You know the feeling - your bags are packed, you've triple checked the passports, your pockets are stuffed with travel ham. This is going to be the best holiday ever.
But as your horse drawn taxi clatters toward the airport a terrible sensation creeps up your spine.
What have you forgotten?
You took the bear to the bear sitter, check. Household gas and electricity supply doesn't exist yet, it can't be that. Snuff boxes? They've all been sorted alphabetically, all good.
Out of the window you see a doughnut on the floor. Doughnut. Daughnut. Daughter! The blood drains from your face - "Taxi - STOP! Turn around! We must go back!"
How could you be so stupid! You've forgotten to marry your daughter to someone incredibly wealthy. Disneyland will have to wait.
With shaking cheeks and clenched fists, you slowly tear your non-refundable tickets in two. When all the children are married, you'll probably be able to buy your own Disneyland. All in good time, all in good time.
Sick and tired of having grapes shot at you all day? Fed up of cheese rolls and barefooted handsome psychopaths? Are you longing for your old life of decadence? A life of seemingly endless and interchangeable social gatherings? A life full of turtle-based snacks and unforgettable anecdotes from the freshest diplomatists that Russia has to offer?
Are your hands really massive and red?
Do you need a wife? DO YOU WANT A WIFE?!
If you answered 'YES!' to any of these questions, we think you're ready for Book 3.
"Pop another turtle on the BBQ and fetch my party wig!"
This week we're giving Tolstoy a well earned rest - while he enjoys a Turkish pipe and a nice hot bath, we're diving head first into the blue, blood-warm waters of William Golding's Lord of the Flies.
Lauded alongside War and Peace as one of the greatest books of all time, Lord of the Flies finally answers the age old question 'should society be exclusively run by small children?'
A bunch of boys crash land on a desert island, within minutes they've founded a small democratic island nation. It's all going wizzoh, wizzard, perhaps even smashing - but are cool catchphrases, casual bullying, and a jolly good adventure enough to hold a society together?
Oh, and there's an evil pig ghost thing that maybe wants them all dead.
You've finished Book 2 of War and Peace! Take a bow. The crowd are chanting your name!
"YOU ARE SO DIPLOMAT <YOUR NAME>!" They scream and cry.
Flowers fall from the sky. You wipe a single tear from your cheek and take a triumphant bite of delicious ham.
If you've been with us from the start, or are but a simple traveller on the literary podcast highway looking for a refresh of Book 2 of the greatest book ever, take a seat. Grab a pen, fluff a pillow and get ready to quiz.
We've got questions about war, horses, distance, Smurfs, ham, ships and of course spiders. How many points can you get? There really is only one way to find out...
Cue Game Show Music!
Be sure to join us in two weeks (29th of April) for another special episode. We'll be back with Book 3 on the 13th of May.
0-10 = The Coward Zherkov
11-20 = A Daring Dholokov
21 - 30 = King or Queen of the Wattleshed
30+ = Darren himself
I've just been going through the official WAPIN7 End of Book Checklist, and I'm pleased to say today's episode really has got it all:
✅ Intense dramatic tension
✅ New horse x 1
✅ Andy Pandy mic droppin' all over the shop
✅ Incredible literary prose
✅ Multiple descriptions of HANDS
✅ Unbelievable displays of military incompetence
✅ Minor arguments about shoes and logs
✅ AT LEAST ONE naked man
Anyway, just wanted to say it's been great to make this season with you - despite what everyone says about you you're actually a pretty OK guy. When you next speak to the audience can you tell them how awesome and great they are, and also mention that Season 3 will start on the 13th of May with a couple of SPECIAL episodes in the gap, make it sound really exciting and mysterious (because it is).
You're so diplomat!
quickly and without warning; unexpectedly
Will was perfectly summarising a chapter of War and Peace when suddenly Steve interjected and told him off for saying “‘suddenly” too much. Will, like the hapless General, turned purple with rage and was about to defend his honour when SUDDENLY -
Be honest, you’re extremely intrigued to find out what happens next.
Goodbye, Darren, my old friend
You were a horsey to the end
You softly galloped on your sweet hooves
The bravest friend that we could ever lose
I have a vision, of you nibbling on some hay
In the sky
Within the barn of silence
In restless dreams you trot alone
Narrow fields of mud and stone
'Neath the halo of Rostov's lamp
You turned your collar to the Smurfs and ham
When your eyes were stabbed by the flash of a cannon's light
That split the night
And shook the barn of silence
And in the naked light you saw
Ten thousand horses, maybe more
Horses talking without speaking
Horses hearing without listening
Horses writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the barn of silence
"Hruff," said you, "You do not know
Silence like hay only grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my hooves that I might reach you."
But his words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the barn of silence
And the horses bowed and prayed
To the Smurf based god they made
And the Papa wrote out his warning
In the words that he was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the horses
Are written on the wattle's walls
And palace halls
And whispered in the barn of silence."
You'd be forgiven for thinking the beginning of the book was the beginning - oh how naive you are! 41 chapters in and now it's really time to get things started.
The horses are primed, the ham supplies are looking good and the cannon balls have been mopped to perfection.
One thing we hadn't thought of was the requirement of an extremely well dressed Accountant...
Now that he's here, calculator in hand, there's really only one thing left to say -
Thank you to Julia (@julia.g_rockwell) for braving the trials of time travel to send us this truly masterful image of Vera’s spider filled mouth. For legal reasons we absolutely must point out that we cannot confirm or deny whether Vera’s mouth is actually filled with spiders, but if it turns out it is, this is surely what it would look like. Thank you again Julia, hopefully it goes without saying that we absolutely love getting drawings like these, even if they will haunt our dreams until the end of time.
As ever Julia's drawing takes its place along side the other works of art on the walls of Tolstoy's Hall of Fame.
Do you want to be SUCCESSFUL?
Do you want to be IMPRESSIVE, FAMOUS and ATTRACTIVE?
Do you want to be heroically KILLED BY GRAPE SHOT?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'YES I DO', 'PERHAPS' or 'NOT REALLY' then WAPIN7's Climbing The Success Pyramid is the hot new motivational book for YOU.
Learn why the most successful people only ever wear denim, how epigrams can make you look smart, and how your pre-existing connections, influence and money can get you what you want.
Don't wait - listen to this week's episode now and climb the pyramid today.
You know the saying, "War and Peace go together like birds of a feather".
Birds have lots of feathers, you see, and a bird would not actually be legally called a bird if it had no feathers... Which is a lot like war and peace when you think about it. I mean, when you really think about it.
Can you ever truly have peace without having some war? Does war inevitably always lead to peace? Is there a bird that exists in the wild without feathers, and if so, will it declare an unstoppable war?!
We, like the Russian Generals, have absolutely no idea.
*No birds were harmed (or even mentioned) in this episode.