Magic Penguin, Fat Giraffe, Mystic Mouse, Stupid Donkey, Ed The Ostrich, Happy Rhino, Anxious Bull, Mardy Puffin, Fast Gibbon, Mistaken Moose, and Wise Owl were enjoying a drink in the Shoe and Phone one afternoon.
“Wow, there are a lot of us here today,” said Fat Giraffe.
“Including some characters who don’t usually come into the Shoe and Phone,” said Mistaken Moose.
“I think you’re mistaken there,” said Mardy Puffin.
“Well they don’t call me Mistaken Moose for nothing!” said Mistaken Moose.
“Actually, on this occasion I think it’s Mardy Puffin who is mistaken,” said Fast Gibbon, “given that Mardy Puffin, Mistaken Moose and myself were all part of an ill-conceived comic device used by the writer when we starred in a Magic Penguin story which didn’t feature any of the usual main characters and was set in a different – though equally badly named – pub to the Shoe and Phone.”
“Oh yes, that’s right,” said Mistaken Moose, “so I was mistaken about being mistaken. Well they don’t call me Mistaken Moose for nothing!”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said Mardy Puffin, “but if the joke is that we don’t feature in the main Magic Penguin stories and never drink in the Shoe and Phone, then why are we currently in the Shoe and Phone?”
“That is a good question,” said Fast Gibbon.
“I’m not sure why I’m here either,” said Anxious Bull, “I’ve only briefly featured in one Magic Penguin story and that was as the punchline to a rather stupid joke about ‘grabbing the bull by the horns’….”
“I quite liked that joke,” said Happy Rhino, “but I too, as an entirely unmemorable and forgettable character, am wondering why we’re all here.”
“It’s political correctness gone mad if you ask me!” said Wise Owl.
“That doesn’t make even the tiniest bit of sense,” said Ed the Ostrich, “and no-one did ask you.”
“You don’t make any sense!” retorted Wise Owl.
“Why are there so many of us here though?” asked Stupid Donkey, “I mean there’s rarely ever more than two or three characters in any of the stories. I should know, I was on the cusp of becoming one of the regular characters until Mystic Mouse came along and ruined it for me.”
“What can I say? The writer needed a token female character,” said Mystic Mouse.
“You’re so much more than a token female character,” said Magic Penguin.
“Am I?” asked Mystic Mouse with scepticism, “Can you see any other female characters here?”
“Well no,” conceded Magic Penguin, “but the writer assures me that he intends to correct this oversight at the earliest opportunity.”
“A cynic might say that this is the earliest opportunity,” said a peeved Mystic Mouse, “ and yet he has singularly failed to correct anything.”
Just then, the door opened and another female character came in. She was called Friendly Goose.
“Hello everyone,” said Friendly Goose, “I’m here to correct an oversight.”
“Oh that’s much better,” said Mystic Mouse making no attempt to hide her sarcasm and thus wounding the feelings of the writer, who really was trying his best in spite of evidence to the contrary.
“Now that is political correctness gone mad!” said Wise Owl.
“I’m not sure that it is you know,” said Ed the Ostrich.
“So why are there so many of us here MP?” asked Fat Giraffe, who was trying out a new ‘thing’ of referring to other characters by their initials.
“Well, this is likely to be the last Magic Penguin story for a while,” said Magic Penguin, who assumed, correctly, that Fat Giraffe was talking to him, even though Mardy Puffin could also have legitimately been referred to as ‘MP’, “the writer has decided, against all reasonable judgement, to take part in that A-Z blog challenge thing in April, so this is sort of like the end of Season 1 of Magic Penguin, and as such I thought it might be appropriate to have a Season Finale.”
“Hold on,” said Fat Giraffe, “aren’t we British? Isn’t ‘season’ in this context more of an American term? Surely this is a Series Finale?”
“You say potato and I say potato,” said Magic Penguin.
“You do know that comparing that way two people say potato doesn’t really work in the written form?” said Fat Giraffe.
“I did know that, yes,” said Magic Penguin, “perhaps I should have used tomato/tomato instead.”
“Same problem,” said Fat Giraffe.
“Anyway, whether it’s a ‘season finale’ or a ‘series finale’, this is the last ‘episode’ of Magic Penguin for a while, so I thought it’d be good to go out on a high,” said Magic Penguin.
“I’m not sure this is a high, “ said Fat Giraffe, “It kind of feels like the opposite to a high if you ask me.”
“Perhaps we should just get Red Herring to show up with another of his misleading cliffhangers,” said Mystic Mouse, “they’ve always served us pretty well in the past.”
“Yeah, ok, let’s just do that,” said Magic Penguin.
There was a brief silence while the ensemble waited for Red Herring to come bursting through the door.
Friendly Goose broke the silence.
“Actually, I’ve just remembered, Red Herring can’t come and do a cliffhanger this week.” she said.
“Why not?” asked Magic Penguin.
“Well, it’s just that he’s disappeared without a trace,” said Friendly Goose, “no-one knows where he is. He just seems to have vanished.”
“But that means there’ll be no more cliffhangers for the Magic Penguin stories!” exclaimed Fat Giraffe.
“I dunno,” said Mystic Mouse, “that kind of sounds like a cliffhanger to me.”
“It does indeed,” said Magic Penguin, “and a pretty feeble one at that.”
“Oh, well that’s a relief, “ said Fat Giraffe, “I’d hate to think we were going to end our first series without a slightly rubbish cliffhanger.”
Will Red Herring be ok? Or will season 2 of Magic Penguin have to survive without cliffhangers? Will the writer even bother to write any more Magic Penguin stories?
Only time will tell.
But he probably will I expect.
And I should know, for I am he.
But maybe he won’t.
And maybe he isn’t me at all.
Who can tell anymore?