Nottingham was thinking. He was walking along Laburnum Avenue. Nottingham was thinking hard. How do you save the world? Nottingham wanted to do something big, something big for everyone. But nothing came into his mind. What could he do? Mrs Pearson always had good ideas. Why couldn't he have good ideas?
He was walking along Laburnum Avenue to the riding stables. He didn't stay overnight at the stables since Xmas. He had worn a crown of candles on his head and scared all the horses silly.
Nottingham took his day job seriously, he trained the young ones to ride, they rode on his back round the paddock, but very slowly.
Mrs Tinge was thinking. There were three types of women. Those that liked being fumbled, they were the best. Those who didn't like to be fumbled, they were OK; they didn't want to be fumbled, Mrs Tinge didn't fumble them – so no problem. And then there were the third type of women who liked to be fumbled, but pretended that they didn't – Mrs Tinge had a lot of problems with the third type.
“So Jimbo, how's life at Pearson Corporation? Now that Mrs Pearson has made you an intern.”
“Pretty good, Mrs Tinge. I'm learning a lot, real practical stuff about running a business, mostly small things, but you have to start somewhere. It's better that all the theory at the college. But tell me, what is your day job?”
“I fit underwear. If you want underwear, then come to me. My speciality is bras, especially for the lop-sided, it can take hours to get a good fit.”
“You use tape measures and callipers and...”
“Oh, no. I use the ten fingers that I have, it takes time I can tell you.”
“Can I bring my girlfriend to be fitted?”
“Yes. I fit men too, they also have breast-problems.”
Mrs Tinge looked Jimbo up and down. “You don't wear vests under your shirt, just an extra T-shirt when it's really cold. You don't like boxer shorts or fancy stuff, you wear standard underpants, size XL, colour black or dark blue. Simple really – I don't have to examine you.”
Mrs Tinge smiled.
Mrs Pearson was thinking. She wanted something special for the summer street parade. She had had a splendid idea, but no, it wouldn't work. Mrs Pearson as Princess Anna the Thirteenth and Mrs Tinge as Prince John the Hundred and Sixty-Ninth in their special costumes riding unicorns. All that was needed were two unicorns.
The riding stables had two white horses tall and slender, Mrs Pearson owned the riding stables. But they were horses, they didn't like this and they didn't like that and they didn't like this or that. If someone tried to put a long horn on their heads, they would either lie on their backs kicking their legs in the air or gallop away at high speed or both.
There was of course Nottingham, he was white, the required colour, however he was certainly not tall and slender, more minute and dumpy and extremely slow.
Next idea: How about a baby unicorn?
Nottingham was on his way home, he had finished his work for the day. He was not walking along Laburnum Avenue, he had taken the longer route via the canal tow path and The Flask; this often helped him with his thinking.
However no luck, no big ideas, Mrs Pearson would have to think of something.
Nottingham stood on the float with his legs wide apart, he felt safer that way. He was covered with blue straps and silver cords and on his head was a long, blue and silver horn – just like a baby unicorn should have. To his left was Mrs Pearson as Carnival Princess Anna the Thirteenth and to his right Mrs Tinge as Carnival Prince John the Hundred and Sixty-Ninth.
Nottingham thought that the horn was stupid, but Mrs Pearson had wanted it, so what did he care. The streets were full of people, they were cheering, they were happy, Nottingham was happy. Mrs Pearson had had a great idea.