Big Su Skronky has been thinking about the date. The squats have no use for the Gregorian or even Julian calendar, using as they do such fiddly concepts as numbers and the like. Instead they follow the more straight forward Skronkian calendar. It's whatever date that Big Su says it is.
Big Su Skronky has decided that it must be about time for her birthday again. This date of course coincides with another important date in Squat Hole life. The annual Squat Hole Carnival, surely the highlight of the Island's cultural year.
Big Su Skronky has enough of a reputation that she has never been approached by those nit-picking, petty-minded critics who complain that an event that can happen anywhere from three months to five years apart can hardly be called "annual".
Big Su Skronky would have a stock, five fingered answer to that anyway, and such critics wouldn't be complaining about it for very much longer.
Big Su Skronky lets the relevant squats know that today is the day of the carnival, and the word soon spreads. Chlamydia from Booz sets up a stall in Squat Hole town square selling Mudwiseacre and Wanker at specially inflated prices.
Impudencia Skronky from Kebabs 'N' Shite does something similar. That's the basics sorted. Other squats set up stages for various acts to perform from. These consist of old barrels with planks laid across them.
Sewage Skronky waits till night falls and then the Carnival is started off in the same way as most other special events. Patriotic songs by Veruca Lynn. Then the events start in earnest.
Cantankerous Biggs is in the crowd drinking Wanker and listening to Outhouse O'Leary, the famous farthorn player, playing some cool browns music. Outhouse has been training all day, eating a prodigious amount of old brussel sprouts.
Cantankerous Biggs moves on to the next show. Squallor Davis has been training in a similar way to Outhouse, but he has included several pints of Wanker in his diet. Squallor's training has been going towards...fireworks!
Cantankerous Biggs watches Squallor bend right over, drop his trousers and hold a lighter between his legs.
Cantankerous Biggs "oohs" and "ahhs" as blue flames leap up to four feet out of Squallor's arse. That's twice as high as Squallor is tall.
Danny Skronky is on the other side of the square watching Team Awesome go through it's paces. The range and amount of entertainment on offer doesn't stop there. Stunt budget horse riders leap over the central bonfire, punch ups by the score, it's all here.
Dogend Skronky brings out an effigy half way through the evening. It's a huge thing, six feet high, with a stolen top hat on it's head. It represents the despised jokers who think that they're so much cleverer and better than squats.
Dogend Skronky throws the effigy on the bonfire to the cheers and jeers of the surrounding throng of merry making squats. Everybody is enjoying themselves. The celebrations are going well.
Dogend Skronky notices that the effigy isn't burning very well. Perhaps using stones to fill the sack forming the main body wasn't such a good idea? Maybe the fire's burning a bit low? Never mind, he can sort that out.
Dogend Skronky brings out more fuel for the bonfire. Plenty of old barrels "kindly donated" by various incarnations of Robert Catesby. Some folk might have thought it wise to empty the barrels of their original contents first.
Dogend Skronky does not however think of this. The barrels are made of thick oak, and the first is just burning through by the time that the last one is thrown on.
B B B O O O O O O M M M ! ! !
A loud boom like thunder or some sort of explosion can be heard coming from the north west. Several inhabitants of IC look up puzzled as to what it could be.
A rumble can be heard coming from the distance to the north. It sounds a long way off, so if it can be heard here, it must be deafening at source.
The otherwise fine day is suddenly interupted by a strange rumbling noise eminating from the north west. What could it be?
A loud rumbling noise can be heard from somewhere in the distance to the south west. A robot looks up at the sky. "THUNDER BUT NO THUNDER STORM. THAT DEVIATES FROM NORMAL OBSERVED PHENOMENA."
A dull rumble can be heard coming from somewhere to the south. Some jokers are intrigued! There's no thunder around! It must be some sort of Improbability! How exciting! How wrong they are.
A loud explosion suddenly rents the air, shocking the sensitive nature of some mutants so badly that they forget their anguished depression and give way to anguished fear instead.
The explosion seems to have come from the south, and not too far away either.
The inhabitants of New Pittsburg are disturbed by a strange boom coming from the north east. "BRAAAAAINS?" one of them enquires.
In the distance, from the direction of the Island, a low pitched rumbling can be heard, like a huge explosion or thunder, although it is a fine, if cold night, with no hint of a storm in the air.
One failor looks up then turns to another. "What do you think that was Cyril?" "I don't know, but it sounds like work for us." The failors down their remaining cocoa and move toward the row boat.
There is an eerie silence. Squat Hole is more peaceful than it has been in a long time. The air is thick with smoke. It slowly clears to reveal a large crator where Squat Hole once stood.
Failors arrive. The leader radios back to the failboat for extra workers as the rest start picking up pieces of squat. They soon give up on that idea and just shovel the top two or three inches of everything into bags instead.
George, who recently commented that he quite liked jigsaws is given the task of putting the squats back together. George will never make that mistake again.
Time passes...The witching hour arrives. Failors arrive with a cargo even larger than the already large one they usually have for Squat Hole. The squats are kicked out into the place where the town square once stood and the failors are off.
Big Su Skronky is one of the first off the failors cart. She is still a little groggy, and looks round bleary eyed but happy. There was a good knees up. Everybody ended up on the failboat - always a good sign. Something isn't quite right however. Something is missing. Everything is missing! "Ere! Sum fackers gan un fackin fieved thu fackin Ole! Ooz stulen Squat Hole?"
Big Su Skronky is not a happy squat. "Ur citeez bin stulun! Wot tha fack! Oi bet it wuz thum jukurs! Thuv alwuyz bin jealous uv Squat Hole, uvrywun nows it!" The more she thinks about it, the more it makes sense.
Big Su Skronky remembers everybody having a good time. Dogend was just loading up the bonfire with the barrels from that Robert Catesby geezer, then suddenly, a huge explosion! A sure sign of joker involvement.
Big Su Skronky would be hard pressed to remember ever seeing such a joker induced explosion herself, but feels sure that that's the sort of thing that jokers do. Everybody knows it.
Big Su Skronky "Thus time thuy've gun too fur! Squat Hole's, backbone of thu Oiland, uvrybudy uls just takes thu piss. Thutz wut appuns. Yu try ard tu be elpful und gut un wiv uvrybudy, und thuy jus takes udvuntage uv yur gud nature!"
Big Su Skronky "Wull Oiv ud enuff! Nu mur Miss Nice squat. Uf thum jukurz thunk thut they cun jus waltz in ere und make uff wiv our city jus cus all thuy've gut is sum poxy little outpost wiv no churac... no churuct...no smell, thun thuy've gut unuver fink cumin!"
Big Su Skronky is also a pragmatic business squat however. The gangs of squats are corralled into rebuilding the outpost under Dogend Skronky's watchful eye, deal with the important things first. K&S, the Massage Parlour, the shed for the Skronky Pot, and of course Booz.
Once Booz has been rebuilt the work slows down considerably, the squats feeling that they need to give Booz a test run, just to make sure that it's working well. A really thorough test run.
Big Su Skronky then goes off to make plans. AceHigh has got interesting times ahead.
See here to read about Ace High's "interesting times".
For more stories from Squat Hole, see here.