WHEN The Doctor and The Colonel aren't slipping Viagra to the penguins on Middle Island, they're solving the problems facing the south-west.
This week, The Doctor was tending to his ant farm in their secret headquarters in the Fletcher Jones Silver Ball when The Colonel returned looking very alarmed.
"It's the apocalypse, Doctor!" The Colonel exclaimed, bolting the door shut. "I think 2012 has come a year early!"
"What is it this time, Colonel?" The Doctor asked without looking up. "Plague of locusts? Double rainbow? Plague of double rainbows?"
"Actually, come to think of it, that double rainbow I saw yesterday did look kind of ominous," The Colonel mused. "But no, Doctor, this is far more serious. I'm talking about an omen so horrifying that it could only mean one thing - the complete and total destruction of the planet. I'm talking about a terrifying sign pointing to the end of days. I'm talking about a devastating portent that will bring civilisation to its knees. I'm talking about a plague of gnomes."
"Gnomes?" The Doctor asked. "You mean those little ceramic dudes that sit around in gardens fishing all day... and that are inanimate?"
"Precisely, Doctor. You know what those little bastards are doing while they're sitting and fishing? Plotting."
"If you're referring to the garden gnomes appearing around the main streets of Warrnambool, I think you'll find it's a guerilla art project."
"Ha," The Colonel said, "I should have known gorillas were involved. That's it - we're screwed. If you want me, I'll be in the bunker." The Colonel began to head for the door but stopped. "No, damn it - I won't run and hide. That's exactly what the Gnome-Gorilla Alliance wants me to do."
The Doctor sighed. "Listen to me, Colonel - it's not the end of the world, it's an art project."
"Same thing in my book, Doctor. And besides, this is just the last in a string of apocalyptic events. The world has been ravaged by earthquakes, floods, fires, war and Charlie Sheen. There are dozens of expert crackpots like myself around the world who are certain that the ultimate cataclysm is upon us."
"Colonel, calm down," The Doctor said. "This whole Mayan-calendar-2012-end-is-nigh stuff is just a load of crap and there's really nothing to worry about. You should be more concerned about climate change."
"But what if you're wrong, Doctor?"
"Well, if I'm wrong, then there'll be no one left to point that out."
"I'll find a way."