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There was once a time when our loquacious president had a quiet word with the Belgian, suggesting that he mix metaphors more freely. Apparently he felt that our Poirot-esque friend was ‘hampered’ by his excellent knowledge of English, leading various constables to suspect him of being an impostor. To this end we (the secretary, the bears, and the intern) planned a weekend trip to South-end in search of new base verbiage with which to confound the Havisocks and Peregrines. We hoped that, by pounding some of their more colloquial phrases into the fellow, we might also better equip him for his forthcoming visit to the Scottish Borders, where he has been posted to ‘drum up sponsorship’ for the “Tavistock 2007 Sponsored Shoplift”.

The visit was entirely problematic due to that oaf, the Secretary. This bothersome wretch caused trouble before we set off by allowing the Intern to arrange our horseback travel. The beasts we alighted upon on Sunderland High Street seemed reluctant to leave the safety and security of their circular orbit around the gold gilt, red and white frame which their trainer seemed to have erected to ‘show off’ his animals whilst his barrel organ made the most appalling fairground noises. It seems we were also pursued by an appallingly scruffy (scroggy) plethora of small children emitting terrible cries such as “Whoooo” and “Wheee” as they chased us around the platform, the full grotesqueries of their onlooking families adding fuel to their raging fires, manifest in their flailing arms and waving fists. The Belgian picked off a few of these monsters by removing his clothes, making projectile-weapons of his shirts, pants and vests. The intern himself proved very quick-witted and fled the whole scene, screaming ‘blue murder’ as he ran into the ‘chamber of horrors’. The Secretary began furiously typing notes to their parents, impersonating the headmaster or their local public school. I, for my part, begged the ‘organ grinder’ to turn the revolving stage around, thus allowing us to boldly turn the tables by allowing us to pursue our pursuers. This he resolutely failed to do, and as my baculum began to show signs of wear and tear, I was forced to cease my ‘biffing’ and follow the secretary. We have not seen the Belgian to this day; though we read in the local newspapers the following week that he had made it to South-end by diverting a ‘shuggy boat’, begging the showman - at gun point – to alter his course. We hear his vocabulary has worsened dramatically and hopefully, after his spell in the ‘work house’, from which his most recent letter was posted, we should hear goods tidings within the decade. However, given that he seems to now be speaking in the clickety clucks of bantu languages, we suspect he may haVE confused sOUTHend with South Africa. His mother still refuses to send us his rabbit’s foot.