejó. “Bueno, ¿obtuviste lo que querías? ¿Vas a ayudar?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Wallpapers of the Tooty Kind

Having concluded my important task of the day (I can do only one per day: two taxes my memory too much), I sat myself in front of my laptop and began fiddling with some pictures I took whilst on a wander through a tranquil graveyard the day previous. This is what caught my attention…

A novel step over a flint wall – complete with hole for slipping a foot into, or allowing a small dog to pass. The scene itself makes a pleasant wallpaper. But I felt that the hole was the real star. So, on my first pass I created…

…a scene through a window on an ice planet. Hmmm, might use that in an Earplug Adventure. My second pass brought forth…

…the interior of a defensive position during battle. Hmmm, might use that one too. And on my third pass I created…

…the view from a cell in an alien prison. And it was this one that gave me an idea for another Age of Stone story. If, during the Age of Stone, all technology is based upon rocks and stuff, then  surely they would make their star ships from stone too!  Have to put my thinking cap on now. Could this be the forty-second Earplug Adventure e-book in the making? Bloody hope so: I don’t have any other ideas!

Featuring wondrous writings and phabulous photos. It's probably quite nice if you're feeling a bit down. SOME CONTENT IS UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN!