In which I foolishly volunteer for a dangerous voyage
I rue the day that I slipped into the Royal Zoological Society in London to use the loo, made a wrong turn and suddenly found myself in a crowded auditorium full of men with beards shouting at each other about something scientific and someone called Darwing. There were cameramen, too, hidden underneath flapping sheets of fabric because digicams hadn't been invented yet.
They were pointing at each other and name calling. "Challenger, you great smelly bastard" yelled a bald man on my left. "Summerly, your head's as smooth as my wife's bottom" came the angry retort, and I instinctively sniggered. That caught someone's attention and a hand grabbed my shoulder.
"You've got a press badge", said a man in a hat, pointing at a cardboard cutout I'd nicked from queen mudder a few months ago.
"Err, yes", I said slowly, praying that my bladder would hold out, but smelling a possible story, which I desperately needed since Monkey Woods had knocked me off the 13th spot on the Spoof! board. "What is it to you?"
The man, who looked a bit like Pierce Brosnan, looked me up and down again, curled his lip in contempt and finally said, "I guess you'll do."
"I'll do?" I demanded.
But the shout was up. These turn of the century types had misconstrued my sarcastic remark. A member of the press had volunteered. There were cheers all round. A glass was passed round and I foolishly took a sip. And another. I hadn't tasted champagne this good before. Okay, I hadn't tasted champagne before.
Someone was roll calling. The room started to spin. I heard: "Professor Challenger! Hurray! Professor Summerly! Hurrah! Lord Roxton! Hooray! Some Aussie bimbo with big jugs! OH YEAH! Noshing Mink!"
And now, as I write my journal, looking out of a treehouse on a hidden plateau at a land swarming with bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus Rexes (Regi?) and remember that fateful day thousands of miles away, I shake my head sadly as I say softly to myself:
"Noshing Mink, you fucking prat."
In the next installment, I REALLY find out what a prat I am.