Wednesday, 4 November 2015

More pages from the newly found 'Alice' manuscript.


Alice came to an old stone building. She walked in and saw some people sitting round a table. On the table were books and papers, and the people had put rings round some of the words.
One of the people, a friendly-looking Wombat pointed at one of the words and said, 'It's a subjestive!'
Some of the people in the room clapped.
A Frog, just as friendly, looked at it and said, 'It's not a subjestive.'
All the others who hadn't clapped before, clapped now.
Alice came over and looked very hard at the word.
'What do subjestives do?' she asked.
'They subjest,' said the Wombat.
'Is it subjesting now?' Alice asked.
'Yes,' said the Wombat.
'No,' said the Frog.

Just then the Gibblet walked in.
Everyone went very quiet.
'Have you done it?' the Gibblet said in a very disagreeable way.
'Yes, we have,' said the Wombat, 'it's all done except for the last one: the subjestive, so because it's not done and we can't agree on it, we would recommend, sir, that we leave it out of the Spadge.'

Alice felt her head going round: first it was the subjestive, now it was the Spadge.

'It will not be left out of the Spadge!' shouted the Gibblet, his giblets shaking with rage.
'But sir...' said the Wombat, 'we cannot ask children to find a subjestive when some of us don't think it's there.'
'Oh yes we can,' said the Gibblet, 'it'll be there if I say it's there.'
'Oooh,' said Alice excitedly. 'Sometimes I say my Boojum is there. And then it's there.'
'That is nothing like subjestives, girl,' said the Gibblet, 'I'm beginning to find you very, very annoying.'
'Oh,' said Alice, 'what are subjestives like then?'
The Gibblet went red.

It all went quiet. The Gibblet got out a little leaflet which was called 'The Spadge'. The Gibblet studied it, turning it over and over.
After a silence that seemed to Alice to be much too long, the Gibblet said, 'Subjestives are things that you find in the Spadge when it says, ' Here are four sentences. Underline the sentence that has the subjestive'.'
Alice got excited again.
'Oh I love those, because when you don't know the answer, all you have to do is guess one of them, and one time out of four you'll be right!'
The Gibblet stood up.
'You will not repeat what you have just said anywhere ever, ever, ever!' he said sternly.
'Don't worry,' said Alice, 'I don't need to. We all do that choosing-any-one-of-the-four trick every time we play parlour games. Everyone does.'
'Do they?' said the Gibblet in a shocked voice.
'Well not everyone, actually,' said Alice. 'It's just a trick that some people know. People who don't know end up not choosing any. Then they'll never find the subjestive, will they? So they'll be wrong. It's a shame really. Quite often when I do it, I end up with the right answer.'
'But - but - ,' spluttered the Gibblet, 'you might not know which one really is the subjestive.'
'And clearly, you don't either,' laughed Alice.
'And while we're doing 'and',' said the Frog, 'can I ask why the subjestive is in the Spadge when we haven't finished advising you on what should be in the Spadge ?'
'You people make me sick,' shouted the Gibblet. 'Borogove was right. You are the Blob. You are all the Blob.'
And he stormed out.

Alice looked at them all.
'Are you the Blob?' she asked, looking for something blobby.
'It's like your Boojum, ' said the Frog, 'if the Gibblet and the Borogove say the Blob is there, it is there.'