It is said that Peacemaster Watkins and Peacemaster Carruthers, the two greatest Peacemasters the West had ever known, once met at a small bridge. It is rumoured that this was the ornamental bridge over the duck pond in Whitewebs Park, where there is normally no particular reason to use the bridge unless one is carrying bread crumbs with which to feed the ducks, but that on this particular day the ice cream stand was open and the shorter, wider path arund the fat end of the pond was full of small, sticky boys; but this cannot be said with any certainty. Arriving simultaneously, one from the northwest and one from the southeast, they stood, examining each other minutely, each looking for signs of weakness, hesitation, or faults in their commitment to peace. For hours they stood unmoving, long after the sticky boys had had their faces cleaned with the corners of their mums’ handkerchiefs and gone off to torment the cat. Finally, as the weary sun descended and the dusk rose, moving as one both Peacemasters twitched, spasmodically grabbing the small red buttons they carried in the pockets of their Harris tweed jackets, thereby triggering their respective Doomsday Devices.

And that, it is said, is why we can’t find the Western Hemisphere, and have to pay five monies per litre for air.

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