Monday, 28 October 2013

Episode 2. Crisis, Fiscal & Cliff

‘It’s all kicking off down in the bar,’ Crisis gushed. ‘Crook, Criminal and Culprit have taken offence to Omnishambles and his entourage. Trending was chatting up both Cutie and Curvaceous when Crook and his cohorts arrived and it looks like it could turn nasty.’

Correspondent shrugged. ‘So what…one of the downsides of being in C-block is proximity to all those low-lifes which the letter C seems to attract but if that bunch of low-lifes send Omnishambles off with a flea in his ear, good. C’mon, Crisis, leave them to it. Join us here.’

Crisis glanced towards the table and closed the door behind him. ‘Don’t mind if I do. I’m entitled to some relaxation every now and then. God knows I have enough to deal with all year round.’

‘That’s the spirit,’ said Clever. ‘No point in making a drama out of yourself. So, has it been busier than normal this year then?’

Crisis shrugged. ‘It’s the world we live in. I don’t mean to get all “back-in-the-day” but there was a time when crisis meant something like the Bay of Pigs or Suez Canal or fuel rationing or blackouts but now, it’s some non-entity from a reality TV show throwing a hissy fit on Twitter over a perceived insult.’

‘A facile world, indeed,’ Coin said, nodding his head.

‘Speaking of Omnishambles, did any of you get an invite to the Word of the Year awards?’ Crisis asked. A collective shaking of heads indicated that no such invites had been received and Crisis smiled sheepishly. ‘Mine arrived today. I have to say I’m surprised, I don’t even know who it’s from.’

‘But surely you’re not going to attend it?’ asked Coin. ‘That’s a facile world, right there…Celebrity, Sycophant, Gossipmonger and that lot, not to mention Omnishambles and his lot…you can’t go!’

‘I know, I know. They’re vacuous and facile but when you’re invited, you can’t really turn it down.’

‘What a shame Celebrity hasn’t got the brains to go with her looks,’ said Correspondent wistfully. ‘I could get up to no end of mischief with her.’

‘Dream on, she’s way out of your league,’ said Coin. ‘Hey, I bumped into Cliff the other day. He was on top form…new haircut, smart suit, full of the joys of life.’

‘I’m not surprised,’ said Correspondent. ‘I heard that all the hoo-ha about the American economy and its “fiscal cliff” led to Fiscal and Cliff attending a Composite Words & Phrases Introductory meeting….you know where conjoined words and new expressions familiarise themselves with each other. Well, Fiscal and Cliff hit it off and they’re now an item.’

‘But Fiscal is a bloke,’ replied Coin. ‘You mean Cliff is…’

Correspondent nodded. ‘Well, it has been rumoured for years that Cliff was gay.’

Crisis clicked his fingers. ‘That explains something Celebrity was saying the other day about how she hardly ever bumped into Cliff in the C-block any more. Somebody said she should try the F-block and everybody giggled.’

‘Fraternising with Celebrity then?’ Coin asked Crisis. ‘I thought you described her as facile.’

Crisis blushed. ‘It was just a chance meeting.’

During the afternoon, more and more words joined the group. Crossword and Clue, inseparable as ever, arrived and chatted together until Cynic turned up and cast a baleful eye in their direction.

‘Enough with the cryptic stuff, you two. Let’s cut the shop talk, eh?’

Clamour and Celebration jauntily bounced into the room - Celebration clutching a bottle of champagne - having heard of the impromptu party on the 24th floor and they were soon followed by Curiosity before Celebrity poked her head around the door.

‘Room for a lady in here, gentlemen?’ she asked as she slinked into the room. The conversation stopped as men, hitherto draped over chairs, sat bolt upright. Wearing a backless cocktail dress and vertiginous high-heels, her lips a slash of vivid red, Celebration coquettishly accepted the offer of a chair and turned the full beam of her smile on Crisis.

‘Crisis! Darling! I hoped I might find you here. I’ve got a favour to ask.’

She leaned towards him and her voice dropped to a whisper as the others strained to pick up snippets of the conversation. Crisis blushed as Celebration tousled his hair and said, ‘Yes, of course that was me. I’d love you to be there as one of my guests.’

She turned towards the rest of the group. ‘I hope you gentlemen won’t mind if I borrow Crisis for a few hours. Some few friends of mine, oh I won’t drop any names, need some advice on which worthy cause they should bestow with their time and support and Crisis is just the man to put them on the right track.’

‘Not a decision to be taken lightly,’ drawled Cynic. ‘Where would the great and good be without some bunch of unfortunate victims to emote about in an oh-so-humble way? You should swing past the J-block on your way to meet them and find Journey. He’ll need to be part of those conversations too.’

Celebrity turned to Cynic, shook her head and tossed her hair back as she walked away. ‘Clearly didn’t have enough hugs as a child.’

‘Is that the best you can do, love?’ replied Cynic. ‘Hanging out with slebs doesn’t exactly sharpen one’s wit, does it?’

‘Er, if you need any media sources to provide publicity, I can probably help,’ Correspondent said to Celebrity as she swept past and left the room with Crisis.

‘Et tu, Brute?’ Cynic said, raising an eyebrow.

‘I’m not a proud man,’ Correspondent shrugged. ‘And don’t tell me you wouldn’t, given the opportunity.’

A burst of excited chatter could be heard outside the room; Curiosity stood and inclined his head towards the door but quickly stepped away as it opened, revealing Crusade and Conspiracy deep in conversation. Conspiracy’s eyes darted around the room before he spoke in an urgent whisper.

‘It’s happening again. I’ve just seen them myself.’

Next episode: Some words are less welcome than others.....

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