George’s Interplanetary Fame
By John Powell
Little Green Spotty Man (LGSM) from the planet Grendoleon had come to seek George’s help. ‘Our planet is faced with extinction if we don’t get our monsters under control,’ he said. ‘They’re drying up all the water sources, burning everything that’s combustible and adding huge quantities of carbon dioxide to our atmosphere.’
‘In such dire circumstances,’ said Jack, ‘why don’t you exterminate the monsters before they exterminate you?’
The LGSM smiled. ‘On a planet populated by green men, all species must be preserved.’
‘So that’s why you’ve come to see me,’ said George.
‘Yes,’ said the LGSM. ‘We heard that you have a food that pacifies the fire flatulent fauna and we would like to try it.’
‘No problem,’ said George. ‘Glad to help. Give him a copy of the recipe, Jack.’
George guided the LGSM carefully through the recipe, explaining each ingredient and process. ‘I think we can manage that, or a near approximation,’ said the LGSM. ‘What can we give you in return?’
‘What I need just now is a little more cash,’ said George glumly, ‘but I guess you don’t use English money on Grendoleon.’
George showed the visitor his week’s wages: three shillings and sixpence.
‘That’s no problem,’ said the LGSM. ‘All you need to do is say, “Turnips and raspberries, three and six”, and snap your fingers.’
‘That won’t work,’ said George.
‘Why don’t you try it?’
‘Turnips and raspberries, three and six!’ shouted George and snapped his fingers.
‘Now open your hand.’
There in George’s sweaty palm lay a shiny new half-crown and two shiny new sixpenny pieces. ‘Hoorah!’ shouted the Patron Saint. ‘Now I will be rich!’
The LGSM was anxious to get away and save his planet. So after thanking his two new friends he climbed back into his big, shiny egg. George and Jack watched in fascination as the craft rose a few metres like George’s hot air balloon, then disappeared in an instant. ‘Oh dear,’ said George reflectively. ‘I think Merlin would say that their technology is somewhat in advance of ours.’
Then he cheered up as he remembered the turnips and raspberries trick.
‘Let’s go down to the dungeons and fill our coffers,’ he said to Jack.
When they reached the dungeon George asked Jack to close the door and to bring the oil lamp closer. ‘Now I must get this just right,’ he said. ‘Turnips and Raspberries, three and six,’ and he snapped his fingers. Then he slowly opened his hand to relish the moment. He stared at his bare palm; nothing was there! He tried a few more times with the same result. ‘I guess that it only works when the little green spotty man is around,’ he said sadly. ‘I will never be a rich man.