Bolb was deformed. He would have been quite a tall chap if he hadn't constantly been bowed over, head hung low. This was partly due to his ever-present shame and partly because of the strange and bulbous outcropping on his lower lip which weighed his head down. It came about as he was growing up under the harsh hand of his cruel master, causing the misery to rise up to his chin and create an obtrusive lump.

However, Bolb had recently escaped from his cruel master and now lived in a small flat with his roommate, an upper class Englishman named Barbados Bunbury. People often questioned him about this odd name. "My parents went insane," he would explain to them. "I might too," he would add ominously. He eventually discovered that things were easier all around if he just called himself Bob for short, although even then people questioned an upper class gent with a name like Bob. "That's nothing," he would proclaim. "My middle name is Rachel." He had left his upper class English country existence behind in order to experience life in the city, and when he met the poor bedraggled Bolb he took him under his wing. Although Barbados was not exactly the sharpest tool in the box, nor was Bolb, so they got along famously, although every now and then Bolb's relentless master would track him down and they would have to escape to live somewhere else.

One particular day, Bolb was waiting around for Barbados to return home, little suspecting the adventures he was having. Barbados, or Bob as we shall call him, had gone out to spend a bit of money on a mountain bike. He had purchased the very latest full suspension model, along with complete off-roading body armour which he sadly thought would render him invincible. He thus began riding around the streets at almost inhuman speeds, charging relentlessly down one-way streets in the wrong direction, driving cars off the road and scaring young children in his insane quest for speed. He eventually found a nice steep downhill road, complete with speed bumps, and decided to give it a go. Pedalling furiously in top gear, he shot down the road, leaping over the bumps with a cry of manic delight, until he hit the last one at fifty miles per hour.

There was a terrible jolt and a loud cracking noise as Bob shot through the air, spinning end over end at an incredible speed, watching his brand new bike shed bits of itself while the centripetal force of its spinning flung them off into the distance at lethal velocities. "Oh dear!" he exclaimed. "The ground seems to be rapidly approaching." He landed in the middle of a main road, skidding along into a grass embankment where he passed out.

The next thing he knew, a police officer was dragging him up and throwing him onto the bonnet of his car. "Hands behind your head!" he yelled. "Hands on the bonnet! Kneel down! Get on the floor!" Bob was confused and did nothing at first, but the police officer shoved the barrel of an Uzi into his neck. "But the police don't carry Uzis," protested Bob. "GET ON THE FLOOR you IDIOT!!" screamed the policeman. Bob decided it would be best to run away instead, especially as he had full body armour on.

Later on, Bolb heard the key enter the front door, and in came a breathless Bob. "Sorry old boy," he said apologetically. "We're going to have to move again." Bolb looked disappointed.
"Is my master here?" he asked in his slow, drawling voice.
"No no no," assured Bob. "Nothing like that, no."
"Oh," ruminated Bolb. "Then what is it?"
"Just the entire armed police," explained Bob. "They're all after me."
"I'll help you pack."

As they hurriedly packed their meagre belongings into two rucksacks, they discussed various possibilities for their destination. "How about London?" suggested Bob. But they already lived there. Bolb suggested Cumbria, but Bob was still enamoured with the big city. There came a lot of shouting from outside the front door, followed by the crash of a steel battering ram reducing it to splinters. As they calmly exited via the fire escape, Bolb had a brainwave. "Let's go to New York!" he said, his deformed mouth twisting into a pitiful smile.

Off they trotted, calm as anything, laughing and joking through the back alleys as hordes of human killing machines swarmed through the bulding which used to be their home. "Ho ho ho!" laughed Bob. "New York it is!" Bolb felt happier than he had for years - he would finally be free from his master! "Hee hee hee," he chimed in. "Hee hee hee."

They formulated a plan as they went - that is, after Bolb explained that New York wasn't in England. "But old York is!" he had protested. "How can America be over the sea? Won't it sink?" By the time Bolb had managed to successfully explain all of this to Bob, they had reached the seaside. They strutted purposefully up to a small wooden boat and cut the rope, then stole some oars. "Ho ho ho!" proclaimed Bob. "Hee hee hee!" explicated Bolb. They pushed the boat down the beach toward the water, then threw their rucksacks in as they heaved it out into the water. When the water was deep enough they jumped in themselves and grabbed an oar each, sitting opposite each other. "Ho ho ho!" "Hee hee hee!" They rowed and rowed for hours until they were exhausted.

As they stopped to rest, Bob looked up. "I see land!" he yelled excitedly. Bolb looked around to see the shore they had just left. "Hang on," he said. "We must have gone all the way around the world." Bob didn't know whether to be happy or sad, while Bolb just sat thinking for a while. "Which way were you rowing?" he eventually asked.

Soon they were on their way. "Good job we got the hang of that rowing-in-the-same-direction lark," remarked Bob. Bolb nodded in agreement, and before long there was no land visible at all, just a vast expanse of gently rippling water. Bob soon stopped to take a rest, and Bolb thought it best to stop rowing too after the last little incident. They dug through their backpacks and found some food, then spent the rest of the day sitting and talking as they ate. Night soon began to fall. "I say," pointed out Bob. "It's getting awful chilly isn't it?" Bolb agreed. "Chilly," he said. "Hee hee hee."

Bolb watched the post-sunset twilight creeping over the ocean while Bob emptied his rucksack into the boat. He looked around at the sound of crackling, and saw that Bob had started a fire. "Nice and warm!" he said. Bolb looked on disappointedly.
"What are you burning?"
"Oh, just that map of New York," said Bob. "We won't be needing that will we? Ho ho ho!"
"We will? I say, you're right."
"I'm not sure you should be starting a fire in the boat either," drawled Bolb.
"Why not, old bean?"
"Because it's made of wood."
"So it is Bolb, so it is..." Bob said thoughtfully. "I ought to put it out. Damn, where am I going to find water all the way out here?"
"How about over there?" suggested Bolb, pointing at the sea.
"By Jove, Bolb! You're a genius!"

Their exchange had taken too long, however, and the fire extinguished itself with a sad hiss as water flooded into the hole it had burned in the hull. The pair sat looking at each other as they remained seated, sinking slowly under the waves, until all that remained was their heads and rucksacks, bobbing gently. "Oh dear," said Bob. "I suppose this is it, old chap."
"Yes," said Bolb. "This is it..."
"Well, maybe we'll meet again some day, eh? In the next world, what?"
"Perhaps we will," said Bolb, a calm smile once more breaking over his deformed face.

They floated around in the cold ocean for a while, but the night was too harsh and the last thing they remembered was slipping downward into the darkness.

Bolb awoke, sunlight shining pink through his eyelids. He opened his eyes and sat up - he was on a wooden deck. They had been rescued! He looked around, and sure enough there was Bob standing by the railing. He turned around and smiled. "What-ho, Bolb!" he said. "You're awake! You're not going to believe this... we were rescued!"
"Ah yes," Bolb coughed. "I noticed that."
"But the really spiffing part is - this is a luxury liner bound for New York!"
"I say!" said Bolb.

The next few days were a wonderful holiday for the hapless pair, and before long they were sailing past Liberty Island. "Look at that!" said Bolb in awe, pointing at the statue of liberty. "Yes," said Bob with a measure of disdain. "It's French, isn't it?"

They soon realised that they had no official papers, and decided that to avoid being kicked off home they'd have to jump off secretly in the night and swim around a bit before heading for land. This they did, spot on midnight, and they swam for miles and miles, laughing and joking. It took them nearly a week, but they soon spotted land and came ashore a sun-drenched beach filled with attractive young ladies playing volleyball. "I say!" exclaimed Bob when they were finally ashore. Bolb just looked, agape. He sat down and pulled out a soaking wet book from his soaking wet backpack. After carefully parting the pages, he announced that they had made it to California. "Oh," said Bob. "So we're not in New York? Never mind, this will do won't it?" Bolb agreed. "It will indeed. Hee hee hee." They had made it.

An odd calm settled over them at having finally done it, a sense that this new world was where they belonged. They set off to find a place to live, and discovered a nice carboard box behind a pizza place not far from the beach. They made a comfortable living from cleaning windscreens ("Windshields, eh Bolb? Have you ever heard anything so silly? Ho ho ho!") and spending it on pizza. Sometimes Bolb would watch and laugh as Bob approached the girls, charming them with his British accent, introducing himself as Barbados Rachel Bunbury. Everyone else either ignored them or hurled abuse, but they didn't mind. People rushed and fretted around them, but it didn't get to them. They were simple folk with simple lives, and they were happy just working, eating, sleeping, watching the girls... they didn't want for anything more. They had settled down and were happy.

"Another slice of pizza, Bolb?" asked Bob as they sat on a deserted stretch of sand, watching the sun set over the waves while a gentle breeze played over them. "Don't mind if I do," he replied. "Hee hee hee."

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