Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Knife Games and Flaming Kittens

The reporter from The Times didn’t seem to understand my point.

‘I beg your pardon,’ I told the woman who sat poised over her notebook like some vulture with a ball point, ‘but it’s got nothing to do with stripping.’

‘Hasn’t it?’ she asked. ‘But the title…’

‘The title was a joke. You know… A funny acronym. T.E.S.T.I.C.L.E… It’s crude yet witty.’

She pursed her lips. ‘Are acronyms witty? I think our readers might disagree.’

‘Not in this case!’ I snapped and quickly sank my teeth into my knuckles before I could do some real verbal damage. ‘Look. It’s simple. You need to just go and ask Mr. Appleyard about his problem with Blogger. He’ll tell you all you need to know and then you can keep me out of it.’

‘But didn’t you say you’d be protesting? You said there would be clowns burning kittens. My editor only told me to come here because of the kittens.’

‘Yes, well, the kittens are out,’ I said sourly. ‘I had emails from animals rights activists. We had a frank exchange of opinions.’ Actually, they had also taken grave offense at my remarks about monkeys and beagles, though to be fair to them, they had a point about a man juggling live kittens doused in petrol. Promises I'd made to Internet Ronin about flaming fur had probably been a novelty too far.

‘I see,’ said the reporter, noting something down in shorthand.

I felt uncomfortable. The interview wasn’t going at all well, and I felt a bit relieved when Gabby came in with a tray. My heart skipped a beat when I noticed that a bottle of potato gin and a bread knife were alongside the plate of custard creams, the cup of tea, and my own freshly brewed coffee.

‘Are we happy?’ smiled Gabby.

‘We soon will be,’ I muttered, looking at the bottle of gin.

‘Oh, how wonderful,’ said the reporter. ‘You make you own wine.’

Gabby beamed. I frowned. The reporter looked puzzled.

Half an hour later, I was still frowning only I was now speaking on the telephone.

‘She’s out on the ledge,’ I said.

‘But is it a matter of life or death, sir?’ asked the emergency services operator. ‘If not, then you shouldn’t be calling 999.’

‘Somebody might die,’ I promised him. ‘I have a reporter from a national newspaper standing seventy feet above a courtyard and threatening to jump when a story still needs writing about the technical difficulties plaguing one of the country’s top blogs.’

‘I still don’t see what that has to do with the fire brigade,’ said the man. ‘What’s your blog called?’

‘Chip Dale’s Diary,’ I said.

‘And what’s it about?’

‘It’s about me. Chip Dale. It’s my diary.’

‘I see. And you have a problem with it?’

‘No, not at all,’ I answered. ‘In fact, it’s looking pretty damn good. I’ve just it redesigned with a picture of my be-thonged rear.’

The line went dead.

Gabby climbed back in from the ledge. ‘She still says she won’t come in,’ she said and brushed hair from her eyes. The blood had stopped pumping from the back of her hand.

‘Why did you have to get her drunk?’ I asked. ‘Couldn’t you see she liked the stuff too much?’

‘So, she like wine. I like wine too.’

‘Potato gin is hardly wine,’ I reminded her. ‘And I still don’t see why you had to start playing a knife game with her.’

A scream cut across the conversation and I ran to the window.

The reporter was staring wide eyed at the forecourt below. It was an improvement. Moments earlier she’d been in a trance and convinced that losing the knife game with Gabby meant she had to jump.

‘What am I doing up here?’ she asked, her face a mask of fear.

‘I think she’s sobering up,’ I told Gabby. ‘Don’t worry,’ I shouted to the reporter. ‘Just ease yourself this way and I’ll grab you.’

Surprisingly, she followed my instructions. The last of the gin in her system appeared to give her a little confidence.

‘There you go,’ I said as our hands locked together and I eased the poor woman back into the flat. ‘Now, that’s not so bad is it?’

‘Who am I?’ she asked, disorientated and looking around the room. I was not surprised. Mild amnesia is a common symptom of drinking Gabby’s spirits. But at least the woman’s face was returning to its natural shade of pink and she appeared to be making a quick recovery from her ordeal.

‘You’re a reporter from The Times,’ I said.

She nodded and smiled.

‘I think I remember,’ she answered. ‘And where am I?’

‘You’re in Wales.’

The woman just went white. I handed her the bottle.


rilly super said...

blaaardy hell chip, imagining what the average journo's alcohol tolerance must be that stuff your roomy produces must be pretty damn good. How so you foresee the tone of her article when it comes out? well, I'm, optimistic for for you anyway darling...

Smith said...

Like the re-design

Big Chip Dale said...

Rilly: ah, the whole thing turned pear shape. And she didn't write the article because Bryan fixed his blog.

Smith: glad you do. It has had mixed reactions with many finding the buttocks offensive.