Magic Penguin And The PC Brigade

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Magic Penguin and Mystic Mouse were enjoying a drink in the Shoe and Phone.

“It’s nice in here,” said Mystic Mouse.

“Is it?” said Magic Penguin in surprise, for he had always felt that the Shoe and Phone was a dingy backstreet watering hole, and certainly not the kind of establishment that anyone would ever describe as being ‘nice’.

“Well, no. ‘Nice’ probably isn’t the best word to describe it,” admitted Mystic Mouse, “It’s actually kind of horrible. But it’s nice that you invited me.”

“Well I thought we were overdue a catch-up,” said Magic Penguin, “after all there are precious few female characters in the Magic Penguin stories.”

Mystic Mouse pondered this for a moment.

“Are you saying you only invited me, so I could be a token female character?” she asked.

“Oh no,” said Magic Penguin, “I genuinely wanted to meet up again. It’s been ages. But it certainly won’t hurt in trying to alleviate some of the criticisms we’ve been getting of late, in terms of the lack of female representation in the Magic Penguin stories.”

“Oh,” said Mystic Mouse, “I’m not sure how I feel about that really.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Magic Penguin hastily, “We really wanted to include you because you’re an interesting character in your own right. It’s really just a happy coincidence that you’re also a strong female role model.”

“So, I’m definitely not just a token female character then?” asked Mystic Mouse with genuine scepticism.

“I mean, not intentionally, no,” said Magic Penguin, “although, as things stand, given the lack of any other female characters, with the exception of last week’s villain, ‘the Melancholy Tomato’, one might mistakenly make the assumption that you are the ‘Smurfette’ of the Magic Penguin series.”

“But I’m not, right?” verified Mystic Mouse, “The writer is planning on there being other female characters in the stories soon?”

“I’d imagine so, yes,” said Magic Penguin, “as I say, it’s not intentional sexism on the writer’s part. It’s just, as has been mentioned before, he’s really not a very good writer.”

“Well it’s political correctness gone mad if you ask me,” said Wise Owl from a nearby table, where he was completing the ‘angry word’ in the Daily Hate (the ‘angry word’ was like a crossword but much more incendiary).

“Well no-one did ask you,” said Magic Penguin, “and you can keep your stupid intolerant ‘Daily Hate’ inspired bile to yourself”

“Is the Daily Hate, basically just our version of the Daily Mail?” asked Mystic Mouse.

“Essentially yes,” confirmed Magic Penguin, “But the writer thought it would be clever and satirical to rename it the Daily Hate.”

“Hmmm,” pondered Mystic Mouse, “It’s really not that clever or satirical is it?”

“On reflection, no,” agreed Magic Penguin, “but the writer does what he can, which is not easy when you’re as utterly talentless as he is.”

“It can’t be easy,” nodded Mystic Mouse, “I think he does very well for even having a go, particularly given his recent legal problems.”

“It’s a load of rubbish though isn’t it,” grumbled Wise Owl, “and it’s particularly bad now he’s busy pandering to the PC Brigade.”

“I mean I don’t think he is especially pandering to the PC Brigade by just including a long overdue female character,” argued Magic Penguin.

“Yes, he is, he’s bloody pandering,” said Wise Owl bitterly, “and they won’t be happy, that PC Brigade, they’ll want more.”

“Did someone mention my name?” asked PC Brigade, of the local constabulary, who was also in the pub, enjoying a few whiskies, while on his lunch break.

“Er, no officer,” said Magic Penguin, “Wise Owl was referring to the erroneous notion that there is an entity known as The Politically Correct Brigade, often abbreviated to the PC Brigade, who like to go around being offended by stuff and ruining everyone’s fun, when in fact there’s no such thing and actually Political Correctness is just a way of trying to make the world a fairer, more equitable and ultimately nicer place for everyone.”

“Oh, ok,” said PC Brigade, downing another scotch, “as long as you weren’t talking about me.”

“We definitely weren’t officer,” said Magic Penguin before adding, “should you really be drinking so heavily if you’re on duty?”

“Who are you, the Health and Safety Police?” growled PC Brigade.

As it was obviously a rhetorical question Magic Penguin chose not to answer.

There was a brief moment of silence as everyone went back to what they had been doing prior to the conversation.

“Seven down,” said Wise Owl returning to his ‘angry word’, “a scourge on society, eleven letters, starts with ‘I’.”

“Well, as long as I haven’t just been included on the basis of my gender and I’ve actually got a full role to play moving forwards, then I’d definitely be delighted to be part of the Magic Penguin stories,” said Mystic Mouse, “after all, last week’s story actually had something resembling a narrative, and if that’s going to be a regular feature then  it could be quite a lot of fun moving forwards.”

“Yeah, the writer seems to have lost his way again this week though,” said Magic Penguin, “and truthfully, last week’s effort was really just a rehash of something he wrote back in 2003 before he lost all hope and resigned himself to a life mediocrity and disappointment.”

“Well, there’s still hope he’ll find his way again,” said Mystic Mouse with naïve optimism.

“Possibly,” said Magic Penguin, “but to be fair, this week’s story is not a particularly promising sign that things are going to get better.”

At that moment Fat Giraffe burst in through the doors of the Shoe and Phone.

“You’ll never believe what’s happened!” he exclaimed.

“What is it old friend?” asked Magic Penguin.

“No time to explain,” said Fat Giraffe, “but come quickly, I think we’re about to have the adventure of a lifetime!”

“Now that’s what I’m talking about,” said Mystic Mouse leaping up to follow Fat Giraffe.

Magic Penguin followed too, but he was a tad more sceptical. This was a little too much like the cliff-hanger in Magic Penguin And The Third Character and he suspected it was the work of his old nemesis, Red Herring.

Tune in next week to discover that Magic Penguin was right all along and there was absolutely nothing to get excited about whatsoever.

 

 

Magic Penguin And The Melancholy Tomato

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One day, after a competitive game of squash, Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe decided to pop into the Shoe and Phone for a few drinks. As Magic Penguin had narrowly won the match, Fat Giraffe had to get the first round in. He went to the bar to order the drinks while Magic Penguin went to see if there was a pool table free. As luck would have it there was, so Magic Penguin inserted some change into the slot and proceeded to set up the table. When Fat Giraffe returned from the bar with the drinks he was accompanied by Edward the Ostrich.

“Alright Ed!” said Magic Penguin, “Haven’t seen you in ages.”

“No, I was hoping to be in the last story, but the writer went with Stupid Donkey instead” replied Ed.

Yeah, that was a strange choice,” acknowledged Fat Giraffe, “but that Donkey can certainly hold a tune.”

“Yes, I heard he was good,” muttered Magic Penguin, “shame I missed it.”

“Well it’s good you’ve turned up for this story,” said Ed, “after all, what would the Magic Penguin stories be without you?”

“I think I kept things ticking along nicely last week,” protested Fat Giraffe.

“I mean it was alright,” acknowledged Ed, “but it’s just not the same without Magic Penguin.”

“Cheers mate,” said Magic Penguin as Fat Giraffe bristled slightly, “hey what’s that?”

He was referring to the red drink that Edward was holding.

“It’s a  Bloody Mary,” replied Ed, “I’m nursing a bit of a hangover. I had a few too many with Happy Rhino last night.”

“Fair enough,” said Magic Penguin as he picked up his pool cue to break, “Fancy playing the winner Ed?”

“Don’t be stupid,” replied Ed, “Ostriches can’t play pool. That’s just silly!”

“Yeah I suppose it is really!” laughed Magic Penguin as he took his shot.

Sometime later, after Fat Giraffe had managed to exact his revenge on Magic Penguin for squash by beating him at pool, the three friends sat down in a corner of the bar and whiled away the afternoon drinking and catching up on all the latest news from each other. Fat Giraffe was in the middle of telling a racially insensitive joke when they heard a loud sobbing. They looked up and saw a young tomato crying her heart out at the next table while drinking a large vodka.

“Hey there little tomato, what’s up?” asked Magic Penguin

“Nothing.” replied the tomato before bursting into a flood of tears.

“It doesn’t look like nothing to me,” said Magic Penguin kindly, “why don’t you tell me what’s troubling you? I might be able to help.”

“You wouldn’t understand,” wailed the tomato “you’ve got friends.”

“I’m sure you must have some friends too,” said Magic Penguin “things can’t be that bad.”

“None of the other fruit will hang around with me” cried the tomato, “Angry Banana says that I’m not a proper fruit like the others because you can’t put me in a fruit salad but you can put me in a proper salad. He says that I must be a vegetable but I’m not a vegetable I’m a fruit!”

Magic Penguin shook his head sadly, he had been a key figure in bringing about peace between the vegetable and fruit communities and it made him sad to see this kind of petty prejudice still existed.(Younger readers probably won’t remember the fruit and vegetable wars of the 70s.)

“I think it’s time we taught Angry Banana a lesson,” he said, “but how I wonder…”

“I’ll punch him if you want,” said Fat Giraffe.

Magic Penguin smiled, it would be a very unlucky person to be on the receiving end of Fat Giraffe’s wrath but violence wasn’t the answer. Angry Banana was well respected in the fruit community and assaulting him would just make the tomato’s exclusion permanent.

“There’s nothing you can do,” cried the tomato, “All the other fruit look up to Angry Banana.”

“I’m sure we’ll think of something,” said Magic Penguin, “in the meantime I think we should have another drink. It’s my round I believe, Ed do you fancy a pint?”

“No thanks,” said Ed,”I wouldn’t say no to another Bloody Mary though.”

“No problem mate,” said Magic Penguin, “Wait a minute that gives me an idea!”

Later that day, Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe knocked on Angry Banana’s front door. It was opened by Jolly Apple, Angry Banana’s good friend and housemate.

“Hello Magic Penguin, hello Fat Giraffe, what brings you two here?” asked the apple.

“We’d like a word with Angry Banana if we may?” said Magic Penguin.

“Certainly,” said Jolly Apple, “I think he’s taking a shower at the moment but you’re welcome to come in and wait.”

So the two friends entered Angry Banana’s house and awaited him.

After about ten minutes, during which time Fat Giraffe entertained them with his humorous impersonations of minor celebrities, Angry Banana entered the room.

“Hello!” he exclaimed “I wasn’t expecting guests!”

“Hello Angry Banana,” said Magic Penguin, “I’m afraid we’ve come to talk to you about a rather sensitive matter.”

“Oh yes?” said Angry Banana looking interested.

“Yes it’s about young Melancholy Tomato.” said Magic Penguin, “She feels that you’ve excluded her from the other fruit.”

“I see…” began Angry Banana but Magic Penguin interrupted him.

“I know she’s not like other fruits and I agree that she does belong in a normal salad and not a fruit salad, but that doesn’t make her a vegetable. Essentially, she does match all the other credentials of a fruit including one that, if I may say so, you lack yourself.”

Angry Banana arched one eyebrow, “And might I ask what that is?”

“Well you can have orange juice, apple juice, pineapple juice, “observed Magic Penguin, “and as my good friend Edward the Ostrich reminded me with his choice of drink in the pub earlier, you can have tomato juice, but I’ve never, in all my experience, come across banana juice!”

Angry Banana looked slightly sad at this remark and Jolly Apple leapt to his defence.

“How could you say something so hurtful?” the apple snapped, “Angry Banana’s very sensitive the juice situation, and anyway, it is entirely possible to get banana juice, but it’s very difficult to separate the pulp from the juice, so it tends to be sold as a ‘juice drink’ with the pulp supplemented by additional water and sometimes other fruit juices, but ideally with no added sugar. Also bananas make the basis for many a smoothie !”

“It’s not quite the same though is it?” observed Magic Penguin, “ I didn’t wish to upset Angry Banana but perhaps now he understands how Melancholy Tomato feels.”

“But I didn’t exclude Melancholy Tomato at all!” protested Angry Banana. “It’s just that there is still a lot of tension between the fruit and vegetable communities, as you of all people should know. I merely pointed out to Melancholy Tomato that her involvement in normal salad might be a conflict of interests at this sensitive time”

“Well I think the sooner this issue is resolved the better,” said Magic Penguin, “as it happens, Melancholy Tomato is waiting outside, and perhaps if I bring her in we can discuss this properly.”

“Of course,” said Angry Banana, “bring her in.”

So Fat Giraffe went to fetch Melancholy Tomato and Magic Penguin smiled to himself. He enjoyed being a diplomat again, and if only it hadn’t been for the unfortunate Kipper Scandal perhaps he’d still be doing it for a living.

Melancholy Tomato entered with Fat Giraffe. Angry Banana rose to greet her but before he even had time to speak Melancholy Tomato pulled out a dagger and stabbed him.

“Die fruit scum!” she cried, “Long live vegetable-kind!”

And she ran out laughing. Fat Giraffe ran after her but she was too fast and managed to escape.

Jolly Apple rushed over to Angry Banana.

“Oh no!” he cried “hang in there old friend.”

“It’s too late,” gasped Angry Banana “the wound is fatal.”

“No!” cried Jolly Apple

“Avenge me,” sighed Angry Banana and with that he died.

“See what your meddling has done?” growled Jolly Apple at Magic Penguin, “Fruit-kind will not allow this insult to pass without retaliation. Those vegetables will pay!”

Later that same day Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe were back in the pub discussing the day’s events.

“So there’s going to be another war then?” asked Fat Giraffe.

“Looks like it, yeah,” replied Magic Penguin.

“I suppose it’s our fault really.” said Fat Giraffe.

“No arguments there.” said Magic Penguin.

“Not really our problem though.” said Fat Giraffe.

“Nope, not really.” said Magic Penguin.

“Fancy another drink?” asked Fat Giraffe

“Yeah go on then mate,” said Magic Penguin with a grin, “I’ll have a Bloody Mary!”

And the two friends laughed.

Magic Penguin Phones It In

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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.

Magic Penguin And The Continuing Lack Of Action

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Magic Penguin, Fat Giraffe and Stupid Donkey were enjoying a few drinks in the Shoe and Phone one afternoon. Fat Giraffe was a little irritated by Stupid Donkey’s appearance in  a second successive story.

“So you’re going to be a regular fixture then?” he asked, failing to mask his animosity.

“Yeah, the writer felt that the series needed another regular character,” said Stupid Donkey.

“Well I thought the first two stories worked quite well as two-handers,” muttered Fat Giraffe.

“I don’t think it really matters,” said Magic Penguin, “as long as I’m in the stories. After all, I am the principal character.”

“Well I think I’m quite important too,” said Fat Giraffe, “what would the Magic Penguin stories be without Fat Giraffe eh?”

“I think we’d get by,” said Magic Penguin.

“Oh, I think you’ll find that the stories would lose something without me,” said Fat Giraffe, “to be honest I’d go as far as to say I’m the only thing holding them together at the moment.”

“I’m not sure that the stories are working though,” said Happy Rhino, “they’re a bit samey really. Nothing much seems to happen in them.”

“Who are you?” asked Magic Penguin.

“I’m Happy Rhino,” said Happy Rhino, “I’ve been brought in to reinvigorate the franchise.”

“But you  weren’t even in the opening paragraph to this story!” exclaimed Fat Giraffe, “where did you come from? This is preposterous.”

“Oh, I’ve been here all along,” said Happy Rhino, “I’ve been in the background of all the stories. You didn’t think it was just you two in the pub all this time did you?”

“I suppose that would be strange,” acknowledged Magic Penguin, “there were bound to be some other patrons.”

“Not to mention staff,” added Ed the Ostrich from behind the bar.

“Hey Ed,” said Fat Giraffe, “how come your name is slightly different to ours?”

“What do you mean?” asked Ed.

“Well, we all seem to have an implausible adjective as our forename and then the kind of animal we are as our surname. Whereas you have a normal name followed by the definite article and only then the kind of animal you are, which suggests that your species isn’t actually part of your name.”

“Oh yeah,” replied Ed, “I’d never noticed that before.”

“Well to be fair, you’ve only been in the story for a few lines,” said Magic Penguin, “maybe we’re asking too much of you.”

“Anyway,” said Stupid Donkey, slightly irritated that he hadn’t had anything to say for a while, “what happened about last week’s cliffhanger?”

“Oh yeah,” said Happy Rhino, “I forgot about that!”

“You didn’t forget,” said Fat Giraffe, “ you weren’t even in the story.”

“Yes I was,” explained Happy Rhino, patiently, “ but as I said before, I was just in the background.”

“So you say,” muttered Fat Giraffe.

“But seriously guys,” continued Stupid Donkey, “what did happen about the cliffhanger.”

“Well, you were definitely there, so I’m surprised that you’ve forgotten,” said Magic Penguin, “but allow me to jog your memory. If you recall, the mysterious stranger was just a red herring. Who went by the name of Red Herring.”

“Oh yeah,” said Fat Giraffe, “and if I remember correctly, Red Herring had a problem, that necessitated an investigation, which resulted in a compelling adventure, with lots of action and some thrilling twists in the tale, before it was all resolved in a satisfactory way”

“That’s right,” said Magic Penguin. “It was exciting stuff alright.”

“So why isn’t that adventure the basis for this week’s story” asked Happy Rhino, “that would seem a much better premise for a tale than whatever this is.”

“True,” said Magic Penguin, “it does seem strange that the writer has chosen to focus the narrative around a boring conversation rather than an exciting adventure story.”

“It’s almost as if he has no respect for the reader,” said Stupid Donkey.

“Yes,” laughed Magic Penguin, “it does seem if he has no respect for the reader at all.”

But Magic Penguin and Stupid Donkey were wrong. The writer did respect the readers.

He just wasn’t a very good writer.

Magic Penguin And The Third Character

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One afternoon Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe were imbibing alcoholic beverages in the Shoe and Phone, as was their way, when in walked Stupid Donkey.

“Alright mate?” said Magic Penguin greeting his old friend.

“Not bad,” replied Stupid Donkey, “How are you guys?

The exchange of banal greetings continued for a few more moments as the three friends established that they were all in adequate health and generally doing well, even though such exchanges were merely platitudes and not entirely true.

Fat Giraffe, for example, despite claiming to be fine, was actually concerned about a worrying growth on his right buttock, while Magic Penguin was more than a little preoccupied by a letter he had received from his bank that very morning. Stupid Donkey also had his woes.

“I have my woes,” he said to the other two.

“That’s a strange way of putting it,” observed Fat Giraffe.

“I know, I’m not sure why I phrased it that way.” acknowledged Stupid Donkey.

“What are these woes?” asked Magic Penguin.

“Well, it’s a bit of a long story,” began Stupid Donkey.

“Oh, well then I’m not really interested,” said Magic Penguin, who hated long stories.

“Oh, ok,” said Stupid Donkey, “I won’t tell you then.”

“That’s a shame,” said Fat Giraffe, “I had a strong inkling that your woes were very likely going to be the basis for the plot of this story.”

“True,” acknowledged Magic Penguin, “It would seem the obvious direction for this story to take. Go on then Stupid Donkey, let’s hear your woes.”

So Stupid Donkey told Magic Penguin and Fat Giraffe all about his woes. And really they weren’t all that interesting.

“Nope, no plot there,” sighed Magic Penguin, “bit of a waste of time you telling us really.”

“Well, I’m sorry,” said a visibly wounded Stupid Donkey, “but my woes are very real to me.”

“Yeah but they are first world problems aren’t they?” said Magic Penguin, “Not the sort of thing I can investigate as part of my new role as Private Detective.”

“I thought you were a Private Investigator,” commented Fat Giraffe.

“Aren’t they the same thing?” asked Magic Penguin, suddenly concerned about the three hundred business cards he’d recently ordered online.

“Dunno,” conceded Fat Giraffe.

“Wait, you’re a PI?” asked Stupid Donkey, “Don’t you need a license for that or something?”

“Probably,” said Magic Penguin, “I’ll get round to that eventually.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure you do need a license,” said Stupid Donkey, “Do you think they’ll let you have one with your history?”

“I don’t know what you mean” said Magic Penguin.

“Well, I mean, what about, you know…the thing?” mumbled Stupid Donkey.

“What thing?” replied Magic Penguin haughtily.

“Well…you know…The Kipper Scandal!” said Stupid Donkey

Magic Penguin sighed. He’d managed to get through two stories without anyone mentioning the Kipper Scandal. He’d started to think that people had forgotten about it. But, he realised, something as big as The Kipper Scandal was not just going to go away.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about the Kipper Scandal!” exclaimed Fat Giraffe, “You’ll never get a PI license mate!”

“I’m sure I will,” muttered Magic Penguin, even though he was not at all sure, “but it doesn’t really matter anyway does it?”

“Why not?” asked Stupid Donkey.

“Well because I’m the eponymous hero of my own series of short stories,” replied Magic Penguin, “so I can definitely be a PI if I want to be.”

“I suppose so,” said Stupid Donkey, “but don’t you think you should actually investigate something then? I mean this is the third story in as many weeks and as far as I can see nothing much has really happened in any of them yet. In fact there were only two characters until I turned up.”

“I’d hardly call you a character,” said Magic Penguin bitterly, “and if your so-called woes had been more interesting we might already have a story on our hands. So it’s your fault really.”

“I don’t see how,” said Stupid Donkey, “but I think something needs to happen to retain the interest of the readers.”

“Oh I imagine we’ve lost any readers we ever had by now,” said Fat Giraffe, “but I agree, something needs to happen on the off chance anyone is still reading this.”

“Like what?” asked Magic Penguin.

“I dunno,” said Fat Giraffe, “what about ending this story on a cliffhanger?”

“Yeah, that’d work,” said Stupid Donkey, “What we need is a good cliffhanger.”

The three friends were pondering what kind of a cliffhanger might work to retain the interest of an already diminishing readership when the door of the Shoe and Phone opened and a mysterious stranger walked in.

“I need help,” said the stranger, “and it’s a matter of life and death!”

“Yep,” said Fat Giraffe, “that’ll probably do it.”

Tune in next week to find out if the mysterious stranger is going to lead to an actual adventure for Magic Penguin or whether it’s just a red herring to dupe you into committing to reading another of these, frankly awful, stories.

Magic Moodles

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What’s this?

A bonus ‘Artist’s Corner’?

After Friday’s stunning portrait of Mrs Proclaims and me, surely I’ve given enough art to the Blogosphere for one weekend?

Well, yes, frankly I have.

Yet I have been moved once more to display my formidable talent in the prestigious realm of the doodle.

Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I present to you, arguably one of my finest creations, the noble ‘Upside-down-head Duck’.

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It is, quite literally, a picture of a duck with his head on upside-down. Continue reading Magic Moodles