Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Interview Series: Mr. Toad

This time around, we find ourselves in the sumptuous, but slightly damp splendor of Toad Hall. That's right, Mr. Toad, famous playboy and toad about town, has agreed to sit and talk with us for a bit.

Greg:  Thank you for inviting us. I hear that your schedule is very busy, so I won't keep you long. What kinds of things do you do?

Mr. Toad:  Oh, well, where to start? The life of an aristocrat is not all peaches and cream, certainly. I have a busy social schedule. The whole of the district looks to me to provide leadership. It's not an easy burden, but one I take on willingly as a mark of my birth.

Greg:  And I'm sure the entire county is grateful for that. Still, I've heard rumors of a number of  disturbing incidents. For example, there was something about a motor car...

Mr. Toad:  Ah yes. A regrettable incident, that. I'll admit that things got a trifle out of hand. You see, I've always had a fascination for anything new--and expensive. I had been on an outing with two associates--Rat and Mole. We were riding cross country in a horse drawn caravan.

Suddenly, we were run off the road by a superb vehicle. It was one of those newfangled motor cars. Rat and Mole were quite put out, but I was spellbound. I had never seen such a combination of speed and power. It was then that I determined to pilot one of them as soon as could be. Riding in a caravan seemed rather dull after that.

Greg:  So you went out and bought one?

Mr. Toad:  Er, umm, well I'm afraid I am rather impetuous when a craze strikes. Yes, I purchased the first one. I had rather a lot of nasty accidents--totally beyond my control you understand--that wound up costing me quite a bit in repairs and fines. 

Greg:  Oh dear. I hope no one was hurt.

Mr. Toad:  No one besides myself. I wound up in hospital several times. However, that did not stop me. I was still keen to have a go, you see. I loved the freedom of the open road--the scenery whizzing by, the cool wind on my face, the glory of being out in the open, free to travel like the wind.

My associates, and a large part of the district did not see things in quite the same light for some reason. Rat and Mole enlisted the aid to that infernal Badger to arrange what I suppose would be called an intervention these days. They locked me up in Toad Hall and would not let me out.

But the call of the road was too strong. I tricked them and escaped. I must admit that a kind of madness descended upon me at that point. I stole a motor car and careered around the district until I was apprehended by the police.

Greg:  What happened then?

Mr. Toad:  The magistrate sentenced me to 20 years in prison. I simply could not believe it. I mean, did you ever? I'm too rich to be thrown in jail like some common criminal.

Greg:  What did you do?

Mr. Toad:  Well, I escaped, naturally. What else could I do? I certainly could not stay locked up. I have quite a delicate constitution after all. After escaping, I decided to take a tour of the countryside.

Ironically, I met up with the owners of the motor car that I borrowed. They gave me a lift--I was in disguise you see. I felt the driving urge welling up, and asked them if I could have a go. They graciously let me take thee wheel, and the frenzy was upon me once more.

Of course after we had crashed into the river, they saw through my disguise, and I was forced to hop it.

Greg:  What an amazing tale. I sure hope you learned something from all of this.

Mr. Toad:  Oh, indeed I have. If you are going to steal a motor car, get out of town quickly, don't hang about. And never, under any circumstances, steal the same car twice.

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