The
ALTERNATIVE TYRA
(The Yank Returns Again)


Created by
Rob Skinner
and Dolly French

Sunday September 22nd, 2002 Another little additon to the Alternative TYRA story ... scroll down to check it out.

Friday September 20th, 2002
While many are wondering if Arnie's visit to the UK in 2002 was just a figment of several overactive imaginations, photographic evidence of the visit arrived from an unexpected source yesterday.
NVTEC, the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club is the body through which most UK rally insurance is organised, and in return for joining NVTEC, there is a quarterly magazine, Vapourising. The
front cover of the autumn edition is a very nice Austral engine seen at the 1000 Engine Rally at Astle Park in June. But look closely, in the top left-hand corner of the picture. Recognize that hat? And the ORANGE Coolspring shirt? And who could he possibly be talking to wearing a PURPLE leather baseball cap and a PURPLE Coolspring shirt????
So, can this be taken as proof that the Yank really DID return again? By the looks of things, it's all we're going to get for a while .....

Monday September 9th, 2002
Part 1 of the REAL TYRA has finally been uploaded. But it would be such a shame to stop the alternative trip report now, so this will continue alongside the real one which is, compared to this, rather dull and boring.

Wednesday August 14th, 2002
Unbelievably, the first part of TYRA has arrived. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, because it has been "created" rather than sent. After all, we've waited long enough so the time has come to put threats into action .....

2002, the year of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee. From around the world her loyal subjects and admirers have descended on London to join in the celebrations and to wish her well. The former colony of America sent a single representative who initially managed to conduct himself with a measure of decorum in her presence. It is believed Her Majesty asked him if the Maytag pin from Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania was his badge of office.
Sadly, we should have known that all this was too good to last, as it wasn't long before Arnie began making inroads into the UK beer supply and generally behaving in a manner which has become customary for this particular visiting Yank. Queen Elizabeth, during her long reign, has had many trials and tribulations to cope with and appeared to turn a blind eye to these proceedings. However, it was later noticed that she was looking more than usually flushed after this particular carriage ride and was seen hastily tucking a mirror back into her handbag.
British police have become accustomed to concealing certain parts of streakers with their helmets, but in this case, the carriage footmen felt that their top hats were not up to the job in hand. The horses were encouraged to take on a faster pace so that they could catch up with one of the other carriages in the royal procession on which the footmen were wearing the larger "tricorn" style hats. Naturally, this was edited out of the BBC footage of the procession while the cameras lingered on the more conventional sights of London. The more sleazy tabloids, despite royal disapproval, went ahead and published
this picture.
Of course, the authorities were now aware of Arnie's presence in the UK. Ports of entry and exit were issued with his picture, so when we made a trip across the Channel to taste Belgian beer, he was forced to
adopt a disguise in order to be able to leave England AND return ....
During the previous trip to London, Arnie was very taken with the London Eye, formerly know as the Millenium Wheel. After that experience, we were reluctant to allow such a visit, but Arnie PROMISED not to misbehave again. We queried that fact that he insisted on taking a length of climbing rope along, but he assured us it was simply a precuation, should the wheel get stuck at the top as there are no emergency exits. Oh, how wrong we were to fall for his silver-tongued explanations ... the man is surely a cunning linguist.
Progress of the wheel is very slow, with a complete revolution taking about 40 minutes. At this speed, it almost seems to be not moving at all, and as our capsule reached the highest point, Arnie yelled "It's broken down!", flung open the door and tied one end of his rope to a small dog at the other end of the capsule. Then he muttered something about possibly having to land in the Thames and removed his trousers with an excited squeal. Without further ado, he charged through the open door holding the other end of the rope, pressing the button to close it as he passed through. In slow motion, the length of rope on the floor uncoiled ... the dog flew through the air ... and the doors hissed closed just in time to trap the rope and its canine anchor.
The triumphant "Yeeee HAAAWWWWW" was heard throughout the streets of London. The casual observer may have seen little more that a
small, pink blob which appeared high on the wheel. But those with sharp eyesight and telephoto lenses were able to catch the truth of the moment.


Monday August 12th, 2002
With the annual pilgrimage to Portland already underway (though sadly, not including the French family), it would appear that Arnie has other things on his mind besides doing any work on TYRA, as it has become known (The Yank Returns Again). Despite being told on an almost daily basis that at least Part 1 is "almost" finished, I've yet to see anything of it, and the Alternative TYRA is also stalled as Rob has had computer problems and severe arguments with garden furniture which have distracted him somewhat.

Monday July 29th, 2002 Hope you're not holding your breath waiting for this. In the weeks since he left, I've had many comments via email from Arnie telling me how hard he's working on the trip report, but, as you can see from progress here, it's obviously just a figment of his overactive imagination. And speaking of overactive imaginations, Rob Skinner of rustyiron.com, who is talented in the use of graphics manipulation programs, and I, may just have to come up with our own version of the story to fill these pages. Should be interesting .....

On
Monday July 8th, 2002 Arnie left our shores after a three and a half week long visit, during which time we attended three weekend engine shows as exhibitors (Lister-Petter, 1000 Engine and Abbey Pumping Station's Urban Rally), spent 5 days on a canal boat, visited various engine sheds and did the tourist thing in London, Belgium and Dover.
Throughout his visit, I heard many apologies for the length of time it took to produce the trip report for The Yank Returns (about 356 days from start to finish, as I recall) and equally, I had many promises not to repeat such slack behaviour this time. Some of these promises were even made before witnesses, but, having experienced the speed at which he works, you can rest assured that I'm not holding my breath here.
But keep checking back anyway just in case. And if no report installments are forthcoming, at least I will be supplying some interesting abuse for your enjoyment.


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A TRANSATLANTIC PRODUCTION

Text by Arnie

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