Thomas Bowler Esq.

TOMBOLA

 

Create character to enact dream.

Thomas ‘Tom’ Bowler; a punster; a lifetime dreamer; loser and one of the lost; creator of illusory conclusions and loose-end knotting-avoidance techniques; writer of unfinished literary doggerel (be it Flash Fiction or the Biblical novel) and erstwhile creator of unquantified quantity over unequal quality in all that he involves himself in. Squirrel or Goldfish-minded in an alternative reality to the one he should be in. Wearer of the Writers’ Block of Atlantis Non-Literary Award three years running (and two walking). Lonely Star of a Lone-Star state that doesn’t exist – apart from on a scrap of paper in an old A4 ring-binder in a cardboard box in his spare room; Champion of the day ‘Thursday’ over ‘Wednesday’.

Me Interacting with Thomas Bowler

A stranger entered into my life

Hello!” he said – this was good, he spoke my language, was a bi-pedal humanoid of human oidity and was seemingly of a friendly persuasion. Marvellous!

Hello, back atya!” I responded. “They call me Graeme – it’s my name – and you are?”

Yes, I am!” he replied; but, with a strange gleam of mischievousness in his eyes.

Tom, it’s my name – short for Thomas Bowler, nickname ‘Tom-Bowler’ though why that should be at all funny is beyond me.”

It’s because of the stall at the fayre called a Tombola stall where you could buy a number and possibly win a prize. Does that help?”

Do you understand sarcasm?” that sparkly glimmer was in his eyes again.” It’s like ‘Irony’ but spelt differently.

Ah! I get it. You are being mildly humourous in a wry, dry, way. Your witty remarks are to set one at ease when you are in a position of ‘First Contact’ and are a little troubled as to the future course of events. Am I right?

Sorry!” he queried, a look of confusion now in his eyes. “I thought you were off on a literal bender. Whatever that is. I know what a Tombola is – I went to Oxford.”

Oxford!” I was impressed, “What did you study at Oxford?”

A street map, mainly. Then I asked directions from a Mexican traffic-warden; became lost; happened upon Blackwell’s Art Shop (who told me where Blackwell’s bookshop was) and finally found the aforementioned bookshop, where I purchased an Oxford University Press copy of ‘Fayre Stall Recognition for Beginners or Dopple-gangers – second edition).”

I stepped back a step – back-stepping being a hobby of mine (it’s quite underrated) took a breath (also a hobby of mine) and considered the newbie. He was my height, build, stature (stature dog widdling on my lawn? – I punned to myself) and looked not dissimilar to myself.

Do I know you?” I asked.

Better than you know.” he returned.

I realised that we were now going to be playing Word-Tennis. My serve.

Animal, mineral or vegetable?” I hit the words down centre-court.

If it’s an offer, I’ll have a carrot.” he parried quite successfully.

Organic or… non-Organic!” I volleyed.

I don’t care as long as it’s orange!” He hit the winner back and I had no answer.

I should tell you that I am a quick learner.” he opined. “My task here is to assist you in your efforts towards creating writing of pure worth. Your previous scribblings have been passable; but, you haven’t set the world alight with your words – have you?”

He took the winner’s silver salver and produced a tray of tomato sandwiches in it’s place. He did know me – the sandwiches were neatly in quarters with crusts removed and tomatoes sliced to a standard 8mm thickness. Perfect.

Oh!” I replied lamely. “we should have a rematch soon,”

We will.” he spoke calmly – I was well out of breath – “Very soon.”

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