Gaston Dilmoore: Gaston Acquires a Stenographer

How's that rum treating you?

That is the singular question I can remember from those lofty days afloat with Her Majesty's Royal torpedo fleet in the South China Sea, back in 1952. Our task was to ghost the Russians, who were ghosting the South Koreans, who were ghosting the North Koreans, who were pretending to fish off a small island populated by several Jesuit nuns and bicycle mechanic.

Here's the strange bit: We had run aground, you see? This was due to the fact that our Boatswain was constantly wondering how the rum was treating us, when actually it was treating him.


Do you hear something? I can swear on my Walther that a small hum is emanating from both of our sprocket housings.


More importantly, my left leg has taken to favor the down stroke again, which ads just a bit of torque to my left, making the going swell on this mountain road.

You may wonder how I can dictate while pedaling. And so may I. But it's simple. I have retained a second Sherpa, and her name is Plasmatic. She's a stenographer, which, when mounted properly, can take all dictation as we pedal on our way.

But I was speaking of the rum. We had run aground and so had the Russians. At first weary of one another, we eventually came to rest at the nunnery, where the bicycle mechanic showed up and marveled at our rum. Had some, he did. And then he built us some bicycles.

There it is again. That humming. Do you hear it? It's a constant tone. Now varied. Sounds like a rotor, sort of, but not really. Which reminds me of lunch. We had lentils.

Have you ever had lentils with bacon?

That is where I will spend my eternity.

But the point of the matter is that on that little island in 1952, a group of British sailors and some loaded Russians had bikes made for them by a mechanic named Burg. And then we had some races and forgot all about the ghosting and the nonsense happing in Chosin. Yes. It was harmony. I can't help but wonder, now, why I'm pedaling away across this wretched peninsula with these silly Sherpas. I could certainly use a nun right about now. Or at least some lentils.

And the hum continues.

Egad, I've been pedaling it seems for ages, and nothing but rock and scrub and the occasional collection of valuable moss, which I've been stuffing in my trousers to attract the nuns. I know they're out there. Just beyond the horizon are nuns, and soon we'll be dealing with them. Nuzig's ready, but I fear Plasmatic will fall all to pieces. Poor lamb.

Well, it's off to the tents for some shut eye. I trust you'll get to the bottom of the hum soon.

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