Albert the Engine

When I arrived, Arnold was already there, so was Jim.
‘Good morning gentlemen,’ I said.
‘Hi Jane,’ Arnold said.
Hello Jane,’ Jim said.
‘You’re late’ Arnold said.
‘I know,’ I said. ‘Good old Scotrail does it again all this new technology and they can’t run the trains on time.’
‘It didn’t happen in my day.’ Said Jim. I took my coat off and sat down.
‘Have you had lunch?’ I asked.
‘No, you’re ok.’ Arnold said.
‘Did you get the latest TL?’ I asked.
‘I did,’ Arnold said.’
‘I see your pal got a panning in the letters page?’ I said.
‘Which pal was that?’ Arnold asked.
‘Albert the Engine.’ I said. I picked the menu up.
‘What has Alberto El Loco been up to now?’ Arnold asked. ‘Not another Blue duchess on the low level?’
‘Telling fibs again.’ I said. ‘What’s the Chef’s special.’
‘Albert? Telling porkies?’ Arnold replied with mock incredulity. ‘NEVER!’
‘His article about his days on the low level contains more fables than Aesop.’
‘I saw Sandy’s letter.’ Arnold said.
‘Albert’s harmless.’ Jim interrupted.
‘Albert’s a numpty.’ Arnold retorted. ‘It’s about time someone took him and his fabrications on. Look at Bredalbane.’
‘What about Bredalbane?’ I asked innocently.
‘A4’s and duchesses on a rural branch line?’
‘Not very ecologically friendly I’ll admit.’ I remarked.
‘ECOLOGY?’ Arnold exclaimed so loudly that the people at the next table jumped. ‘Albert is to ecology what Mr Blobby is to culture.’
‘Aye,’ I sighed. ‘It was a bad day when we lost Dave Shakespeare.’
‘Who’s Dave Shakespeare?’ They asked in unison.’

(Prompts: Shakespeare, ecology, technology)

by Jane Jones

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