Monday 13 September 2010

My Day Working As A Plumber (Part 2)

Read Part One Here
When last I left you, I was just chatting to Jeff, Head of Toad Engineering, discussing the fact that the princess was apparently in another castle. True, I was really only looking for her because of her cake-related sexual inadequacies being probably good for a laugh, but nevertheless I was flabbergasted.

"Thank you for coming all this way Mario, but our princess is in another castle."
"...You're fucking kidding."
Jeff chuckled.
"Actually, I am yeah. We've got no clue where she is, I just thought I'd mess with your head."
"Right. Anyway, why is the princess of interest to me? I'm here about some plumbing problems."
Jeff looked quizzically at me.
"That's pretty strange, who did you speak to at the agency?"
"Bjorn", I replied.
"Oh, him. He's a prick."

I was beginning to get angry by this point, as not only was this mushroom-headed ponce standing between me and getting a full day's work done, but my overalls were about ten inches too short for my inside leg, and were chafing like a bitch. I decided violence was the best way forward and lifted Jeff up by his little waistcoat, pinning him against a nearby wall.

"Jeff. Where. The fuck. Do I Go?"
"Please, This is a consular ship. We're on a diplomatic mission."
I looked around.
"If this is a consular ship, how do you explain all this castle architecture?"
"Sorry," he said with laboured breath, "there are some who say my sense of humour leaves much to be desired. You want the horizontal pipe dead ahead of you, marked 1-1."
Putting him down, while simultaneously wondering how a small mushroom-headed man like Jeff had developed such impeccable diction, I wandered over to the pipe he indicated.

Emerging on the other side, I first happened upon a freakish creature. It was sort of like a mushroom with legs, crossed with Lily Allen. By this, I don't mean it was speaking in a faux-working class accent while at the same time coming across like a vacuous and pretentious bint in any and all correspondence and interviews, it just looked a bit gormless, and I had a vibe that suggested its very existence would be bad not just for the music industry but the universe as a whole.

I approached the being nervously, half-expecting it to break into some sickeningly puerile pop song about some bloke having a tiny knob or not being able to service it sexually, but after realising that the resemblance was purely physical I relaxed a little. More alarmingly, I was seeing a particular trend: A large number of unconnected green pipes just sticking out of the ground. Fuck, I thought, I'm going to be here forever!

Remembering something that I had seen in a 'Choose your own adventure' book, I decided I'd try something to set back the creature, who had now decided to inch towards me trying to get me to support the environment or Christ knows what. I leapt into the air towards it, trying my best to aim for the top of its head in the hopes of hurting it.

I successfully landed on the thing's head, but rather than just disappear as the book had suggested it would, the thing was simply crushed under my weight, with an explosion of blood and tissue erupting from underneath my feet. It troubles me still to this day that my only thought at this point was Damn, am I going to be able to return these overalls with all this shit over them? More troubling still, some of those waistcoat-wearing buffoons were nearby and had seen me do this.

"Way to go, Mario! You sure showed them!"
I had trouble hearing this, as I had dropped to my knees to the side of the pile of mushroom and pop star offal that I had created and had begun to retch.
"Oh God! That's unholy! How can you be cheering me on?"
"Well, although we're from the same area locally, we're not strictly related to these Goombas directly. Think of it as you having just stomped on one of my cousins."
"But...I like my cousins!" I exclaimed, fighting the urge to throw up. By this time, the Toad had wandered over towards me with a look of suspicion as this hero of his kingdom was on his knees trying his best not to vomit after a single kill.

"Are you ok? I thought you'd be alright with this. You've been doing it for ages."
As I puked onto his shoes, he began to twig that something was amiss.
"Wait a minute...You're a lot taller than you used to be, you've lost the facial hair, you can't kill anything without puking everywhere..."
By this point, incidentally, I was indeed puking everywhere. Once you open the floodgates, there will be floods.
As realisation crept across the face of this Toad, his mouth gaped open and a noise came out that I've not heard from any mouth since Donald Sutherland's in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I was rumbled, and no mistake.

The Toads began to advance on me, and I decided that although this was not the worst working experience of my life (I did, after all, do door-to-door sales for a week or so), it was certainly past the point of redemption. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out my whistle and blew on it. Waiting desperately for a helping hand from the hooded man, I started to wonder if he would even show, but my prayers were answered before too long, as the man was suddenly standing at the nearest pipe's end.

"Well", he shouted, "you're half an hour earlier than I expected blowing that thing, but here I am!" And with that, he leapt from the pipe and began running towards me at alarming speed. Putting himself between me and the Toads, the man reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a cloth bag. From that emerged some shimmering dust, which seemed to dissipate into the air almost naturally. As it did, the Toads began to drop to the floor one by one, clutching at their throats. The hooded man and I ran to the pipe he had emerged from, and crouched into it to facilitate our immediate escape.

When we emerged at the other side, I dropped to my knees exhausted.
"I still have so many questions."
"That's fine, it does fall under my job description."
"Well, that was my first question actually," I said. "Was that daring escape part of your job description?"
"Not word-for-word, no. The escape bit was, I don't usually use the dust, but it's new and I'm testing it. They should be fine tomorrow, apart from a little diarrhoea. Side-effects are inevitable in product testing."

"Alright, I can swing with that. Why does Jeff hate Bjorn so much? He called him a prick."
"Bjorn got Jeff some cruise ship work that he never forgave him for."
"Makes sense. It doesn't answer my main question though. Who are you, a man who can run at speeds faster than any mere mortal, use magic effectively and presumably hear a whistle at a tremendous distance?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
He threw back his hood.

"Mike Patton?! Hunh, I guess that does make sense."

Our story follows a rag-tag group of Trekkies en route to an annual Star Trek convention.

Arriving with homemade uniforms, glued-on prosthetics, and plastic phasers, these fanboys know more than any rational adult should know about Kirk, Spock, Next Generation, particle physics, black holes, and Ricardo Montalban.

But when aliens release a zombie plague upon the Earth, all of this Starfleet training suddenly becomes a lot more relevant. Our fanboys find themselves trapped in the Botany Bay Hotel and Convention Center - and desperate to escape. Some will be assimilated. Others will summon the courage of their favorite characters and perform brave feats of heroism. And one reluctant fan will discover his inner Trekkie, rise up, and take command of the crew.

Thanks to our friends at Quirk Books, we've got three copies of Night of the Living Trekkies to give away! For your chance of winning a copy, send in your name and postal address to before midday on Monday 20th September. The first three names out of the electronic hat will win a copy each!

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