Home > Fiction > Literary Lion – A Homonym Too Far

Literary Lion – A Homonym Too Far

Here is my contribution to Laura’s Literary Lion challenge, which has a 400 word maximum. This week the Literary Lion has supplied the prompt word “time”.

I had lots of ideas for this week and finally went for the maddest one :-).

Flowering thyme

Flowering thyme – image from Wikimedia Commons, attributed to user “Greenmars”


“Thyme. A king among herbs.”

This was the opening line of the presentation given at the Twelfth Annual Conference of Advanced Physics, Manchester by Professor Grint Bigglesworth.

Bigglesworth, a man so convinced of his own infallibility that “mistakes” were something which happened to other people. A man who, in his youth, had developed a theory which had made him impossible to ignore, much as everyone wanted to.

An appreciative laugh rippled through the audience. Biggleworth was slightly confused – he’d decided not to start with the standard opening joke – but carried on unperturbed.

“Used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming and by the Greeks as incense, today we use it…” he continued.

Had he taken a moment to think, he might have wondered why his allotted topic at a conference of advanced physics was a discourse on a small green plant. Had he looked at the faces of his audience (all inferior to him, as he believed), he might have noticed the grins of embarrassment. the nervous fidgeting. Had he insisted on a written copy of his invitation to speak, he might have noticed the spelling of the word “time”.

However, he did none of these things. And thus he continued extolling the virtues of thymus vulgaris for a full hour and thirty minutes.

He was instantly ruined. No-one would return his calls. No journal would accept his submissions. His university finally had an excuse to be rid of him.

And so on that day, a self-important blowhard was forever removed from the invitation list of every major scientific conference in the world. On that day, a self-righteous narcissist with all the social graces of a cucumber was denied access to all public forums. On that day, an annoyingly persistent serial letter-writer was permanently barred from publication in any respectable (and many less respectable) scientific publications, magazines and newspapers.

Was it an honest mistake, an insidious conspiracy or rampant stupidity that brought him to this? Do we care? Let us just sit, close our eyes, take a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit perhaps, and be thankful.


Categories: Fiction Tags: ,
  1. July 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Poor Bigglesworth! I know I know, he’s supposed to deserve it. Still…. what a horrible mistake for him to make!


    • July 26, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I bet that situation is many people’s worst nightmare. I do feel a bit sorry for him myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. July 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Too bad for him. It is always better to think before speaking, and moreover, humbleness is always appreciated.


    • July 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

      And humble he definitely is not! He probably still hasn’t acknowledged that it was his mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July 25, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Oh dear, it is a shame that Professor Bigglesworth had to learn the hard way that Time is the longest distance between two places, in his case an hour and a half is the time between the apparent top and the rock bottom.If only he had realized in the nick if time that time waits for no man, that time is what we want the most yet use the worst, that time keeps on ticking into the future… ah but I digress.


    • July 26, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Hey – you could do your own “time” Literary Lion with that! I especially like “time is what we want the most yet use the worst”. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. July 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Ah, isn’t it satisfying when the flapping sound really IS the chickens coming home to roost?


    • July 26, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Yep! Everything has finally caught up with him.


  5. July 26, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I’d like to think one of his poor, abused grad students set him up for this mighty fall…


  6. July 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Looks like Bigglesworth was getting a bit too absent-minded to be teaching. He’s not far from being like that elderly teacher in Harry Potter who died and didn’t realize it so his ghost still showed up for lectures, entering through the wall. Hilarious, Ali, and well done. 😀


    • July 26, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Let’s hope he learns some humility during his enforced retirement! I’ve seen some Harry Potter but not that one. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually!
      I’m glad you liked it.


  7. July 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I think it was perhaps the arrogance that bit him on the bum in the end… Bigglesworth is a great name, and as usual a very imaginative piece.


    • July 26, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      I think so too. He was so convinced he was always right. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. July 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    This had me laughing, really lovely.


  9. July 26, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    What unforgiven bunch. Funny story non the less.


    • July 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

      He’s spent too long winding too many people up. I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Susan Langer
    July 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Very funny story about a pompous SOB. He deserved what he got. 🙂


  11. NotAPunkRocker
    July 27, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Given my daily interactions with professors, I don’t have any doubt that this would not only happen, but it would be twisted to be someone else’s fault for years to come (for anyone who will bother listening, that is)


    • July 27, 2015 at 8:18 am

      I’m sure Bigglesworth spent hours trying to convince everyone it wasn’t his fault 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. July 27, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Oh, Karma, how I love thee.


    • July 27, 2015 at 8:21 am

      He finally had to reap what he’s been sowing all these years.


  13. gentlestitches
    July 27, 2015 at 8:13 am

    HaHaHaHa! Poor old Bigglesworth but pure joy to everyone who knew him!


    • July 27, 2015 at 8:21 am

      I bet there was a party in his old university department that night!


      • gentlestitches
        July 27, 2015 at 11:42 pm

        peeps always bring joy, some when they arrive and others when they leave. ❤


  14. Lyn
    July 27, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Considering he’s something of a haughtyculturist, Bigglesworth should have wondered why he was asked to deliver a speech at the Twelfth Annual Conference of Advanced Physics. He’s obviously been set up big time.
    Put me down for a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit…especially if it’s a Hobnob 😉


  15. July 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Ha ha ha – maybe there’s such a thing as karma, after all? Very amusing response to the prompt 🙂


    • July 28, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Yep, and it finally caught up with him 🙂
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. August 1, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Great take on the word time.
    Absolutely loved it!


    • August 1, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Thanks! I like to do something I bit different when I can, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. July 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

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