Chapter 2 - The Method

We'd heard tell of a man (if such he was) who had developed a technique, excuse me if this sounds far-fetched, of “recording sound!”

After some initial hilarity we decided to at least look him up and, if nothing else, have a funny story to tell the grandlings. So we climbed upon our twin penny-farthing and travelled down one afternoon to the beautiful village of Tallaght. It was a hot day so we took high tea at a local public house by way of diversion. Whilst passing the time of day with the good lady of the tavern we happened to mention the reason for our visit. The air around us seemed to suddenly freeze and all the local eyes turned to stare in our direction.

Now good sirs”, whispered the woman, “don’t you be havin’ business wi’ that old ne’er-do-well”.
“But for goodness sake why ever not?”, said I.
“I can’t tell ‘e sir, but mark my words, a couple o’hours in Professor Method’s comp’ny and you’ll be as mad as a mickelmass mouth organ!”

Well we laughed of course and went to find the Professor’s “bunker”, as it seemed to be known.

On locating the semi-hidden entrance on an unpromising earthen mound I gave several sharp raps at the heavy rusted door. For many moments there was nothing. Then some scuffling and tutting sounds became audible.

Suddenly the door burst open and before I could do a thing about it my friend Duckworth was caught around the neck by a huge red and white striped shepherds crook and pulled down through the gap! “Ducky!”, I bellowed, getting down on my knees and peering into the gloom. Then out popped the vile instrument once more and, without as much as a by-your-leave, down went old Lewis.
“Lewis, is that you old man?”
“Duckworth old fellow, where the devil are we?”
“Haven’t the faintest. Wait a mo’, I think I’ve a match somewhere”.
The dim light of Ducky’s match fell upon an eerie scene. Strange machines, at once modern and archaic, littered the claustrophobic interior. Whirr, bleep, click; what looked like a kind of magic lantern started into action on the desk.
“I don’t like it Lewie. Better beat the retreat!”

We have these big big tunes and very limited opportunities to perform them to the great cricketing public.

Duckworth and Lewis in a quandry. Duckworth and Lewis in a quandry.

“NOT SO FAST!”, came a high pitched squeal. “I’ve just gone to the immense trouble of making you both some tea. It would be dashed rude of you to leave without imbibing it”. With which a youngish, slightly dishevelled, yet reasonably amiable looking young man appeared on our left carrying three dirty looking mugs.
“Oh, I do beg your pardon”, said I. “We were merely a little bemused by our manner of entry. Professor Method I presume?”
“Yes, yes, Method’s the name. Sorry and all that but I just like scaring the bejesus out of people. Brightens up the day I find”.
Duckworth looked at me in a faintly agitated way, cleared his throat and proceeded to illuminate the Professor upon the nature of our visit.
“...and so you see our dilemma Professor, we have these big big tunes and very limited opportunities to perform them to the great cricketing public. Is there any way…”
“Mmm, mmm, yes, yes of course. I see. I see most profoundly and completely. May I say gentlemen, this project…”
“...we prefer ‘concept’”.
“...of course, this ‘Concept’...”, Method’s eyes rolled,”...is just the thing I’ve been looking for! My machines you see, my beautiful machines”. He stroked a glowing silver box lovingly. Almost sensuously.
“They can take your useless whitterings and turn them into glorious manifestations of technological achievement. Ha Ha!”
“I say”, Duckworth began, obviously resenting the Professors last remark. I gestured him to be silent and I said to this Method man, “right then old chap, when do we begin?!”