The Sandwich: #64

The Sandwich


No one would have believed, one dreary afternoon just before teatime, that my affairs were being watched by a man wearing a pith helmet and a coat made of chicken feathers. This, apparently, was how the moderately famous cryptozoologist Sir Digby Everest preferred to disguise himself when he was stalking his prey. That kind of rig-out might serve well enough if you're punting a kayak up the Zambesi, shooting an okapi up the Limpopo or hunting tigers out in Indiah, but in the middle of an English market town, just before teatime, you look a bit of a pillock.

Nevertheless, disguised thusly was how he had tracked me down and the first indication I had of his presence was a BOOM! as he loosed off his blunderbuss. He missed, but the eruption of grapeshot that whistled past my left ear had a shattering effect on the plate glass window that I was looking through, and equally profound consequences for the cat that was perched on the wall beside it. Poor, poor pussy cat. I've still got his ear.

Now, I was brought up proper. I believe in the importance of good manners - my mother slapping it into me when I was a child - and I know that the correct way to introduce yourself to a stranger is not by trying and blow their head off. I don't think it's how most cryptozoologists behave, either. They usually just try to take your picture or collect your droppings - weird but rarely fatal.

I thought the best thing to do would be to retire to a safe distance, so I legged it into the nearby supermarket. Sir Digby gave chase. Panic stricken, I burst through a pyramid of wash powder boxes, stumbled down the detergent aisle with washing up liquid and cleaning fluid tumbling around me, became tangled up in a feather duster display and then pitched headfirst into a large basket of sponges. Quickly freeing myself, I squeezed past the mops and floor polish, escaped through the fire exit and hurtled through the car wash next door. But then, horror! It was a dead end and I was trapped as Sir Digby bore down upon me. However, thanks to the thorough scrubbing I'd just endured, he no longer recognised me as the dirt and potato peel-encrusted monster that he was hunting, and simply asked me if I'd seen a hideous ape creature fleeing this way. I pointed down the street, said 'it went thataway', then sauntered off in the opposite direction.



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