Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It was quite a day

Donald woke up on the morning of his thirty-seventh birthday to find himself not in his bed, but lying in the middle of a mini-roundabout, tied by the wrists and ankles to a tree trunk and blindfolded with what a quick probe with his unusually long tongue suggested was a medium-sized woman's handkerchief. "What's going on?" he asked.

A medium-sized woman took off the blindfold and started to untie him. "Surprise!" she said.

"Prudence?" said Donald, a little confused. "Why am I tied to a tree trunk in the middle of a mini-roundabout?"

"I wanted to bring you here as a birthday surprise, so I drugged you last night and dragged you here. I don't own a car, so I have to travel everywhere by dragging a tree trunk around."

"But why a mini-roundabout? Many lazy drivers drive over the painted white circle over the edges of which your tree trunk is dangerously jutting. We're not entirely safe here."

"I had to stop here because I ran out of petrol. I was heading for the car park half a mile down the road."

"Wait a minute," said Donald, with a look of dread on his face. "A car park half a mile down the road from a mini-roundabout? There's only one place in the world where that occurs! We're in WELWYN GARDEN CITY!"

"Yep!" said Prudence, finally freeing Donald from the trunk. "Happy birthday! I knew you'd like it!"

"Like it?!" Donald screamed. "Like it? I hate Welwyn Garden City! You know I can't ever bring myself to go within fifty miles of the place! I've told you about it several times - when I was ten years old I was chased by a rabid pig through the streets of Welwyn Garden City for seventeen hours until it was finally killed by a white hunter! It left me permanently psychologically scarred!"

"Oh," said Prudence, frowning. "A pig? I thought it was a rabid horse."

"But you did know it was Welwyn Garden City? And still brought me here?"

"Well, yes, but I checked with the Lady Mayoress before we came that they weren't intending to have any rabid horses roaming the streets today. I didn't check for pigs, though."

"There might be rabid pigs? Seriously, what's wrong with you?"

Prudence sniffled and her lip wobbled. "I only wanted to give you a birthday surprise! I thought you'd like it!"

"I wanted to spend my birthday with my wife and children! It's not that I don't appreciate your gesture, but we just work together, we're not even particularly close friends. You could have just sent me a card. Oh heck, here comes a rabid horse!"

"It can't be! The Lady Mayoress promised me!" Prudence screamed as the horse bore down on them. Abandoning the tree trunk, which was subsequently towed away and crushed into a cube, the two of them ran headlong through the streets for eighteen hours until the horse was felled by a collapsing statue of Disraeli.

"Sorry the birthday surprise didn't work out quite the way I'd expected," Prudence gasped, lying down in the gutter to catch her breath.

"Don't worry about it," Donald smiled. "It was a surprisingly pleasant experience, all in all. Apart from the bit with the horse."

This has been a presentation of the Welwyn Garden City Tourist Board. Come to Welwyn Garden City. A great day out for all the family.

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