Thomas loves working on the Island of Sodor. He has never known any other
life, and might enjoy something else if he tried, but the outside world is strange and frightening. His coaches, Annie and
Clarabel, agree with him. They sing little songs as they puff along the line. They had just learnt some new ones from the
Sodor rugby team and, though they didn’t know what the words meant, they liked the tune.
They arrived at the station. But instead of the schoolchildren Thomas
was supposed to be picking up, he was surprised to see that there was only a group of angry-looking mothers.
“Where are the children?” asked Thomas.
“We’re not sending our children on this sexist railway!”
said the mothers.
“What’s wrong with being sexy?” asked Thomas’
driver, who had seen ‘This Is Spinal Tap’.
“Oh, not that old chestnut,” said Thomas. “I’m
getting pretty sick of this political correctness. I mean, we brought a Jamaican engine over, what more do you want?”
“What’s de matter, mon?” asked Desmond the Jamaican
“Nothing,” said Thomas. “Just more political correctness.”
“Tell me about it,” said Desmond. “I an’ I come
all de way over from Kingston, an’ I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I act Jamaican, dey sey I’m
a stereotype. I don’t act Jamaican, dey sey I’m not representin’ me culture. I’m goin’ back
to me shed.”
“Anyway, what were you saying?” asked Thomas.
“This railway is sexist!” said the mothers.
“Shut up and get back to the kitchen,” chuckled the driver.
“No it’s not!” said Thomas. “We even have female
steam engines now!”
“You mean Emily? She was just a token female!”
“She’s developed character in the most recent series!”
“Oh, and she’s absolutely not a retread of Elizabeth or Caroline,
is she?” said the mothers.
“Well, no, she’s… a steam engine. She's completely
different” said Thomas lamely.
“And how about those coaches?” said the mothers. “You
still pull them around in a very sexist manner.”
“Well? Emily has coaches too.”
“It’s just not good enough,” said the mothers. “Too
little, too late. Maybe if you got rid of Annie and Clarabel altogether it would be better.”
“I can’t get rid of Annie and Clarabel!” protested
Thomas. “They’re my faithful coaches!”
“Actually,” said Annie, “we’ve been seeing Duck
behind your back. He knows how to treat coaches.”
“Noooooooooooooooooooo!” cried Thomas.
“We’re sending our children in Bertha the bus,” said
the mothers. Bertha pulled up.
“You’re not Bertha, you’re Bertie!” said Thomas.
“Actually,” said Bertha, “I had the op last week.”
“How does a bus have a sex-change operation?” wondered Clarabel.
“By changing my name from Bertie to Bertha,” said Bertha.
Just then, Toby arrived. “What’s all the fuss about?”
“Apparently Thomas is sexist,” said Bertha.
“You’re just as bad!” said the mothers. “Pulling
Henrietta around with you all the time like an abused wife!”
“What?” said Toby. “Henrietta and I are just good friends.”
“Ha, you expect us to believe that?”
“Well, actually,” said Toby, “I’ve been wanting
to tell everyone for some time, but… well, here goes. Henrietta isn’t my wife because… I’m gay. It
felt so good to finally admit that! All my life I’ve been living a lie, only Henrietta knowing the truth. Say it loud,
I’m gay and proud!” He rang his bell.
“What?” said the mothers. “We’re certainly not
having a homo take our kids to school! The very idea!”
“There’s just no pleasing some people,” said Thomas.