It was a long, straight Friday in the middle of Jantober when Mister Carbon Business was hit with a lemon.

"Ow!" said Mister Carbon Business and spun round so fast he ended up in Chile.

Pov sat on his armchair reading a book about smells. It was a cauliflower.

A hippo crashed throug the window.

"Oargh," said the hippo.

Pov didn’t even look up from his cauliflower.

"Please form an orderly queue," he said, indicating a tardis.

"Fine," said the hippo and waddled over to the tardis.

"Spfff," said a pipe as the hippo began to eat it.

Professor When stepped out and frobbed the hippo.

“Away! Get away!” he shrieked, batting the hippo away with a two-handed rake (+1). Then he turned on Pov.

“Is this your hippo?” he said shrilly, indicating said hippo which was bored and was now spinning a rectangle absent-mindedly.

“No,” said Pov, “it just crashed through this here window.”

“Hi,” said the window.

“Shut up,” said Professor When.

“I like pie,” said Pov.

“Well I don’t care,” shrieked Professor When, folding his arms. “I’m suing.”

“Pleased to meet you,” said Pov absently. He was trying to concentrate on his cauliflower.

“Er, excuse me?” said Princess TreeFace, pointing at the cauliflower. “I believe that’s my cauliflower.”

“Prove it,” said Pov.

“Make me,” said Princess TreeFace.

Just then, they were interrupted as the hippo started to make hairdryer noises. Pov noticed it was, very slowly, rotating.

“What’s wrong with this stupid hippo?” he said.

“I think it’s broken,” said Princess TreeFace, her ears in a knot.

“I’ll fix it!” screamed Professor When, fetching an oversized novelty spanner from his tardis and charging at the hippo. There was a sort of ‘boing’ noise as he hit it and bounced off over the horizon.

“Well, that’s just great,” said Pov, regarding the hippo which now had a spanner stuck through it. It didn’t seem particularly bothered. They looked at it.

“Are you dissin’ me?” said the hippo accusingly.

Meanwhile, in Chile, Mister Carbon Business was talking to his friend Jim Spriggs.

“Hey MCB, did you hear the rumour about Princess TreeFace?”

“No, what’s that?”

“Apparently, she’s nicked this bear thing and taken it hostage inside a huge bouncy castle filled with helium. They say she’s threatening to crank the spam.”

“What does that mean?” asked Mister Carbon Business.

“I’m needed in the kitchen,” said Jim and ran off in the wrong direction.

“Looks like it’s up to me to save the day,” said Mister Carbon Business, putting on his enchanted underpants.”

“Woo,” said the underpants.

“Shut up,” said Jim.

Princess TreeFace prodded the hippo. It farted.

Pov was wandering around trying not to melt the teacups. After all, there were plenty more Thursdays to whittle.

A cat came in and scanned Pov.

“Look out,” warned Princess TreeFace. “It wants to scratch your pills.”

“Stupid cat,” said Pov and wafted the cat away.

“Moo,” it said as it floated off into the sunset.

Mister Carbon Business had nearly reached the Refractory, the most popular place for launching helium-filled bouncy castles. He brought the pogo lion to a halt and methodically distracted the eggshells until it was safe to dismount. As he walked the rest of the way to the Refractory, he noticed a sign.

“What are YOU looking at?” it said.

Mister Carbon Business ignored the sign and continued through the gates of the Refractory.

A rabbit was there, eating a cheesepipe and casually disembowling the odd chef.

“Hmm,” said Mister Carbon Business into his dictaphone. “It appears to be a rabbit. This will require some advanced tactics.”

Taking careful aim, Mister Carbon Business hurled an organ grinder at the rabbit and ran into the Refractory. There were loud BANGs and SPROINGs from outside.

Mister Carbon Business untied a castle and climbed on. Before long he was floating, as they say, with the daffodils.

Princess TreeFace tried to pull the spanner out of the hippo. It grunted.

Pov wasn’t there because he had gone out to get some cabers to trim.

“Oh, this isn’t working,” said Princess TreeFace and turned around.

“Tell you what,” she said, “You beseige the stereo, I’ll unwind the drainpipes. And then we’ll see who REALLY knows their Sigmend.”

“OK,” said the cat. “But what about the playing fields?”

“Depends on the fingers,” said Princess TreeFace.

Mister Carbon Business had spotted another bouncy castle and was propelling himself towards it, using beans. When he finally got there, he jumped onto it and found himself face-to-face with Hyper George. He looked him up in his pokédex.

“Hyper George,” it said.

“He was built by the Germans to keep other countries in check, but he went a bit wrong.”

Mister Carbon Business looked up at Hyper George.

“WANT!” it said.

Mister Carbon Business threw the pokédex at Hyper George, who ate it in one blow.

“MMM COOKIES” he said, scratching himself.

Mister Carbon Business spotted the dungeon entrance, and made a dash for it. When he got inside he locked the door and started his search.

Princess TreeFace opened the door to let Pov in. He was carrying eleven newly-trimmed cabers and was being followed by a hippo repair man. He noticed the bread knife in Princess TreeFace’s hand.

“What’s that for?”

“This? Oh, I was going to cut the hippo open. It swallowed your sneeze machine.”

“NOT THE SNEEZE MACHINE!” exclaimed Pov, his tree factories twizzling.

“’Fraid so,” said Princess TreeFace.

The hippo repairman pushed past Pov into the room.

“Wait!” he said. “Don’t open the hippo! You’ll void your warranty.”

“Oh,” said Princess TreeFace, not really caring.

“We’ll fix this the Max Jacobson way!” said the repairman brightly, and was promptly eaten by the hippo.

“Well that’s great,” said Pov. “How am I going to get my sneeze machine back now?”

Nobody seemed to know. There were muffled noises coming from within the hippo, and an airy sound, which was getting louder.

“What’s that airy sound?” asked Princess TreeFace.

“It’s coming from up there,” said Pov. They looked up at the ceiling, just in time to see it get smashed apart as Mister Carbon Business, Hyper George and a deflated castle crashed through it. Mister Carbon Business landed on the hippo, causing it to eject one Sneeze Machine, a disused hippo repair man, and a load of hippo puke. The deflated bouncy castle landed on the hippo repair man. Hyper George landed in the sink.

“My sneeze machine!” siad Pov lovingly as he retreived it.

Jim Spriggs walked in.

“Did I miss anything?” he asked.

“Yes, this smelly action figure,” said Princess TreeFace holding up a 10cm Tumpton Oofty doll. It growled at her.

Mister Carbon Business noticed Princess TreeFace.

“Jim!” he said to Jim. “I thought she was holding a bear thing to hostage in a flying bouncy castle! I could’ve been killed!”

Jim looked round.

“Why?” he said. “It was only a rumour.”