27 February 2008
Lord Likely is One: Part The Second
There are few things more horrifying, more terrible, more downright cataclysmic than running out of alcohol.
The awfulness of this situation is multiplied by a factor of a million when one is supposed to be holding a magnificent ball to celebrate the one-year anniversary of one’s journals, as I had proposed. Immediate action was required to alleviate this deepening crisis.
“Botter,” I said softly. “Prepare the Likely Mobile!”
“The what, milord?”
“You know. The horse and carriage. We must go into town, and try and procure more booze if we are to throw the mother of all parties here tonight. The fate of hundreds of party-goers and revellers rests in our very hands.” I paused and looked out of the window, striking my best troubled look. “God help us all.”
We arrived at Mr. Timothy Tipsy’s Emporium of Alcoholic Beverages an hour later, but as soon as I set my lordly foot inside the shop, I could sense something was rather amiss.
All the shelves in the shop were as bare as a nudist’s arse.
“Good day, gents,” smiled Mr. Tipsy, as he emerged from the back-room of his store. “And how may I help you fine fellows on this fine February afternoon?”
“Wh-wh-where’s all the damned booze, confound it?” I replied.
“Ah, yes. You noticed that, did you? Well, you see, sir, we no longer sell alcohol here.”
“What in the name of buttocks are you warbling about? This is, is it not, Mr. Timothy Tipsy’s Emporium of Alcoholic Beverages?”
“Oh, it was, sir. It was. But now we specialise in shelves. Take a look around you, sir! A fine array of shelves as you will ever see, I am sure.”
“But…why, man? Why?“
“Well, they are very fine shelves, sir, crafted from the finest Norwegian wood. Many of my customers have commented on the excellence of my shelving, and with business being a bit slow of late, I realised that my best asset in this shop was not the booze, but that which was holding the booze up – to whit, the shelves. I simply put two and two together and came up with shelves, sir.”
“Please, for the love of ev’ry God under the sun, tell me that you have stored the booze away safely somewhere…” I pleaded.
“Oh, heavens no, sir!” the foolish fellow chirped. “We threw all the alcohol out into the garden, and lit a massive fire. It was most spectacular, I can tell you. We nearly set the whole street aflame, and sadly three cats perished in the blaze. But still, it was quite an incredible sight to behold.”
I rubbed the top of my nose despairingly.
“You, sir, are possibly the biggest idiot I have ever clapped eyes upon, and I live with Botter here.”
“I beg to differ, sir! People will always need things to be held up a certain distance from the ground, you see. Shelves are the future! Why, I believe even Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, has a shelf in her palace, so it is rumoured.”
“My good man,” I sighed deeply. “Have you ever been hit upon the head with a shelf?”
“No, sir! I can’t say that I have.”
“Would you like to be?” I smirked.
“It is funny, Botter, I had no desire to purchase a shelf to-day but after clobbering that fellow about the head with one, and seeing how the shelf remained strong and unscathed after such a brutal attack, I was quite swayed, I can tell you. First-rate craftsmanship, I must say.”
“Plus Mr. Tipsy can use those pound notes you gave him to mop up his blood,” Botter added.
“Exactly! Everybody wins!” I beamed, but then my face fell again as I remembered the original purpose of my visit to the shop. “However, we are still no nearer to getting hold of more alcohol for the party, Botter. This is getting rather serious.”
“Maybe we could try that pub outside the town, milord?” Botter suggested. “I’ll bet they’ve got loads of booze to spare.”
“Botter!” I cried. “Who could have imagined that you would have a good idea rolling around in that vast, empty void you call a brain? Capital idea, man! Let us get back to the carriage and – “
“Can you spare any change, guv?” came a voice at my elbow. I looked down to see a hitherto unnoticed vagrant sat on the pavement beside me, his grimy hand reaching outwards me.
“If you do not leave me alone this instant,” I replied, “then the only change you shall experience is the change in you being dead, rather than alive.”
The beggar mumbled something under his breath, and took a swig from a bottle of cider he was holding in his other hand.
“Wait a blasted, disease-ridden minute! How is it that some filthy, pus-filled wretch has alcohol, yet I – Lord Likely, aristocratic adventurer and gentle-man of action – have none? Has the world gone completely arse-about tit?” I stooped over the pauper, and grabbed him roughly by his lapels, an action I instantly regretted as his lapels were caked in grime. “Where on Earth did you get that booze? Tell me man! Tell me at once!”
“I can’t!” cried out the foul creature, as I shook him violently. “I can’t tell ya, guv!”
I stopped shaking the vagrant (too many flakes of dandruff and/or skin were flying off of the vile abomination), and then I decided to try a different approach.
“There shall be a shiny penny in it for you,” I said. The beggar smiled a disgusting, decaying smile at me.
“Deal,” he said.
And so the stage was set for one of my most unusual adventures thus far…
- Lord Likely.
Next Time in The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely: Lord Likelys descends into the murky underworld of Victorian London, and faces previously unimagined horrors, all just so that he might get some alcohol and get utterly pissed off of his lordly face.
His lordship would like to take this opportunity to give his hardened, fully-engorged thanks to his loyal readers, for their continued support over the past year. His lordship is truly grateful, and wished that he could penetrate each and every one of you in return. Cheers!
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