On a previous trip to Lion Tower we had noticed a huge notice on one landing:
JUBBER VANTY'S SUITINGS Plastic suit sprayed on while you wait. Pay then get sprayed.
I had always meant to investigate further - to make sure there was no sharp practice going on. So, while at Lion Tower we had decided to make a visit on Mister Vanty.
We followed the directions on the notice and soon found ourselves at an ornate door with a nameplate:
Jubber Vanty Fashion Designer - Clothes for the discerning Gentleman
The door was opened by an extravagantly dressed man who positively gushed at the sight of us. "Oh my," he cried "at last my reputation has spread to the great owner of Homeward - I cannot tell you how much I have dreamed of the opportunity to dress your personage, Sir, your sartorial elegance is world renowned..." I quickly interrupted before he could go on. "Yes, alright - tell us more about these spray on suitings."
It turned out that the process was his own invention. Apparently one could choose any colour one wished from a range of spray cans - he would then dial in a template of his own design - and voila a quick spray and the plastic garment would appear.
Will Shudder volunteered to be a guinea pig for the process and was soon arrayed in a splendid yellow jacket.
We all decided to have a go and I must admit the results were very interesting - if a little gaudy for my taste.
I decided to go for a purple mackintosh - in a traditional gannex style. One likes to show solidarity with the working classes on occasion.
"Oh, suits you Sir, it really does," said Jubber "...and I do a nice range of spray-on rubber items, as well, if you are interested? Sir," he added.
"Why would anyone want a rubber suit? - I can't imagine you sell many of them?" I asked, somewhat perplexed.
"You would be surprised, Sir. Naval people are particularly keen...they are perfect for underwater swimming, diving, that sort of thing - why only this morning I sprayed a whole group of fellows - uncouth lot a must say. Appalling dress sense - sack cloth! so rough on the hands - mind you they were a rough lot!" replied Jubber.
"Sounds like the Badfort Crowd, Sir." interjected the Old Monkey with a worried look on his face.
"What would they want with Rubber suits?" I pondered fearing the worst.
Suddenly, Joe Weasel, Captain Walrus's man, burst through the door. "Oh, thank goodness I have found you, Sir !" he cried. He was out of breath and clearly distraught.
We sat him down and gave him a tot of rum to calm him down. He was then able to recount the terrible mornings events. Apparently the lighthouse had been attacked in the early hours by a gang of brigands who had been hiding in the lake. They now held Captain Walrus prisoner and had captured the lighthouse.
I looked at the Old Monkey and in unison we declared... "Beaver!"
This was a serious situation. Hateman clearly intended to switch the light off - causing countless shipwrecks...and a rich harvest of plunder for the Badfort Crowd.
We had until nightfall to rescue Walrus and avert disaster.