More shameless self-promotion. To celebrate the fact that my little kids book ‘Johnny Nothing’ is finally available in paperback here’s an excerpt in which the MacKenzie family go on a round the world trip and encounter lots of really dreadful puns.
Chapter 10 – Holiday
Now that the MacKenzie family was rich the world was their lobster. ‘I’m going on a trip!’ announced Felicity MacKenzie a couple of days after her latest spending spree. ‘And since it’s school holidays Johnny can come too. Say thank-you, Johnny.’
‘Thank-you,’ said Johnny weakly.
So the family packed up their belongings: Mrs. MacKenzie took four large trunks full of clothing, make-up and baked beans (in case she didn’t like foreign food). Mr. MacKenzie took two medium sized suitcases crammed with copies of the Racing Post, electronic gadgets and cans of lager (in case he didn’t like foreign beer). Johnny took a Sainsbury’s carrier bag stuffed with a few comics, some pencils and a change of underpants.
The trio boarded a plane to Paris in France. The grown-ups sat at the front in first class, sipping champagne and eating posh caviare sandwiches. Johnny sat at the back of the plane in economy class. There he read his comics and tried to ignore the chorus of howling babies that surrounded him. (Most airlines make it compulsory that there is at least one howling baby in the cheaper section of the plane. The idea is to encourage passengers to pay extra to go and sit in the expensive section of the plane. For long haul flights they try to ensure that there is at least three howling babies per passenger.)
When they got to Paris it took Mrs. MacKenzie only a day or so to get bored with the French. She objected to the fact that most of them didn’t speak English. And when her attempts at speaking French failed she grew restless. (In other words, she did what most English tourists do when they are abroad – she spoke English, only slower and louder than usual and expected everyone to understand what she was going on about.)
After copping an eyeful of the big tower in Paris she insisted that the family get on another plane and go somewhere better. Over the next couple of weeks they flew all over the world at tremendous cost. But nowhere was good enough for the MacKenzies:
• They went to Amsterdam but found the Dutch tulippy.
• They took a slow boat to China but they were bored to death by the time they got there.
• They went to Coventry but the locals wouldn’t talk to them.
• They flew to Warsaw but found it an eyesore.
• They found Cuba dull (although everyone else seemed to be Havana good time).
• They went to Egypt but the pyramids were like a prism.
• They went to Sao Paulo but thought the Brazilians were nuts.
• They sailed to Costa Rica but it Costa fortune.
• They got hungry in Hungary.
• So they had turkey in Turkey.
• And then chicken in Kiev.
• And crackers in Caracas.
• And visited a Deli in Delhi.
• They got thirsty in Chertsey.
• So they had high tea in Haiti.
• Then drank iced tea in the Black Sea.
• They went for a wander in Rwanda.
• Something went wrong in Hong Kong.
• They weren’t bowled over by Moldova.
• They found Chile too cold.
• They bought perfume in Cologne.
• Mr. MacKenzie had a very painful accident in Bangkok.
• They found Nuremberg a trial.
• They thought that Guinea was fowl.
• They went to a party in Toga.
• Things got vicious in Mauritius.
• They saw sea shells sitting in the Seychelles.
• They watched the Gaza Strip.
• They heard the Galway Bay.
• They saw the Colorado Springs.
• They got lost on the way to San Jose.
• They bought new pyjamas in the Bahamas.
• They couldn’t settle in Seattle.
• They got catarrh in Qatar.
• It was not so great in Crete.
• In the end they simply flew back to France – they had nothing Toulouse.
Back in France Mrs. MacKenzie declared that the rest of the world was boring. That it was dull. That it was overrated. That the food was funny. That in future she’d be taking her holidays back in England. They boarded one final plane and ended up in Weston-Super-Mare. There Mrs. MacKenzie spent a contented week sitting indoors watching the rain and complaining about the English weather, the English food, the price of alcohol, how ugly the tourists were and about how foreigners were taking over our country and should go back to where they belonged.
She smothered herself in fake tan, not forgetting to brown her eyelids. She fed lit cigarettes to the seagulls. She wore a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hat that terrified her fellow holidaymakers. She hogged the karaoke machine. She lost hundreds of pounds playing the slot machines on the pier.
She had never been so happy.
If you fancy purchasing Johnny Nothing it’s really cheap and available at: