Mardy Puffin, Fast Gibbon and Mistaken Moose were enjoying a drink in the Sandal and Fax, as was their way.
“Something’s not right,” said Mistaken Moose.
“I think you’re mistaken,” said Mardy Puffin.
“That’s right, I am,” agreed Mistaken Moose, “I’m Mistaken Moose. What’s that got to do with my original observation?”
“No, I mean that, in addition to your name being ‘Mistaken’, you are actually mistaken,” said Mardy Puffin, “as in you are wrong.”
“Well, you might have used the word ‘wrong’ to begin with,” grumbled Mistaken Moose, “it’s really confusing when you use the word ’mistaken’ in that context.”
“I apolgise,” said Mardy Puffin, “I can see why that would be confusing. But you’re wrong about things not being right.”
“So you could say, I’m wrong about things being wrong then,” argued Mistaken Moose, “which would be a double negative. Which would mean I’m right.”
“No it wouldn’t,” said Mardy Penguin, “you’re mistaken about that too.”
“Well they don’t call me Mistaken Moose for nothing,” laughed Mistaken Moose.
“No, they call you that because that’s your name,” said Mardy Puffin, who was feeling slightly irritable and sulky and thus also living up to his name.
“I think Mistaken Moose is right about things not being right though,” said Fast Gibbon who had been uncharacteristically silent up until that point.
“So I’m right about being right!” said Mistaken Moose, “which is a double positive, so that must mean I’m wrong.”
“It doesn’t mean that at all,” sighed Mardy Puffin, “none of what you just said makes any sense at all!”
“But Fast Gibbon said I was right!” cried Mistaken Moose.
“I said you were right about things not being right,” explained Fast Gibbon, “but actually Mardy Puffin is also right, mostly everything else you have said today is utter gibberish”
“Well you’d know all about gibberish,” said Mistaken Moose, “what with you being a gibbon.”
“That doesn’t make any sense either!” moaned Mardy Puffin, “while I acknowledge that the words ‘gibbon’ and gibberish’ look quite similar in the written form, they aren’t at all similar in the spoken form, so there’s no way you could possibly have come to the conclusion that a gibbon would know all about gibberish!”
“But I did,” said Mistaken Moose, “so there.”
“Anyway, the point is that things aren’t right,” said Fast Gibbon, “I think we can all agree on that.”
“I can’t agree on that,” said Mardy Puffin, “I very much disagreed with that observation in the open exchanges of this story and nothing has happened since to change my mind.”
“Oh yeah,” said Fast Gibbon, “I’d completely forgotten that you thought the notion that things weren’t right was in fact wrong.”
“Which is another double negative,” pointed out Mistaken Moose.
“Shut up!” said Fast Gibbon.
“Yeah shut up!” agreed Mardy Puffin.
“Yeah, shut your stupid face,” said Mistaken Moose.
“It’s you that we were telling to shut up,” explained Fast Gibbon to Mistaken Moose.
“Oh,” said Mistaken Moose, “sorry, my mistake. They don’t call me Mistaken Moose for nothing.”
“Anyway,” said Fast Gibbon, choosing to ignore Mistaken Moose’s last comment, “back to my original point, which was that, although Mistaken Moose is usually mistaken, he wasn’t, in fact, mistaken in his original assertion that things aren’t quite right.”
“How so?” asked a perplexed Mardy Puffin.
“Well, we seem to be in a Magic Penguin story that doesn’t actually feature any of the usual characters and instead features characters who have names that share the same initials as Magic Penguin, Fat Giraffe and Mystic Mouse, but who are not them,” explained Fast Gibbon, “also we’re currently in the ‘Sandal and Fax’ which is a different, although equally badly-named, pub to the usual setting of the ‘Shoe and Phone’.”
“Oh yeah,” said Mardy Puffin, “you’re right. I wonder why the writer chose to do that this week, particularly when last week’s Magic Penguin story finished on quite a promising cliffhanger.”
“It does seem an odd choice,” said Fast Gibbon.
And he was right. It was really odd choice indeed.
If only someone could explain it.
I think I may know a chap who explains things. I’ll try to think of his name. I seem to recall he writes about something called Jane’s Exclaims!
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Never heard of him…
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Thanks Pete, you set me right. I was struggling to remember that feature too and so far I had only come up with ‘June Exhumes’.
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I love June Exhumes – it’s my favourite online column. Didn’t know you were a fan!
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She’s dead good, digs up all sorts of interesting things!