Mister Carbon Business was working in his office one day when a chair crashed through his window.

“Who are you?” he said to the chair. It didn’t reply.

“What’s going on?” he asked his secretary, whose name was Pov. Pov looked out of the window and reported back to Mister Carbon Business, whose name was Mister Carbon Business.

“There appears to be a small war going on outside,” said Pov.

“Well tell it to go away,” said Mister Carbon Business, “I’m busy.”

“Right-o” said Pov and cartwheeled through the wall.

“This is silly,” commented Mister Carbon Business as his hat fell off.

Three minutes later, Pov returned.

“Hello, Mister Carbon Business,” said Pov cheerfully.

“Hello, Pov,” said Mister Carbon Business.

Then Pov exploded.

“Things are getting awful strange round here, Mister Carbon Business,” said Jim Springs who had just walked in.

“They are indeed, Jim, they are indeed,” said Mister Carbon Business.

“Say, Mister Carbon Business,” said Jim, “you have a long name. Mind if I just call you MCB?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Jim!” said MCB. “I’ve had this name ever since I got it. I couldn’t possibly let you lengthen it even more!”

Another chair crashed through the window.

“Hey, Pov! You were supposed to tell the war to go away!” said MCB.

“I think Pov exploded, MCB,” said Jim.

“I never said you could call me that,” said MCB, “but, if you’re desperate for a solution, I might consider letting you call me MCB if you get rid of that war for me.”

“It’s a deal,” said Jim, scratching an ostrich.

Jim went outside and confronted the war.

“GO HOME,” he said, in capital letters.

“WHY DON’T YOU MAKE ME?” said the war, in italics.

Jim Springs raised a hand.

The war raised a soldier.

They ran at each other, arms flailing, and hit each other right in the battalions.

“Ow,” said Jim.

“Two,” said the war.

“What are, you good - for.” said Jim.

The war swung a regiment round and caught Jim on the kneecap.

“Auugh, my kneecap,” said Jim, eating a bagel.

“That bagel won’t last you for ever,” said the war.

“You walk the walk, war, but do you hold the soup?” said Jim.

“Takes one to know one,” said the war.

Jim ducked out of the way as the war brought both armies down on him. There was a large Klang, with a capital K, as Jim did a happy-kick and knocked out three of the war’s cannons.

“Ow, my cannons,” said the war.

“Serves you right,” said Jim as he killed the war.

Later that day, Jim returned to the office of Mister Carbon Business.

“I killed the war for you,” said Jim.

“That was very kind of you, Jim,” said MCB.

“Thanks, MCB,” said Jim.

“Hey, you can’t call me that! I said!” said MCB.

“But, MCB, you said that if I killed the war-“

“-that I might consider letting you call me MCB.”

“And did you consider it?”


“Well then it’s settled, Mister Carbon Business old chum.”

“You can’t call me that!” said MCB.

“Ah well,” said Jim, “the novelty kind of wore off anyway.”