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When I got out into the street and met the disgorging picture-palaces capering on the pavements and humming it (for he had put the gramophones on with the films), and when I saw far to the south the red electrics flash ‘Gubby’ across the Thames, I feared more than ever.


This is from “The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat” in A Diversity of Creatures

A local magistrate has fined a group if motorists for speeding through his village, and held them up to ridicule in court. Unfortunately they include a newspaper owner, an MP, a music-hall impresario, and a writer who bears a passing resemblane to the author.

In revenge they mobilise all their resources, and make the village a public laughing-stock, with the aid of newspaper articles, a dance – the ‘Gubby’ – and a music-hall song. Their campaign captures the public imagination, and develops with a force and momentum that scares its makers.