Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Chapter 10 - Times, They Are a-Changing

Weight, like death and taxes,has the nasty habit of creeping up on a kakapo when it's least expected and playing havoc with their satorial elegance. One minute, your black leather trousers fit you like a snake skin, so tight you can bounce pound coins off your buttocks; the next you're struggling so hard to get them over your fat little knees, you end up flat on your back struggling like a stranded Weeble with your legs clamped together and a face the colour of a blueberry.

Thus did the dawn find Boom Penguin, the morning after he arrived at Cluckinghen Palace. Still on Kiwi time, he was unable to sleep and had spent the dark hours before sunrise unpacking his tour costumes and hanging them lovingly in the old oak wardrobes that lined his room in the North Wing of Cluckinghen Palace. And, of course, once he'd started sorting through the clothes it was one short kakapo step over the temptation threshold to try a few of them on.

Boom found that as long as the Lycra content in the fabric was high enough, he could wriggle about and achieve a fairly comfortable fit. It was when he came up against the more rigid materials, like leather and corduroy, that the troubles started. And by the time Honeybun found him just before breakfast, still prone and stranded in his favourite trousers, even Boom had to admit he wasn't the slim young parrot-thing he was in his youth.

'To be honest,' said Honeybun, as she heaved Boom slowly and painfully from his leather bondage, 'I think you should consider an image overhaul anyway. Give the whole Boom Penguin phenomenon a fresh look.'
'I was a phenomenon, wasn't I?' said Boom, wistfully.
'Yes,' said Honeybun. 'I think I can safely say there has never been a kakapo on the planet quite like you.'
'Okay,' said Boom. 'Maybe you're right.Maybe we should restyle the band. When are others arriving? I'm really looking forward to hitching up with the lads again.'

'Steve and Bob are arriving later this afternoon,' said Honeybun. 'But we're having a bit of trouble locating Dave.'
'What do you mean, 'trouble?'' said Boom.
'I mean, we can't locate him. No-one's seen or heard from him since the band split. There was a report he'd been sighted in a nightclub in Berlin doing impersonations of Marlene Dietrich...'
'Dave would never do that,' said Boom, hotly.
'I know,' said Honeybun. 'False trail.'
'We have to find Dave,' said Boom. 'Boom Penguin is nothing without Dave. Well, it's obviously something, because of me and I'm the star. But you know what I mean.'

Honeybun did. No Dave meant they would have to audition for another bass player, adn they didn't have time for that kind of malarkey.

'We'll keep looking. We've got adverts in all the papers, and scouts folowing up leads...' began Honeybun.

A shadow appeared in the doorway.

'I know where to find Dave,' said a voice, and Mrs Miggins stepped into the light.
'Laetitia?' said Boom.
'Boom,' said Mrs Miggins.
'You're looking, er,older,' said Boom.
'And you're looking, er, fatter,' said Mrs Miggins.
'Mrs Miggins,' said Honeybun.
'Did someone speak?' said Mrs Miggins. 'Only there's a sudden draught in the room.'

Sensing a fight brewing, Boom stepped forward. 'Now, play nicely girls,' he said.
Honeybun looked at Miggins and sniffed loudly.
'I've got work to do,' she said, and swept from the room.

Silence spiked the air. It was the kind of silence wrought from years of broken promises, untold truths, of arguments unfinished and wishes and dreams left dangling from the tree of wishy, dreamy things.

'It's been a long time, Laetitia,' said Boom.
'Yes,' said Mrs Miggins, 'and believe me, if I had anything to do with this, it would have been a darn sight longer, too.'
'And you say you know where Dave is?' said Boom. He couldn't get over how ginger Mrs Miggins looked. Vibrantly ginger. A lot more ginger than he ever remembered. And Mrs Miggins couldn't get over how dumpy Boom had become.
'I do,' said Miggins. 'We've kept in touch. I've already called and told him about the reunion. He's on his way.'

Boom tried to ignore the pangs of jealousy that flooded through him at the thought Laetitia Miggins had chosen to keep in touch with Dave 'Shiplap' Chalet and not him. But now was not the time for regrets or lost opportunities. He had to look forward, to the future, to a successful comeback concert and renewed world fame.

His bank balance was relying on him.

Meanwhile, downstairs in the Hall of the North Wing, Honeybun Slingsby was making a phone call. A dangerous phone call, a phone call filled with betrayal and deceit. Would it be a phone call she would come to regret. Who knows? Who cares? Well, we do, don't we, dear reader? Or else we wouldn't be here.

No comments:

Post a Comment