Yet another Last Post Wins entry . The Emperor penguin has just had a promotion and this is my congratulations card. If you're not familiar with the characters in use, you might want to read my previous blog post here http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/blog/664/entry-16424-a-peaceful-transfer-of-power/ .
[A solitary hack waits in an airless hotel room for the start of an interview. The benevolent Penguin Emperor has decided to allow the publication of the ex-queen's memoirs. They have been heavily vetted (the ghostwriter has seen to that) and anyway, her Penguiness was becoming rather annoyed by the constant stream of whinging emails, texts and voicemails from the ex-queen complaining about her restricted income, freedom, internet access – in fact, her restricted ... everything.
The ex-queen and her PR minder enter – she with her best, meaningless smile in full view. The minder starts ...]
Just so we're clear – no questions will be allowed which haven't already been submitted for approval. The ex-queen will talk only about the publication of her memoirs – any attempt to move away from this topic will result in the interview being terminated.
[The ex-queen's smile dims momentarily before coming back in full force. She seems very aware of the minder's presence. The interview continues until the minder takes a call …]
…. Yes, your Penguiness, I quite understand … Yes, immediately, your Penguiness ….
[He hurries out, leaving the other two behind. The ex-queen leans forward and whispers to the hack …]
Well, what did you think of it? God, it was so much fun to write – well, I didn't actually write it, somebody else did that, but still … Isn't it amazing? I dished so much dirt on all the court …
[The hack produces a copy of the book, a very slim volume. He gives it to the ex-queen. She puts it to one side, thinking it's something he wants her to sign. As she opens her mouth again, he butts in with his own question (from the list, of course).]
You are doubtless aware that our glorious Emperor has written many, fine things: stories, novels, and poetry. My readers would be very interested in your opinion of them.
[The ex-queen looks confused.]
She writes things? You mean, she actually does it herself? Doesn't she realise that's what the bard's there for? At least, he was when I was queen. I imagine he's moved with the times, hasn't he? I remember when he wrote an ode …
[The door opens and the minder looks suspiciously at them both, The ex-queen jerks back in her chair and flushes. The hack recovers first.]
I was just asking her opinion of our glorious Emperor's literary masterpieces …
[The minder looks at the ex-queen expectantly. First, she has that 'caught the headlights' look, then she swallows hard and her voice takes on a fawning tone …]
Of course, I make it one of my daily tasks to read something written by our glorious Emperor …
[she chokes slightly but continues]
... and to reflect upon the wisdom it contains. I marvel at her Penguiness' imagination and literary skill which only serve to enhance her glowing reputation and honour.