Tag Archives: fantasy

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 20)

It was the traversing of this extra-dimensional medium that cut days from the journey time of earlier vessels from Ice World to the freighter’s destination…

Returning to normal space, the craft skirted a well-charted asteroid; then proceeded in the direction of a watery blue planet. The planet, as anyone who had been aboard the K T Woo on its maiden voyage would recognise in an instant, was Wetworld. A planet almost entirely covered in water. Of course, it was to one of the few islands that dared poke their heads above the ocean swell that the freighter flew. Ginger, Daisy and Bunty were at a view screen to watch the vessel breach the surface there…

To their surprise, there was barely a bump in the ride as it passed from a gaseous medium, into a liquid medium.

“Good shocks, I guess.” Ginger said appreciatively.

She then noted a change in the ambient and ever-present noises aboard ship.

“Do I detect the sound of cavitation?” She asked no one in particular.

“Could be.” Daisy replied. “Especially if I knew what it meant.”

“It’s the noise propellers make under water, I think.” Bunty explained. “And, oh but listen: the sound is dying away.”

“The motors have settled into their new medium, I guess.” Ginger said as she dismissed the matter with a careless wave of her hand.

This proved to be the case. Consequently, a smooth passage was quickly made through the submarine canyons beneath the islands they supported…

Thereafter the freighter made good time across a region of ‘Great Lumpiness’…

…above which it sailed serenely – pausing only to wave at a local submarine going about its business in the opposite direction. Of course, the robotic crew were following a well-worn route to their ultimate destination on Wetworld. Therefore, only a short while passed before the freighter entered a submarine dock…

The act of unloading the ice cubes was a long and boring affair. Far too long and boring to relate here. Whilst it occurred, the three stowaways slept: they wanted to be fully awake for their return to space. And, indeed, this was their state of consciousness as the freighter climbed from the seabed amongst myriad bubbles created by submarine volcanic vents…

…and returned to the vacuum of space…

  “Whee,” they all cried out in sheer delight, “now we can go home.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Triple Amenaza (parte 19)

Magnuss habría continuado, pero un aumento en la luz ambiental le dijo que había llegado la mañana…

…y ya los barrenderos inmigrantes estaban trabajando duro. Fue una pena, porque no había nada que les hubiera gustado más a los hermanos que ver las próximas instantáneas de las vacaciones. Y no había nada que hubiera gustado más a Bunty, Daisy y Ginger que despegar del Mundo de Hielo, que es, por supuesto, lo que sucedió…

“Adiós”. Gritaban mientras saludaban desde la ventana unos tapones verdes para los oídos; una gran roca; y tres plugmuts árticos.

Continuaron ondeando hasta que el carguero colocó al planeta a popa de sí mismo…

Asumiendo (de una manera que solo los jóvenes pueden) que ahora regresarían al Museo de la Tecnología del Futuro con una bodega repleta de cubitos de hielo, las tres chicas se sentaron en la única cafetería del barco…

“Es una suerte que estos cargueros a veces transporten pasajeros”. Ginger dijo mientras se sentaban a esperar que llegara un menú. “Estaríamos en Kaka Creek sin un motor fuera de borda si tuviéramos que sobrevivir con raciones de robot”.

“Me pregunto si esto es una franquicia de Café Puke”. Bunty dijo esperanzada, mientras sus ojos buscaban letreros en la habitación. “No me gusta mucho su café; pero hornean unos deliciosos muffins de arándanos”.

Pero Daisy mostró su cabeza práctica: “Si somos las únicas formas de vida a bordo… bueno, creo que vamos a esperar mucho tiempo para que aparezca un camarero. Tal vez deberíamos considerar el autoservicio”.

Sin embargo, como para hacerla parecer tonta, apareció un camarero…

Por supuesto, era un camarero robot. “¿Sí?” Él dijo.

Mientras Daisy se recomponía, Rudi, Valentine, Chester y Miles se disponían a abandonar el apartamento de su hermano y su mujer…

“Ha sido un verdadero ritmo”. Valentine dijo de manera elogiosa.

“Sí, sho’nuf lo ha hecho”. Rudy estuvo de acuerdo. “Tenemos algunas cosas heroicas que hacer en un video promocional para el museo; pero cuando esté terminado, volveremos para la segunda parte”.

“Así es.” Los gemelos dijeron como uno. “Pero queremos las mismas sillas: se ajustan perfectamente a nuestros traseros”.

“Puedes apostar.” respondió Magnus.

Luego, mientras se dirigían a la puerta, Hair-Trigger dijo: “Escribiré sus nombres en ellos con un rotulador. Quizá también les consiga algunas fundas de algodón a cuadros. Todos podemos tener diferentes colores”.

Entonces, como la familia se separó en el museo; a bordo del carguero lejano…

…las chicas se habían decidido por un Crappachino cada una.

“Wow, huele eso”. exclamó Daisy. “¡Huele casi potable!”

“Gracias.” Bunty le dijo al mesero robot. “Um… no me gusta llamarte ‘mesero’: ¿tienes un nombre que pueda usar?”

El camarero robot no estaba acostumbrado a que lo trataran tan bien. En realidad, no estaba acostumbrado a que lo trataran de ninguna manera: Daisy, Bunty y Ginger fueron sus primeros clientes desde que subieron a bordo varios meses antes. Rápidamente buscó en sus bancos de memoria. parecía tener una opción de varios. Pero no quería confundir a los jóvenes tapones para los oídos, por lo que seleccionó el nombre en la parte superior de la lista.

“Hans Dudishes”. respondió.

Bunty lo miró de soslayo. “¿Hans Dudishes?” Ella preguntó incrédula. “¿Como en Hands Do Dishes – Las manos lavan los platos? Creo que estás bromeando con nosotros. No, ¿qué es realmente?

Esto sacudió al mesero robot: nunca había considerado la posibilidad de que uno de sus creadores hiciera una broma sobre su identificación verbal. Seleccionó el segundo nombre de la lista: “¿Ada Hole?” Ofreció.

Ginger arrugó la nariz.

“¿Sir Charles Forthright-Twang?” Dijo con un tono de esperanza perdida.

“Nah,” dijo Daisy dudosa. “Prueba otra cosa”.

El camarero robot decidió empezar por el final de la lista. “Mi nombre”, dijo, “es Tildatong Tong-Tong”.

Ante esto, los ojos de las tres chicas se iluminaron.

“Eso es.” Bunty gritó de alegría. “Tong-Tong. Me encanta. Tong-Tong, ¿tienes muffins de arándanos para acompañar este café?”

Por pura casualidad, Tong-Tong tenía varios bajo vidrio. Mientras iba a buscarlos, la nave entró en el hiperespacio una vez más…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

 

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 19)

Magnuss would have continued, but an increase in the ambient light told him that morning had arrived…

…and already the immigrant street cleaners were hard at work. This was a shame, because there was nothing the brothers would have liked more than to see subsequent holiday snaps. And there was nothing more that Bunty, Daisy, and Ginger would have liked more than to lift off from the Ice World, which is, of course, what happened…

“Byee.” They yelled as they waved from the window at some green earplugs; a big boulder; and three arctic plugmutts.

They continued to wave until the freighter had placed the planet well astern of itself…

Assuming (in a way that only the young can) that they would now be returning to the Museum of Future Technology with a hold jam-packed with ice cubes, the three girls sat themselves down in the vessel’s only cafeteria…

“It’s lucky that these freighters sometimes carry passengers.” Ginger said as they sat around waiting for a menu to arrive. “We’d be right up kaka creek without an outboard motor if we had to survive on robot rations.”

“I wonder if this is a Café Puke franchise.” Bunty said hopefully, as her eyes searched the room for signage. “I don’t much like their coffee; but they bake some nice blueberry muffins.”

But Daisy wore her practical head: “If we’re the only life-forms aboard…well I think we’re going to wait an awfully long time for a waiter to appear. Perhaps we should consider self-service.”

However, as though to make her appear foolish, a waiter did appear…

Of course, it was a robot waiter. “Yes?” He said.

Whilst Daisy was recomposing herself, Rudi, Valentine, Chester, and Miles were preparing to leave the apartment of their brother and his wife…

“Been a real groove.” Valentine said in a complimentary manner.

“Yeah, sho’nuf has.” Rudi agreed. “We got some hero-stuff to do in a promotional video for the museum; but when it’s done, we’ll come back for Part Two.”

“That’s right.” The twins said as one. “But we want the same chairs: they fit our bums exactly right.”

“You betcha.” Magnuss replied.

Then, as they made for the door, Hair-Trigger said, “I’ll write your names on them in felt-tip pen. Maybe I’ll run up some gingham covers for them too. We can all have different colours.”

So, as the family broke up in the museum; aboard the distant freighter…

…the girls had decided upon a Crappachino each.

“Wow, get a whiff of that.” Daisy gushed. “It smells almost drinkable!”

“Thank you.” Bunty said to the robot waiter. “Um…I don’t like to address you as ‘waiter’: do you have a name I might use?”

The robot waiter wasn’t used to being treated so nicely. Actually, it wasn’t used to being treated in any manner: Daisy, Bunty, and Ginger were its first customers since coming aboard several months earlier. It quickly searched its memory banks. It appeared to have a choice of several. But it didn’t want to confuse the young earplugs, so it selected the name at the top of the list.

“Hans Dudishes.” It replied.

Bunty gave it a sidelong look. “Hans Dudishes?” She asked disbelievingly. “As in Hands Do Dishes? I think you’re having a joke with us. No, what is it really?”

This jolted the robot waiter: it had never considered the possibility that one of its creators might make a joke of its verbal identification. It selected the second name on the list: “Ada Hole?” It offered.

Ginger screwed up her nose.

“Sir Charles Forthright-Twang?” It said with a lilt of forlorn hope.

“Nah,” Daisy said doubtfully. “Try something else.”

The robot waiter decided to start at the bottom of the list. “My name,” it said, “is Tildatong Tong-Tong.”

At this, all three girl’s eyes lit up.

“That’s it.” Bunty cried out with joy. “Tong-Tong. I love it. Tong-Tong, do you have any blueberry muffins to go with this coffee?”

By sheer chance, Tong-Tong had several under glass. Whilst it went to fetch them, the ship entered hyperspace once more…

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 18)

However, as the sound of the XL5s diminished above the Museum of Future Technology, upon the Ice-World the endless ice sheet shook to the arrival of the submarine space freighter…

Far below the surface of the ice, in the Ice-Worlder’s great city, their leader, Marnus Pongfinger was waiting impatiently for the radio announcer to stop talking inanities or about himself: stop playing jingles and trailers for up-coming radio shows later in the day; and guide the freighter in for a shipment collection…

Ginger couldn’t decide which concerned her more: the radio announcer’s self-obsession, or the horrendously low temperatures outside…

“Oh I can’t stand it.” She wailed. “That voice: that cold. It’s all too much for a young museum girl!”

Bunty couldn’t believe it. “But Ginger,” she said, “that’s Ice Station Nobby out there. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand how the thrill of seeing such a fabulous and famous artefact of earplug engineering hasn’t overcome your dislike of DJs and chilly weather. Don’t you recall what makes Ice Station Nobby so famous?”

Of course Ginger didn’t: her parents couldn’t afford the Trans-Galactic TV Network’s monthly subscription price. “No,” she said as she opened one eye, “what’s so famous about Ice Station Nobby?”

So Bunty told her: “One day, I don’t know when exactly, a great big alien saucer crashed in the ice near Ice Station Nobby. Despite conditions of the extremely inclement kind, the station commander sent out teams to investigate…

What they found astonished them: a great big alien creature frozen solid in a block of ice. But, when it thawed out it went on a rampage. Everyone in Ice Station Nobby were in mortal danger because the creature could take on the form of any living thing, so finding it proved almost impossible. Then someone had the brilliant idea of electrifying the floor – and zapped it good and proper. In its attempts to flee, it turned itself into thousands of sausage rolls and tried rolling away in a thousand different directions. But the station commander turned out his sleigh plugmutts, whose sensitive noses found them all and gobbled them up in a trice.”

“Wow,” Ginger said appreciatively as she turned to regard the exterior window, “that sounded really scary. Did any sausage rolls escape the plugmutts?”

“Of course.” Bunty replied. “But all that rolling through the snow meant that they collected a huge amount of snow on them. They turned into huge snowballs that got larger and larger until they couldn’t roll anymore.”

“Yeah,” Daisy said as she too recalled the news reports, “they were easy to find. I’ve heard they’ve still got some of them in their deep freeze. I expect they use them as training treats for young new plugmutts.”

Ginger found herself so intrigued by the tale of the shape-shifting sausage roll monster that she failed to notice the disappearance of Bunty. It was only when she and Daisy heard a tap on the window, they both realised that Bunty had taken herself outside into the vicious climate…

“Look,” they watched her mouth through the incredibly insulated glass, “I’ve found one. Fancy a sausage roll for tea?”

Of course, the sight of their friend alone on the ice gave the others the impetus necessary to get themselves out of the ship for the first time since hiding away there…

 

However, despite their determined efforts, they simply couldn’t bring themselves to stay in a nearby ice cave for more than a few minutes.

“I propose we go back inside.” Bunty said. “Do I have a second?”

Actually, their timing couldn’t have been better, because the huge avalanches of ice cubes that were being delivered into the hold of the freighter were almost complete…

The ship now had a cargo that required delivery.

By coincidence, the holiday snap show in Magnuss and Hair-Trigger’s apartment had reached another nadir point in their honeymoon adventure when they had been incarcerated in some backwater town jail by an over jealous sheriff…

…and instructed to break coal into small lumps that would fit into his private stove. Fortunately, the night shift consisted of one yokel who fell easy prey to Hair Trigger’s charms and was rendered unconscious by one of her famous sloppy kisses. Stealing the keys from his belt, they fled into the wilderness, where Hair-Trigger took this picture of Magnuss…

A passing motorcyclist stopped to help. He had chosen wisely to fit a sidecar to his bike only that morning, so before long the honeymooners were back at the spaceport and safely tucked up in the Tankerville Norris

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 16)

Whilst all this unpleasantness was occurring, Gregor entered the Red Tower and went in search of his protégés…

Already he had further plans for them. Tentative plans perhaps, but plans nonetheless. But of course, his efforts were in vain. And when EvilRoboSecGua and its silver sidekick, SilRoboSecGua informed him that there had been a jailbreak…

…Gregor feigned ignorance and offered to help search for the felons. This was the moment in which he discovered that his plan lay in ruins:

“They’ve gone.” EvilRobSecGua informed him.

“Completely.” SilRoboSecGua added.

“Gone?” Gregor snapped angrily. “Gone where?”

“Stowed away.” EvilRoboSecGua replied.

Then, for the sake of clarity, SilRoboSecGua added, “aboard a recently-repaired submarine space freighter.”

Gregor would have liked nothing more than slap himself on the forehead, but he didn’t want to raise the suspicions of the two law-keepers before him. So he waited until they’d left before looking heavenward…

“Oh Gregor, you foolish acolyte,” He spoke quietly to an empty hangar, “Mummy always said that hubris and overconfidence would be your undoing – along with ‘eat your veggies’, ‘don‘t wipe your nose on the curtain’, and ‘if you’re going to scratch your itchy anus, do it where no one can see you’.”

Then his darker side surfaced…

“I don’t have to tell Mister Zinc of my failure.” He said more loudly than perhaps he should have. “I can always hang around the college for a few more youthful and impressionable dingbats to recruit. If the worse comes to the worse, I can always carry out some sabotage myself, and make it look like youngsters did it.”

Meanwhile, the Earplug Brothers were enjoying views of their brother and his wife fell walking on a damp miserable day on some forsaken planet in the hind end of nowhere…

“Rather you than me, Bro,” Valentine spoke over the sound of incessant rainfall, “I’d sho’nuf catch trench foot, you can believe it.”

“By the way,” he added a few moments later, “your art deco figure has fallen over, and there’s some guy lookin’ in your window.

“Oh, that’s Tortus Schell.” Hair-Trigger replied. “He lives on the floor above. The figurine always falls over when he trips on his terrace raffia mat and tumbles over his railing. He’s just using our window frame to help him climb back up.”

At much the same time, Daisy, Bunty and Ginger were enjoying themselves whilst making themselves at home aboard the freighter…

Of course, (having no experience of space travel or watching science-fiction films) they had no idea that the Forward Viewscreen depicted their vessel’s traversing of hyperspace. But they did spot a sign that indicated a shortcut to the lavatory. Therefore, they were totally unaware when the ship dropped out of hyperspace…

…and set course for an icy world that hung close by in the immensity of space.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Triple Amenaza (parte 14)

Dentro del barco, las tres chicas corrían peligro de perder sus bragas ya que las violentas vibraciones del despegue las sacudieron tontamente…

“Bunty,” gritó Daisy por encima del tumulto del metal crujiente y los impulsores rugientes, “he pensado cuál de nosotros soy yo, y no me gusta. Haz que pare el ruido: ¡me duelen los dientes! “

Fuera de la embarcación, que está sobre el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro, todo parecía sereno…

…Mientras la nave partía hacia lugares distantes.

Por supuesto, Gregor Arsentickler (mientras regresaba a su apartamento)…

…No tenía idea de que sus reclutas involuntarios estaban a bordo del carguero que partía y pasaba rugiendo por la ventana de su edificio. Si lo hubiera hecho, no se habría visto tan satisfecho de sí mismo. Además, y por la más notable de las coincidencias, el mismo carguero había asustado muchísimo a Chester mientras, momentos antes, también corría por el apartamento de Magnuss y Hair-Trigger…

Pero el inconveniente fue solo momentáneo, porque en poco tiempo la enorme nave negra viajaba a través de los campos de lavanda que crecían a poca distancia del museo…

Y, cuando el amanecer mostró un cielo rojo alentador sobre las montañas que conducía a la comunidad de agricultores de guisantes que abastecía al museo con todos y cada uno de los guisantes que se consumían allí, el barco subió abruptamente…

…y se abrió camino hacia el espacio. Esto dejó a los polizones reacios en alguna dificultad…

“Ginger, ten cuidado. No mires. Aparta tu mirada “. Daisy gritó alarmada: “¡Llevo unas bragas realmente insípidas que mi madre compró directamente a los importadores en los muelles!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 14)

Inside the ship, the three girls were in danger of losing their knickers as the violent vibrations of lift-off shook them silly…

“Bunty,” Daisy yelled above the tumult of creaking metal and roaring boosters, “I’ve figured which one of us is me – and I don’t like it. Make the noise stop: my teeth hurt!”

Outside the vessel – that is above the Museum of Future Technology – all appeared serene…

…as the craft set out for distant places.

Of course, Gregor Arsentickler (as he made his way back to his apartment)…

…had no idea that his unwitting recruits were aboard the departing freighter that roared past his edificio’s window. If he had, he would not have looked so pleased with himself. Moreover, and by the most remarkable of coincidences, the same freighter had scared the heck out of Chester as, only moments previous, it also raced by the apartment of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

But the inconvenience was only momentary, because before long the huge black craft was travelling across the lavender fields that grew a short distance from the museum…

And, as dawn displayed an encouragingly red sky above the mountains that led to the pea farming community that supplied the museum with each and every pea consumed therein, the ship climbed steeply…

…and fired its way towards space. This left the unwilling stowaways in some difficulty…

“Ginger, be careful. Don’t look. Avert your gaze.” Daisy cried out in alarm, “I’m wearing really tasteless knickers that my mum bought directly from the importers down on the docks!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 13)

Meanwhile, in the apartment of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

…a fabulously photographed video of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger leaving their rented submarine in pressure bubbles played upon the wall screen.

“Ooh,” Hair-Trigger sighed at the recollection, “that alien sea was like bath water.”

“Only less soapy.” Magnuss added. “The only bubbles around were us. Note the big furry creature near the surface. That produced a few bubbles too. But the other submarine, you can see there, was on hand to suck them all up before they fouled the water too much. It was a fantastic service: you couldn’t have asked for more. I wouldn’t have wanted the job, I can tell you.”

Whilst the four guests absorbed this information, far, far away aboard the robot freighter, the adolescent trio had discovered another interior window…

Through its rectangular aperture, they could discern robotic activity that, quite frankly puzzled them…

“What the flipping heck are they doing with those long crystal things?” Daisy inquired almost silently.

“Well,” Ginger began – ever hopeful of inspiration, “I think they might be trying to do something.”

“I had much the same thought.” Bunty said as she nodded approvingly. “You never know, this might be robotically analogous to putting the washing through the mangle.”

For a brief moment, Ginger considered the possibility that Bunty might be mocking her; but before she could fully form a coherent thought a brilliant light blazed brightly…

A triple “Aaargh!” quickly followed.

And when the lighting altered to a distinctly greenish hue…

…all three girls felt certain that something was about to happen – which, of course, it was…

…in the shape of surplus ballast, in vast quantities, being ejected from the vessel, in the form of vapour. As it burst from several vents that ran the length of the huge vessel, the End Cap engineers stood to one side and watched with evident pride in their work.

“Ooh,” they said as one, “nice. Cool steam, man.”

However, inside it was another story…

“I don’t like the look of this,” Bunty yelled as she led a dash for the hatch, “let’s get the heck outta here!”

But they were stopped in their tracks when the lighting altered so abruptly that it bamboozled their eyesight and threw them into a state of confusion…

“Bunty,” Daisy yelled, “help: I can’t tell which one of us is you: we’re all blue!”

Bunty responded by looking around her. “Um,” she replied, “yeah. I…I think I’m me: which one of you isn’t?”

Whilst confusion reigned in the girl’s hidey-hole, the robots that had been studying the long crystals proceeded to make some minute adjustments to them…

In an instant, they began to flash and sparkle as power began to course through them.

In the high-altitude repair hangar, the End Caps backed towards the stylish windows as they avoided the backwash of the freighter’s launch…

“Yeah,” they cheered in unison, “another feather in our cap. Another step towards citizenship and freedom!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 12)

However, when they let themselves in, they discovered that the maintenance hatch had allowed them ingress to something other than the outer hull, but the vessel’s habitable interior…

Ginger made a quick discovery…

“Oops,” she said, “we’ve left the door open. Anyone passing can see us. I’ll just close it.”

Perhaps if Bunty and Daisy hadn’t been so busy whispering excitedly, they might have cried out to their friend. They might have said, “No, Ginger; it only opens from the outside!” But they didn’t: and two seconds later…

“Oops again,” Ginger said apologetically, “guess we’ll need another exit.”

Not that Daisy cared: she was inside her beloved space submarine freighter.

Whilst this was occurring, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were giving a commentary on a series of pictures that featured them holidaying on an archipelago of strange spire-like islands in a tropical sea…

“Whoever took the picture,” Chester complained, “chopped off your feet. What a rubbish photographer. Next!”

Aboard the space submarine, the dull black livery soon gave way to a far more aesthetically pleasing sequinned effect…

But only Daisy appreciated it: the others were far too busy either looking where they were going or watching out for the ship’s owners.

“Wallpaper’s nice.” Daisy said as they hugged the wall in an attempt to be as unobtrusive as possible.  “But I think I’d tire of it pretty quickly. I certainly wouldn’t like my bedroom wall decorated thus.”

However, after passing through a bulkhead hatch, they found further compartments that appeared exactly the same…

“Should have packed a pair of sunglasses,” Daisy quipped.

At exactly the same moment that Bunty thought she heard some voices inside the ship, and made the decision to hide, the Earplug Brothers were enjoying a video of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger battling a tropical surf aboard a speedboat…

“Bet that set your motion sickness off, Mags.” Chester said with a chuckle.

Magnuss didn’t like to admit it, but (for most of the time – with Hair-Trigger at the wheel) he’d been too scared to feel sick…

“A bit.” He replied as his stomach made a first class job of reminding him of the incessant plunging into the troughs between waves that he’d endured.

Meanwhile, Daisy, Bunty, and Ginger had found a door that into a section of the vessel that appeared to be unused…

“An auxiliary something-or-other, I expect.” Ginger said knowledgeably. “We should be safe in here.”

“Let’s see if there’s a window or something we can look out of.” Bunty suggested. “I think it’s important that we know what’s going on – otherwise we won’t know when to leave.”

“Ooh, yeah,” Daisy agreed, “I wouldn’t want to get locked in: that would be scary. I have dreams of being locked in, you know. One night I woke up to find that I really had been locked in. I was in the trunk of my dad’s car. I don’t know how I got there. I’ve been having regression therapy in the hope of finding out.”

But any furtherance of the conversation was cut short when they found the interior window they sought…

  

Daisy drew herself close to Ginger. “Golly,” she whispered, “robots. I wasn’t expecting them.”

“Well this is a robot freighter.” Bunty whispered from behind her.

“True,” Daisy replied. “But I always thought that robot freighters were robotic…ur…freighters: not freighters crewed by robots. There’s a subtle difference.”

“Well now you know.” Ginger said. A second thought occurred: “If this ship is crewed by robots…they won’t have a toilet aboard. That could be catastrophic for biological life forms like us!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 11)

As if in answer to Valentine’s question, the formerly blank screen erupted into photonic life…

“Good choice.” Said Rudi.

Meanwhile, in another part of the museum, Ginger was getting her bearings…

“Ooh,” she said, “just look out of the fancy window. We’re ever so high up. This must be the Red Tower.”

In an instant, she was joined by Daisy and Bunty. “The Red Tower?” They squealed in perfect unison.

Bunty then added, “But this is the highest building in the whole museum. The public aren’t allowed here. All sorts of things happen here. It’s top secret or something.”

She would have said more, but as the moonlight broke through one of the high windows, all three girls became aware of a great hulking shape in the shadows…

“Wha, wha, wha?” Daisy stuttered.

Ginger required clarification: “What is it?” She suggested.

“Yes,” Daisy replied as she reassembled her taut nerves into a shape that allowed her to speak, “what is it?”

“It’s a great hulking shape.” Bunty answered helpfully. “But the shadows are hiding it too well for me to make a positive identification. But it’s not breathing, so it can’t be alive.”

“It could be holding its breath.” Ginger argued.

“If it’s not alive,” Daisy said nervously, “it must be dead. Oh, by the Saint of All Earplugs – we’ve found a dead body. And if anyone finds us here, they’ll think we did it!”

Suddenly, it seemed, their situation was of the grimmest kind imaginable to three college girls. “Ooh-ur.” Ginger said intelligently.

But before she could elucidate further, a number of feeble lights lit up the scene…

A relieved Ginger swung around to address her friends: “Look, Daisy: it’s one of them big black flying things you like so much.”

Daisy couldn’t believe her eyes. “A space submarine freighter.” She said breathlessly. “And it’s here – right in front of me. If I want, I can walk up and touch it…with my bare fingers!”

But she didn’t, of course: she was too afraid of fainting from the thrill of it. So she sent Ginger and Bunty to take a closer look – to see if it really was the ‘real thing’, and not a mock-up or movie prop. However, as she received confirmation of the vessel’s authenticity, Daisy thought she heard an elevator arrive in a nearby corridor…

“Someone’s coming,” she hissed. “Quickly; hide!”

They didn’t waste a nanosecond: all three ran straight to the only door available to them…

“But this door is set into the side of the space submarine.” Ginger stated the obvious. “If we go inside there, we’ll be…we’ll be inside the space submarine!”

Daisy might have replied, “Yeah: good, innit?” But within moments of the elevator’s arrival, a number of earplugs and a group of former prisoner-of-war hyperspace pirate end cap engineers entered (what was clearly) the high-rise hangar…

“I told him,” one of the earplugs was saying to another, “it’s all well and good having this repair facility on the seventieth floor: but what if the elevator breaks down? We’ll spend half the day climbing up here, and the second half climbing back down. Nothing will get done.”

“Is ‘climbing’ the correct term to describe a means of descending.” The listener in the group replied. “Is it possible to actually climb down?”

“Mountain climbers do it all the time.” A third earplug interjected.

“Yeah,” a fourth chimed in, “anything else would be called ‘falling’. I wouldn’t want to fall down seventy floors, I can tell you!”

This was a fortuitous conversation because it gave the girls time to collect their wits and act positively…

“We’ll duck inside this maintenance hatch,” Bunty instructed the others.” Then, when all these techie-types have gone away, we can come back out again.”

“Yeah,” Daisy agreed, “and then we’ll slip away and go back to college like nothing ever happened at all. In a week this will have all blown over and been forgotten. You mark my words.”  

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 10)

Chapter 3

Meanwhile, in the habitation area of the Museum of Future Technology, Rudi Earplug and three of his brothers – those being Valentine and the twins, Miles and Chester, were approaching the apartment of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger Earplug…

“Remind me again, will ya, bro,” Valentine said to the eldest brother, “what are we here for? It aint a taco-eating contest, is it? Sure dig those tacos. Hotter the better. Hotter ‘n’ hell!”

“No, man,” Rudi replied, “sho’nuf aint no tacos tonight. We’re gonna see the newlywed’s honeymoon snaps.”

“Could be cool,” Chester said as he pressed the doorbell button…

…“maybe we’ll see pictures of Hair-Trigger on the beach.”

“Oh, Chester,” Miles chided him, “you mustn’t think of your new sister-in-law in such lewd terms. Remember: less visceral: more cerebral.”

However, when Hair-Trigger answered the door…

…even Miles found it difficult to suppress a “phwoar!”

“Hello, boys.” She said in welcome, “Step right in to our humble abode.”

Once inside, and with the front door closed behind them…

…she said, “Sorry we couldn’t attend your pool party this afternoon, but Security has deemed us both a biological threat source. Apparently, we’ve visited places on our honeymoon that are on the naughty list. I’m afraid you’ll all have to be decontaminated. We’ve got it set up just outside the TV room.”

They arrived at the door just as Magnuss was exiting it…

“Hi, guys.” He said. “I thought it best we all decontaminate together. Are you ready?”

“Do we keep our clothes on?” Chester inquired as he smiled appreciatively at Hair-Trigger.

“Yes, of course.” The disappointing reply came from Hair-Trigger, who knew full well what was going on in Chester’s head. “This is high-tech decontamination: you won’t even know it’s happening.”

Then this happened…

“Oh yeah,” Chester said as a searing light tried to burn its way into his brain via his retinas. “When does it begin?”

Naturally, Hair-Trigger failed to reply. Chester was being facetious after all. Instead, she and her new husband led the brothers into the Infotainment Room, where six chairs had been placed before a screen and futuristic image projector…

Miles couldn’t wait to try one on for size. “They look nice and comfy.” He said.

But he was less impressed by the emergency toilet in the corner of the room…

“Oh don’t be so old-fashioned and prudish, Miles,” Magnuss complained. “Open-plan living is all the rage, you know. But if you don’t like it, there’s another one at the end of the hall. It even has a door with a lock on it.”

Placated by this news, Miles then joined the others upon their chairs. He watched as a bright tell-tale light flashed upon the futuristic image projector. Clearly, the show was about to begin…

“Hey, Magnuss, bro,” Valentine asked from the opposite end of the line…

…”fancy views ya got from your apartment window. A real groove. So whatta ya call this holiday snap show?”

Paul Trevor Nolan 2022

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 9)

But, in Gregor’s view these were small fry: mere acts of pettiness. What he needed were more Bunties, Gingers, and Daisies. However, since there were none, it would require him to act boldly. So he took himself silently from his edificio…

…and made straight for the museum jail…

Standing directly beneath the girl’s window, he whispered to them:

“Girls, it is I, Gregor Arsentickler. There has been a great miscarriage of justice this night. I have been despatched by Major Flaccid to correct this and set you free. However, the authorities haven’t been made aware of the fact yet: that will have to wait until the office opens tomorrow morning. But because he doesn’t want you to be upset over something that was unavoidable, and really wasn’t your fault at all, he’d like you out and about before sunrise.”

Neither youngster was certain that fleeing their incarceration was the wisest course of action open to them; but when Gregor produced a ‘skeleton’ key from his back pocket (that had lain unused for yonks in his bedside cabinet, just waiting for the right moment) their trepidation waned a little.  And when Gregor turned on an almost unearthly charm…

…their breath caught in their throats, and it was all they could do to stop themselves screaming shrilly at Gregor’s masculine beauty…

“Oh yes, Gregor,” Daisy said with a sigh, “Anything you say.”

So, moments after the lock had been thrown open and Gregor had hurriedly disappeared into the shadows, the teen-aged trio picked up a piece of paper that contained some directions, and stole from the jail…

…and quickly sought the anonymity of the darkened building immediately adjacent to the jail…

“Ooh, blimey,” Daisy whispered as she began to doubt their choice of action, “it aint half dark in here. I wonder what it is?”

Bunty, as was her way, had eyes only for the ceiling. “It’s very big.” She said. “The ceiling’s ever so far up: I can’t even see it.”

But Ginger’s thoughts were of a more pressing need: “I wonder if it has a toilet.” She said.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 8)

Well there was really only one thing they could do. They ran. Like arrows from a bow they ran straight across the Woven Expanse…

…and tried to hide themselves in a strange non-corporeal forest…

…in which Daisy had a remarkable thought: “Oi,” she said, “if these trees are non-corporeal, that means that on infrared we would stand out like sore thumbs.”

So they bid a hasty farewell and tried hiding in the Age of Stone exhibit…

But, had they a brain cell between them, they would have realised that the Security Suite had access to any number of sensors and CCTV cameras…

“Got ‘em.” EvilRoboSecGua reported to the angry RoboSecGua chief.

The command came in an instant: “Apprehend them by any means. And if it hurts like heck…well all the better. If there’s one thing I really detest – it’s teenage female earplugs. They make me so mad!”

Meanwhile, Bunty, Ginger and Daisy were somewhere within the bowels of the Museum of Future Technology and making exhausted progress along another interminable corridor. But, despite their labouring lungs and the agony of de-oxygenated muscles, they all found the energy to be startled when a security light caught them unawares…

And when it changed colour, they paused their headlong flight…

…just I time to recognise what the light inferred and be plunged into the semi-darkness of a Crimson Intruder Alert…

“Oh,” Bunty said into the resulting gloom.

“I can hear you, Bunty,” Ginger replied, “but I can’t see you. Have you been disembodied?”

“I wish I’d been disembowelled,” Daisy informed the others, “coz I’m scared witless – or a word very similar to that.”

As the moment of the girl’s arrest approached, Gregor departed his quarters, whilst feeling very pleased with himself. The damage that he had managed to wreak by proxy was almost beyond his wildest dreams…

But he hadn’t finished: there was more acts of sabotage to invoke. Already some ne’re-do-wells had found inspiration from the TV news reports of the ruined exhibit…

And the RoboSecGuas were suddenly run ragged…

…when a group of disenchanted catering staff devoured an entire pickled cabbage: went out on to the Obsidian Plain; and…

…ignited the resulting cageous emissions.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 7)

But in the RD&CC joy had erupted like a volcano of invisible endorphins…

“That was fun.” Cheerful Charlie Chopsticks yelled ecstatically. “Do it again.”

Other curators managed to contain their enthusiasm. “Very nice.” Winston Gloryhole said calmly. “What do you think, Cushions?”

“I’d like to see a breakdown in costs.” She replied, as though she knew what she was talking about.

“Costs?” Montagu roared. “What costs? The bloody machine is built: power comes from the Nul-Space generator, which is free. And we lay off half of the exhibit-moving workforce. You don’t need to look at costs: they’re next-to-nothing.”

Meanwhile Daisy had come to her senses. More than that, she recognised the mysterious vehicle for what it was.

“It’s the Deathwish’s armoured thing.” She cried. “We learned all about the Deathwish siblings three months ago. Let’s have a look.” 

Moments later Ginger and Bunty were hoisting their loud-mouthed chum upon their shoulders…

And soon she was safely aboard and eyeing the laser cannon…

“I wonder if this is still active?” She whispered to herself.

Whilst everyone was congratulating everyone else, Gregor couldn’t help but smile…

…as he imagined what three dippy college girls might be doing with an armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Actually he didn’t need to imagine anything: he’d set up a small camera on the Wide Blue Yonder, which was broadcasting images straight to his cell phone. He just managed a quick glance at its tiny screen in time to witness…

…Daisy’s slender forefinger caress the firing button of the laser cannon.

“Ooh,” she said to the others, “I wonder where this gun is pointed?”

Neither Ginger nor Bunty knew the answer to the question: but Gregor did. He’d aligned the vehicle with a brand new exhibit that represented a mid-western town, in the distant future, during the apearence of a singularity in the Solar System…

It was the single most expensive exhibit to arrive in the Museum of Future Technology since Eyewash Station. It was Cushions’ baby. She had already lavished huge sums on advertising, and it was proving very popular. Earplugs would venture to the museum from far and wide, over mountain passes and through inclement weather if necessary…

They would use whatever mode of transportation they could find…

It was even spoke about by hoteliers in Benidorm…

But when the laser cannon’s searing incandescent blast hit…

…and the entire facility erupted in white fire…

…all Cushions could think about was how she was going to explain it to the beings from the future, just how their tech (that had been sent into the past for safe keeping) had been destroyed so utterly. She also considered the possibility that insurance wouldn’t pay up and that her credit card was about to take another beating.

But the three girls had other thoughts in mind…

Daisy and Bunty squeezed their eyes shut and hoped that when they opened them again everything would be back as it should be. But Ginger knew otherwise.

“Oh flipping heck,” she wailed, “what are we gonna do?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Revel in the Ribaldry 36

It’s very easy for a literary genius (like wot I is) to forget that there are stories written (by the aforementioned literary genius) at a time earlier than the present. In other words, literary genii are apt to forget their old stuff: old stuff that might actually be quite good: fabulous even! So, once in a while, that earlier stuff should be dusted down and exhibited. And so this has come to be. Welcome to an extract from a wondrous e-book. An e-book so wondrous that it defies description, pigeon-holing, and a predetermined genre. This wondrous e-book…

The best book ever written. A monument to the imagination of mankind. Or me. An e-book that is available at the best e-book stockists – like the ones mentioned on the sidebar and beneath the header. So here is the extract. Chosen at random, naturally…

When, at last, Izzy and Freda returned to the bar of The Handsome Dong, everyone except Eli Epididymis had returned to their leaden-hearted homes to sleep away the misery of the dark, cold night that stretched out before them like some infinitely long river of demon-filled sludge.

“Well,” Freda explained to an annoyed Eli as she adjusted both her mussed head fur and displaced gusset, “non-reproductive sex wasn’t what I was actually talking about when I burst in – but Izzy seemed so keen I just thought I ought to go along. It also gave me the chance to try out some of those ideas that I put in my sex-aid books.”

“Well they worked just fine.” Izzy was still smiling from ear to ear, and probably around the back of his head too.

“You two didn’t ‘appen to discuss the campaign to save ‘Amster Britain between bouts, I s’pose?” Eli grumbled.

Smiling for the first time since she could remember, Freda sat herself beside Eli in the snug, and knocked back the remains of his half-price rhubarb fizz. “Well actually it was Izzy’s idea of The Campaign for Stale Air that made me acquiesce to his sexual demands.” She told the surprised hamster, “I thought that they were brilliant. I’m fully behind it.”

Eli remained confused. “But didn’t you lead the campaign to clean up the air, and thereby ruin ‘Amster Britain?” he whined.

Freda’s smile fell away. “I did indeed. I used my persuasive literary style to influence a succession of useless governments until I got my way. But now I regret those acts of thoughtless environmentalism, and wish to undo the damage – if it’s not already too late.”

Eli thought about this for a moment. He sighed, thoughtlessly adjusted his testicles, and said, “Sorry about that minge-bit.”

He then explained that it was he who had written the inflammatory letter. He finished with, “…and I don’t want you to die horribly. In fact I want you to live a full and happy life – but in a Hamster Britain that we can all be proud of. Not this airy-fairy version where electricity is considered to be the spawn of  the otter’s rectum: But one where we can switch on a light, or blow-dry our fur, and have a good suck on a lung-full of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, without interference and finger-waggin’ from an over-protective legislature.”

It was possibly the longest sentence that Eli had ever uttered, and despite feeling slightly light-headed, he was certain that in the coming weeks he would be making many more – throughout the land – in parliament if necessary – and much, much, longer too.

“I wonder if it’s still possible to buy bottled oxygen?” he added, “Or did you ‘ave that banned too?”

Naturally without the aid of newspapers and television – getting the message out to the people of Hamster-Britain was going to be problematic. And there were far too many hamsters living throughout the multifarious isles to write to personally. That left only one course of action open to them…

As the mayor of Teetering-on-the-Brink, Clifton Wassack had not enjoyed a happy tenure. He had overseen urban decay of legendary proportions. True the streets of tiny terraced homes had always been miserable: But at least their occupants had enjoyed the benefits of having go-karts parked in the road outside them. Now all he could see from his council office window was a moribund populace poking around in corners looking for something to do. So when he was suddenly confronted by the sight of the famous writer/environmentalist Freda Bludgeon, and two dodgy-looking sidekicks, who then presented their Campaign for Stale Air manifesto to him, he thought that all his birthdays had arrived at once. This was his chance to become a national politician, and forever be associated with the salvation of Hamster-Britain.

“Of course.” He boomed in his most stentorian voice, “Of course you may use my offices and all my staff to further your cause. Just make sure that my name is mentioned in everything that you do. Might I suggest that we gather a crowd of like-minded folk – storm the redundant television station – and start broadcasting again. I think that it would be an excellent way to start – don’t you? We can print some pamphlets too: I think there’s still a small supply of blank paper in the stationery office. So all that remains for me to say is – let’s get this show on the road!”

Well naturally they did all these things. And Freda personally wrote to all the most influential organizations in the land, and pleaded for their help.

Well equally naturally they rallied round like never before. Soon the National Breast Fondling Club had posters pinned to telegraph poles the length and breadth of Hamster-Britain. And other organizations soon followed suit.

In the capital the weak socialist government quickly recognized the ugly mood of the country, and capitulated. Former business hamsters dug out the keys to their factories and their farms – took on their old staff – fired up the boilers – uncovered their secret caches of fuel – and went back into production.

Within weeks Clifton Wassack was appointed to the role of Prime Minister, Eli and Izzy were proclaimed the saviours of Hamster-Britain, and Freda Bludgeon was annointed in oils and became venerated as a saint.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

In the light of modern climate change fears, this story couldn’t be more inappropriate and politically incorrrect.  Go now: purchase the book: thumb your nose at fate!

 

 

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 6)

His anger evaporating in an instant, Gregor raced into the ‘doorway’ of the mud hut façade…

“Yeah,” he cheered, “I knew it would work: I did the sums after all.”

Then, to the observers inside the dome, he shouted: “Stay where you are: I’m going to Phase Two.”

Moments later the room turned red once more, and Gregor felt that the eye of the Supreme Being was upon him and him alone…

And perhaps it was, because as Cushions watched in bewilderment…

…the Mark Four mud hut façade had transferred to the Wide Blue Yonder…

…and from it emerged three equally bewildered faces…

“What the flipping heck?” Bunty bellowed loudly enough to be heard in a Café Puke outlet in the arboretum. “Where did that come from?”

But, like slurry in a well-maintained cattle house drains away, all three college girl’s surprise and concern did likewise…

“That was clever.” Daisy opined.

Ginger took it a step farther: “I wonder if this had anything to do with that lovely Gregor. Might this be the opportunity he spoke of?”

They all looked around for any sight or scent of the yellow earplug…

But, as they did so, in the R, D & C-C department, Gregor was summoning another artefact from the depot…

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he announced to those watching from behind the shield, “may I present an armoured reconnaissance vehicle: not from another era, but from another world entirely…

He then chuckled to himself. “If they think I brought that thing all the way across lightyears of space…well more fool them. But I’m not lying: it really is alien: it once belonged to two adventurous siblings…

…Dorkan and Dawlish Deathwish.”

Meanwhile, Daisy had the stupid idea that they may have missed Gregor inside the hut, so they went to re-enter…

…where they were momentarily blinded by a flash of light…

…and discovered that the hut wasn’t really a hut at all, but an armoured reconnaissance vehicle…

They were understandably startled. In the heat of the moment they all blamed each other for placing them in a situation that they could not comprehend and threatened to overwhelm their fragile psyches.

“Bum face!” Daisy shouted at Ginger, “My psyche is on the point of being overwhelmed. I can feel it: my socks have fallen down!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Galactic Newsletter: The Planet Scroton Imperilled

When the Gravity Whelk reported the sighting of a dangerous-looking object that appeared to be on a collision course with Scroton, the Supreme Commander of the Scrotonic Armed Forces – Walker Crabtrouser – demanded an immediate military response…

The order went out: “Attack the Giant Space Penis!”

 

 

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 5)

Cheerful Charlie Chopsticks wanted to know how they expected to move artefacts and exhibits around more quickly than they currently could. “I mean,” he all but scoffed, “to move things around any quicker than you already do, you’d have to use matter transmission.”

As Montagu growled with annoyance at the curator’s ignorance, Cushions said: “You thick, bozo, Charlie: why do you think we’re here?”

“What?” an even more excitable Cheerful Charlie squealed. “We’re going to see things move around – before our very eyes? Oh wow!”

Meanwhile, the artificial sun was on the brink of slipping below the non-existent horizon: but the girls had made it to the co-ordinates supplied to them by Gregor…

Daisy was as happy as a plugmutt in a litter tray; but Bunty and Ginger felt less confident.

“We’re bound to be in the wrong place.” Bunty moaned in preparation for failure. “I mean, we’ve only got one cell phone between us – and the battery’s almost flat on that.”

To which Ginger added: “And it’s a cheap one from down the market: it probably doesn’t know a co-ordinate from an accordion.”

Meanwhile Wonky had explained the dangers inherent in the demonstration they were about to perform. He then made the mistake of calling it an experiment.

Cushions became alarmed at this. “Experiment?” She bellowed. “I don’t do ‘experiments’. You do the experiments: then call me when you’re ready to ‘demonstrate’ the process. If I’m not entirely safe – the show is cancelled.”

This disappointed the three androids. Their artificial hearts sank. But the sneaky Gregor snatched at the opportunity to both ingratiate himself, and save his plan from ruin at the same time.

“If I might intrude…” He said as Cushions made to leave, “but I have an idea that will keep the development of the matter-transmission technique on track and on budget, whilst giving you a damned good light show that you’ll remember for decades to come.”

He then offered to operate the device alone, whilst everyone took themselves into the complete safety of an energy dome, which would protect them all should the matter transmitter malfunction and blow him to bits.

“Well if you’re happy to risk life and limb,” Cushions responded, “I’m all for it. Let’s get it on!”

So whilst the androids and their guests made their way to the dome…

…and locked themselves out of harm’s way…

…Gregor began setting dials and fiddling with knobs upon the transmitter control panel…

And in the Nul-Space generator power control room…

…the engineers on duty – those being former female weightlifters, Catford Greene and Nennigross Numbwinkle – noticed a surge in demand for energy.

“Ooh,” Nennigross said as she flexed her biceps experimentally, “I wonder what they are cooking at the Research, Development and Cost-Cutting Department tonight?”

With the engineers and curators tucked safely away behind their shield, Gregor increased the energy flow into the matter transmitter.

“Don’t concern yourself about me,” he said sotto voce whilst casting ethereal daggers in the direction of the dome, “I’m just the unheralded and totally disposable Gregor Arsentickler: earplugs like me are a dime a dozen.”

Then he ran around to the ‘business end’ of the device and angrily awaited developments…

“Biological androids,” he scoffed, “think they’re the brains of the outfit. Have they forgotten that earplugs created them? I should be running this show; not them. By the Saint of All Earplugs, I find them detestable – just like the morons in charge who place their trust in artificial life-forms such as them, whilst holding back young geniuses, like what I am, and reducing us to sandwich-making roles and fixing coffee machines. If I had my way…”

But his almost silent tirade was cut short when…

…seemingly out of nowhere, a burst of light almost blinded him. His eyes still hadn’t recovered when everyone became aware that the room was now far from empty…

A Mark Four mud hut, intended for the exhibit Era Gamma Hooter, had arrived from the supply depot far beneath where the observers now stood, via matter-transmission.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug News 24/7: Under Neptune’s Gaze

Despite the God of the Sea, Neptune’s disapproving stare; the deafening roar of a passing space submarine freighter; and an erupting volcano on the horizon, Iceworld scientist, Uda Spritzer took her paddle board to the aid of two drowning morons who forgot to tether their houseboat properly and were attempting to swim to shore in search of a public lavatory…

She was commended for her bravery by the local coastguard, but then cuffed around both ears and poked in the eye for contravening Health and Safety rules by failing to wear a life preserver vest or a lanyard to her paddle board. In response, spinster, Ms Spritzer was reported to have said: “Sod this: next time I’ll let the bastards drown.”

THIS FABULOUS WALLPAPER IS DOWNLOADABLE.

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 4)

Chapter 2

Several hours later Gregor Arsentickler approached his apartment door…

The place he called home was located in the less ostentatious sector of the museum’s habitation zone. White walls abounded, and any public decoration lay somewhere south of minimalist. Gregor liked to call it ‘Spartan’. But this wasn’t the reason that he never invited colleagues home. This wasn’t the reason why he always took circumbendibus routes home in an effort to shake anyone who chose to follow him. No, the reason why he did both these, and more secretive stuff, was because he was a Zincist: an acolyte of the detested Mister Zinc. And it was with Mister Zinc that he now communicated via a special transmitter that could be rendered invisible, and a view screen that closely mimicked a portrait that hung upon an interior wall…

“Why are you communicating with me?” Zinc inquired as he stood beside his biological android girlfriend, Blue in a distant outpost at the head of a mountain pass that led to the monastery of Lemon Stone…

…a place to which he had been banished for his prior transgressions against the Museum of Future Technology.

“Can’t you see I’m busy?” The former megalomaniac complained. “I’ve got this pass to oversee. If anyone gets past my watchtower, the Father Superior will send some of his monks up here to kick my arse into next week.”

“Good news, Sire.” Gregor spoke as he completed a curtsy. “I have found some malcontents who are young, foolish and malleable. Already I have set a plan in motion that will result in localised catastrophe. Well that’s what I’m hoping for. Unfortunately these three girls really are dopey, so nothing’s certain. But if your tentative plan to make the curators appear ineffective and slovenly, which will result in their removal from power, and thereby open the way for your triumphant return, is to work, these silly youngsters could be the impetus it requires. They could, effectively kick-start your campaign.”

To which Zinc responded: “Oh, right.”

But Blue, being the more switched-on of the two since their joint banishment to the mind-numbing tedium and cold of the watchtower, required details, which Gregor duly supplied.

“Very good.” She said curtly. “Carry on.”

So it was a smug Gregor Arsentickler who turned away from the screen…

…that instantly resumed its false appearance as a fan poster of the Earplug Brothers, whilst the special communicator flashed briefly before cloaking and becoming completely invisible to either the naked eye, digital camera, or infra-red detector.

“Hah,” he said to himself, “I’m gonna be the best acolyte that my master, Mister Zinc, has ever had. He is certain to make me a high ranking official in his government after the fall of Cushions Smethwyke and her gang of incompetent silicon oafs.”

Speaking of Cushions Smethwyke and the museum’s curator elite…

…Cushions, Winston Gloryhole, Montagu, and a guest curator from the Museum of Rancid Oats – one Fluff Buttons – were taking a quick peek before dinner at their region of reality upon the Omnipresent Scanner. It was just warming up when a message came through for them – the gist of which was the news that a very important development had been made in the museum maintenance department’s endeavours to speed up exhibit change-overs – making them more efficient and thereby reducing expenditure.

“This I gotta see.” Cushions said as she flicked the OFF switch.

The same message was relayed to Cheerful Charlie Chopsticks and Barcode Betty as they strove to regulate the energy flow from the Nul-Space generator…

“Oh goodie,” an excitable Cheerful Charlie exclaimed. “A demonstration of more fabulous tech: I’m all for it. Set the regulator on Auto-pilot, or handle this solo, Betty: I don’t want to miss the start.”

Meanwhile, Daisy, Bunty and Ginger had managed to find their way on to the Woven Expanse…

…which, of course, was the only way for them to gain their destination – the Wide Blue Yonder. Although Ginger’s feet hurt, and she lagged behind slightly, she and the other two girls were determined to take full advantage of Gregor Arsentickler’s offer of a second chance with Major Flaccid.

It wasn’t too far now, they were certain, which was just as well, because at that moment, in the Research, Development and Cost-Cutting Department laboratory…

…the recently summoned curators were being welcomed by the biological android lab staff. Of course Gregor had finagled himself a role in the R, D & C-C several months earlier, and had made himself indispensable – taking on roles that the regular staff were loath to do and sometimes were downright dangerous…

Although Gregor hated Cushions and company with every fibre of his being, he smiled sweetly and stood around on the periphery like the good ‘gopher’ he was…

Montagu, as a biological android himself, was justifiably proud of his team. He introduced the three turquoise androids:

“From your left to right, Cushions, meet Agnes Lovehandles, Steve Jessop, and Wonky.”

He then failed utterly to mention the seemingly eager yellow earplug beside them, which only made Gregor’s inner fury burn that little more brightly…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Galactic Newsletter: Chilly Willy Discovered

Whilst exploring an uncharted and utterly frozen world, crew-members of the K T Woo have discovered an ancient space rocket entombed in ice! Former protégé of Magnuss Earplug – Yabu Suchs – who commanded the team and drove the lead hover chariot remarked:

“A quite remarkable phallic symbol. Possibly the most significant I have ever seen.  It’s very big. Very, very long – and perfectly straight too. I say, would you mind switching off your microphone: I’m feeling vaguely inadequate.”

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: Triple Amenaza (parte 3)

Con suficientes tomas disponibles en la biblioteca de fotos, y algunas palabras garabateadas también, continúa con el tercer episodio…

Mientras tanto, en un sector cercano, un talentoso ingeniero, de nombre Gregor Arsentickler, se deportaba con gracia a lo largo de un estrecho corredor de mantenimiento…

Disfrutaba de muchas responsabilidades, una de las cuales era la reparación de las recalcitrantes máquinas expendedoras de Café Puke. Y, por casualidad, era la máquina de la oficina temporal de TWIT a la que lo habían llamado…

Bunty pasó desapercibido mientras miraba sin pensar al techo. Él tampoco pudo registrar su presencia. En cambio, se puso manos a la obra. Pero, después de un tiempo, no pudo evitar darse cuenta de un ruido molesto. Eran Daisy y Ginger conversando…

“Bueno, dije”, dijo Daisy en voz alta, “mi novio puede saltar sobre charcos mucho más grandes que tu novio”.

Ginger estaba intrigada. “¿Qué dijo ella a eso?” 

“Nada.” Daisy respondió jactanciosamente, “qué podía decir ella: era verdad: mi novio vive en una casa flotante: ha estado saltando de la cubierta a la orilla y viceversa toda su vida. A veces lo hace solo por diversión. Una vez lo vi hacerlo con los ojos vendados y una pierna atada a la otra “.

Luego, con un cambio brusco de tema, Ginger dijo: “Nunca aprendí a atarme los cordones de los zapatos: ahora me dicen que el gobierno o alguien los ha prohibido. Toda esa práctica, por nada. Te lo digo, me estoy enfermando y cansando de cosas en estos días. No es como cuando éramos niños “.

“¿Qué, como el año pasado, quieres decir?” Interrumpió Daisy.

“Sí”, refunfuñó Ginger, “y el año anterior”.

“Pasan tan rápido, ¿no?” Dijo Daisy mientras asentía sabiamente. “¡Al ritmo que vamos en este momento, seremos viejos antes de tener la oportunidad de crecer!”

Gregor miró al guardia de TWIT, que claramente había estado soportando la conversación durante un tiempo considerable…

 

Parecía proto-catatónico y no respondió a la subrepticia ola de Gregor.

Y el combo Ginger-Daisy continuó…

“Sabes”, dijo Daisy mientras lanzaba una mirada en dirección a Bunty, que estaba mentalmente ausente, “su padre se cayó de su scooter la semana pasada”.

Ginger miró al suelo y deseó poder “desconectarse” como Bunty: no le gustaban las historias de dolor y angustia. Luego pensó que si no respondía, Daisy podría llevar la conversación en una dirección más agradable. Ella estaba equivocada:

“Sí”, continuó Daisy, “realmente se raspó la rodilla. Tuve que ponerle un yeso. Pero no se pegaría: lo hice al revés “.

Luego, para alivio de Ginger, Daisy cambió de tema:

“¿En qué crees que está pensando Bunty?” Pero antes de que Ginger pudiera responder, dijo: “Oh, mira, tengo una de esas úlceras en la lengua”.

“Nunca he sido fanático de las úlceras”. Dijo Bunty, a pesar de que su mirada permaneció fijada firmemente en el techo. “He oído que cuajan la leche”.

“Sí,” convino Daisy, “me alegro de no tener ninguno. Leche, es decir: no úlceras. Tengo una úlcera, mira. ¿Puedes verlo, Ginger?”

Gregor estaba teniendo dificultades para concentrarse en su trabajo de reparación. Afortunadamente, el operativo de TWIT, Nature Beast, eligió ese momento para entrar…

Gregor estaba más que aliviado: y sólo podía adivinar cómo se sentía el guardia de TWIT por la interrupción.

Nature Beast no creía en el preámbulo. Tampoco tenía mucho tiempo para palabras cortas que unieran a otros. Como era habitual en él, habló de sí mismo en tercera persona…

“Nature Beast obtuvo los resultados de la prueba”.

Bunty bajó del techo. “¿Están ellos bien?” Preguntó ella.

“Nature Beast no puede leer”. Nature Beast respondió. “Pero colega me dijo qué es qué”.

“¿Te dijo que pasamos?” Preguntó Daisy esperanzada.

Nature Beast se tomó un momento para considerar esta difícil pregunta. “Aférrate.” Respondió. “Nature Beast necesita un momento para pensar”.

Ginger tenía la clara sensación de que las cosas no iban como ellos querían. “Este colega”, le dijo a Nature Beast, “¿era, por casualidad, el Mayor Flaccid?”

Una luz apagada se encendió detrás de los ojos del monstruo. “Sí.” Gritó. “Tal vez no seas un idiota como dice Major”.

Pero eso fue lo mejor que pudo. Mientras reducía su volumen, Nature Beast agregó…

“Dice mayor: ya tenemos suficientes idiotas en TWIT: no necesitamos tres más”.

Naturalmente, esto no fue bien recibido. Bunty estaba particularmente molesto: “Pero nos tomamos un día libre haciendo … tus … cosas y otras cosas importantes … para venir aquí: ¿por qué has perdido nuestro tiempo?”

Las palabras llegaron demasiado rápido para Nature Beast: se tomó unos momentos para asimilarlas antes de responder con: “Dice el mayor: los idiotas pierden el tiempo con pruebas estúpidas: pierdo el tiempo de ellos. Dice cosas recíprocas “.

Esta respuesta enfureció tanto a Daisy que sus ojos se cruzaron. “Lamentarás el día en que cruzaste los tres … ah … los tres … um … nosotros

… Y recuerda esto, tu extraña excusa para un tapón para los oídos: la venganza es un plato que se sirve mejor … um … se sirve mejor… “

“Con aceitunas”. Bunty gritó enojada. “Ahora, por favor, abre la puerta y salgamos con un mínimo de orgullo … o ‘orgullo’, como lo llama mi madre”.

Momentos después, Gregor vio cómo sus lecturas positivas parpadeaban en la pantalla de la pared; pero escuchó en secreto mientras Nature Beast mostraba a sus invitados la puerta…

 

Una idea se estaba formando en su cabeza, y no quería que Nature Beast o el guardia TWIT reanimado se dieran cuenta de su cambio de comportamiento…

Entonces, cuando los dos agentes de TWIT cumplieron con su siguiente deber, Gregor Arsentickler dejó a un lado su itinerario, al menos metafóricamente, y fue en busca de las tres chicas.

Los encontró compadeciéndose de una taza de café espantoso…

“Señoras”, dijo mientras se acercaba a su mesa, “creo que puedo ser de alguna ayuda para ustedes”.

Luego explicó exactamente cómo sabía que habían fallado en su entrevista de trabajo…

“Pero tengo buenas noticias para ti”. Añadió. “No todo está perdido. Si desea impresionar al Mayor Flaccid, ubíquese en estas coordenadas del Wide Blue Yonder justo después de que se ponga el sol artificial “.

Luego les entregó una nota escrita apresuradamente. Mientras se alejaba de las excitadas exclamaciones de la chica y se alejaba…

… Dijo: “Nunca se sabe; este podría ser tu día de suerte “.

Pero en realidad no lo decía en serio: tenía motivos ocultos.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

And the Ginger- Daisy combo continued…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nature Beast got results of test.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

He found them commiserating over a cup of ghastly coffee…

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

Portrait of an Earplug: Uda Spritzer

We asked famous Iceworld scientist, Uda Spritzer, how she started her day on such a cold and forbidding world…

She informed us that she rarely eats anything less than a vast bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every day. But, she recalled with some regret, on a recent visit to Earth, someone suggested she add a handful of sultanas to  the bowl…

She won’t be trying that trick again. She is also considering eggs, bacon and fried tomatoes for breakfast from now on.

Earplug News 24/7: UFO Ditches in Popular Winter Vacation Lake

We bring you the news that other news outlets can’t!

Crowds of pissed-off would-be skaters railed against a trio of aliens who had crashed their UFO into a much-beloved frozen lake and thawed it with their super-heated drive plasma. Local hostillery owners insisted that the aliens remain partially submerged until either the lake refroze or they drowned. Tudor Porks – a local government official – was despatched aboard his sky scooter to reconnoiter and assess the situation, but was too traumatised to look, and flew home immediately for a cup of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake with his new boyfriend…

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 2)

Precious few shots in the can so far, but let’s not allow that deficiency to thwart the second episode. Go!

Chapter 1

The day had begun rather badly for three would-be recruits to the armed forces of the Museum of Future Technology. Or TWIT as it was better known. No one could recall why TWIT had been so named. Some suggested that the words Tactical and Weapons might have constituted the first two letters of the acronym; but no one was putting money on it. And since TWIT’s commanding officer, Major Flaccid, was a bone fide twit, himself, the organisation’s moniker seemed most appropriate. Bunty Bridgewater now led her chums, Ginger Slack and Daisy Woodnut along one of many corridors that spread like the threads of some vast fungi through the great edifice…

They had conducted an aptitude test on-line, and had consequently been invited to an interview at the TWIT headquarters, Swottan Hetty…

…which was undergoing refurbishment, following an unexpected attack to its foundations by giant lungworms. Naturally neither of the trio of hopefuls wanted to arrive early, just in case they found themselves conscripted into hod carrying or arc welding – neither of which had been on their college curriculums. So now they wasted the surplus time by wandering around and taking in the sights. Sights such as the world-famous Main Thoroughfare…

…which had appeared in several action movies, and thrilled Daisy to the point where she thought she was about to vomit with excitement.

Fortunately Bunty and Ginger were able to bring their friend’s momentary madness under control by having her breathe into a bag of wine gums. But the interruption had been enough to throw off their innate sense of direction, and soon they found themselves stumbling into the Grand Hall…

…in which a permanently-stationed (and bored witless) RoboSecGua roared in outrage at their intrusion:

“What the flipping heck do you think you’re doing here?” It snarled in a tinny mono-tonal…ugh…snarl…through its speaker grill. “You’re nobodies. You’re silicon scum. Get lost.”

Startled by this outburst of overtly racist cyber-rage, Bunty, Ginger and Daisy quickly retreated to a quiet section in which Daisy accessed the museum’s Artificial Intelligence interface to ask for directions to Swottan Hetty…

…whilst Ginger displayed her ability to produce visible spectrum botty bugles.

“Swottan Hetty?” The A.I inquired. “Surely, you’re aware that it is currently undergoing refurbishment following an attack of giant lungworms?”

Daisy wasn’t aware of the existence of rhetorical questions, but before she could summon a response from her startled brain, the A.I continued:

“There’s a list of temporary TWIT offices throughout this magnificent edifice. A list can be purchased, for a small fee, at any Café Puke outlet. Now I’m a very busy  computer program, so go away and don’t bother me again.”

Unfortunately Ginger’s gaseous emission had effected Bunty’s mental abilities in a negative manner, so she failed to notice the Café Puke signage behind her. It hadn’t done Ginger’s thought processes any favours either, so before long the stoned young female was thoroughly enjoying herself, bobbing up and down in the updraft of the deep fat fryer extractor fan in Mister Pong’s exotic food restaurant…

Worst still, Daisy recognised the earplug who was just exiting the restaurant – him being, none other than, Major Flaccid himself!

“Oh crumbs,” Bunty said when she learned this, “let’s hope he never noticed Ginger’s aerial gyrations.”

“Hmm,” Daisy responded, “you never know, he might be deaf and blind.”

Despite this, time remained in abundence, so the girls took themselves off to the Kiddies Maze…

…where, in their excitement, they got in the way of several parents who had lost their stupid children in the huge circular puzzle. But, despite the aforementioned innate sense of direction, all three were baffled by its circumambience. Of course that didn’t stop them enjoying the act of trying to find the way out…

But, as the minutes ticked by, and nerves grew taut, desperation set in, and before long they found themselves at the centre of the maze…

“Okay,” Daisy said as her face was pushed against the side of the tiny cylindrical space, “how did that happen?”

“Guess we’re not the genii our parents hoped for.” Bunty replied.

“I’m claustrophobic,” Ginger cried out. “My geography teacher told me so. I feel nauseous. I’m getting the heck outta here!”

With that she climbed upon the shoulders of her friends and escaped on to the central ‘island’. She was soon joined by the quicker-thinking Bunty…

“We can jump across the gaps.” She suggested. “There’s a maintenance tunnel over there, in the shadows: it’ll probably lead us somewhere else: let’s head for that.”

Five minutes later…

“Oh crikey,” Daisy wailed, “where are we now?”

“Look,” Bunty yelped as her keen eyes spotted a pair of elevator doors, “let’s give them a try.”

But, having risen through several floors at almost breakneck speed, the trio were no closer to their destination: in fact they were on the roof…

…where they witnessed the departure of two space submarine freighters.

“By the Saint of All Earplugs,” a breathless Daisy whispered, “I’ve died and gone to Silicon Valley. I’ve always wanted to go on a space submarine: and here’s two of them, almost within arm’s reach. Aren’t they wonderful? So black and bulbous!”

“If you like that sort of thing.” An unconvinced Ginger replied.

But Bunty was neither listening to the conversation nor gawping at the space submarines: her gaze was firmly attached to a door that led to the interior of the building. Upon it read the words: TWIT TEMPORARY OFFICE THIS WAY.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

Galactic Newsletter: Winker Worried

The United Stoats Seventh Cavalry’s sole starship, the Chuck Winker, was chased through a hyperspace conduit by a vast alien vessel of unknown origin recently . Fortunately the crew of the ‘Winker’ were able to make their escape by ejecting the contents of their latrine, which obscured the alien’s windshield long enough for them to return their vessel into normal space/time unnoticed. Nominal captain – Staff Sergeant Wetpatch Wilton was reported to have said: “I lived up to my name there, I can tell you: that really shit me up good and proper!”

Earplug News 24/7: Midnight Buggy Race Under Threat

The weekly Magnuss Earplug – sponsored Midnight Buggy Race through the streets of the Old Quarter is facing the axe following a display of almost complete disinterest and apathy by the local inhabitants. Apparently they prefer to sit around street corners drinking vile coffee from the Cafe Puke vending machines…

Or visiting the toilet.

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat (part 1)

Earplug Adventures: Triple Threat

By Tooty Nolan

Prologue

The honeymoon of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger Earplug had been long and arduous; but now, as their honeymoon barge – the Tankerville Norris – swept by the Moon in a quite spectacular manner…

…inside, watching through a convenient viewing port, the happy couple witnessed its passing of Earth’s celestial companion…

“Ah,” Hair-Trigger said with a sigh, “as much as I enjoyed our last adventure, it’s good to be home.”

“I concur entirely,” Her spouse replied, “I can’t wait to show the boys our holiday snaps.”

It would be only minutes before the Tankerville Norris bridged the gap between Luna and Earth, so the only earplugs aboard casually returned to the bridge…

…just in time to watch as their trusty vessel breached the planet’s atmosphere and plunged towards the clouds below…

“You know, Hairy,” Magnuss began…

But he never completed his line: Hair-Trigger spoke the words for him:

“There’s no place like home.”

Then it was time for a fly-through of the towers in the city that lay closest to the Museum of Future Technology – Ciudad de Droxford – where the inhabitants took to the roof tops to wave their collective welcome…

Then, having shown off sufficiently, the ship curved around in a wide parabolic arc – to reveal the museum itself upon the bridge holo-screen…

“Who would have thought,” Magnuss said as he took in the view, “what might have become of the Museum of Future Technology if my brothers and I hadn’t visited it on that fateful morning, so many years ago.”

“Two things, in all probability.” Hair-Trigger replied in an instant. “The museum would have fallen to the first invaders: and I would never have met you.”

Magnuss smiled at this. “Best not go back in time and change anything, then.” He said.

And he continued to smile as the ship approached their destination…

…because he was very much looking forward to the pool party that his brothers had planned for the afternoon of their arrival…

And he especially wanted to try out the new Café Puke drone delivery service. He wondered; did the coffee arrive in a plastic mug – or did the drone squirt the vile brown mess into the customer’s own mug from an internal reservoir?

“Or maybe,” he said aloud, “they squirt it straight into the customer’s mouth.”

Hair-Trigger would have questioned Magnuss’ strange and unexpected line of dialogue, but she didn’t have time: the Tankerville Norris was settling upon a landing tower…

They were back:  the honeymoon was past tense: it was time to get on with married life with the museum’s greatest hero. And, as she unbuckled her seat belt, she couldn’t help but wonder what terrible threat would next test the mettle of the inhabitants of the Museum of Future Technology.

“Something pretty off-the-wall, probably.” She said.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

The Magnum Opus Rolls On

Never one to sit back on his heels and contemplate his scrotum, Tooty Nolan has gone straight to work upon the sequel to The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah. Some shots have already been…ugh…shot: and a few  words written too! So stand by for the first instalment of Triple Threat:  the 43rd volume of the eight-year (so far) story. Here’s a handful of taster-photos… 

Lookin’ good!

Galactic Newsletter: Fascists Found!

Scientists specialising in the search for alternative dimensions have discovered an alternate Earth upon which fascists rule with a chain mail fist. It appears that the authorities have a particular dislike for mariachi bands, the members of which are rounded up and imprisoned in cramped, cold conditions by evil black-hatted government thugs, where they are expected to wear their sombreros twenty-four seven!

Galactic Newsletter: Valentine Earplug Makes Remarkable Reappearence

Following days of mourning, when it was thought that the second-eldest of the Earplug Brothers, Valentine, had perished after entering a single-celled space creature aboard his Punting-Modesty XL5 Facepuncher, the Hero of Earplugdom made a welcome return when he and his craft escaped through the giant creature’s surprisingly small anus…