Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe were spending the afternoon playing darts and drinking heavily in the pub of their choice, the inimitable Shoe and Phone. Fat Giraffe was winning easily.
“One hundred and eighty,” bellowed Fat Giraffe as he landed a third consecutive treble. It was a treble seventeen, which made Fat Giraffe’s claim slightly erroneous, but as he was nowhere near good enough at maths to work out what his actual score was, he maintained that all trebles were worth sixty points.
Magic Penguin, for his part, had no interest in the honesty of his friend’s scoring. He was happy when any of his darts even made contact with the board, so he knew the score was irrelevant. Cheating or not, Fat Giraffe would eventually win. Magic Penguin didn’t much care. Losing at darts to Fat Giraffe was still far preferable to the alternative of ‘actually going to work’.
Although, he realised as he scratched around in his pocket for enough change to purchase another pint of overpriced craft IPA, he did need to find a source of income soon. And he certainly wasn’t going to make any money through maintaining a blog. He wondered why anyone would ever commit so much time and effort to writing blog posts when they had no chance of ever making it their career. Talk about an exercise in futility. But he needed to do something to get some cash…
“Why don’t you try being a private investigator?” said Fat Giraffe almost as if he had read Magic Penguin’s mind.
“Did you just read my mind?” asked Magic Penguin.
“Yep,” said Fat Giraffe, “It’s an old trick I picked up in ‘Nam.”
“You were never in Vietnam!” exclaimed Magic Penguin, “and even if you were, that still doesn’t make sense.”
“Sorry, did I say ‘Nam?” asked Fat Giraffe, “I meant to say Nandos.”
“That still doesn’t make any sense!” said Magic Penguin, “and do giraffes even eat chicken?”
“This giraffe does,” said Fat Giraffe, “anyway, that isn’t the point. The point, my friend, is that you need money and you aren’t prepared to work for a living.”
“I still think we need to discuss this mind-reading thing,” said Magic Penguin, “but you’re right, I do need money and I’m not prepared to work.”
“So, become a PI,” said Fat Giraffe.
“Doesn’t that still involve work?” queried Magic Penguin, “and wouldn’t I need a license or something?”
“Details my friend, details,” soothed Fat Giraffe, “Sherlock Holmes never had a license, did he?”
“I don’t know,” pondered Magic Penguin, “but wasn’t he a fictional character?”
“Aren’t you a fictional character?” replied Fat Giraffe.
“True, I am indeed a work of complete fiction,” agreed Magic Penguin, “but even so, I’m not sure I have any skills that would allow me to become a PI.”
“You’re the titular character in your own series of short stories,” argued Fat Giraffe, “what more skills do you need than that?”
Magic Penguin pondered this for a moment. Then he giggled at the word ‘titular’. Then he pondered some more.
“Ok,” he said, “I’m up for that. Private Investigator it is.”
“And obviously, every PI needs an assistant,” said Fat Giraffe.
“Yes, but who could it be?” mused Magic Penguin, hoping that it might be someone glamorous.
There was an awkward silence.
Then the penny dropped.
And, as he bent down to pick up the penny, Magic Penguin realised that it was a metaphorical penny and also that Fat Giraffe had been referring to himself.
“Only joking mate,” he laughed, even though he hadn’t been joking at all, “of course you can be my assistant.”
“We’ll have the best of adventures!” enthused Fat Giraffe, “this is going to be brilliant.”
But Fat Giraffe was sadly mistaken. It wasn’t going to be brilliant at all.