"Thomas' Blingin' New Trucks!"
by Professor Reginald Fortesque Vengeance (Esquire)
on the episode "Thomas' New Trucks" by Paul Larson
It was a busy, bustling day on the Island of Sodor.
Well, one would hope so. It's a railway after all, not a health spa! Anyway, the engines and their trucks were working very
hard, as it was time for the annual Engine Clearout and none of them wanted to end up in HiT Entertainment's storage shelves
for slacking off on the job.
Thomas was shunting trucks in the yard. He wasn't worried about the cull because he is
(of course) the undisputed star, lord and master of the whole franchise, but his trucks were old and rusty. It was very hard
work, especially since they were filled up with bank safes, anvils and pianos. This contract they'd won with ACME was going
to be the death of him one day. Then, James arrived.
"Look!" James puffed proudly, "The Fat Controller gave me some
smart new trucks after I caught him sneaking into Mr Jolly's Chocolate Factory! They're much more blingin' than yours!"
not fair!" moaned Thomas, "What are you doing with your own personalised trucks?! I'm the star of this show!
I want new trucks too! And why are they blue?! Blue's my colour! Ooooh, Fatty's going to hear from my agent
about this, make no mistake!"
The next morning and one frivilous lawsuit later, the Fat Controller
had a surprise for Thomas.
"Thomas, your lawyers inform me that your trucks are getting too old for your heavy loads.
We settled out of courst that you are to have some new ones, just like James." Thomas was delighted, and more than a little
bit smug. Maybe he'd sue Bertie for drink-driving later on when he got the time.
Thomas collected his new trucks and
puffed proudly away. Like James', they'd been restored and repainted (this time, in green) on Sodor's latest televisual craze,
"Pimp my Rollin' Stock". It had only been on a few weeks, but was proving very influential. Every engine wanted Old
Slowcoach in their trains after she'd been on it herself.
But when Thomas arrived at Brendam Docks, he saw James. He
was showing his new trucks to Bill and Ben, who had recently broken out of HiT's storage cupboard by disguising themselves
as rats. I'd tell you how, but they're still being hunted down by the Shepperton Studio janitors, so Mum's the word, eh?
got new trucks too!" puffed Thomas, "See? James isn't the only one who can take advantage of Fatty in an uncompromising situation!"
even more blingin' than James!" huffed Bill and Ben, "Look, furry dice and everything! Oooo, and one of them's got that bouncing
front end thingy!"
"Your trucks might be nice and new now!" puffed James, who was understandably miffed at Thomas trying
to steal his new homies, "But you'll never keep your trucks as clean as mine! They're so clean, they look even more model
train-like than normal!"
"Yes, I will!" chuffed Thomas, "I'll bet my crew that I'll have the cleanest trucks
on the Island!". James watched Thomas puff away and began daydreaming about Molly fawning over his new wagons. Hey, engines
need love too, you know!
The next day, Thomas puffed into the quarry with his personalised trucks.
They were even brighter and shinier than ever, as the tank engine had paid the workmen in the yard £7000 each to polish them
throughout the night. Hey, it's not like he can't afford it with all the toy and video royalties he makes. Anyway, James was
sitting nearby with his own trucks, which were already loaded.
"I've got my stone already!" boasted James, "And not
a spot of quarry dust on me!"
"I can do that too!" pouted Thomas.
"Not if you haven't laminated yourself like
me!" the plastic-coated red engine called back as Thomas backed under the hopper. But just as the stone was released, Thomas'
trucks chuckled and, still feeling drunk after the workmen shared their booze with them the night before, rolled a bit more.
huffed Thomas, as the hopper accidentely covered his trucks in quarry dust. Well, "Bother!" is maybe a bit of an understatement,
but for the sake of actually getting this published, "Bother!" it shall remain.
"HAH!" puffed James, "Your trucks don't
look so new now!" Thomas was cross. Again, an understatement, but let's move on for the censors' sake.
puffed to the coaling plant, his new trucks singing loudly with slurred voices. "This time, behave yourselves!" he snapped
to the wagons, "I want you to stay clean! And don't even think about throwing up on my bunker!"
When he arrived,
Thomas backed carefully and slowly under the coal hopper - so slowly, in fact, that a nearby snail started to feel underwhelmed
by comparison. But the trucks chuckled, hiccuped, then rolled too far again. Coal thundered down from the chute and covered
the whole track in black dust! Thomas and his trucks were dirtier than ever! And given Thomas' infatuation with a certain
Single Sterling engine, that's helluva dirty!
Later, when Thomas arrived at the washdown, there was James, in all his
"See? I have got the cleanest trucks! You'll be here for hours getting yours cleaned!" laughed
the red engine. Thomas was very cross. He was just glad HiT had already taken away his crew before his bet with James or he'd
have been crosser still.
The next morning, when Thomas puffed into the yard, he had an idea. But
then, he realised that the story of a theme park with living dinosaurs had already been done, so he had another idea.
I use my old trucks to take the coal", he puffed, "My new trucks will still look clean and new." Well, at least it's better
than Skarloey's idea to become a daredevil, so we might as well play the hand we're dealt, so to speak.
backed up to collect his old trucks. They weren't eager to travel with the engine who abandoned them, but when he promised
them £8000 a piece, they quickly agreed to go along. He collected some coal from the coaling plant, then he raced across the
generic three-lined countryside.
"Ha!" laughed Thomas, "I can get these trucks really messy and get the coal
to the docks on time! I should buy myself a Nobel Prize when I get the chance, I'm so smart!"
Then, there was trouble.
The line suddenly began to slope downhill and the front truck's rusty coupling broke. Thomas' trucks were rolling by themselves
and he didn't notice until he looked back at them flying towards him!
"Cinders and ashes!" cried Thomas, remembering
to award himself royalties later for using his copyrighted phrase. The rich little engine applied his brakes, but he stopped
too quickly! The trucks bumped into the back of Thomas and the coal spilled all over the tracks in a gratuatous slow-motion
explosion! Thomas was stuck!
Soon, the Fat Controller arrived on Harvey. Or, specifically, on the
end of Harvey's crane. He'd been on another binge at Mr Jolly's, you see, and it was the only way he could be safely transported
around without crushing anything.
"Thomas, these trucks are too old for pulling coal!" the Fat Controller said sternly,
"And now, you have caused..." He paused dramatically, while Thomas winced. He knew what was coming next. "...CONFUSION
"Yaaaaay! He said it!" cheered the old trucks and began laughing louder than ever.
sir", said Thomas. Harvey and the workmen soon cleared the tracks, but Thomas still had to deliver the coal to the docks.
He didn't want to upset the children...yes, I know there that there are no children in this story, but they might as well
be given the other stories in the series, so wheesht and keep reading!
So, Thomas raced back to the shunting yards
and this time, he collected his smart new trucks. They were still hung over from their binging the previous day, but the promise
of £9000 each to leave the sidings had them changing their minds. Harvey and the workmen loaded the coal into Thomas' trucks.
The new trucks were soon filthy, but they were filled with coal and ready to go, and they were very happy to be getting paid
Thomas raced to the docks. Suddenly, the trucks weren't being troublesome. They rolled easily
up hills, they rattled quickly down hills and they sang all the way. This was mainly because they were still too hung over
to cause trouble and needed to take their mind off it, but Thomas thought they were being good on purpose as he pulled into
"We need to unload quickly!" the dock manager called, "But don't worry, we'll try and keep your new trucks
clean! We don't want any trouble!" He was nervous about the tank engine throwing a lawsuit his way as well.
OK", puffed Thomas, "My trucks would rather be useful than clean". Just then, James the laminated engine puffed into the docks.
just about the worst moral I've ever heard!" he observed, "Even worse than that one with you and Arthur when you first met!
And look at your trucks! Filthy again! Not like mine!" James tried to pull away, but his troublesome trucks didn't want to
be clean anymore. The other wagons made fun of them for looking so prissy and after seeing Thomas', they'd finally had enough.
back! Hold back!" they chuckled. Just then, Cranky's cable conveniently snapped. He dropped a large crate of melons, right
on top of James' boiler!
"HAH!" laughed James, "Doesn't bother me! I'm still laminated, remember?" He failed to notice
that Cranky had also dropped a crate of gunpower and a spark from his funnel had just landed on it. The crate exploded and
partially set the red engine on fire!
"Bother!" huffed James as Cranky dropped a fire bucket on him and his plastic
covering began to melt off.
"James", tooted Thomas, "I think trucks like to be useful rather than clean and blingin'
", and all the trucks agreed. For they were too busy laughing their buffers off to correct him.
a great court order-free day!