On Gew And Weg

Gew and Weg, the palindromic chums, went on many exciting adventures. In one such adventure they took a spaceship to Pluto and planted tulips. This was about as close as they ever got to having a palindromic adventure. Had there been a planet Pilut, they would no doubt have gone there instead, but they had to make do with Pluto.

On their way back from Pluto, Gew and Weg discovered they still had a couple of tulip bulbs, forgotten at the bottom of their burlap bag. So peckish on the long journey and far, far from any canteen or cafeteria, they ate them. Soon enough they had flowers sprouting from their ears. It was a look they liked, so they did not cut them.

Interviewed by press hounds when they landed back at the spaceship station on Earth, Gew and Weg had to fend off questions about the tulips in their ears. Would all visitors to that distant planet become human flowerpots?, they were asked. Are those normal tulips or are they some sort of weird Plutonian tulip?, they were asked. Their replies were drowned out by the eager babbling of other newshounds and the sudden blaring of hooters warning of a calamity.

Gew and Weg always liked to intervene in cases of imminent calamity, so they cut the press conference short and scampered off to the hooter control hut. They were mightily disconcerted to discover that whoever had pressed the control knob that set the hooters blaring had already fled. Thus they had no way of finding out the nature of the impending calamity. Whatever it might be, they agreed that the hut was a safe place to be, so they slammed the door shut and flung themselves into a pair of armchairs. They copied this flinging movement from Nayland Smith in the Fu Manchu books by Sax Rohmer.

Outside the hut all was pandaemonium. But the hut was windowless and soundproofed with cork panels. There is not much chance of a palindromic adventure involving cork panels, observed Gew. Hmm, responded Weg, Kroc le nap? That means nothing. Was Kroc not the surname of the man who started McDonald’s?, said Gew. Yes, said Weg, or rather Yar. Ray Kroc, though he was not the founder of the company, he merely built it into today’s behemoth. Well then, mused Gew, we might have an adventure revolving around Kroc taking a snooze in France, le nap Kroc. Too late for that!, rapped Weg, he died in 1984. Weg copied his rapping intonation from Nayland Smith in the Fu Manchu books by Sax Rohmer.

After a while Gew creaked the door of the hut open to peek outside. There had been some sort of cataclysm, that was for sure. Come and look at this, he said to Weg. Gosh!, said Weg, when he too peeked outside and saw the results of the terrible cataclysm, No wonder the hooters were blaring! I suppose we can depress the control knob to cease the hooters now, said Gew. Yes, I suppose we can, said Weg.

But as they went back into the interior of the hut and past the pair of armchairs towards the hooter control console wherein the knob was set, the hut door slammed shut by dint of a sudden galey gust, and they found they were unable to open it. We seem to be trapped in the hut, said Gew. Lawks-a-mercy!, said Weg. This was not a phrase that was ever used by Nayland Smith in the Fu Manchu books by Sax Rohmer. He must have picked it up somewhere else, from a cockney street urchin, perhaps, or a costermonger.

There is not much opportunity for adventure confined to a hut, observed Gew. No, agreed Weg, but we can console ourselves that “tuh” would in any case provide no palindromic excitements. Though the thought occurs to me, he added, that we might embark on an anagrammatic adventure if there are any containers of UHT milk in this hut. Have you taken leave of your senses?, rapped Gew, What possible kind of adventure could we have, trapped in a hut with a carton of UHT milk? Alright, alright, keep your hair on, said Weg, I was merely musing.

Gew and Weg flung themselves back into the armchairs. There was a bit of a fug in the hut because the man who manned the hooter control console was a chain smoker. Though he had fled he had left his fug behind. Both Gew and Weg feared their tulips might wilt in the stifling atmosphere.

I liked Pluto, said Gew, It had a certain something. Agreed, agreed Weg, I found it agreeably Plutonian. Mind you, this hut would be equally agreeable were it not so fuggy. Yes, said Gew, I could quite happily slump in this armchair for a considerable period of time. My only concern is the wilting of our tulips. Well, that and the fact that we are trapped. Now there’s a thought, said Weg. What?, said Gew. Well, said Weg, what with the windowlessness and the soundproofing by cork panels, one wonders if the hut is completely sealed. And if it is so sealed…?, asked Gew, allowing his question to peter out as the penny dropped. If the hut is so sealed, said Weg, then not only will our tulips wilt, but we will wilt too, fatally, as the supply of oxygen is gradually depleted.

Lawks-a-mercy!, said Gew, Then it seems we are to have an adventure after all! A daring escape from a sealed hut! Yes, said Weg, And an anagrammatic adventure, for look!, over on that shelf I spy a carton of UHT milk! How is that going to be germane to our escape?, asked Gew. I don’t know yet, said Weg, But I will hatch a plan.

Next week in The Thrilling Escapades Of Gew And Weg, find out how the derring-do duo escape from the sealed hut using a carton of UHT milk!

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