Monday, 18 August 2008

Ivor Biggun

A few years ago, the world suddenly found itself in the grip of a major butane shortage; camping gas stoves wouldn't light, cigarette lighters were buggered and the near-obsolete aerosol industry was dealt a major blow. To be honest, it wasn't that big a problem, but these things are important to some people and we shouldn't mock them. Anyway, the crisis inspired a charismatic adventurer by the name of Simon Evans to find a solution to the shortage; he'd heard tell of an endless source of butane, hidden high in the Himalayas, in far Tibet. Girding his loins, he swore he'd find the wellspring- or die trying!

For months, Simon Evans battled dizzying altitude and bitter cold. He encountered yetis and ancient mystics. Hidden civilisations and fire-breathing, leather-winged reptile men who made their nests high in the frigid peaks. But Simon Evans wasn't interested in all that; he just wanted butane.

His quarry was a near-mythic statue of Buddha, carved of solid gold and bedecked with jewels and precious stones. In the Buddha's palm rested a giant bee, also in gold, which was intended to symbolise the enlightened being's love of all creatures, even those who would do us harm. It was truly a prize worthy of the quest, but after months battling with madness and the savage whims of nature, Simon Evans began to fear that he was on a fool's errand; that he was hunting a mere fiction. Until, one bleak October morning, he came upon a hidden cave on the Western slopes of Chomolungma- finally, he had found his prey!

Simon Evans entered the cave respectfully, and with more than a little fear. He worried that the statue's builders, long since turned to dust, may have left guardians to protect their prize. He was determined that he wouldn't be thwarted in his quest, but feared that exhaustion and the cold had taken their toll. Was he destined to die here, unknown and unmourned, in the shadow of some heathen idol? Gathering his wits, he took a step.


And another.

Still nothing.

His heart soared! He had done it! His fears now subsided, he confidently approached the statue. It loomed over him, as Simon Evans slowly raised his head to meet the Buddha's benevolent gaze. He looked up at two glittering orbs of solid jade.

Without warning, Simon Evans leapt onto the Buddha, raised his walking stick above his head and prised one of the priceless eyes out of its socket. As the bauble clattered to the floor, a jet of pungent butane sent Simon Evans crashing after it. Staggering out of the cave to escape the poisoned air, Simon Evans looked out in triumph over the frozen Himalayan peaks.

His quest was over.

Weeks later, the celebrations were still raging across the world. Small frankfurters in sausage juice were heated on camping stoves in tribute and, for a few brief weeks, the world finally knew true peace.

Just days after his return, on an open-top bus tour around his home town of Samarkhand, Simon Evans was asked how he'd known where to find the precious gas. A humble man, Simon Evans was sheepish at first. The answer had seemed obvious to him from the first, but he had no wish to be seen as arrogant. But the interviewer was insistent. Eventually, Simon Evans had to reply, with a shrug, "well. You know what they say. Butane is in the eye of the bee-holder".


hirekatsu said...

HAHAHA, yep, this is a stone cold classic. I kinda saw what sort of joke you were building towards, but you kept me guessing as to the punchline, threw in some red herrings and prose-wise it's a beauty. 5/5

Cosmic Horse said...

I knew you'd like that one. Long form, you see.

hirekatsu said...

Yeah, long form, but also one of the few jokes here to actually have a punchline