Monday, 17 November 2008

Tarboosh



The village has once more come to rest on the mainland - specifically on the coast of North West Africa, the Kingdom of Tarboosh, and the inhabitants seemed none to pleased to see us.

This morning, as the shore loomed nearer and nearer, we could make out the details of square white-washed houses, domed mosques and tall minarets. Crowds of people poured on to the waterfront and even at a distance I could see the excited state that they were in.

Hateman was becoming more and more anxious. "What's up with this lot?...we better break out the duck bombs... it looks as if we're in for some trouble!" he shouted to his cohorts in the Badfort Crowd.

"Calm down, Beaver, you'll only make matters worse if you take precipitous action, lets see if we can find out what the trouble is first." I said, trying to defuse the situation.

This just made him more angry. "Listen, mate - if you remember you ain't in charge any more - I'm the boss now." he shouted.

The people of Tarboosh swarmed across the beach and into the cobbled streets. They all seemed very angry, the leaders shouting strings of angry words over and over again, to which the followers replied with harsh sounds in chorus. Here and there were banners with strange curly writing and one or two in English, saying things like: 'GO HOME BAD PEOPLE." and "DOWN WITH THE HATING INVADERS!"

"I think, Beaver, that there seems to have been some misunderstanding engendered by your renaming of the village as 'Badsea' and the fact you have an unfortunate surname" I explained to Beaver, who was getting more and more irate.

"Well, if its a fight they want, I'll show them the might of the glorious People's Republic!" he cried.

"Wait! I think I see a friendly face!" I declared - for in the crowd I had spotted none other than Cornelius the Camel, brother of my old trusted friend Claudius!

"Greetings, Sultan of Sultans." said Cornelius. The camels always speak in this way - it is highly embarrassing but what can one say?

I explained the misunderstanding that had occurred and asked him if it would be possible for him to assure the crowd of our good intentions.

"Do not worry, Sire, the knots of discord shall be swiftly cut through!" he replied.

He then jabbered away to the crowd for a bit and they suddenly looked at me in awe.

"Well that seems to have done the trick - what did you say to them?" I asked Cornelius.

"I merely explained that you have the brow of Solomon and are deeply versed in learning. Oh, and that you are very rich and a great patron. They beg you gather the silken tassels of their homage and request you look at some carpets, of the finest quality, that they feel sure you would wish to purchase" replied Cornelius.

"Most gratifying!" I answered.

This exchange sent Beaver into apoplexy. "Oi, Camel, tell em its me thats what is in charge here!" he screeched.

"You are a very noisy annoying man and they are not interested in what you have to say." snorted Cornelius.

The folk of the village and the folk of Tarboosh were soon exchanging goods and experiencing each others cultures. The Tarbooshi had their first experience of a traditional cream tea whilst the villagers had a go smoking hubble-bubble pipes, playing backgammon and drinking little cups of coffee.

As the village basks in the heat of the desert, only Beaver seems annoyed at the change in circumstances.




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