In Trouble

A lie is a clever way to tell the truth—subjectively.

V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet

UntitledHoni Planet.

Where do I start?

Isn’t that awful? When people say that?

They get to these epically great places that need a description and all they say is, “Where do I start?”

See, that’s just so they don’t have to explain or describe anything. Lazy, I tell you.

Then again, I’m feeling that way right now.

But I’ll fight it (since I’m such a warrior) and explain, because I’m a goodly professor.

Okay, so the planet was something. It’s basically one big city. Everywhere. Tall buildings here, short little squat buildings there; pushcarts selling everything imaginable (except beetles) lined the busy streets; there were fancy restaurants, and restaurants only fit for beetles; and every sort of store imaginable; there were also bikes, motorcycles, cars, and all sorts of different transportation devices.

It stank a bit. And it wasn’t too dirty. #ProfessorAppraisal 

In fact, it looked a bit like this–


–had mated with this:


Anyways, the streets seemed treacherous to navigate, but all the passengers were driven away from the sorta-crash in authority vehicles. It was stuffy in the authority vehicles; it stank in the authority vehicles–never ride in authority vehicles.

Now, once we got to where we were going (after about a thousand years), we were all abused and pushed around. They even took my pack.

I ended up in an ugly, plain room, sitting at an ugly, plain desk.

With Manly-Man.

This was it. Blah, right?

This was it. Blah, right?

Was hoping these would show up.

Was hoping these two would show up.

“Hey, dude,” Manly-Man said.

He was going to say something else, but I interrupted.

“I just want to say, what you did back there, landing the ship and all…good stuff. Well done. You have my approval.”

Manly-Man smiled a tight-lipped smile and craned his head one way. Almost treating me like a little kid. Like it didn’t matter he’d gotten my approval.

Rats and a Heifer.

“So, what happened? I was sleeping, see.”

“I doesn’t know. Someone fired a missile at us.”

That’s when the door opened and a respectable looking chap entered. He looked pregnant the way his belly bulged around, but rest assured, I know he wasn’t. He had a gray mustache  and he was balding. He was dressed in the Honi Empire’s colors: Yellow. Just yellow.

I think he was a sheriff.

He sat down across from us.

“Okay,” he began, but I cut him off.

See, I was cranky. After all, being taken into custody right after surviving a near fatal crash was wrong. Especially since they told us nothing. Not much of a kind reception. (Goes to show you how much the Honi Empire dislikes people from TPL.)

“Look here,” I said, but then he interrupted me.

“Don’t you DARE talk over me,” he said, wagging a finger in my general direction. “I give the order–“

But I cut him off.

“Double look here, you beast,” I said, “I’m the professor–“

He took over here, with a vicious slam to the table.

“If I have to tell you one more time–“

Manly-Man broke in.

“Quiet both of you. I’s leaving. I’s done playin’ games with you. I’s gettin’ cranky.”

And he stood.

That’s when the that chap put my can of sweet cherries on the table.

They’d searched my pack. The blackhearts.

I was even crankier then.

“You’re going nowhere,” he said. “We found this can of cherries in this one’s pack”–a thumb in my general direction here–“and you were the pilot. How’d you get that can? Did you run into Starling on the flight? What’d she tell you?”

Then, quicker than a lightning bolt, I grasped the cherries.

Yes, my bolts are blue.

Yes, my bolts are blue.

“Mine,” I said, like a caveman.

Not the professor.

Not the professor.

He stood.

“If you don’t answer my questions, you’ll end up just like Starling!”

Was that the lady with the briefcase?

Then everything happened too quickly.

The fellow pulled some sort of evil looking instrument from his belt and Manly-Man took him out–with one blow.


And then, Manly-Man said, as if to explain his actions: “I’s said I was getting cranky.”

Of course, that explained everything perfectly.

“Time to go,” I said.

PL Symbol


96 Responses to “In Trouble”

  1. 1 Heartafire June 22, 2016 at 21:29

    I told you about caves. They are filled with bats that get into your hair and make you crazy. You are probably wondering how i know.

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 14:36

      Yes, I am, the sudden. Tell me more!

      • 3 Heartafire June 24, 2016 at 14:47

        very well, i will, but only once. While venturing deep into the Krubera Cave dodging stalactites and mites and having left my beanie back at the camp, I sensed a vibration and hissing nearby. Feeling the need to investigate I felt my way through the maze of (well, god knows what) until I came upon a low hanging ledge covered in bats. Naturally, I screamed awakening the creatures and they set upon me, dive bombing, catching in my hair, I tried to release them but they were so entangled, I fled bats in tow and in my hair. Since then, I haven’t been the same. Before this unfortunate incident…well, I was wonderful.

      • 4 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 15:09

        *laughing* Aha. This explains things. But…your only mistake was screaming! Why’d you do it?

      • 5 Heartafire June 24, 2016 at 15:10


      • 6 Professor VJ Duke June 26, 2016 at 17:27

        I love bats, I’ll have you know.

  2. 7 Simply Skeptical June 21, 2016 at 13:28

    Oh I love that Manly Man is back. He takes care of care of things in that quick Manly way. Great Pilot too! Three cheers and more for the Manly Man!!!

    • 8 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 20:49

      And none for the professor?

      • 9 Simply Skeptical June 24, 2016 at 17:26

        Oh now Professor don’t pout; thought you knew that goes without saying…

      • 10 Professor VJ Duke June 26, 2016 at 17:30

        I’m allowed to pout, dadblameit!

  3. 11 erinkenobi2893 June 20, 2016 at 01:56

    I smell trouble!

    • 12 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:22

      Trouble follows me everywhere. Help!

      • 13 erinkenobi2893 June 21, 2016 at 17:59

        *comes running in with a sonic screwdriver* Where?

      • 14 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 21:01

        over here! Cool screwdriver, btw

      • 15 erinkenobi2893 June 24, 2016 at 15:57

        Thank you! I built it myself. ;-)

      • 16 Professor VJ Duke June 26, 2016 at 17:29

        Very impressive. Did Obi help at all?

      • 17 erinkenobi2893 June 27, 2016 at 18:17

        nope, I practically had to invent everything and make my own micro-components.

      • 18 Professor VJ Duke June 28, 2016 at 13:25

        Wow. How’d you learn to do that?

      • 19 erinkenobi2893 June 28, 2016 at 14:38

        Time Lord school ;-)

      • 20 Professor VJ Duke June 29, 2016 at 13:03

        I’m going!

      • 21 erinkenobi2893 June 30, 2016 at 02:59

        It can be hard to get in, you know.

      • 22 Professor VJ Duke June 30, 2016 at 11:16

        But I’ll have a hard time I’m sure of it.

      • 23 erinkenobi2893 July 1, 2016 at 14:08


  4. 24 PorterGirl June 19, 2016 at 09:21

    Firstly, I see a great commercial opportunity to open a bottle shop in Honi City, as there isn’t one. The whole market of beetle-dealings shall be mine!
    That sheriff should have known better than to make MM cranky, you know. I say he deserved everything he got.

    • 25 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:19

      And even a little more. That sheriff is something. I bet you would’ve fetched him, yo. What sort of beetles would you sell?

      • 26 PorterGirl June 21, 2016 at 13:29

        I imagine he is, keep your professorish eye on him!
        Dung beetles and stag beetles, mainly. But also some kinds that I have just invented. I can charge higher prices for them.

      • 27 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 20:49

        *laughs* Just don’t say dung when you sell them, mind

      • 28 PorterGirl June 22, 2016 at 20:52

        Good plan. Could put people off. I shall call them Beetles of Awesomeness instead.

      • 29 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 21:05

        *laughing* Brilliant! Boa’s for short.

      • 30 PorterGirl June 22, 2016 at 21:08

        Nice!! It’s marketing genius.

      • 31 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 14:32

        I’m a genius, the sudden

      • 32 PorterGirl June 26, 2016 at 08:34

        You are always a genius, I say.

      • 33 Professor VJ Duke June 26, 2016 at 19:01

        Oh no. Not at all.

      • 34 PorterGirl June 27, 2016 at 03:59

        Oh yes.

      • 35 Professor VJ Duke June 28, 2016 at 13:16

        Oh no!

  5. 36 Debbie June 17, 2016 at 18:06

    Professor, you’re the best escape artist I know! Of course, watching MM clobber that sheriff dude must have been interesting. What was it about the canned cherries that the yellow guy didn’t like anyway? And how do you know he wasn’t pregnant (I mean, this is a new world, right? so perhaps their men are the ones populating the place?)

    • 37 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:02

      Oh goodness! Do you think he was really pregnant? *faints and dies and shrivels up*

      I’m wondering about the cherries, too, now. I shouldn’t eat them, I suppose?

  6. 38 L. Marie June 17, 2016 at 13:52

    It’s nice that they speak English on the Honi planet. Or do they have some sort of translation device?
    So there was a plant on the ship? Maybe that individual signaled the attack to start?
    Manly-Man is the man! Woot!

    • 39 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:56

      Well, I think they all speak the same language. At least it seems that way. You know, fifty million languages hurt the ears after a while, you know, you know. Maybe you’re right! Or maybe…they’re scared of something? The Honi government, I mean?

      Isn’t he something?

  7. 40 John W. Howell June 16, 2016 at 21:50

    Another professor preambulate opportunity.

    • 41 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:52

      I’m blown away by that one word. It’s good, tho?

      • 42 John W. Howell June 17, 2016 at 19:08

        It means a walking opportunity.

      • 43 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:04

        A perfect. That sounds good, I think. Look, I just learned a new word.

      • 44 John W. Howell June 21, 2016 at 15:33


  8. 45 FictionFan June 16, 2016 at 15:21

    Oh, Professor, I’m so worried about you – did you get a bang on the head during the nearly crash? You’ve been on that planet for several minutes now and you haven’t flirted with any woman once! You should seek urgent treatment for brain discombobulation…

    Are there pushcarts selling black puddings? Velociraptors? Cute little Professor dolls? #coolandcuddly Ooh, bring me one back as a souvenir! Looks like there’s a business opening for a beetle-selling franchise though – pity you’re a Communist revolutionary or you could snap it up! That’s such a lovely pic of you – has it been photo-shopped?

    Good ol’ Manly-Man! He’s fun when he’s cranky!

    • 46 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:38

      That just goes to show you that I never flirt. “It’s only in your heart this thing that makes you want to start it all again…” Sorry. That just came into my head, the sudden. What I meant: it’s only your imagination that I flirt! *nods*

      Cute little professor dolls?! What? What? No, no. Such a thing is just not possible. Look how wicked you are. You should be ashamed! A communist revolutionary and selling beetles? You lost your foolish mind, Bubble-Wilkes. I’m full of useless horrible quotes today. *laughs* Def photoshopped. I’m usually more presentable.

      Isn’t he, tho?

      • 47 FictionFan June 17, 2016 at 20:03

        Goodness me! Now you’re listening to love songs!!! We need to get you into battle quickly before Cupid gets you!! Go pick a fight with someone…!!!

        Hmm… I bet, if I thought about it a bit, I could probably knit a cute little Professor doll. Or make one out of felt, perhaps. In a little Hector outfit maybe… Should I, I wonder? Now, what would I use to get the kiss-curl just right… *muses*

        Bubble-Wilkes??? Well, even communist revolutionaries have to make a living, you know, you know! Hmm! I mean, yes! Of course you are!

      • 48 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:06

        Oh, I’ve listened to that song for YEARS! Like, longer than ever! It’s not a love song, is it? Maybe it is.

        *sudden intake of breath* I’d tell…BUS and WOB on you! And they’d be on my side, of course. ‘Cause I’m always right. And very convincing at times. All the time, actually.

        That’s your new name. Not as good as the one you have now, but still. Can I be a capitalist again, please?

      • 49 FictionFan June 21, 2016 at 16:41

        I don’t know, but it sounds like a love song…

        WOB might be, but I suspect BUS might quite like a little Professor doll! In fact, the more I think about it, I suspect there might be a huge market… perhaos I should become a capitalist!

        I quite like it – it makes me sounds like a WW1 ace fighter pilot! *zooms* Haha! OK, then, if you feel you must!

      • 50 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 20:56

        *laughing lots* You don’t even know it! *growls* It’s a song by America, the band.

        She’d like one?! Would not! I bet BUS thinks I’m a magnificent little orc. WOB and I would play guitar together.

        Wouldn’t you much rather fly a spitfire? #dreams

      • 51 FictionFan June 23, 2016 at 00:41

        Still a love song though… *victory dance*

        I shall ask her! She might like orcs – she’s a huge LOTR fan. *laughs* I fear WOB’s musical skills are on a par with my own… but he plays a mean triangle!

        Were they WW2? I don’t know – there’s something romantic about the really old ones…

      • 52 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 14:46

        Well I guess it might be…! I’m not sure…you know, the sudden, it’s not!

        *laughs* Nooooooo! Don’t ask, please! Goodness. Triangle can be hard, you know… *puts on John Carter* That’s nice triangle.

        OF course they were! Only a girl would find war planes romantic!

      • 53 FictionFan June 25, 2016 at 18:16

        Well, what are the rest of the lyrics then? Huh? If it turns out it’s all about a battle, I shall eat your beanie!

        *laughs* See? You think she would too! Has John Carter got triangle in it? Must listen again…

        *laughs sheepishly* OK, you may have a point! But, well… but they ARE!!

      • 54 Professor VJ Duke June 26, 2016 at 18:50

        Well, let me see: “It’s only in your heart this thing that makes you want to start it all again…” I guess it might be. Then again, maybe they’re talking about food.

        I always thought BUS was fierce, too. *shakes head* She’s a big softy! I think it does! I love that soundtrack…I listen to it in the car all the time.

        Haha. I won’t even mention that horrid plane scene from Pearl Harbor. It’s all a lie, I tell you.

      • 55 FictionFan June 27, 2016 at 12:03

        If it’s got ‘heart’ in it, it’s a love-song! Plus if you like it, then that proves it must be soppy and romantic… *nods*

        *gasps* I dare you to call her that! I shall arrange the emergency treatment… Music in cars affects me strangely – my speed varies depending on what I’m listening to. Not always a good thing…

        Ooh, Pearl Harbor gets a mention in the Douglas MacArthur book! I know allllllllllll about it now!!! Well, a bit, anyway…

      • 56 Professor VJ Duke June 28, 2016 at 13:22

        It can’t be romantic: I listened to this back when I was a little muffin. Can’t be romantic. Imagine: Lyrics like these: I’ll stab you in your bloody heart… See? That’s def not romantic, even thought it’s got heart.

        See, all this time you had me thinking the opposite. But I’m wise to it now! Because I’m a wise sort of beast, after all. *laughs* Don’t listen to Alice Cooper in the car then!

        Hahaha. Don’t watch the movie.

      • 57 FictionFan June 28, 2016 at 16:55

        ‘Tis! It’s about a search for love! Ah, see, that’s why you’re so romantic now – programmed from muffinhood! *laughs lots* Such Professorial lyrics! But I bet the reason he wants to stab her is because she went off with his best friend… #SoRomantic

        *nods* Like an owl! Have you ever listened to Radar Love? Fatal for either dancing or driving… starts off slow and gets faster and faster. Then boom! Just when you’ve reached frantic speeds, slow again. Watching boys try to dance to it was one of the joys of my youth…

        See, that’s reverse psychology… I’m tempted now. Why not?

      • 58 Professor VJ Duke June 29, 2016 at 13:10

        It is? It’s about an idiot that can’t use his brain over his heart!! Or maybe he’s just a vicious brute. Like Luke Skywalker. Or Ant-Man! have I said I want to be Ant-Man yet?

        I haven’t! I’ll have to give it a listen. *laughs* I imagine watching anyone dance would be quite funny. It’s always amusing in P&P. Dancing is for girls!

        Because it’s awful. They made it into a love story. However….soundtrack is awesome.

      • 59 FictionFan June 29, 2016 at 17:47

        Ah, you’re just trying to hide your romantic heart! *laughs* You may have mentioned it! If you could shrink, imagine what a great spy you could be! So long as the enemy haven’t got any ant spray…

        Nonsense! Watching Darby dance is like eating chocolate while listening to an enchanted orchestra play heavenly music! *dreams*

        Yeuch! OK I promise I won’t watch it then! But I may listen…

      • 60 Professor VJ Duke June 30, 2016 at 11:12

        I’m heartless remember. Big hole there. I feel it with weeds. *laughs* Oh no, he’s got a suit. He’d be fine against ant spray.

        Hahahahahaha. Until his wig falls off.

        You’ll love the soundtrack! Tennessee is a great track.

      • 61 FictionFan June 30, 2016 at 18:56

        With red roses, I suspect. Phew! Thank goodness! So he only has to worry about the fly swat then?

        Sooooooo jealous! But there’s no need to be now you have your very own kisscurl… *swoons*

        I shall listen after the tennis finishes for the day.

  9. 62 Lady Dunamis June 16, 2016 at 15:14

    Dude! I think you have been set up on purpose, as if setting up someone is never intentional.

    What is your plan?

    • 63 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:35

      I’ll destroy the person who set me up. In the worst possible way. How’s that?

      • 64 Lady Dunamis June 17, 2016 at 15:08

        Sounds lovely. 😈

      • 65 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 12:59

        Oh dear. That evil little purple face!

  10. 66 Susan P June 16, 2016 at 14:56

    Do you always cave so quickly?

    • 67 Lady Dunamis June 16, 2016 at 15:12

      Knowing him he caves when it is convenient.

      • 68 Susan P June 16, 2016 at 17:27

        You have a point.

      • 69 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:40

        Now, now.

      • 70 Susan P June 17, 2016 at 21:30


      • 71 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:15

        Well…I was just…oh dear.

      • 72 Susan P June 21, 2016 at 17:59

        You did not. Please tell me you did not.

      • 73 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 21:01

        Oh dear. Am I in trouble?

      • 74 Susan P June 23, 2016 at 12:35

        I would say that it is a good chance.

      • 75 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 15:04

        Help, help!

      • 76 Susan P June 27, 2016 at 11:46

        Oh please. I thought you were a super hero?

      • 77 Professor VJ Duke June 28, 2016 at 13:18

        Well, only every so often.

      • 78 Susan P June 28, 2016 at 19:30

        Like Groot?

      • 79 Professor VJ Duke June 29, 2016 at 13:14

        I haven’t seen that yet…but yes!

      • 80 Susan P June 29, 2016 at 14:55

        I love that movie. My son brought it to me to watch with him awhile back. I love movies with a happy ending.

      • 81 Professor VJ Duke June 30, 2016 at 11:04

        Wasn’t it awesome?! I need to see it again. Did you like Spiderman?

      • 82 Susan P June 30, 2016 at 13:53

        Always. And, ummm Bat Man.

    • 83 Professor VJ Duke June 17, 2016 at 14:33

      Me? Cave? Of course not. I might live in one, tho

      • 84 Susan P June 17, 2016 at 21:31

        Nasty wet places to live I tell you.

      • 85 Professor VJ Duke June 21, 2016 at 13:15

        I thought caves were dry!

      • 86 Susan P June 21, 2016 at 17:56

        Slimy and icky.

      • 87 Professor VJ Duke June 22, 2016 at 21:00

        Snails are!

      • 88 Susan P June 23, 2016 at 12:36

        How do you know?

      • 89 Professor VJ Duke June 24, 2016 at 15:04

        I felt them before, see

      • 90 Susan P June 27, 2016 at 11:45

        Before what see?

      • 91 Professor VJ Duke June 28, 2016 at 13:18

        Haha. Before now see

      • 92 Susan P June 28, 2016 at 19:29

        Well? What did you see?

      • 93 Professor VJ Duke June 29, 2016 at 13:14


      • 94 Susan P June 29, 2016 at 14:57

        Are you sure you want to get into that kind of trouble?

      • 95 Professor VJ Duke June 30, 2016 at 11:04

        Sure. I’m game for any sort of trouble. That’s trouble I can handle.

      • 96 Susan P June 30, 2016 at 13:50

        Have you ever run into a wasp nest? Now that is trouble.

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