red dwarf infinity welcomes careful drivers
of Rimmer's left boot.
Rimmer looked at his left boot, then slowly raised his head.
'Some people's respect I've won already. I can see with you it's going to take a little longer. Now,
get on the floor and give me fifty, mister.'
'Ppt,' said the big man, and a second stream of half-chewed tobacco arrived on
Rimmer's right boot. Rimmer rocked back and forth on his heels, nodding his head and still
'Right. OK,' he said, pleasantly, 'I think that's about everything. Shift dismiss.'
Slowly, Z Shift began to meander out of the lecture theatre.
'Oh, by the way...' Rimmer called after the tobacco chewer. As the man halfturned,
Rimmer leapt through the air and, with a kamikaze scream, wrapped his arms and legs
round the big man's frame, and they crashed into a row of chairs.
As Lister left the theatre, Rimmer was having his head rhythmically beaten against one of the
'Fine,' Rimmer was saying.
'There's nothing wrong...'
'...with your reactions.'
'So you like chewing tobacco, eh?'
'Well, that's absolutely fine and dandy.'
'Perhaps you'd like me to run down to Supplies and buy you some more.'
'I think I'm going to lose consciousness now.'
Everyone agreed it was a splendid funeral, but no one enjoyed it more than the deceased
'I can't tell you how great it is, being dead,' he told everyone who would listen. It's solved all my
Every off-duty member of the eleven thousand, one hundred-and-sixty-nine strong crew had
packed into the vast ship canteen.
McIntyre sat at the top table, a huge coffin-shaped cake containing his own effigy in marzipan
before him, and listened, his ego aglow, while bis fellow officers sang his praises.
Saunders, much to his own personal delight, had finally been turned off, and although initially
there had been some concern about hologramatically reviving a man who had killed himself,
those doubts were allayed when the reasons for
McIntyre's suicide were discovered.
McIntyre rose to the sound of tumultuous applause, and fingered the 'H'
emblazoned on his hologramatic forehead, as over eight thousand people stamped on the floor
and banged wine glasses with forks and spoons.
'Well, first I want to thank the Captain for the beautiful eulogy - uh, it was very flattering and
deeply moving, and it was well worth all that time I spent writing it.'
A huge laugh echoed round the canteen, and McIntyre smiled happily.
'On a serious note, I know there's a rumour going around that I committed suicide. I'd like to try
and explain why I did it...'
McIntyre started to talk about his gambling debts. Debts he'd incurred during his ship leave in
bars on Phoebe, Dione and Rhea playing 'Toot'.
'Toot' was a banned bloodsport, involving a fight to the death between two specially-bred
Vernisian fighting snails. The ferocious gastropods, with handsharpened
horns, would meet in a six-foot square pit, and bets would be taken on the eventual
victor. 'Eventual' was the word; a single butt from a Venusian fighting snail could take upwards
of three hours to deliver, and the whole combat often took days. Meanwhile, the baying
spectators got drunker and drunker, placing bets of wilder and wilder proportions. You could
lose a lot of money playing 'Toot'. And McIntyre had. McIntyre admitted it was a cruel and
pointless sport, which said much about man's inhumanity to just about everything to which he
could be inhuman. But the buzz from watching two killer snails charging about slowly in the
concrete pit; the roaring of the crowd as one snail drew blood, and the other retreated into its
shell for hours on end... well, you had to be there to believe it.
Before he knew it, McIntyre had debts amounting to almost five times his annual salary. In
desperation to pay off the Ganymedian Mafia who ran the snail pits, he'd taken a massive loan
from the Golden Assurance Friendly and
Caring Loan Society, which, as it turned out, was also run by the Ganymedian
Mafia. He didn't know it when he signed, but they charged an annual percentage rate (APR) of