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Author Topic: Meet Thomas, the right on tank engine.....from 2009 Daily Telegraph  (Read 336 times)
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« on: July 19, 2018, 06:40:17 am »

Thomas and James were relaxing in the engine shed. James was not happy. You could tell that because steam was coming out of his funnel.

"I've had it with that Emily," said James. "She just told me to take the rubbish train to the tip. She's a right bossy old boiler."

"Now, now," said Thomas. "I think you'll find that Emily is a fully productive and equal member of the locomotive community. Calling her bossy is to assign her negative gender connotations. She is merely ambitious for a colleague to meet their personal career enhancement targets. As for her longevity, her age is no more than a reflection of the breadth of her experience."

"Maybe," said James. "But she's still a boiler. That's a technical term – you know, for a boiler."

"These days," smiled Thomas, "we prefer to call them steam-propelled, rail-guided utility maintenance vehicles."

Just then, a sizeable man in a top hat approached the engines. "Aha!" said Thomas, "it's the Comfortably Contoured Democratically Elected Locomotive Organisational Directive Co-ordinator. Hello, Comrade."

"Hello, Thomas," said the Comfortably Contoured etc. "I'm very keen for you to demonstrate your initiative and problem-solving skills. So if I gave you a situation, could you supply me with a solution?"

"That sounds very much as if it would meet my individual career-growth schedule," said Thomas.

"Here's the thing: at the station are two coaches full of children waiting to be taken to lessons at a gender sensitivity learning resource centre. But there is no locomotive to pull them. What would you suggest?"

"Mmm," said Thomas. "I know, why doesn't one of us go and pull them?"

"Pull them?" said James. "A couple of girl wagons? You mean, coupling up and that? Cos I'm well up for that…"

"No, I mean forming a fully co-ordinated, problem-solving, initiative-developing equal partnership with two valued colleagues," said Thomas. "And they're not girls, they're female transportation-enhancement operatives."

"Very good, you do that," said the Comfortably Contoured etc. And with that, Thomas chuffed off to the station to find the carriages.

When he got there, Annie and Clarabel were waiting. "What time do you call this?" said Annie. "Yeah, we know what you were doing," added Clarabel. "And I bet you left the seat up, you useless male."

Thomas thanked his colleagues for their concerns about his time-keeping and pulled out of the station.

"Do you know where you're going?" asked Clarabel. "Only you haven't asked anyone."

"Typical man," said Annie. "Hasn't a clue."

"I was hoping that between us – on an equal footing – we could research the direction of travel," said Thomas.

"Yeah, well, wherever it is we want to go, it isn't here," said Annie. "You pulled into the sidings."

Thomas saw his female colleague was right. They were stuck. Luckily, James was chugging along behind.

"Laydeez, laydeez!" he hooted. "Need assistance from your Uncle Jim?" And before they could answer, he had coupled up with Clarabel. Unfortunately, he wasn't strong enough to pull the extra weight, and his wheels began slipping on the rails. Soon, all four were stuck in the sidings.

"Bloody men," seethed Clarabel.

"Only one thing for it," said Annie.

"You mean?" said James.

"Yes," said Clarabel. "Call Emily."

And so they did. Soon Emily appeared and pulled everyone out of the sidings and back on track.

"Shall I take over?" asked Emily.

"I think so," said Clarabel. "We won't get anywhere with useless men in charge."

"OK," said Emily. "And James? While I'm sorting out your mess, could you make sure you take the rubbish out?"

James could only sigh as he and Thomas watched Emily disappear along the track with her new payload.

"You know what this means?" said Thomas.

"Yes," said James, gloomily. "It means we need a new scriptwriter – pronto."

Jim White

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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 07:59:23 pm »

Can't help thinking that 'James' is code for 'Jeremy', Emily is Thornberry(of course!) while Abbott and Costello ...whoops, giving my age away...I mean, Butler (not Reg Varney) are the freight wagons !. I leave it to others to suggest who 'Thomas' might be ...Boris maybe with his laydeez laydeez cry.....
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