Fat Giraffe and Stupid Donkey were sitting in awkward silence in The Shoe and Phone.
“I’m sure he’ll be here any minute now,” said Fat Giraffe breaking the silence, “he’s normally very punctual.”
“Well let’s hope so,” said Stupid Donkey, “I’m not sure if we can carry this one on our own.”
“I mean, I’d sort of thought I could,” said Fat Giraffe, “but now it comes to it, I am a bit nervous.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” said Stupid Donkey, “you’re not a bad secondary character, but he’s the star.”
“Well, I think I’m more than a secondary character,” said Fat Giraffe, “but certainly, it is a double act, and it definitely doesn’t work as well without him.”
“I think it’s a bit much to call it a double act,” said Stupid Donkey, “the stories would definitely survive without you, but I’m not sure they can work without him. He is the titular character.”
Fat Giraffe and Stupid Donkey both paused to giggle at the word ‘titular’.
“I think the stories would definitely lose something if I wasn’t in them,” argued Fat Giraffe, “after all, what would Sherlock Holmes be without Dr Watson? What would Batman be without Robin? What would Danger Mouse be without Penfold?”
“I think you’re proving my point,” said Stupid Donkey.
Fat Giraffe pondered this for a moment.
“I suppose you’re right,” he conceded, “you’re quite insightful for a tertiary character.”
“I think I’m more than a tertiary character,” grumbled Stupid Donkey, “after all what would Sherlock Holmes be without Mrs Hudson? What would Batman be without Alfred? What would Danger Mouse be without Colonel K?”
“I think you’re massively overstating your importance in comparing yourself to those characters” said Fat Giraffe.
“Maybe you’re right,” sighed Stupid Donkey.
He then started singing a musical number about the woes of being a tertiary character. It was quite a moving rendition but it’s quite difficult to convey the magic of the performance in prose.
“Fairplay,” acknowledged Fat Giraffe, “that was pretty good mate. If these stories ever get adapted for TV, as the writer seems to naively think might happen one day, then that could win us a BAFTA.”
“Well let’s hope so,” said Stupid Donkey, “but I doubt we’re going to get the TV deal if our main character can’t even be bothered to turn up.”
“True,” nodded Fat Giraffe, “it’s a bit shambolic to say the least.”
At that moment Fat Giraffe’s cheap Pay-As-You-Go mobile phone started ringing. Or more precisely started singing, as his current ringtone was 1988 dance track ‘The only way is up’ by Yazz and the Plastic Population.
“Hello?” Fat Giraffe answered, “oh hi mate. How’s things.”
He paused to listen to the voice at the other end of the line.
“No, we’ve started already,” he replied to the mysterious voice, “we’re about 473 words in at this point. Where are you?”
He listened again to the response.
“No, it’s going quite well actually,” he said, “Stupid Donkey is a bit rubbish, but I’m doing quite a good job I think. Although to be fair, that Donkey can sing.”
Fat Giraffe again paused to allow the caller to speak.
“”Ok mate,” he replied, “well get here when you can.”
Fat Giraffe hung up and turned to Stupid Donkey.
“That was Magic Penguin,” he explained, “he’s been held up in traffic. He was late setting off apparently. Something to do with the Kipper Scandal.”
“Oh, is that still a ‘thing’?” asked Stupid Donkey, “I thought he’d put that behind him.”
“Well, I’m not sure you can ever put anything as big as that behind you forever,” mused Fat Giraffe, “but he says he’s just around the corner and he’ll be here in a few minutes.”
“I doubt he’ll find it easy to park at this time of day,” said Stupid Donkey.
“Well, we’ll just have to hold the fort until he gets here.” said Fat Giraffe, “how about another musical number?”
So Fat Giraffe and Stupid Donkey sang a duet to pass the time.
And eventually, after he did indeed have much trouble parking, Magic Penguin arrived at the pub.
But by that time the story was already over.