"The bridge across the river needs repair," the Fat
Controller told the engines. "Since I lost all that money in that bingo scandal a while ago, I haven't been able to keep up
maintainance. Fortunately I've found some Polish people who'll repair it for next to nothing. Unfortunately. this means I'll
have to install a weight limit for a while. Percy and Daisy will be alright, and Toby too, but Thomas is too heavy..."
sir," said Gordon. "Why are you telling us this? Surely you should be saying this to the engines on Thomas's branch."
hell, I've gone to the wrong line!" cried the Fat Controller, and he sped off in his car at once.
When he reached Thomas'
branch line, he told the proper engines the news.
Thomas was upset. "Are you saying I'm fat?"
"No, no, I'm just saying
you're too heavy for the bridge."
"I've been watching my coal intake, you know!"
"Yes, I'm sure you have. Anyway, how
"Are you saying I'm heavier than Daisy?!"
"Watch it, boy," replied Daisy, glaring at him.
said the Fat Controller, trying to restore order, "How would you like to go and help Edward, Thomas?"
said Toby. "The one from Wales?"
"Oh, don't be daft Toby!" Thomas scolded. "Can Annie and Clarabel come too, sir?"
Fat Controller shook his head.
"They'll be needed here I'm afraid," he said. "Daisy can't carry all your passengers on
"Why not? She's certainly big enough."
"Ooh, you little cheek!" Daisy spluttered.
"Right, that's enough
of that. On your way, Thomas!" the Fat Controller ordered.
Percy promised to look after Annie and Clarabel, but they
were sorry to see Thomas go. They were however happy to be behind Percy again, and his lovely bunker.
To cheer Thomas up,
Edward took him to see Bill and Ben. Edward is just so out of touch with the youth of today. They don't want to see twin engines,
they want to play their Gameboxes and surf their interwebs. You know, I've just realised. For Thomas, this is like having
to go and live with your grandparents for a few days while your parents are on holiday. Poor guy. No wonder he's not looking
forward to it.
"Oh dear, not another blue engine," said Bill cheekily. "First Edward, then Donald and Douglas, and now..."
forget Gordon," interrupted Ben, and then went on to discuss the time that Gordon had been mistakenly sent along Edward's
branch line. I don't want to talk about that though. Check out that wicked scowl Thomas is making! It somehow combines grumpiness,
anger and fatness into one great expression. No wonder this illustration made the front cover. Who could resist a face like
"No, but seriously Edward," said Bill, "Why does the Fat Controller keep painting his engines blue? At least
the TV series kept Donald and Douglas black, and the Skarloey Engines different colours."
Thomas, who couldn't stand people
making arguements for the TV series over the RWS, let off steam indignantly. He also made another awesome expression. He's
just so full of rage! Edward, on the other hand, looks like someone just punched him in the right eye. Poor guy.
me tell you," Thomas began.
"All right you two," laughed Edward, interrupting yet another of Thomas' rants, "go and move
those trucks, or there won't be room for any more."
There weren't any trucks there for Bill and Ben to move, but they knew
better than to trouble poor, confused Edward with little things like reality, so they left.
"You just don't have to take
them too seriously," explained Edward, with some pretty awful grammar, if I may say so.
Thomas smiled ruefully. There's
a word that doesn't get used enough. Ruefully. Very manly word.
"I wish I knew how you deal with them," he said.
it's easy," replied Edward. "Even BoCo can manage them now. Isn't that right, BoCo?" he said to the empty line next to him.
That's where BoCo would be if he wasn't skiving off in New South Wales, which is the only explanation I can think of for his
absence in this book.
Near the harbour the line crossed a lane. The crossing had no gates. The lane led to a farm which
made butter, and supplied eggs and milk to shops in the town.
If you can't figure out by now that an accident is going
to happen here, then I'm afraid there's no hope for you. Why was there no gate there? Don't ask me. Probably related to that
One morning the farmer had difficulty starting his lorry. We've all had that problem at one time or another,
haven't we lads? He did it at last, but the lorry jerked (Snigger) along in fits and starts. The farmer was worried about
his load (Tee hee) of milk and butter and eggs.
"That milk'll be churned to butter soon," he muttered to himself as he
neared the level crossing. Actually Mr. Farmer, that might be a good thing, since you seem to have left all your butter back
at your farm. Then again, you chose to drive a faulty lorry across a level crossing with no gates, so maybe you're not the
smartest tool in the box.
The lorry lurched across the rails.
"You rang?" it asked.
(See, because it 'lurched',
like that guy off 'The Addams Family', who's catchphrase was...ah, forget it!)
The back wheels were just clear when its
engine made a noise like a tired sheep and stopped. I think when you get to the point when you realise how much a tired sheep
sounds like a motor engine failing, you should re-evaluate your relationship with farm animals.
The back of the lorry was
still jutting out over the railway line, because otherwise there would be no accident, and this description of events would
have been a waste of time. Personally I want to hear about what BoCo's getting up to in Australia, but there you are.
farmer struggled to get it started again, but it would not go. He had just got down to telephone for help, because this was
1989 and mobile phones were not in wide use yet, when he heard a train approaching.
Thomas wasn't going fast. Just so you
know. You may have thought he was going fast, but you'd be wrong. When he saw the lorry he set his brakes hard, but he couldn't
stop. He didn't realise his trucks were magnetically attracted to the eggs, and so were pushing him on. Thomas hit the lorry
with a loud crash, and a small cry of angush from Farmer Nutjob (Note: Not his real name!).
The force of the blow spun
the lorry around. Splintered wood flew everywhere and eggs, butter and milk were catapulted over Thomas. Huh. Guess that milk
did churn after all.
"Ugh!" he exclaimed, and stopped.
"Just look at my poor lorry," said the farmer, emerging
from behind the hedge where he had been sheltering (one thing for Christopher Awdry, he never leaves anything out). "What
a way to make an omelette."
"Well I'm so glad you're here to make snide comments like that," said the driver, inspecting
Thomas for damage. After a while though, he had to admit it was pretty hilarious. Not the omelette joke, that was just stupid.
Please mentally smack the farmer for his stupidity.
"It's not funny," said Thomas. Hopefully he was talking about his current
situation, and not this parody, otherwise I shall cry.
"You're not standing where I am," said his driver. Well duh,
Mr. Driver. If he was standing where you are, you'd be a bit dead by now. "You look just like a scrambled egg, Thomas. Except,
you know, most scrambled eggs aren't mostly blue with wheels and other engine bits."
"Well if a scrambled egg feels as
sticky and wet as I do, then it's very uncomfortable," said Thomas, finally giving a voice to thousands of uncomfortable eggs
unceremoniously made into omelettes every year. "Please clean me."
Both driver and fireman tried hard, but Thomas' boiler
had cooked the eggs, and they were stuck fast. The fireman suggested eating them, but they had no knives or forks, and using
their hands would be vulgar. And if there's one thing Thomas the Tank Engine is against, it's vulgarity!
said his driver at last. "We can't block the line any longer. We shall have to go on."
"I hope you'll be compensating me
for my loss," said the farmer, who was promptly ignored.
At the end of the line, we'll go out with a song,
shall we falter.
For when we've got each...
Sorry, that's got nothing to do with anything, has it?
At the end
of the line, Thomas was taken to Bill and Ben's yard to be cleaned. Surprisingly enough, the twins were there. At their own
yard. Madness, I know.
"Hullo," said Ben, in his best impression of an 1870s detective, "What's this?"
"Must be a new
engine," said Bill. That had better be sarcasm, for Bill's sake.
Ben inspected the new engine. See, he really is an 1870s
"No Bill," he said. "My investigation had led me to the conclusion that this is in fact Thomas."
our colour, Ben, and Thomas doesn't think our colour is proper for an engine..."
I just want to point out that at no point
has Thomas said that, and Bill is clearly talking out of his back buffer.
They heard a grinding noise.
"Are your joints
stiff, Bill?" asked Ben.
But it wasn't Bill's joints-it was Thomas gnashing his teeth. Which raises all sorts of interesting
questions about why engines would need teeth if they don't eat, but I choose not to go into them. I will however express my
disappointment in Thomas not putting on another excellent facial expression like he did earlier to show his anger. Aww.
remember kids, practice your own facial expressions every day, and maybe you'll end up as good at it as Thomas! Or do something
more productive. I don't care either way.
What a Picture
It took a long time to clean Thomas properly. It would have been a lot quicker, but all the cleaners were
on a 'tea break'. The twins kept teasing our tank engine friend until Edward told them to stop. Being the ultimate force of
authority on the branch line, they of course ignored him, but once he threatened them with his unusually shaggy eyebrows,
they finally started listening to him.
(Seriously. Check out those eyebrows. Just something peculiar about them.)
party of railway enthusiasts is coming soon," he said. "I shan't bring them unless you behave.
The twins were excited.
these the enthusiasts from Sodor Island Forums?" asked Bil.
"Don't be silly, this isn't ERS volume 127," laughed Edward.
"Besides, this story tales place before SiF's creation."
The twins were a little disappointed about that, but they were
still fairly excited. Enthusiasts always made a fuss of them and took their photographs. That's take pictures of them, not
actually stealing their holiday snaps or anything. And being the vain creatures they are, Bill and Ben loved this.
they squeaked in unison, like two little twin mice. Let's reflect on that analogy for a minute, because it's such a pleasant
Edward smiled, and winked at Thomas.
"Next week," he said, "but not if you don't behave."
Ben promised that they would. You may think Edward was only saying this to keep them in line, but you'd be wrong. He was seriously
threatening to cancel the enthusiasts' plans in order to punish Bill and Ben. He's got power, that Edward. You don't mess
with him. He's like the Don Corleone of the branch line. Maybe that's why BoCo isn't in this book. Perhaps he crossed Edward
one time too many.
"Is it next week?" the twins asked Thomas each morning.
"Foolish engines," Thomas would answer.
"Have you no grasp on the non-linear concept of time? Next week, this week, last week...all an illusion based on our need
to establish continuity within our lives. To answer your question, yes, it is next week. And the week after that, and the
week before last, and relatively speaking, every week there has ever been or will be. I wrote a thesis on the subject which..."
this point Bill and Ben had usually moved on to be polished.
"What's the hurry?" their crews laughed. "The enthusiasts
aren't going to eat their breakfasts off you, you know. Unless we're really short on plates or something."
"No," Bill whispered
to Ben, "But they might do if we were Thomas."
Despite the fact that realistically this must have got old a few days ago,
the twins still thought this was a huge joke. It was lucky that Edward and Thomas weren't around to hear it. Because, as previously
alluded to, Edward could call some of his hired goons to give Bill and Ben some concrete wheel covers, if you get my meaning.
Wait, that would actually be unnecessary. They'd probably just sink straight into the sea anyway. Forget that then.
last the day came (although Thomas would argue the day had been there all along, and indeed had already left), and the drivers
and firemen agreed to give the engines an extra polish, attached to the hive mind as they were. They were sparkling when Thomas
arrived with the special train. To be honest, this could be hyperbole on Christopher Awdry's part. Bill doesn't look all that
clean in the picture. Then again he doesn't appear to have a face in the picture either, so make of that what you will.
of the enthusiasts had notebooks, and almost all had cameras. Pity the poor enthusiast who didn't have a camera, and so was
stuck with trying to sketch the engines in his notebook. Bill and Ben didn't know which way to look, but they loved it. The
enthusiasts, however, did not. Look at them. Miserable sods.
Then the visitors queued up for a ride in either Bill or Ben,
I'm not sure which. Their cabs were low, and several visitors forgot to duck, but they didn't seem to mind. Well, Bill and
Ben wouldn't mind at all, would they? It's not like they're the ones with bruised heads.
(Yes, I know what he meant,
please don't point this out to me, I'm just being silly.)
The enthusiasts' visit was almost over when a shunter came
running up. Am I the only one who thinks he looks a bit gormless in that picture? And when did we move to beng near the sea?
That was quite an odd reveal.
"A ship needs moving before the tide goes down," said the shunter. "Since that Captain Star
bought up all our tugboats, we need one of you to pull it along."
Ben went at once, and most of the visitors went too,
to watch. I'd just like this lull in the humour to point out that I had a really good joke about vampires for the preceeding
paragraph, but then I realised that the line said 'tide' and not 'sun'. Feel my frustation!
Only one man stayed. He had
a camera which took "instant" photos, i.e. they took about 5 minutes to develop. You may laugh now with your digital cameras
and whatnot, but this was the cat's pajamas back in the late 80s.
"Just one more," he kept saying. Soon even Bill tired
of him. For some reason that sentence makes me think of Bill as a Victorian fop. I have no idea what this says about me.
photographer screwed his camera (Wooo!) to a tripod (Aw!) and pointed it at Bill.
"Don't move," he said gravely. "This
camera is loaded...with film! Ho ho, just my little joke."
"Curses, my one chance to escape," said Bill to himself.
fireman ran up to them.
"I heard someone threatening you!" he cried. "Is everyone alright?"
"Unfortunately, yes," said
Bill. "What do you want?"
"Ben needs help," the fireman replied. "The ship's run aground, and he can't move it on his own."
aground," said Bill's fireman. "Aren't we all technical with our fancy ship jargon."
"Right, Bill," said his driver. "We
can't wait any longer."
He turned a tap, and water came out. After having a drink, he turned a tap in Bill's cab, and with
a hiss and a roar Bill vanished in a cloud of steam. Let's see David Blaine top that! At that moment the photographer pressed
the button. The world exploded in nuclear armageddon.
No, not really. He pressed the button on his camera. But you probably
figured that out already.
When the steam cleared Bill was hurrying off to help his twin. The photographer took the picture
and shook it like a...well, like a Polaroid picture. This was pretty silly, as this does not in any way speed up the development
time. So now you know, in case you're ever asked by a man on the street.
It was even sillier in this case, because all
he needed to do was take off the cover. He looked at the final photograph and threw it down in disgust. He was probably just
annoyed that he'd waved his hands for nothing. But at least now he wouldn't get Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Quickly the engines
were coupled together. This is the last page, so there's no time for things like setup.
"When I say heave, heave,"
"What do you mean, what?"
"What do I do when you say heave, heave?" asked Bill.
don't be an idiot. You know what I meant."
"No, I really didn't. You should learn to say what you mean, and not be so confusing."
me," said the people on the ship. "Do you mind hurrying up please?"
So the two engines puffed hard, tightening and stretching
the cable. At last, with a shudder, the ship slid off the mud and, towed by the engines, glided into deeper water. They'd
better be careful the Tugs Union doesn't see them do that, or they could end up in hot water.
That could be a pun, but
I'm not entirely sure.
Bill's driver found the discarded photograph on the floor. As opposed to, you know, finding it in
the sky or something. All it showed was a cloud of steam, with, very dimly, Bill's funnel at the top. He showed it to Bill.
dreadful!" Bill exclaimed. "That photographer must have been a complete amateur. No regard for lighting, a common and bland
camera angle, and as far as I can tell, there's no statement being made here at all. What a picture."
And that's how the
story got its title. Goodnight everybody!
And remember kids, time is merely an illusion designed to bring consistency
to our lives and give us the benefit of 'days off', and indeed 'tea breaks'. Thus bringing our parody to a neat circular ending.
Or something. I don't really know.
Trevor Helps Out
Well it's about dang time that traction engine started helping out. He's been pretty slack lately.
the traction engine was feeling depressed, and as anti-depressants were not suitable for engines at the time, he was stuck
that way. He couldn't breathe properly. He had a bit of popcorn stuck in his throat, and since it was rather hard to perform
the Heimlich Maneuver on a machine, there was very little that could be done about it.
I'm joking, of course. Traction
engines don't have throats, and even if they did, I doubt Trevor would be eating popcorn. He's not really one for going to
"Your boiler needs mending," said his owner, the Vicar, "but I can't afford it at present. Church funds have
been pretty slim as of late, especially after Sir Hatt convinced me to put so much money into that bingo scam. It may be time
to put the minimum fee back on the collection plate."
One morning the Vicarage telephone rang. The Vicar answered it.
Vicarage here....oh hello madam. No madam, I'm afraid you have the wrong number. Don't worry, happens all the time. People
are always doing it...ha, I can imagine. Must have given you quite a scare, you being in the mood and all, and then a vicar
answering the telephone. Well, never mind. Remember, they have a 2 at the end of their number, not 5. Ok, hope to see you
in church this Sunday. Goodbye."
He hung up. "I do wish we didn't have a number so similar to that 24-hour sex party line,"
he said to himself.
The telephone rang again. The Vicar answered it, and surprisingly it was the right number. He hurried
out to see Trevor.
"You may be a bit under the weather but you can manage this," he said. "The farmer has a tree down ,
and wants you to saw it up for him."
"Oh, I can't do that. I'm much too ill!" Trevor moaned.
"You'll do it if you want
to keep living in that shed," the Vicar warned.
When Trevor had steam, they went to the farm and set to work in a field
near the railway. This meant that Trevor, filthy voyeur that he is, could watch the engines go by.
There's a bit of a duff
paragraph here that basically goes nowhere, and I can't get a decent joke out of it, so we're gonna skip it. Basically, Edward
likes trucks, Thomas likes coaches. Imagine that spread out over 3 and a bit lines and you've got the jist of the paragraph.
Edward passed later that morning, he was pulling trucks with a sort of tent over them. But don't think these were so boy scouts
could practise camping on the move. These were specially for carrying china clay-the men called them 'hoods'."
Thomas had asked Bill and Ben, in one of his less brighter moments.
"Because it's like the trucks have hoods on. Duh!"
Bill chastised Thomas.
"They keep the clay dry," said Ben, considerably more helpfully. "Plus, it gives those trucks something
to do other than hang around in shopping centres upsetting pensioners."
But to Trevor, who had no interest in the complex
history of china clay production and transportation, they were simply trucks. He was enjoying himself-the only thing he liked
better than sawing logs was giving children rides. We've already covered this sort of thing in previous parodies, so as to
avoid retreading old ground, we'l not make the obvious joke.
(Note to would-be parodyists-take the above advice to heart!)
returned with some empty trucks. As he passed the place where Trevor was working, the line seemed to wobble under him.
I've been eating too much jelly, or that's a loose rail," he thought. "We'd better tell the maintainance people. Hopefully
it won't take as long as it took to clean Thomas.
At the harbour Edward exchanged the empty trucks for full ones, at a
rate of 4.32 empties to 1 full, and set off for the junction again, complaining about the de-strengthening of the empty.
was about this point when I realised this was really just a filler story to make up the '4 stories per book' clause, because
nothing much happens whatsoever. Feel free to skip ahead to the next parody upon re-reading this set.
In fact, this whole
page is pretty much this:
Blah blah blah Trevor watched Edward blah blah blah trucks broke off blah blah blah.
on Christopher Awdry, I know you didn't want to write this book, but at least put some effort into it. It's kinda hard to
parody it when not much is there.
Screw it, I'm writing my own ending.
Trevor watched as the trucks flew into the
air, explosions happening all around him. The guard, a long time veteran in Her Majesty's Army, knew he had to blow his whistle
at precisely the right pitch, or it could set off more landmines on the track. But Edward, too determined to get the china
clay serum through to the starving orphans, didn't have time to notice to damage being caused.
Trevor saw the debris of
trucks scattered over the warzone. He knew action was needed to save the day. Every drop of serum was essential to make sure
the orphans didn't suffer.
"Peep pip pip peeeeeeep, peep pip pip peeeep!" he whistled, giving out the international distress
signal. Suddenly, a Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle came out of nowhere and headed in front of Edward. The grizzled old engine braked
as hard as he could, narrowly stopping in front of his allies.
"What's the problem, Captain?" he asked.
"We heard the
distress signal," said Captain Scarlet. "Looks like the Mysterons made good with their threat after all."
"Yeah, look behind
you," said Captain Blue. Edward looked back to see the corpses of the trucks, scattered like ERTL toys over the line.
God," he muttered. "Thank goodness you two stopped me. But how did you know?"
"Like I said, we heard the signal. Which
I'm guessing came from your traction engine friend there," Captain Scarlet pointed to Trevor.
"Good work, Trevor. The starving
orphans of the world owe their very lives to you."
Ok, I'm done now. But if you ever want to write an ERS, write something
like the above. I mean, it'll never get into the library, but you'll get some awesome points on your record.
the Fat Controller came to see Trevor.
"Thank you, Trevor," he said. "I've heard about your problem, and since I owe the
Vicar a favour after he helped me through that terrible scandal, you're to go to my Works to be mended. Would you like that?"
Sir," said Trevor. "Thank you."
2 days later, Trevor went to The Works, and was very disappointed to find out it was just
a cheap book shop.
And remember kids, if you're not satisfied with a Thomas story, throw in some explosions and pop
culture references, and everything will be gold. Or maybe it won't. I'm not really sure.
Down the Drain
If you though China Clay was quarried, as other minerals
are, then you'd be dead wrong, and Christopher Awdry would laugh at you for your ignorance. It is washed out of the ground
with strong hoses, like a giant cocker spaniel. Then the mixture of clay and water has to settle and be dried before Bill
and Ben can take it away. Otherwise it's all wet, and of no use to anyone. Except maybe some wet clay lover, but those are
few and far between on Sodor. Unlike Norwich.
Part of the line which the twins use to reach the china clay workings runs
near the sea. Sodor geographists take note. There is a hollow (which presumably is not sleepy) in the land here which often
floods after heavy rain. You'd think they'd have taken that into account when laying the line, but there you are. Local people,
in their infinite wisdom, call this hollow the 'Drain'. Except for Mad Tom, who calls it 'Ekky Fred'. Let's not discuss him
The autumn gales which had brought down the farmer's tree for Trevor to cut up were also causing rough seas
and high tides, and no small amount of unrest for Sailor Jones, the sea captain. That's right, he's the captain of the whole
sea. When rain came too, the engine crews looked gloomy.
"A really high tide now," said Ben's driver, "could make real
trouble at the 'Drain'."
"Yargh, the sea be as unpredictable as a woman," Sailor Jones chewed his pipe. "But with luck,
ye should alright, me young Jim Lad."
Indeed, though pools of water lay on either side of the line, they gew no larger.
To be honest, I wouldn't have said pools of water, I'd have said 'a river', because that's what Clive Spong drew. But I digress.
and Ben puffed happily to and fro (except Ben, who is clearly worried, and can you blame him? What are the odds an accident's
going to happen? Place your bets now), replacing loaded 'hoods' with empty ones. I remind you that the trucks are called 'hoods',
they weren't filling up hoodies or anything. That would be silly, and very time-consuming.
Then the rain began again
(on the plains of Spain, would you believe?) and the wind strengthened. That's a funny word. Strengthened. As the engines
went to the claypits that morning, they heard an eerie cackle.
"I wouldn't go ta the 'Drain' if I were ye, lads!" Sailor
Jones shouted from his houseboat. "The water be rising faster than a newly-wed man in the bedroom, yargh!"
"Oh ignore him,"
said Bill's driver. "He's clearly an idiot."
But they were wrong to take no notice of Sailor Jones. As Ben arrived at the
'Drain' he found that the water was level with the top of the rails.
"Come on," said Ben bravely (and stupidly). "We must
get through, if only to get help for Bill."
Oh yeah, Bill was at the claypit. Forgot to mention that.
"Could we not
just go back and wait until the water goes down?" said the fireman.
"Nonsense, lad!" said the driver. "Remember Dunkirk!
The wind seemed to shriek, "Two pints of milk! A bottle of beer!"
Ben took no notice. You can't really
blame him. He was halfway over when the rising tide, whipped into a huge wave by the wind, swept across the line.
spluttered Ben, his eyebrows getting hairier in fright. "Help!"
With a hiss and a tap and a rousing rendition of 'My Brother',
the water reached his fire.
"Quick, Ben," urged his driver, but it was too late. Now there's a phrase that'll come back
to haunt me. With a despairing (there's another funny word) gasp Ben stopped, stranded in the middle of the 'Drain'.
fireman set off to find help, whilst Ben and his driver cursed Bill's driver for not listening to the sea captain.
just looking at that picture fills me with joy. He's so wet! and his hair so messy! Tee hee!
Ben's fireman reached
the Yard. Thomas was there, wondering where his trucks were. That soon changed after seeing the fireman though.
soggier than a Rice Krispie in a washing machine," he wittily remarked.
Oh, you don't think that's witty, do you? Fine.
driver wasted no time. Well, he did go to the toilet, when he could have easily held it in, so that was kind of a waste of
time. But he wasted no further time. Well, no, he did have that third scone, which was a bit unneccessary. But other than
that, no time was wasted.
"Ben must be rescued," said Captain Obvious. "We need a steel cable, a pair of waders and determination."
said Thomas doubtfully. He understood the cable (he was its psychiatrist, after all), but he wasn't sure about determination
(it was one of those words that he easily confused with others, like 'demonstration' and 'deputation') and didn't know where
they were going to find waders at this time of day.
Fortunately a passing fisherman was sporting some waders, and he
gladly gave them up for the cause. Thomas set off to rescue Ben.
Along the way, he saw an old man in a sailor costume dancing
by the side of the line.
"Yargh, I told them not to go, but they wouldn't listen! That'll teach them ta doubt Sailor Jones,"
the fellow shook his fist at them in anger.
Thomas, nonplussed by this encounter, continued on to the edge of the 'Drain'.
His fireman put on the waders and set out, carrying the end of the cable.
"I'll be d**ned if I'm going to ruin my best
trousers for this!" he muttered to himself.
Ben was delighted to see him, although a little upset that he wasn't Shirley
Bassey, whom he was a big fan of. It's true, look it up in The Island of Sodor.*
The fireman did his thing, and
soon they were ready to pull Ben clear. Oh, and it stopped raining. That's nice.
Ben had no steam, so the driver and fireman
waved to show Thomas they were ready. They were ready for love. Yes they were, oh they're ready come on.
Thomas took the strain. Slowly, with water cascading merrily like ballet dancers all around him, Ben came out of the 'Drain'.
Once he was clear, Thomas was properly coupled to him, and helped him back to his shed.
That's a good point actually. Where
was Thomas sleeping all this time? Oh right, in BoCo's shed. Never mind. Wonder if that's why they got rid of him. I mean,
God forbid Thomas should have to sleep in the carriage shed. He's not Daisy, you know!
"Thank you Thomas," said Ben gratefully,
and his eyes twinkled for the first time for several days. It was Mrs. Tupp what did it, I bet ya. He's always had a thing
It was four days before the water in the 'Drain' subsided. When Bill reached home, both twins agreed that it would
be ungrateful of them ever to tease Thomas again. Of course, they still did it, and how, but they knew it was being ungrateful.
there the book ends. Does Thomas ever get back to his own branch line? Not as far as this volume's concerned. And the next
one's 'Jock the New Engine', so that's no use. It's not until the book after that when Thomas shows up again, and even then
he goes to York.
Did that bridge ever get repaired? Hey, wouldn't it be funny if the bridge was never broken? If TFC just
wanted rid of Thomas for a few weeks of peace and quiet? d**n, that would have been a great setup. If only I could go turn,
turn back the hands of time.
I made it up-Ashamed Alaric.