'tis the season to be up to no good..
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Captain Wozzo's Christmas adventure
by D.A.



'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, Wozzo was hunting, and not for a mouse...

"Humbug!" Cried Captain Wozzo as he crawled under the bench in his laboratory.

"Absolutely and definitely a humbug." And he got up clutching a fluff-encased boiled sweet.

"I wondered where that had gone, must've been last Christmas that I dropped it when my patented pudding mixer broke free from it's moorings and knocked everything onto the floor."

He picked off the worst of the fluff and popped it into his mouth. "Mmm, delicious, I think the patina of detritus adds to the flavour!"

Just then there was a shrill weebling sound.. like this: "WEEBLYWEEBLYWEEBLYWHOOP! WEEBLYWEEBLYWEEBLYWHOOP! WEEBLYWEE.."

"Oh for goodness sake, where have I put the Wozzophone?" Cried our hero, running round in small circles until eventually he discovered that it was in his pocket. Not the pocket that it should have been in, but another much more difficult to access pocket.

"Hello?" he said into the device.

"Ah Wozzo" said the Chief. "I have a mission for you"

"Ah, no wait, you see.." spluttered Wozzo through his half-sucked humbug, "I'm busy."

"Busy!!" Shouted the Chief "This is important! It's a Christmas crisis.. and what are you eating?"

"Humbug" mumbled the Captain.

"Humbug? Have you gone all anti-Christmas? Where's your festive spirit? We can't let the children down at this time of year you know."

"Eh? Uuung .. no" said the Captain swallowing his humbug whole "I was eating a - HIC! - humbug."

"A hic humbug? What's one of those?"

"No, not a hic humbug, just an ordinary if slightly dusty - HIC! - humbug."

"I thought that's what you said. Now Wozzo, I'm not interested in your ludicrous diet, I want you to track down the evil mastermind who's hijacking Father Christmas's elves on their way to deliver presents to Santa's North Pole depot. We think he's going to sell the presents on EBay or something. Then all the children's parents will have to pay to get them back, fiendish!"

"But who can this evil mastermind be Chief? I've disposed of the Pretavian Zealot, the Akond of Swat and Piers Morgan. Who's left?"

"What - apart from Gordon Ramsey, Kim Jung Tiddly-Pong, Rupert Murdoch, Nigel Farage, Jay Z, Ronald Macdonald and that woman who does the weather on the telly?"

"Oh yes" admitted our hero "maybe there are a few more capable of such terrible deeds.."

"There are indeed Wozzo, and you have to stop them. Get onto it immediately, I've sent you all the details on WhatsApp."

"What's up?"

"I've just told you what's up, do concentrate!" Barked the Chief and rang off.

"Oh dear" thought Wozzo. He dimly remembered being forced to attend a seminar on new Inter Departmental Intelligence Object Transference Systems. It had something to do with out-sourcing all communications systems to Vodafone. He had found it amusing that it spelled IDIOTS and then fell asleep for the rest of the event.

"Well," mused the Captain "if the evil entrepreneur is flogging the toys on EBay I'll just have a look and see if I can spot him, there can't be many people selling toys on there..."

Seventeen hours and four cups of Wozzo's patent pick-me-up * later, he had narrowed it down to a couple of suspects.

* Wozzo's patent pick-me-up is a concoction made from coffee, tea, Baileys, Toilet Duck, gravy and Grannies Gripe-water. It tastes horrible but it wakes you up.. mostly by causing you to run-around rinsing your mouth out with cold water and then going to the lavatory.

The first was the "Evil Mastermind Knocked-Off Toy Company" which he discounted as being too obvious, the other was "briancollins48" which the Captain thought was very suspicious.

He ordered a Super-Shooter foam-pellet gun thinking that he'd be able to send it back, thus discovering briancollins48's address.

Of course it didn't stop there, by bed-time he'd ordered a non-stick wallet, a set of interlocking fire-guards, a useful brown bag, a Benjamin Franklin experiments kit complete with kite, some instant noodles (chicken tikka flavour), a box of jumping beans and some action trousers.

For the next two days there was a constant stream of delivery drivers arriving at Wozzo's laboratory, which was quite an achievement. You see the Captain lived on a long lane, which had a helpful sign at the end pointing the wrong way down a dead-end road. It had twirled round in the wind ages ago, and he'd been meaning to mend it for so long that when he eventually did, all the van drivers went the wrong way because they'd got so used to going the opposite way to what the sign said. So he'd put it back.

"Delivery for Wozzo" said a scruffy looking fellow at the door.

"Yes, I am he." Answered the Captain, somewhat formally.

"Well you'll be expecting this then!" Said the man pointing a large green and blue plastic weapon at him.

"Yes of course! My Super-Shooter!" Enthused the Captain. "Let me have it"

Well, you know he shouldn't have said that, and I know he shouldn't have said that, but he obviously didn't.

"Right away mate" said the driver raising the weapon to his shoulder and pulling the trigger.

"Puannng! Tweaunng! Flearnng!" went the foam bullets as Wozzo ran for his life, with Brian Collins (it was actually him!) in hot pursuit.

"Oh goodness me!" panted our hero as he darted hither and thither, this way and that, around and about and here, there and everywhere all at once. You wouldn't have believed the old fool could run so fast.

Eventually his legs didn't believe it either and he sat down puffing and panting behind his green-house. Now you might think a green-house wouldn't be a very good thing to hide behind.. but the Captain's was different. It was actually green. He'd painted it with a special paint to ward off hyprothrematic radiation - which just happened to be green. In the end, it turned out that there's no such thing as hypro... whatever it was, so there wasn't any need to do it. Still, it was quite a nice colour and at this moment it was doing a good job of concealing the Captain from his pursuer.

"Wozzo!" shouted Brian, "I know you're here somewhere and I'm going to find you and fill you full of holes!"

The Captain kept quiet, he was going through his pockets - which were already full of holes, surely there was something here that he could defend himself with?

He found a flumf* of fluff, another humbug, a ball of string, a flat battery, a tooth pick, something sticky, the jumping beans and the Wozzophone.

* A "flumf" is definitely the name for a piece of pocket-fluff, I'm sure of it.

He got the phone out and looked at the screen "No signal" it said.

"Bother" The Captain said (or words to that effect).

Just then Brian appeared around the corner of the green-house. "Aha!" he said.

The Captain wondered why he was mentioning a 1980s Scandinavian pop combo at this crucial time, but was sensible enough to jump to his feet whilst doing so. The packet of jumping beans fell from his holey pocket and scattered on the ground.

Brian lunged towards the Captain, stepped on the beans and went base-over-apex into the compost heap.

"Bleaurgh!" he said (or something like that, it's hard to enunciate clearly when face-down in compost).

The Captain fumbled in his pockets once more, found the ball of string and managed, with unusual alacrity, to tie Brian's hands behind his back as he lay there slightly stunned. He picked up the Super-Shooter and gave him both barrels just to make sure. (A little unsporting I know, but he was an evil mastermind..)

"Ooog!" groaned Brian.



Later that day the Captain and the Chief sat down to a celebratory Two-for-One mid-week Super-Deal lunch at the Potato and Ferret pub.

"Mmm.. is this a potato or a piece of ferret" joked the Chief.

"Oh, I think it's possibly a cheaper type of TVP, or textured vegetable protein." replied the Captain, completely missing the humour.

"Well you did a great job of ridding us of the Christmas present pincher Wozzo. Children everywhere will be grateful"

Wozzo doubted whether children anywhere would spare a thought for all those striving to make their Christmas a happy one, but he kept quiet as he chewed through a particularly gristly piece of "meat".

"Happy Christmas" said the Chief raising his glass of Peruvian Burgundy to his lips.

"Mmmphabby chrumsmmss" mumbled the Captain through his chewy mouthful, but his thoughts were now on what use he could put this new indestructible material to? Unwearoutable shoe-soles perhaps? Or shock absorbers for supermarket trolleys? he'd think of something..




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