Binkins, of Course! - Mustard comedy magazine
Binkins, of Course!

Writer's Block:
First Chapters From Unwritten Novels

#8: Binkins, of Course!

Binkins glanced nervously towards the back of the room. "Masticated monkeys, Lestershire," he muttered under his breath, behind his hand, on top of his desk, in the Form Four classroom, in Thrashem, England. "Hurry up and reply!"

Binkins wasn't left fulminating long. A bony finger jabbed him between the shoulder blades. He turned to see Impy Etheridge holding the crumpled reply that had worked its furtive way from the back of the classroom. He seized it.

Wizardly wombats, Binks! The Midnight Feast is on! Nobbins says he CAN get the FF BB and PP. You have to get the SFCA. Should be easy! IHI! ~ L

Binkins understood the abbreviations for "fish fingers", "baked beans", "pickled pilchards" and "solid fuel cooking appliance", but was annoyed with Lestershire's silly affectation of putting In Hysterium Incapacidae on the end of everything, especially when it wasn't funny.

Still, it was good news. Binkins had almost everything he needed now for his secret supper. All that was missing from the plan was a way to borrow the Hygena Economax 7, a four-tonne cooker kept in the nightwatchman's scullery โ€“ plus he would need kerosene-based firelighters, a pack of lucifers, a sack of dry twigs for kindling, about 20 pounds of seasoned, spliced logs and half a ton of cannel coal. Firing up that cooker would mean smog for a week, and the cricket would get cancelled for bad light. Still, it would be worth it โ€“ already he could taste those illicit fish fingers!

But old Nightie was fond of his Hygena Economax 7 โ€“ he gave it a fresh coat of Indian tiger oil every other day. He wouldn't take kindly to it being purloined. Binkins was never one to get discouraged, though. He was a bright, smooth-skinned, flaxen-haired boy with a sparkly, wide-awake look in his eyes, even when he was fast asleep and they were hidden by his eyelids.

Not so his best friend Lestershire! He was the son of a penal reformer; a pragmatic and cautious boy who wore glasses. His eyes were not nearly so bright; in fact his glasses were a bit like a conservatory built onto the side of his face, where dull, fuddy-duddy eyes sat inside and stared out at the world, not often liking the things they saw. And with Binkins around, a chap saw some pretty choice stuff!

Lestershire huffed and fidgeted at the back of the classroom. The trouble with Binkins' schemes, he considered, was that they got so awfully complicated. There was that secret rabbit they had kept in a tea crate behind the gymnasium; that had ended with a hybrid strain of humanoid myxamatosis and the entire town under MOD quarantine1. Or the time they sneaked out to watch the half-hols rugby, when having tea and Viennese fingers with an absent-minded zoologist led to Britain losing the Suez Canal to the Arabs2.

Lestershire's furrowed brow cleared as he heard the bell for recess. He packed up his books and dashed with Binkins towards the door.

"Oi, you two!"

It was Impy. Impy's real name was Frederick Ulverstone Charles Kingsley Matthew Etheridge, which meant that his initials spelt GOSH. This the boys had changed to "Golly Gosh", and then simply to "Golly", which of course became "Dark-Skinned Imperial Subject Race", or "Impy" for short. There had been another Impy at the school, but he had since been expelled for Darwinism3.

"This feast of yours," he growled. "I know you need Nightie's cooker. Dib me in and I'll get you a diesel-powered rail authority crane."

"Ossified oranges!" groaned Lestershire. "Can't we just do sandwiches?"

"Tish!" said Binkins. "Don't be queer.4"

1 See Binkins, I Presume?
2 See Not Binkins Again!
3 See Binkins, For The Love of God, No!
4 See Oh My God, Binkins, Yes, Binkins, Yes!

~ L.M.

Illo: A.W.


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