Tag Archives: earplug adventures

Galactic Newsletter: Earth Becomes a Battleground

Consternation abounded, and the security forces of the Museum of Future Technology were alerted, when two warring alien species dipped into the atmosphere of Earth to fight their final battle.  Fortunately for all concerned, the silver ships were out of ammunition, and the red ship’s gunners were all trainees who couldn’t shoot straight…

Earplug News 24/7: Devastation!

Reports are coming in of an accidental conflagration during the preliminary round of the National Farting Contest. A concerned Magnuss and Hair-Trigger Earplug are reported to have said: “Flipping heck – there’s no way they’re gonna hold the finals here: we’ll have to go somewhere else!”

 

An Empty Shampoo Bottle and a 20 Second Giff

Remember Triple Threat: Hell Unleashed? The awful 20 second giff that featured a trio of earplugs destroying something with a laser cannon? Here’s a shot from it…

Well I rather fancied writing an Earplug Adventure that featured them…

A story about a bunch of accident-prone idiots getting into deep shit trouble, then finding redemption by saving the day (of course). But I couldn’t think of a story line – until I finished an interestingly-shaped bottle of shampoo. After drying (what remains of) my hair, I took the top and the bottom off the bottle. I then delved into my many boxes of plastic bits and pieces, which included other shampoo bottle tops, catheter nozzles and a wind-up flashlight. Shortly I introduced the separate parts to a tube of superglue. The result – after adding a coat of black paint – was this…

 

Too matt to see clearly? Check this out…

It’s a submarine/space ship freighter. Yes, a space ship that can travel under the sea. What could three accident-prone idiots do with that if they stowed away, then managed to lose the crew, and had to take control themselves? Well the sky – and the depths – are the limit…

The story will be titled Triple Threat. The principal  character names are Bunty Bridgewater, Ginger Slack, and Daisy Woodnut. The ship/sub, at present, remains unnamed. But I’m confident something suitably ridiculous will pop into my mind when the need arises. Watch this space!

 

 

Galactic Newsletter: Stopped in Their Tracks

The First Fleet of Scroton was stopped dead in space recently by the appearence of a gigantic inflatable head. “Thou shall not pass into this realm.” the head informed them. Unaware that it was nothing more than a gas-filled bag with an aging cassette tape recorder attached, the First Fleet retired to Scroton Space immediately, and much hilarity ensued in Scroton Prime’s Universidad Principal…

Galactic Newsletter: Clouds Part Frighteningly

A shudder ran through the massed population of Scroton Prime’s Old Quarter as the clouds parted, to reveal a vast interstellar saucer of unknown design or origin.  But fears of annihilation were allayed when the occupants informed the mayor that they had only stopped by to ask the way to Earth…

 

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 27)

So this is it. If you haven’t already downloaded the complete story (and consequently know what’s going to happen), this is the final extract. It’s been a long road to here, and you’ve all stayed the course impressively – except the ones who haven’t. You deserve an award. Well I suppose the fact that you can download this tale, in its entirety free-of-charge, is an award in itself. But enough of the waffle: let’s get to business!

“We both promised ourselves that if we ever met Bunk-Bunk Bunson we would kick ‘him’ right up the arse.” Magnuss informed her. “And, sorry, but we’re both earplugs of our word. Despite the fact that you are a ‘her’, not a ‘him’, you are still going to be punished. Hairy – you go first.”

Hair-Trigger had never kicked a female up the arse before – especially a clairvoyant heroine. So as Bunson grimaced and awaited the agony of well-aimed space sandals, all Hair-Trigger could bring herself to muster was a quick jab with the knee to a single buttock…

 

But Magnuss, who had grown up in a large family that had enjoyed a history of arse-kicking contests, made a far better attempt…

…and booted her along the corridor.

“Oh sorry,” he said as he went to Bunson’s aid…

…”the gravity of Tah-Di-Tah is only nine-tenths Earth normal. I just don’t know my own strength here.”

Bunson assumed that she would have a large black bruise in the morning; but she didn’t mind at all. She’d been kicked up the arse by earplugs who had risked everything to save Tah-Di-Tah. And she was a hero herself. Heroes should have bruises: they were a badge of honour. So it was a cheerful trio who walked together along the myriad corridors of the lost village…

As time passed they spoke of a million and one things. They were on the brink of suggesting their next course of action, which might have been a visit to the Tah-Di-Tah branch of Café Puke, when – for Magnuss and Hair-Trigger – the decision was taken out of their hands…

…and they found themselves back aboard the Tankerville Norris

Hair-Trigger, in particular, was very annoyed…

“Thank you very much indeed, Ship.” She bellowed. “We didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to Bunk-Bunk.”

“True,” the ship spoke for only the second time since they embarked upon their honeymoon, “but she is a clairvoyant: she knows what you wanted to say. And in doing so, it is done. Now fasten your safety belts…

…we, and the Chuck Winker, are about to launch. Nothing genteel, you understand: we’d like to impress the locals before we leave.”

Moments later…

…the two Scroton/Tah-Di-Tah hybrids blasted vertically into the sky. Not that Magnuss and Hair-Trigger noticed: it had been hours since their last visit to the toilet, and they were too busy running to the one behind Engineering…

“That’s another thing,” Hair-Trigger grumbled as she noticed the absence of the ‘new’ signage, “why did Bunk-Bunk have to put the toilet so far from the bridge? For a psychic genius, she sure was one dumb female.”

Epilogue

But Hair-Trigger’s mood couldn’t remain dark. She was smiling when they returned to the bridge…

“You know,” she said, “this is beginning to feel like home. We’ll have to bring your brothers along next time.”

They had just enough time to sit themselves down before the ships made a spectacular fly-past…

…before hurtling up into space. Of course the stripped-down Chuck Winker took the lead as they battled the planet’s gravity well…

During their long conversation, Bunk-Bunk had brought Magnuss and Hair-Trigger up to date concerning the Seventh Cavalry’s role in the battle, so they put in a ship-to-ship call…

“Gentlemen…and lady.” Magnuss said as his image appeared upon the Chuck Winker’s bridge holo-screen, “you have my eternal gratitude. If you hadn’t slowed down that fleet, we would never have found the lost village – and Tah-Di-Tah would have been obliterated. When we get back to the museum, I’m going to have words with Major Leftfoot Badger. I’m going to suggest he make you all officers. He should be proud of you.”

The cavalry-plugs were a little lost for words.

Wetpatch found one or two: “Well thank you kindly, young fella. I guess, before you mosey on back to the museum, you’ll be taking that honeymoon of yours?”  

“We certainly shall.” Hair-Trigger replied…

…”Now you get yourselves safely back to Fort Balderdash: there’ll always be a place in the Museum of Future Technology for people like you. You tell Cushions Smethwyke I said that.”

With that they made their farewells; and, as instructed, the Chuck Winker blasted for Earth…

Suddenly the newlyweds felt rather alone…

“Well?” Hair-Trigger asked as she leaned towards Magnuss. ”Where to, Captain?”

“Pick a direction.” He replied. “Any direction – just as long as it’s not Earth. “We’re on our honeymoon: we’re going to do honey moony things!”

With that the Tankerville Norris rotated upon its axis to a random position…

…and Magnuss hit the ‘Go’ button…

The End

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Don’t forget to return for the next thrilling Earplug Adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah – Complete and Completely Free!

As is my usual practice, the complete e-book becomes available to the general public prior to the posting of the final episode. Why I do it that way, I just don’t know. And, of course, since I no longer publish them on Lulu-com in EPUB form, they are not (strictly speaking) proper e-books. But PDF is a reasonable compromise, and I’ve not heard anyone complaining. So here it is. Just click on the cover image to unleash the file, which you can either read on-line or download for later consumption.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 25)

And so, to the building crescendo…

“Get us out of here.” Wetpatch instructed his fellow Staff Sergeant.

“There’s some nasty weather down there.” Eustace Lipps noted. “With the ship all shot up and stuff, water might get in and short out some important circuits.”

“Don’t care.” Wetpatch retorted. “Just get us somewhere we might be able to hide in a cave or something. Descend immediately, forthwith, and straight away.”

So, before long…

…the beaten and battered Chuck Winker descended into a miserable rain storm. Naturally they reduced the illumination again…

…after all they didn’t want anyone spotting an unshielded light source. But as the ship touched down, and the gentle whine of the drive motors subsided, the room brightened into incandescent brilliance…

Jo jumped in his seat and turned to Wetpatch for an explanation. But it was Jollie who supplied it: “We’re being sensor-scanned.” He announced…

…”by a very inquisitive streetlight.”

Little did the crew of the Chuck Winker suspect, but the scientific personnel of the formerly buried village had been waiting for their ship to land so that they could commence hostilities with the enemy in the only way they knew: the defensive system now known, and referred to, as The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah. Over the hill, just north of the silted fiord, the ground cracked open and fire and brimstone burst skyward…

Inside the scientific village main facility, which, during the delay, had been returned to full functionality by its woken staff members…

…Hair-Trigger and Magnuss watched, whilst their guide (and Madame Nellie look-alike) explained that they were watching the emergence of the power receivers for the main device that created The Lines. Well Hair-Trigger was: Magnuss couldn’t quite bring himself to. But as the receivers speared the darkened sky…

…he thought he might take a quick peek. But when he saw them – in all their glory…

…he actually cheered. They were magnificent. Despite all that he had seen in his short, but adventurous life, he was awed by them. Then, as he paused for breath, something else emerged into the air that it had not tasted for a thousand years…

“Er, what’s that?” He inquired as his fearful bottom released a visible cloud of obnoxious gas.

“The Horns of Guff.” The pseudo-Nellie replied. “Designed by our fabulous founder, Frank Guff.”

“What do the Horns of Guff actually do?” Hair-Trigger asked, “Besides looking really intimidating and incredibly arty, of course.”

“It’s one of the lines.” The explanation came quickly. “This is The Guide Line.”

This wasn’t quite the explanation Hair-Trigger sought. It was too vague. But she figured all would reveal itself in time. And she was momentarily distracted when the vanguard of the invasion fleet opened fire from orbit. She was also intrigued by the alien targeting system. She had heard of Point and Shoot; but she’d never seen it practiced on such a grand scale. It was simple – but effective.

But then her attention was drawn back to the Horns of Guff. Or rather what the Horns of Guff were causing to happen in the sky above them…

Was that the image of the alien fleet she could see – framed by (what could only be) a far more complex targeting system than the one now being perpetrated against Tah-Di-Tah?

Of course she had no idea that hundreds of light years distant, a Singularity (or Black Hole as it was more commonly known) was busy doing its best to disrupt space/time for billions of kilometres around it…

But her ignorance lasted only a few seconds longer, because the Pseudo-Nellie cried out: “There it is. A thousand years have passed since we last gazed upon its might. A singular singularity – and it’s ours to control…”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Magnuss & Hair-Trigger Wallpaper: Honeymoon Snap 1: Exploring a Space Derelict

The best thing about having your own honeymoon barge is that you can stop whenever and wherever you want. In this case the silicon heroes have adorned themselves with  protective bubbles and gone exploring a wrecked space ship.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 24)

It has been a lot of fun creating The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah, and I’m just sorry that it has to end. But end it must, and this is one of the final episodes. We’re nearly done here. Booooo. Anyway, enjoy the remnants…

Chapter 8

Whilst revelation piled upon revelation inside the excavated fiord, far away from Tah-Di-Tah the crew of the Chuck Winker had quickly recognised the fact that they had bitten off way more than they could chew. Every weapon they had was being brought to bear upon a foe so numerous that they were beyond counting…

And the Tankerville Norris had sustained so much damage that it was forced to flee back to Tah-Di-Tah. It fairly fell through the atmosphere – spilling drive plasma as it did so…

Further, although the cavalry were accounting for many of the shots aimed at them…

…some missed completely, and now rained deadly fire down upon the surface of Tah-Di-Tah…

One stray shot, in particular, almost caught the Tankerville Norris a potentially crushing blow as it raced across the surface at almost zero altitude…

To their credit, some of the local population responded well to the Tankerville Norris’ original request for military assistance. A farmer’s co-operative had banded together to pack as much phosphate-based fertilizer as they could into an old, dilapidated space-tug. When it was full, they lit a fuse and launched it at the incoming space fleet…

It was a bold initiative by a bunch of tractor-drivers; but ultimately it was doomed to failure. No sooner had it passed through the clouds, when a stray shot caught it amidships…

“Bugger,” one of the members of the farmer’s co-operative was heard to utter, “If I want my fields to deliver a decent crop, come harvest time, I’m gonna have to use excrement on ‘em. And there’s only me and the wife!”

The situation in space was little better. In fact it was awful. An alien energy beam knocked out the Chuck Winker’s main armament…

For those on the bridge, this was nothing less than calamitous. Wetpatch looked to Jo. “It has been an honour serving with you, Jo.” He said gravely.

A terrified Jo looked back. “What you mean, during our time in the cavalry in general; or this little escapade?”

“Both,” Wetpatch answered. “And now we’re sitting ducks – just waiting for the coup de grace.”

“We could always turn off the lights and adopt stealth mode and creep away unnoticed.” Scroda Hootner suggested.

It was an excellent suggestion: so they did…

…and the aliens were left shooting at shadows.

“Fine cavalry-plugs we are,” Wetpatch grumbled in the subdued lighting, “sitting around in the dark. And I never even got to shout ‘Charge!’”

“And I forgot to pack my bugle.” Miguel admitted, somewhat shamefaced.

“What, so now we just hang around and hope all the bad guys go away?” Jo complained. “There must be some way to get to the planet. Can we hoist a solar sail or something?”

“Well we could try something called The Dark Energy Drive.” Jollie Huggup said as he peered at his darkened read-outs. “I’ve got the start button here – I think.”

Moments later…  

…the Dark Energy Drive kicked in, and they departed the region of space behind a ‘smoke’ screen of exotic particles.

An hour later…

“Tah-Di-Tah coming up, Wetpatch.” Miguel Angel-Grinder announced. “No obvious planetary defences. Want us to go in on the night side?”

With the alien fleet just an hour behind them, Wetpatch considered this suggestion the wisest course of action…

“Sure,” he said, “but we’ll have to turn the lights up a bit: I don’t wanna press the wrong buttons and do something really stupid like disconnect the Infinite Reality Drive or eject the lavatory.”

But, having done so, they became aware of an important fact…

“It’s the sodding fleet!” Jo yelled with despair. “They must have given up shooting at nothing and followed us here!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 22)

Mientras tanto, en los restos de la aldea enterrada, Magnuss y Hair-Trigger habían descubierto una extraña habitación que parecía desafiar las leyes de la física…

“No sólo las leyes de la física”, refunfuñó Hair-Trigger, “sino también las leyes de la estética”.

“Podría ser el resultado de una fuga de radiación”. Magnuss sugirió nerviosamente. Luego, para animarse, agregó: “Alternativamente, podría ser un equipo que se haya encendido automáticamente cuando detectó nuestra presencia, pero debido a que ha estado inactivo durante siglos, debe volver a calibrarse”.

Esta era una idea mucho más aceptable, pero a Hair-Trigger realmente no le importaba de una forma u otra: verlo solo le daba náuseas. Así que fue un gran alivio que lo cruzaron en buen orden y rápido, y salieron por una puerta práctica…

“Ah, esto es más parecido”. Magnuss dijo mientras Hair-Trigger dirigía a la habitación anterior una rápida mirada de desprecio hacia atrás. “Esto parece más tapón para los oídos”.

Pero, cuando el corredor azul se abrió a (lo que Magnuss supuso que era) una gran vía…

… se sintió un poco menos seguro de su última declaración. Y Hair-Trigger lo odiaba absolutamente. Pero cuando se encontraron cayendo en un movimiento de paseo, se les ocurrió la similitud con una calle concurrida de la ciudad…

“Esto es muy agradable”. Magnuss dijo mientras sonreía por primera vez en años. “En su apogeo, este debe haber sido un lugar muy popular. Puedes imaginar a todas las multitudes por la noche, en la ciudad, yendo a espectáculos, restaurantes y cosas así “.

Hair-Trigger no estaba convencido. “Esta era una comunidad científica, llena de cabezas de huevo y personas con cerebros más grandes que el promedio, pensando en cosas realmente avanzadas y luego haciéndolas funcionar”.

Magnuss no iba a discutir: tal vez ambos tuvieran razón. Pero luego pensó que ambos podrían estar equivocados también, porque…

… se encontraron de pie frente a una enorme pared de video que los mostraba, como se ve en la tienda de Madame Nellie. No hubo audio, pero ambos tapones para los oídos pudieron recordar sus palabras anteriores.

“Magnuss”, dijo Hair-Trigger con una voz que sonaba inusualmente pequeña e incierta, “¿cómo es esto posible?”

Magnuss tuvo que pensar en eso. Para pensar de la manera más eficiente, se imaginó a sí mismo de pie bajo el resplandor brillante de un foco de luz…

Pero cuando permitió que su mente vagara por los reinos de la fantasía, “sintió” el toque de una mente. Era impreciso e impreciso, pero estaba seguro de que era muy real. También sabía que esta mente vinculaba el presente Tah-Di-Tah con el mundo que era antes de Tah-Di-Tah. Que la mente existía en ambas épocas o, se corrigió, había existido en ambas épocas. Fue un poco confuso, y cuando regresó al momento, no pudo poner sus pensamientos en palabras. Así que decidió ‘ seguir su olfato ‘. Y su ‘ nariz ‘ lo llevó a un pasillo rojo oscuro…

… Que Hair-Trigger encontró infinitamente más agradable estéticamente; pero tenía a Magnuss sintiendo punzadas de inquietud. ¿A dónde los estaba conduciendo? ¿A qué los estaba conduciendo? Pero fuera lo que fuese, estaba seguro de que era la ruta correcta. Y cuando doblaron la esquina hacia otro pasillo…

… No pudo evitar notar que el enrojecimiento había disminuido. ¿Podría ser que se estaban acercando al final de su búsqueda? Y cuando llegaron al final de ese pasillo llegaron a una breve antesala…

“¿Seguro que quieres hacer esto?” Magnuss le preguntó a su nueva esposa.

Este no era el tipo de pregunta que Magnuss le hubiera hecho a Hair-Trigger anteriormente. Quizás fue el hecho de que ella ahora era su esposa lo que le hizo sentir la necesidad de ser más protector. Hair-Trigger, en su sabiduría, reconoció esto:

—Oh, tonto marido —dijo amablemente—, por supuesto que sí. Es lo que hago, ¿recuerdas?

Entonces, sin más preámbulos, entraron en una habitación que, en un principio, pensaron que era un laboratorio. Pero cuando miraron más de cerca…

—Oh, no —gimió Hair-Trigger con horror y derrota—, es un mausoleo. Llegamos demasiado tarde. ¡Mil años demasiado tarde!

Pero Magnuss pensó que no…

“Espera, Hairy”. Él dijo. “Este no es un lugar de muertos: es un centro de hibernación. Cuando se dieron cuenta de que la aldea iba a ser sumergida, todos optaron por entrar en animación suspendida, con la esperanza de que los recuperarían en poco tiempo “.

Hair-Trigger se sintió aliviada por esto: odiaba la caries en todas sus formas, especialmente en forma de tapones para los oídos. Pero cuando Magnuss fue a investigar un panel que pensó que parecía prometedor, Hair-Trigger pensó que la cápsula de hibernación junto a la que ella estaba olía “raro”…

“Creo que este está muerto”, dijo descuidadamente. “¡Suena algo terrible!”

Pero mientras Magnuss no respondió, Hair-Trigger se sorprendió cuando apareció una cara en el ocupante de la cápsula…

“Magnuss”, gritó con voz estridente, “golpea lo que acabo de decir: tenemos un respiro”.

Magnuss estaba doblemente sorprendido por esto. No solo no había podido anticipar que una de las cápsulas podría estar defectuosa y permitir que su ocupante se despertara de un sueño permanente: sino que, dentro de su mente, también podía sentir los zarcillos de la inteligencia etérea fortalecerse…

Sumando dos y dos, supuso que el tapón para los oídos y la conciencia mental eran lo mismo. Así que revitalizó sus intentos de comprender el panel de control que creía que operaba las cápsulas de hibernación.

“Tenemos que sacar ese tapón antes de que él o ella muera”. Gritó.

Luego agregó: “¡Estúpida máquina, funciona!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 22)

The end is close, I can feel it in my bowels. Still, enjoy it while it lasts…

Meanwhile, in the remnants of the buried village, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger had discovered a strange room that seemed to defy the laws of physics…

“Not only the laws of physics,” Hair-Trigger grumbled, “but the laws of aesthetics too.”

“It could be the result of a radiation leak.” Magnuss suggested nervously. Then, to cheer himself up, he added: “Alternatively it could be a piece of equipment that has turned on automatically when it detected our presence, but because it has been sitting idle for centuries, needs re-calibrating.”

This was a much more palatable idea, but Hair-Trigger didn’t really care one way or the other: the sight of it just made her nauseous. So it was with great relief that they crossed it in good order and quick time, and exited through a handy doorway…

“Ah, this is more like it.” Magnuss said as Hair-Trigger gave the previous room a quick backward glance of contempt. “This looks more earpluggish.”

But, as the blue corridor opened on to (what Magnuss presumed was) a large thoroughfare…

…he felt a little less certain of his last statement. And Hair-Trigger absolutely hated it. But as they found themselves falling into a strolling motion, the similarity to a busy city street occurred to them…

“This is kind’a nice.” Magnuss said as he smiled for the first time in yonks. “In its hey-day, this must have been a very popular place. You can imagine all the crowds at night – out on the town and going to shows and restaurants and things like that.”

Hair-Trigger wasn’t convinced. “This was a scientific community – full of egg-heads and people with larger-than-average brains – thinking up really advanced stuff and then making it work.”

Magnuss wasn’t going to argue: maybe they were both right. But then he thought that they both might be wrong too, because…

…they found themselves standing in front of a huge video wall that featured them – as seen in Madame Nellie’s tent. There was no audio, but both earplugs could recall their earlier words.

“Magnuss,” Hair-Trigger said with a voice that sounded uncharacteristically small and uncertain, “how is this possible?”

Magnuss had to think about that. To think most efficiently he imagined himself standing in the bright glow of a spotlight…

But as he allowed his mind to wander into realms of fantasy he ‘felt’ the touch of a mind. It was suffuse and indistinct – but, he was certain, very real. He also knew that this mind linked the present Tah-Di-Tah with the world it was pre-Tah-Di-Tah. That the mind existed in both eras – or, he corrected himself, had existed in both eras. It was a bit confusing, and when he returned to the moment, he couldn’t put his thoughts into words. So he decided to ‘follow his nose’. And his ‘nose’ led him into a dark red corridor…

…which Hair-Trigger found infinitely more pleasing aesthetically; but had Magnuss feeling pangs of trepidation. Where was he leading them? What was he leading them into? But whatever it was, he felt certain that this was the correct route. And when they turned the corner into another corridor…

…he couldn’t help but notice that the redness had lessened. Could it be that they were approaching the end of their search?  And when they reached the end of that corridor they came to a brief ante-room…

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Magnuss asked his new wife.

This was not the sort of question that Magnuss would have asked Hair-Trigger previously. Perhaps it was the fact that she was now his spouse that made him feel the need to be more protective. Hair-Trigger, in her wisdom, recognised this:

“Oh you silly husband,” she said pleasantly, “of course I do. It’s what I do – remember?”

So, without further ado, they entered a room that, at first, they thought was a laboratory. But when they looked more closely…

“Oh-no,” Hair-Trigger wailed in horror and defeat, “it’s a mausoleum. We’re too late. A thousand years too late!”

But Magnuss thought not…

“Hang on, Hairy.” He said. “This isn’t a place of the dead: it’s a hibernation centre. When they realised that the village was going to be submerged, everyone chose to go into suspended animation – hopeful that they would be retrieved before too long.”

Hair-Trigger was relieved by this: she hated decay in every form – especially earplug form. But as Magnuss went to investigate a panel that he thought looked promising, Hair-Trigger thought that the hibernation pod beside which she stood smelt ‘funny’…

“I think this one’s dead,” she said carelessly. ”It honks something terrible!”

But whilst Magnuss failed to reply, Hair-Trigger was shocked when a face appeared upon the pod’s occupant…

“Magnuss,” she yelled shrilly, “strike what I just said: we’ve got a breather.”

Magnuss was doubly shocked by this. Not only had he failed to anticipate that one of the pods might be faulty and allow it’s occupant to rouse from permanent slumber: but, within his mind he could also feel the tendrils of the ethereal intelligence strengthen…

Putting two and two together he surmised that the rousing earplug and the mental awareness were one and the same. So he reinvigorated his attempts to understand the control panel that he believed operated the hibernation pods.

“We’ve got to get that earplug out of there before he or she dies.” He cried.

He then added: “Stupid machine – work!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 17)

My, the story is moving apace now – don’t you think? Here’s the next instalment…

Because adrenalin can make a person do things with ease that would often be impossible under normal circumstances, it seemed that no time passed between Magnuss and Hair-Trigger receiving a summons to the bridge, and them actually being there…

And because of the telepathic link they didn’t need to be told that they were looking at a fleet of spacecraft that lay so distant in space that the vague image was the result of it being at the extreme range of the sensors. They also understood that, at its current speed and trajectory, the fleet would arrive off Tah-Di-Tah in less than a single planetary revolution.

“Bum.” Magnuss cursed like a dock-worker on steroids. “Knickers too. What an inconvenient time to turn up. Obviously they’re not on their way here for a huge joint vacation or to party-party-party until dawn: that looks distinctly like an invasion fleet.”

“The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah.” Hair-Trigger said breathlessly. “What was it that Madame Nellie said about them?”

Magnuss quickly retrieved the spy pen from his breast pocket. Selecting the correct time index he soon had the devilishly clever device repeating the clairvoyant’s words: “I’m a fortune teller: not the Fountain of Knowledge. I don’t know what they are; but you are going to find them. And – apparently – the continued existence of Tah-Di-Tah depends upon it. That’s it – on your way: now it’s all down to you.”

Magnuss turned his gaze to the holo-screen again, and said: “Bit of a coincidence, don’t you think?”

“We’ve got twenty-two hours – give-or-take,” Hair-Trigger said sternly. “We don’t have time to explain all this to the authorities: we need to act: and we need to act now. Let’s go dig up that techno-village!”

But Magnuss held aloft a hand. “Wait.” He said. “We must do all we can to slow that fleet down. Rudi told us that we had a full complement of proton Torpedoes.”

“Just a turn of phrase, I’m sure.” Hair-Trigger snapped in her urgency to be about their task. “Just his way of saying we were ready to launch. Like saying the larder is stocked, or the toilet roll holders are full.”

Magnuss shook his head. “I don’t think so. My oldest brother wouldn’t tell me something that wasn’t true.”

Then, with only his mind, he instructed the quiescent ship…

…to target the distant fleet and fire a volley of torpedoes. Much to Hair-Trigger’s surprise, this was the result…

“Well you could knock me down with a lupher, I had no idea. But, Magnuss, those torpedoes have a limited range: the fleet is far too distant: they’ll never get there.”

“They don’t have to.” Magnuss replied as he fired the second, and final, volley…

…They’ll run out of fuel, and drift onwards under their own momentum. The fleet will sail straight into them. Effectively they’re a moving mine field between Tah-Di-Tah and those ships. But, at best, it will only slow them down.”

Hair-Trigger watched as the balls of incandescent light disappeared against the vast backdrop of outer space. “What we need is reinforcements.” She said grimly and without hope. “Someone to come to the rescue. Oh, if only the cavalry could come charging over the hill right now: I’d give them all a big sloppy kiss!”

Chapter 6

Ironically, or coincidentally, whichever takes your fancy – back on Earth (a mere twenty-four hours earlier)– or, to be slightly more precise – back in the Museum of Future Technology (twenty-four hours earlier)…

…the troopers of the United Stoats Seventh Cavalry had been parading about in their stockade…

At exactly the same time that Staff Sergeant Jo Frayzer shouted: “Slope arms – huh!”, Cushions Smethwyke had just turned away from the video-com panel upon which she had recently communicated with the commanding officer of the Seventh Cavalry – Major Leftfoot Badger…

As a result of this communication, Jo Frayzer and fellow staff sergeant –Wetpatch Wilton – had been summoned…

This was unusual for the time of day, and Jo was slightly fearful.

“The troopers have been using rather a lot of toilet tissue lately.” He said to his colleague. “You don’t suppose it has come to the attention of the clerical staff – do you?”

Wetpatch wasn’t a soldier who enjoyed conjecture. “I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Now dig your regulation headgear out of your back pocket and plonk it on your head.”

This was timely advice, because just around the corner stood the Officer’s…ah…office…

…which belonged to the former exhibit – but which was now home of the Seventh Cavalry. Without too much hesitation the staff sergeants approached the door…

They would have knocked politely, but the Major’s adjutant – Klisters Barnacle-Balls – was peering through the letter box, and saw them coming. So, with one deft flick of his wrist, Klisters had whipped the up-and-over door open in a most exaggerated and spectacular manner…

“You’re late.” He growled. “The Major is waiting for his afternoon tea – and he can’t have it until he’s dealt with you two. So get in there now!”

This did little to settle Jo’s nerves. So it was with a modicum of knee-knocking that the staff sergeants entered their commanding officer’s presence…

Major Leftfoot Badger was out of his chair like a limpet with an overactive adrenal gland. Tossing his hat upon his head with practiced ease…

…he said: “Gentlemen: regard the com-panel screen. It is about to replay a message that I have recently received from our superiors – the museum’s Curator Corp.”

“It came as a nasty surprise, I don’t mind telling you. Something of a jolt, actually. When you’ve seen it, I think you’ll know what I require from you.”

He said no more because moments later the screen began to glow. Then the curators appeared – all pushed up together so that they could appear on-screen. Cushions Smethwyke and Hunting Provost stood foremost…

“Okay, Badger.” Cushions growled without preamble. “We all know that the Seventh Cavalry really belong on Worstworld and are only here under sufferance from us. You don’t have a real task in the museum. Okay, you fought one engagement against those red robot invaders from the future: but other than that you’ve been a constant strain on our meagre coffers. So it’s about time you earned your keep. We’re pooping our pants in fear of what might have happened to those lovely couple – Magnuss and Hair-Trigger – and we’re not enjoying it. Our Omnipresent Scanner can’t find them anywhere – not even their dismembered bones and connective tissues. We want….no…we demand that you find out where they are and what they’re doing. If you don’t, I’m gonna recall the Chi-Z-Sox and have you all back in the irradiated desert of that doomed planet before the week is up. I don’t care how you do it – but get it done.”

This was enough to have both staff sergeants quaking in their marching boots; but when Hunting Provost stopped looking sad, and stared straight into the camera…

…they knew real fear.

“If you fail,” he ground out between gnashing incisors, “I will hunt you down and feed your remains to the plankton. That’s cold water plankton, by the way. Somewhere off the coast of Antarctica.”

The Major didn’t need to say anything: Jo and Wetpatch spoke in unison when they said (with a sigh of resignation): “We’re on it, Sir. You can count on us.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures Wallpaper: Above the Clouds (with the Tankerville Norris)

The ‘clouds’ were created by pouring boiling water into an empty laundry fabric conditioner bottle so that it contorted in an interesting and creative manner. The dark area to the bottom left reminded me of the coast during the million times I’ve flown in and out of Alicante Airport through the years. To think – that could be me aboard the Tankerville Norris!

P.S Fancy reading an entire Earplug Adventure? Click HERE!

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!

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 9)

Si trabajara en cosas importantes con tanto entusiasmo como fotografío y escribo Earplug Adventures, no tendría que preocuparme por las cosas que me he olvidado de hacer: los lugares a los que se supone que he ido y los formularios del gobierno que debería haber cumplimentado. Pero no importa, aquí está el último resultado de mi trabajo…

 

“Demasiado cerca para su comodidad.” Hair-Trigger dijo en voz baja.

Magnuss estuvo de acuerdo de todo corazón. “Estamos de luna de miel”. Él dijo

“Deberíamos hacer cosas como la luna de miel”. Se agregó Hair-Trigger.

“¿Conocemos algún lugar de luna de miel?” Magnuss preguntó.

Por supuesto, el mero hecho de hacer la pregunta significaba que conocía la respuesta.

“Tah-Di-Tah”. Respondió Hair-Trigger. “Escuché que es un planeta paradisíaco”.

“Oh si.” Magnuss dijo. “Se acabó en esa dirección”.

Así que la nave hizo una ligera alteración en su trayectoria de vuelo…

… y emprender un viaje a un ritmo más tranquilo.

Capítulo 3

Con tiempo para matar, Hair-Trigger y Magnuss abandonaron el puente para comenzar una exploración de su nave…

Les complació descubrir que (aunque la nave los actualizaría automáticamente sobre todas las preocupaciones más allá del casco) el enlace telepático con la nave permanecía en silencio sobre su interior. A Magnuss le parecía, al menos, que el barco entendía que disfrutaban descubriendo nuevas “cosas” sobre su barcaza de luna de miel. Pero pronto se preocuparon…

“Lo que realmente necesitamos es un inodoro”. Magnuss le dijo a Hair-Trigger mientras atravesaban un pasillo largo y sinuoso.

“Sí”, respondió un Hair-Trigger un poco avergonzado, “no podemos seguir usando ese cubo que encontramos debajo del fregadero en la cocina”.

Pero su necesidad no era desesperada ni inmediata, por lo que pudieron disfrutar descubriendo…

… un compartimento grande que podría haber sido análogo al de Gravity Whelk’s , o al Chi-Z-Sox ‘ ‘ Engineering ‘…

Lo que más les sorprendió a ambos fue su enorme amplitud. Era tan indulgente en una embarcación pequeña como el Tankerville Norris, donde el espacio utilizable normalmente sería escaso. Tampoco reconocieron ninguno de los equipos. Por supuesto que no lo habían esperado, así que no se sintieron decepcionados. Pero cuando una cortina hasta ahora inadvertida se hizo a un lado y desapareció en la pared sin costuras, Magnuss no podía creer lo que veía. Estaba tan asombrado que Hair-Trigger no pudo evitar que su propia boca se abriera también…

“¡Por el santo de todos los tapones para los oídos!” Explotó. “¿Te das cuenta de lo que es esto?”

“Por supuesto”, Hair-Trigger – atrapado en el momento, respondió, “es un … es un … un … no sé qué es; pero debe ser fantástico si tanto te gusta. Te gusta, ¿no es así, Magnuss?

“¿Gusta?” Entre respiraciones, el tono de Magnuss se había elevado varias octavas. “Me encanta. Es un multiplicador gravitónico. Los Scrotonites han añadido mucho esto a las especificaciones. No construyen barcos sin ellos. Es un equipo imprescindible “.

Hair-Trigger frunció el ceño mientras trataba de recordar dónde había escuchado antes el nombre Gravitonic Multiplicitor. Entonces se le ocurrió…

Recordó que Folie Krimp y Placebo Bison habían usado uno para mover a Marte a una nueva órbita alrededor del Sol. “Vaya”, dijo, “un gran poder conlleva una gran responsabilidad. Espero que nunca necesitemos activarlo “.

Esto tuvo un efecto aleccionador en su nuevo esposo. “Si, tienes razón. Pero es bueno saber que tenemos uno, en caso de que lo necesitemos, lo cual sé que es poco probable: después de todo, estamos de luna de miel “.

Entonces, dejando a un lado todos los pensamientos sobre la maravillosa máquina que estaba inactiva en la esquina de Ingeniería, emprendieron una vez más su búsqueda de un baño…

“Alguna señalización sería útil”. Hair-Trigger se quejó mientras se acercaban a otra puerta sin distintivos. “Me gustaría algunas pistas para mostrarme que voy en la dirección correcta”.

“Mantén tu nariz atenta al olor a lejía”. Magnuss sugirió amablemente: “El baño de la tía Doris en su casa española siempre huele a lejía”.

Pero el aroma de amoníaco estaba completamente ausente cuando la pareja pasó a un largo pasillo mal iluminado…

“Más espacio desperdiciado”. Magnuss refunfuñó.

Pero Hair-Trigger pensó que podría tener una explicación: “Para hacer funcionar un multiplicitador gravitónico, ¿no es necesario moverlo fuera de la nave?”

Magnuss se dio una palmada en la frente. “Por supuesto.” Él se rió entre dientes. “¿Cómo pude haber dudado de los constructores de Scroton?”

“O Bunk-Bunk Bunsen”. Se agregó Hair-Trigger. “Aparte del parabrisas granulado, el barco se ha comportado impecablemente”. Pero se preguntó por qué había colocado a Ingeniería tan lejos del casco del barco.

Entonces su agudo oído captó algo en la brisa del aire acondicionado…

“¿Escuchas eso?” Magnuss dijo mientras ambos frenaban hasta detenerse.

“Suena….” Hair-Trigger comenzó vacilante, “suena como un urinario goteando”.

Magnuss se preguntó cómo su esposa podía reconocer un urinario goteando, pero dejó el pensamiento a un lado. ¿Quién sabe lo que tuvo que hacer mientras estaba casada con un cazarrecompensas? “Mira”, gritó. “A través de aquí.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Si hay algo que ha aprendido al leer Earplug Adventures, es esto: nunca se aleje demasiado de un baño. Yo no.

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 6)

Estamos en racha ahora. Simplemente no había forma de detener el siguiente episodio un momento más. Bienvenidos a la sexta parte.

Capitulo 2

Ninguno de los ocupantes de la nave gloriosamente azul sabía exactamente cuánto tiempo había pasado mientras atravesaban el hiperespacio…

Estaban demasiado ocupados siendo recién casados. Pero, finalmente, abandonaron la cocina, donde habían estado masticando vorazmente galletas con chispas de chocolate, y entraron al puente…

La pantalla de vista holográfica les informó que todavía estaban atravesando la Galaxia a buen ritmo y que todo estaba bien con los sistemas de la nave.

Mientras las migas de galleta caían a la terraza desde la barbilla de Magnuss, dijo: “Lo sé: detengámonos y contemplemos la vista”.

“Sí”, respondió Hair-Trigger con entusiasmo, “Seamos aleatorios: pisemos los frenos y veamos qué pasa”.

Entonces lo hicieron…

Pero cuando corrieron hacia la ventana de observación, descubrieron una falla en el diseño del barco de Bunk-Bunk Bunsen…

La vista de un asteroide cercano se vio empañada por el veteado en el exterior de la ventana.

“Guess Bunk-Bunk debe haber especificado el tipo de material incorrecto”. Hair-Trigger apostó. “El polvo cósmico ha erosionado la superficie exterior de la ventana”.

“O tal vez se olvidó de incluir un escudo deflector”. Sugirió Magnuss.

Hair-Trigger tenía otra explicación. “Quizás los Scrotonites tuvieron que tomar atajos en alguna parte y eligieron un vidrio más barato y menos resistente”.

Magnuss dudaba de la veracidad de la idea. “No, las escrotonitas nunca harían eso. Los tapones para los oídos pueden: pero no las escrotonitas. Bueno, ciertamente ha estropeado la vista. Si alguna vez me encuentro con Bunk-Bunk Bunsen, le daré una patada en el trasero “.

Pero sus espíritus se animaron un poco cuando descubrieron una ventana secundaria…

“Oh, no puedo mirar”, chilló Hair-Trigger mientras desviaba la mirada. “Es como si nada nos separara de todo el espacio, el tiempo y el infinito, excepto esas barras, por supuesto. Pero podríamos deslizarnos fácilmente entre ellos y perdernos en el vacío sin gravedad del espacio interestelar por la eternidad “.

Magnuss pensó que su esposa se estaba volviendo un poco fantasiosa, pero no dijo nada: Hair-Trigger tenía la llave del barril de galletas en la parte de atrás de sus bragas y no quería molestarla.

Dos minutos más tarde habían bajado un nivel, al puente…

Un planeta apareció en la pantalla de visualización.

“Eso se ve … tú … muy turquesa”, observó Magnuss.

“¿Crees que el barco está tratando de mostrarnos algo interesante?” Hair-Trigger preguntó y sugirió en una oración.

Magnuss estaba seguro de ello, y momentos después el Tankerville Norris asumió un rumbo hacia el planeta…

… lo que lo acercó alarmantemente al sol local…

Si no hubieran descubierto la ventana de observación dañada, ni Magnuss ni Hair-Trigger se habrían preocupado menos por la proximidad de un gran horno estelar en la proa de babor; pero lo habían hecho, y se pusieron un poco nerviosos. ¿Qué más podía fallar en un barco tan nuevo y que había sido ensamblado a partir de un paquete plano muy grande en el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro?

Hablando de eso…

… Cushions estaba de camino de regreso a la suite del curador desde el baño ejecutivo, cuando se reunió con su principal interés amoroso (si así se puede llamar) Hunting Provost…

“Oh, Hunting”, susurró con complicidad, “tengo una confesión que hacer”.

“¿Parezco un sacerdote?” Él espetó en respuesta.

Esto sorprendió a Cushions: no era propio de Hunting ser mordaz. “Oh”, dijo, “entonces tú también estás preocupado por ellos”.

“El hecho de que fuera un marido pésimo y permitiera que Hair-Trigger se divorciara de mí sin discutir, no significa que no me preocupe por ella. Sí, me preocupa que haya ido a vagabundear por la galaxia en una nave espacial no probada que fue juntada por un grupo de personal técnico del museo. ¿Lo que de ella?”

Cushions asintió. “Sí, bueno, también me ha dejado un poco vacilante. Esta mañana me olvidé por completo de reconfigurar los protocolos de seguridad del Omnipresent Scanner para permitir que Cheeky McMartin acceda a él. Me avergüenza decir que tres de los láseres antirrobo lo golpearon bien y correctamente… “

“En cuyo caso”, respondió Hunting con brusquedad, “tal vez sea mejor que le entregues el timón a Winston Gloryhole o al Alegre Charlie Chopsticks: claramente, mientras Magnuss y Hair-Trigger están fuera, ninguno de nosotros está en condiciones de tomar el mando”.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

La cocina, un barril de galletas y algunas galletas con chispas de chocolate se mencionaron en este episodio. Son, como imagino que habrás adivinado, metafóricas. Esta historia puede tener lectores menores de edad: por lo que no podemos hacer ninguna mención de los personajes centrales de la historia que tienen relaciones sexuales matrimoniales, ¿verdad?

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 4)

The photos have been taken and processed. The words to accompany them have been written. Why not post them? No reason not to. Here’s episode four…

Moments later the lights dimmed; a stage was rolled in; and the Trumptations broke into a special wedding version of their hit, Beauty is Only Skin Bleach

This was followed by the booming bass-driven sounds of a Hambledon Bohannon track, which was expertly danced to by the Greenhorn Girls…

Then, to ice the metaphysical cake, Las Bragas returned… 

 …and everyone ‘got down’ to the Latin beat…

 

 …though Nigel had to make a quick exit. He was needed elsewhere. Elsewhere like the museum’s Red Tower…

Shortly he joined Cushions and the slightly bemused newlyweds…  

“I’ve never been here before.” Magnuss confessed. “Where are we going?”

“That would be telling.” Cushions replied.

“It’s a mystery location.” Nigel added. “Very few people know where it is – including me.”  

But when the signage petered out, it transpired that Cushions didn’t have much clue either…

“Oh dear,” she explained, “I’ve only been here once – and that was with your former husband, Hair-Trigger: I’m afraid I wasn’t paying enough attention: Hunting was trying to tickle my bum with a feather boa that he keeps in his utility belt.”

Hair-Trigger nodded sagely in response: she well-remembered Hunting’s feather boa. Fortunately a scientist in Lab 17 was able to shout directions through the bullet-proof glass window. But less fortunately the glass was also sound-proof, and none of them were particularly adept at lip reading: so before long they were hopelessly lost. But Cushions put a call through to the Security Suite, and a holographic image of one of the on-duty RoboSecGuas appeared in half-size form and showed them the way…   

Nigel was impressed. “Nice technology.” He said. “From the future?”

“Isn’t everything in the museum?” Cushions replied as they followed the hologram’s directions.

Soon Cushions found herself on more familiar ground…  

“Ah, yes, I remember this bit.” She said confidently. “But it’s a bit dark: I wonder where they keep the dimmer switch?”

But she didn’t need to worry. Nigel lived up to his name and emitted a golden glow…  

…that allowed them to see their way to a large observation window, beyond which something resided in a most interesting manner… 

 “I’m getting a good feeling from this.” Magnuss said as he peered down from his high vantage point.

“It’s a bit like that trip you took to the Martian ship building facility.” Hair-Trigger reminded him.

Magnuss had to agree. But then he thought on: “But there is no ship building in the Red Tower.” He replied.

But he said no more: the lights had come up and a small space ship had trundled into view upon an advanced and futuristic conveyor belt…  

“The Scroterton Pancake.” Cushions announced. “Brought here in flat-pack form aboard Nigel’s star ship. If you like it, it is your honeymoon barge – to take you wherever you want to go.” 

]“Designed and built in our second great city, Scroterton.” Nigel informed them. “Of course if red doesn’t float your boat, how about a more subtle shade of grey?” 

 

Following a deep intake of breath by both Magnuss and Hair-Trigger, Nigel added: “It’s called the Sir Goosewing Grey. It’s named after a great captain of industry on Scroton – Goosewing Grey, whom I knighted for his creation of the Snotty-Nosed Sharon children’s toy. It revolutionised the way Scrotonic children play. Previously they’d always spent their formative years picking their noses: now they had a doll that could do it for them. I.Qs leapt overnight.”

 “I’d like to meet him.” Magnuss replied. “He’s not dead, is he?” 

But before Nigel could answer his inquiry, Hair-Trigger spoke. “The Scroterton Pancake looks a bit threatening. I wouldn’t want to go scaring alien species with its evil red colouration. And the grey one…well it’s so dark, we could lose it in a fog.” 

Cushions was about to say something that might have gone: “Ungrateful git; you should be thankful for whatever’s on offer.”

But she didn’t get the opportunity, because a third vessel – cloaked in shadows – appeared in the window…

 “Lights!” Magnuss shouted.

Instantly the new arrival became bathed in a suffuse light that did it all sorts of aesthetic favours…  

“Oooh,” Hair-Trigger sighed appreciatively, “nice. A rich blue upper fuselage; and a stealthy black underside. I’ll take it.”

Magnuss didn’t argue – not that he would have, even if the colour scheme had made him retch. “Tankerville Norris.” He added. “What does that mean?” 

“Well,” Nigel replied as he settled himself down to tell a tale, “It wasn’t supposed to be called the Tankerville Norris. Not originally. Originally it bore the moniker, The Love Hutch. But one of our engineers thought it sounded a little risqué, so he suggested the Bunk-Bunk Bunson – named after the factory in which the prototype was developed.” 

Magnuss held up a hand to stem the flow of words. “I know I’m going to regret this; but why was the factory called Bunk-Bunk Bunson?” 

To his surprise it was Cushions who answered this inquiry…

 “Honestly, Magnuss,” she scolded, “haven’t you been keeping up with the trans-Galactic news network? Bunk-Bunk Bunson was an earplug who travelled to Scroton from the future. Actually his name wasn’t Bunk-Bunk Bunsen: it was merely Bunson. But he was so nervous – when he was arrested by the Scrotonic security forces – that he stammered when asked for his identity. From then on he became known as Bunk-Bunk Bunson.”

“Oh,” Magnuss responded, “I’d like to meet him too.” He then turned to Nigel: “I suppose he had the designs of the new ship in his back pocket, and you took them off him?”

“Quite so.” Nigel smiled proudly. “Then we sent him on his way – back to the future – where the Time Police most probably arrested him for disturbing the time-line or some such. In recognition of his great sacrifice, we named the factory after him. It was the least we could do.”

It was Magnuss’ turn to nod sagely. “Yes, I understand completely. So the original design was labelled Tankerville Norris. Yes, it all makes sense.” 

Then the light that shone upon the Tankerville Norris shifted subtly… 

 …and revealed Susan, in her amorphous blob mode, as she searched for Chester whilst they played Hide and Seek. 

“That’s handy.” Hair-Trigger said as she turned to watch, “that gives us something to compare the ship with. Until I saw Susan, I couldn’t gauge its size or scale.” 

“Hey, that must be Chester in that forward observation window.” Magnuss cried out with glee. “Good place to hide, bro: Susan is too big to get through the airlock.”  

“Ah,” Nigel said with an air of knowledgeability, “the forward observation window. Great care must be taken with that. It is made from patrisha nancitate, and has a magnifying effect – to better see distant planets of course. But it also works both ways. People outside can see you inside – magnified hugely. It can scare the hell out of primitive alien life-forms: they think everyone inside is a vast giant – and take to their heels without hesitation. It’s also best to keep your trousers on when using it. It’s a modesty thing. I think you’ll understand.” 

This concerned Hair-Trigger. She didn’t want to go scaring primitive alien life-forms: and she sometimes liked to use observation windows whilst in her night gown. “So why isn’t Chester huge and scary?” She inquired. 

“It only works in space.” Nigel replied. He then pressed a button on the window frame. The view of the Tankerville Norris was instantly replaced by an image of the ship in flight…

 …and it was Game Over. 

“Give me the keys,” an eager Magnuss pleaded, “give me the keys: I gotta check this baby out!” 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

There, wasn’t that nice! “Are there sufficient photos for a Part 5?” I hear you ask. Silly question: of course there are.

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 3)

Así que solo he tomado el veinte por ciento de las fotos que necesito para contar una historia sobre tapones para los oídos: ¿y qué? Con ese veinte por ciento puedo contar el veinte por ciento de la historia. ¿Por qué esperar hasta que todo esté en su lugar? Entonces no lo haré. Aquí está el cien por ciento del tercer episodio…

Este momento, tan cargado de emoción, resultó demasiado para Susan. Perdiendo el control de sus partes constituyentes, tomó su forma amorfa habitual y lloró con lágrimas de alegría… 

 … lo que divirtió a todos, incluso a los que miraban desde lejos. Aquellos como… 

 … Placebo Bison y Folie Krimp a bordo del Gravity Whelk…  

Pero aunque su arrebato duró poco, Magnuss y Hair-Trigger no pudieron borrar las sonrisas de sus rostros cuando comenzó la ceremonia propiamente dicha…  

El ángel de la nariz enorme pasó por los procedimientos necesarios. Todas esas cosas de “Nos reunimos aquí hoy”. Y, “Está a la vista del Ser Supremo mismo”, algo así. Y cuando Hunting Provost no dio un paso al frente y gritó su queja cuando el Ángel dijo: “¿Alguien aquí tiene algo negativo que decir sobre esta unión?”, Continuaron con los votos, que no salieron del todo según lo planeado porque Hair- Trigger hizo que su lengua se retorciera alrededor del segundo nombre de Magnuss, y lo llamó Magnuss Finklestink Earplug…  

“Eso es ‘Finklestein’, querida”. El amable Avatar corrigió el nervioso tapón para los oídos multicolor. 

“Ese es el tipo”. Hair-Trigger respondió alegremente. “Es genial, ¿no es así? Lo amo tanto. Me alegro mucho de que se case conmigo “. 

Cuando se trataba de que Magnuss hiciera sus votos, no tenía ese problema…   

Pero hizo un apéndice: “Por cierto, yo también siento lo mismo por ella”. 

Fue mientras la audiencia se reía con este estallido silencioso de tapones para los oídos que Cushions Smethwyke se volvió hacia los otros curadores… 

 “Bien, tengo algo que hacer. Alegre Charlie, graba lo que sucede a continuación en su teléfono móvil “. Luego se fue, salió por una puerta lateral que muy poca gente conocía.

 Cuando la puerta se cerró con un clic detrás de Cushions, las luces del Gran Salón se atenuaron una vez más. Una luz azul, creada por el ángel con la bioluminiscencia sagrada de una nariz enorme, brilló sobre Magnuss y Hair-Trigger…

“Magnuss y Hair-Trigger Earplug”, dijo en voz alta, para que todos, incluso los idiotas sordos en la parte de atrás, pudieran escuchar, “Ahora los declaro tapón para los oídos y esposa”.

El Avatar luego agregó: “Magnuss, ahora puedes besar a la novia”.

Rupert Piles no perdió ni un segundo: estaba como un rabioso ganador de boletos de lotería para un primer plano…  

“Hola, señora Earplug”. Magnuss dijo después de su abrazo público.

Al igual que la multitud en el Gran Salón, y las masas que miran a lo largo del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro, a lo lejos, en una misión en el espacio profundo, la tripulación del puente de observación del KT Woo se vitoreó hasta quedar ronca… 

 … Hasta que varios de ellos se rompieron en un ataque de tos.  

Y Yu-Wah y Way-Hey Pong no pudieron evitar dar un paso adelante para tener una mejor vista de la unión de su querido amigo… 

Fue en este punto del procedimiento que Nigel aprovechó la oportunidad para dar un paso al frente también…  

“Magnuss”, dijo en un tono ultra masculino y estentóreo que hizo que las mujeres de voluntad débil presentes se desmayaran donde estaban, “has sido un gran aliado para mi mundo. Cuando Cushions me llamó con un problema y me dijo que te preocupaba, me puse mi gorra de pensamiento metafórico. Creo que todavía no has decidido un lugar para la luna de miel.

Tanto Magnuss como Hair-Trigger estaban demasiado abrumados para responder: se limitaron a sonreír y negar con la cabeza.

“Bueno, tengo la respuesta a tu problema”. Nigel continuó. “Lo traje conmigo, de Scroton. Cuando se completen los procedimientos, les pido que se unan a mí “.  

Naturalmente, se aceptaron los dos tapones para los oídos. ¿Cómo podrían no hacerlo? No es que quisieran, por supuesto.

“Sho’nuf, Nige”. Magnuss se las arregló, luego se sintió vagamente avergonzado porque era algo que su hermano, Valentine, podría haber dicho.

Fue salvado por Hair-Trigger, “Gracias, Golden One: lo haremos”.

Entonces llegó el momento de su gran salida… 

Los Hermanos Earplug constituían la mitad de la Guardia de Honor. Los suboficiales de la Séptima Caballería constituían la otra mitad. Y la pareja partió del Gran Salón al son de los cuernos combinados de Las Bragas de Alegría y tres vítores entusiastas. 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Por supuesto, esto es solo el comienzo de la historia. ¡Vuelve para lo que sucede a continuación!

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…

 

 

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 1)

Por lo general, tomo entre 400 y 500 fotografías para una sola aventura de tapones para los oídos. Hasta ahora con The Lines of Tah Di-Tah, he tomado aproximadamente 100. Pero estoy ansioso por compartir la última historia con ustedes, así que he comenzado a escribir la historia antes de que las imágenes estén listas. Aquí está el primer episodio…

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah (parte 1)

Prólogo

Otro buen día apareció a la vista en el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro…

… y Cushions Smethwyke ya estaba cumpliendo con sus deberes sobre el Omnipresent Scanner junto a su novio y co-curador del museo, ex cazarrecompensas Hunting Provost…

Mientras exploraban toda la realidad en busca de cualquier cosa que pudiera amenazar al museo de alguna manera, Hunting decidió entablar una conversación liviana.

“Ese tipo Descartes ciertamente habló un montón de tonterías”. Él dijo. “Ayer por la noche, justo antes de que se pusiera el sol, estaba en la tumbona del jardín con uno de sus libros: no podía entender una palabra”.

Cushions no estaba escuchando realmente: tenía algo que decirle a Hunting, y realmente no sabía cómo abordar el tema. “Hmmm”, respondió ella, “agradable”.

Esto llamó la atención del tapón para los oídos a rayas. “¿Agradable?” preguntó. “¿Qué tiene de bueno mi incapacidad para comprender las divagaciones filosóficas de un francés? En todo caso, diría que la palabra ‘desagradable’ es más apropiada “.

El nervio de Cojín se rompió. “Oh, Hunting”, se lamentó, “tengo algo de gran importancia que decirte: y sé que, en tu corazón, vas a quedar devastado por eso”.

“Lo dudo.” Hunting resopló con desdén. “Disparo.”

Cushions decidió lanzarse hacia adelante. “Cuando estaba en su tumbona, Magnuss Earplug y Hair-Trigger Provost pasaron por la oficina”.

A pesar de sus mejores esfuerzos, Hunting fracasó estrepitosamente en ocultar sus emociones. “¿Ese pequeño pedo?” Respondió con voz trémula. “¿Que queria el?”

“Han fijado la fecha de su boda”. Cojines respondió. “Vendrían a comprobar si estarías fuera por asuntos del museo como de costumbre pasado mañana. Esperaban un hecho consumado, pero les dije que habías decidido ir la semana que viene. Estaban un poco disgustados “.

“Espero que les hayas dicho que se vayan a saltar al lago”. Hunting gruñó. “Sé que Hair-Trigger y yo nos divorciamos hace mucho tiempo, y que nunca debería haber insistido en que se convirtiera en una cazarrecompensas, y que soy famoso por mi persecución de tapones para los oídos, y que ella se aburrió de caerse por la espalda de mi motocicleta de elevación magnética cuando tiraba de enormes caballitos a lo largo de carreteras concurridas mientras me mostraba a todos y cada uno: pero, maldita sea, ella era mi esposa: no veo ninguna razón por la que se enamorara de ese tonto y pequeño oik rosa anaranjado , y luego tener la temeridad de casarme con él. Quiero decir, ¡no es natural, verdad! “

Cushions suspiró. “De hecho, es natural”. Dijo en voz baja, su tarea olvidada por el momento. “Totalmente natural. De hecho, fue tan natural que llamé a Rupert Piles y su enorme cámara de televisión 3D. Los cuatro visitamos el lago y grabé un video corto en el que informé a todos en el museo de las inminentes nupcias “.

Hunting gimió antes de agregar: “No llevaban sus estúpidos sombreros, ¿verdad? No creo que pueda soportar eso “.

Cushions no respondió a su pregunta, si es que realmente era una pregunta: por supuesto que habían usado sus sombreros: ¿qué más usarían? En cambio, dijo: “Me pidieron que recomendara un lugar para la luna de miel. Sugerí la nueva exposición Age of Stone: tienen un hotel encantador allí: se llama el Castillo de las Sonrisas…

Desafortunadamente, cuando lo visitaron hubo un diluvio terrible. Aparentemente, el control del clima está funcionando mal, y nadie de esta época sabe cómo arreglarlo…

El patio central del castillo está completamente inundado. Peor aún, cuando probaron la zona de alojamiento, el invierno había llegado con una venganza… “

“Bien”, espetó Hunting, “les sirve bien. Ellos lo merecen. Bueno, lo hace de todos modos. Espero que se haya congelado el trasero “.

Cushions decidió ignorar el estallido venenoso de Hunting. “Estaba en el arboreto cuando vinieron quejándose…

… así que les sugerí que pudieran ir a España y usar la piscina de su tía Doris, como hicieron el verano anterior, cuando las cosas iban muy mal para el museo y los Hermanos Earplug no estaban aquí para salvarnos…

Creo que lo consideraron por un nanosegundo. Recordaron estar bastante impresionados con el jacuzzi…

Pero luego recordaron el problema del mareo por movimiento de Magnuss…

… Y me dijo que me pegara la idea al oído y pensara en otra cosa. Dije que volvería con ellos. Entonces, en busca de inspiración, fui al Gran Salón, que estaba vacío y silencioso…

… Donde tuve una gran idea. Una idea realmente maravillosa. Una idea que abarca la galaxia. Una idea tan fabulosa que todavía no puedo creer que fui yo quien la pensó. Así que hice mis planes y me comuniqué con todos los que necesitan ser contactados. Así que, nos guste o no, Hunting Provost, el espectáculo continúa a las diez y media de la tarde pasado mañana “.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Ahí, eso no estuvo tan mal en absoluto, ¿no?

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!