by Robert Williams
"That's funny, it's got very windy outside all of a sudden," said Mick, as he sat with the others in the cafe.
"I don't remember Michael Fish telling us there isn't going to be a hurricane," said Mrs Greasy.
"That's because he's retired!" said Mick.
"So no more weather then?" said Des. "Shame, I'm going to miss weather."
The wind quickly died down, and then Mike the Manic Mechanic burst into the cafe.
"Hi there dudes!" said Mike. "Guess what I've just got hold of?!"
"I shudder to think," said Clive.
"A helicopter!!" exclaimed Mike. "Look!"
The others all peered out of the window and saw that Mike had left a helicopter in the middle of the road.
"So who wants it?!?!" exclaimed Mike. "Come on, someone must want it! The bidding starts at £40,000!!"
Mike received complete apathy from the others.
"Okay then, £35,000!"
"Why would any of us want a helicopter?" asked Mick.
"Imagine, you can avoid all the rush hour jams!!" said Mike.
"Hey, that's a thought!" said Des.
"Do me a favour, you never get out of bed until the rush hour is long gone!" said Clive.
"And you'll never need worry about not finding a parking space in town on Saturday mornings!!" said Mike.
"I like the sound of this!!" said Des.
"And it looks flash!" said Mike.
"I'll take it!!" said Des. "Here's your £40,000!!" He wrote a cheque out and gave it to Mike, much to the astonishment of the others (including Mike).
"Thanks Des, you've just single-handedly saved my bacon!!" said Mike. "Tell you what though, I think you'd better move that thing fast, it's causing a massive traffic jam!!"
Des and Mike rushed outside where a long queue of traffic had built up, all tooting their horns and looking rather angry - and then PC Plod turned up.
"Excuse me sir, is this your helicopter?" said Plod to Mike.
"Nope, nothing to do with me!" said Mike. "It's his!" He pointed at Des.
"But...but..." stuttered Des.
"You had better move it quickly then sir," said Plod to Des. "Your vehicle is obstructing a public highway! I can have you fined for this!"
"But...but it wasn't me who put it there!" protested Des.
"Do you own this vehicle?" said Plod.
"Well yes, but..." said Des.
"Well move it then!!" said Plod.
"Ah yes, but the only thing is," said Des. "I can't! I don't know how to fly it!"
"You had better learn quick then!" said Plod. "If that thing isn't moved in the next five minutes, I will issue you with a fine!"
Des turned to ask Mike how to fly the helicopter - but he had vanished.
"I'll be right back!" said Des.
Des back to his house, switched on his computer, and did an internet search for instructions on how to fly a helicopter. Once had found some details he printed them off and then rushed back to the helicopter where PC Plod was standing there looking at his watch.
"One minute eight seconds to go," said Plod.
Des jumped into the cockpit and studied the instructions. He then tried pressing some of the buttons to see if they did anything.
"Yes!" exclaimed Des as the rotor blades begun to spin round. And just as his time was about to run out, the helicopter jerkily rose into the air.
"Oi Des!!" shouted Mrs Greasy from the ground, collecting her milk bottles from the doorstep just as Des's helicopter caused another mini-hurricane. "You've just ruined my hairdo!!"
Mrs Greasy's hairdo was not high on the list of Des's concerns. He was more bothered about trying to keep the thing in the air. Then he realised he had nowhere to land.
"Oh no, I can't land on the road again, PC Plod will go crazy!" said Des. "Nice view though!"
Des's helicopter rose higher and higher into the air. He flew around for a bit, looking for somewhere he could park it, and soon became quite disorientated. Eventually he found an area of empty tarmac.
"Now how do I land this thing?" said Des. With one hand on the lever, he leafed through the instructions looking for landing information. Unfortunately as he descended through the air he couldn't quite make out where it was he was heading for. It wasn't until he got much closer that he realised that it was Mike the Manic Mechanic's forecourt.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!" yelled Mike at Des as he carefully landed the helicopter on the ground.
"Just parking my helicopter!" said Des.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" exclaimed Mike. "You can't park it here!!"
"But I've got nowhere else to leave it!"
"I don't care, just take it away from here!!" exclaimed Mike. "Leave it anywhere but here!! Park it in your garden!!"
"But it'll squash my daisies!" said Des.
"Who cares about your daisies?!" exclaimed Mike. "Just get it away from here!!"
"All right, all right!" said Des. "Keep your hair on!!"
Luckily Mike did have his own hair, as anyone wearing a toupee would certainly have had it blown off in the maelstrom that was caused by Des taking off again.
"Can't believe he expects me to keep this in my garden," grumbled Des to himself. "Oh well." But as he was still feeling a bit disorientated, Des flew the helicopter away in the opposite direction to his house.
"Good grief," said Mike. "Still, as long as he doesn't come near here again..."
"I'm going the wrong way!!" exclaimed Des, who getting a bit flustered. "How do you turn this thing round?!". He tried all the controls, and ended up going up and down, side to side, faster and slower - everything but what he wanted. So he grabbed the lever and yanked it to one side, and succeeded on turning the whole helicopter on its side.
"YIKES!!!!" yelled Des. He quickly turned it back again before he fell out - but unfortunately the instructions had already fallen out. "Oh no, I've forgotten how I landed this thing now!"
So Des remained up in the air, flying further and further away from Tolworth.
"I'm really starting to wish I hadn't bought this thing now!" said Des. "Now which button was it to land...oh I can't land here, it's the middle of the A3!!"
Every time Des came across a patch of open land he pressed some buttons to try to land his helicopter - but instead just ended up going higher or faster. He had flown well into central London before he finally remembered how to land.
"Yes, I'm sure that was it!" said Des. "I'll just find a patch of green to land on - oh yes, that'll do!"
Des slowly and carefully lowered the helicopter to the ground.
"Phew!! Oooh, that's a nice big house over there," said Des when he finally landed and the rotor blades at last came to rest. "I wonder who lives there! I hope they don't mind me landing in their garden...I think I'll just ask if I can borrow their loo..."
But before Des had a chance to get out of the cockpit, his mobile phone rang.
"Hello?" said Des. "Oh, hello Mike!"
"What do you think you're doing?!?!?" exclaimed Mike, who sounded like he was in a frenzy. "You can't land your helicopter there!!!"
"For goodness sake," said Des, "I'm not allowed to land this thing anywhere, am I?!"
"Do you know where you are?!" said Mike.
"Yes, the garden of a big house!" said Des.
"That house is Buckingham Palace!!" exclaimed Mike.
"Gosh, so it is!" said Des. "Hang on a minute, how do you know where I am?!"
"I'm watching you now!" said Mike. "On News 24!!"
Des looked around and saw lots of television cameras pointing at him.
"Get away from there now!!" exclaimed Mike. "Go back to your house and land it in your garden!!"
"Which way is that?" asked Des.
"South west!" said Mike. "Now get a move on!!"
Without delay, Des started up the helicopter again and rose back into the air. He tried to turn it round, but he still headed off in completely the wrong direction - north east.
By the time Des had finally managed to work out how to turn the helicopter round, he had travelled into Essex, and it was getting dark. It was the middle of the night by the time Des reached home.
"Oh this is going to be tricky," said Des. Not only was he trying to land in a much more precise location than before, but it was pitch dark. It took Des several attempts to land fair and square in his front garden, having destroyed Clive's hedge and Mick's bird table in the process. When he got out of the helicopter he was surprised to see a lot of people standing about in their pyjamas and dressing gowns.
"Unusual to see so many people out and about at this time of night!" said Des. "Still, nice to have a welcoming committee!!"
However the committee did not turn out to be very welcoming. In fact most of them looked decidedly angry.
"Do you know what time it is?!?!?!" exclaimed Clive. "What do you think you're doing making such a racket when we're trying to sleep!!"
"Sorry, it's rather late," said Des. "I got a bit lost!"
"I know, we were watching!" said Clive.
"You've ruined my bird table!" said Mick.
"Sorry about that, tell you what, I'll take you all for a ride in the morning!" said Des.
"Not likely!" said Mick.
The next morning Mick came round banging on Des's door.
"Oi Mick, what time do you call this?" yawned Des as he opened the door.
"Never mind that, you're in big trouble!" said Mick.
"What, just because I landed my helicopter in the Queen's garden?" said Des.
"No, it's because that helicopter is Noel Edmonds's!" said Mick.
"Get away!" said Des. "Wow, how exciting! So I've got a helicopter that used to be owned by Noel Edmonds!"
"No," said Mick. "It still is owned by Noel Edmonds!"
Mick showed Des the morning newspaper. It showed a picture of the helicopter that Des had landed in the Queen's garden, and next to it a picture of Noel Edmonds standing next to his helicopter. They were identical.
"'Mr Edmonds, former employee of Mr Blobby, reported his helicopter missing yesterday morning'," read Mick from the newspaper. "'Then an unknown person briefly landed the stolen helicopter in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in front of the world's press who had arrived to cover pop star Pete Doherty being awarded his OBE'."
"Oops," said Des. He squinted at the picture. "At least you can't see it's me in that picture! I should be safe from the police!"
"They're going to be on your case!" said Mick. "PC Plod knows you own a helicopter!"
"Oh dear," sighed Des. "You know what? This time that Mike the Mechanical Manical has gone too far! No wonder he didn't want me to land it on his forecourt!"
"You take it right back to him now and get a full refund," said Mick. "He's the one who stole it, he's the one who should get into trouble!"
"Too right!" said Des. "But hang on a minute... I don't want to get Mike arrested! There's no one else who will pass my Fiat 126's MOT year after year!! I know, I've got an idea!"
Mick tutted, as Des got into his helicopter again. He flew across to Mike's Manic Motors and landed it on the forecourt.
"I'm starting to get the hang of this now!" said Des.
"What are you doing?!?!" said Mike. "I told you, I don't want to see that thing anywhere near my garage!!"
"That wouldn't be because you stole it from Noel Edmonds?" said Des.
"Errrrrr..." said Mike. "No, of course not, what makes you think that?!? It just happens to be the same model, that's all!"
"Oh well, that's all right, sorry for accusing you," said Des. "Anyway, I was wondering if you could perhaps give this helicopter a new paint job? You know, just to avoid any misunderstandings?"
"You want it painted, you paint it yourself!" said Mike. "Now get it off my forecourt now!!"
"Oh okay," said Des. "By the way, what are those van and lorries doing here?"
"They're just delivering my stuff," said Mike. "Like my new plasma TV, surround sound system, DVD recorder, Xbox, wireless digital music system, jacuzzi...anyway, never mind that, just take that helicopter away!!!!"
Des took to the air once again, and made a visit to the local DIY store (landing it on the roof) to pick up some paint pots. Then he flew back home again and landed it in back in his front garden, but only after destroying the new bird table that Mick had just put up. He then started painting the helicopter in a multitude of different colours, so it no longer looked like Noel's white helicopter.
"Now what are you doing?!" said Mick. "You're supposed to have taken that back to Mike!!"
"It's all right," said Des. "Mike said that it isn't Noel's, it's just the same model. But I'm giving a new paint job, anyway, just in case the police come a-knocking!"
"For goodness sake Des, why are you so gullible?!" said Mick. "Of course it's Noel's helicopter! It doesn't matter if you paint it a different colour, they'll still be able to trace it! Cars have registration numbers, so must do helicopters!"
"There's only one thing for it then," said Des. "Mike won't take it back - so we'll just have to return it to Noel! Where does he live?"
"Devon," said Mick. "Everyone knows that."
"Right...well we can't return it now, he might be a bit suspicious if we just turn up on his doorstep with his helicopter," said Des. "We'll go tonight."
"What do you mean, 'we'?" said Mick.
"I don't know where Devon is," said Des. Mick sighed.
"Anyway, it won't make much difference if we go at night, this thing makes so much noise it'll wake him up when we arrive!!" said Mick. "It certainly woke us up."
"Good point," said Des. "We'll have to create a diversion...got it! See you in a bit!!"
Des hurried off, while Mick sighed wearily.
"I'm not wearing that," said Mick when Des returned with a fancy dress costume.
"Oh Mick, you've got to!" said Des. "Look, if you don't wear it, I'll tell the police that it's your helicopter! After all, half of it is on your garden."
"With my bird bath underneath it," muttered Mick.
"Anyway, it'll be night time, no one will see you!" said Des. "Now there's just one other thing I need..."
Des surfed onto the internet to find out Noel Edmonds's home telephone number. When he found it, he stored the number in his mobile phone.
Late that night, Des and Mick were ready to fly to Devon and return the helicopter. Des had painted back to white the small part of the helicopter that he had painted orange, and Mick had put his Mr Blobby costume on.
"Did I really have to put this on now?" moaned Mick. "Couldn't we have waited till we got there?!"
"No, there's no room to change in the helicopter!" said Des. "Now come on, we'd better go!"
Des and Mick boarded the helicopter and took off, waking up the whole street once again. But despite it being dark, skills they soon found their way to Devon, thanks to Mick's excellent navigational skills.
They landed in a field just outside Crinkley Bottom.
"We'll just land here for a minute," said Des. "You know what you've got to do?"
Mick nodded. Des landed the helicopter and Mick jumped out and ran off in the direction of Crinkley Bottom. Des then made a phone call.
"Ooooh arrrrr, 'ello, is that Mr Edmonds?" said Des, putting on an appalling West Country accent. "Sorry to call you so late. Moi name's PC Crinkley-Bottom of Crinkley Bottom Police, oi wonder if you could come and 'elp us! Mr Blobby 'as escaped and is causing havoc in Crinkley Bottom village centre! We need you to come and capture 'im!"
"Can't you deal with it?" said Noel, wearily.
"Ooooh arrrr no, we're too scared of 'im!"
"I'll come right now then," sighed Noel.
"Ooooh arrrrr, ha ha!" said Des, switching his mobile phone off. Then he realised he could stop doing the silly accent now. He flew off again in the helicopter, headed for Noel's house.
Meanwhile Mick had arrived in Crinkley Bottom village centre.
"I can't believe I've got to do this," groaned Mick. He cleared his throat. "BLOBBY BLOBBY BLOBBY!!!"
Mick wandered around the deserted village looking for Noel Edmonds, yelling "BLOBBY BLOBBY BLOBBY!!!". It wasn't long before he saw him driving around in his car. So he quickly found the nearest telephone box and rang Des, who was at present hovering around in the air, not far from Noel's house. This was to let Des know that Noel was safely out of his house and the coast was clear to land the helicopter.
But as soon as Mick had finished the phone call, he looked round to see Noel's face peering in at him.
"Oh no," groaned Mick as Noel opened the door.
"GOTCHA!!" exclaimed Noel.
"No, no, I'm not the real Mr Blobby, I'm an impostor!!" said Mick, taking his Blobby head off.
"Oh no, not another timewaster," groaned Noel. "Mr Blobby impersonators have become the bane of my life! I've a good mind to hand you over to the police!"
"Look over there!" said Mick. "It's Dave Lee Travis!! You'd better hide, quick!!"
As Noel looked round to see if it was really his arch enemy, who still hadn't forgiven Noel for sabotaging Treble Top, Mick took the opportunity to run away.
Meanwhile Des had safely landed Noel's helicopter in front of his house. He jumped out of the helicopter and ran off, having to negotiate a high wall as he escaped from Noel's garden. He then ran into the village to find Mick.
"Excuse me," said Des to a passer-by, "you haven't seen a man dressed up as Mr Blobby round here?"
"No I haven't," said the passer-by, who happened to be Dave Lee Travis, just on his way out of the local snooker club. "You haven't seen Noel Edmonds around, I'd like to strangle him!"
"Sorry, no!" said Des.
But eventually Des tracked down Mick. They were both rather out of breath by now.
"Good work Blobby," said Des. "Helicopter safely back with Noel, so let's go home."
"And when we get home you're going to get your £40,000 back off Mike!!" said Mick.
"Too right!" said Des.
"Hang on a minute," said Mick. "Just how are we going to get home?!"
"Oh...I hadn't thought of that..." said Des. "I know, why don't we ask Noel Edmonds if we can borrow his helicopter?"
"I am going to strangle you..." said Mick.
Copyright © Robert Williams