Thursday, 29 January 2009

Poo the Fearless

It's countdown to 'Tiger Day!' I am very excited! In fact, just thinking about it has caused me to choke on a piece of apple I'm eating in lieu of a big piece of cake because I am STILL trying to shift my post-Christmas bulge. It's okay, though. Mrs Miggins arrived and administered the Heimlich Manoeuvre.

'What you need,' she says as she picks me, choking and blue-lipped, from the kitchen floor, 'is a big piece of cake. The sponginess will mop up any stray bits of apple as it goes down.' She sounds so wise, so experienced about these things that I feel I should take her sage medical advice.
'So what's all the excitement then?' asks Miggins. She takes her hankie from her handbag and wipes a blob of chocolate butter icing from my face.
'Well,' I say, 'Andy is taking me to see some tigers. I'm going to write a story about them. I love tigers! Tigers are great! All that stripey fur and those fluffy ears...'
'Yes, yes,' says Miggins. 'I get the idea. You've been trained for this, I take it?'
I shake my head. Mrs Miggins tuts.
'You can't go visiting tigers without proper training,' she says. 'You need to speak to Mrs Poo. She'll get you fit and ready to visit a tiger or two.'
'Mrs Poo?' I ask.
'Oh yes,' says Miggins. 'She had to study a module in 'Mixing With Tooth and Claw Mammals' for her degree in stunt henship. I believe she got a distinction. I'll give her a shout.' And Miggins goes to the back door.
'POO!!' she shouts.
'I wish you wouldn't do that,' I say. Mrs Poo appears from behind the eglu. She is wearing a pair of science goggles and is holding a steaming test-tube with some tongs.
'WHAT?' she yells back. 'ONLY I'M AT A CRUCIAL POINT IN MY EXPERIMENT!'
'WHAT EXPERIMENT?' yells Mrs Miggins.
'THE ONE FOR CONVERTING CHICKEN DUNG INTO FUEL FOR THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE FOR MY FORMULA ONE RACING CAR!' shouts Mrs Poo.
Mrs Miggins turns back to me and sighs. 'She thinks she's going to take up Formula One motor racing. She says that Massey Fergusson have approached her to drive for them.'
'Don't they make tractors?' I ask.
'Quite,' says Miggins.
Mrs Poo has appeared at the door. The steaming test-tube smells foul and I comment as such.
'That's because it's got chicken dung in it,' says Poo. 'Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!'
'Shush!' says Miggins, 'and tell us about how to deal with a tiger visit.'
Mrs Poo gives Tybalt the test-tube and a glare that says 'if you drop this, cat, I'll haunt you in your dreams.'
'Tiger visiting eh?' she says. 'What've you been told so far?'
'To wear wellies and take a camera and some chicken drumsticks,' I say.
Mrs Poo nods. 'Same old myths,' she says.
'What are chicken drumsticks?' says Miggins.
'Never mind,' I say.
'They're very ineffectual, chicken drumsticks,' says Poo. 'I mean, even if you stand on a chair so you can poke the tiger in the eye, a small stick isn't going to save you against all those teeth. And they're never the same for playing your drums with after, you know. I think it upsets their fine balance.'
'I have no intention of poking a tiger in the eye with a drumstick or any other sort of stick,' I say.
Mrs Poo shrugs. 'Your limbs, I suppose,' she says. 'Personally, I'd feed Mrs Slocombe to a tiger if it meant saving my own feathers.'
'That's not nice,' I say. There's still a bit of tension in the air between Mrs Slocombe and the other three girls due to the feather pecking incident. I'm encouraging Mrs Slocombe to study the Elizabethan period at the moment in the hope she'll get fixated with the fashions of the time and take to wearing a gi-normous ruff around her neck. (The theory being that she won't be able to get anywhere near the others to get at their feathers. It's a thought.)

'So how do you suggest I approach this tiger visit?' I ask. Mrs Poo sits at the table and scribbles a few things on a piece of paper.
'Do you mind?' I say. 'That's part of the script for my latest best-selling novel.'
'It won't do you much good when you haven't got any arms left, will it?' says Poo. 'Trust me, you'll need to follow these instructions very carefully if you are to come out of this experience in one piece.' And she takes a piece of sellotape and attaches the paper to my forehead.
'Thanks,' I say. Mrs Poo nods, takes the test-tube from Tybalt and trots back into the garden to continue her experiment.
'What does it say?' asks Mrs Miggins. 'I left my glasses on my bedside table.'
'It..ouch...says...eek,' I begin, peeling the paper from my forehead, 'DO NOT VISIT TIGERS. THEY ARE CATS. WHAT HAVE WE TOLD YOU ABOUT CATS. WILL YOU NEVER LEARN, YOU MORON???'
'That was helpful then,' says Miggins.
'Wasn't it just,' I say.

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