Suggested Audio Candy:
Men At Work Down Under (Instrumental)
I still have a very vague recollection of the day I first met an extraordinary fellow called Gladstone Tibbs. I was on my way to market as I recall, on my penny farthing. I rode it regularly around the corn fields nearby where I lived but hadn’t plucked up the courage to ride it out in public until now. This day however I was positively buoyant as I had finally mastered maneuvering my vehicle in a straight(ish) line.
It had taken me seven years of being up at the crack of dawn peddling around down by the lake, attempting to master that art and finally I felt ready for my first public excursion. I decided that a short journey wouldn’t hurt and, besides, I had been presented a pair of toffee bicycle clips for my birthday and had managed to make a protective helmet out of thistles and discarded iron which I had scavenged from down by the streams so I felt comforted setting off.
On my pilgrimage I came across a lonesome traveler and decided to stop for refreshments. I had in my backpack a flask of sherry and two moccasins for the eventuality that I should meet a friend along my travels. I poured the liquid into each slipper and offered one to my new acquaintance. He was a thin, gangly man standing at around 4″2 and wore a bonnet made of wild berries and Marmite. A gaunt looking fellow with not one but two mustaches and a monocle which was attached to an old brass stopwatch he kept in his chest pocket.
He appeared kindly, his eyes were friendly and I felt at ease instantly. He even offered my french toast smothered in elderberry jam so I took off my helmet and chained my cycle up to a nearby squirrel and joined him on his picnic blanket. “Dear fellow…you appear lost” he proclaimed. He was correct as I had taken a wrong turn down by the pheasant and had lost my bearings completely. “May I join you?” I asked. “Your spread looks rather delicious and my earlobes are growing weary.”
“Why of course” the gentleman retorted and cleared a space next to him for me to nestle in. It seemed positively rude not to oblige, after all, he’d baked onions and even prepared a homemade meringue which smelled delectable. I took off all three of my hats and ate the bicycle clips from my wrists as I wouldn’t be needing them now. I was so confident that my new friend was a ‘keeper’ that I folded up my penny farthing and placed it inside a fanny bag I had hand-crafted from nasal hair.
“Have you eaten?” he was a most thoughtful chap and a wonderful host. “Only a tray of badger knees today so I’m famished.” This displeased Mr Tibbs who shoved a macaroon into my open oral cavity and insisted I keep my strength up for the road ahead. He was right of course, market was a good twelve meters away and, at the rate I’d been traveling, I’d be fortunate to make it there before Sunday. It was Sunday now.
I pondered on how he amused himself out here miles away from civilization. Once the food dries up, how does he entertain himself on the long autumn nights. Rock, paper, scissors appeared to be the answer to my question as he had one hand forming a rock and the other a sheet of paper. By the looks of things he had just wrapped up a game and it appeared he’d beaten myself. “It would seem the rock has won” I discerned as rock weighs down paper every time, or at least back in the village it did.
“I have a hula hoop too you know”. This splendid young man had really pulled out the stops on this occasion and I felt like royalty in his presence. “I have one also, use it as an inner tube for my cycle”. I felt comforted by the common ground we shared so we kissed a little; he tasted of butterflies and tree sap. He remarked that I reminded him terribly of his old cat William who had sadly passed a week earlier after eating the forbidden moss from down by the lake. I felt privileged with the comparison as William had been the village’s Crib champion the last four years running, so I slapped him on the face. “Thank you kindly…now let me show you my artwork” was his rejoinder.
That forgotten afternoon we bonded like Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, sung shanties and danced around a ripened mouse bush, while Mr Tibbs played the air lute. He laughed at Beaches together and shed some tears watching Ishtar, and by the end of our time together we were firm friends all set on never speaking to one another ever again. It was the best six minutes thirty of my entire mortality and I clattered him with a frying pan just to show my immense appreciation for his hospitality. “Thank you Sire” was his rejoinder.
Of course, it wasn’t all pleasant memories…one time we found a rolled up wad of crisp thirty pound notes by the quayside but we hurriedly kicked it back into the lake before there was any disturbance. Generally however, it was all radishes and cream soda. We had three children together, Clarence III, Wilf and Deek and they were the four most beautiful girls in their class. For some extra security we set up a stall which sold otter flavored Battenberg for free and this kept the geese from the door.
On our final minute together we compiled a montage of all of our favorite moment since our paths had crossed. It was a seven minute compilation and we watched it together, reminiscing over all the memories we had shared. Nobody can ever take that away from me. Of course, since meeting Mr Tibbs it hasn’t all been perished milk and ass hair. our beloved Deek ran away from home. We found her dead in the garden, presumably tripped by a cloud. They never actually solved the case…that clouds still out there…dammit!
One thing I fondly recollect when imagining my time with Gladstone Tibbs is his artwork. He has a natural eye for taking well-known celebrities, usually known for being naked, and garment them fully It’s meant to be a warm day tomorrow and we wouldn’t wish them to get a chill after all. I was pensive for nearly twenty-four and a half seconds over how to introduce my beloved Mr Tibbs in all her glory and this seemed the most respectful manner in which to show my immense gratitude. I despise you dearly Gladstone.
I hope not to see you at the village fete this weekend, would be delightful to catch up over a vase of Mrs. Winkleton-Smythe’s Plywood Tea. For now my friend…my dear, dear foe, I wish you well in all your future endeavors and hope you enjoy your time in that spa in Lichtenstein. Try out the brogue massage, it’s exquisite. For now, Mr Gladstone Tibbs I salute you from afar for the numerous wonderful instances of blind peril we shared. I shall hold them tight within my right nostril forever.
Truly, Clearly, Really, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013