Chapter 8

Planning III

 

The good name of Hamsterton had suffered badly this day. However, the following flooding of the market place had positive aspects. The place was a large, muddy area but cleared of scrap and debris. The water had taken over the repair team’s work and washed everything dispensable into the canalization. Everybody was delighted that now measurements could begin. The assistants for execution of planning, i.e. Tuffy and Dasy, spent the next days finding out the dimensions of the market place with measuring tapes. It was their job to note down the shift leader’s readings and calculate the storage space. The ungrateful job of creeping through the mud with the measuring tape fell to the shift leader. As the original shift leader, i.e. Dodo, was still occupied draining the town hall, his assistant Trample did the readings.

Tuffy and Dasy were sitting high and dry on a specially built platform and watched Trample working. Again and again the shift leader assistant got stuck in the doughy mud and it took him longer and longer to creep back to the platform to inform his two assistants on the readings which were essential for the execution of the planning. So Tuffy and Dasy were glad about a visit of Sasy and Taty who showed them their newest dancing steps. It did not take long until a dancing contest was in full swing. Trample who once more wanted to hand out the last readings, was by now so dirty that nobody knew him for a hamster any longer. His fur was clotty with mud, and he yearned for the end of the working day. Unfortunately more than one third of the area had not yet been measured and the water level seemed to rise rather than to fall. Nobody came to the edge of the platform to take his readings and angrily he climbed up. He was shooed away at once.

“Put if out of your head to step onto our dance floor with your dirty paws! You can call out your readings to us”, Dasy told him.

So while assistant Trample spent a most unpleasant day in the mud, chief engineer Botchy and the complete repair team had succeeded in pumping down the water from the town hall. As the canalisation was already blocked by debris, most of the water went to the market place but that did not matter very much as only one hamster suffered there. In addition they now had unlimited mud which could be mixed with concrete and used as building material to repair the town hall.

At the end of the day they were finished and chief Botchy’s mood had considerably improved. Also the mayor had recovered from his debris trunk adventure and invited the repair team and everyone involved for tea time. Only Trample was denied entrance to the town hall because he was much too dirty and was to take a bath first. After the mayor in person had carried cakes and custard pies to his office, he together with Flecki, Taty, and Dodo laid the table. Candles and napkins were distributed. Then they all walked down to the large entrance hall were the mayor had prepared a little speech.

“My dear hamsters, I feel much joy and honour…”

“I would feel much joy in some cakes”, Goldi whispered to Flecki.

“… and spared no costs and pains, especially in view of succeeding…”

“You for sure don’t even see how lovely the table is laid and how much love is in it, you gannet!” Flecki hissed back.

“… always shows that Hamsterton is Hamsterton. Dodo, will you please go ahead to light the table?” the mayor turned to Dodo who immediately ran off. “This was only the beginning, of course, and many a task is ahead of us. However, Hamsterton without challenge would not be Hamsterton, my dear friends.”

“Perhaps that would be a time of undisturbed munching”, Goldi remarked.

The mayor faked not hearing anything and just wanted to continue his speech when Dodo came back.

“Thank you, my dear Dodo. Well, as I said…”

“Mr. Mayor?”

“I lit the table, er, shall I now also light the candles?”

After an hour the Hamstian Fire Brigade had the fire under control. While Dodo and his assistant Trample had to scrub the mayor’s office with green soap to wipe out the worst traces of the fire, the hamsters were sitting together in the lobby to discuss the further procedure. A few hours later chief engineer Botchy summed up the results.

“The town hall is repaired and as soon as this mega-fool had cleaned the office, that item can be ticked-off. So now to the Funfair-Project. That does not look that bad. The plans of the architects are finished. The market place is cleared and within the next three days the buttresses can be brought in. The 3rd repair team will do that. Afterwards the 2nd repair team begins the building works and will strictly keep to the drawings of the architects. There should be no problems. All the others come with me.”

“Whereto, Chief?” Tuffy curiously asked and also all the other hamsters craned their necks.

“I think everybody knows as our clever mayor had that great idea.”

“Gosh!” Goldi exclaimed. “We’re not to drag in ol’ McShredder?”

“Put him in his pipe and smoke him, Mayor. Count me out!” Flecki angrily shouted.

“Erm, my dear hamsters, I also had my bad experiences with that gentleman and, er…”

“Bad experience, Mayor?” Now also Goldi got going. “He almost lit me with his daft pipe!”

“Well yes, er, dear Goldi, but Hamsterton’s honour is at stake. We have to show the world that we are smarter than…”

“Mr. Mayor”, Dodo said who was walking about with his bucket.

“Yes, Dodo?”

“I’m ready but I could not really clean the pictures at the wall. There’s still some colour on the canvasses!”

“Er, well done, Dodo. Well, as I just said to use, no, usefully said – er, whatsoever. If we do not present the bugger on the monster train, we will forever be the scorn to all hamsters. Would that not be terrible? What do you say, Flecki?”

“Ghost train. It’s named ghost train, not monster train!”

“And food is a disaster there!” Goldi bawled.

“Oh, is it?” Flecki retorted. “Didn’t stop you from stuffing yourself.”

“Well, dear hamsters, perhaps we should…”

“And we had to sleep outside! One time even on hard steel rails!” Taty scolded and shook his head.

“But we might change that in future, we might!”

“Well, and how, dear Dodo?”

“What I mean is, we need not lie on hard steel, we’ll look for soft iron.”

It was a long discussion until late in the evening and until dawn. As the outcome was neither a result nor a compromise, the mayor proposed a public opinion poll.

“You’ll get a lot of daft bawling about ‘hamster-shock-monster’. So what?” Flecki nagged and looked at the mayor angrily.

“Than they’ll vote for fetching the old bugger”, Goldi added. “Ey, chief, what’s your opinion?”

All eyes now were on chief Botchy. Many a hamster was tired and exhausted and wished for some clarification. If the chief was in favour of the plan, they all would be. Botchy had not said anything for quite some time. One reason was that he had dozed off several times, the other that also he had no idea. However, the chief engineer had turned the matter over in his mind. Of course he could for the next few weeks get miffed at three different repair teams delivering non-stop bollocks and driving him nuts from dawn to dusk. He could – if he stayed in Hamsterton. On the other hand…

“Ladies and gentlemen”, he said, “I’m afraid nothing will do but inviting old McShredder here!”