An extract from the autobiography of Twattersley Fromage MBE
Svetlana, my pretty little scullery maid was on her knees before me polishing the riding boots I was wearing. Just as it came upon me to say to her, “While you’re down there…..” the telegram that would change the course of modern history arrived.
Dear Twattersley (STOP) How the devil are you old chum (STOP) Look we are in a bit of a pickle (STOP) Looking to give the Hun a bit of a larruping shortly (STOP) You have likely got wind of it (STOP) D-Day landings in Normandy and all that (STOP) You see Winnie holds the view that if the weather is set fair for the landings we have a better chance of success (STOP) Anyway Winnie has heard about a chap named Edward Lorenz (STOP) Clever bastard apparently (STOP) He has a thing called the Chaos Theory by all accounts (STOP) He says that some butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon can have an effect of weather conditions worldwide (STOP) Sounds a load of bollocks to me but you know how Winnie gets when he has a bee in his bonnet (STOP) Anyway what with it pissing down here on the South Coast for weeks now (STOP) Winnie holds the view it is best we send someone orf to the Amazon to trap and bring back to Blighty this Butterfly of Destiny (STOP) We plan to take it to the end of Brighton Pier (STOP) Let it have a jolly good flap (STOP) See if it brings on a change in climatic conditions (STOP) Seems Winnie thinks you are the man for the job (STOP) Pretty urgent mind (STOP) Leave it with you (STOP)
Kind Regards (STOP)
Field Marshall Paul Cordon-Flush VC (STOP)
Crikey I thought I’ve not heard a peep from Paul since the old king died so this must be a quest of the very highest importance. With that thought in mind I asked Svetlana, albeit reluctantly to stop what she was about to do and pop down to the garden shed and grab the old butterfly net I had as a child as I felt certain it might come in handy.
When she returned to the house with said net the point struck me that once in the Amazonian Rainforest I would likely need a translator in order to obtain directions as to the butterfly’s whereabouts and certainly I do not speak the fuzzy wuzzy tribesman lingo in part or at all.
“Svetlana you’re not a Brit. Can I take it that you speak in a foreign tongue?”
“Of course Sir.”
“Well then Svet I’ve got a little job that’ll be right up your street. You shall accompany me to South America in my quest for a thing called The Butterfly of Destiny. I need a translator and you young lady fit the bill.”
A blinding result on the linguistic front I thought to myself. Whatever, I packed a few clothes and rations in my old rucksack and headed straight for the Great West Aerodrome in the tiny hamlet of Heathrow just south of good old Londinium whereupon I commissioned a Dakota Super DC-3 to take us across the North Atlantic Ocean and our destination. In my enthusiasm I had completely overlooked the fact that the Dakota’s range was only 2125 miles whereas the Amazon was 5652 miles away. Bollocks. It was thus that rather than risk a crash landing at sea Svetlana and I had to parachute out of harm’s way somewhere a little north of Ascension Island. Problem was that we only had the one parachute between us. I of course took charge of that although it meant Svetlana had to give me a piggy back and hang on to my hips for dear life.
Good fortune smiled as I didn’t get wet at all upon splashing into the waters. You see I had spotted a tramp steamer below during our decent and was able to steer the chute toward it. As I grabbed onto the side Svet ended up in the briny – poor girl got soaked!
The damnable thing was that the steamer was crewed by a bunch of unsavoury salivating Turks who had been at sea for the best part of a year during which time they had not set eyes on a woman. As they hauled Svetlana in their faces positively lit up. Still a cup of strong tea and a few pitta bread later we felt refreshed somewhat. I asked them where they were headed yet they didn’t understand a word I said. Luckily Svetlana picked up on this fact and wormed it out of them that in truth they were lost; their navigation apparatus having been damaged during a storm. It plainly pleased them when I got my handy pocket compass out and told them I was seconding the ship in the name of the King. Of course Svet had to translate. Svet confirmed that whilst these Turks, being Jonny Foreigner types who knew better than to cross an English gentleman, had no issue with my demands yet they had in her opinion taken a worrying shine to her – even as wet and bedraggled as she was. Obviously I had a duty of care toward the girl and thus I determined there would be no funny business on my watch!
Things turned for the worse when Svetlana asked me for her change of clothing as she wanted to hang her wet stuff out to dry. You see I had quite overlooked packing a change of clothing for her. I couldn’t have my translator catching a chill or such like attired as she presently was so I whipped out my pistol and had Svet tell these ruffian Turks to stand their ground, backs to us and not to dare to turn around for the duration of the drying process on deck as she would be quite naked. Temptation being what it is – more so for those deprived of feminine charms for so very long – they couldn’t resist a swift peek. With that I hurried the swine into a lifeboat and left them to fend for themselves thus keeping her honour intact. Mind you she was something of an eyeball pleaser of that I can verify with certainty – not that she knew I was looking!
Captaining the old rust bucket myself we steered toward the mouth of the Amazon River itself eventually mooring up near the town of Curuçá – we had arrived safe and sound. Off to rainforest with haste as time was of the essence.
Having trekked ever deeper into the jungle feeding ourselves with barbequed rodents of dubious origin and rain water we eventually stumbled across an encampment. Plainly I hoped the tribe whose domicile this was could point us in the direction of the Butterfly of Destiny.
“I say you chaps would you be good enough to impart directions to the place where my colleague and I might find the Butterfly of Destiny?”
A chappie wearing just a piece of string about his waist whose demeanour suggested he was the tribal chief stepped forward saying, “Dunno mate…….I mean if you were looking for the Butterfly of Desire there’d be no problem……but Butterfly of Destiny…….no mate……..beats me that one.” I made mention to Svetlana that oddly these people spoke English.
Just as I was about to question them on this an aged female, her bare breasts akin to birthday balloons three days after the event (save for the absence of celebratory messages generally printed thereon) piped up, “Oi Chaz” – I took that to be her husband – “The Butterfly of Destiny……aint that the one wot changes the climatic conditions sometimes adversely other times to the benefit of the mango harvest……..’cause if it is it can be found down by Den the Loner’s……..he’s a loner because he chucks up a bit by the way……….shack in the Enchanted Grove of the Great Unwashed.”
“Yes luv quite forgot that’ll be it……….OK mate just follow this here tributary along a bit and you’ll find Den whittling down poison darts first tree on the left…….mind you’ll smell the dirty bastard well before you come across him……just follow your nose basically.”
I thanked them kindly and we set off as directed.
Not long into our journey I noted that Svetlana’s nose was twitching like a rabbit whereupon she announced the pong was getting stronger and stronger meaning that we would soon be at our journey’s end. Suddenly and quite out of the blue I was struck in the groin by an arrow and I dropped to the forest floor felling woozy.
“Sorry about that mate I wasn’t expecting visitors what with me being a bit of a loner and all that……the thing is I was practicing with me blow pipe firing poisoned darts and I seem to have shot you in the todger………on the plus side it is a swift and relatively painless death.”
“You’ve done what? How long will it be before I slip off this mortal coil?”
“Well mate unless you can get someone to suck the venom out I’d say you’ve got about five minutes……..what about the bird with you…….ask her ‘cause I’m certainly not doing it.”
As to Svetlana she showed little enthusiasm for the task at hand – namely saving my life. As luck would have it who should step forward but the raddled old bag with the deflated knockers and, I noticed, devoid of teeth, “Leave it to me – I’ve sucked more venom out of more cocks than you’ve had hot dinners……you just can’t trust Den with a poison dart, the twat.” With that she saved my life – more than that I shall not say!
Whatever, Den plainly feeling guilty led us straight to where The Butterfly of Destiny was idly resting upon a leaf. “You’re fucking welcome to him mate……he gets on our tits……..monsoon conditions have prevailed day and night since he showed up. Glad to see the back of him if the truth be told.”
So that was that – The Butterfly of Destiny was within our grasp. Svetlana caught the little beggar in the net and stashed the lucky devil in her cleavage for onward transmission to England.
The weather on D-Day might not have been perfect yet it was a damn sight better than it could have been. The Allies had successfully gained a foothold across the English Channel all due to that little butterfly having a bit of a flutter at the end of Brighton Pier – beggars belief really!
Back home I asked Svetlana if she really would have let me die out there in the jungle. Her riposte, “What do you think?”
I went out into the gardens for a smoke a broken man.