THE CURSE OF THE
DON'T MENTION PANTIES GAME
was the future.
was many thousands of years into the future,
although society had not changed to much of a
degree. There were still only five terrestrial TV
channels, and two of those showed mainly repeats
of 70's sit-coms and hardcore pornography.
Mankind was still yet to colonise space, as it
was really cold and unpleasant up there. And the
legal system was very much the same as it is now.
Langley Balustrade adjusted his white wig, and
patted the head of the young maiden under his
desk who was expertly fellating him. He cast a
look around at the sea of eager faces before him,
waiting for his next performance. Judge
Balustrade's cases were always lucrative
spectator events, and some of those present had
paid top dollar for front row seats.
the next defendant," he said, only the
slightest quaver in his voice. A sigh of
satisfaction went through the spectator gallery,
and some of those present produced lit zippo
lighters to hold aloft.
the next defendant," shouted everyone.
next defendant was Professor Boris Doily, a
newly-arrived time traveller from the twentieth
century. He was led into the room by a pair of
uniformed police officers, and when he was in the
stand they took up position either side of him.
as if by magic, the defence counsel appeared in a
puff of smoke. He wore shiny blue wizard's robes
decorated with moons and stars, and held a narrow
magic wand overhead. A few spectators began
booing, but lapsed into silence when they found
the wand being pointed threateningly in their
Balustrade was not going to be intimidated by the
defence counsel's childish antics. He turned his
attention to the defendant. "You are
Professor Boris Doily?" he said.
am," said Professor Boris Doily.
Boris Doily, you stand here accused of the most
heinous crime our legal system has to offer. Not
only did you park an unregistered time machine on
a double yellow line, but you then went on to
speak... the word which cannot be said. How do
said the baffled professor. "All I did was
say 'why the hell is everyone wearing panties
over their trousers?'."
shrill scream echoed throughout the courtroom.
One or two attendees fainted.
also stand accused of saying the aforementioned
word just now in your last sentence," added
word is it?" demanded the professor.
in the courtroom immediately made a zipped-mouth
gesture, having seen people fall for this before.
how the hell am I supposed to know which word I'm
not allowed to say if you won't tell me? Which
was it, trousers?"
judge chuckled to himself. "Of course it
isn't trousers. If we went around arresting
people for saying trousers, they'd say we're all
our case is a simple one," butted in the
defence counsel, not wishing to allow his client
to dig a deeper hole for himself. "My client
wishes to plead ignorance, since he is newly
arrived from the 20th century and knows little of
went the prosecution. "Ignorance is no
Ignorance was the name of some Viking shield, or
large dog," pondered the judge aloud. He
flashed a dazzling smile at the audience gallery,
and those people who fainted earlier fainted some
we can get back to the matter at hand," said
the defence counsel, "I would like it put on
record that the prosecution is a big fat
said the judge.
object to being described as a big fat
tosshead," said the prosecution, but all
present ignored him as though he were not there.
how can my client be arrested for something he
simply knows nothing about?" continued the
defense. "It is quite simply unfair on him.
I move for a mistrial."
your client is simply ignorant of our
system," said the judge, "then we must
educate him. Many years ago, during the final of
the 2999 Olympic Don't Mention Panties, reigning
champion Roger Connery got up from his seat
mid-game, walked straight out of the stadium, and
disappeared forever. Before doing so he spoke to
several people, and according to the ancient
rules of Don't Mention Panties, anyone he spoke
to immediately became a player in the game, as
did anyone THEY spoke to. Eventually we gave up
working out who was in the game, and just
declared that the entire population of the Earth
was a player. As such, saying 'panties'
immediately disqualifies a person from the human
move for a mistrial," said the defence.
"On the grounds that you said 'panties'
three times in your speech."
said the prosecution. "The defence counsel
just said -" he could not finish his
sentence, as the defence counsel turned him into
said the prosecution. "Croak croak
said the judge, hoping to distract from his
misdemeanours. "The defence counsel will
refrain from turning any more members of the
courtroom into frogs."
move for a mistrial," said the defence.
seem to do that an awful lot. On what
by ordering me not to turn people into frogs, you
are discriminating against my profession and are
as such guilty of gross misconduct."
bumflaps," said the judge.
at that point the entire fucking world exploded,
thus bringing an end to a story that was really
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