Doctor Snotburglar's Ludicrous Assistant

There I was in Cambridge at the river's edge, talking to the man who operated the gondolas, except I think they’re called punting boats. He was a tall man, too tall for many economy-sized sedans, but I thought it rude to bring up another vehicular medium, so I just ordered him to row me to the other bank. The man's name was Hodges and we agreed on a five-pound fee.

Hodges wished me off at the other end of the bank, and I was at the great University. It was past 12 bells and I had the entire afternoon at Cambridge to enjoy, higher education at Britain’s classiest institution. An exciting prospect, to rub elbows with famous crippled megastars like Stephen Hawking! I was excited to meet even those without ALS; I couldn't wait to get everyone's email addresses, blog sites and RSS subscription URLs.

It was noon and despite my enthusiasm I was hungry, however. I wondered where to buy bread - carb-rich bread, for I had not embraced South Beach. I was starving on that Illustrious Riverbank and my blood sugar was dropping. I looked up at the sky and in my faintness noticed a cloud, and it resembled the great nutritional magnates Hal Johnson and Joanne Macleod. I asked them for some glucose but they were mere clouds.

After swallowing some come-by-chance seaweed to restore my blood sugar, I napped for several hours on the river bank, and after waking up made I friends with a beaver. The beaver’s name was Charlie; he had a large brown tail and big white teeth. I asked Charlie to chew me a punting pole, and failing that to hew a walking stick out of the earth. Charlie was a great beaver, but he was stupid and did not understand. I designed a pole in the dirt, I clucked my tongue and made emphatic gestures, and then he understood. But it was 4 o’clock, and the afternoon had been wasted in SleepyHeaded Lollygaggery.

I balanced myself on the punting pole, regained my feet and thanked Charlie for his efforts. He sped into the river with a 5-pound note affixed to his snout. I didn't see Charlie the rest of my vacation but I felt his watchful presence at many a forest walk or punting expedition. Entering the Grand academic-looking castle by the river bank, I gave the guardsman a 10-pound note. This time I just shoved the money down his suit of armour. The guard’s name was Carlos, and the armour cut down on his agility; nonetheless he was grateful and I sped inside.

I was to attend the Monthly Castle Lecture put on by the Egregious Dr. Snotburglar Fountain, celebrated Professor of the Ludicrous Arts. Snotburglar was famous for his Theories on Ridiculousness, his Rambungling Hypothesis and his Treatise on Rapscallianity. He had written ‘1000 Options for the Insane Fritterer’ and his didactic autobiography ‘How to Outsnort a Snortburglar’ has sold in the tens of thousands. How thrilling then to see him in the flesh.

For someone so ludicrous Dr. Snotburglar dressed rather prim and proper, I noted. His tie was done up to the button and his cuff links fresh from Tiffany’s, diamond-crusted and twinkling through the castle crystal radiance. Dr Fontain approached the podium with a snort. The lecture was beginning, and I tittered in my desk-chair:

“Dear Gentlemen and Ladies... and the Clowns who live in my brain,” he began in his trademark 'recognition of clowns' style, “I have a large melon in my noggin.” And he proceeded to produce a massive pink watermelon! He spent five minutes cutting it up and distributing it to the stupefied audience. The melon was a delicious and quite welcome surprise on such a hot summer eve. “I thought this was a refresher course," the doctor said, "and hence the refreshments." Aha - pure genius! - I jotted that one down right away; clearly Snotburglar was not above wordplay. He continued, hands dripping with juice: “This is a lecture about Ludicrous Theory. The first measure of Ludicrousness is Falsifiability. If you cannot falsify the truth, then you are not the liar you could be.” Now I saw the direction he was meaning to take. "Please look outside at the night sky. Allow me to bring you on a tour of Uranus...”

After 45 mind-bending minutes Snotburglar's lecture received a standing ovation, and I was elated at the nuggets that had been proferred. But then I noticed a young creature at the other end of the room, a tall gorgeous bucktoothed woman with high heels and lazy eye. She had a quiver of stealth-cum-ingenue about her, and I was transfixed. She introduced herself to the Doctor and I eavesdropped on their conversation.... Aha - It was an assistantship she was after! I would have to tail this minx.

The minx had introduced herself as Zelda Fitzwiggins, a student in Nonsense from the Bavarian Foolishness Lyceum; she wished to intern for a while in Cambridge and get experience. Aha - If only she knew how much I could help her! My own labs were in Pennsylvania, admittedly, but I was one of only seven Nonsensticians in the world licensed to perform Pathological Emissions Analysis. I could help Ms. Fitzwiggins and then some.

I stopped Zelda outside the lecture hall and I pinched her cheeks. She slapped me and said “Do I know you?” I cried real tears but she just laughed “You must have dinner with me sometime!” She stalked off and I was smitten; I hoped I would see her again. If I did I would give her my last Rolo. Before he left I asked the doctor a question about Shaggy Dog Stories, which he answered and I was satisfied. He invited the remaining audience members to a local pub where he could be among the idle and gawk and have nothing to do but cuss and discuss football and other activities pertinent to the mindless classes. It was so difficult being such a dedicated nonsenstician I thought.

Zelda was already at the pub waiting for us. I snuck up on her, sat on her lap and gave her my last Rolo. She was happy, she skipped around the pub as though every last hope of hers had been met. I asked her to sing me a lullabye but her diction was impaired. So she told me, and she threatend to snap my neck, so I was lucky just to make it out of this conversation with all my teeth...

(unfinished of course)

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