Guy Abandons - Been?... Oh! - collection.Story of - Knight times; In days of old, when Henry VIIII was an olde lad, the Knights of the Girdle, thought it time to show their skills to the King, by putting on a right royal entertainment. The King decreed that they would hold this entertainment in the royal nudist camp, the first to be invented. "But why sally forth to yonder camp when we are being attacked by aliens" protested the knights, "are you not worried by an invasion of beings from all these flying saucers and such strange craft that assail us?". "Not at all" replied King Henry, "the Queen is having a fit of temper and throwing the kitchen utensils around because - i didn't raise her allowance, Sir Lilly could not raise a laugh and Sir Gaylord wouldn't as much as raise an eye-brow". On arrival at the place of carnival, "let all present divest themselves of superficial covering" proclaimed King Henry, "then let the tournament begin". The first entertainment was for the knights to fight a joust, but all protested that this would be difficult since they had no horses. "Then you shall have to gallop on foot" ordered the King. "but we have no lances" the knights did protest, "are you not males?" queried the King, "use those which you were born with" he demanded. "But what do we use as shields?" they enquired, "do you not all have pages for your assistance" retorted the King, so the joust commenced thus. The combatting knights took opposite ends of the field, tucked a page under their right arm (stern first), pointed their lance at the adversary and came pattering down the tilting ground in a full charge. The knight that produced the greatest squeal from his opponents shield was declared the winner. The winner was a little reluctant to take a bow since he was not sure of the pages revenge. The most chased and closeted Princesses took much pity for the pages and volunteered to offer their services as shields, the knights volunteered in a great throng to fight further jousts till an overall winner could be decided. "By what means will the winner be adjudged" they cried in anticipation, "When all save one, have lowered their weapons in defeat" roared the King. The battle commenced with a great uproar of squeals, flailing legs, much shedding of virgin blood and many lances bit the dust. "Break, BREAK!" shouted the King, "The shields are cheating, holding is BARRED!". Sir Gaylord and Sir Lilly of Queair fought a private battle between them, each protected by their trusty pages. Sir Gaylords shield did cheat abominably as a little squirming managed to turn itself about to face forwards and Sir Lilly of Queair was disarmed when he charged straight into the teeth of defeat. When the battle drew to a close and Sir Grizwold of Hoddle, did waddle; forward to claim his prize, the King said to him - "well done Sir Knight, which daughter would you like to marry?" and he fainted. The Chancellor then led King Henry to a weird contrivance, erected by one of the more inventive knights of the order, at the edge of the Enchanted Lake in the grounds. This was composed of a large chute arrangement, of planks on long pine-wood stilts, which stood as high as the adjacent Oak trees, came down at a steep gradient and which led to a level, a little above the water and had a curious curvature at the end so as to point upwards again. The floor of the chute was highly polished until it shimmered in the weak sun shine. "What on earth is this for" King Henry asked rather puzzled, "the inventor is to demonstrate it for us" replied the Chancellor, pointing to the summit where a naked knight stood with a small bucket. As they all watched agog, the small image of the distant knight perched high on top of the strange contraption, was seen to empty the bucket of slimy brown stuff down the chute before tossing the empty bucket over board to the ground far below. "Urrrgh! what on Mars was that stuff?" grunted the King in disgust, "i believe it was greasy gravy from the goose dinner we had yesterday, Sire" replied the Chancellor, "a most excellent lubricant". The aerial knight was then observed to perch himself in a tightly squatted position at the top edge of the slipway and fold his arms about his knees, then with a shuffle and rock until he slithered over the edge, he accelerated down the slide in a great rush, with tumultuous cheering by the spectators. As he approached the lowest point, he was travelling at a most nerve-racking and perilous speed and was producing a bow wave of gravy, the spectators thought so at any rate and cheered the louder. Then, as he shot past the lowest point and off the upturned end of the ramp, he lifted into the air in a low parabola and sailed across the water thus until he descended towards the lake. His butt kissed the surface with a resounding SMACK! and he rose again into the air in a lower arc. there was a repeated Smack!,.. Splat!... Slap... SPLAAAAASH! when he finally disappeared below the surface in a great shower of spray. "... But he bounced!?..." spluttered King Henwry in disbelief, "indeed Sire" replied Chancellor obsequiously, "Sir Barnes Wallet calls his invention, the Bouncing Bum!". "Perhaps Sire would like to partake of the new sport" invited the Chancellor, just managing to suppress a lude grin. "certainly not!" barked King Henry, "it looks far too undignified". Sir Barns had just been rescued from his feat across the lake, when a movement caught Henry's eye. A figure was seen to be clambering up the supporting structures of the chute in an uncoordinated and clumsy manner. "What is going on over there?" King Henry mused aloud, "I do believe it's Sir Coffalot" commented the Chancellor, "something of a show off wishing to draw some attention to himself". The figure was seen to finally mount the summit of the structure and stood there, prancing around a little to display his quaint and colourful attire. His garb comprised of a battered old Salvation Army bonnet, framing a pair of bulbous twisted glasses, a tuffty greyish moustache and stubbly wrinkled visage. He wore a low cut white silk top, showing a few wisps of grey matting, a pair of ill-disguised hankies and a pretty pink tutu. His rolled up flannelette long-johns were causing ugly bulges in his shear white panti-hose which heaved and sagged under the strain of his squirming. The final touches were his favourite Man' United red-&-White socks and a pair of over-sized old fashioned football boots. He clattered around daintily for a while before getting too close to the top edge of the ramp, whereon, he slipped over. He rattled noisily down the chute in a great flurry of tumbling elbows, knobbly knees, studs and flying frills. He finally went spinning off the up-turned end of the chute and rose in a sparkling pinky white blur as the strengthening sun, glinted off the whirling spec's. He finally fluttered down to a feathery impact and sank immediately. There was the ghost of a pink tint to the ripples for a while, but this soon faded and he was seen no more. "Serves him right" Henry snorted, "to disobey my order to disrobe is one thing, but to dress like that!....". "Shall we drag the lake for him Sire" suggested the Chancellor concernedly, "certainly not" he snapped, "the lake stays where it is". "I meant - shall we recover the body Sire" the Chancellor persisted, Henry heaved a bored sigh and replied, "It looked like it was covered enough to me, not to want re-covering". "What is the next entertainment" demanded the King sternly, "we were to put on a pantomime for your pleasure" replied the Chancellor, "but we are unable to bring on the pantomime horse". "What is wrong with the horse" King growled in irritation, "the front half was fed a bean breakfast and the rear is unconscious" replied the Chancellor apologetically. "Bring forth that serf" demanded the King, "set him to work inflating my luxury-size Dolly Parton model for my amusement". Bean serf was brought forth and was soon busy stretching the vinyl to its utmost limit when disaster struck, it escaped his grasp and it soared skywards and drifted at considerable speed in the strong breeze, towards the Land of Plod. The guards on the border of the land of Plod, noted the apparition of a distended female form drifting above them like a cloud. "What form of treachery is this" they gasped in disbelief, "a secret weapon of some sort" groaned another, "a special agent sent to spy on us" cried another. "We shall have to capture it and take it to the palace for interrogation" stammered the sergeant, so they set off in pursuit. The blimp was chased across field and dale, the sun came out and warmed the air and it drifted higher till almost out of sight and cleared a range of mountains in its path. The guards followed as best they could, labouring over the ridge and down into the valley beyond, where it was raining and the wet blimp was now descending towards a thick wood. The fittest of the pursuers was sent up a tall tree to grab at it as it drifted past and lost his flimsy foot-hold on his branch and fell bouncing into the bosom, whence he descended to earth in a terrified ecstasy. The captured blimp maiden was questioned for a goodly while without giving any answers to her tormenters taunts, "we'll get answers out of you" cried the sergeant, tie her down and we'll all have a turn until she squeals. After much bouncing and rubbery squeaking later, all were exhausted and still no sign of capitulation was forth-coming from Maiden Blimp, so they carried her off to the palace where real torture awaited her. The Prince of Plod looked at the captive quizzically and sneered, "she smells like she needs a bath,... what's that hissing noise?". "Maybe she's ready to talk now" suggested the sergeant, "toast her on the rack over the fire" Prince said sadistically, "we'll soon find out what she has to say". Maiden Blimp took the torment well and seemed to expand in fortitude to her tormenters chagrin, until the molten vinyl could take no more and with a final detonation as the gas burst forth and ignited, the palace was reduced to rubble about their ears. Prince of Plod and his few survivors were quite thunderstruck by this most fiendish assault on their land, "war on Henry VIIII!" shrieked Prince of Plod and they set forth immediately to avenge themselves of this treachery. Meanwhile, Henry was most annoyed with his Chancellor and knights for permitting his favourite toy to escape this way, all entertainment was suspended forthwith and all marched on the land of Plod for the return of their prize. The knights were ready again for battle by the time they reached the border and met the Prince of Plods straggling army which had come to meet them. the Plodites were aghast to face the naked knights of Henry, though no weapon had yet been drawn. When the Plodites turned to flee from this horrific spectacle, all lances came up as one reaction and with a tremendous war cry, descended on the fleeing Plodites in a concerted charge. The Prince of Plod was the sole survivor of the battle and was dragged whimpering before the King. "Strip him" demanded Henry, "let's see what he's made of". When he stood cowing before the King, it was noted that he had 3 balls. "How is it you have all these?" demanded the King, gesturing towards the prisoners baggage, "the symbol of my former profession as pawn-broker" stuttered the prisoner clumsily. "I thought that was a profession of Jews" retorted the King in disbelief, "their sole aim in life to make a profit". "With greatest respects Sire" said Prince of Plod, "I did make a prophet, he was son of a whore and called - John the Cap-missed". "Ok" said the King, "I'm a generous man, I shall permit you the pleasure of my youngest princess before committing you to follow your former profession of pawn-broker". So a small hovel was found in a corner of the castle wall and this was given P of Plod as premises for his trade. The young princess was brought forth to afford him the promised pleasure while the knights hung about waiting expectantly for him to avail himself thereof. "Er!... I get a little shy when there are people about" he said to the knights, so they hustled him into the hovel, then waited outside for things to happen. Princess stroked and massaged, P of Plod sighed and moaned with pleasure. Then when he was almost there, the knights charged in, a swish of a sword took his baggage, they rushed outside with the prize and drove the pole into a crevice above the door lintel and let the 3 symbols hang as a public sign of the pawn-brokers profession. Needless to say, P of Plod never made any profits since. When King Henry VIIII finally got to hear of the catastrophe that befell P of Plod's palace, born of the bean-inflated dolly's detonation, he demanded that Bean serf should be brought forth again. "Wizard of Boz" he decreed, "there is great magic in the use of beans and this individual, you are granted such resources as you require and the assistance of this noble serf, to perfect the best use for this phenomenon". The first task of Wizard of Boz, was to find the optimum formula and managed, after much toil, torment, burnt fingers and complete exhaustion of air freshener; found the essence of bean sauce to produce the greatest and most volatile gaseous output with the greatest speed and vigour. "Well done" said King Henry confidentially, "I shall not ask how you got such burnt fingers, but you can now demonstrate the most amazing use that you have found". "I believe I can make man fly higher and faster than the birds" mumbled the aging wizard, fumbling with his wand absently; "I have equipped Bean serf for this experiment". "Good" replied Henry, a little indignantly, "but do take your hands out of your pockets when addressing me". The demonstration was set for the following day at dawn. Bean serf was duly brought forward and stood in the middle of a great clearing in the forest, he was wearing nothing below the waist and a pair of flimsy wings were strapped between his shoulders and middle. The greatest oddity was the huge bottle of bean essence that he hugged tightly to his chest, it was only just off the ground at the bottom and reached a couple of feet above his head. The bottle was so large that he could only just clasp his arms around it, so a couple of additional straps were added round his waist, to make sure he didn't drop it. "When all the essence is gone" the whiskery old wizard muttered to him, "undo the buckles and let the empty bottle drop to the ground, we can refill it for another try". "Let the experiment begin!" snapped King Henry, so preparations were begun and the count down ensued. 10: Bean serf took the end of the very long straw from the bottle and started to suck. 9: The first rumblings of digestion were heard across the great clearing. 8: More sucking and rumbling and Bean serf started to quiver with the vigour of the internal reactions. 7: The first tentative squeak of escaping gas assaulted the ears of those around and a patch of wilted grass appeared around Bean serfs feet. 6: Sucking was now in earnest and the rumblings were like distant thunder with the promise of a great storm. 5: "Be ready with the fire brand" cried the wizard excitedly, to the brave serf, almost willing to risk life and limb out in the clearing ready to ignite the human firework. 4: Everyone dives for cover as the rumbles become ever louder, pending the storm to break about their ears. 3: The squeaks of leaking gas have now risen to a shriek and the patch of blackened turf has spread to a radius of many yards. 2: With a final thunderous clatter, the full flow of bean gas breaks forth. A great tremour ripples through the ground and the nearest trees shed a great pawl of shrivelled leaves. 1: Serf with the fire brand loses courage, he throws the brand under the bean serf then dives head first down a rabbit hole to escape the resulting blast. A great sheet of fire engulfs the centre of the clearing and Bean serf is temporarily lost in its midst. 0!.... "We have lift off... WE HAVE LIFT OFF!" screams Wizard of Boz, now quite beside himself. The spectators fall into an awed silence as Bean serf, with flaming buttocks, already glowing vivid orange in the grey of a misty morning, lifts gracefully into the air and soars away over the clearing, the forest and high into the clouds until the trail of fire is lost to the eye in the infinity of the sky. "Most impressive" King Henry commented to the wizened wizard, "but wouldn't a bird fly so fast if its ars was on fire like that?". "I am not sure Sire" he grumbled in reply, "I've not managed to get a bird to fart like that". High in a tree, just beyond the periphery of the clearing, two strange spies from the future had been watching with astonishment and wonder at the spectacle before them, "what amazing technology is this, we shall have to report it back to the President". "Sure" said his partner, "but how are you going to describe it to him, what do we call it; the Shittall!". "Hmmmm... I see your point" said the other, "maybe we had better mis-spell it slightly and call it the Shuttle". Meanwhile, high in the sky, Bean serf was fast getting fed up with his role in this experiment. He had scorched off every hair below the waist, the flavour of the bean essence was losings its savour and despite the view from his elevation, was fast getting pissed off with the prank. He spat out the end of the straw, undid the straps holding the mega-bottle of bean essence and let the now half empty poooh-juice fall to earth. Relieved of the weight, he continued to rise at an alarming rate until he eventually ran out of wind and the fire went out, then the descent started, slowly at first, but with gathering momentum from his dizzy height. "I'm gonna have to learn to fly in something of a hurry" he said to himself, "let's try flapping these things". "Aaaah!" he cried as tears came to his eyes, "wrong ones, perhaps it's the wings I should flap!". A few experimental flaps later and he had turned a somersault or two, then levelled, then found that - "this is quite good really, there must be something I can do from up here". "After all that bean stuff, I think it's time to lighten the load a bit more" he groaned with discomfort, so a bit of cramming later, further cries of anguish escaped his lips as a cascade of rough coke, shot out past the still glowing cheeks. Wizard of Boz was still peering into the sky in an entranced perplexity of wonder when he was bombarded by a shower of blackened rocks which laid him out cold. Bean serf swooped around for a while, getting lower at each swoop and getting pretty desperate to find a clearing to land in and cool the sizzling butt, which still glowed cherry red and left a trail of smoke smelling of burnt roast pork. "The river, the river!" he cried as it came into view. He managed to angle his descent towards it and prayed he wouldn't miss. With a splash, a monumental HISSSSS!, a great cloud of steam went up as the glowing butt was quenched and Bean serf sank gratefully into the cool water "Aahhhhh!" for the shear relief of it. It was quite a while before he paddled for the bank and climbed out, "it's time I tried to find out where I am and return to the castle", he muttered under his breath. So with a certain reluctance to leave the water and an equally tentative manner of movement, he girded his loins with a few wisps of fern so that it would continue to waft a cool breeze past the red cheeks, then minced off in the general direction of where he thought the castle ought to be. He had been travelling thus for a while when he heard distant booms, too sharp to be thunder, more like cannon shot, but what army round here has cannon and whom is under siege. He hastened along the river bank, heading down stream, over a shoulder of a hill at a bend and was met by the site of where the half empty mega-bottle of POOOH!-juice had landed. The tank had crashed down in the middle of a cattle meadow where it had burst asunder and spread the juice over the entire area of lush grass and the cattle were either still chewing it ruminatively, cowering behind hedges from the cacophony or standing straddle legged and glassy eyed with the digestive turmoil. They blasted forth, great shots of manure, which curled in high arcs over a ridge of a near distant hill and echoes of dull sludgy thuds came back as they landed. Bean serf took most pity on a poor bull which had been frolicking playfully with a young heifer, trying very hard and failing dismally to play leap-frog. She flashed him a quizzical smirk over her shoulder, when she had let fly and sent both sweet-meats hurtling sky-wards in a double-barrelled shot and left him slumped in a corner, wailing in a high and most piteous MOOO! at the loss of his bull-hood. Not even the flashes of Bean serf's reddened cheeks could distract bullock from his self pity, as he trotted past towards the ridge of hills, to see where the barrage was landing. He made sure to keep out of the line of fire from the meadow below as he mounted the ridge and peered over, to be met by an unforgettable scene. In the vale below was the castle in a considerable state of disorder and damage as clods of shot whistled over his head and sent further cascades of stinking rubble, tumbling down from the towers and ramparts, on to the people below. King Henry was roaring abuse and orders to his naked knights to retaliate and they protested that they hadn't got cannon with which to return fire. "I've told you before, you are given trusty pages, use them!" he bellowed back, so the defence commenced thus. They all charged round in search of Wizard of Boz and were disgusted to find him asleep at the edge of the clearing. With much effort of face slapping and dowsing with water, he was wakened, so that they could demand more of the POOOH!...juice, so that they could prime their pages for the defence. "Be careful!" he moaned stupidly as they charged off to his lab in search of the juice and soon, they were force-feeding it to the pages by inserting the straws and squirting it in. The pages had to suck for all they were worth in this emergency, Sir Gaylord was cheating again as he didn't give the straw to the P'-juice to his page, but page still had to suck as hard and Sir Gaylord wore a feverish grin. Very soon, the pages were ready for action, the remaining mystery was - would they return fire or fly? A line of knights grabbed their pages and tucked them under their right arms as before, pointed them in a high trajectory towards the hills, and waited for the blasts. The result was disappointing, the shot was too small and the range not long enough to clear the ridge of hills. With an inspiration, some put the pages down, leapt on their backs and used a strike of flint on their trusty swords to spark the blast into propulsion and soon, they were zooming towards the ridge. The effect was not to last, the pages propulsion gave out as the knights cleared the ridge, directly into the line of fire and were soon no more, buried under a midden of grape-shot. The pages still fizzed and popped for a while before they lay still, too spent from their exertions and glowing with the indignity of it. Bean serf thought he had better try to do something to save the castle and King Henry's domain. So at great risk to life, limb and chastity, he crawled forth amongst the wreckage of fallen knights to find a steel and flint. Having found the implements he required, he crawled back over the brow of the ridge, down to the meadow below, amongst the beastswreaking such carnage beyond. By this time, all that had chewed the grass were now under full fire and stood braced and completely static like great artillery pieces in a pitched modern battle. Bean serf crawled close to the ground, pushed plugs of mud in his ears to reduce the din and crept amongst the stricken herd, trying to get along side them without getting blown away. It took much skill, courage and practise, before he managed to strike a spark behind a blasting ox, then he leapt away and flat to the ground, as the hoped for reaction took place right over his head. The crash of gun shot gave way to the firy roar of rocket propulsion and the magnificent power of an ox's digestion, had it heading into orbit, leaving the earth behind in a great plume of fire, shrapnel and stinking vapour. With the utmost resolution and purpose of will, he managed to continue this stealthy operation to each of the cattle in turn, until the meadow was empty, save for one whimpering bullock in a corner and a great deal of charred droppings, craters and scorched earth. When Bean serf finally returned over the ridge to the woe-bygone looking castle and met King Henry and the remnants of his decimated Order of Knights of the Girdle, he was greatly applauded for his great courage in quelling the unseen enema, sorry! I mean enemy, and was promptly knighted as Sir Bean of Feast. The final excitement of the great day was as dusk fell and trails of fire could still be seen in the sky, producing spiral patterns above the Lunar-scape and thus giving rise to the popular nursery rhyme about "A cow jumped over the Moon". (c)Guy Abandon 1997.
(Tuesday, 25 July, 2017.)