I am going to tell you a joke. This joke, though the punchline itself was invented by my Bessie mate, (I won’t give her name unless she asks me to but I am forever in her debt for this wonderful gift she has given me, nay, the world), has evolved considerably over the years to reach epic proportions. Though I have never attempted to express this joke in print before, I am going to try...now.
Once upon a time, there was a man called Jeffrey.
He was a shy, unassuming sort of man that nobody would have expected any greatness from. Perhaps he was awkward when it came to social affairs because he had been let down in the past; perhaps he was insecure about his body or his personality, or perhaps, even, he simply just didn’t believe in himself.
One day, Jeffrey was in his local library and he spotted a girl over by the biography section. He approached the section himself and reached for a book on Neil Armstrong that he’d had his eye on. The mystery girl reached for the book at the same time, their hands briefly touching. She giggled shyly and Jeffrey’s face went red.
“Sorry.” She said.
“Not at all.” Jeffrey replied. There was a pause.
“I was just-”
They said together. Blushing again, they apologised.
“Sadie.” She girl said, holding out her hand. Jeffrey smiled and took it.
Unbeknownst to both Jeffrey and Sadie, an event of life-altering significance was taking place just outside the building. The evil alien overlord, Flunch, had unexpectedly appeared, and drained all the water away from all the oceans in all the world.
Panic ensued. There was no more water! What would the people do? After their limited supply of bottled water ran out (Flunch had also stopped the rain, you see.) they would dehydrate and perish! Oh, the humanity! The governments did what they could. They tried to make water, but nobody knew how it was done.
Instead, they resigned themselves to a slow death on a crumbly and dry planet. Television channels alternated between showing footage of terrified people scrabbling for the last few bottles of water, and talk-show hosts going on about how they knew this was coming and that it was the fault of the Coalition government led by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey and Sadie were so in love that all this business with the water had gone right over their heads. It had been three weeks since the start of the crisis and people were beginning to die, but they were too busy frolicking in fields of flowers, playing with each other’s hair, and serenading each other in the soft moonlight. One day, however, Sadie sighed deeply.
“What is it, Sadie?” Jeffrey asked.
“I just feel so awful about what’s happening.”
“So do I.” Jeffrey replied, nodding earnestly.
“And I wanted to be an astronaut.” Sadie said dejectedly.
Suddenly, Jeffrey had a thought.
“You know what, Sadie?” He said with a grin. “I have a plan, and it could be the answer to both problems at once.”
The next day, Jeffrey and Sadie race to the NASA headquarters, and break in easily, because many people inside have already died from thirst.
They steal a 2-man spaceship pod type thing and whizz up to the spaceship of the evil overlord Flunch, who has all the earth’s water stored in his spaceship.
When Evil Overlord Flunch saw them, he looked displeased.
“What do you want with me, Earthlings?” He asked with a gurgle. (He is green, but I didn’t mention that. Here’s a picture of Evil Overlord Flunch:)
“We want the oceans back!” Jeffrey yelled fearlessly. Sadie remained hovering behind him, but wearing the same look of determination on her face.
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Flunch laughed. “Ha ha ha ha HA.” He continued. “Do you actually believe that I’d just give you the water back? Do you think I would interrupt my evil plans just so you can go on living for another million years? Your pleas are worthless, Earthling, WORTHLESS.”
Jeffrey tried to say something in reply, but he found the words catching in his throat and forming bitter tears whenever he tried to use them.
“Out of my sight.” Flunch said with a flick of what looked like his wrist. “You’re not even worth killing. Go home and bring this message to your people. You have lost. All is lost- foolish earthling!”
What Jeffrey and Sadie didn’t know was that the entirety of Earth’s population was watching all of this via a live satellite link-up, and witnessed his humiliation on the television. When they returned, there was a crowd waiting for them.
“Boooooo!” One person said.
“Rubbish!” Said another.
“Give it up, Jeffrey.”
“You failed! You're a failure!”
“You’re worthless, Jeffrey; you’ll never be anything.”
“BOOOOOO!” The first one repeated, louder this time.
“We believed in you, Jeffrey, we believed in you.”
Jeffrey hung his head sadly as people spat these words at him. When he raised it and looked behind him, Sadie was gone.
Jeffrey went to Sadie’s house, and what he saw made him fall to his knees- inside, Sadie was crying on the shoulder of another, more attractive, man. Jeffrey didn’t blame her. Who was he? He didn’t know. It was as if his entire identity had been formed in the last three weeks through meeting and loving Sadie, and, without her, what was there? Besides, he had no water left and would probably die soon, which was also bad news.
Jeffrey walked home dramatically through what he thought was rain, but turned out to be spit from all the people that were watching him walk home from above in their windows. He didn’t even have any tears left. He returned home and sat on his sofa, watching the clock and waiting for death.
But then, there was a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Jeffrey sighed.
“It’s me.” Sadie stood at the open door, a serious look on her face.
“Sadie.” Jeffrey said blankly- he didn’t know what to feel about her anymore.
“Sorry I ran away.” She said softly. “I just couldn’t take it. I had to call my brother to help me distance myself from it all.”
It was her brother! Jeffrey thought- oh, Caloo Calay! If the situation had been less grave, Jeffrey would have laughed at this news, but it wasn’t, so he didn’t.
“But then I realised, Jeffrey.” Sadie said firmly. “It didn’t matter how I felt. We made a promise to free the world from the tyranny of Evil Overlord Flunch, and we made a promise to do it…together.”
“Together.” Jeffrey repeated, and they kissed passionately for twelve seconds, before setting off for NASA again.
This time, it was even easier to get into NASA because there was nobody around at all. After filling their spaceship up with fuel, they set off again for Evil Overlord Flunch’s ship which was still hovering over the Earth, possibly waiting for all its inhabitants to die before he moved in to make it into a home for his various spawn and other fluids.
“So- you’re back.” Flunch said with glee.
“We’re back.” Sadie confirmed, this time standing arm in arm with Jeffrey, ready for anything the space alien could throw at them.
“Do you earthlings never learn?” Flunch laughed, spraying them with an unidentified liquid from his mouth. “I will destroy you.”
“Oh no you won’t.” Jeffrey said with a smile, “you see, Evil Overlord Flunch, even with your fancy spaceship and thousands of minions and big water pump, you are no match for what we have.”
“And what is that?” Flunch said with a snort.
“Love.” Jeffrey said, looking at Sadie. “And my awesome super lightning powers!”
Jeffrey flew upwards in the air and delivered stroke after stroke of lightning at Flunch, making him cry out in pain.
“Noooooooo!” Flunch cried. “You stupid earthling- all my plans! Ruined!”
“And by the way.” Jeffrey said, stopping briefly. “The name’s Jeffrey.” He delivered the death blow, leaving Flunch pathetically wobbling in a puddle on the floor.
“Hooray!” Sadie said, clapping.
“Hooray!” Said the remaining inhabitants of the earth who were watching on the live satellite link-up.
The two heroes went over to Flunch’s control panel and released all the water back into the oceans.
Jeffrey and Sadie returned home to a massive celebration in their honour. There were balloons, party games, and seven different kinds of sandwich.
“Hooray for Jeffrey and Sadie!” They all said.
“Hooray for love and super lightning powers!”
“You know,” Jeffrey said, beginning his speech, “It was only when I thought I was going to die when I truly started to live. These last few weeks with Sadie here have been the best of my life.”
The crowd all went –“Ahhhhhh” in unison.
“It was Sadie who gave me the inspiration I needed to defeat the Evil Overlord Flunch. It was her who encouraged me to do what I had been born to do. And now that he is out of the way, we can finally live in peace.”
Jeffrey got down on one knee in front of the crowd.
“Sadie.” He said, his lip quivering with emotion. “Will you do me the honour of marrying me?”
“Yes, Jeffrey, YES!” Sadie replied, running over and embracing him.
The crowd cheered with gusto, and they partied long into the night until they could take no more. A few hours later, Jeffrey had decided to leave the party briefly to be by himself and contemplate what he had just been through. As he walked along the shore he was amazed by how beautiful the world was now that the natural order of things had returned. He climbed nimbly up onto a pile of rocks and sighed as he stared out dramatically over a vast area of ocean. Then suddenly, a small smile formed on his face and he said:
Please don’t kill me.