Friday, 24 June 2011

An Emergency of some small Urgency Message from Professor Mucus Plug

Mucus Plug here. You may or may not or maybe or mayhaps recall I am the world's leading authority. I have been decidedly distracted these last four hectors of harvest moon time, involving my brain stuff in unsubstantiated but detailed research on the vexed question of is there any real connection between the noise a competitively priced electric kettle makes when thrown derisively against the side door of a newly painted windmill and the stone cold fact that dolphins, for all their supposed intelligence, really cannot tell the difference between a well thumbed (and slightly overdue) library book copy of The History Of The Glockenspiel And Its Use In The Theatre Of War (Specifically Pertaining To The On Going War Between The Man and Mother Nature) and an abandoned wheelbarrow full of unwanted grandfather clock parts that have been marinated in larks spit for 14 days or so and then promptly forgotten about.
Much to my astonishment and the unastonishment of others less prone to astonishment than I, I found no connection (or at least no connection I care to share with the the outside world, nor the inside world for that matter) and in a fit of childish, some might say, not so childish perturbations, I bought myself a large vintage chopper style motorbicycle, a tassle sleeved swede jacket, some wrap around shades (like Elvis wore when he went to the seaside) and a third rate cowboy hat and set off on an event free journey across the United States of Americans in a vague and slightly muddled attempt to find myself (man). Accompanying me on my dull quest for enlightenment was Terry Tickle Tums the cat actor who portrayed Mr. Data's cat Spot in the Star Trek motion picture Generations. Terry had, by pure and simple chance also come to a crossroads in his life after the proposed sequel to that film titled The Search For Spot failed to materialise when someone pointed out that Data had already found his missing cat in the thrilling final sequence of the previous film. His owner Mrs. Wanda Lusp upset by this disappointless development had consequently lost confidence in her own career of delivery babies (she was going through a midwife crisis) and the downbeat atmosphere about the home had become difficult. So rather than stick around Terry had also got himself a large vintage chopper style motorbicycle and together we set out on our self seeking sojourn. Getting our large vintage chopper style motor bicycles on and off the greyhound buses we had decided upon as our means of transportation for our journey proved to be somewhat awkward and cumbersome at first but we persevered and by the time we arrived in Maryland we had the process down to twenty minutes getting on and thirteen minutes getting off..a vast improvement on the previous nine attempts. It was clear to us though that we had not thought our mode of transportation through because both Terry and myself found that we suffered from slight but noticeable travel sickness by using greyhound buses. I will not thrill you here and now with the many non events and unamusing half anecdotes and hit and misadventures that we failed to experience along the way but ask you instead to wait for the minor motion picture currently being made of all this, Queasy Riders, starring Bradley Pitt as myself and Jennifer Aniston as the voice of Terry, (that's unless that silly Angelina Jollie finds out and puts a stop to it).

Anyway upon my return to the place I return to, I have discovered that something is, to put it bluntly, amiss over at The Found A Stick Foundry (home of Found A Stick). My messenger pigeons are returning unanswered, and as you can see yourself it has been over a year since the last post (no not the trumpet thing). With a sense (if not the meaning) of trepidation I then hacked into their steam powered mainframe motherboard thingy to try and discover, uncover and recover what has been occurring in my long absence (makes the heart grow (peter) fonda). And therein I found a strange mystery wrapped in a dark fluffy enigma and placed in a shiny, almost new, H.R. Puffenstuff lunch box that worried me so greatly that later that night I forget to put any sugar in my bedtime cup of cocoa and had to come all the way back downstairs in consequence. It was obvious to me then that something needed to be done and done then and there, when it had become obvious to me that something needed to be done. And the obviousness of then and there of this done thing was to me quite obvious.

So that very Wednesday straight after watching "my shows" on TV I embroidered an urgent handkerchief with a request for an extra special meeting of the other great minds of our age to be held in the Great Hall of Mentholitus in Hendonia over at Art Into Dust and sent the finished item to the High Priests of Imperfect Punctuations and Backwater Ponderousness at the Church of the Buddha Kittens. They looked over my findings, then sifted through them with a fine tooth comb then gave the fine tooth comb to a passing raven to feather its nest with and insteadfast fashion, placed my findings in a liquidiser and turned them into fillings for various pies, pastries and tartlets which once consumed enabled they to fully concur that my request was a valid and scrumptious one and so a meeting was set up to debate the best course of action to be taken and the best course of inaction not to be taken. I put on my best bib and tucker and pogo danced through the mosh pit of my mind straight over there as quickly as slang sometimes falls out of common daily usage. Though I will admit stopping off at the Holloway Road branch of Percy Ingles on the way for a cup of tea and an apple turnover on the way. And what a grand piano of a meeting it was. Anybody who was everybody was in attendance that day: The Buddha Kitten Number 9, Bing the Merciless, Mirror Universe Spock, Wyngarde as Number Two, Dr. Zachary Smith, 1971 Period Frank Zappa, the Too Many Peter Cooks (who nearly spoilt the whole thing) and the Reluctant But Beautiful Angel were all there. It was quite a sight I can tell you. Except I do not need to tell you because I took a photographic plate so you can judge the quiteness of the sight for yourselves.

There followed an apparentness that was quick, in that it quickly became apparent that someone should be sent to investigate this dramatic situation further and since my own dramatic license had expired a few weeks previously it was decided that we should call on the services of my old friend and all round daring do adventurer Harrrison Corduroy Jones in this matter. You may know him from such adventures as The Raindeers Often Lost In The Park,in which he had to save his girlfriend and melt a lot of very naughty nazis and get hold of the Ark of the David Coverdale so it could be put into a large ominous government warehouse. Or maybe from The Shirley Temple Of Doom, (a very talented but quite evil little girl) in which he had to eat monkey brains with a spoon and stop some very naughty Indians from contravening quite a few child labour laws while saving his girlfriend. Or how's about The Last Condiment (In which his father was played by Roger Moore) in which he had to stop some very naughty nazis from getting hold of Baby Jesus' cup (different naughty nazis, mind, there was a lot of them about at the time) while saving his latest girlfriend. Or perhaps The Kiss-And-Tell Skull in which he got locked in a refrigerator, met an old girlfriend and learnt the consequences of unprotected sexual congress and stopped some very naughty Russians gossiping about aliens and flying saucers and the like.

Anyway even if you do not know Harrison from the above , trust me when I tell you that when you need a crisis turned into a drama then he is the get go guy to go to if you need to go to a get go guy. So the very next day Harrison got into an aeroplane that took off from a real looking private airfield but then for some reason flew over a large old fashioned looking map with a dotted black line in front and behind the moving craft to indicate the route being taken and then ten seconds later it landed at another real looking airfield. From there he made his way to the Found A Stick Foundation and later that day he sent me the following rather dramatic report.

"When I arrived at the same time as arriving, the Foundry was blackcurrent dark and quietly quiet in the quietest sort of quieticity; the shadowy halls blacker even than Rod Stewart's black, black heart. It was completely deserted and by that I do not mean that it had somehow been transformed into a pudding, that is a different type of desert all together so do not trifle with me here. I mean by what I meant when meaning it, that there was not a living soul anywhere within its dark foreboding walls (why they had chosen to go with a dark foreboding colour scheme for the walls is a puzzlement to me, if they had gone with a brilliant white then it would just bring so much light to the rooms and open out the spaces....) It was obvious someone or something or somewhere over the rainbow, did not want me here. There were cleverly designed traps everywhere that, using just my casual cunning, my quiet love of cufflinks and sharpened senses, I had to avoid at all cost. Traps like a door that looked liked you could push to open when in fact you had to pull that made you feel slightly foolish for a moment, a desk that jutted out a couple of inches too far so you banged your leg on it as you passed and an unexpected step that made you go whoa when you misjudged it and stumble slightly before regaining your balance. Once I had got passed these potentially slightly inconvenient traps and made my way to the computer room I found that the information contained within and on the machines went no further than the last post on the blog. I was baffled, flummoxed, consternated, unbedazzled, bamboozled, phazed and a bit bemused. I lent backward, (in a backward leaning sort of way) and put a hand down, (in a hand putting down sort of way) on the desk behind me and fickle fuzzy fraught fear pricked in my ears at the sound of a faint, but unmistakably faint crackling. I slowly slowly catchee monkey turned my head and looked down with trepidation in my pockets and there much to my horror, only mere inches from my tremblingly trembling fingertips sat an open bag of Hasbro jelly snake sweets. God I HATE Snakes!! I jumped back (in a backward jumping sort of way) in unsurprisingly surprised surprise and in doing so knocked over a small trash can from which rolled a screwed up ball of paper. I bent down and picked it up, fumbled it slightly and dropped it, then picked it up again but didn't quite get it right and it slipped through my fingers and back to the floor, so picked it up again, banged my elbow on the side of the desk which jarred it from my grasp and sent it tumbling to the floor once more and finally I really concentrated and picked it up without any mishappian incidents involved then opened it out and put it down on the desk to flatten it out.Then I quickly realised that putting it down on the desk to flatten it out was not sufficiant in itself so used my hands to flatten the note out instead.   It was it appeared the rough notes for the very next post to appear on the blog and it explained everything except for the things that it did not explain but I would have to piece together in the next scene.

It seems a woman named Melissa Applewine had recently sent them half of a strange man made stick she had found, after an extensive and fairly detailed shopping trip, outside her front gate. She had enquired it they might know what this half of a strange man made stick might be and one of the possible answers they had given in reply was that it might be a magic wand. This latest update from her said that she had been so excited at the possibility that it might be a magic wand which she could then use to conjure up as many clothes as she could possibly dream of that she had spent a few hours outside her front gate searching for the other missing half and when she found it, she had taped the two halves together and sent them a photograph of it to get their opinion now it was complete. The reply she received was laced with ridicule and cynical disbelief. Firstly it was pointed out that there is no such thing as a real magic wand and she was a silly goose to think otherwise and secondly it was also pointed out that now they could see the whole stick in was totally obvious that the stick she had found was nothing more than a discarded chopstick. and they were correct, the photo was indeed that of a chopstick. But then I looked closer and thirty nine percent of the hairs on the back off my neck rose while the other six one percent possibly did was hard to judge at that moment or indeed misjudge. Surfice to say this neck hair rising was enough to add the required dramatic tension to this tale though possibly it would have been better served if I had not mentioned the percentage involved.
This was no ordinary chopstick, but the legendary chopstick of the ancient and often unwise wizard Klee Shay, lost for a thousand years and then found for a couple of weeks and then lost again for another thirty seven minutes and then found again for five months before being lost again for another fifty nine years. A chopstick imbued with great magical powers or so it was whispered in far away places and libraries and it was now in the poccession of this unwitting girl instead of someone sensible like Penelope Keith or Kenneth Kendal. Luckily her address was in the data base so I raced from the building in fear fuelled haste, but then had to wait twenty minutes for the bus to the station and when I got there the trains were not running and I had to wait another thirty minutes for the bus replacement service to turn up and then it just sat there for another fifteen minutes while the driver read a newspaper and once I was on board it was another fifteen minutes until it left and then it when all round the houses and we had to change to another bus that eventually took us to another station where the trains were running from and I had to wait 35 minutes for the train to turn up and then that sat in the platform for ten minutes because they were running a reduced shuttle service and there was no buffet car and I was quite hungry by this time and I had to sit next to this old lady who insisted on telling me all about her lumbago and her friend Bunty's painful corns like three or four times in tedious detail while I pretended to be interested. But eventually we arrived at our destination of Northampton and then I had to wait another twenty minutes for the bus at that end and that went all round the houses until finally dropping me a good half hour walk from her house.

Melissa was quite surprised to see me and wary at first until I had explained the reason for my visit, then she smiled sadly and let me in. Her home was sunk to the nuts deep in clothes, heaving piles and piles of them everywhere and in what had once been her sitting room sat a veritable mountain of designer shoes and handbags. But there was no joy in her joyless eyes as she joylessly surveyed all her possessions. We sat in the kitchen and over a welcomingly welcome cup of tea and some unfortunately nondiscript cake I told her what I had witnessed at the Foundry that had been witnessed by me in the witnessing of and she blanched like a cameleon stood next to something extreemly blanchy and said she had not realised what had happened and that she had thought her spell was for just removing that slightly humiliating reply they had put up. She brought out the stick from the place she brought the stick out from and handed it to me saying that she would be glad to be rid of it because even though she loved all her clothes and shoes and bags and accessorising stuff she had realised she in fact loved shopping even more than all these things and the stick had taken all the fun out of it. I looked down at the seemingly innocuous stick resting in my hands and knowing the legendary mystical powers of the chopstick as I did, it did not take me long to realise what had happenen, then become distracted thinking about which of the Grange Hill Annuals was my favourite but then just as quickly lickerdee spit I returned to the matter at hand. Instead of just removing the post as she had hoped, the magic instead had wound back time within the Foundry to the moment before the the post had been started and then frozen them all in that moment. The staff  were lost in the time between the ticks of the clock, trapped on a Tuesday from last year. Melissa asked me if I could use the chopstick to reverse the spell but remembering all the melty faces, crumbling to dust, burst into flames special effects stuff that usually happens at this point in the plot, I just smiled and wrapped the stick in the embroidered handkerchief you had given me and laid it down on the table. And then because there is always a love interest involved she sunk into my arms with a sigh and I bent my head down and softly kissed her upturned lips and the view panned up to the window, the curtains fluttering in the breeze....and fade.

I departed for London the next day with the chopstick held firmly in my hand, there was a waiting box in a large ominous government warehouse for it of that I was pretty, no more than that, beautifully certain. Would you believe it on the journey I ended up sitting next to that old lady again politely nodding while she told me all about her lumbago and her friend Bunty's painful corns. But then unexpectedly she stopped her speaking stuff right instantly and spying the wrapped up stick in my hand she reach out and before I could stop her in a stopping her sort of way she took it from my hand in a taking sort of way, unwrapped it in a unwrapping sort of way and held it up with a smile on her grey old face. "This is no ordinary chopstick is it?" she said her soft eyes glinting like a bag of ready salted crisps accidently dropped outside a lighthouse. "But the legendary chopstick of the wise and ancient wizard Klee Shay, lost for a thousand years, and then found for a couple of weeks and then lost again for another thirty seven minutes and then found again for five months before being lost again for another fifty nine years, if my memory serves. It is a thing of great and terrible power..." and then she rewrapped it and handed it back to me saying. "Oh this is my stop, so I will have to say goodbye young man." Then she stood up and walked down the carriage before turning around as she got to the door and saying. "To break the spell all that needs to happen is for somebody to send in a photo of a found stick. It is as simple as that." And then she was gone and I was left to ponder not only as to who she really was but why yet again was there no buffet car on this train."

So there you have it my friends my friend's friends and my friend's friends, mystery solved. Now will someone out there please send a photo in of a found stick.