Part 12: THE NINE THREATS

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Professor Delphi requested a five minute intermission from the broadcast to collect his thoughts and when transmission from New York City resumed all four screens on the back wall were devoted to the academic’s findings and eight pictures associated with famous historical figures appeared along with two displaying wrestlers executing the same hold.

‘Two half-Nelsons don’t comprise a full-Nelson, Hackpot, you imbecile,’ Professor Delphi could be heard admonishing his CEO.

‘Jeez,’ Pamela Wetherall gasped, ‘had I known putting a pigeon in a picture would attract so many, I would’ve included one when I uploaded my pics on findacougar.com.’

‘Starting with Shakespeare,’ Professor Delphi announced, ‘several Old Carthusians were noted Bard of Avon scholars, therefore, if Shakespeare quit the quill and only provided quotes for construction work then, I fancy, one of the academics would’ve taken up pigeon racing to fill the void.’

‘Good thinking, Boss, it would keep him fit for the soccer season.’

With admirable aplomb, and further pointless interjections from his sidekick, Professor Delphi listed eight more figures for whom the presence of the pigeon in the photograph appeared to indicate their contributions to the history books might have been nullified by meddling time-travellers:

Guy Fawkes because evidently there’d been no Fireworks Night so the skies over Godalming had been a less hazzardous arena for pigeons to negotiate, hence its possible appearance in the picture.

Nelson had, he speculated, been absent from the Battle of Trafalgar due to having to attend a Disabilty Benefits Tribunal thus with no Nelson’s Column many thousands of pigeons who congregated there needed to relocate such as in relatively close by Godalming.

Boudicca’s husband, he assumed, had been persuaded to consult a bona fide solicitor when composing his will so Roman London wasn’t destroyed by her rebellion. Meaning a player brought the pigeon to take to a Roman temple in London for the auger to examine its entrails to predict how The Old Carthusians would fare next season.

Alexander Graham Bell obviously no longer invents the telephone, hence the need to resort to sending messages by pigeon.

Florence Nightingale he felt could’ve been banned from using her lamp in the Crimea because it attracted moths as the British Army wanted to preserve their uniforms. Therefore, the pigeon was now present in the group photograph because someone who had lived a longer life due to her health reforms was no longer around to shoot the bird.

Jack The Ripper he reckoned had now undertaken a First-Aid course and thus hadn’t started, like other serial killers, by killing animals, such as the pigeon interloper, in the years leading up to his Whitechapel killing spree.

He believed Brunel had opted to build bridges in an easier fashion by becoming a marriage guidance councillor which meant the pigeon had no longer been turfed out of its home by the laying of GWR track in the Surrey countryside.

Finally, he argued that King Arthur had failed to obtain a Round Table in the Boxing Day Sales and so the Holy Grail had not been located leading to the FA Cup itself assuming this mantle. The pigeon was thus used now as a stand in for the trophy to confuse prospective Grail seekers from absconding with it.

‘Delphi has a great mind, but I think that King Arthur link is a bit far fetched,’ I ventured.

‘He presently has an affinity with him,’ Diamonde replied. ‘Rumour has it that his home resembles something out of Arthurian legend.’

‘You mean he has a big round table and a magical sword at home?’

‘Nah, mate, I mean his wife is bonking his best friend there.’

In Part 13: GUY FAWKES RECEIVES THE OMPHALOS TREATMENT

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