On a work bench was a splendid cart. It was complete except for the two front wheels. ‘You came
just a little bit too soon,’ said Roy. ‘Another five minutes and I'd have got the front axle on. Let's
get it fixed right away and then we can christen her with the ginger beer.’
‘She's a beauty!’ I exclaimed. ‘What are you going to call her?’
‘That's for you to decide.’
‘Me?’ I queried, wondering why this honour should fall on me. ‘I don't know what I'd call it. It
looks fast, so I'd give it a name connected with speed: "Lightning" perhaps.’
‘Then "Lightning" it'll be,’ declared Roy. ‘She'll be even faster when we can find some better wheels for the front.
Ballbearing pram wheels would be the best but they're hard to come by. These'll just have to do for the moment.’
Roy took up the glasses with the ginger beer. He gave one to me and turned to face the cart.
‘In the name of Mercury, speedy messenger of light, I dub thee "Lightning". May God bless all who ride in her.’
‘To Lightning’, I repeated.
‘Right,’ said Roy, ‘hop in and try her out down the side of the house.’
‘She's not my cart,’ I objected. ‘You should go first.’
‘What d'you mean, not your cart? Of course she’s yours. You named her didn't you? You can't be a member of the Lions
Avenue Lot and not have a cart!’
And so I became a member.
I was ambling towards the top wall of the yard, when my progress was arrested by a body in
front of me. I looked up to discover the Slug and his bodyguard standing in front of me.
‘Well, if it ain't the little choirboy!’ sneered the Slug. ‘Are yew goin' ter sing fer us?’
‘Leave me alone Snaylor!’ I cried.
‘Ain't yew goin' to sing a little ole hymn fer us? Ee's got such a loverly voice Oi 'ear.’ He
grinned at his bodyguard.
‘Go away and leave me alone.’
‘We'll leave yew alone when yew've sung for us,’ replied the Slug. ‘Come along now, sing nicely.’
A crowd was beginning to gather around in anticipation of a diverting spectacle.
‘I'll sing, if you sing first,’ I declared with a bravado I was far from feeling.
Snaylor scowled at me. ‘Sing!’ he ordered.
‘You first,’ I insisted and made a sweeping bow in the style of the Three Musketeers.
This brought a titter from the audience which I exploited by adding, ‘Or perhaps you can't sing.’
‘Anythink wot yew c'n do, Oi c'n do. Now sing!’
‘I bet you can't piss over the wall.’
‘Wot wall?’ he asked suspiciously.
‘The privy wall,’ I replied, glancing towards the boys' toilet.
‘Yew can't piss over the privy wall,’ said the Slug scathingly. ‘Yew couldn' even piss over ya own shadder.’
I ignored the insult and repeated my challenge slowly and loudly. ‘I bet you can't piss over the boys' privy wall, Sidney
Snaylor. If I do it and you can't―’ I paused dramatically. ‘You will sing for me!’
The Slug’s cart