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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hemming-Clark

The Syphoning Badge

Horace Horrise is back!

Friday was another great scout meeting. John [Scout Leader] asked us last week what badges we would like to do and to bring whatever we needed to help earn it. Charlie said "syphoning" and John just hurumped so Charlie took that as a yes. On the way home he said that his daddy was running low on petrol and so was a bit stuck. His daddy told Charlie that in the old days people used to syphon petrol. Charlie didn't know how to do it but on Friday turned up at the hut with a length of hose.

"I hope that you're not going to use that for a nefarious purpose?" John asked him and Charlie just said, "No," 'cos he had no idea what he was talking about and it sounded like it should be the right answer which it was 'cos then John was very helpful.

He explained that a siphon allows liquid to travel up and then down making use of gravity. He put a bowl of water on a table and a bowl below it. He stuck one end of Charlie's hose in the water and sucked. When the hose was full of water he quickly put the end of the hose that he had been sucking in the bowl on the floor. The water was sucked into the hose and it filled up the bowl on the floor. Impressive stuff!

When we left the scout hut Charlie poked around in the hedge and pulled out a red, plastic fuel can. We tried a few cars but the filler caps were locked then we found a van with an unlocked flap. Charlie undid the cap, stuck the hose down the filler tube as far as it would go and started to suck. He told me that it was okay if we siphoned a little bit 'cos no one really minds. He wasn't very good at it though 'cos the petrol kept going back down the tube. "Come on," I said as I grabbed the hose. "Let me have a go."

I put the tube in my mouth and sucked really hard. It was disgusting! I got a mouthful of petrol but we managed to fill up the fuel can and so Charlie went home happy. I went home to mummy. It was one of those unfortunate coincidences that as I walked into the kitchen and said, "Hallo," with a bit of a splutter she turned on the gas hob to warm up some milk for my hot chocolate.

Anyway I'm back from the hospital now but Charlie came off a bit worse 'cos how was he to know that we had sucked out diesel and his daddy's car uses petrol? I bet it tastes the same. His daddy's really stuck now apparently.

"The Further Adventures of Horace Horrise" is out on 1st November.

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