Sodor Island Parody Pack

The Fat Controller's Big Secret

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It was a beautiful day on the Island of Sodor, continuing a remarkable sunny spell.
“I do love the fact that it’s summer for three quarters of the year,” said Thomas as he puffed along the line with Annie and Clarabel. “If it weren’t for these sudden snowfalls we get every winter, and those horrific storms now and again, the weather would be perfect.” He went back to Tidmouth Sheds, where the other engines were waiting.
All the engines were excited. The Fat Controller had announced that he needed an engine for a special job that night.
“He’ll choose me,” said James. “There’s nothing better than a splendid red engine for special jobs.”
Toby looked at him. “James, can you actually explain how your red paint makes you superior? I mean, I can understand how being strong might help an engine, or being fast, or being experienced… but red? It’s just a colour.”
“I am the brightest engine on the line!” protested James.
“Huh, sounds like passive racism to me,” said Percy.
“You’re just jealous because you’re not red like me,” said James.
“Oh, why don’t you just join the National Front right away, Adolf the Racist Engine?” snapped Percy.
“Now, stop all this arguing,” said Edward. “James is right that he is the brightest engine on the line, and Percy is right that James is a small-minded bigot. Let’s leave it at that.”
“What’s all this, then?” said the Fat Controller.
“They’re saying I’m a racist!” complained James. “Just because I like being red.”
“No, that’s more of a political disagreement,” said the Fat Controller. “But they are right, I will not tolerate Commies on my Railway.”
“Anyway, Duck is far more racist than me,” said James. “It’s all ‘Great Western this’ and “Great Western that’…”
“Yes, and when did you last see Duck around here?” said the Fat Controller. “Anyway, I need an engine for a special job at midnight tonight.”
“Me! Me! Me!” cried the engines in unison.
“It’s on one of those abandoned branch lines,” said Sir Topham.
“Oh, forget that, then,” said the engines in unison.
“Thomas, I have decided that you will perform the special task,” said the Fat Controller.
“Aw, man,” said Thomas.

That night, Thomas puffed along the haunted branch line. The Fat Controller and Farmer McColl were with him.
“Sir,” said Thomas, “why aren’t my driver and fireman with us?”
“This is a special job just for us,” said the Fat Controller. “There’s no point getting other people involved.”
“Oh. And why does Farmer McColl have a bag over his head?”
“You’ll see.”
“Why is he tied up and struggling?”
“Wait and see.” Thomas was puzzled as he continued puffing along the line.
“Sir,” he said at last, “did you really get rid of Duck because he was racist?”
“No,” snapped Sir Topham. “I got rid of him because he was a stupid engine who didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, get me?”
“Yes sir,” said Thomas, and continued in silence. Eventually they reached an abandoned station, and the Fat Controller stopped Thomas.
“Get out, you piece of filth,” snarled the Fat Controller, kicking Farmer McColl on to the platform. He shoved him into the station building and shut the door. Thomas strained to hear the conversation going on inside.
“So, Farmer McColl, I hear you’ve got a brand new lorry.”
“Y-yes…”
“What’s this? The railway not good enough for you now?”
“It’s just… I can’t afford to keep chartering special trains for my goods…”
“I think the question you’ve got to ask is, can you afford not to?”
Thomas heard a muffled bumping noise.
“Aaagh! My kidneys!”
“And there’s more coming if you keep using your lorry.”
“Please… it’s hard enough to keep going since the foot-and-mouth crisis… I promise I can send some of my goods by rail, but you charge so much!”
“What we charge for is peace of mind. Rail is much safer than road. For one thing, when you send your goods by rail, you’re one hundred per cent less likely to come home and find your farm burnt to the ground.”
“Are you threatening me, Sir Topham?”
“No, I’m just warning you about what can happen if you’re not careful these days. If you’re sensible, you’ll get rid of that lorry tomorrow. Anyway, I’ll leave you here to think about it until tomorrow.”
“Wait! Come back!”
The Fat Controller came back out, dusting himself off. He climbed into Thomas’ cab.
“Right, Thomas, time to go back,” he said.
“What about Farmer McColl?” asked Thomas.
“I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” said Sir Topham. “He’s just thinking about it.”
Thomas puffed away.
“Sir,” he said eventually, “are you running some sort of a racket?”
The Fat Controller sighed. “Look at it this way, Thomas. Why do you think everyone travels by rail? Why does everyone send their goods by train, when it’s cheaper and easier to send them by road?”
“Because we’re Really Useful?”
“Ha! Dream on. No, because everyone respects me. I keep them safe and, yes, maybe I do a little racketeering.”
“Sir, I’m shocked!”
“No, you’re na´ve. Didn’t you think it was a bit odd when the Lorries came and all of them had ‘mysterious accidents’ within a few days? Haven’t you ever wondered how I manage to avoid all of British Railways’ directives? How you manage to break so many rules without any trouble? How I’m allowed to built blatantly unsafe lines?”
“Because you’re a good Controller?”
“No! Look, this railway is an expensive business- especially when you engines keep crashing all the time. So I needed a little bit of extra income. At first I got it by illegally dumping toxic waste at the abandoned lead mine- that’s why I just happened to be there when you had your accident. But it wasn’t enough, and so I moved into crime. But I’d never harm you.”
“What about Duck?” said Thomas.
“You can’t prove a thing. Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve had to ‘dispose’ of the odd engine, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”
“Wait, all these times when you’ve just happened to be there when an engine is in trouble…”
“Oh, a lot of them weren’t entirely coincidence,” said the Fat Controller. “For instance, I had to pull a few strings to get Stepney. And he was going to squeal, but after scaring him up a little he saw the light.”
“Ah, so that’s why you just happened to be at the smelter’s at midnight,” said Thomas.
“Yes, but you see why I have to do these things,” said the Fat Controller.
“To avoid confusion and delay, and so we can stay Really Useful!” beamed Thomas.
Soon, they arrived in Brendam Docks, where a Japanese engine was being unloaded from a ship.
“Oh no!” gasped Thomas. “Yakuza!”
“Defend your honour, Topham-san!” cried the engine.

TO BE CONTINUED….


… OR MAYBE NOT.

Sodor Island Parody Pack