Sidey‘s Weekend Theme (I may have mentioned this before), is this…
The Horlicks Club in London is a Gentleman’s Club. In other words, men gather there to snooze in plush armchairs, read that day’s Times, drink sherry, and pontificate loudly upon solutions to the problems of the world, solutions which normally involve cold showers, military service, and the phrase “and it never did me any harm”.
No female has ever set foot in the place. It is like a teenage boy’s bedroom, but with chandeliers.
On this afternoon the members were gathered around one man. They listened with bated breath (and a very large sherry) as Professor Indiana Jones, archaeologist and adventurer (basically, a Lara Croft without boobs) told the tale of his latest escapade.
He had previously found the Lost Ark (it was moored in a harbour in Calais), he had found the Temple of Doom (Scientology was around even then), but this latest find had topped all the others.
Indy had found Tutankhamen’s tomb (Howard Carter has vanished from history in this tale, that’s the Curse of the Pharoah for you).
“It was quite simple really,” said Indy. “I sailed to Egypt around the Lighthouse at Alexandria, passing the Pyramids at Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which by the way are just hanging baskets of petunias, I don’t know what the fuss is about, and then we came to the Sphinx. I answered his riddle and was permitted to continue.”
“What was the answer to his riddle?” asked retired-Colonel Smedley-Smythe, who was half-man, half-gout.
““To get to the other side”,” said Indy. “Anyway, I finally arrived just outside Cairo and there it was.”
“How did you know it was the right tomb?”
“It was a big pyramid with “Here lies Tutankhamen, 556-541 BC” written on it.”
“And how did you get in?” asked Sir Quentin Basildon, a man with a large ear-trumpet (he used to play this at parties, accompanied by Lord Cowdrey-Compton playing the Kazoo through his left nostril).
“I used these,“ said Indy, unrolling a cloth which had a number of keys upon it. “I bought them in a bazaar from a man with a fez.”
“Just like that?” asked Basildon.
“Indeed,” said Indy, “though I think you might be mixing him up with someone else.”
“What do the keys do?” asked Sir Ffrancis Ffrenchwindow, a former Civil servant who had accidentally started the Crimean War, because he thought the natives of Crimea were called Criminals, and he referred to them as such in a letter to their Viceroy.
“Well, the first one opens the front door,” said Indy.
“I say, how devilishly clever!” said Smedley-Smythe.
“I went in, dodged the giant boulder, passed the line of skulls, sprayed the two million scarab beetles with Lynx Deodorant (believe me, it kills anything) and eventually reached the inner vault. This was opened with the second key. In there I jumped a pit of snakes (I hate snakes), rolled under a wall that was sliding shut, and found myself in the tomb-room itself. Here I accidentally unleashed a savage force that melted all the Nazis who’d been following me (I probably should have mentioned them earlier), and used the last key to let myself out the back door just before the whole pyramid came crashing down.”
“Astounding!” said Sir Ffrancis, “but what about the third key, the odd-shaped one?”
“I had wondered about that too,” said Indy, “until I looked at it the other way up. It’s not a key at all, it’s for blowing bubbles. You have to remember that Tutankhamen was only a little girl ”
“No, she was a girl.”
“But she was called the Boy King Tut.”
“No, it was the Biking Tut. You’ve seen the pictures, the Egyptians could only walk in two dimensions. The bicycle was their two-dimensional chariot.”