Authors: Duncan Ball
To all the kids who have written to me and to Selby.
When Selby rang me and told me these stories, it left me in a state of shock. Just the adventure he had with Dr Trifle’s Wall Walkers and climbing the Crystal Tower could have filled this whole book but, no, he was also captured by a robot, he had to break out of prison, deal with the most superstitious people on earth, and then there was that dreadful operation. Quite frankly, after hearing about these adventures, I don’t know what to believe anymore.
Anyone who has read about Selby knows that Selby is a real talking dog. But ‘Selby’ isn’t his real name. He made it up. He won’t tell me his real name, or the real name of Bogusville, or the Trifles — or anything. When I’m writing the stories this can be confusing. For example, recently the Trifles read a Selby book. And Mrs Trifle said, ‘Goodness me’ (she often says ‘Goodness me’) ‘that dog, Selby, is a lot like our Selby.’Well, of course their dog is the real Selby and his name isn’t really ‘Selby’ but I couldn’t write, ‘That dog, Selby, is a lot like our Ralph’ because Selby’s real name isn’t Ralph either. Oh, now my brain is totally scrambled. Anyway, you’ll work it out when you read the stories.
I hope you like them.
SELBY ON ICE
‘A red ship is sailing along and it runs into a blue ship. All the passengers were marooned. Get it?’
Gary Gaggs, the famous comedian and friend of the Trifles was in Dr and Mrs Trifle’s lounge room, telling his latest jokes.
‘Red and blue:
I get it,’ Selby thought. ‘This guy kills me.’
‘Two ropes are hanging over the side of a ship,’ Gary continued. ‘One of them says, “Are you a rope?” and the other one says, “I’m afraid not.” Woo woo woo. Get it: a
‘Are these the jokes you’re going to be telling on the
Fun ‘n’ Happy Cruise?’
Mrs Trifle asked.
‘These are the jokes, folks,’ Gary said. ‘They’re going to broadcast them all around the ship so people can hear them no matter where they are. I’m going to make the
Fun ‘n’ Happy Cruise
fun fun fun and hap-hap-happy. Why don’t you two come along?’
‘We could use a break,’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘What ship is it?’
‘It’s called the
Rose Bouquet 2.’
Rose Bouquet 2?
I remember the
Rose Bouquet 1.
Didn’t it sink?’
‘That’s right,’ Gary said. ‘It hit an iceberg but everyone got off safely.’
‘It’s very odd to name a ship after one that sank,’ Dr Trifle said.
‘They didn’t name it
the other one,’ Gary explained. ‘The
Rose Bouquet 2
Rose Bouquet 1
fixed up.They just refloated it.’
‘Wow, that’s weird,’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘I’d feel strange sailing in a ship that’s been at the bottom of the sea.’
‘Me, too,’ Selby thought as a shiver shot up his spine.’Sunken ships. Spooky-dooky.’
‘There’s nothing to worry about,’ Gary told the Trifles. ‘But seriously, people are begging to
go on this cruise. Of course if they beg, they aren’t allowed to go.’
‘Because beggars can’t be
Woo woo woo,’ Gary said, strutting around like a chicken as he did when he told a joke.
‘Yes, very good,’ Mrs Trifle said, still wondering about Gary’s joke. ‘But what will we do with Selby?’
‘Bring him along. I’ll tell the
Fun ‘n’ Happy Cruise
people that if they don’t let Selby go, I won’t go.’
‘In that case,’ Mrs Trifle said, ‘count us in.’
‘Oh boy, oh boy,’ Selby thought. ‘I’m going on a real live cruise. And I get to hear all of Gary’s great jokes! This is going to be so much fun!’
Two days later, Selby and the Trifles boarded the
Rose Bouquet 2.
‘They haven’t done a great fixing-up job,’ Mrs Trifle said as she looked at the rust streaks down its sides.
‘No,’ Dr Trifle agreed. ‘It looks like they’ve just spray-painted over the rust. Come on, let’s find our stateroom.’
Down and down they went to the lowest deck. All along the walls Selby could see paint-covered bits of seaweed and barnacles.
‘Sheeesh,’ Selby thought. ‘This ship gives me the heebie-jeebies. It reminds me of when I went down in that submarine and got stuck in the wreck of the
S. S. Humungous.
I don’t know if I’m going to like this.’
Soon the ship had cast off and Selby and the Trifles stood on the deck, watching the land disappear into the distance.
‘Surely there wouldn’t be any icebergs around here,’ Mrs Trifle said, nervously, looking up ahead of the ship.
‘It’s possible,’ Dr Trifle said. ‘In fact the iceberg this ship hit when it was the
Rose Bouquet 1
was right near here. It must have drifted all the way up from the Antarctic.’
‘I wish Dr Trifle hadn’t said that,’ Selby thought. ‘Now I’m really nervous. Bad enough that this ship has already sunk once. Double sheeeesh!’
‘Captains don’t always see icebergs,’ Dr Trifle went on, ‘because they’re mostly under water with just a tiny bit sticking up. When they do see them it’s often too late.Then the ice rips the ship apart.’
‘Rips the ship apart, triple sheeeeesh!’ Selby thought.
‘I wish you hadn’t told me that,’ Mrs Trifle said.’I’ll have iceberg nightmares.’
‘Me, too,’ Selby thought. ‘Now I’ve got icebergs on the brain.’
Suddenly there was the crackle of a loudspeaker.
‘Hiya hiya hiya,’ came Gary’s voice. ‘This is Gary Gaggs, your non-stop comic. I was just in the kitchen and this guy comes in with a fish in a fish tank. He says, “Do you know how to make fishcakes?” The cook says, “Certainly, sir.” So the guy says, “Then make him a chocolate cake. It’s his birthday.” Woo woo woo.’
‘I’m not sure I get that one,’ Mrs Trifle said to Dr Trifle.
‘Seriously, folks, the fish was swimming around in the tank with a cigarette in its mouth. It must have been a
fish. Woo woo woo.
There were these two fish in a tank. One of them says, “You drive and I’ll shoot the gun.” Get it? Two fish in a
‘Hey, I like that one,’ Selby thought.
‘This pirate wanted to have his ears pierced,’ Gary said. ‘He had to pay a buccaneer. That’s a
buck an ear,
folks. No kidding. There’s this guy who orders three dozen oysters. His wife says, “Can I have one?” And he says, “No, get your own.” She says, “That’s very
of you.” Woo woo woo. Once I opened a hundred oysters,’ Gary went on, ‘then I pulled a mussel.’
‘He pulled a mussel,’ Selby thought. ‘He’s too funny! Oh, no! He’s going to make me laugh!’
‘I got seasick at lunchtime. I ended up having two lunches — one down and one up. Woo woo woo. Seriously, folks, my watch must have been very hungry — it went back for seconds. Get it? It went back
Oh, you’re a lively group today. If you can’t laugh, just throw money. I asked the waiter what was taking the cook so long and he said, “He’s making spaghetti.” I said, “But spaghetti isn’t
even on the menu.” And he said, “He makes it just to
time.” I think I’ll give that guy a
my mind. Woo woo woo.’
‘Oh, Gary,’ Selby thought. ‘You’re brilliant!’
‘Let’s go up to the bridge,’ Dr Trifle said.
‘Bridge?’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘What bridge?’
‘The bridge is a room where the captain steers the ship,’ Dr Trifle explained. ‘They said we can go up there at any time.’
Selby followed Dr and Mrs Trifle up to the bridge. There was an old man standing at the wheel.
‘Captain Whitecap, at the helm,’ he said. ‘Welcome aboard.’
‘Captain Whitecap?’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘Are you any relation to the Captain Whitecap who was the captain of the
‘Yes … I mean no … I mean yes,’ the man said. ‘I mean it was me.’
‘So you’re the one who hit it?’
‘Please,’ the captain said, clutching his chest. ‘Don’t use that word. It brings back terrible memories.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘I was just surprised that you were the captain when this ship hit an ice … thingy and now you’re the captain again.’
‘Okay, so I made a silly little mistake once — twice — but that’s all behind me now.’
‘Twice?’ Mrs Trifle said. ‘You made
silly little mistakes?’
‘Yes, I was the captain of the
S. S. Humungous
when it sank after it hit … when it hit an … an …’