We rolled into Kansas City at the break of dawn, dog tired and in need of succor. What that really means in this context is I let Crispian kip in the boot whilst I went out looking for a liquor store that would sell me same badly needed gin. Unfortunately 6:30 in the morning is not a prime gin buying time in Kansas. Indeed whilst the town was buzzing, there seemed far too many horse and carts for my liking. Not to mention cars which looked as if they had come straight out of a museum.

As I wandered back to the car I hoped that we had not accidentally stumbled into some sort of time warp. Okay a wee bit of time travel might actually help our circumnavigation which had seemed to get a touch bogged down in the USA. But going back 100 years, as much of the clothing suggested, would be awful inconvenient. It is difficult to win a bet before it has been made.

I roused Crispian after his mammoth sleep and get him to do some investigations, and maybe find a doctor for his wounds. He came back with a worried look on his face.
“Everything a bit backwards here,” he said.
“Really. In what way.”
He raised his arms and showed me a couple of leeches which had been applied.

I really could not handle another adventure straying from Jules Verne’s initial templates, and was very tempted to drive right out of there. Then a thought crossed my mind.

“Crispian. Is there a bank in town?”
After all, if this town was a hundred years in the past, my money was suddenly worth an awful lot more than it was in New York.


So apparently everything’s up to date in Kansas City. They’ve gone about as far as they could go. Well, one things for sure they have tried their hardest as a city not to be in Oklahoma, which makes sense after the appalling musical named after that state rocked up. Oh What A Beautiful Morning? Only for deaf people.

Initially of course Kansas City starts off as a little comedy number that shows the country bumpkins up. Look they have seven storey buildings, look they have cars. Look, there is someone on a gas powered organ KILL HIM KILL HIM. It is patronising to hard working country folk, and about as funny as discovering a rat in your kitchen. But even this mild form of humour was not enough for Mssr Rodgers & Hammerstein (the Leopold & Loeb of the musical world). Nope, then they have to fit in a verse about a stripper. Who, predictably in this songs world, goes about as fur as she could go (obvious comedy accent inflection intact).

Well I would like to tell Rodger and Hammerstein a little bit about going about as fur as you can go. I once found a copy of the Oklahoma Original Soundtrack in a second hand record shop. I stole it, running down the street and jumping on a bus. On the way I broke the record into four similar sized pieces. When I got to the end of the line I found a small carpentry shop which allowed me to use its angle grinder. I ground down those four pieces into fine powder and pissed on them for good measure. After being left in the sun for five days, having flies copulate on them, I gather the fine dust and mixed it with gunpowder. This I inserted into a Black Cat rocket firework, lit the blue touchpaper and retired, and what was left of this record showered over the Buckinghamshire countryside.

Now that’s what I call going about as far as you can go. Apart from what I did to South Pacific.