One day I ended up, for whatever reason, stuck in a container, as in the sort you find on the backs of lorries, somewhere with just a table in it and barely room to move. But I was able to escape with no real difficulties.

You see, I have a pretty unusual skill. Lemme explain. I started by banging my head on the table till it was sore. With this saw I was able to chop the table into two halves. Now as we all know, two halves make a whole so it was merely a matter of escaping the container through that.

My second problem was that this container was in the middle of nowhere and I had neither map nor compass. In my frustration I screamed at the top of my lungs and as a result my throat became hoarse. But then it occured to me - I'd just solved my own problem! Getting onto the horse, I rode off into the sunset.

Now you think this might be cool, right? Sorta like seeing everything in falling green letters or being able to make the hostess's underwear teleport ten feet to the right? No, it's more a curse than a blessing.

Here's why. I arrived at a small town called Antony after this being-trapped-in-a-box episode. And, as it happened, in this town, the Mayor was organising a ball for some reason, to be held in the Mayoral Ballroom. These was, incidentally, a very sumptuously set out nightclub, five hundred feet in radius and which rolled remarkably smoothly for something so large.

When I arrived, I was invited to this shindig, so as such I would need to procure something of the right nature to wear. The first item was, of course, a tux, so I went unto a cyber café and, against all odds, found that they had installed Linux on one of their machines, so it was just a matter of hovering until one appeared and swiping it before anyone noticed, and stuffing it into my rucksack, then running as fast as my legs could carry me. Unfortunately he was rather unfit, was poor my legs, despite being very determined, and so I was caught and the police summoned. Things looked grim, not to mention frostbitten and necro.

Happily, I was able to escape once more while they were still drawing pentagrams on the floor and setting up the candles and incense. They didn't notice me give them the slip (pink, with polka dots on it) and vanish out the tradesman's entrance, leaving confused and bruised double glazing salesmen in my wake. In fact, now I come to mention it, they were all very wet afterwards, but that's an aside. Just to add insult to injury, I picked up a large rock and threw it at random in the direction of the winded, soaked salesmen. Random, however, was a crafty bastard, and ducked, and it hit a policeman (they'd finished summoning him) who was very displeased. He arrested me and banged me up... actually, I still can't talk about this part of the story as a result... maybe we should skip on a bit.

So there I was, mouldering away in a squalid cell. I was hammering on the bars and shouting, "I KNOW MY RIGHTS!" repeatedly and demanding to be let out. I knew my lefts as well, as it happened. But alas, the policeman detailed to watch the cells this day was quite the sadist - he not only smacked me with a riding crop, but he poured hot wax all over the back of my neck. I still have burns on my shoulders as a result and can't look in a three-way mirror without seeing endless doggerel about "the chieftain o' the pudding race" and suchlike. I still managed to escape though, for the cop was bent and, once I'd given him a nice backhander in a strategic spot, he was bent double. Grinning like a maniac, I ran from the cell block and ended up in the middle of the Mayor's ball. I still had my ticket though, and was able to throw on my stolen tux and present the invitation with one swift movement.

So, battered, bruised, and with Scottish poetry indelibly scarred into my upper back, I circulated the party. How it ever imagined on getting elected I'll never know, too much sparkling white and not enough sound policy discussions, but I suppose the sobriquet of "champagne socialists" fits. And soon enough, there was a great commotion and whispers of "The Mayor is coming!" and, peering into the grand entrance to the ballroom, I saw, with no small excitement, that it was true. So, once he'd zipped up and detailed someone to clean up the mess, the Mayor entered, splendiferous and grandiloquent in his apparel, which said more than enough about what sort of person he was.

Total hush as the Mayor spoke.

"Where is Beatrice?" said the Mayor. Beatrice was, I learned later, his daughter.

"Beatrice is, alas, in bed with laryngitis," said an aide. This answer evidently displeased the Mayor as his face turned an unusual shade of puce and he blurted out, "I'll kill that fucking Greek!" As the aide looked worried at his employer's apoplexy (and his fit of rage as well), the Mayor, all of a sudden, calmed down, and said, "Oh, well. Can't be helped. Bugger Beatrice." Nonchalantly, the aide wandered off into the background, and the party began in earnest.

I wish I could say that a good time was had by all, but alas, she only managed to get round to sleeping with two thirds of the party. Of which I was not quite included. She and I were flirting rather voraciously and at one point she whispered into my ear that I should come forth, then danced away, beckoning. But alas and alack, I tripped over one of the Mayor's balls (the ballroom was called that not because of its shape, but because in the very centre were the Mayor's balls, which had been confiscated in accordance with local byelaws - not because he had to, but because he had two. However, thanks to this, he now had none at all.) and came fifth. Cursing, I picked up the ball (it was a rugby ball, incidentally) that I had tripped over and threw it at her, and, in retaliation, she grabbed another of the Mayor's balls and chucked it at me and, before you could say knife, everyone was charging round the hall throwing the Mayor's balls at each other.

"This is preposterous!" screeched the Mayor. "Leave my balls alone!"

The mayoral aide though, quite possibly the one who had just gone and buggered Beatrice because he had a huge grin on his face, shouted in reply, "Maybe you should have ensured that your balls were in their bag before the party started!"

"Good point!"

said the Mayor. "Go and fetch my ball-bag!"

We eventually found the bag and amassed all the Mayor's balls into it, but they kept falling out, and every time it did so it took us far too long to put them all back in again. So then the mayoral aide piped up once more. "Maybe, Your Grace, if your peg was atop your ball-bag you wouldn't have such problems." And so it was decreed that we find the Municipal Peg and fastened the Mayoral Ball-bag with it, but the peg broke and the balls spilled everywhere once again. I despaired; would I spend the rest of my life with the Mayor's balls in my hands?

"The problem there, Your Grace," said the aide, "was that your peg was just too small." And so the aide scurried off and found a larger peg and it was just fine and, the Mayor's balls safely in their bag once more, the party went on.

Eventually, I managed to speak to Beatrice. "Ho there," I proclaimed.


she said, looking about her, and I pointed over her shoulder where a gardening tool was stood in the corner. "Thanks," she continued, and went off towards it. However, while she was walking from me to the hoe, the latter dropped an E and soon Beatrice found herself approaching a scantily clad lady in thigh boots and a far too short skirt and a king-size fag between her teeth (who, by the looks of things, was evidently more experimental than he identified himself as). Who thought that Beatrice was trying to take over her turf and as they started to argue ever more heatedly, I vacated the area and found myself on the road again just as a full-scale riot was starting.

The next town I came to was called Orly, and it seemed to be inhabited by owls all pulling strange expressions. Those, and a pair of policemen.

"Excuse me sir," one of them said, "but were you in Antony last night?"

I was about to berate them for inquiring rather too personally into my intimate encounters, but then I realised differently. "Well, I might have been," I said.

At this point though, the policemen's superior officer approached and told the two cops that I was, in fact, wanted for causing violent disorder involving the mayor of Antony and his ball-bag.

"What steps are to be taken, sir?" one of the plods asked his superior.

"Bloody enormous ones!" I shouted, and ran off over the horizon, scarcely looking back.

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