22 November 2007
A forced entrance, and an uncomfortable exit.
Having rather skillfully and artfully negotiated my entrance into the theatre, I was feeling somewhat chipper, that is until my progress was once again impeded upon, this time by a rather old chap wearing a comically ill-fitting waistcoat. I regarded him with barely-concealed derision.
“Good evening, sirs,” the fellow croaked. “Could I just see your tickets, please?”
“Tickets?” I snorted. “Tickets? What is all this about?”
“I just need to check your tickets for the show, sirs,” the old wretch continued.
“My good man,” I said, resting a hand upon the fellow’s shoulder. “I am Lord Likely, aristocratic adventurer and peer to the realm. As such, I do not make a habit of paying for things, and that is a habit I do not intend to break now.”
“I’m afraid I must see your tickets, sir,” the buffoon went on. “We are getting close to capacity tonight, and I’m afraid we do not have any gratuities left to hand out. You…you’ll have to purchase tickets from the box-office if you wish to get in. I’m very sorry, sir, but that is the theatre’s policy.”
“I would advise you to change that policy pretty sharpish, then.” I said.
“I…I do not have that power, sir.” the man smiled weakly. “Um…I could get the manager for you, if you like…”
“Yes! Bring me this ‘manager‘,” I demanded, loftily.
The old man shuffled off and returned moments later, accompanied by a rather smarmy-looking fellow with slicked-back hair, and the sorriest excuse for a moustache I have ever seen. It looked rather like this blaggard had been vigourously exploring his own back-passage with his finger, and then accidentally smeared it on his top lip. Which he may well have done, I could not really tell for certain.
“Good evening, sir,” he said. “I am Mr. Helix Thrunt, and I am the manager. And what seems to be the problem here?”
“The problem, Mr. Thrunt, is that I cannot get into see this show for free, despite my extremely important status and high-standing in society, a situation which I find to be outrageous and unfathomable, and unfathomably outrageous all at once.”
“Well, I am sorry to hear that,” Mr. Thrunt replied, unconvincingly. “Unfortunately our policy states that…”
“Gah! There’s that accursed policy again! This is intolerable!” I snapped, reaching into my coat pocket, and pulling out my wallet. “Here!” I said, thrusting a large wad of money into Mr. Thrunt’s hands. “That is several hundred pounds, there. I am buying this theatre.”
Mr. Thrunt looked at me agog. Even Botter seemed to be surprised at my impulsive gesture.
“Now, as the owner of this establishment I am going to change this ridiculous policy of yours. So, from now, on aristocrats get free entrance, no matter what. Understood?” I asked.
The man nodded in stunned silence.
“Good show. The second change I shall enforce, as the sole proprietor of this theatre, is to demote you to the position of toilet-scrubber, effective immediately.”
Mr. Thrunt nodded again, more glumly this time.
“Well, don’t just stand there – get to it, man! Those shit-stains won’t remove themselves, you know!” I yelled.
Mr. Helix Thrunt skulked off, muttering to himself and shaking his head sadly.
“Far be it for me to question your actions, milord,” Botter piped up. “But you do realise that it would have been much cheaper just to buy the tickets, don’t you?”
“Pah!” I exclaimed. “It is not the money, Botter. It is the principle of the thing! All I ask is that I am shown the reverence and respect that I deserve. Is that really too much to ask, Botter?”
“Correct. Right, you go on in and find us the best seats in the house. And if someone is already occupying the best seats in the house, inform them that the new management will deliver a sound drubbing upon their livers if they do not vacate.”
“Very good milord. Where are you going, if I may ask?”
“You may not, Botter. But I shall tell you anyway – I am going to go and catch up with my old mucker Archibald. And maybe I shall take a quick tour of this damned building I have just purchased.”
And with that I strode off, whistling merrily.
It took me a fair old while to locate Archibald’s dressing-room, as he seemed to have been deemed unworthy of having his name clearly written upon his dressing-room door, unlike Silas Surprise, who’s door sported an overly-large star bearing his name in bold, cursive letters. Even Madam Norksag‘s musical stoats had their names proudly emblazoned upon their door, which was not quite as bewildering as the fact that they had their own room at all.
Thus, I spent my time wandering from room to room, trying to locate my old chum Archie. At one point, I accidentally strolled into a room full of semi-naked chorus girls, which was an accident I would happily endure more often, given the chance.
Finally, having managed to tear myself away from the lust-crazed chorus girls, I chanced upon a final door, which I presumed to be the door to Archie’s dressing-room. I was about to knock, but then I decided just to burst in on my old school-friend, and give him the surprise of his life.
As I flung open the door to his room, it was I who received the surprise of my life. And it was not a pleasant surprise, either.
For there, standing in the centre of the room, was a man with a playing card sticking out of his arse.
I recognised old Archie alright, but that card-trick was definitely new to me, and I hoped dearly that he did not also have a rabbit secreted up there as well.
- Lord Likely.
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