Episode Eight

I grabbed a pencil and an envelope from my inside jacket pocket and made a rough ball-park calculation. Jesus! I only had seven seconds to live! I made a correction for the distortion of-space'time due to the building. Nope, still seven seconds.

My life suddenly flashed before my eyes. "Get lost, or I'II have you run in for indecent exposure," I screamed. Yes, fans, the pervert is back!

The only way to make this story stand is to let it have a helping hand (with apologies for the ripped-off quotes and general disgustingness). I called for help to the people in the street. Most of them looked up - one or two waved and grinned. A couple of pink and green tigers were directing traffic below. I realised with horror that I hadn't changed my underpants for a week (just as well, as it happened). What would the nurses think? Why hadn't I cross'pollinated Petal when I had the chance? I remember thinking that those tigers were gettin- mighty close; in fact they weren' t much like tigers at all anymore - just broad strips of pink and green and pink and green and ...

When I hit the ground I knew I was dead. I knew I'd better make myself comfortable ... you're dead for a long, long time. Something hard was pushing against my lips - something small and round and protuding. I sucked on it contentedly. If this was hell, it seemed to be okay.

"Mr. Gilbert." The voice broke through my euphoria (that's a bone in the middle ear). "Piss off!" I thought. "Can't you see I'm dead???"

"MR. GILBERT." Sod it! Couldn't I even rest in peace with a rip (geddit?) the size of a politician's mouth in my brain cell? "Take that mattress stud out of your mouth,Mr. Gilbert. You are perfectly well."

I forced my eyes open, but there was nothing of any value inside. I was lying on a pink and green striped mattress in the middle of a square, steel room, lit by a single unshaded light bulb.

"We have decided to give you a second chance," the voice went on. "Perhaps you can come up with something better than the vibrator and sheep plot."

Suddenly it all came flooding back. I cursed and mopped myself with my snot ... (sorry, there might be dames reading this) hankerchief. "What happened to the atomic slug?! I queried (picking up my handbag and brushing back my hair - wrists akimbo).

"We, that is to say, I (no it isn't! Ed.) decided to use the NON-DESTRUCT option. All you ever got was a dose of LSD to make your journey to headquarters... uh, interesting!?"

Interesting!! The journey had gone ethnic, then cosmic, then frantic. This LSD must have been an old stash ... better than the new stuff (known as LP). That isn't even worth listening to usually. (Sorry if this is getting difficult).

I deduced that the voice was corning from a loudspeaker above the door. It looked as if I had no more cute little bombshells in my brain. This mob could do me more harm than a dozen Chu en Ginsbergs, so I decided to string along with them for a while. I've always fancied a bit of bondage anyhow.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Precisely," came the reply. "How clever of you to guess. But call me Doctor Huw Ah Yuw, if you please."

He explained that his company "Backfire Ltd" of Neasden had just invented a new super-laxative. A few drops of this chemical in a town's drinking supply would confine the entire population to the john for at least 24 hours.

"It means that my associates and I will control the world!!" Yuw shrieked. "Unfortunately, that meddler Ginsberg knows of my plan. He has threatened to expose me unless I make him an equal partner. Your task is to discredit him so totally that nobody will ever listen to him."

Yuw's voice reached castrato pitch: "I have given you a dose of my laxative. In approximately five minutes it will start to take effect. With no way to replace your lost body fluids, you will shit yourself to death in minutes, unless of course, you can corne up with a master plan to destroy Ginsberg before then. My formula, Crappo, has no antidote, but we can probably prevent your death if we wish. Start thinking, before things start stinking."

Deep down inside my guts, the countdown had started.