The story continues…
In the distance: a man washing his car. Pike, submerged in a polythene vat of lager, saw it first.
Pike couldn’t communicate the fact that he’d seen the future - life in collision with a bucket of soapy water that was being sloshed over the bonnet of an ‘X’-plate Renault 18 (resplendent in a kind of burnt amber metallic coachwork). [Like I say, he was in a flaming vat of lager! And he’s only a fish!]
[Note: “In this case, the future is the past,” so says Dr. Wagner, a time specialist. He continues: “At this moment, life in the lager bubble is floating towards the past, towards 1982. And yet, the past is being experienced as the present by the travellers.
Now, Mr Pike, if I may call him Mr Pike, can see the future: the collision with the bubble of lager and the soap bubbles. But, that future, by the nature of time travel, is in the past. 1982. And it is, therefore, the relative past of our journeying friends in the bubble: Duggie and his mate, the Cyclist and Mr Pike.
So, the question is: what constitutes the future, when the future is - relatively or otherwise – the past? And, if they are travelling towards the past are their body-clocks running backwards, like the analogue odometer of a car in reverse? Thus, are the compatriots actually getting younger? And so…]
“’E’s making a lot of bubbles, that Pike,” said Duggie, “it’s like he’s trying to tell us something.”
“Like Lassie, you mean?” said the cyclist.
“Yeah, only he’s not as strokable,” said Duggie.
[Just then, a huge orb rose up towards the floating bubble, transporting their orangey-yellow, lager-tinted world through the rainbow of a prism that slithered like a film of oil.
Then the lager bubble and the orb - a soap sud, in actual fact - plopped together and stuck like mating cray flies. And as it joined them, the oily-prism-rainbow burst the lager bubble and the soap-sud-bubble-rainbow-prism-oilyness became their reality. Their new world.]
(“Up above the streets and houses, rainbow flying high…everyone can see it smiling, over the sky” the soundtrack was in their minds)
The sheer weight of the soap bubble with the four ‘friends’ inside [“Hey!” said Pike, “don’t forget – I’m a victim here! Not a friend!” Ok, ok, that’s why I put inverted commas round the word friends says Steve.] makes the bubble stop rising and drop like a rock towards the sudsy bucket.
“I knew it!” gurgled the Pike. No one heard him.
“We’re dropping too fast – too fast!” said Duggie’s mate, slipping and sliding like Buster Keaton on marbles.
When they hit the bucket of soapy water, Apollo 11 stylee, the bubble exploded and merged with the rest of the suds.
It was catastrophic for our heroes, who, as if by magic, became full-sized, splitting the bucket into a prosthetic spring flower - the sides splayed out flat and white against a grey, car-bubble-water-wet tarmac – covered by the sprawling figures of Duggie, his mate, the cyclist and the pike…
Dazed for a moment, they opened their eyes simultaneously [except the Pike, whose eyes couldn’t close], and looked into the silhouetted face of Geoffrey from Rainbow, who’d been washing his new car. “What the…” he said.