The Architect's Essence, The Diary of Sunrise

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16th Draan 2579 – 26th Palleet 2580

I am sorry to once again misuse my diary but as Doctor Phlegm raised the question of what lies within an Orderly’s suit in my last entry I feel obliged to include a record of the following incident which occurred a full century after my horrific toe stubbing and gave us our first insight of our inner workings. I would like to inform all readers that the following entry contains the word fart along its suffixes farted and farting a full twenty-six times and may not be suitable for persons of a delicate disposition. It also contains descriptions of spifes, sporfs, knorks, chorks and splayds which some may find disturbing.

In the closing month of the year 2579 I had received word that Queen Tigridia Speciosa, reigning monarch of the Minotaur race wished to visit Mount Bedlam in order to greet all sixty-six of us, thank us for our advances in the field of mental health care and to better understand our operation. Queen Tigridia was to be the first member of any royal family to have set foot in Mount Bedlam since the Conkobile Royals had made it their home and, as we had inadvertently cremated the remains of the Conkobile King, I had felt it was prudent to prepare for the Queen’s arrival so as to avoid any unfortunate and embarrassing incidents. Not in my wildest nightmares did I imagine that we would once again mistake a member of royalty for kindling but equally I could never have dreamt up the outcome of Queen Tigridia’s visit.

I had researched Queen Tigridia prior to her arrival and I had discovered that she was a big fan of fine dining, etiquette and manners, enjoying inventive and sumptuous à la carte cuisine served alongside a dizzying array of cutlery.

With this in mind I had ordered two extra crates of spoons and had asked Blancmange to concoct a menu fit for a Queen, a task which he had tackled with much enthusiasm but also much head scratching. I had also decided that it would be wise to call a meeting with my sixty-five brothers and sisters to discuss the best way for us to conduct ourselves around royalty. We had mulled the subject over for some time and we had decided that we should all practice curtsying and greeting the Queen and so we had convened one night in the Midnight Room.

We had decided that our greetings to the Queen should be something along the lines of, I’m very pleased to meet you Your Majesty or We are honoured to have you in our mountain Your Majesty. This activity seemed quite productive and all of my brethren composed suitable greetings for the Queen, that was until it was Taboo’s turn. Taboo seemed incapable of politely welcoming the Queen and seemed bent on insulting her, writing messages such as Welcome to Bedlam you odd looking she-bull, apparently, we are plegging honoured to have you here but in truth some of us are indifferent bordering on board, and I am told that I am pleased to meet your fudging acquaintance. Now kindly stick your crown up your Royal wazoo and get out of our mountain. At one point he had simply written, Go pleg yourself Queeny! an insult which had come complete with a most obscene illustration and hand gesture. It was at this point that I had decided that if Taboo were to meet the Queen then he would have to do so without his chalk board.

Taboo had not taken the confiscation of his chalkboard very well and he had spent most of the day prior to the queen’s arrival coming up with new and inventive ways to convey his discourtesy, experimenting with offensive gesticulations and an array of vulgar looking pelvic gyrations. His greatest discovery that day however had been the realisation that he had the ability to armpit fart, a skill which was to become the main weapon in his arsenal of voiceless vulgarities.

I had pleaded with him, asking him to do his best to suppress his rude tendencies during the Queen’s visit. It was a request which had been met with folded arms and an uncouth onslaught of armpit flatulence but despite this Taboo had borrowed my chalk and had written a fairly clean message on the wall, promising me that he would do his fudging best to behave in front of the narfing Queen.

I had thanked him and later that day we had once again assembled in the Midnight Room, this time to greet the Queen herself. The Queen had entered the room, heralded by a fanfare trumpeted out by her own personal entourage and I had attempted to organise us into a line in preparation to be greeted by her. The Queen had worn a tall powdered wig atop her bull-like head, a sparkling tiara of diamonds nestled at its base. A gold, jewel encrusted ring had dangled from her royal nostrils and she had worn an elegant suit of lavender and cream. She’d held a small silver clutch bag which had seemed to highlight the patches of silver-grey which streaked her auburn fur, gifts of her sixty-five years on the Minotaur throne.

Once we had formed an orderly line (no pun intended,) picked Butter up off the floor and turned Itas around to face the correct direction the Queen had begun making her way down the line, shaking hands and individually greeting each of us as she went. She had been chaperoned by a burly looking minotaur with a scarred face and a broken horn whom I had surmised was her royal body guard. My brethren had acted admirably and had remembered their curtsies and etiquette, welcoming the queen in a most polite and courteous fashion. There were only a few minor hiccups. Pineapple’s curtsy had been outrageously squeaky and had prompted the Queen’s bodyguard to step forwards, apparently fearful that Pineapple was wielding some sort of squeak-based weapon. Magpie had not once looked the Queen in the eye, staring instead at her sparkling tiara of diamonds. He had shaken her hand and then had reached out toward her glistening nose ring. I am not sure if he was intending to snatch it or simply caress it but luckily Pulida had grabbed his hand and had forced it back to his side before the bodyguard had seen fit to intervene.

Itas had shook the Queen’s hand but had written It’s very nice to meet you but I must say goodbye as I’m meeting a Queen today, he had looked down the line, I think she shall be along any minute now. Butter had been given the task of presenting the Queen with a bunch of flowers but when she had handed them over they had all been bent and broken, crushed during one of her little trips. The Queen had thanked Butter all the same and had handed the pulverised blooms to one of her entourage, stating that she would eat them later. Tuxedo had made the most effort and had arrived at the meet-and-greet dressed in top hat and tails. He had shaken the Queen’s hand most enthusiastically and had kept her talking for a full ten minutes before another minotaur with a pocket watch had stepped forwards and had politely ushered the Queen onwards. Up to this point the whole affair was going as well as I could have expected but I had felt my anxiety rising the closer the Queen came to greeting Taboo.

The Queen had moved down the line and had extended her hand toward Taboo. “And whom might you be?” she had prompted. “I see that you don’t have a board. Are you unable to communicate?”

Taboo had stared at the queen’s hand for an uncomfortably long time until she had let it fall back to her side. There had been an awkward moment where the queen had hovered on the spot, clearly unsure whether she should continue or await a response from Taboo.

Suddenly Taboo had lifted his arm and had placed his hand beneath it. He had looked down the line towards me to see me vigorously shaking my head. DON’T DO IT TABOO! I’d written on my board, holding it aloft for him to see. FOR THE LOVE OF THE ARCHTECT DON’T!

Taboo had looked back towards the queen, his arm held poised. He’d become ridged and I’d known that there was an internal battle going on within him, his discourteous nature at war with his common sense.

“Are you quite alright?” the queen had asked in confusion.

The battle had abruptly ended, Taboo’s discourtesy prevailing and he had rapidly pumped his arm up and down, unleashing a barrage of deafening armpit farts which had left the queen and her entourage stunned, their mouths hanging agape. The bodyguard had thrown himself between Taboo and the queen, shielding her from further vulgarities.

The only sound to be heard in the silence following the armpit farts was the sound of my hand slapping my forehead.

Taboo had seemed quite pleased with himself and he had folded his arms across his chest, nodding in satisfaction.

Taboo! Cloud had written. That was awesome! You have to teach me how to do that!

The queen had stood absolutely still, a look of surprise frozen onto her face.

Your majesty, I had hastily written, walking over. I’m so sorry, he doesn’t mean anything by it it’s just his way.

Suddenly the queen had released a great guffaw of mooing laughter. “It’s quite alright,” she had said, waving away my board of apologies. “I am most amused. Who is this individual?”

We call him Taboo Ma’am, I’d written, relief washing over me.

“Taboo you say,” the queen had said, still mooing merrily to herself, “and is he always this brazen?”

No, this was quite restrained for him, I’d written truthfully.

I had watched the following exchange through my fingers.

“Well I would also like to learn how to make my armpits sing,” the queen had said, “and I would very much like Mr Taboo to be seated next to me during dinner so that he might give me a lesson.” She had nodded toward Cloud. “Young master Cloud may join the lesson too. If that is quite alright with you Mr Taboo?”

Taboo had hastily snatched Mistletoe’s board. It would be my fudging pleasure to teach your armpits to fart Your Unsightly Bovine Majesty. I would also like to tell you and your entourage to go shatang yourselves quite violently but unfortunately, I can do nether.

“Oh, and why is that?” the queen had said in surprise, “I promise you that I am a quick study.”

My armpits are smooth and supple and built to fart, Taboo had written, caressing his underarm, but yours are old and flabby and lined with vile, putrid fur. They’ll probably always smell like a fart but they’ll never sound like one unless you shave them.

“You advise me to shave my royal armpits!” the queen had said. “Well this will require some deep thought. These armpits have been in my family for generations.”

No one really knew how to respond to that.

“I shall think on it Mr Taboo,” the queen had continued. “I shall look forward to your company at dinner.”

Taboo had written, *Raspberry* on his board and had pressed his thumb to the beak of his mask, waggling his fingers in front of his face.

The queen had continued down the line but her bodyguard had lingered for a moment to give Taboo a menacing look.

Is something fudging wrong? Taboo had written, staring defiantly at the bodyguard. Why don’t you go and find a nice field somewhere far away and go graze yourself silly? Take your cloud of flies with you too!

The bodyguard had snarled but had moved on, keeping himself on the Queen’s heels.

Later that day the Queen and her entourage had entered the canteen for their afternoon meal and, as she had requested, she had been seated next to Taboo and Cloud. Everyone baring Taboo had stood for the Queen and we had only sat when given permission. Why are you waiting for plegging permission to sit? Taboo had written. It’s our shatanging table not hers! Once again, the Queen had been most amused by Taboo’s impoliteness and she had stated that she foresaw a most entertaining evening ahead of her. She had been dressed most elegantly, wearing a long shimmering cream dress and a silver shrug.

Blancmange had devised twenty-five different courses for the Queen consisting of four separate appetizers, three bowls of soup, five fish courses, four salads, three main courses and six desserts.

The menu read as follows:

Appetizers

·Angels on Horseback – Oysters wrapped in heavily smorted bacon, served with a bucket of sweet potato fries.

·Garlic Knots – A garlic baguette tied in a knot, served upon a freshly washed plate.

·Onion kabooms – Dismembered onions, stuffed with a volatile mixture of effervescent muesli and gunpowder, served with a shot of Chillisprings mineral water. (goggles provided)

·Crackers and cheese – crackers with cheese.

Soups

·Nettle Soup – Annihilated stinging nettles, pureed into a warm green mush, served with a flotilla of croutons.

·Vegetarian chicken – Chicken friendly chicken soup, consisting mainly of vegetables, served with a flowerpot of bread.

·Phoenixhelm Beer Broth – Hot ale, spices and cream served in a beer tankard, alongside a bowl of nuts and a complimentary beer mat.

Fish Courses

·Grilled burnoot – lightly grilled burnoot fillets served on a bed of charred phoenix feathers and mashed bunion cacti (spines removed.)

·Anchovy and gas eel crème brûlée pie – a slightly fizzy pie filling with a pungent odour topped with a crunchy caramel lid, served with ketchup or custard.

·Fish Fingers and Toes – Toes of a trek whale and fingers of a pianist dolphin lightly coated in free range breadcrumbs, served upon a lightly steamed glove and sock.

·Surf and Turf – A smoked octopus holding a vegetable kebab served upon a square of freshly watered turf, (earthworms removed.)

·Last Minute Fish Concoction – An almost forgotten and hastily prepared dish consisting of a broken fried egg nestled on the forehead of a pan-fried cuttlefish which has been sprinkled with sea pineapple scales. Served at room temperature with an assortment of apologies.

Salads

·Luminactus and Brie Mess Salad – An untidy jumble of roasted luminactus chunks, sloppily tossed into a bowl with an unknown amount of holk brie.

·Seaweed and algae fishbowl salad – An assortment of algae coated seaweeds served in an uninhabited fishbowl.

·Autumn Forest salad – A bowl of freshly raked autumn leaves drizzled with fresh rain drops and unavoidable grass clippings.

·Bean salad – (Listed in alphabetical order) Adzuki Beans, Anasazi Beans, Aqua Beans, Black Turtle Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Broad Beans, Butter Beans, Cannellini Beans, Chaarn Inhaling Beans, Lima Beans, Corona Beans, Fava Beans, Flageolet Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Griffin Beaked Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lupini Beans, Marrow Beans, Moth Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Pigeon Peas, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Screaming Beans, Snoring Beans, Starlight Beans, Red Beans, Rice Beans, Scarlet Runner Beans, Soya Beans, Tepary Beans, Toenail Beans and Zoolkalipaneela Beans, all heartlessly removed from the comfort of their pods, tossed into a bowl and forced to coinhabit. Served with a bean mallet.

Main Course

·Deliciousness in the Dark – An outrageously tasty dish of smorted sausage, banktandoo roots and puss gourds wrapped in a hideously ugly layer of puff pastry. This dish is so horrendously grotesque that it will be served in a darkened room.

·Duck Pond Delight – A favourite dish of our resident duck. A loaf of stale wholemeal bread roughly torn into chunks and thrown into a bowl of fresh pond water. Can be eaten without the aid of hands for that authentic water bird dining experience.

·Obsessive Compulsive Spaghetti and Meatballs – Eighty strands of spaghetti which have been painstakingly untangled, precisely cut to fifteen inches in length and arranged in straight lines. Served with a perfect rectangle of bolognaise sauce and a symmetrical arrangement of meatballs.

Deserts

·Whole Egg Crunch Cake – A delightfully crunchy sponge cake that utilises the whole egg from white to shell. Filled with zangle jam and cream and lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar. (A special prize will be awarded to the diner who finds my missing stick of chalk which was lost whilst stirring the cake mixture.)

·Ice-cream Avalanches – A meringue and chocolate mountain range topped with snow-caps of unstable vanilla ice-cream alongside a gingerbread log cabin.

·Sweetshop Massacre – An assortment of confectionary which has been ruthlessly hacked into small pieces. Served in a pool of strawberry sauce and outlined in chalk.

·A Dessert for the Mind - A purely metaphysical dish where you will be encouraged to close your eyes and imagine your dream desert. The desert can be any flavour, shape, texture, size, colour or temperature you desire. It can be eaten anywhere, at any point in time and with anyone. It is also quite light and will not fill you up. It will be served on a plate of pure imagination.

·Spoon-fed Custard – A Bedlam speciality, a bowl of our bluest custard which will be spoon-fed to you by an Orderly of your choice. (Recommended Orderly – Cloud as he does an excellent “Open Wide! Here comes the birdie.”)

·Savoury Espionage – An elite team of savoury sausage rolls which have infiltrated the dessert menu in the guise of chocolate eclairs. Served beneath a blanket of lies, deceit and cream.

Knowing the Queen’s love for table etiquette and her use of many different utensils whilst she dined I had decided that I would personally lay out the place settings and I had made good use of my newly purchased crate of spoons, filling the table in a delightful and diverse collection of gleaming cutlery which ranged from tea spoons to serving spoons. Unfortunately, upon seating herself, the queen had requested a knife and fork, two inferior utensils which I had failed to provide. To my embarrassment, after she had complimented me on my fine array of spoons, she had then educated me on the correct way to set out a formal dining table, stating that spoons should be arranged on the right-hand side of the place setting. To my dismay, when I had reasoned that there simply wasn’t room on the right of the place setting for such a grand collection of spoons, she had informed me that she would likely only require a soup spoon and a dessert spoon. She had gone on to tell me that forks should be placed on the left-hand side and all cutlery should be placed in order of use with knife blades facing the plate and fork prongs pointing upwards. The first utensil, the butter knife (which she intended to butter her bread roll with,) she placed furthest from her plate on the right-hand side. She had then selected herself a soup spoon to sit next to it and had then laid herself a selection of knives and forks before placing her dessert spoon next to her plate. She had said that any specialist utensils such as escargot holders, bean mallets or spifes should be brought out with the relevant courses. I had apologised profusely but the Queen had been most gracious and had said that she’d found laying her own table a ‘Most refreshing exercise.’

The Queen’s new table setting had sent me into a panic for two reasons, firstly, Blancmange had not baked any bread rolls for the Queen rendering her butter knife quite redundant and secondly, I had no idea what a spife was. Fearing that the mystery utensil would be an essential part of the Queen’s dining experience I had felt it wise to bring the subject up with one on the Queen’s hoofmen. The hoofman had informed me that the Queen often made use of what he called combination utensils and he had informed me that a spife was a spoon with a knife blade for a handle. I had been most appalled that someone had chosen to ruin such a fine utensil by combing it with a knife and I had enquired if the Queen was likely to request any other combination utensils. The hoofman had informed me that he knew of many other cutlery draw abominations, telling me of sporks, sporfs, knorks and chorks. The most profane utensil he informed me of however was the unholy melding of a spoon, a fork and a knife which he had called a splayd, a vile, deformed piece of silverware which has haunted my mind and been the crux of many a nightmare since. Despite my abhorrence of combination utensils, I had sent Itas into the kitchens with a pot of glue and had instructed him to glue the tableware together in different combinations in case the Queen should feel the need to simultaneously cut and spoon one of her meals.

I had been quite concerned that Blancmange had chosen to serve the Queen an explosive appetiser but luckily none of off the onion kabooms served to the Queen or her entourage had properly detonated. There had however been one small call for first aid from the Queen’s bodyguard who, whilst eating his Deliciousness in the Dark had miscalculated the trajectory of his laden fork and had stabbed himself in the nostrils, a mishap which he had blamed upon the darkened room but which I had put down to his choice of utensil. No one has ever stabbed themselves with a spoon. There had also been a near miss with Magpie when, quite unexpectedly, he had popped up behind the Queen’s chair and had reached out towards her crown with a covetous gleam in his goggles. Luckily Skull had been on hand to tackle him and drag him from the dining hall.

On a whole the meal portion of the evening had been a complete success, and Blancmange’s menu had been extremely popular and though the Queen had admitted to have already filled herself up on Butter’s crushed floral tribute she had insisted upon trying at least a mouthful of every dish placed before her. She had been particularly fond of the Desert for the Mind and had informed us that she had chosen a large knickerbocker glory made from layers of sunlight and moonbeams which had been topped off with a sprinkling of stars. She had eaten her dessert in the uppermost boughs of The Creation Tree with some member of Deltafaun City aristocracy whom she’d referred to as The Toymaker. As recommended, she had chosen Cloud to spoon-feed her the custard and she had complimented him on his open wide here comes the birdie, and also on his choice of bib which he had tied around her neck before feeding her, fearful of getting custard on her dress.

The problem had arisen when the Queen had turned toward Taboo and ad requested her armpit singing lesson. She had removed her silver shrug and a collective gasp of shock had silenced the canteen. The Queen had done as Taboo had suggested and had shaved her armpits from below her shoulder blades right around to her collarbone.

Well done Your Highness, Taboo had written, his chalk squeaking in the shocked silence. You may look foul but now that you’ve shaved you might be able to tease a fart from those saggy bovine pits.

“Well I certainly hope so,” the Queen had said. “I do not shave my armpits for just anyone Mr Taboo. I expect results.”

Hey Cloud! Taboo had written. Do you want in on this too?

Cloud, who was packing away his bib and spoon had nodded enthusiastically and had pulled up a chair next to Taboo.

Taboo’s lesson had stretched far into the night and the Queen had ordered many drams of Gleemisry brandy to accompany it. Cloud had quickly mastered the art of the armpit fart and had produced several farts which had rivalled Taboo’s in pitch if not in volume. The Queen had struggled however and as the hours went by and the brandy bottle emptied, she had become increasingly frustrated. The Queen’s entourage had excused themselves one by one and eventually Cloud too had made his leave, thanking Taboo for the lesson and stating that it was well past his bedtime. This had left only Taboo, the Queen, her bodyguard, myself and Horizon in the canteen. The Queen’s bodyguard had almost consumed as much brandy as she had and he had dozed off, snoring in his sleep from a chair in the corner.

This will not end well, Horizon had written, surveying the scene and consulting his compass. He had sat opposite me and had procured a box of dominos, challenging me to a game.

I agree, I had replied, sharing the dominos between us. After completing our pre-domino finger exercises myself and Horizon had then engaged in an epic bought of domino matches in which we had both raised the game to new heights of skill and cunning. Eventually however Horizon had succumbed to my superior tactics and precision domino placing and I had emerged victorious. Horizon had attributed his loss to the brandy, stating that he felt sure he’d have won if he hadn’t poured himself such a big glass. Whilst I performed my post-domino warm down, I had revelled in the glory of my triumph, finding it a welcome distraction from the Queen’s mounting frustration over the continuing silence of her armpits.

“I give up!” the Queen had said at last. Her speech had become slurred and she seemed unsteady in her chair. “I simply cannot do it. It’s quite impossible! I have shaved the royal armpits for nothing!”

There must be some plegging reason why your pits can’t fart, Taboo had written. He had lifted the Queen’s arm and had gazed thoughtfully at her armpit which by this time had looked decidedly red and sore. I know what the fudging matter is, he’d written, reaching for the spent custard bowl. Your aging pits need some lubrication. He had scooped some of the congealed blue residue from around the custard bowl. Slather some of this cold custard under your arms and I’ll bet they’ll be farting in no time!

I’m willing to try anything,” the Queen had said, doing as Taboo had instructed. The custard had dripped from beneath her arms and had made a terrible mess of her dress. Undeterred, the Queen had placed her hand beneath her arm and had pumped her elbow up and down as Taboo had instructed. The result was a deep, reverberating fart loud enough to stir the Queen’s bodyguard in his sleep.

“I did it!” the Queen had shrieked, springing from her chair and mooing with excitement. “My armpits can sing. It just took some of your odd blue custard!”

They didn’t sing, Taboo had written. They farted. Armpits can no more sing than a werewolf can get a sun tan. But well done all the same. May your armpits plegging fart for many years to come . . . as far away from me as possible.

“Thank you, Mr Taboo,” the Queen had said. “You’re an excellent teacher and a master of pseudo-orifice acoustics. You and your armpits are welcome in my palace anytime you wish to visit.” With that the Queen’s eyes had rolled back into her head and she had crumpled to the floor.

Plegging hell! Taboo had written, springing to his feet and pointing down at the unconscious, custard stained monarch. It’s going to rain! The cow’s lying down!

Clearly, she can’t hold her liquor like I can, Horizon had written, setting down his glass of brandy.

I admit that I had been considerably stressed by the situation and I am not ashamed to say that I partook in some panicked gesticulation and a few bursts of uncontrollable arm flailing. What are we going to do! I’d written. This was supposed to be an elegant meal fit for a Queen. She wasn’t meant to end up shaved and unconscious and covered in blue custard! She was meant to enjoy it!

She did plegging enjoy it! Taboo had written. The old cow has had the time of her life tonight. I bet she’s been corralled into a field of etiquette and protocol since she was a vile little calf, forced to chew the cud of her station. All I did was leave her gate open. She was the one who walked through it. She needed a little vulgarity, why else would a Queen want to learn to armpit fart?

You could say that she had an udder-ly fantastic night, Horizon had written, attempting to lighten the mood. He’d elbowed me playfully, Don’t you agree Sunrise? UDDER-ly.

But what are we going to do now? I’d written. We can’t just leave her sprawled across the canteen floor amidst the crumbs and lost chips. I should go get Doctor Phlegm.

It’s not a doctor she needs, Horizon had written. She needs to sleep it off. Trust me I know. I’ve partaken in my fair share of alcoholic beverages.

Then let’s get her to her chambers before the flies start to swarm, Taboo had written. Grab her shoulders Horizon.

Horizon had done as instructed and had gripped the unconscious Queen beneath her arms. Taboo had grabbed her ankles and together they had lifted her. Unfortunately, Horizon’s hands had slipped on her slick custard slathered armpits and she had fallen, her head hitting the flagstones with enough force to dislodge her crown which had rolled across the floor and settled at my feet. I had retrieved the crown fully intending to return it to the Queen’s head but regrettably her bodyguard had chosen that very moment to awaken. Quite understandably, upon seeing the Queen lying unconscious at our feet and her crown in my hands he had jumped to the wrong conclusion.

“You’ve plegging killed her!” he’d roared, reaching for his axe. “Killed our beloved Queen. This is an act of war! You’ll not take her crown!”

I suspect that you are beginning to suppose that we learnt the secrets of our inner workings due to an encounter with the sharp end of the bodyguard’s axe. (Which you will recall is the reason for me telling this rather distracting and longwinded tale in the first place.) I am happy to inform you however, that this was not the case.

Hoping to plicate the Queen’s bodyguard I had hastily attempted to place her crown back on her head but unfortunately, I had fumbled in my panic and had instead dropped it quite forcibly onto her face. I had chosen this time to partake in a further bought of uncontrollable arm flailing.

“I’ll have your heads for this you filthy indefinites!” the bodyguard had snarled, advancing upon us.

The term indefinites had opened up an old wound in us and both Taboo and Horizon had become rigid at my side. Despite his discourteous nature, the bodyguard had crossed a line which Taboo would never even approach.

Taboo had looked around theatrically. Oh no! Are you going to charge? he’d written. Is someone waving a red cloth at you?

This statement had indeed goaded the bodyguard into a charge and he had raised his axe, roaring with anger.

Fortunately for us, the Queen’s second blow to the head from her falling crown had jolted her from unconsciousness and she’d sat herself upright, blocking the path of the oncoming guard.

The guard, unable to slow his momentum, had been unable to stop and had instead attempted to sidestep the Queen. Unfortunately, in doing so he had put his hoof on the Queen’s crown, squashing it flat.

“Your Royal Highness!” the guard had said, falling to his knee and bowing his head. “You’re alive! I thought these creatures had killed you with their horrible cuisine and deplorable etiquette.”

“Killed me?” the Queen had said incredulously. “I merely swooned. I expect they were attempting to revive me and I quite assure you that the Orderlies of Mount Bedlam wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

(Please note that Ink has strongly contested the Queen’s belief that the Orderlies wouldn’t hurt a fly and he would like to confess that he has inadvertently hurt flies on several occasions and believes that he once gave a housefly a black eye after he mistook it for a raisin and attempted to flick it from a table top. He would like to make an apology to the fly in question and he hopes he will not be judged for attempting to flick a raisin as this was an isolated incident and he is not in the habit of physically abusing dried fruit.)

The Queen had glanced at her bodyguard’s axe. “I see from your drawn weapon that you were preparing to attack our gracious hosts!”

“They were stealing your crown Your Highness,” the bodyguard had said, shooting me an accusatory glance. “The one with the spoon fetish was trying to make away with it and I’m sure one of them attempted to take it earlier too.”

If I might interrupt, I’d written. ’Fetish’ is a very strong word and I was merely trying to return your crown Your Highness, not steal it.

“There you are you see,” the Queen had said as Horizon had helped her to stand. “You have acted like a bull in a china shop. You have insulted our hosts and what is more you have squashed the royal crown!”

(Again, Ink would just like me to point out his belief that the Queen’s bodyguard did not in fact act like a bull in a china shop. He has consulted several maps and has found that the nearest china shop is in fact in Gashanava. He would also like to point out that though the bodyguard bore many bull-like features he was walking on two legs and he was also carrying an axe, two feats which are physically impossible for a bull to accomplish. He suggests that a more apt phrase would have been “You acted like a minotaur bodyguard in a cafeteria.”)

The Queen had given her guard a scornful look. “I would rather my crown had been stolen than squashed beneath your clumsy hoof! I have the right mind to dismiss you on the spot.”

“I am eternally sorry Your Highness,” the bodyguard had said, his eyes trained on the floor.

Taboo had taken a step forward. If I might plegging interrupt Your Royal Bulls-headed-ness, he’d written. Your crown was ugly anyway and your bodyguard may be a complete shatanging scroot comber but he was acting in your best interests. He thought we’d brutally nobbled and robbed you and he was only trying to defend your honour. Personally, I think he should have intervened long before any nobbling and robbery could have occurred instead of falling asleep at his post. At this point Taboo had filled both sides of his board and there had been a pause whilst be wiped it clean. But despite his complete and utter incompetency, he’d eventually continued, I would be most grateful if you gave him another chance.

The Queen had smiled graciously at Taboo. “Well I can hardly turn down your request after you have given me such a fine armpit singing lesson can I,” she’d said. “Despite your impoliteness you have a most kind and forgiving soul Mr Taboo and I commend you for it.” She had turned to her grovelling bodyguard. “Thanks to Mr Taboo I will pardon you,” she had said, “but if you ever fall asleep on duty, squash anymore priceless jewellery or act so brashly again then I will not be so forgiving.”

With that the Queen had excused herself, stating that the brandy had given her a most splitting headache which made her feel as if she’d been struck between the eyes by something heavy. She had also expressed a desire to change out of her custard-stained gown and she had retired to her personal chambers, carrying her squashed crown before her.

Upon leaving the cafeteria the Queen’s bodyguard had thanked Taboo for his nobility.

No plegging problem, Taboo had written, but if you EVER refer to me or my friends as indefinites again then it will be me who will not be so forgiving.

The Queen and her entourage had left Mount Bedlam early the next morning. In the weeks following their departure Taboo had become increasingly incessant with his armpit farting, disregarding any pleas for him to stop under the premise that now his armpits had the royal seal of approval he was allowed to make them fart wherever and whenever he felt like it and fart they did. They farted in the corridors, they farted in the canteen, they farted on the wards, in my office, the gardens, the kitchens, the broom closet. Taboo’s roommate Slingshot claims Taboo even managed to make his armpits fart in his sleep, a fact which had prompted Slingshot to wear earmuffs to bed.

Taboo’s orgy of underarm flatulence had continued for a full two weeks before coming to a sudden and sad end in the late days of Palleet 2580. Our local weekly news-slate The Daily Script had covered the story and to better explain how Taboo’s armpit farting had led to an insight into our innards I have included a copy thereof.

ARMPIT FARTING BINGE ENDS IN TRAGEDY

by Script, Bedlam News Reporter

There were horrific scenes in the cafeteria yesterday when Taboo violently ruptured his armpit in the middle of lunch.

Taboo, 101, whose armpit farts recently received royal seal of approval from Her Royal Highness Queen Tigridia Speciosa had been on washing up duty at the time of the incident. It is believed that Taboo had taken a short break from his work to practice his famous armpit farting and had been attempting to knock an onion from a countertop with the deafening volume of his armpit flatulence.

It is believed that Taboo’s armpit simply could not take the strain of this activity and though he did manage to knock the onion to the floor he burst the seam beneath his armpit in the process.

In our century-long existence this is the first recorded incident of an Orderly tearing their suit and though tragic, it has provided us with some insight of our inner workings. It appears that we contain a material similar to sheep’s wool, and that we are stuffed with it in much the same way that one may stuff a child’s cuddly toy. Witnesses at the scene of Taboo’s armpit explosion claim that following the initial pop of the splitting seam several clumps of wool had tumbled to the floor.

One eyewitness of the incident, Mr Bones, a patient on the lycanthropy ward made the following statement when questioned about Taboo’s exploding armpit:

“My rice pudding had a skin on it again. I don’t know why but every time I have rice pudding here it’s covered by a near impenetrable skin. I hate the skin! It makes me feel physically sick!”

At this time, it is unclear as to whether the skin that had coated Mr Bones’ rice pudding was in any way related to Taboo’s burst armpit or if it is an unrelated incident. Our resident chef Blancmange made no comment when questioned on the matter.

Following the incident Taboo was rushed to the medical wing where Doctor Phlegm promptly fainted at the sight of the stuffing spewing from beneath his arm. These words were later seen on his chalkboard:

I can take the sight of blood but if I’m handed a decapitated teddy bear, I tend to swoon.

Due to Dr. Phlegm’s inability to treat Taboo’s injury, Yarn, the hero of the hour, came to the rescue with a needle and thread and managed to re-stuff and sew Taboo’s armpit wound shut. Taboo seems to have made a full recovery but claims to still have a sensation of pins and needles in his armpit. Yarn has confirmed however that following the procedure, all pins and needles were removed and returned to his pincushion.

Taboo has stated that following his injury he will be retiring from the world of armpit farting, explaining that following the incident his armpit can no longer create the depth of sound that it once did. He also requested that we relay the following sentiments to our readers:

Take your plegging newspapers and stick them up your fudging wazoos!

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