“I met Bob Slayer at the weekend. The tank broke down due to fuel starvation, so he wasn’t able to arrive from out of the sea on an amphibious craft but is hoping to try again next year.”
… and I had absolutely no idea what that meant.
So I asked Bob Slayer.
“I farted on Mr Methane’s elbow at the weekend and he said that was the closest to his face anyone had ever farted! And Jimmy Saville: The Punch & Judy Show has received it’s first death threat.”
This did not clarify the amphibious tank. So I doggedly pursued the story for my own peace of mind.
Eventually, I crowbarred this out of Bob Slayer’s deranged memory:
It came as no surprise to me that, somehow, the word “brewery” was involved.
“They had me performing outdoors on Morecambe Bay,” Bob told me, “at a place called Humphrey Head, where the last wolf in England was killed. We did some rock climbing and a tiny bit of caving and found some quicksand.
“I was supposed to arrive on an amphibious tank belonging to Mr Methane’s friend Ben but it broke down before it got to me. So I had to arrive late on foot instead.”
I then asked Mr Methane: “Tank? Your friend Ben has a tank?”
“Well,” said Mr Methane, “not a tank exactly. It’s a BRDM2 Superduck Amphibian. It had been in a barn all winter and, about dinner time last Friday, we decided at the very last minute to get it out, take it to Humphrey Head and let Bob use it as a prop to make his grand entrance… Unfortunately, the diesel had got contaminated.
“We think the lining of the fuel tank had started to degrade and pieces of debris clogged the injectors up. Hence it never made it to Humphrey Head and consequently we were late getting there but Bob seemed very happy that we had brought what he described as a Dolly Bird with us.”
Bob then continued his story:
“I apologised for my late and undramatic entrance and explained that the previous year’s gig was supposed to have ended with me flying off Gummers Howe in a paraglider but that also didn’t happen because it was too windy… but we did have a lovely time then and I found an alternative ending by eating a cow pat.
“I figured a cow pat was only part-digested grass and would be OK but I probably wouldn’t eat a cow pat again as (a) it was not very tasty and (b) someone has since pointed out to me the parasites that I could have picked up.
“I stayed up for the Saturday in Kendal and also went on Barbara Nice’s tour of the lakes. The captain of the boat told us that Beatrix Potter was not very nice to kids. So Barbara Nice set up an impromptu court to get to the bottom of the child beating allegations and it turned out that it was Beatrix’s mother who was the abuser of the young and we have now all vowed to clear the good name of the writer of children’s books. BEATRIX POTTER DID NOT BEAT CHILDREN. Perhaps you can link from that into the Jimmy Savile death threats…?”
“Perhaps not,” I replied. “What about the farting on Mr Methane’s elbow?”
“I have already been booked back for the Freerange Festival next year,” replied Bob, apparently changing the subject. “They are lovely people. I will do some other outdoor gig nonsense – and, as nothing ever goes to plan, I might as well make the plan as ridiculous as possible.”
“But what about the farting on Mr Methane’s elbow?” I repeated.
“I could do helicopter rides around the Lake District,” enthused Bob. “Diving out into a lake of custard… that sort of thing.”
So I asked Mr Methane.
“What about the farting on your elbow?” I asked.
“I was sat down in the bar at the Priory Hotel in Cartmel,” Mr Methane told me, “where Bob was staying. He lent against my arm and farted on my elbow. As I am 6′ 7″ when stood up, it was the nearest a man – but not a woman – had ever farted to my face. Bob’s delivery was disturbingly HomoErotic but the stink soon killed off any innuendo in that direction. I think he needs to see a doctor. Perhaps colonics.”