Welcome to March's 'Dwarf News'. Regular readers may notice that this issue is slightly smaller than usual. This is because the end of the financial year approaches, and we are somewhat over budget for the last twelve months. April always sees the arrival of the Society's auditors, to check the books. Last year's audit resulted in the end of the Colour Supplement, which is now printed on ordinary white paper, to reduce costs. The audit also saw the dismissal of several members of staff. This annual event, now known here at the office as Sack Fest, is looked upon with dread, so we are having a desperate last minute drive to reduce costs, in the hopes of making up for the overspend earlier in the financial year.
Although we might be smaller this month, we still have all your usual features, such as Court Diary and the Sports Report, as well as all the latest news from the Dwarf world. Our opening story this month comes from America, however.
Things are confidently expected to return to normal in May, after the auditors have crawled back into their cupboard for another twelve months.
Police in Hollywood are reported to have charged Chicago Dwarf businessman Luigi 'Knuckles' Lambretti with conspiracy to commit murder in the case of film director and producer Harvey Steinway. Steinway, whose dismembered body was discovered in the freezer of his Hollywood home last month, was responsible for the remake of classic British comedy Confessions Of A Window Cleaner. The film recently bombed at the box office.
Mr. Lambretti was arrested by Chicago police officers acting on a request from Hollywood homicide detective Lieutenant Dirk Fiddler, who is leading the hunt for Steinway's killer. He was flown to California, where he was charged with conspiracy before being released on half a million dollars bail.
Lambretti's attorney, Harold "Cock" Roach, spoke to reporters after Luigi was released on bail. "My client has nothing whatsoever to do with Mr. Steinway's murder," he insisted. "Mr. Lambretti is a businessman, who has been an asset to Chicago since he decided to move here from his native Detroit fourteen years ago. Last year the Chicago Chamber Of Commerce in partnership with the American Dwarf Association named him Chicago's Small Businessman of The Year. He has worked tirelessly to aid the people of this city, and is largely responsible for helping to clear many of our streets of the scourge of small time drug dealers and pushers, thanks to the anti drugs campaign he generously financed six years ago."
A spokesman for Chicago P.D. confirmed this. "I'd have to agree that his campaign to get dealers off the streets was certainly effective. It was so effective that that if you wanted to die, you had to ring the city morgue and book your place in the freezer a month in advance. I'm sure the city's crack and heroin addicts all have reason to thank him for his efforts." Reporters were told. A local patrolman confirmed this. "There were all sorts of cowboys selling shit on the streets, and it was cut with everything from talc and baby formula to rat poison. People never knew what they were buying. Most of them didn't even show proper respect to the drugs squad, it was chaos. Things are much better organized now", he claimed.
Lieutenant Fettler gave a statement to reporters in Hollywood after Mr. Lambretti was released on bail. He claimed that Lambretti, who has admitted that he was responsible for putting together a group of South American businessmen to provide finance for the film, was also involved in money laundering operations. "We know that many of the drug cartels in Columbia are looking for opportunities in the film industry. If they invested in Mr. Steinway's film, then they lost a lot of money when it flopped. As Lambretti set up the deal, then they are going to hold him personally responsible for the loss of their investment. If he can't cover their losses, then he has to be a very worried man. Knocking off Steinway might go some way towards placating them, but it won't make up for the money they've lost", Fettler claimed.
The lieutenant also asked reporters for help in tracing the girl seen in a Hollywood restaurant with Steinway shortly before his disappearance "We think she may well be the last person to see Harvey alive, apart from the psycho who actually killed him. We have managed to find a CCTV picture of her, taken in the restaurant where Harvey had what was presumably his last meal."
She is described as around five feet ten, dark haired, with a slim figure. "The picture is pretty poor quality, but she seems to be quite a looker. She is supposed to have an English accent, we think she's probably a prostitute. Lots of girls come over here from England in the hopes of making it big in the movies. A girl with a proper English accent can charge premium rates in this town. If she sees her picture on the news, I would urge her to come forward. I would like to stress that she is not a suspect, but we do need to talk to her urgently," Fettler told the press conference. "She may even be responsible for giving Harvey an electric carving knife as a Christmas gift, and signing the gift tag 'With love from S'. When you realize that the killer actually used the knife to cut up the body, she must be feeling pretty sick right now".
Controversial American Dwarf female rock band The Quickies, who are to visit Britain next month, have signed a distribution deal with UK record label Acton Records, to release their album 'With These Bricks' to coincide with the forthcoming tour. The album, together with the single of the same name, has been banned by over half the radio stations in America. The band calls upon girl Dwarfs everywhere to stand up and be counted, and encourages the illegal pastime of 'bricking'. This involves short females painting an imitation Dwarf flap on the front door of an empty house, then chasing lone male Dwarfs up the street concerned, by banging two bricks together and threatening to neuter the unfortunate male concerned. The Dwarf then sees the Dwarf flap on the front door of one of the houses, and makes a run for it, thereby knocking himself out. He wakes up half an hour later; if he is lucky then the only thing he finds missing is his wallet. Cities in America that have played host to a Quickies gig have reported an increase in these attacks of two hundred per cent in the days following the concert.
Acton Records of London are one of the UK's largest independent record labels. A spokesman for the label, when asked why they are called Acton Records when they are actually based in Hammersmith, explained that they were originally intending to call themselves Action Records when the label was founded in the nineteen eighties, but made the mistake of hiring a dyslexic typist when they first opened. They are best known as the record company of new boy band sensation Fast Lane.
Wayne Davis, who is the lead singer with Fast Lane, told 'Dwarf News' that the band were unhappy with the news that Acton Records had decided to use The Quickies as a support act for their own forthcoming tour. Fast Lane themselves are busy in the studio, where they are learning all the words for their own new album, which is being released to coincide with the tour. "It's not just the songs we need to remember, we have to learn all the dance routines too", he told us. "I don't feel The Quickies are really a suitable band to do support for us, I think that the audience are just not going to respond to them. Some of our fans are going to be very disappointed, they've been saving up their pocket money for months to buy their tickets", Wayne claimed.
The Quickies were contacted in America for their reaction. "We are very pleased to be able to release 'With These Bricks' in England", band member and lead vocalist Hazel Short told 'Dwarf News'. "We have been told that Fast Lane are a very popular band in the UK at the moment, although we haven't actually heard of them over here. Are they anything like Motorhead?"
If you want to catch the tour, there are still some tickets available for the concert at the new Wembley Stadium. The date for the gig will be announced when it is known with a reasonable degree of accuracy when the venue will actually be finished.
Editor's Note: Apparently, part of the delay is due to the difficulty in carrying out a full toilet test. The new stadium has nearly three thousand toilets, which makes it the building with the largest number of bogs anywhere in the world, to allow for the half time rush. In order to find out if the drains can cope with the load, the builders need to flush all three thousand toilets at once, and find out if the pitch is flooded knee deep with raw sewage or not. This will involve finding three thousand people who are all desperate to take a dump at the same time.
Mr. Wilfred Johnson, a member of the highly successful British Naturist Dwarfs Over Sixty Unisex Leapfrog Display Team, has died of a heart attack at a hotel in Cleethorps. He was staying at the hotel for two nights before the team's league match against the Cleethorps Catapults last weekend. Mr. Johnson, who was seventy-eight, was taken to Cleethorps General Hospital after an ambulance was called to the Bay View Guest House at six fifteen on Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead on arrival. The alarm was raised by Mrs. Janet Houghton, sixty-nine, who is also a member of the team, and was sharing a room with Mr. Johnson at the time. "He only got up to get a glass of water, the next minute I heard a crash from the bathroom, When I went in to see if he was alright, he was lying on the floor," she told our reporter, who was in the area to cover the match. "The floor tiles and the bath and hand basin were all blue, and I couldn't actually find him until I went back and got my glasses".
A post mortem has revealed that Wilfred died of a massive heart attack, brought on by over exertion. "My examination revealed that Mr. Johnson had been engaged in sexual activity shortly before his death. An initial blood test points to his having taken a large amount of Viagra earlier that night", the pathologist revealed after our reporter slipped him fifty pounds to get an early look at the post mortem results. He added that Viagra is not intended for people who are elderly. "It's an anti-impotence drug. It should only be taken by people who are in reasonable health. Giving it to a man of seventy-eight is like fitting a Ferrari engine into a twenty-year-old Robin Reliant. The engine might be fine, but the rest of the car can't take the strain. The first time you try to put your foot down, the whole thing is going to fall to bits," he explained. "It's a case of the flesh is willing, but the heart is weak."
A spokesperson for the drug's manufacturers confirmed that it was not meant to be used as a geriatric sex aid. "Viagra is very safe to use, provided the guide lines are followed", she told 'Dwarf News'. "Before its release, the drug was extensively tested using laboratory animals. The animals did not suffer in these tests. Actually, most of the testing was done on beagles; after all, they could always have a cigarette afterwards".
Our reporter later returned to the Bay View Guest House, and spoke to the manager, who confirmed the story.
"The lady in room thirty-four telephoned the reception desk at just after six o'clock in the morning, to request an ambulance. Unfortunately, by then it was too late. The paramedic said he was probably dead before his Zimmer frame hit the floor" our reporter was told. A study of the hotel register while the manager was otherwise engaged revealed the name of the person staying in the next room, so he was telephoned for further details. Richard Mountwell, who was a guest in the hotel that night, agreed to speak to us, after our reporter assumed a false identity when making the call. "Of course, officer, I'm always willing to help the police", he told us, after he was assured that anything he said was in strictest confidence.
Mr. Mountwell, who works for an electronics company in Birmingham, explained that he was staying at the hotel while his wife was visiting her sick mother in Coventry.
"The noise coming from the room next doors was unbelievable. I thought there was a rugby team in there having an orgy", he claimed. "I would have complained to the manager, but I wasn't supposed to be in Cleethorps, I was supposed to be at a firm conference in Manchester. I didn't really want to get involved." When asked, he gave us the address of another person who could confirm this.
"The noise was terrible; I'd be surprised if anyone in the hotel got a wink of sleep that night. Dickie was really annoyed, as we'd been looking forward to a weekend away somewhere quiet for ages," said twenty-two year old Sindy Makepiece, a secretary who works at the same electronics company as Mr. Mountwell. "When I heard the old boy was nearly eighty, I was amazed. Do you think Dickie will have that much energy in another thirty years?"
The team's captain, sixty-nine year old Arthur Crabb, told 'Dwarf News' that Wilfred was a very popular member of the team, and would be sadly missed. "I suppose he died doing what he wanted to do, he loved being in the team", Arthur told us. "We all wore black armbands for the match on Sunday, as a sign of respect".
Mr. Johnson's funeral was held on Friday, and the entire team attended. Although initially planned for Wednesday, it was postponed for two days, in order to give the undertakers more time to get the lid on his coffin. David Snuffit, of funeral directors John Snuffit and Sons, told our reporter that they eventually decided to drill a hole in the top of the casket. "We put a couple of wreaths over it, so no-one would notice. At least it stopped the flowers falling off when we carried it into the church," he added. There was a further delay of half an hour just before the service, when the coffin had to be opened again after Mrs. Janet Houghton, who was sharing the hotel room with the deceased at the time of his heart attack, explained that in the confusion her false teeth must have got mixed up with Wilfred's, as both sets of dentures were soaking in the same glass, and she was now having great difficulty getting her top set to stay in.
The collection raised twenty-seven pounds and twenty-four pence, five pesetas and a polo mint.
Mrs. June Bentley has filed for divorce from her husband, Cyril Bentley. She has also demanded custody of the couple's only child, nine year old Jessica. Mr. Bentley has decided not to oppose the applicacation.
There is news from America that former radical Dwarf feminist Minnie Small-Collins has been arrested, after taking part in a demonstration in Washington. As she is still on probation in England, she has told a reporter from the Washington Post that she will fight any attempts from the British government to have her sent back to serve the rest of her sentence. "I intend to claim asylum in America," she told the paper, adding that she was "A legitimate freedom fighter, who was falsely imprisoned by the British courts, for belonging to an organization that my own government hadn't even heard of until my trial".
On being informed that the request for her extradition had not come from the British authorities, and had in fact come from authorities in Washington, Mrs. Small-Collins is reported to have replied "Oh, bollocks."
"We have enough problems with home grown radical feminist Dwarfs, we certainly don't need to start importing them from England," a spokesman for the city's administration is reported to have claimed. "We are still clearing up the mess after an incident two months ago, when Washington played host to a concert by The Quickies. Over twenty police officers are either in hospital or off sick at home, recovering from lower leg injuries sustained during the subsequent riot."
Despite being a man short, the British Naturist Dwarfs Over Sixty Unisex Leapfrog Display Team managed to come out on top in their league match against the Cleethorps Catapults last weekend. The team, wearing black armbands in rememberance of Wilfred Johnson, who died of a heart attack at the Bay View Guest House early on Saturday morning, pulled out all the stops to win by three ends to two in the tie break.
"We all want to dedicate our win to Wilfred," team Captain Arthur Crabb told 'Dwarf News' after the match.
Their latest victory puts the naturists within one point of league leaders the Grimsby Grasshoppers. This is the highest position they have ever reached. "We did finish second from bottom thirteen years ago, but that was largely due to the entire Bristol Bouncers team ending up in hospital for two months after their mini bus crashed", Arthur Crabb admitted. "This is our year; we are in with a real chance of finishing at the top of the league".
In tennis, French Dwarf star Marcel Bouffant has confirmed that he is to miss the next three events on the Dwarf tennis circuit. Marcel, known as the Rudolph Valentino of the Dwarf tennis circuit, was unable to defend his mixed height doubles title at the Australian Dwarfs Open in January, after his former partner and fiancée, 'Dwarf News' Deputy Editor Jane Von Smith, finally caught up with him in Paris late last year. Jane, who had been looking for Marcel since he left her and returned to France when she was declared bankrupt, is believed to have borrowed the ceremonial pickaxe handle that is the staff of office of the Awards Committee Chair from Zena 'Two Dwarfs' Daniels, the on/off holder of that title. Marcel told 'Dwarf News' that he is not intending to press charges, even though his injuries will keep him out of action for at least another four months. "I won't be playing tennis, either." He informed our Sports Reporter.
'Dwarf News' very own domestic goddess, Awards Committee Chair Zena Daniels, gives readers a further insight into the life of a busy wife, mistress and mother in the real world. This month, she covers the tricky subject of what to do with all those leftovers that hide away in the bottom of the fridge.
I don't know about you, but since I researched How to Boil an Egg, I've been practicing hard, with some very mixed results. The outcome of this is that my kitchen is full of, not only pans with the bottoms burnt out, but eggs, loads and loads of boiled eggs. So suddenly I'm in need of a few recipes, which use boiled eggs by the thousand. Below, I've selected a few of my personal favourites.
Hindoo Eggs (Curried Hard-Boiled Eggs)
Instructions: Melt the butter in a medium non reactive skillet; add the onion and sauté over low heat until the onion is clear. Stir in the curry powder, salt, and flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, gradually stir in the broth and milk, stirring until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. The sauce should be slightly thickened and smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Cut the eggs into quarters and add to the sauce. Cook just until the eggs are hot, but do not boil. Just before serving stir in a drop or two of fresh lemon juice. Serve over hot rice or toast points.
Melt the butter in a medium non reactive skillet; add the onion and sauté over low heat until the onion is clear. Stir in the curry powder, salt, and flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, gradually stir in the broth and milk, stirring until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. The sauce should be slightly thickened and smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Cut the eggs into quarters and add to the sauce. Cook just until the eggs are hot, but do not boil. Just before serving stir in a drop or two of fresh lemon juice. Serve over hot rice or toast points.
Instructions: Beat the raw eggs and mustard together in a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Encase each hard-cooked egg completely in a thin layer of sausage, using both hands to mold the sausage around the egg. 4. Dip one sausage-encased egg first in the egg mixture and then coat with the bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining eggs. Refrigerate covered at least 3 hours or overnight.
Heat 3 inches oil in a deep-fat fryer to 375 degrees F. Fry 2 or 3 eggs at a time, turning occasionally, until quite well-browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (You want to make sure the sausage meat is thoroughly cooked.) Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve the eggs, cut into quarters, at room temperature. Pass additional mustard if desired.
Beat the raw eggs and mustard together in a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Encase each hard-cooked egg completely in a thin layer of sausage, using both hands to mold the sausage around the egg. 4. Dip one sausage-encased egg first in the egg mixture and then coat with the bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining eggs. Refrigerate covered at least 3 hours or overnight. Heat 3 inches oil in a deep-fat fryer to 375 degrees F. Fry 2 or 3 eggs at a time, turning occasionally, until quite well-browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (You want to make sure the sausage meat is thoroughly cooked.) Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve the eggs, cut into quarters, at room temperature. Pass additional mustard if desired.
Avocados and eggs blend into an interesting pate. Whip it up fast and easily in the food processor and serve with crispy crackers or fingers of challah bread.
Avocado and Egg Pate Recipe
Instructions: Chop the parsley and the spring onions finely in the food processor. Add the peeled, stoned and roughly cubed avocados and the lemon juice, and then add the hard boiled eggs, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the hardboiled eggs are finely chopped. Turn into a bowl and add enough of the mayonnaise to bind the mixture into a pate. Taste and re-season if necessary. Pile into a shallow bowl and chill until required. Serve with scoop crisps or spread on fingers of challah.
Chop the parsley and the spring onions finely in the food processor. Add the peeled, stoned and roughly cubed avocados and the lemon juice, and then add the hard boiled eggs, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the hardboiled eggs are finely chopped. Turn into a bowl and add enough of the mayonnaise to bind the mixture into a pate. Taste and re-season if necessary. Pile into a shallow bowl and chill until required. Serve with scoop crisps or spread on fingers of challah.
So there you have it, a few of my favourite recipes to use up any excess hard boiled eggs you have lying around! Enjoy!
Despite our relationship councilor, Auntie Linda, leaving to work in the private sector, we are still receiving letters from both Dwarfs and Dwarf Keepers, who need help with personal problems. If you are a mature lady with experience of life who wants to help, then there is a vacancy here at the office for a new agony aunt. Please contact the Editor by electric pigeon if you can help.
Amanda It might be your favourite, especially as it has a swiveling head, but if the electric motor has shorted out, then it is not really practical to have it repaired, and we are not surprised that when you took it in to your local branch of Dixons they told you they cannot get the parts. Buy a new one, they are not that expensive. Why not spend a little more money this time, and buy a waterproof one? That way, you can use it in the bath without worrying.
Henry By a strange coincidence, we do have a suggestion for a birthday present for your girlfriend, Amanda. We have sent you an electric pigeon, with a list of various web sites to try. Make sure you get something that will work underwater.
Geoffrey While the idea of collecting rain water in a barrel to water the garden is a very good one, if you are convinced that the barrel isn't leaking anywhere, then your new girlfriend was probably talking about something else entirely when she suggested that you should get yourself a butt plug.
Piers from Pentonville It may be that your new cell mate is just trying to be friendly, just try not to find yourself alone in the showers with him. If this is unavoidable, then whatever you do, don't drop the soap.
This month, our article is once again provided by Professor Henry Quigley, formerly a lecturer in Dwarf Mythology at Merkin College, Cambridge, until his dismissal last year, he is the author of 'Dwarfs Of The Elizabethan Age: A Short History'. This month, he moves forward a few years to look at Dwarfs at the court of King Charles the First.
By Professor H. Quigley
Regular readers of 'Dwarf News' will be familiar with Phillip Of Staines, a court Dwarf belonging to Elizabeth the First of England, however many later monarchs were also Dwarf Keepers. Indeed, the last official Royal Dwarf was Coppernin, a German Dwarf owned by Augusta, Princess of Wales (1719-1772), the mother of King George the Third. The award for the most enthusiastic Royal Dwarf Owner on record, however, must go to Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles the First, who owned three. Charles is actually listed in the Guinness Book of Records as Britain's shortest king, (Queen Victoria has the distinction of being the shortest monarch). Most records put him at between five feet and five feet four inches tall, although the higher estimates can probably be discounted as examples of arse-kissing. (Presumably while the kisser was sitting on the floor, -Ed). Most estimates put Henrietta at five feet or shorter. It is not surprising that the royal couple liked to have a few Dwarfs around, to make themselves look taller.
First among the royal Dwarfs was Jeffrey (possibly Geoffrey) Hudson, who was born in Oakham in 1619. The town was located appropriately enough in Rutland, England's smallest county.
Soon after his coronation in 1626, the new king visited his favourite courtier, the Duke of Buckingham. He took with him his bride of just over a year, French princess Henrietta Maria, who was just sixteen. At a banquet, the couple were astonished when an eighteen inch tall man in a suit of armour leapt out of a pie. He was Jeffrey Hudson, then seven years old. Henrietta Maria was so amused that the Duke promptly gave him to the Queen. He was soon dubbed Lord Minimus, and was the Queen's companion for the next eighteen years. He is said to have remained eighteen inches tall until the age of thirty, when he suddenly shot up to his full height of three feet nine inches.
Rumoured to have fought at least one duel, he became an established figure around court, and made a name for himself in London society. On one occasion he was even sent to France in an official capacity, to find a mid-wife for the Queen.
In 1644, during the English civil war, he escaped with Henrietta Maria to France. During the autumn of that year he fought another duel, after a man named Crofts made disparaging remarks about his size. The duel was fought on horseback, in order to give the Dwarf a fighting chance. Crofts thought the whole thing was a great laugh, and arrived with a 'squirt', a sort of early water pistol. Jeffrey took the event more seriously, and the duel ended when he produced a real gun, and promptly shot and killed his opponent. Even the French considered this as unsportsmanlike behaviour, and as a result, he was forced to leave not only Henrietta, but also France.
He returned to England and fought in the civil war as a Captain of Horse, earning the nickname 'Strenuous Jeffrey'. Later, he was captured by Turkish pirates and spent twenty-five years as a slave, before eventually returning to England. In 1676 he returned to the restored royal court. Accused of being involved in a papist plot, he died in prison during the year 1682, aged sixty-three.
Jeffrey is still remembered to this day. Oakham Ales, a brew-pub founded in Oakham though now based in Peterborough, brews Jeffrey Hudson Bitter, usually known as JHB.
The second of the Queen's Dwarfs, Richard Gibson, was a court painter who specialized in miniatures. (Well, he would, wouldn't he? - Ed). Indeed, his painting of the Parable Of The Lost Sheep was such a favourite of the King that the keeper of the royal paintings, Abraham Van der Doort, killed himself when he thought he had lost it. (The picture was later found down the back of the settee. - Ed).
Sometime around the mid to late 1630s, Henrietta Marie encouraged Gibson to marry her third Dwarf, Anne Shepherd, and became the first member of the royals to try her hand at the difficult art of Dwarf breeding. Little is known about Anne, other than that she was born in 1620 and was about the same height as her husband, three feet ten inches. She was also a close friend of Lady Mary Villiers, daughter of the first Duke of Buckingham
She is even referred to as 'Lady Mary's Dwarf'. At the wedding, the King gave away the bride, and the Queen gave her a diamond ring. There was even a poem written for the occasion, by Edmund Waller. As an early attempt at Dwarf breeding, however, it was a spectacular failure. The couple produced nine children, all normal size, though only five reached adulthood. (The other four died after smashing their heads against the ceiling, - Ed).
During the civil war, Gibson proved himself to be an ingratiating little sod, by becoming friendly with Oliver Cromwell, whom he painted on several occasions. He changed sides again after the restoration of the monarchy, and eventually died in 1690, aged seventy-five. Some accounts claim that his wife Anne actually died at the age of eighty-nine. The couple are buried together at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden.
'Dwarf News' Deputy Editor Jane Von Smith B.A. has been informed by the Society that as she has now been Dwarfless for more than the three months allowed by the rules, she must resign from the Society with immediate effect. She has also been given one month's notice by the paper, as all members of the editorial staff must be full members of the Society. Jane is said to be considering the offer of a research post at Merkin College, Cambridge.
There is bad news from France, where the British team are undergoing final preparations for the Dwarf Winter Olympic Games, to be held next month. While practicing at La Plagne, the British four Dwarf bob sleigh team overturned their bob, after heavy snow obscured the driver's periscope coming unto the notorious fourteenth turn.
Brake Dwarf Paul Littlebottom was thrown clear, and suffered a broken leg. The rest of the team are busy with a fiberglass repair kit and some body filler, and are hoping to be ready for next month. Meanwhile, if your Dwarf is reasonably fit, built like a rugby player in miniature, and is game for a laugh; the coach would like to hear from you; with a view to training him up as a member of the team. Do not worry if you think he is too short to be able to get into the bob once it is in motion. A stepladder, already fitted with castors, will be provided.
Things are a little tense here at the office, after Jane was forced to resign from the Society, and given twenty-eight days notice. Everyone on the staff is wondering who is going to get promotion, and become Deputy Editor in her place. Jane spends most of her time wandering around the office doing Arnie impressions, ("I'll be back"), and telling the potential candidates to think very carefully before they try to take her job. After what happened when she went to France and sorted out her last fiancé, Marcel Bouffant, this is probably good advice.
I got a telephone call from America last month. It was Lieutenant Dirk Fiddler, who is leading the hunt for Harvey Steinway's murderer. My phone number was listed on his house phone as a missed call. I explained that I had tried to phone him just after Christmas, to apologise for not being able to join him for the holiday, although I wasn't going to go anyway. Mr. Fiddler said it was a good thing I was ill, otherwise I could have ended up diced and sliced too. I have been looking at the picture of the English girl who they are hunting for, after she was seen in a restaurant with Harvey shortly before he died. She looks vaguely familiar, although I can't think where I might have seen her before.
The sports reporter has asked me if I can cover for him, and go to France next month to cover the Dwarf's Winter Olympics! I think he wants to stay as close to the office as possible, because he has got his eye on Jane's job as Deputy Editor. He is worried that as soon as he goes off to France and has his back turned, all the other candidates will try to stick knives in it. He is going to ask the Editor if it's O.K. I have said I would love to go, and I have been sorting through my wardrobe for some suitable clothes to take with me. I did think about asking the Editor if I can have a clothing allowance, although I would have to catch him in a good mood. We are all on a big economy drive at the moment, before the Society's auditors arrive at the start of April.
The paper's van is back from its service, and the garage replaced the little stickie-outie things on the sides with four proper indicators. Unfortunately, the van only has six volt electrics, and now when I indicate, the engine coughs and all the lights go dim. Other than that, it seems to be running much better. I got fifty-five miles an hour out of it downhill last week, before it overheated and automatically steam cleaned the engine.
I will write again next month, maybe from France.