A SONG, A PONG AND A DING DONG
Two beautiful looking desserts sat in front of Tingle and Josh. Both looked delicious and made their mouths water. Sebastian glanced at the children and noticed their excited expressions.
‘So there is a choice of rhubarb and custard, or trifle. Which do you want?’ he asked.
‘Both,’ replied Josh waving Dino. ‘Yum!’
‘And you Tingle?’ Sebastian asked, expecting a similar answer.
‘Both…’ she answered with a grin.
‘I thought as much,’ Sebastian replied. He glanced at the deserts and sighed.
‘What’s wrong Mister Sebastian?’ Josh asked.
‘It’s not that there is anything wrong. It is just so nice to have company, especially when your new friends want both desserts. I think I also want both desserts too. I would only usually pick one,’ he said as he gazed at the puddings before him.
Tingle glanced through the doors of the dining room and saw a strange looking creature with a bill and webbed feet plod past. Bubbles trailed from its bottom like a bubble machine, ‘Mister Stinkworthy, I do like that creature over there. Why does it have bubbles blowing out of its bottom?’ she said pointing. The creature noticed the child pointing and froze mid-plod. An unusually large bubble emerged and rose into the air. ‘Quack!’
‘Ah the duck-billed-splatter-pus,’ he said glancing at the cute creature whose bottom continued to emit a stream of bubbles as it walked. It reminded Tingle of those bubble machines that released hundreds of bubbles. Although those bubbles were rising from a bottom and not made by waving large hoops filled with bubble juice.
‘It is based on the duck-billed-platypus, but that bubbly bottom can make a real stink. That lovely creature was one of my real successes because I realised there is a lot of opportunity to make smells in water using bubbles. Have you noticed that for some reason when a smell rises through water, or any kind of liquid, it smells far worse than smells that turn up in the air?’
Josh and Tingle nodded, but weren’t going to say where they had noticed it. Sebastian noticed their expressions revealed they were aware of such a phenomenon.
‘It is as if the water based stink has more intensive time to brew as it rises… Well actually I wouldn’t say brew, I would say fester was a more appropriate word.’ Sebastian remained thoughtful.
‘What is fester?’ Josh asked. There were lots of big words.
‘When something gets really rotten,’ replied Sebastian. ‘It smells worse over a long period of time.’
‘Ah,’ said Josh. ‘Really pongy?’
‘Yes Josh… First we came up with a Spoon-billed-pongator. Which was like an alligator with a flat bill to help dig into river banks to store the stinks.’ Sebastian suddenly paused, as if realising he had said too much. ‘Then we realised that a bubbling bottom was far more useful in the spread of stink. We learned that from watching frog spawn. That was when we came up with the duck-billed-splatter-pus. The splatter part came from when the bubbles popped and sometimes they would splatter an unsuspecting Little Stinker. Oh how we laughed…’
Tingle and Josh giggled at Sebastian’s giggle and then studied their desserts. They couldn’t help but lick their lips. They both made sure that Sebastian was served from the same bowl and watched him take his first spoonful. ‘Go ahead, don’t be polite,’ he said gesturing.
‘You’re a very clever man,’ said Tingle. ‘You have done a lot of planning. Is there anything that would make you stop the stink?’
Sebastian shook his head, ‘the world needs to understand the power of smell or as I fondly refer to it ‘pong-power!’’
‘Do you have a big picture of all the world stinks? Like a huge drawing or painting of all of the smells and where they are going to erupt?’ Tingle asked.
Sebastian studied the children curiously. ‘Would you really want to see something like that?’
The pair nodded as they tucked into their desserts.
‘I don’t have a picture but I have a lovely map with a lot of nice drawings,’ he said as he poured some more custard on his crumble.
Josh clapped with excitement. ‘Fun! Pong fun!’
‘You really are interested in the Great Stink?’ Sebastian attempted to conceal the fact he was pleased.
‘I like it,’ said Josh.
Tingle nodded, ‘I would like to know what you have planned. Even if we can’t do anything about it. Also it would make a good school project.’
Sebastian’s shoulders relaxed and he sat back in his chair with a subtle smile, ‘No one has ever asked to see my creations before. They might not be that good…’
Tingle appeared surprised when Sebastian fidgeted and became awkward. ‘I would love to see them Mister Stinkworthy.’
‘Okay, okay…’ He waved at a passing Hippobottymous. ‘Bring in the map and gather the Little Stinkers… Let’s bring this stink to stage. It is always so much more fun when there is dancing involved.’
‘What are you doing?’ asked Josh.
‘We don’t want just a bit of map waving and a few sketches do we? We want a pure Pong Presentation. A SHOW OF DRAMATIC STINK! Let’s make this fun and be entertained. Also it will remind me of all of the work involved that has made such a powerful pong possible!’
Illustrations by Robin Dry – Thank you so much!