|Season 3, Episode 3|
|Air date||August 19th, 2014|
Old Slow Coach
Jack and Alfie Swap
Tom Tipper the Postman delivers mail all over the Island of Sodor. From stations like Knapford to places between stations, he always takes mail where the engines can't go. His role is very important, even if Thomas, Percy and Oliver help to deliver the mail across the railway.
One morning, when he woke up in his bedroom, Tom Tipper felt... somewhat off. He felt a lump in his throat and coughed. The man sighed as he sat up. "I just don't feel right," he said to himself, "I wonder what's wrong..." He contemplated a decision for a few moments. "Oh well, I can still get to work." Tom Tipper got dressed and walked out to his driveway, where his post van was sitting. He got into it and started the ignition, wheezing slightly. "Ugh... Must've not gotten enough sleep," he muttered as the post van started on its journey.
Later, Tom Tipper drove his mail van to Callan, where Thomas and Percy were waiting with their mail. The two tank engines were pleased to see their friend, and blew their whistles as a greeting. "Hello Tom Tipper." called Thomas cheerily. Tom Tipper tipped his hat to him and walked over to Thomas' trucks. He couldn't help but feel a random sensation of coldness, despite it being a relatively humid day out. However, he didn't want to alarm the engines, so he said nothing. The postman opened one of the doors, and started unloading the mail sacks from the mail coaches. "Lots of mail today," Thomas continued, "I suppose that new post office at Ffarquhar did some good." Tom Tipper chuckled as he started lifting a heavier mail sack, but then abruptly coughed violently. Percy was horrified. "What's happening? Are you sick, Mr. Tipper?" Tom Tipper tried to regain composure as he dropped the mail sack on the platform. "Well... *cough* ...I don't think so..." "Sounds like it," murmured Thomas. "Can... Can you do the unloading today?" Tom Tipper asked Thomas' crew, "I... I need to get in the van... I need to sit down... Ohhh..." Percy was more worried than before. "You sound dizzy, Mr. Tipper. Shall we call a doctor?" "Nonsense... I... need to deliver the mail... All the other postmen are busy..." Tom Tipper slowly walked over to his post van and quickly drove off. Thomas and Percy looked to each other anxiously. "Something about that wasn't right..." Thomas said. "You're telling me," replied Percy.
All morning, Tom Tipper delivered the mail along his route. He honked the horn at Bertie, who was pleased to see him, despite nothing that Tom Tipper was running a little late. "Tom Tipper's never late..." Bertie muttered, "And when he is, he usually has a good reason to be..." Later that morning, Tom Tipper drove up to Mrs. Kyndley's cottage. He coughed loudly as he sorted through the mail, finally coming across the parcel Mrs. Kyndley had ordered. The weak man walked up the stairs, and ran the doorbell. Mrs. Kyndley, who had overheard the loud coughing from her bedroom, had walked down the stairs with her cane as quickly as she could. She opened the door slowly, to find a sickly-looking Tom Tipper on her porch. "Here's your parcel m'am," he wheezed as he handed out the box to Mrs. Kyndley. The old lady winced as Tom Tipper coughed into his right arm sleeve. "Thank you," she said, taking the box gently, "But are you all right? You don't sound well at all. I heard your coughing all the way up in my bedroom." Tom Tipper sighed; he realized he couldn't ignore his health anymore. "I don't, to be completely honest. I'm sick... Probably with the flu." Mrs. Kyndley felt his forehead. "Indeed... You have a fever. Come on inside, I'll take care of you before a real doctor can take you to hospital." Tom Tipper sighed as he laid down on the couch. "Alright..." He groaned as he throat throbbed. Mrs. Kyndley ambled over to the house phone and dialed 999. "Hello? Yes, we need medical assistance for a man named Thomas Tipper, the postman. Yes. He's ill with influenza I believe. You'll be here right away, I hope. Oh right, you're a doctor, you're supposed to do that. Alright, goodbye." Soon, an ambulance was outside Mrs. Kyndley's cottage. "Thank you Mrs. Kyndley," coughed Tom Tipper as he was put in the ambulance. "No problem, gentleman," said Mrs. Kyndley as and the ambulance drove away.
A while later, Thomas was making his afternoon run, and was telling his coaches his worries about Tom Tipper. "He seemed to be genuinely sick, yet he was ignoring his health," he said worriedly. "Quite irresponsible," scoffed Annie. Clarabel gasped as she noticed an ambulance racing onto the road next to the line. "Look, you two! It's an ambulance!" A horrified expression crossed the tank engine's face as the ambulance drove right past him and turned onto a side street. "That ambulance must be heading to Hackenbeck Hospital," said Annie gravely. "It must be Tom Tipper!" Thomas exclaimed. "Figures," said Clarabel sadly, "I just hope he's alright..." "I wonder who'll take his place," Thomas thought aloud, "He surely can't deliver the mail in his current condition..."
That night, Thomas puffed into Knapford Station with the mail, still pondering the question he had asked that afternoon. He braked gently, scanning the platform. Thomas finally saw a thin man in a suit, similar to Tom Tipper's, with glasses, with a sour expression. "Stupid mail..." he grumbled, "Having to stay up all night like this... Preposterous." Thomas frowned. "Doesn't sound too friendly..." he muttered as quietly as he could. Despite the circumstances, he wanted to make the newcomer feel welcome, so he only found it best to introduce himself. "Hello sir," said the tank engine cheerfully, and he gave a swift "Toot, toot!". The man sat up and glared at him, making the tank engine flinch. "I'm not a 'sir', steam locomotive. I'm a clever, economically man with the last name of 'Jones', and the first name of 'David', but instead just call me 'Mr.' Jones. It sounds more formal." Thomas blinked. Mr. Jones scowled. "You don't even know what I just said, did you?" "Um... Maybe not... Well I sort of do, but you made it sound far too complicated." Mr. Jones scoffed. "Typical. All the engines here have low intelligence." Thomas was speechless. Mr. Jones started taking the mail he had to deliver, and started back towards the mall van. Thomas finally mustered up a response. "Wait, aren't you going to load the sacks like Tom Tipper?" he asked, trying not to let his agitation show. Mr. Jones turned behind him. "I have no time to help stupid engines with no brains," he muttered, "Besides, I have to deliver credit card bills and back-to-school gifts." The ignition was turned on and the van drove away. "Back-to-school gifts?" said his driver. "Well my sister's daughter sent one to her friend for... some reason," said the fireman. Thomas' face flushed with anger. "Stupid! Low intelligence! Huh!" The guard blew the whistle and Thomas stormed out of the station.
Later, Oliver was puffing into Tidmouth with some of the mail from along the Little Western. His cheeks were pink from trying to make up for lost time. "I'm so sorry, Tom Tipper," Oliver apologized, "I..." The Great Western engine broke off, shocked to find that it wasn't Tom Tipper on the platform, but a different postman, tapping his foot on the platform. "You're not Tom..." Oliver said suspiciously. "Darn right I'm not. Geez, first a tank engine who can't understand my intellect, then an auto tank engine who can't recognize facial features. I should've just gone with being a lawyer instead... I'd be paid more anyway..." Oliver was about to defend himself, but David Jones kept on rambling. "Maybe I should've tried being a workman instead as well. I mean, so many accidents occur here, it only seems fitting. And on top of it all, you and your blasted crew have no idea how a timetable works!" "Excuse me, mister," said Oliver's driver firmly, "We were held up at the crossing by a broken down vehicle. It couldn't have been helped." "Right," agreed Oliver. "No excuses," argued Mr. Jones, "This railway has proven twice now that their business is clearly pointless to the mail company. I think it's best that road handles the mail. At least we're smart. Now hurry up and unload these bags, I need them in my van, pronto." "Can't you do it yourself?" asked Oliver's driver, "They're right at your foot..." Mr. Jones looked down, noticing they were indeed by his feet, then looked back up at Oliver's crew. "Of course not. I'm much too busy to do that." grumbled Mr. Jones rudely, "I have to go all over Sodor, to give people their precious purchases, because they're too lazy to pick it up at a post office. Now hurry up with that, or else I'll be late, and I'll report you to your controller." "But... didn't you just say the railway was-" "Yes, little green tankie, but calling your controller provides me a good opportunity to lecture him on his dieting choices. Good day." Mr. Jones started back to his van, forcing Oliver's vexed crew to start unloading the mail. "Tankie?!" spluttered Oliver, "What even is that?! That makes me sound like an infant!" "It sounds like a cheaply made toy," grunted Oliver's driver as he threw a mail sack into the van. "Hurry up, you lot," snapped Mr. Jones. "Pardon me Mr. Oliver, but that man is very rude." said Toad gruffly as he watched Oliver's crew wok. "Yes, you're quite right Toad. The sooner Tom Tipper is back, the better," Oliver agreed darkly, glaring at his temporary replacement. On the road, Bertie grinned as he spotted the familiar post van. "Hello, Mr. Tipper! How are you?" Mr. Jones rolled his eyes, and blared his horn at him. Bertie screeched to a halt, shocked. "That was not Tom Tipper..."
Early next morning, Percy was just finishing up his rounds at Dryaw Station. He was in a very pleasant mood, and had gotten to have an update on current events across the island. The saddletank wanted to share his joy with Tom Tipper, and to see if he was feeling better. "Hello Mr. Tipper," called Percy as he came to a stop, "Are you feeling better yet?" To his surprise, Mr. Jones walked up to him, making Percy realize this was the replacement of his friend. The man looked red in the face and very cross, making the tank engine anxious. "You do understand the sun is rising don't you?! I never slept at all last night and I have to work all day too! It's an outrage! At least lawyers get to sleep at night! Soon, I'll have visions of things, and then I'll go insane with sleep deprivation!" "Can't you just take a nap?" Percy asked. "No, because it is your fault that these horrid circumstances are infringed upon me." "But I'm a railway engine," argued Percy, "How on Earth is it my fault you can't get sleep?" "Because you deliver the mail all night, then I have to deliver the mail all night, then you arrive here at 5:00 in the morning, then I get lazy and then I just give up." said Mr. Jones crossly. "Well, that's your problem." "Oh, I've had it with you, you ruffians!" Mr. Jones snarled, "You engines have no clear idea how to behave, see, or think!" Percy was started to get scared. "Calm down!" "No. I will not. It is my business to execute your obvious flaws to you!" Percy felt the exact same emotion as Thomas and Oliver had: Deep anger.
At last, Percy's job was done, and he backed down at the water tower at Tidmouth to get a quick drink, before taking a rest at the sheds. Thomas puffed alongside him, noting Percy's cross expression. "I suppose you met him too, eh Percy?" the tank engine sighed. Percy looked over, confused. "You met him too?" "Of course. I assume Oliver did as well." "I certainly did, and Toad too," Oliver confirmed as he steamed beside Thomas, "He's a horrid man." "Agreed," said Thomas crossly, "He said I had low intelligence! Pah!" "He said I can't recognize facial expressions," Oliver fumed, "And that Toad and I can't keep track of time!" "Well, it was actually you he was talking to, Mr. Oliver." "Quiet Toad." "That 'Mr. Jones' blamed me for his rotten time schedules, and kept ranting about trivial things," Percy scowled. "Something must be doing about it," Thomas decided, "I can't put up with this man until Tom Tipper gets back. It's impossible!" "Indeed," said Percy. "But... how can we go about it?" Oliver asked. The engines thought for a moment, but found no solutions available, much to their dismay. Even Toad had no ideas.
Meanwhile, David Jones was driving down the road towards Crosby. He yawned and sipped his coffee as he began ranting to himself. "Stupid job... I hate this job... I hate this van... It's so red... I don't like red..." The lazy postman drove into the Crosby Coal Company, for the manager was expecting a package. He picked out a random parcel, and walked over to the manager, who was giving instructions to Molly. "Oh, uh.. Hello," said the manager as the postman shoved the box in his face. Molly cringed. "Here's your package." Mr. Jones stomped back to the mail van, slammed the door and drove away. The coal company manager looked back at Molly. "Well... I guess you can open it," Molly said shyly, "I mean... I don't mind waiting." The manager sighed and opened it, shocked to find the logo of a company that sold model locomotives. "Wait a second... I didn't order a model train! I ordered a watch!" Mr. Jones made some more faulty deliveries that day too. Farmer McColl got sent a watch, when he didn't order one. "There must be some mistake," said the farmer, "I ordered a couch, not a watch." "Nope, you got a watch. Deal with it," smirked Mr. Jones as he walked towards his van. Farmer McColl sighed. "Look on the bright side," grinned Jacob, "At least it's a nice watch."
Another example was when the postman delivered another parcel to the Thin Controller. The Thin Controller was not very happy as Mr. Jones pushed the giant couch into the living room. "I didn't order a couch!" the controller protested, but David Jones ran out the door as soon as his job was done. "Wait!" The Thin Controller ran out his door, chasing the postman, but by the time he reached his front lawn, the van was already driving away. "Bother..." He was very cross as he walked back into the house. "Dear, lunch is read- Goodness gracious!" His wife was surprised to find a giant couch in the room. "Where did this come from, Peregrine?" Mrs. Percival asked with a glare. The Thin Controller's face flushed. "I-I swear I didn't order this, Polly. I ordered that train set for the kids, that's all." Mrs. Percival crossed her arms. "Oh, really? Then why isn't it here?" "It must be that blasted postman," the Thin Controller sighed, "I'm sorry, Polly, but I have to make a call." He rushed to the house phone, grabbing one of Mrs. Percival's baked crumpets. The Thin Controller dialed a number and immediately started venting. "Why did your stupid postman give me a cough when I ordered an electric train set!?" "Sorry sir, we'll get to the bottom of it," promised a man on the other end. He grunted and looked to the other men. "It must be the replacement for Tom Tipper. David Jones... Ugh, can you summon him please?" "We'll fetch him," said a man.
Meanwhile, David Jones was at his house at Suddery drinking coffee and watching TV. "Heh heh, this show never fails to impress." The phone rang and he ran to answer it. "Ello?" When he heard who was on the other end, he gulped and panicked. "Oh darn it!" "The manager summons you immediately," a man's voice said, "Apparently you... aren't a good employee." Mr. Jones grinned. "Yes! I'm fired!" "What'd you say?" "Nothing." Mr. Jones hung up and drove away in his red van towards the Mail Company building by Suddery. At Suddery, the red van pulled into the parking lot. As the door shut, David Jones jumped as he noticed the employer at the door. David Jones gulped and walked inside the building. From the platform, Thomas could see the building, and smiled slightly as he had an idea of what was going on. "I want a a word with you," growled the employer, "We have reports of you not delivering mail correctly, and to the wrong people." Mr. Jones didn't feel confident anymore; truth be told, he felt rather scared. "Uh.. Well.. The reason for that, is... Um..." "You need a lesson in mail," and Mr. Jones got a lecture about hard work. "So I'm sure you don't want to lose your job..." Mr. Jones gulped. "N-n-no sir!" "Well too bad, you don't have one..." and the man slammed the door. Mr. Jones blinked. "Well... this is bad." Thomas grinned and puffed away to tell the others about the situation. "Ha ha, now he'll learn sense," he smirked to himself.
Later, Percy and Oliver were talking at Tidmouth Hault when Thomas arrived. "Hello Thomas," said Oliver, "You look cheery." "I am indeed," Thomas grinned, "I just learned the fate of that nasty David Jones." "What?" Percy and Oliver asked, enthralled immediately. "I just heard at Suddery that he just got fired!" Percy and Oliver chuckled. "Well, I'm sure he won't bother us again," whistled Percy. "Quite right," said Oliver, "Good riddance!" That night, a new, yet much friendlier, replacement had been signed on, and had quickly gotten on well with the engines, even after Tom Tipper returned. He did so well, in fact, that the company decided to keep him on the workforce. As for David Jones, well, he got his wish; he did become a workman, but it was a maintenance job, which he despises. Personally, I think he quite deserves it. Don't you?
- Annie and Clarabel
- The Thin Controller
- Mrs. Kyndley
- Tom Tipper
- Farmer McColl
- David Jones
- Duck (cameo)
- Logan (cameo)
- Daisy (cameo)
- Tiger Moth (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley's Cottage
- Hackenbeck Tunnel
- Crosby Coal Company
- McColl Farm
- The Depot
- Tidmouth Hault
- Hackenbeck Hospital (mentioned)