Carry On Rock (ing)…
It was over 90 degrees outside, and the band were lounging next to the pool in our hotel on the Gold Coast, Australia.
‘Any plans, Captain?’ I asked, sipping a Mojito.
‘Mad Myx has got some crazy plan, looks like we’re all going to be in for an interesting ride.’ said the Captain.
‘Where is the Doctor?’ I asked, ‘I haven’t seen him in hours.’
‘Don’t stress, just be cool as the ice in your glass,’ purred Nicole, who had flown in to join the crew for part of the Australian leg of the World Tour.
‘Okay,’ I said, ‘but we still need to do the interviews, those lunatics at the office are asking for the next ones already. Anyway, you’re probably right.’
I got up and balanced my Mojito on the diving board before jumping into the pool to cool down.
As I lounged in the shallow end of the pool, laps were never my strength, I watched on as the band, who looked great in the sun, were signing autographs for the gathering crowd around them. Oh well, I was thinking, interviews are like blood from a stone, but give them a few groupies and they’ll talk all day! Not exactly a hard life though, I thought to myself, as a peacock wandered aimless past the pool, cheekily taking a sip from my drink.
Just as things were quieting down the Doctor came running out to the pool from the air conditioned bar, if only someone had invented an air conditioned pool I thought, looking at the ice melting in my glass.
‘Get up, come on guys, we’re going on a magical mystery tour!’ said the Doctor, beaming.
‘I thought we already were?’ said Ziv, sitting up from his pool chair.
‘You ain’t seen nothing yet, my friend.’ said the Doctor, winking and rushing around the place.
I’d never seen him moving so fast, I thought, this sounds interesting.
The small convoy of several taxis sped down the road, racing the clock. We arrived at the airstrip where an ex military helicopter was waiting, rotors slowly turning as the pilot warmed up the engine.
While we walked across the tarmac the Doctor ran ahead, beckoning us on like a hesitant flock, ‘Jesus,’ said Bad Brad, ‘that’s some serious hardware,’ nodding at the helicopter.
It really was a beauty, like a cross between a lion and a gazelle; with engineering grace and ruthless killing power rolled into one huge solid lump of impenetrable steel.
As the helicopter pounded through the air over the Australian desert I looked out through the small bullet proof windows. David pulled out a beer from the cold box and passed it to the Captain,
‘Quite a view from up here?’ he hollered.
‘Damn right,’ shouted the Captain, over the roar of the engines.
‘Not sure about the seats,’ said Nicole, taking a beer from the Master of the ship, ‘what do you call those kangaroos down there, a flock, or a herd?’
The band laughed, ‘No idea,’ said Scott,
‘Probably a bandaroo,’ chimed in Jay.
Shaking his head, the Doctor said, ‘Well technically gentlemen, and lady,’ nodding to Nicole, ‘ a group of kangaroos are called a mob, although sometimes they are referred to as a troop or a court.’
‘Oh well, look at you.’ said Nicole, ‘Is he always like this?’ she confided to Bad Brad.
‘Yep,’ said Brad, ‘best to just enjoy the show.’
‘We’ll be there soon, oh yes, we should be there any minute now!’ chuckled the Doctor, unable to contain his excitement.
The sand was blowing up everywhere as the helicopter landed on the edge of the barren woodland.
‘Where the hell are we?’ asked Nicole.
‘I was thinking the same thing.’ I said.
‘We’re in the middle of the world’s largest kangaroo farm,’ Scott explained,
‘Well, let’s hope we’re welcome,’ said the Captain, putting the issue to rest.
‘Come on ladies,’ said the Doctor, ‘it’s this way, this way.’
The Doctor was pointing into the dry forest.
‘If you lit a match,’ said Jay, ‘this whole place would go up like a rocket.’
‘Technically, not advisable,’ said the Doctor.
The band, following the Doctor, entered the forest and trailed behind him, David carrying a large cold box full of beer and other supplies.
‘And here it is!’ said the Doctor as he danced about, ‘Kariong Rock!’
‘Carry on rocking?’ I asked.
‘No, Kariong Rock,’ the Doctor replied firmly.
‘Didn’t Kenneth Williams star in that?’ said Nicole.
‘Heathens!’ shouted the Doctor, ‘these, my friends, are proto-Egytpian hieroglyphics, see,’ he said frantically, pointing at the carvings, ‘these unique carvings are a typographical form that predates the pyramids! They’re almost 5000 years old, at the very least!’
‘What are they doing here, in Australia?’ asked Jay.
‘That, my inquisitive friend, is the magical mystery,’ said the Doctor, ‘what the hell were the Egyptians doing in Australia thousands of years before anyone was supposed to have visited?’
As the Doctor carefully took photographs of the hieroglyphics, the band settled down around the cold box. Curious, as I was, I thought it was the ideal moment to earn my crust with the editors at the paper, ‘So why did you join the crew?’ I asked Nicole.
‘Well,’ she said coyly, ‘after a massively successful singing career, I still felt there was something missing.’
‘Only way is up,’ said Bad Brad, winking at me.
‘Yes,’ she said, looking at the dusty forest, ‘it was also the vision, I liked how they mixed it all up,’ she went on vaguely like someone in a hostage tape, ‘it’s also, well, you know, the je ne ce quios.’
Back at the hotel the band were making themselves at home in the bar. The Doctor was setting up a projector screen in front of an audience he had gathered from the hotel lobby.
‘If the Doctor is right,’ said Ziv, ‘then our entire conception of world history is wrong!’
‘Yea, you’re right,’ said Brandon, nervously eyeing the air conditioning unit, ‘imagine if… well yea…’
‘That Doctor really is something,’ said Nicole, ‘I do like his style.’
‘The helicopter was great, but it was missing a few high powered weapons,’ said Brandon, changing the subject.
‘I think they removed them for the tourists,’ I said, ‘and plus, they don’t want to go scaring the kangaroos.’
‘Don’t you mean the mobs of kangaroos?’ said Nicole.
‘Or roos!’ chimed in Jay.
‘Troops of bloody roos…’ I said.
Ssshhhh hissed the audience…
The lights suddenly went out in the bar and the projector screen went on. The Doctor began his presentation. As he detailed the proto-Egyptian hieroglyphics we’d seen at Kariong Rock, explaining their meanings and significance the room was hushed.
‘You see,’ the Doctor was saying, ‘our entire understanding of history, and more importantly our place in it, is completely out of kilter, we haven’t the faintest idea about our recent past, yet alone our distant past…’
‘What about Atlantis?’ shouted an audience member.
‘Ah, Atlantis,’ replied the Doctor calmly, ‘it will all be explained in time, but you’ll have to follow the tour, because these, uh, lectures, are not scheduled.’
There was a ripple of nervous laughter amongst the hotel guests.