I woke up inside the tiny cinema aboard the ship. Let me tell you: don’t watch a James Cameron film after binging on catnip. Avatar had been WAYYYY too much for me.
“I have had another epiphany!” I said to Straw Puppy. “If I my last chapter has gone way to far and I don’t know how to start the next one, I can just say it was all a dream!” “Brilliant!” said Straw Puppy. “Also we can invade people’s dreams and drive them mad with haunting visions of their death!”
With these new found insights we landed in sunny old England. There on the docks sat a sad lonely and dishelved figure. “What ails you good sir?” I asked the derelict fellow who somehow managed to look both gaunt and overweight at the same time. “I am down on my luck, I is.” he said, struggling to put words together in a sentence because he was none too bright and also drunk. He also smelt bad and may have pooed his pants at some point. “What is your name?” I asked as gently as I could for fear that I might startle this shrivelled excuse for a human being into the pit of madness that he clearly sat upon the edge of. “Why sir, I have plum forgot my name,” he replied pitifully. “Then I shall name you ‘Camestros Felapton’ after my servant’s dog from when I was growing up as a member of the landed gentry.” I declared in a gesture of such amazing humanity that everyone on the docks was astonished by my generosity. “Gawd bless you sir! And for giving me a name I shall pledge my service to you forever!” said the unkempt fellow who now had a gleam of sanity in his eye. “Then rise up and grab my bags!” I said, knowing that what this man needed was firm commands and a sense of purpose. “And where is it we be going?” he inquired. “Why to my ancestral home. Felapton Towers near the pleasant town of Bortsworth.”
Yes, I had returned and it was time for me to reclaim my rightful place on the throne of Bortsworth!
A reader asks “Hi, I’m an emu and I recently joined a dog cult after a disastrous end to my last significant romantic relationship due to an embarrassing panic attack I had on a hot air balloon. I’m hoping that being part of a cult based on worshiping the one true heavenly being that is Sukie the Holy Dog will put me on a better path but also I’m an emu and I sometimes just do bonkers stuff for no reason. I’ve forgotten what my question was.” E. Mu
Dear E Emus are dinosaurs. You might not realise it but you are the living heirs to a mighty lineage. You shouldn’t be worshiping any kind of mammal not even Sukie (who I know is a very good dog and well deserving of pats on the head but not worship). You need to put the past behind you and move on to better things.
A reader asks “Are the people writing in genuine people or are they made up?” Zoch Pupette
Dear Zoch, I very much believe that my correspondents are genuine but in some ways aren’t we all “Made up”? I think so. Each and every one of us is an invention of one kind or another.
A reader asks “My best friend is getting married in a civil ceremony on Sunday. My partner is very religious and thinks that it is wrong to get married on a Sunday. She has asked my best friend to get married on a Thursday instead but I don’t want him to get married on a Thursday because I always feel weird on a Thursday. I should add that when I say my partner is very religious I mean that she worships our dog Sukie – literally, she has painted a picture of the dog and has built a little shrine. My best friend also worships our dog Sukie and to be honest I suspect my dog is running a cult and that I’m an unwitting member. Should I change the dog’s diet from wet food to dry food?” Mike Ullt.
It does sound like you’ve become entangled in a set of mammals with quiet complex belief systems. This reminds me of a friend of mine who was an iguanodon. She was always very positive and would give everybody a big “thumbs up” sign where ever she went. It was only much later that we realised that iguanodons permanently have their thumbs sticking upwards and actually she hated everybody and thought we were a bunch of losers. In fact she’d been ostracised from iguanodon society for being so negative about everybody. We should have guessed because iguanodons don’t normally socialise with triceratops herds.
People are strange and complex and have weird things like ‘fingers’. Maybe broaden your circle of friends a bit more but closely monitor whether your dog is trying to convert them. I also recommend dry food for pet mammal carnivores. It keeps longer and provides vital roughage.
Chapter 8: Wall Street Blues and the Global Financial Crisis
NEW YORK! The heart of the global stock market!
“Oh, so that’s where New York is,” said Straw Puppy as we got off the Greyhound bus from California.
Our gang of goons helped us storm into the Flatiron building near Times Square.
“We’ve come to float our company on the stock exchange!” we shouted.
“This is a publishing company!” the confused editors shouted back.
“Sorry! We got our chapters mixed up!” we shouted again.
“Been there, done that!” shouted the editors.
Just then the Global Financial Crisis happened and the stock market crashed all around us. We sold our polo necks for tickets for a tramp steamer home to England.
As the ship sailed out past the Statue of Libertines, Straw Puppy and I stood on the deck and waved farewell to America. We had done our utmost to drag that nation into the twenty-second century but our vision was just too raw, too real, too commanding for the good old You Ess of Ay. But as the old saying goes “If you can’t change the country you are in, then you should change the country you are in.” Which I didn’t get at first but then Straw Puppy explained it to me. He drew a diagram and to be honest I still don’t get it.
Britain beckoned us. Blighty, that Sceptred Isle, that sling and arrow of outrageous fortune, home. Soon we saw the White Cliffs of Dover or at least that’s what we assumed they were but everybody else was shouting “ICE BERG!” Before you could shout “man the life boats” the ship was sinking and Celine Dion was singing and everything was becoming very confusing.
Chapter 7: The Epoch of Disruption – The Silicon Valley Years
Clad in a black polo neck I strode onto the stage to a round of applause. The audience was full of tech-heads, journalists and people with far more money than sense. I swaggered to a podium with all the nonchalance of a cat who knows that he holds in his head a vision of the future.
“Welcome to sTrawCat Product Release Symposium 20XX,” I said carefully pronouncing the ‘XX’. I practically sneered at the auditorium. “You’ll not that we no longer use the last two digits of the year. Our bold vision has deprecated that feature from dates, an initiative that you will all soon be adopting as none of our products are compatible with the now defunct standard.”
The applause was deafening.
“But what is it that your company actually does?” asked one frankly unvisionary journalist. I wrinkled my nose at him and had security out of the building.
“THAT WAS LAST YEAR’S PARADIGM!” I shouted to the departing hack.”stRawcAt has moved beyond being a company that ‘does’. We are now a company THAT IS!”
The roar of the crowd was even more deafening before. Which was great for my ego but not so good for my persistent tinnitus.
“We’ve made it!” said Straw Puppy.
“Yes, who would have thought that we could establish a global technology company that consists of nothing but two pairs of polo neck shirts and a gang of goons!” I said.
The next step was inevitable. We would float strAwcaT on the NASDUQ Index thingy!