EpGuide_S16_ThomasBloggerBanner.jpg

A rather well-known Blogger makes a visit to the Island of Sodor and is less than impressed...!

One morning, the engines were at Tidmouth Sheds

The engines on the Island of Sodor are engines from the Island of Sodor. They love to work hard and don’t not love to not work unhard.
One morning, the engines were at Tidmouth Sheds, when the Fat Controller arrived.
“Good morning, sir!” Thomas tooted toadily.
“Good morning, Thomas! I have something to show you all!”
The Fat Controller pulled out a battered old laptop from his car. On the screen was a photograph of a very smart man in glasses and six paragraphs of text on the history of track ballast.
“This website,” he explained eggheadedly, “belongs to a very important railway Blogger. He is coming to Sodor today to write about our great railway.”
The engines whistled and wheeshed, but Percy puffed, puzzled. “What’s a blaggard?”
Thomas smiled smugly. “A Blogger, my best friend Percy, is someone who thinks that writing about things he doesn’t like on the Internet makes him Special.”
“Oh,” Percy peeped. “What’s an inner net?”

The King of Nigeria needs Sir Topham's credit card

The Fat Controller smartly shunned him. “This particular blogger can be a very grumpy man, so you must all puff proudly, and huff your hardest! Oh, and do some work too.
“Speaking of which, Thomas, I have a Special Special for you. I want you to collect the Blogger from Brendam Docks and show him all the happy sights of Sodor. Then you will bring him back to Knapford for the bi-weekly children’s party at teatime, so he can upload his review of our railway.”
Thomas’ boiler bubbled. “You can rely on me, sir! I will be the smartest Show-Arounder on Sodor!”
“I believe the term is ‘tour guide’, but whatever,” the Fat Controller said snarkily. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must answer my emails. It appears that the King of Nigeria needs my credit card details for some reason.”

Thomas clickety-clacked to Brendam Docks

Thomas clickety-clacked along the tracks to Brendam Docks. The Blogger was waiting. He was carrying a notepad and pen, and looked just as smart as he did on his website.
“Good morning!” Thomas whistled weaselly. “I’m Thomas! I’m here to show you all the happy sights of Sodor!”
“Thank you, chap,” the Blogger began. “I’m sure I’ll have a-um, where are your coaches? And your crew, for that matter.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Thomas chuffed cheerfully. “I expect they’ve gone on ahead to the children’s party. Annie and Clarabel do love Mr Bubbles’ balloon show!”
The Blogger climbed cautiously into Thomas’ empty cab, already scribbling furiously in his notebook.

Thomas decides to take the Blogger to the Dump!

“So, Mr Blogger,” Thomas tooted as they huffed and puffed away, “where would you like to go first?”
“I should like to see the yards at Knapford, please, Thomas. I wish to discuss scheduling minutia with the Yard Manager.”
Thomas wheeshed with worry.
“The yards at Knapford are grey and grim and full of empty trucks! They’re not a happy sight at all.”
Then an idea flew into Thomas’ funnel.
“The yards at the rubbish dump aren’t grey and grim! Their trucks are full of brightly coloured litter! It’s a very happy sight! I’m sure the Blogger will think so too!”

So Thomas didn’t go to the yards at Knapford; he went to the yards at the rubbish dump. The trucks were filled to the brim with smelly rubbish all the colours of the rainbow.
The Blogger was surprised. “These don’t look like the yards at Knapford to me. Well, a yard is a yard, I suppo-Wait, what?”
Just then Whiff and Scuff huffed and chuffed into the ruffish dumff. I mean, er, rubbish dump. They were pulling a very long line of very smelly trucks.
“Good gracious!” the Blogger blasted. “Random rubbish in open trucks! How unsafe - and unpleasant! That lot could fly away anywhere! And where is your brake van?”
“We don’t need one!” Scruff scoffed. “They are rude and crude, and slow us down. Plus they make me look fat.”
“But this is absurd!” berated the Blogger, turning his attention to Whiff. “You’re a Grand Old Engine! You used to pull the Mechanical Engineer’s saloon on the old North Eastern! Why are you pulling rubbish!?”
“Because Spencer hadn’t finished shunting yet!” Thomas told him. The Blogger looked across the yard. There was Spencer, biffing and bashing trucks around the yard.
“Let me guess,” began the Blogger, “he’s being punished for something he did wrong.”
“Nope!” Whiff warbled. “Just needed something to do.”

The Blogger’s eyes boggled and joggled. “But he’s the finest class of express passenger engine in the world! And you’re having him shunt rubbish?! Why would you do that!?”
“Because Gordon isn’t finished taking his turn on the children’s express,” Thomas tooted, as though this was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Out of my way! Express coming throooough!”
The Blogger balked. There was Gordon, thundering through the rubbish dump towards them with the express. He was very surprised.
“Fizzling fireboxes!” he huffed. “This isn’t the pretty track!”

Whiff and Scruff hooted and tooted as Gordon hit their rubbish trucks with a bang and a clang! Rubbish flew everywhere! But mostly over the Blogger.
“UGH!” he hollered. “What a mess! I ask you, what simpleton of a signalman let an express through a rubbish dump?!”
“Signalman?” wondered Whiff. “What’s that?”
“You know,” the Blogger began, “the man who works the signals?”
“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about,” Gordon grunted. “I am Gordon! I am fastest and best, and pull the express! I can find my own way about! Now where is that pretty track?”
Gordon reversed in and out of the winding sidings and clickety-clacked back along the track. The Blogger realised that he couldn’t see any signalboxes. He turned a strange pink colour.
Thomas tactfully decided it was time to go.

“So, Mr Blogger,” Thomas tooted as they huffed and puffed away, “where would you like to go next?”
“I should like to see Crovan’s Gate, please, Thomas. I wish to examine if the crane hooks meet regulation size.”
Thomas wheeshed with worry.
“Crovan’s Gate is slow and dull! It’s full of boring workmen who lay track and eat sandwiches! It’s not a happy sight at all.”
Then an idea flew into Thomas’ funnel.
“The Steamworks isn’t slow and dull! It’s full of hustle and bustle and barely any boring workmen! It’s a very happy sight! I’m sure the Blogger will think so too!”

...Eesa nota workeen...

So Thomas didn’t go to Crovan’s Gate; he went to the Steamworks. Charlie was there. He was having his engine repaired. The Blogger looked despairingly out of the cab... “Hello Thomas!” Charlie called cheerfully.
“Hello Charlie! I’m taking the Blogger on a tour of the happy sights of Sodor today!”
“That sounds like fun Thomas!”
The Blogger reluctantly poked his head out of the cab. “This isn’t Crovan’s Gate is it, Thomas?”
“Technically not, Sir, but it’s near to it though...”
The Blogger muttered something under his breath and stepped down from the cab. He approached one of the workmen, and pointed to Charlie, “Excuse me, chap, what’s wrong with this engine?”
The workman shrugged and pointed at Victor, who was puffing over toward them. “If you have any questions about the Steamworks, Sir,” Thomas puffed proudly, “you’re best to speak to Victor. He knows everything!”
“Very well then...” The Blogger turned to Victor, “I was just asking that workman what is wrong with this engine, here, but he didn’t seem to know.”
“Aaaahhhh,” Victor wheeshed wisely, “hees engine ees’a broken.”
The Blogger stared strangely at Victor. “No... I meant what is the specific defect?”
Victor raised an eyebrow and stared stonily back at the Blogger. “Hees engine... ees’a broken.”
The Blogger pondered puzzled, “And that means...?”
“...Ee’s’a not’a workeen’...”

The Blogger groaned loudly and looked around the Steamworks. There was hustle and bustle, sights and sounds, smells and bells – and Kevin the Crane racing around with a loaded pallet of oil which was beginning to tip! The Blogger leaped out of the way before the pallet toppled and hit the floor. Barrels of oil rolled everywhere! “Oops! Sorry boss!”
Charlie chortled cheerfully, “That was fun, Kevin!”
But the Blogger didn’t think it was fun. He thought it was very unsafe. “That was very unsafe, Kevin, you could have hurt someone! What good is health and safety if you’re going to run amok like that?”
The Blogger ranted rambunctiously, “This is by far the most unsafe working environment that I have ever seen! There’s cranes running riot, workmen don’t have a clue what they’re doing, specific faults are not being properly...” the Blogger sniffed, “is that the smell of oil burning?”
The Blogger turned quickly to find that one of the oil drums had burst open. It was now leaking all over the Steamworks floor – and a spark from Victor’s funnel had ignited it! “Kevin, you must learn to be more careful in future!”

Everyone evacuated very quickly, and Fiery Flynn the Fire-Fighter flew up the line from the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre to fight the flames. “Look! It’s Flynn!” a workman cried, finally breaking out of his awkward mutedness.
“Sodor’s Fire-Fighting hero has arrived to save the day!” another cheered with joy.
But Flynn was having troubles of his own. “Do I enter via the railway... or would I be better to come on the road...? Hmmm...”
“WILL YOU GET ON WITH IT ALREADY BEFORE THE PLACE BURNS TO THE GROUND?!!!” the Blogger roared ragingly. He didn’t like Flynn’s indecisiveness. It made him cross.
Thomas could see that the Blogger wasn’t happy. “Charlie, will you tell the Blogger a joke to cheer him up?”
Charlie grinned gleefully, “Of course I will Thomas! Mr Blogger, I have a joke for you!”
The Blogger threw a burning piece of debris at the leaky oil drum which had rolled close to Charlie. With a bang and a clang the oil drum blew up! The force of the explosion knocked Charlie through a wall, destroying several brake vans awaiting their gradual return to service in the sidings as he tumbled and bumbled across. Amazingly, no-one was hurt. “Ha ha!” Charlie chuckled cheerily, “That was fun!”

Thomas has another bright idea!

“So, Mr Blogger,” Thomas tooted as they huffed and puffed hurriedly away, “where would you like to go next?”
“I should like to see the Quarry, please, Thomas,” the Blogger went wearily, “I wish to investigate the quality of the gravel pits.”
Thomas wheeshed with worry.
“The Quarry is dirty and dusty! It’s full of dull grey slate! It’s not a happy sight at all.”
Then an idea flew into Thomas’ funnel.
“Misty Island isn’t dirty and dusty! It’s fun and exciting! It’s a very happy sight! I’m sure the Blogger will think so too!”

Bash and Dash blow bubbles

So Thomas didn’t go to the Quarry; he headed straight for Misty Island instead. He chuffed along the underground railway, puffed through the hollow tree tunnel, huffed over the Shake Shake Bridge and schkluffed down the zipline line to the logging depot.
The Blogger didn’t take any notes this time. He was too busy hugging his knees and sobbing silently.
Thomas steamed into the logging station. Bash, Dash and Ferdinand were waiting on the crossroads. The twins were seeing who could blow the biggest bubble from their funnels, while Ferdinand was punting trucks into a nearby wall.
“One biff, one bash!”
“And there’s a crash!”
“THAT’S ROIGHT!”

The Logging Locos cackled and crackled with laughter. Thomas thought they were very funny, but the Blogger didn’t; he thought they were very annoying.
“You are very annoying!” he ranted redundantly. “Why are you horsing around like this? You should be working!”
Dash was dumbfounded. “Horsing around? This is work!”
“We work really hard getting bubbles this big!” Bash butted in.
“THAT’S ROIGHT!” fluttered Ferdinand as he rammed an old brake van into Hee-Haw’s machinery.
“Stop that this instant!” berated the Blogger. “That log-cutter is a dangerous piece of equipment! This is a blatant misuse of your company’s property!”
“No, it’s not!” Bash bemoaned. “It’s fun!”
“Hee-Haw loves it!” Dash dutifully added. “Don’t you, Hee-Haw?”
“THAT’S ROIGHT!” flushed Ferdinand, ramming the next flatbed too hard and getting stuck in Hee-Haw’s gears.
Everyone laughed, except the Blogger.

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“Stop this madness at once!” he hollered. “I demand to know who is in charge here!”
“No-one!” said Dash, delighted. “We’re all on our own!”
“We were too naughty for our old railway,” said Bash, brightly, “so we were sent here where we couldn’t bother anyone!”
“Well, you’re bothering me,” said the Blogger, bitterly.
“THAT’S ROI-”
“And you can bloody well shut up and all!” he barked. “That’s it! I’ve had enough! Ziplines! Tree tunnels! Bridges made of jelly and death! And you three! No owners, no sense and, it seems, no purpose! What possible reason do you - things possibly have to exist!?”
“That’s easy!” chimed the twins.
“We cut down Jobi wood here in the forest and-”
“Take it through the tunnel to the mainland to-”
“Sell to you folk! This is the only-”
“Place where Jobi wood-”
“Grows in the-”
“World.”
“THAT’S ROIGHT!”

The Blogger’s bile bubbled in his body. “Jobi wood!?” he cried crabbily. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day - and I’ve heard a lot of stupid things today! There is no such thing as Jobi wood! It doesn’t exist! It’s not real! Your colony’s entire economy is based on a lie! It’s a fake! A fraud! An unhappenable deceptification of the least occuring variety! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS JOBI WOOD!”
Then there was trouble.
The beams holding up the crossroads wibbled and wobbled. The track began shaking and quaking. All around, the hills jiggled and joggled. Tall trees toppled everywhere!
“Oh no!” began Bash. “You dinna believe in the magic of the Jobi wood! Now it’s going away!”
“You’ve created a paradox, like!” dithered Dash, “And now the whole island’s caving in on itself!”
“THAT’S ROIGHT!” Ferdinand farted.

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The Blogger howled to the heavens and scrambled back into Thomas’ cab. “Get me out of here this instant!” he harangued hurriedly. “I refuse to end my career being buried alive by an imaginary forest!”
Thomas was worried. “I’m not sure I’m fast enough, sir!”
Then an idea flew into Thomas’ funnel.
“But Ol’ Wheezy might be!”
“Ol’ Wheezy?” the Blogger boggled. “What the blinking blue blazes is-”
The Blogger was bounced about the cab as Thomas coupled himself to Ol’ Wheezy’s crane hook. With a whip and a whirl, a swish and a spin, a twirl and a trouser-wetting, Ol’ Wheezy threw Thomas and the Blogger high into the air, over the ocean and straight through the roof of the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre.
Luckily no-one was hurt.
Except the Blogger.
“Oh goody! Visitors!” beamed Belle as Thomas limped outside into a siding. “Want to see a trick?”
Belle blasted her water cannons straight in the air and brought the rest of the building down on her cab.

Thomas felt terrible

The Blogger bumbled from Thomas’ cab in a daze. His glasses were broken, his neat shirt was torn and filthy, and Belle’s cannons had blasted his notebook into a papier-mâché mush.
Thomas felt terrible. “I’m sorry, sir. It’s all my fault. I wanted to show you all the happy sights of Sodor, but instead I’ve shown you all the crappy sights of Sodor. I haven’t made you happy at all!”
The Blogger began to sober up, and smiled. “But Thomas, you have made me happy! Very happy indeed!”
Thomas was surprised. “B-But how? Do you not remember the Logging Locos? We can go back if you want. There may be something left of them in the rubble.”
The Blogger laughed. “Don’t you see, chap? Thanks to you and your friends, I now have lots of horrible things I can complain about on the Internet! More than I’ve ever had before! I’ve rarely felt so very angry - and that makes me very happy!”
Thomas’ boiler bubbled with pride, as Misty Island disappeared behind them in a puff of logic. And fire.

Behold the magic of Mr Bubbles!

When the Blogger had changed his shirt and scrubbed all the shame from his body at the washdown, Thomas thundered along the track to the bi-weekly children’s party - just in time!
It was a wonderful day! There were balloons and animals (but not balloon animals. Mr Bubbles charges extra for those), magicians and music (How they pulled an entire brass band from one hat no-one knew) and lots of delicious pink cakes (until the Fat Controller found the buffet table). There was even a calliope, but no-one knew what it was, so they just let the children hit it with sticks.

Really useless engines CAN be useful too!

The Blogger borrowed the Fat Controller’s battered old laptop and vented all the anger and confusion that had built up inside him all day long on his blog; and after a few short hours, he was done. All the children clapped and cheered, as they could now finally go home again, and Thomas tooted triumphantly for his new friend.
The Fat Controller was very pleased once he’d been forcefully removed from the buffet table. “Well done, Thomas! By being so Really Useless, you’ve proven you are Really Useful!”
And everyone laughed.
Even the Blogger.

THE END!

Very special thanks to Simon Martin for being such a good sport and an invaluable member of the SiF Staff Team!

Equal Rights For Brake Vans Campaign!