ISLAND OF SODOR – Sir Topham Hatt, the longtime controller of the North West Railway on the Island of Sodor, resigned at a press conference yesterday after several reports surfaced of bizarre and inappropriate behaviour around Sodor’s trains.
Sir Hatt, who is also known by the politically incorrect moniker ‘The Fat Controller’, has worked for the railway for decades, and was promoted to the top job in 1943. While he has an excellent public reputation for running a railway, many former employees have reported overhearing him talking to the trains, addressing them by names he created for them, and alternately reprimanding them for being “naughty” and lauding them for being “really useful.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Rose Pound, who worked for the Sodor railway from 2002-2006. “It’s like he thought they were alive. If a train crashed, instead of starting an investigation into what mechanical failures led to the crash, he would tell the train, who he insisted was named Thomas, how disappointed he was and wag his finger at it.”
“The rest of us had to work around his craziness.”
While most of the British rail system converted from steam to diesel in the 1930s, Sir Topham Hatt decided to maintain a steam fleet on Sodor, claiming that the diesel engines were, “mean and jealous types, and had not earned the glory of pulling a passenger train. Especially the express, that’s Gordon’s job. Oh that Gordon! He is proud!”
“He admitted to me once over a pint that he has Ringo Starr’s voice in his head constantly, narrating everything he does,” said longtime friend George Peters. ”But sometimes it’s not Ringo Starr, it’s George Carlin, or Alec Baldwin. Anyway, he probably shouldn’t be running a major railway company.”
While Sir Topham Hatt, whose knighthood is in danger of being revoked, claims he was not forced into resignation, he did go into a long diatribe at the press conference blaming the ‘naughty engines’ for his downfall, and speculated that his twin, Sir Lowham Hatt, could have been responsible for at least some of the irregularities.