by Robert Williams
It was time for the traditional trip to the Motor Show in Birmingham. The gang of Des, Mick, Clive, Wayne, Mike and Mrs Greasy travelled up in Des's big red bus.
"So what are you exhibiting on your stand this year?" asked Clive of Mike.
"I didn't know you had a stand at the Motor Show," said Mick.
"Well you do now," said Mike. "Well, it's not an official one. It's squeezed between the Daewoo stand and the fortune teller's tent. It's the only space I could get."
"That fortune teller's great!" exclaimed Wayne. "Last year she told me I was going to come into some money! And the very next day, I took 50p out of the bank!!"
"As I was saying," said Mike. "I've got a tasty 1983 Escort XR3 on my stand this year."
"Have you driven it up already then?" said Mick.
"Actually, I just left it there after the last show, hopefully someone will buy it this time!" said Mike.
It didn't take long for the big bus to get stuck in a gihugeous traffic jam on the M1.
"I wish he'd let me drive!!" exclaimed Mike. "We'd get there a whole lot quicker!"
"Why didn't you take the M40?!" exclaimed Clive, banging on the window of the driver's compartment.
"Is there an M40 now?" shouted back Des. "That's a new one on me..."
"M40?" said Mike. "That goes to Norwich, Clive! We should have taken the M5!"
Clive counted his blessings that Mike wasn't driving.
Des opted to turn off at the next junction and take the back roads. This did take somewhat longer than they had planned, as Des really didn't have a clue where he was going. After a couple of hours they found themselves driving down an extremely narrow country lane somewhere in the Midlands.
"This is ridiculous!" complained Clive who was getting very tetchy. "At this moment I should be drooling over the latest Ferraris and Porsches! Instead we're stuck out here in the middle of nowhere! Why on earth didn't you just go M25-M40-M42?!"
"I reckon you're making motorways up now, just to make yourself sound clever!" shouted Des. "We won't be long now, I think we're just coming up to a main road. Maybe. Oh no..."
Des saw a Land Rover driving towards them. As it was such a narrow lane, there was only room for one vehicle to get through.
"What am I going to do?!" shouted Des through the window to the others.
"Oh just great!" said Clive. "We can't reverse, we've driven miles down here!"
"I'll see if that farmer will reverse back," said Des. "I'll make a sign at him. Oh dear...he's making some signs back at me."
"Look!" said Mick. "There's an open gate just ahead! Drive in, let the Land Rover past, then reverse back and carry on!"
"I've never actually reversed in this bus before..." said Des.
"Stop whingeing and get on with it!!!" exclaimed Clive.
Des drove up and through the bus through the open gate on the left of the lane. They found themselves at the top of a very long steep slope. The Land Rover drove past, and Des tried to reverse back into the lane. But instead he stalled the vehicle.
"Great!!" exclaimed Clive, crossing his arms and clenching his fists. "Now what?!?!"
"I did say I'd never reversed in this before," said Des. He tried to restart the engine, but without any success.
"Right, let me have a look at your engine!!" said Mike. He got out, went round the front and started to inspect the engine. The others, meanwhile, got off the bus as well to stretch their legs, while Des stayed in the driver's compartment.
"Des!" shouted Mike with his head stuck in the engine. "I want you to try starting the engine!!"
Des did so, and to his and Mike's utter surprise it started straight away.
"Well that's done it!" said Mike. He closed the engine lid and suddenly the bus shot off at top speed down the hill.
"Aaaarggghhhh!!!" yelled Des at the wheel. "I didn't really mean to do that!!!!!"
"Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, they do!!!" said Clive, beginning to cry.
"Don't worry, have one of my pork pies," said Mrs Greasy. That was enough to make Clive burst into tears.
As the bus rapidly approached the bottom of the hill, Des was surprised to see a strange small red figure on a scooter not far ahead.
"Uh???!!!" he said.
When the small red person saw Des hurtling towards him, it looked frightened and started to run away on its squeaky scooter.
"Look out!!!!" he yelled. Des was rapidly catching up, and he knew a collision was inevitable. So he slammed on the brakes, and managed to draw to a halt just short of a large tree.
"Phew!!!" exclaimed Des. "That was a close one!" He saw the small red character disappearing into the distance. "Hmmm..."I'm sure I've seen him somewhere before..."
A few minutes later the rest of the crew who had been running down the hill after the bus, caught up with him.
"Are you all right??" said Mick, out of breath.
"I'm fine," said Des. "I just saw a Teletubby."
"He's finally lost it," said Mick. "Have you suffered a bump?"
"No I haven't!" said Des. "Now listen to me! I saw a Teletubby! The red one! Po!"
"Des, the Teletubbies are just children's television characters," said Mick. "They're men in suits!" Wayne was visibly upset. "Sorry, Wayne."
"No they're not!" he exclaimed. "Come on!"
Des got up and ran off in the direction the Teletubby had gone. The others, still huffing and puffing, hurried after him.
As they ran off after Des they suddenly noticed the sky that he previously been dull and overcast had suddenly become bright and sunny. The grass beneath their feet - well, where else would it be?! - became a lot greener. And there were huge rabbits all over the place.
"It is!" exclaimed Wayne. "It's Teletubby-land!!"
"Don't be ridiculous!" exclaimed Mick, who had recovered himself. "That's a fictional location!"
"Like Des's brain," said Clive.
"Look!" exclaimed Wayne, pointing. "It's the millennium dome!"
"Oh no, we've already been there," said Mrs Greasy.
"No it's not, it's the home of the Teletubbies," said Des. "The main difference is this one is more interesting. And it's got astroturf on the roof."
"Are you implying the millennium dome would have been more popular if they'd put astroturf on the roof then?!" said Mick.
"Maybe..." said Des. "I find astroturf very interesting."
"I'm sorry, but I really can't believe what I seeing," said Clive. "This must be a dream."
"They're obviously filming some new episodes," said Mick. "We'd better get out of the way."
"Can you see any cameras? A film crew? No!" exclaimed Des.
"Look at the sun!" said Mrs Greasy. "It's got a baby's face in it!"
"That proves it then," said Des. "The Teletubbies are real!"
As they looked around the y saw Tinky Winky standing under a cloud. Laa-Laa was standing next to a tree. Dipsy was standing on a hill. And Po was riding round the dome on her squeaky scooter.
They walked up to Tinky Winky, senior Teletubby. He looked frightened by the newcomers.
"Don't worry!" said Des. "We come in peace. Eh-oh!"
"Eh-oh!" said Tinky Winky.
"Um...pleased to meet you," said Mick, shaking Tinky Winky by the hand. "I can't believe I just did that..."
"I can't get over how tall he is!" said Mike to Clive. "He must be about seven feet tall."
"That's because there's a bloke inside it," said Clive. "He looks through the mouth."
"Uh no!" said Tinky Winky. "Tinky Winky real!"
"Well all right then," conceded Clive. "He's real."
"Hey, watch out for those computer-generated animals!" said Des as some computer-generated tigers and penguins started walking towards them.
"We'd better go inside," said Mick. All the Teletubbies went inside the dome, and Des and Mick and the gang followed them.
"Tubby tustard!!" exclaimed Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, running over to the tubby custard machine.
"Yummy!!" exclaimed Wayne. "Can I 'ave some?!"
They watched as Laa-Laa pushed some big buttons on the machine. A bowl come of one side onto a conveyor belt, then the tubby custard spurted out of an arm coming out of the other side.
"Hmmm," said Mrs Greasy. "A self-replenishing tubby custard dispenser. I wonder if I could get one to dispense mashed potato forever..."
"No!!" exclaimed Des. "What a horrible thought! A machine to continually dispense Mrs G's food forever! Yuck!!"
The four Teletubbies and six humans each tucked into a bowl of delicious tubby custard.
"Laa-Laa, could you get me the recipe for tubby custard?" said Mrs G. "I'd like to make some!"
"I'd prefer if you just sent us over a job-lot of it," said Des. "You don't want to taste Mrs Greasy's cooking!"
"Uh-oh!! Uh-oh!!" said the Teletubbies, shaking their heads furiously.
"They must have seen Mrs Greasy's television show on their tellies!" said Mike.
"Blurghhh!" exclaimed Tinky Winky. The other Teletubbies laughed.
"Well if you're going to be like that, I'm going outside to look at the flowers!" exclaimed an angry Mrs G.
Dipsy then got the tubby toaster out, and they each had a slice of tubby toast.
"Who does the washing up?" asked Mick when they had finished.
"Noo-Noo!" said the Teletubbies in unison.
The Noo-Noo hoover-type thing came over and sucked their bowls and plates clean with its long nose-mouth.
"They've got all mod cons round here!" said Des. "If only we had all this equipment! You haven't got a spare Noo-Noo we could take home?"
"Uh no!" exclaimed Laa-Laa.
"No one wants to come back with us and become my cleaner?..." said Des.
"Des!" snapped Mick. "Don't be so rude."
"Dipsy dance!" exclaimed Dipsy suddenly. He started dancing in his own inimitable manner. Wayne was very impressed.
"'Ere Dipsy, can yer teach us some of yer moves? You're so cool!! You should come down the club with us on Friday night!!" he said.
He started dancing with Dipsy.
"We could be a double act!" exclaimed Wayne. "Woo-hoo!!"
The others groaned and went off to look round the tubby dome, while Mike went outside with Po to look at her squeaky scooter.
"Po, I really think you need to do something about your scooter," said Mike.
"Huh?" said Po.
"Have you ever considered trading up?" said Mike. "Do you hold a full UK driving licence?"
"Huh?" said Po, completely confused.
"I reckon I can do you a cracking deal on a used 1980 Fiesta 1.6 S! It'll be right up your street!"
"No!!" said Po, shaking her head.
"Oh..." said Mike. "Hey, can you get 'Top Gear' on the telly in your tubby, Po?"
"I missed last week's edition, you see," said Mike. "Can you deliver video on demand?"
Back inside, Des and Mick watched Laa-Laa play with her big orange ball.
"Don't you ever get bored playing with that?" asked Mick.
"No!!" said Laa-Laa, shaking her head.
"Have you ever played on one of those playstations?" asked Des. "Much more fun!"
"No!!" said Laa-Laa.
"I wish we could at least get decent conversation out of this lot," sighed Mick.
Over the other side of the dome, Clive Kippers was hosting an episode of his chat show, 'Kippers'.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce today's special guest, Tinky Winky!! Eh-oh!!!"
"Good afternoon, it's a great pleasure to be with you," said Tinky Winky in an upper-class accent.
"Good grief!" said Clive. "You can talk properly!"
"Of course I can! All that 'eh-oh', 'again, again' rubbish, it's just for the television!"
"So can the other Teletubbies speak properly as well?" asked Clive.
"No, no, I learnt proper English from listening to the World Service on a radio I smuggled out of Television Centre," said Tinky Winky. "They don't know I speak proper English. I'm currently taking a course with the Open University on Antibody Diversity Immunoregulation. The only problem is, I have to watch the broadcasts upside-down on my tubby telly."
"Umm...right..." said Clive, a little unsure. "Err...why do you take a handbag with you everywhere?"
"It was originally intended to be just a prop for television," said Tinky Winky. "But now I keep a copy of 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare' in it."
Meanwhile, Des and Mick were playing about with the dome's control panel.
"This is fantastic!" said Des. "All these buttons and levers! They can control everything in the house from here!"
"Well not exactly," said Mick. "But you can make sheep and cow noises with it. How useful..."
"WATCH OUT!!!!" exclaimed Wayne.
"Huh?!" said Des and Mick looking all around them. Suddenly they saw Wayne and Dipsy racing towards them down the Teletubby slide.
"Whoops!!!" said Wayne as he collided with Des and Mick. "That was fun!!"
"Not really," sighed Mick as they got up from off the floor.
"Again! Again!!" said Wayne. Wayne and Dipsy sat down on the end of the slide, and Des and Mick watched in amazement as they actually 'reversed' up the slide!
"That's impossible!" said Des. They didn't have much time to think about it, as seconds later they came whizzing back down. Once again they all ended up in a heap on the floor.
"...well of course, my favourite composer is Mendelssohn," said Tinky Winky to Clive as they walked across the dome towards the others.
"I'm more of a Schubert man myself," said Clive.
"What's your stance on the early Baroque period?" said Tinky Winky.
"I'm very keen on oratorios of Carissimi...oh look at this lot," sighed Clive looking at Des, Mick, Wayne and Dipsy on the floor.
"Tinky Winky laugh!!" laughed Tinky Winky, back in familiar mode.
"Oh dear," said Clive. "Hey!! What's going on?!" He was amazed to find himself rising into the air.
"Hey Clive!" laughed Des, getting up. "You're sitting on a voice trumpet!"
"That could be very dangerous!" said Clive, getting off it. "Rising up out of the ground like that..."
"Time for tubby bye-bye! Time for tubby bye-bye!" said the voice trumpet.
"Owwww!!!" said a disappointed Wayne.
"Looks like it's time for us to go," said Des, looking at his watch. "Yes, it has been about twenty-five minutes."
They all went outside, where Mike was tweaking Po's aerial around and Mrs Greasy was squinting at her telly.
"What are you doing?!" said Mick.
"We're trying to pick up BBC2!" said Mrs Greasy. "'The Weakest Link' is on in a minute."
"We haven't got time," said Des. "It's time for tubby bye-bye, apparently."
"Well, bye-bye Tinky Winky," said Clive.
"Bye-bye!" said Tinky Winky.
"Bye-bye Dipsy," said Wayne.
"Bye-bye!" said Dipsy.
"Bye-bye Laa-Laa," said Mrs Greasy.
"Bye-bye!" said Laa-Laa.
"Bye-bye Po," said Mike.
"Bye-bye!!" said Po.
"Bye-bye!!" said all the humans in unison.
"Bye-bye!!" said all the Teletubbies in unison.
"This has got to be the longest bye-bye in history," sighed Mick. Finally they all turned to walk back to their bus.
"Oh no!!" said Des, stopping suddenly. "I've just had a thought. How are we going to get back? My bus is stuck at the bottom of the hill. I'll never be able to drive it up that steep hill!!"
"I know!" said Po. She got her scooter and raced off into the distance. The humans looked at each other confused, and hurried off after Po. By the time they had caught up with Po, she had found some rope from somewhere, and was tying one end to the back of her scooter, and the other end to the front of the bus.
"Oh come on, you can't tow that huge great bus with a scooter!" said Clive disparagingly.
But to their utter disbelief, Po started to wheel her tiny little scooter up the hill, effortlessly towing the big red bus.
"It's magic!" said Des.
Eventually they reached the top of the hill, and they had got Des's bus back on the country lane. But they didn't have time to thank Po, as he had already shot off down the hill again on his scooter. Clive sat down by the side of the lane and buried his head in his hands.
"What's wrong?" said Mick.
"I have a feeling, one day I'm going to be describing all this to a psychiatrist," sighed Clive.
"Shall we go on the Motor Show now?" said Des.
"No, no," said Clive. "I think I've had more than I can take today. We'll go to the Motor Show tomorrow. And this time, I'll drive!!!"
And so he did. And as they drove up the M40 in Des's bus the next day, he got a major shock.
"Look who's just overtaken us, Clive!!" said Des, banging on the window of the driver's compartment.
"Where?!" shouted Clive.
"In that car! It's the Tweenies!!!!"
Copyright © Robert Williams