Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Pipe Contest

So, I am issuing a challenge to all of those that I can reach. You don't have to be a pipe-smoker to take part in this challenge, or even have any knowledge of pipes at all, though the prize for winning might not be that exciting to you if you don't smoke a pipe.

Here is the challenge: Write a coherent story using as many pipe shape names as possible (a list of a few of these name will be include below). This story should not only include the needed vocabulary, but should also be entertaining. Stories will be judged on literary value, number of vocabulary words included, and if the words used flow naturally within the story.

Here is an example that I wrote a while ago: "A Canadian prince and a lumberjack from Liverpool are playing a game of billiards in Dublin, and another man joins them and says “I've got a bulldog and I know you'll just lovat." The prince spits the seeds of the pear he is eating into a pot, hits the eight ball, and says, "A bulldog? My friend, that's a Rhodesian Ridgeback!" The lumberjack drinks a horn of apple brandy while he picks up a poker and jostles the logs in the fireplace, sending embers up into the chimney like a volcano. "Whatever you call it," the lumberjack says, "his eyes are as red as a tomato and he's ugly as a blowfish!" 

Rules: The story cannot exceed 500 words, must be fully your work, and must be posted on my blog as a reply to this topic by December 1st, 2011, at 11:59 PM. The needed vocabulary should be used in a way that makes sense and not just thrown it. Variants of a pipe name (bent apple, straight apple, etc.) will not be counted twice.

Prize: The author of the story with the most votes – or that the judges deem the best, should there not be enough votes cast – will receive his choice of 2oz of Full Virginia Flake, 2oz Penzance, or a tin of any more readily available tobacco.

Please feel free to vote on which story you feel is the best.

Good luck to all and have fun!

Some pipe-shape names:

Oom Paul


  1. The cavalier prince stopped by Liverpool on his way to Dublin in his yacht the Cutty Barque. Ever the consummate yachtsman, accompanied by his faithful bulldog, he sailed by a numerous blowfish and a leaping whale, all the while sounding his horn.

    Being a diplomat he beseeched the churchwarden to accompany him to a cherrywood paneled, local pub, The Hawkbill, for a tankard of pear brandy and a pot of pickled eggs and clams in tomato sauce. In the hearth was a blazing apple wood fire.

    It was a motley crew. Sitting at the bar was a Zulu, a Canadian lumberman, a Rhodesian author affectionately known as Omm Paul. They were watching Olympic skaters on the telly.

    Before a game of billiards, he tossed some acorns into the hearth, grabbed the poker stirring the flames, which shot up the chimney like a volcano.

    The next morning he ate a bowl of strawberries as he sailed off to Dublin, listening to a Lyle Lovat CD.

  2. Nicely done! I particularly like the Lyle Lovat CD. :-)

  3. The Old Game again....

    Peterson on station, smoking his Dunhill, trying not too look out of place.

    “Ten minutes and it'll be headlines like “Famous Canadian Author caught lurking after hours in park”....that won't go down well with the readership and the cover story'll be blown!”

    The spreading oak dropping dead acorns offered concealment...and a clear view of the ornamental cherrywood bridge.

    Cold dusk, Hungarian City, the chimneys of the old tenements just beginning to smoke as the fires were lit, the red ball of the setting sun about to dip, a last falcon circled above. An omen maybe?

    Contact was late - unlike her.

    His mind drifted – he could have been sitting in his snug study smoking his Churchwarden glass of brandy or tankard of mulled ale at his side, the glow from the pot bellied stove spilling out into the room., maybe even re-reading a favourite like “Moby Dick” or one of the “Bulldog” Drummond tales, instead he was here, waiting...some things Old Rhodesians had to do....unfinished business you'd call it, like Ahab and his damned whale.

    He'd met her before the country fell to that Kaffir, Mugabe; he'd been flying Tomahawks with Parker and she the then International Skater, Eve Comoy had needed out fast. No time to call in Diplomats – not that they did much good anyway. Oom Paul had sold out the trek Boers just like Wilson with his smug smile and trade mark Zulu had done to them.

    Freelance work after that, and the Canadian cover.

    Had it gone pear shaped like the crossing from Dublin to Liverpool during The Troubles?

    Heels on the bridge, adrenalin coursed through his veins like a like lava from a volcano.

    A cautious look.

    Time hadn't changed her, slim and straight like a billiard cue, back as stiff as a poker, wearing that lovat jacket with contrasting panels, antique horn brooch that he'd bought her in her lapel, signature tomato red scarf at her throat.

    Though dressed for the season and the hour. the lumberman check skirt only emphasised those long legs.

    Evening chill highlighted her complexion, cheeks glowing like apples, soft streetlight showing the old cavalier glint.

    “My Prince has come!” she breathed, a faint flush turning her faultless skin to strawberry and cream

    He took her hand, the world seemed to stop, the sounds of the city faded.

    “Did you get it?”

    “Our special table? Thirty years married and you ask me that? I promised the night I proposed and have I ever missed it? Egg Benedict with champagne to start,blowfish sushi clams cooked with Cutty Sark whisky sauce served in a calabash!”

    “Ice cream too?”

    “For you anything...even Passion Fruit!”

    Slipping her free hand into the crook of his arm - “In a changing world you are the constant, aren't you”

    “One change though Hawksbill Antigua, next Anniversary, warmer there love!”


    Gerry aka "Falconeer"

  4. The hot silence was oppressive as the man and women glared at each other. A horn honked outside the open window while a radio blared from the office upstairs. Jimmy Durante warbled: “The fundamental rules apply, as time goes by.”

    “You’ve laid an egg here,” the agent complained. “This book won’t sell!”

    Durante’s gravelly, sincere baritone barked an interruption, “Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

    “Does the world need another mystery set among the Pyramids? Nobody’s going to believe the Pharaoh Ramses was a vampire! Let alone that he hid in the Sphinx for 3,000 years. I’ve tried to give you a free hand in all this, Brandy. No more.”

    With eyes cast floor-ward, Brandy was silent. Soprano strummings garbled from the radio above. Tiny Tim’s embarrassing falsetto warbled over botched ukelele changes. “Tiptoe…through the tulips….”
    Was he at Woodstock? Brandy wondered distractedly.

    The agent knew that author Brandy Starker–a pretty Canadian farm-girl, onetime ballerina, and former Olympic skater–needed the 25,000-clam advance to pay her father’s gambling debts.

    The onetime Hungarian prince-turned-diplomat loved to gamble, but he also loved his Cutty Sark. He may have had a ball playing drunk, but with every lost pot at poker, every failed billiard shot, and every wrong roulette number he sank further into debt. Irresponsible as he was, he loved his daughter. She adored him; she was the apple of his eye.

    “How can you be so cavalier, Anthony?” Brandy protested? “You’ve always been so friendly to my efforts, especially since my Dublin Times review. They loved The Churchwarden’s Tomahawk. And my Liverpool fans can’t get enough blood and gore, either.”

    “Yeah,” Anthony retorted, “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. You haven’t been writing that well since your volcano book.”

    George Takei’s plummy voice bloomed on the radio. “Mr. Zulu,” Tony said flatly.

    “That’s Sulu, you know-it-all.”

    Heavy footfalls shook the ceiling.

    “Jesus! That guy’s noisy. An elephant’s foot-fall. Ex-pat South African lumberman who raised and sold cherrywood. A Rhodesian, I think. Talks like an Australian Dutchman. Got a horde of little nephews followin’ him around. Oom Paul, they call him. Means Uncle Paul.”

    “Don’t change the subject!” Brandy hissed. “I’ve earned my book fee, and you’re going to pay me.”

    She’s a bulldog, Tony thought. Tough, but cute – a real tomato. All that time on the Nautilus machine really paid off. But angry. If she had a chimney, smoke would be pouring out.

    “Listen, Tony, let’s not haggle. Come over for sushi,” Brandy purred.

    “Great dinner, Brandy. Love sushi. The dessert killed. One more strawberry or pear slice in chocolate? I would have exploded.”

    “Glad you liked it, Tony. You deserved this meal. All you’ve done to – I mean – for me.”

    “What was that razor-thin stuff? Tony asked.

    “Torafugu – blowfish,” Brandy replied. “I cut it just for you.”

    A blistering wave rose up Tony’s gullet. He felt his chest tighten.

    495 words...

    Neill Archer Roan aka ZuluCollector

  5. Let's really entice some more members to take a shot at this.

    I suggest that each person who enters this contest voluntarily contribute a measure of a rare or interesting tobacco along with their entry. As the number of entries grows so will the incentive to submit further entries.

    Following up on Neill's example of generosity with the tin of John Cotton #1, I am tossing in a sealed 50 gram sleeve of Balkan Sobranie.

    Let's all sweeten the pot here!


  6. More than anything, William Tell wanted to be a Knight of the Royal Order. But there was a problem, while his father was from Liverpool and his mother came from Dublin, William was, inexplicably, Hungarian. So, he approached Sir Calabash of the queen’s court, a diplomat and the author of a good deal of her policy for help and advice.

    “How can I, a Hungarian, become a knight?” William Tell asked.

    Sir Calabash replied, “Knights pretty much have to be of the British Empire. If you were Canadian, that would be one thing, but Hungarian, wow, that’s a problem. Sir Ethan, a churchwarden from Jersey is a spin doctor of the first order. If anyone can figure this out, he can.”

    “We’re giving you a freehand,” Calabash said to Ethan, “How do we make William a knight?”

    “The queen loves winners, “said Ethan from Jersey. “Youse really good with the longbow, right? Do something spectacular? She’ll lovat!”

    “William could shoot arrows into the bull’s eye from far away,” said Calabash.

    “Too common,” replied Ethan. “How ‘bout he shoots a bulldog on the run?”

    William wouldn’t go for that, so Ethan said, “How ‘bouts we put something on top of his kid’s head and he shoots that?”

    They assembled a panel to figure out what to shoot.

    “He could shoot a pumpkin,” someone said.

    “Nah,” said Sir Ethan, “Too big, how ‘bout an egg?”

    “How you gonna sit an egg on the kid’s head?” said Calabash. “Maybe a pear?”

    “What’d really impress the queen is if he could shoot strawberry. Maybe he could shoot an acorn or a hickory nut off the kid’s head,” said someone else.

    “I don’t want the knighthood that bad,” said Tell.

    “Hold on, hold on,” said Ethan, “ A tomato!”

    “Too messy,” said Calabash, “But maybe an apple?”

    Everybody agreed that apple it was. “How far away?” was the next question.

    “I can do 300 meters easy,” said William Tell.

    “The queen doesn’t understand metric, Bill,” said Sir Ethan, “I can call you Bill, right? Billiards or feet or inches is what you’ll have to use.”

    So they assembled a big festival. There were street vendors selling tankards of brandy. There was the usual unsavory group selling pot. All in all, it was a jolly event. Even Robin Hood and his Merry Men showed up to watch the festivities. Little John, Friar Tuck, and the lesser known Zen master of the group, Oom Paul.

    “Up the Thames,” someone shouted, “On her boat, here comes the queen!” And sure enough it was, captained by her Royal Yachtsman, a Zulu prince.

    “You’ll need to meet the queen,” Calabash told Tell, “But be careful with your arrows when you bow. You don’t want to poker.”

    With no trouble at all, William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head. The queen was so impressed she walked right over to William Tell with her sword and began the knighting procedure. As our story ends we hear her say,

    “Kneel, Archer.”

    500 w0rds
    submitted by -- toby

  7. Captain Warren Woodstock cantered into the restaurant gaunt as a battered billiard cue. His face tapered into a wrinkle rimmed jaw. The young hostess, a hopeful ballerina named Brandy Prince, asked how many.

    “55, including this flaked out old Canadian bus driver.”

    The manager, LB Peterson, (a former yachtsman of some collegiate fame), could have fallen off his perch at the end of the bar. The last thing he wanted was a busload of Lumberman widows descending into his establishment at this time of night. He was mostly irritated by some smug bankers sitting in the window booth. Not to mention having to deal with the lousy attitude of his blasted cooke.
    The pencil necked driver then winked at Brandy and cavalierly stated,

    “Just kidding. A table for two.”

    LB, completely relieved, went back to his “Shaka Zulu” on the television.
    In walked his wife, a tomato shaped specimen who treaded carefully on the balls of her feet. She had red pocked cheeks like two strawberries. She diplomatically observed the hostess’s bent expression and told her to never-mind her foolish husband.

    It was a quaint seafood restaurant in Calabash, North Carolina. The walls were the color of acorns with a rusticated chamber pot in the corner full of brollys straight from Dublin or Liverpool. A fireplace poker leaned against a panel of pine. There were whale bones on the wall next to a dusty blowfish. A nautilus shell and a walrus horn were mounted above the men’s bathroom, while Olive Oil wielded an axe guarding the female equation. A stuffed bulldog squatted next to the fire exit with a small Eskimo doll astride his back. Another taxidermist spectacle hung from the ceiling; a falcon missing a talon.

    At the hostess table racks of pamphlets proclaimed time shares and free golf. Warren told Brandy,

    “Nothing but mere shams my dear.”

    He had been a captain in the CA during WWII and later became a Malcolm Lowry specialist at Fred Hanna University. Lately he had taken to touring the States keeping in check his own latent volcano.

    “Warren, I want some cherrywood clams, lobster tail with melted butera, and a pease of apple pie.”
    “Sounds delightful. As a connoisseur, I’ll have a stack of pancakes with a hardboiled egg finished off with a Danish.”
    “Hush yourself Warren you know this is a seafood establishment.”
    “Can’t put one past you my little pear blossom. You know I’m full of donkey nuts.”

    Just then a small jazz band consisting of a sax, a horn, and a ukulele, starting playing a freeform interpretation of Rhodesian Nights sung first by Bing Crosby and later by Neill Sedaka.

    Picking through yellow bowls of salads and sipping tea on clay coasters, they suddenly forgot their inhibitions. Captain Warren and Pear Blossom threw off their staid conformity, stepped back in time, and began to dance. It was 1948 once again; awash in pipe smoke, manners, and Fedoras.

    Brandy and LB stood apart confused but strangely transfixed.

  8. Toby made me burst out laughing! What a great story - and a perfect device to name a sack of pipe shapes. Fantastic.

    Great job, Joe! Your incorporation of a lot of pipe vocabulary makes the story even more entertaining!

  9. Wonderful jobs all around! The pipe world sure is full of talented people. I am greatly enjoying how much effort you are all putting into this! Keep it up!

  10. He awoke on the sun-bleached lovat of the billiard table that took up about a third of his small Dublin room, and he was not alone. As he held her in his arms, he beheld her and followed the shape of her body with his free hand. He took in the scent of her hair which was that of apples and tulips, and after some diplomatic shifting and pulling of his arm he wrested it from her dreams and got ready to pack his bag as he'd done three nights before in Liverpool, and in Canada before that. It had been a hell of a month.
    He saw the table, the tankards still half full of cheap brandy, and the remains of last night's poker game: torn cards stained with pear liqueur and the pot of tomatoes, strawberries, and a few broken eggs; whatever'd been at hand. He was the author who had broken big, and he'd gotten drunk, and he knew these mornings well.

    The occasional tap of acorns falling on the rain barrel outside kept him grounded. He took his shirt from the cherrywooden panel and his socks from the horns of the bull's head on the wall. His trousers he found draped over the painting of the grand blue whale in the corner. He looked back at her, and saw in her naked body the graceful lines of that whale. Surely, he could not be with her; to her whale he was but a lowly clam at the bottom of the sea. A little grey blowfish trying to blow himself up to that great size, but only full of hot air. A pauper, not a prince.

    She wasn't from here, and that's why he had so cavalierly taken her to this place. He'd move on, and she would go back to... Woodstock, Belfast, if he remembered correctly.

    He headed for the bathroom, avoiding stray billiard balls and kicking to the side his old out of tune ukulele. In the mirror he saw his own tired, bulldoggish face and as he brushed his teeth he felt as if he was trying to polish away his own stupidity. He felt as a volcano about to erupt with unmade decisions. He'd want to think she was just another skater girl he'd picked up, some unintelligent cutty whom he'd plucked off the streets for a pleasant night, but he knew he was lying to himself. He had a bent for that. He knew he did, and he knew something had changed.

    For the second time, he took off his shirt and deposited it on the panel, he placed his socks back on the bull's horns, tossed his breeches besides the painting of the whale, and he sighed, and he laid down beside her. A small spark from the final ember in the fireplace shot up through the chimney, and he wondered what would become of it.

  11. A diplomat and a prince got together one spring in a pear orchard. There just so happened to be a little eatery next to the orchard surrounded by strawberry and tomato vines called ‘Oom Paul’. They each sat down at a small table made out of cherry wood and ordered two tankards full of their finest pear mead. They spoke for hours about the places they had been and the people they met. They spoke of the beautiful city of Dublin in Ireland, the vibrant experience of Liverpool, and even their trips to Africa to visit the Zulu people. Interestingly enough, while visiting Africa they were able to examine and study the breeding history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, which was the breed intriguingly used to hunt lions. They even saw a few whales on their voyage back home. Their conversation lingered until the sun began to depart; it was then that the owner ushered them inside to avoid the cool night air. He insisted they take a seat by the chimney to warm up. After making his guests comfortable, the owner put on a pot of clam chowder, serving it with a side of deviled eggs. Much to their surprise, some fresh apple pie was provided for dessert. At that moment, a Canadian lumberman sauntered into the room with a cavalier expression on his face. The three men who had begun to play billards turned away from their game to ask the lumberman, “Why so smug?” He haughtily replied, “While playing a game of poker I heard a tale of a beautiful woman trapped in a volcano by a savage man. I instantly flung my cards down and went to rescue her. At the top of the volcano, I used my tomahawk to chop off the man’s hand that was holding his hawkbill shaped machete, I threw her over my shoulder, and ran down the volcano as it began erupting. As we approached safety, she promptly handed me a golden acorn as a token of her gratitude and then the devilish cutty turned into a blowfish. ” The three men proved an impressed panel of judges: one dropped the ball that he was rolling to his bulldog, one dropped the pen he was using to freehand a sketch of the rhinoceros horns upon the mantle, and the last declared he wanted to be the author of the lumberman’s biography. Finally, the churchwarden bustled in wearing his lovat colored robes with a calabash full of brandy, proposing a toast to the blowfish.

  12. Nicely done, sir! I like the idea of a calabash full of brandy! :-)

  13. A Canadian Lumberman originally from Liverpool walks into a Billiard bar with a Pickaxe in one hand, a Horn in the other, and his Bulldog Prince, at his side. The bartender says, "Mr. Calabash, doesn't look like you've got a Freehand, but so good to see you sir. We have a new special for the rest of the week and I guarantee you'll Lovat. Blowfish!"

    —Olie Sylvester from

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Olie -- Short and to the point! Well done, mate!

    Kyle -- Never apologize for a space joke. :-) I really enjoy this story. So far in the contest we have had a story about knights and a story about spacemen. I love it!

  16. I didn't apologize, Lovat did! :D

    There's one guy over on BoB who contributed too, in the thread you started. :)

  17. Ok, my old "conservatory try"...

    “Another glass of whiskey?” asked the Churchwarden. He was rotund man, much resembling a tomato. He himself would even agree that his physique had gone to pot. Though a member of the clergy, he was not above an occasional visit to the tavern.
    “I think not, my friend” replied the author. “It’s late and tomorrow I must meet with the new Canadian diplomat. I have only barely begun to write his biography.”
    “I won’t insist then”, said the Churchwarden. “I have heard that the he is a distant relative of the South African president Oom Paul. Is that true? That should make for an interesting interview!”
    “It surely will, and yes, his African heritage will be a whale of a story.”
    The author paused and set his glass of Cutty Sark on the cherrywood panel above the fireplace. He took the poker to gently stir up coals, setting them aglow once again. Sensing the new warmth rise up the chimney he continued.
    “His father was a Dutch Prince who came to Africa set on climbing the Butajira-Silti volcano. He was a cavalier fellow by all accounts, bearing the countenance of a bulldog and a temper to match. Though he never climbed the volcano he remained in Africa and later became hero of the Boer War. He is reputed to have killed over a hundred Zulus with a tomahawk while serving under his cousin Paul Kruger! In later life, however, he became bitter and developed a strong taste for Strawberry and Pear Brandy. He drank the stuff by the tankard becoming an embarrassment to all. He eventually found his way to the Rhodesian countryside where he lived out his days in obscurity. He met his end in a drunken stupor performing foolish parlor tricks for his guests. The story goes that he died juggling an apple, an egg, and an acorn freehand style. He slipped, cracking his head open on the Hawkbill shaped corner of his livingroom fireplace. A sad ending to an otherwise heroic life.”
    “Tragic” lamented the Churchwarden.
    “It is difficult to imagine such a man with the mother. She was the daughter of an Irish lumberjack from Dublin and brought up under strictest of Protestant ideals by her mother in Liverpool. A talented figure skater, she nearly perished with the rest of the Irish Olympic team sailing around the Horn en route to Lake Victoria. She was saved by the then-Lieutenant who headed the rescue efforts. They later married and remained in Africa. Upon her husband’s death, she left for Toronto with her son. She eventually remarried with a local textile producer and lived to a ripe old age. Of note, the second husband’s factory was the sole supplier of fabric for Thomas Alexander Fraser’s (Lord Lovat) wardrobe.”
    “Well, I shall look for the book when it comes out, sir! ”


  18. Space—it’s cold this time of year. Sorry, space joke. It’s always cold, and what I wouldn’t give for a good author, tankard of brandy, fresh strawberries, or some hot clam chowder or tomato soup out here. Stuff like that isn’t a good idea out here: the weight has to be kept to a minimum on a ship like this.

    The name’s Commander Lovat, her name’s “Zulu.” I never liked her name, gave me the willies. That’s what happens when you get picked for the last ship in the line to be commissioned, and they don’t give these things out in a cavalier manner. Zulu’s an ungainly, tough whale of a ship, though, kind of acorn-like, egg-shaped with a hawkbill front--but has the grace of an ice skater. Living space in her ain’t much bigger than a chimney, with not much head room. Behind every panel there’s some mechanic’s idea of “fixing the problem,” schematics are drawn freehand and willy-nilly by every one of them. Some areas got real serious problems, and are hotter than a damn volcano. Wires and conduits curve around like an Oom Paul or calabash pipes—they’re everywhere. God, I wish I could smoke a pipe in here. The carbon-monoxide alarms would go off and shut the engines down, though. Back on Earth I got a hell of a blowfish briar and some good Virginia waiting for me. It won’t be long, this mission should be a cinch. Zulu ain’t much, but she’s home. I’d much rather some nice, warm cherrywood furniture than this ice-cold metal that freezes to my ass.

    The Canadians almost beat us to this anomaly I’m exploring, and since China went to war with the Russians, they’re the only others with a ball in the space game. Met a few of ‘em when I was on vacation in Dublin. We won’t be going back to that bar for a while. Even the Irish stayed out of that fight. Some space diplomats we were. A little Cutty Sark in me, I’m no prince, I’ll tell you that. The jails there all smell like rotting pears and apples, are guarded by Rhodesian ridgebacks and bulldogs, and there’s but one pot to crap in. Better than jail in Liverpool—not to toot my own horn, but those guys were pushovers. All because of a billiards game gone wrong.

    I suppose you’re wondering what I do for fun around here…well, not much. I have reports to write, radio poker with the guys nearby, old movies, and books, but the thing that gets me excited is launching the tomahawk-9 missiles at incoming asteroids. The proximity alarms sure get my blood moving—BOOM!

    Being the sole operator of a broken-down space ship ain’t easy, but at least I ain’t no churchwarden or lumberman. Looking down death’s hallway is the real fun of this job. You gotta be nuts to be piloting a ship like Zulu sixteen light years from home…


    Had to edit something that was botherin' me... that's what I get for writing in a rush... Heh.

    493 words

  19. Crap found something else... just kidding.

    No, wait. Damn.

  20. Hmmmmm, a strawberry and acorn soup, my favorite! said the author, belching toward a neighboring chimney and farting at the gents playing billiards in the parlor. Ewwwwww!, they said, and grabbing a tomahawk and inserting it at the cue, continued their game of poker facilitated by dessert pears, in the dark and dreary paneled parlor.

    Finishing the first soup, ordering a second of tomato with volcano garnish and introducing a pocketed whale in conversation with a zulu, the author pondered a paperback that attempted to skate down his hand, and which soon lodged in his navel. A tankard at his elbow, he tipped it back until the rhodesian at its bottom clanked its way to his mouth.

    Oom Paul was his name, and together with his brother Oop Raul, they lovat
    and leered at all the girls, who were not enamored given the size of their greying pots. Although they were princes, they lumbermaned to the window each time honeys drove by in egg-shaped carriages, hawking the bills of visiting freehands performing in Liverpool accompanied by horns.

    Paul and Raul ignored burgeoning Dublin and drove a cutty to the home of a churchwarden who had a chimney in place of a nose and whose mouth was shaped like a clam. A diplomatic man, he nonetheless drank brandy in great draughts from a cavalier cherrywood calabash; his bulldog at his side.

    He spoke to the inn-keep about a bed in the shape of a ball and retired early, pocketing a blowfish from a nearby aquarium and securing an apple for his pre-breakfast.

  21. At exactly twelve noon the PRINCE entered the courtyard to open the gates. The CHURCHWARDEN was due to arrive from LIVERPOOL with the prince’s favorite meal, a fresh POT of CLAM, EGG, PEAR, and TOMATO, followed by APPLE pie and washed down with a glass of BRANDY.

    Standing beside the gate stood a disheveled man dressed like a LUMBERMAN with a crumpled LOVAT-colored hat and sporting a POKER with a CHERRYWOOD handle for a walking stick. Beside him sat a BULLDOG with a BALL in his mouth. “What are you doing here?” demanded the prince.

    “We’re here to entertain you, your highness. I’m a RHODESIAN DIPLOMAT.”

    The prince eyed the man. “A diplomat, ha. That’s a WHALE of a tale. You’re more likely a down-on-his-luck BLOWFISH from DUBLIN.”

    “Sir,” answered the man, I’ve traveled from the HORN of Africa to the CHIMNEY of the CANADIAN Rockies. I’ve slain ZULUS with a TOMAHAWK beside an erupting VOLCANO. I assure you that I can entertain you.”

    “You do have a CAVALIER attitude to AUTHOR such a yarn. I will give you that,” said the prince.

    The man bowed. “My name is OOM PAUL and my dog here is SKATER,” he said. “Watch this.” The man tossed three ACORNS into the air while he withdrew a BILLIARD pipe from a PANEL in his coat with the other FREEHAND. With one swift motion he caught all three acorns in his pipe. “Those are from the CALABASH tree. Crush them up and light them and you’ll enjoy the best smoke in the world. Fill a TANKARD with your favorite brandy while you smoke and you’re in for a treat."

    “Well, some people will smoke anything,” said the prince, “but I am impressed.”

    “And for Skater,” the man withdrew a STRAWBERRY from his pocket and tossed it into the air. Skater dropped the ball, leaped into the air, and caught the strawberry like a HAWKBILL nabbing a guppie.

    “Bravo,” said the prince. “You’re right. That was entertaining and you’re a showman. Now,” he continued, “since you're such a clever fellow if you can make the word CUTTY into a proper word in a sentence I’ll invite you to stay for dinner.”