Readers Nuggets:
This is Jon's 'Spot the pun' competition. Open to all, no prizes.
The Man with the Golden Pun
    "Good morning, James."
    "Good morning, Moneypenny. You're looking as lovely as ever."
    "Well, I could say the same to you, James, but I'd be wasting my breath, wouldn't I? All those books, God knows how many films, and not a sausage. The only physical contact I've had is with that spy who shoved me."
"Well, don't blame me, sweetheart; take it up with the management. If it was left to me I'd --- "
    "Leave it, James. This is for a family audience."
    "Well, look, if it helps, I'll buy you another present. How about jewellery?"
    "I don't think so. That's more my sister Eva's line of country. I prefer perfume."
    "Very well then, let me make a note; Chanel is for Moneypenny, diamonds are for Eva."
    "Well, if you must buy her something, get her a ring."
    "What sort and what size?"
    "Oh, gold, of course. About the same as your little finger."
    "Gold - finger - Right. But don't think I'm going to make a habit of this."
    "I know. I've already had one present, and you only give twice."
    "Any idea why M wants me this time? Saving the free world again, is it?"
    "I've no idea, James, but you'd better go in at once."
    "I shall. Catch you later, sweetheart. Er - "
    "Yes, James?"
    "About M. This isn't the one where it's a woman, is it?"
    "No, James, it's not."
    "Thank God for that."

    "Ah, 007, glad to see you. How was Tahiti?"
    "It was a sound stage in Pinewood and a shoot on the Northampton Steam Railway."
    "Oh. Bad luck, 007. Still, can't have a lot of focus-pullers and suchlike getting a free holiday, can we?"
    "No, sir."
    "Now, James, as I'm sure you're aware, we've had to have a few changes around here. The damned Russkies didn't play fair on us. We never wanted them to give in like that -. buggered up my budget for years. It's all peace and goodwill now - from Russia with doves - Anyway, to stay in business we have to diversify."
    "You're surely not going to send me to Belfast, sir?"
    "No, no, no - bloody Paddies jacked it in as well - can't rely on anyone these days. No, I've got something rather delicate to ask of you, 007."
    "Always at her Majesty's service, sir."
    "Yes -. Tell me, 007, what do you think of, er, literature?"
    "Poncey stuff churned out by a lot of workshy Communists, sir. Still, live and let - "
    "Exactly so, 007, exactly so, and yet - this is possibly the most difficult assignment I've ever had to give you."
    "You're going to ask me to read a book? Well, sir, I will if I must."
    "It's worse than that, Jim, you're going to have to go into a book."
    "Into a book? How? And don't call me Jim just for the sake of a cheap gag."
    "Sorry, 007. Well, have you ever heard of someone called Sherlock Holmes?"
    "Of course, sir. Very famous detective. Lived last century, didn't he?"
    "He wasn't real, 007. Anyway, we have been approached by his brother - "
    "If he wasn't real, how can he have a brother?"
    "Don't interrupt, 007, I'm coming to that. This brother - he's called
Mycroft - claims to have invented a device that allows real people to enter fiction, and vice-versa."
    "Sounds damned unlikely, sir."
    "I know, but Q's been onto it and it actually works. That's how Mycroft contacted us, using this Prose Portal thingy."
    "If you say so, sir. I don't see where I come in, though."
    "Well, the thing is, it's gone a bit pear-shaped, 007. There's a possibility that certain unsavoury elements might get hold of this device, and allow undesirables to cross into our world. Can you imagine what havoc a man like Moriarty could wreak were he to be let out?"
    "I don't see how much trouble a cat could be - "
    "Not the one from Cats, 007, Moriarty, the villain from Sherlock Holmes!"
    "Oh. I see."
    "Yes, and it's not just him. This literature stuff is full of unspeakable villains of all kinds, to say nothing of Supreme Evil Beings, Bug Eyed Monsters and ghosts and ghoulies of all descriptions. "
    "I can see the problem, sir. You want me to go into this Mycroft's book, find the Prose Portal, and then bring it out so it can be destroyed. Consider it done, sir."
    "No, no, 007, you don't understand. The real plan - and this is for your ears only - is that I want you go into the book, get the Portal, and then use it to go into all the other books and let them all out!"
    "Don't you see, 007, we need a regular supply of villains to justify our existence. As soon as some bean-counter starts questioning our budget, all we have to do is pop into a book, drag out some baddie, thwart his evil wiles, and hey presto, everybody loves MI6 again."
    "I see what you mean, sir, but don't you think that's a bit, er, unethical, sir?"
    "Let me put it this way. It's either this or you get into a bed-sheet and start learning Arabic."
    "I'll go and see Q right away, sir."
    "Good man, 007. Oh, and one more thing. Have you been to see the medic?"
    "Doctor? No."
    "Well, you better had. Could catch anything in one of these books, you know. You'll need some sort of immunisation. I'll set up a visit for you, with a view to a pill."
        "Thank-you, sir."

Jon Brierley