Thursday, October 06, 2016

THURSDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2016 - AN ANNIVERSARY OF SORTS...

THE TRUE LIGHT... TURNS 15!!

Hello beasties!

Today, I just want to briefly celebrate the 15th birthday of the poem that really got me properly started with writing poetry...

We do have a new podcast episode for you - episode 26 - we're approaching some special episodes coming up from mid-October into November! Our latest episode is - amongst other things - a bit of a grump-fest about when modern art goes too far and just starts taking the piss; in that it looks like something a 2 year-old drew at kindergarten. ...And this is coming from someone who loves a bit of modern art - when it actually looks like somebody has spent time and talent on putting it together!

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 26: ART FOR ART'S SAKE!?


Here we are for episode TWENTY-SIX - which sees the return of Carey (our guest from episode 24)... Not only do we chat whilst he's still in France - but he also pops over to London, where we discuss the pros and cons of modern art. There is also poetry and the usual chatter from some of our regulars. We also catch up with what the aliens have been up to on Tastes Like Burning. Our next episode, number 27 - will be out in about a week and is a very special episode recorded in Luxembourg back in late August. Thank you again to Carey for being my special guest this time and also to Tim and James for allowing me to use clips from their recent shows. Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments - you can even send me a sound-file and I'll include it on the show. The music is by Shy Yeti and Luca. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Episode 26 was recorded between the 12th August and the 28th September 2016.

This episode can be downloaded on iTunes, Acast, Podbean and also from Soundcloud at the following link:
 

I won't reprint the poem here as I did quite an extensive piece five years ago and even wrote an alternative prose version - you can read both at the following link:

http://www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2011_10_02_archive.html

I hope you enjoyed that! Now for something completely different...



Yes, thank you, Paul... Very amusing!


I just wanted to pause to mark the moment - as it was a bit of a turning point and I can't honestly say that if my friend Max DeWinter hadn't challenged me to write a poem on that day 15 years ago that I would ever have decided to go back to writing poetry in such a big way. Maybe I would have or maybe not - but it's quite possible that it wouldn't have been quite such a big part of my creative life and that I would never have reached the stage where I considered myself a poet or put myself in a situation where I perform those poems live. So thank you coincidence for putting me in that place at that time and for the topic of poetry for coming up in conversation! Thank you, Max DeW!

Have you finished, yeti? You have? Thank you!!

Next time - there will be more podcasts - some chatter about my recent visit to Radio Wey and may be even a new piece of prose... We are also lining up another chat with The Beargrrrian Gazette - after all it's been a pretty busy few months since they last checked in... We are also nearing our 400th post... Then there is Halloween... Then there is Venice for my birthday, oh - and I may be doing another John Smallshaw open mic night if I can jiggle the dates! Not to mention another couple of Shy Yeti scripts that I've been working on! It's all go!!

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

All contents of this post are copyright Paul Chandler, 2016 - except for the two graffiti photos that are copyright Toby W.

Monday, October 03, 2016

SHY YETI IS A MODEL CITIZEN IN OUR NEW SCRIPT...

SHY YETI AND THE ATTACK OF THE SUPER MODELS!!

Hello beasties!

This week we have another of our Shy Yeti scripted adventures... It's a little bit inspired by my last poetry show, back in July... Talking of poetry I was back on Radio Wey the other night and read three poems from my SHY YETI RULES OK compilation from 2009 - I recorded what I read and also what another author who was there wrote and a short interview with Tim about writing; but you'll have to wait a few more weeks before I post this particular episode. I'll be blogging when it happens though - so you won't miss anything...

Next up I have details on three new episodes of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST that have been released in the last week or so...

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 23: ELAINE AND THE ALIENS...


Here we are for episode TWENTY-THREE - and we return to our chat with Elaine, which began in episode 22. This time we are discussing music and what we're really keen on - and I've also got some audio messages to share with you from some aliens that recently kidnapped me. Don't worry - they were friendly! Our next episode, number 24 - will be out before the end of the month. The poem LOVE-GO-ROUND appears on my digital album, THE KISS-ME-QUICK E.P. available from: https://shyyeti.bandcamp.com/album/the-kiss-me-quick-e-p Thank you again to Elaine for being my special guest this episode and also to Tim and James from the TASTES LIKE BURNING podcast for allowing me to be very silly on their show. Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments - you can even send me a sound-file and I'll include it on the show. The music is by Shy Yeti and Luca, with sound-effects from Soundbible. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Episode 23 was recorded between the 1st August and the 19th September 2016.

This episode can be downloaded on iTunes, Acast, Podbean and also from Soundcloud at the following link:

23: https://soundcloud.com/shyyeti/the-shy-life-podcast-23-elaine-and-the-aliens

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 24: AN AMERICAN IN FRANCE


Here we are for episode TWENTY-FOUR - and we have a new guest - his name is Carey and he is an American studying in France... We discuss music, literature and writing amongst other topics. I also have some poems to share with you from my collection, GO 4TH AND DIVIDE (2003) and there are also messages from a number of familiar voices - and one slightly newer one! Our next episode, number 25 - will be out in a week or so. Thank you again to Carey for being my special guest this episode and also to James and Tim for allowing me to use clips from Tastes Like Burning. Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments - you can even send me a sound-file and I'll include it on the show. The music is by Shy Yeti and Luca. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Episode 24 was recorded between the 1st August and the 22nd September 2016.

This episode can be downloaded on iTunes, Acast, Podbean and also from Soundcloud at the following link:


THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 25: PAPERBACK WRITER (OTHER FORMATS AVAILABLE)


Here we are for episode TWENTY-FIVE - and we have a new guest - her name is Julie Archer and not only have we known one another for twenty years, but she is just about to publish her first book! We discuss writing and self-publishing and also music, TV and trips we have shared together abroad. I also have some poems to share with you from my collection, THE SHY LIFE (2009) and there are also messages from a number of familiar voices! Our next episode, number 26 - will be out in early October. Thank you again to Julie for being my special guest this time. Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments - you can even send me a sound-file and I'll include it on the show. The music is by Shy Yeti and Luca. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Episode 25 was recorded between the 20th and the 25th September 2016. Julie's website is: https://juliearcherwrites.wordpress.com/ and her book can be bought from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions.

This episode can be downloaded on iTunes, Acast, Podbean and also from Soundcloud at the following link:


Before we reach the script I have a few photos to share with you that I meant to post a while ago, but didn't because the script that appears here this week took longer to complete than expected. They are taken from behind the scenes of recording various podcast episodes back in July...

The first are photos taken in my way to meeting old friends, Lisa Parker and Andrew Trowbridge in Winchester on Saturday 16th July - this interview appears in episode 13 of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST. By the way, the spider was a little friend I met on the train!!


These ones are just a couple I took on Wednesday 20th July 2016 whilst recording a little section for episode 14, which was posted mid-August.




Next time - later this week, in fact - we'll be celebrating the 15th anniversary of a very special poem of mine...

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

P.S. Check out my friend Drew Forest's blog http://themannequinsoulrituals.blogspot.co.uk/ and his awesome new series MMMMMMZOMB! He's also written a couple of great books that are available on Amazon...

P.P.S. This script was written between Thursday 21st July and 11th September 2016, with re-writes between then and posting.
SHY YETI AND THE ATTACK OF THE SUPER MODELS!!

SETTING: Shy Yeti is preparing one of his poetry shows at The Poetry Cafe near Covent Garden, London... He hasn't done a night there for a while and so he is quite excited about it - but at the moment nobody has arrived yet. As he waits Shy is recording a little message for his new podcast, THE SHY LIFE PODCAST, whilst he sits there on the sofa, down in the basement where the performance will later take place...

SHY: (in his best speaking voice)

So listeners - I got here nice and early this evening... I've arranged the chairs and put up some posters from my new book, it's called A YETI WAY OF THINKING if I haven't already mentioned it... I'll be reading some of those poems tonight and recording it all for the podcast... You lucky, lucky people you!!

MR YETI LOOKS AROUND - ANNOYED THAT HE HAS NOBODY TO SPEAK WITH EXCEPT FOR HIS AUDIENCE WHO WON'T HEAR WHAT HE IS SAYING FOR QUITE SOME WEEKS...

So... It's about an hour before the audience should start arriving... I'll be joined by poet extraordinaire, John Smallshirt and a friend of mine from FaceAche named Richard has also promised to come and read tonight - sharing with us some new poems from his latest book! Moving on... Now listen.. I'm really not sure if I ought to talk about this - but I know some of you listen to his podcast too... You see I met this man - he claimed to be the podcaster, Toppie Smellie and - I don't doubt it for a minute, but he showed up at my door and - well, he's here in the UK and yet he keeps showing up and then vanishing at the last minute... I mean, it has to be him! I'd never met him before face-to-face, but I have spoken to him over the internet and it sounds like the same man... Also, there hasn't been an episode of his show for a while and... Well, I bumped into him again the other day and right in the middle of our conversation something bad happened and he had to scarper and I told him to meet me at my house... But he never showed up! I must say that I'm very confused about what to do next... I want to help him home, but if he can't stop still for more than five minutes it makes it very difficult...

HE BREAKS OFF - HEARING A FOOT STEP ON THE STAIR HE BECOMES DISTRACTED...

(nervously) Hello!? HELLO!?

SHY HURRIES OVER AND PEERS UP THE STAIRS - BUT CAN'T SEE ANYONE... SIGHING, HE MAKES HIS WAY UP TO THE CAFE ON THE GROUND FLOOR... THERE IS NOBODY ELSE IN THERE AT THE MOMENT, EXCEPT FOR THE LADY WHO IS MANAGING THE BAR...

SHY: (politely, slightly distracted)

Hello... Excuse me... Did you see anybody standing there on the stairs just a minute ago!?

THE LADY TURNS FROM WHERE SHE IS RE-STOCKING THE FRIDGE... SHY PAUSES, STARING AT HER FOR SHE LOOKS VAGUELY FAMILIAR, BUT SHY CANNOT IMMEDIATELY PLACE HER - STILL HE DOES ASK HER JUST IN CASE SHE CAN ENLIGHTEN HIM...

(interrupting before she can speak) I'm sorry... Have we met before?

BAR MANAGER: (politely)

Yes, love - about twenty minutes ago when you first arrived,..

SHY: (politely in return)

No... No... I meant before today...

BAR MANAGER: (vague)

Oh... Err... I'm not sure... I meet so many people here...

SHY: (making small talk, but a little distracted)

I'm sure you do - it must be a lovely job to have...

BAR MANAGER: (as if trying to make a point)

Better than my last job...

SHY: (making a bad pun)

Ah! Well, yes... You know what they say - it could be VERSE, couldn't it!?

BAR MANAGER: (nonplussed)

Oh... Right... Sorry... Was that a joke?

SHY: (embarrassed/curious/unsure)

Not really... I don't think that it would count as one... I'm sorry - are you sure we haven't met?

BAR MANAGER: (suddenly changing the subject, busying herself)

I'm sorry, sir... I really don't think we have...

SHY: (thinking on his feet)

You must have a twin, then... You've never been to Venice? No... Not Venice... Amsterdam... I was there earlier in the year... Was it there? Have you been? I'm sorry - I meant to ask your name...

BAR MANAGER: (turning away to serve someone)

Sorry, sir.. I have another customer...

SHY TURNS TO SEE THAT A FEW PEOPLE HAVE ARRIVED - HE ISN'T SURE IF THEY HAVE COME TO SEE HIS SHOW OR WHETHER THEY ARE JUST SHELTERING FROM THE RAIN, AS THE CAFE IS SUDDENLY A WELCOME HAVEN TO A CROWD OF RATHER TALL LADIES IN RAIN MACS, SPORTING SOME RATHER EXPENSIVE LOOKING BAGS AND UMBRELLAS...

SHY: (excitedly)

Golly! Looks like it could be a busy night!

BAR MANAGER: (apologetic)

I do hope so... Now, I really must help this gentleman...

SHY NOTICES A RATHER SMALL, FURRY LOOKING GENTLEMAN WITH WHISKERS WHO APPEARS TO BE ON STILTS - EVEN SO SHY APPEARS TO TOWER OVER HIM...

CUSTOMER: (politely)

A saucer of milk, please...

SHY: (keenly, slightly nervous)

Here for the poetry? (the gentleman scowls at Shy and Shy grins stupidly and backs off - waving at the bar manager) I'll speak to you later then... Err.. Err...

SHY GIVES UP TRYING TO GET THE BAR MANAGER'S NAME AND MAKES HIS APOLOGIES AS HE PASSES THROUGH THE GROUP OF DRIPPING LADIES - THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE DECIDED WHETHER THEY WANT TO REMOVE THEIR COATS YET OR NOT...

(mutters to self) Maybe they're not staying after all...

HEADING DOWNSTAIRS, SHY STRUGGLES WITH BOXES AND PROPS FOR HIS SHOW AND ALMOST HURTLES STRAIGHT INTO HIS CO-STAR FOR THE EVENING, A TALL NORTHERN GENTLEMAN NAMED JOHN SMALLSHIRT WHO HE HAS DONE SHOWS WITH FOR YEARS...

JOHN: (cool as a cucumber)

HEY! SHY YETI! SLOW DOWN A MINUTE, WON'T YOU, NOW!?!

SHY: (relieved, pleased to see him)

OH! GOOD GRIEF! IS THAT YOU, JOHN? HELLO!!

JOHN: (somewhat sarcastically)

What's left of me after you've trampled me under your great big furry boots, yes...

SHY: (apologetically, but distracted)

Oh - I am sorry... I didn't even realise that you'd arrived yet... Here! Will you take one or two of these boxes, please!?

JOHN: (helpful, but slightly bemused)

Already done... Why on earth do you bring so much stuff? It's poetry - not pantomime...

SHY: (laughing, embarrassed)

I know! I know! And I accept that a lot of it is clutter - but you must admit that I do look good in that red top-hat...

JOHN: (curious)

You do! It's very you - very stylish - but you've got more than just your hat with you there... What is that? A windmill of some kind?

SHY: (grins)

Nearly! It's an electric fan... You know how hot this place gets in the warmer months...

JOHN: (confused)

But how is it electric? It's not plugged in and yet it's turning...

SHY: (bemused)

Oh... Good point. Maybe it isn't electric - let me take a look... (peeks into it quickly) It appears to be powered by a number of rather sweaty mice on a tread-mill...

JOHN: (pretending to be annoyed)

Rather than work the fan they should have just focused on putting the chairs out...

SHY: (not being entirely serious)

Oh, that's alright... I'll do it - unless we just get the audience to stand...

JOHN: (raising an eyebrow)

I'm not sure they'd like that! Let's just set it out together, shall we?

WE SEE THE TWO POETS SETTING OUT THE ROOM - BUT THEIR HARD WORK IS SPEEDED UP BEFORE US... EVENTUALLY TIME PASSES SLOWER AGAIN AND THE TWO POETS SPEAK AS THE AUDIENCE SLOWLY STARTS TO ARRIVE - SHY RECOGNISES MANY OF THESE PEOPLE AS BEING THE TALL WOMEN WHO ARRIVED EARLIER WEARING STRANGE HATS AND LOOKING WET FROM THE RAIN... SHY YETI AND JOHN SMALLSHIRT ARE JUST GLAD THAT ANYONE HAS SHOWN UP TO LISTEN!

SHY: (keen, curious, hopeful, concerned that the readers may steal precious time from him)

Good crowd tonight... Do you think they'll want to do open-mic, John?

JOHN: (positive, then lowering his voice somewhat)

You should invite them to at the start - although don't let them take over the evening - you and I need to read, right? It's your night!

SHY: (pondering)

Yours too... You're my guest... I think you're right... Let's just see... Maybe they're just mostly here to listen... Are none of them friends of yours? 

JOHN: (looking around and not recognising any of the formerly-wet ladies)

None that I recognise... What about you?

SHY: (a little sadly)

No... Not one of them... I don't think many of my "posse" are going to make it...

JOHN: (a little doubtful)

You have a "posse"? Really, Shy? Come on...

SHY: (backing down a little, embarrassed)

Okay... I have people... Friends who like my poems - but they're probably not quite a "posse..."

JOHN: (reassuring, kindly)

It's okay... You're forgiven... (looks around) Do you think we should start? This bunch is beginning to look a bit impatient...

SHY PEERS OVER HIS SHOULDER AND NODS - JOHN IS RIGHT, THEY DO LOOK A BIT TOE-TAPPY - IN FACT ONE OR TWO OF THEM LOOK LIKE THEY'RE ABOUT TO STAND UP AND PROTEST...

SHY: (lowering his voice)

We're not late - it's another five minutes - but perhaps we should just start... (John nods, so Shy steps forward, trying to sound enthusiastic) Hello! Hello, people! It's great to see you here tonight... My name is Shy Yeti and I'll be your host for this evening... You're in for a feast of poetry - some of it daft - some of it a little more serious and some of it plain scary! But it's not just me - I have a couple of special guests who will be reading this evening - later on we'll be joined by Poet Rich - but first up we'll be hearing from my old friend John Smallshirt - a poet of rare talent and humour...

RANDOM CROWD VOICES: (rudely)

BOOOOOOOO!!!

SHY: (taken aback)

I'M SORRY!?

CROWD: (now even louder)

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

SHY: (stammering with surprise)

Who-who-who are you booing? Is it John Smallshirt? Really - he's awfully good, I'll have you know...

CROWD: (indignant / furious)

WE'RE BOOING THE WORLD!!  WE'RE PROTESTING!!!

SHY: (impatient, displeased)

Do you have to do it here and now?

JOHN: (attempting to reason with the crowd)

Come on chaps... Sorry, ladies... This is a poetry show... If you're not here to listen then you should probably leave...

SHY: (relieved)

I'm just glad they weren't booing us - we've not even started... It's quite a knock to the confidence to get booed so early on... I've had rotten tomatoes thrown at me - but that's usually after I've read a few - and it very rarely occurs before I've even begun...

CROWD: (in unison)

WE'RE PROTESTING! WE'RE STAGING AN INTERVENTION!!

SHY: (supportively) 

An intervention, really? But what about? Does it involve poetry - if not, can't you do it upstairs or better still down the road in Covent Garden? If you give me a couple of hours I'll even join in if it's for a good cause...

CROWD: (beginning to sound quite threatening)

IT'S NOT ABOUT POETRY - BUT IT'S YOU TWO WE'RE HOLDING HOSTAGE...

JOHN: (stepping in to add his comment, sounding quite authoritative)

Hey now, ladies! I have a family at home, I'll have you know - I have a wife and a... garden shed to look after! There was a time when I would have been quite up for being held hostage by ladies such as yourself - but not now. I have poems to read and read them I shall...

SHY: (trying to be diplomatic)

Would it be okay, do you think, if we did the poems whilst you held us hostage? I mean, as I was saying before, I suppose we ought to really know WHY you're actually doing so...

THERE IS SILENCE IN THE ROOM - THERE ARE ONE OR TWO BEMUSED LOOKING PUNTERS WHO AREN'T INVOLVED IN THIS TAKE-OVER, BUT ALL THE TALL WOMEN WITH WEIRD HATS ARE QUITE CLEARLY PART OF ONE GROUP... ONE LADY IN A GREEN AND WHITE POLKA-DOT SKIRT AND WEARING A HAT THAT LOOKS MORE LIKE A CREAM CAKE STEPS FORWARD FROM THE OTHERS - SHE APPEARS TO BE THEIR LEADER...

LEADER: (confidently)

My name is Susan... Susan Stiletto... I'm our spokes-person...

SHY: (trying to be amusing)

Oooh! Nice hat, by the way... Don't I recognise your name? Aren't you a singer or an actress or Prime Minister or something...

SUSAN: (coolly)

I'm a model... A SUPER Model... All of us here are...

SHY: (surprised)

Gosh! Really! Even him? (Shy points at a rather smelly looking man at the back of the room who is reading The Evening Standard)

SUSAN: (annoyed)

NO! Not him...

JOHN: (trying to reason with the models)

Come on now... Let's be nice... What's your problem? How on earth do you expect to be taken seriously standing there wearing what looks like a piece of week-old candyfloss on your head?

SUSAN: (furiously)

That's just typical... Nobody takes us seriously... We dress as we like...

SHY: (in awe, not even remotely sarcastic)

...And so you should! Are these next seasons designs? From the looks of you - hats that resemble cakes are going to be massive...

JOHN: (bluntly)

They look rubbish... Sorry ladies... I speak as I find...

SUSAN: (suddenly, with authority)

SILENCE!! Girls... Tie him up...

JOHN: (disgruntled, raising his hands)

TIE ME UP!? BUT WHY? COME ON LADIES... THIS IS NOT COOL...

SHY: (trying to be reasonable)

Please don't do anything rash, Susan... Why do you need to do this?

SUSAN: (grumpy)

He was rude about our hats...

SHY: (trying to smooth things over)

I'm sure he didn't mean to be...

JOHN: (mutters)

I actually did... 

SHY: (exasperated)

Oh John... You're not helping yourself... Maybe it's better you are tied up... Here! I have a handkerchief - you can gag him too... (he hands it out to Susan) You can use that old sofa throw there to secure him - tear it into strips or something... Why am I telling you this? You, of all people, know the best way of making good use of spare curtain material!

SUSAN GIVES SHY A STRANGE LOOK - BUT TAKES THE HANDKERCHIEF... DESPITE SHY'S SLIGHT BETRAYAL, JOHN ACTUALLY LOOKS QUITE PLEASED TO BE MAN-HANDLED BY THE SUPER MODELS... HE SITS THERE HAVING A BIT OF A REST - JUST LETTING THEM GET ON WITH IT...

(more relaxed) There you go; it's a more quiet now... So... Tell me... What is your protest all about?

SUSAN: (assertive, yet lowering his voice)

We want food! FOOD! We don't want to be size zero any more! We want the accepted standard of beauty to be chubby...

SHY: (beaming)

Like me, you mean?

SUSAN: (hiding her shock badly)

I wouldn't go that far... You're several sizes up from chubby...

SHY: (slightly taken aback)

Now then... No need to be personal...

SUSAN: (with great certainty)

We thought you could write us a campaign poem... (there are murmurs of both encouragement and uncertainty) It's not just that - but also our mothers...

SHY: (confused)

Your mothers? What about them?

SUSAN: (outraged)

They've had so much surgery that they now look younger than us? My own mother looks like she's still at kindergarten and people think that I'm HER mother! Her GRANDMOTHER, even!!

SHY: (shocked)

GOOD LARD! HOW OFFAL! Sorry... That's not what I meant to say at all...

SUSAN:

I understood... (continuing on her rant) Some of our mothers have taken up modelling and are taking work away from us - they don't charge as much as we do and... and...

SHY: (sympathetically)

Don't worry, dear - I quite understand! Clearly something needs to be done...

AT THIS MOMENT SHY NOTICES HIS OTHER CO-STAR, RICHEY PEERING DOWN FROM THE STAIRS - BUT BEFORE SHY CAN REACT HE HAS DISAPPEARED BACK TO THE BAR...

(distracted) You know, I'll happily write you a poem - but if you want a good one it will take a few hours...

SUSAN: (persistently)

We can wait...

SHY: (hopeful)

I'm not sure that holding me to ransom down here under such pressurised circumstances is going to get the best out of me, to be honest... What if we go upstairs and have a coffee or better still, why don't you let us do a show - let these people go and then I'll start work immediately after...
SUSAN: (dubious)

I'm not sure about that... You might try and escape...

SHY: (chuckling)

What? When there are coffee and cakes waiting - I don't think so! Look - to be honest - staying down here in this cramped little space really isn't going to do us any good when it comes to spreading your message! I mean, I can't even get any internet access - so I can't tweet about it - let alone get any photos out!

SUSAN: (impatiently)

We really don't care about the internet...

SHY: (boldly)

Then, if you'll beg my pardon, you're a fool! I'll have you know that I have hundred of followers who might be interested and support your cause... What we need to do is to get out of the basement and onto the streets! Spread the word for everyone to hear - not just a few bored tourists who have come into the cafĂ© to shelter from the rain... (he shoots a look at the smelly man) Yes sir, I do mean you...

MAN: (unhappily)

But I didn't have an umbrella and I'm a big fan of Sylvia Plath...

SHY: (rolls eyes)

That's what all the boys say... Now be quiet and let me sort out this whole mess... If you're not helping then you're part of the problem...

MAN: (apologetically)

Sorry... Really sorry...

SHY: (thoughtfully)

It's alright... So, Susan... I think we need to discuss whatever plan you have for getting what you want... It needs to be a sensible plan - no witchcraft - suffocating people with your ridiculous hats or overcoming them with poisoned lipstick...

SUSAN: (shaking her head)
You have watched too many 60s spy movies...

SHY: (sounding hurt)

There is no such thing as too many, Susan...

SUSAN:

I beg to differ...

SHY: (mutters)

Well, I don't think we should start an argument over it...

UNEXPECTED VOICE: (crossly)

WILL YOU TWO BE QUIET!?

EVERYONE IN THE ROOM TURNS TO SEE A FIGURE STANDING ON THE STAIRS... IT IS THE LADY WHO RUNS THE BAR - THE ONE SHY FELT HE RECOGNISED EARLIER - AND STANDING BEHIND HER IS RICH, THE OTHER POET DUE TO READ THAT NIGHT...

SUSAN: (short-temperedly)

Sandy... Will you just butt out - this is none of your business...

SANDY: (snapping)

It kind of is... I said you could come and demonstrate in the building - but not to the point of holding the poet's hostage... Do you want me to lose my job? Well, do you? Because if I lose my job then I'm going to make sure you lose yours...

SUSAN: (with disbelief)

What are you saying?

SANDY: (almost growling with anger)

I'm saying how would you like to try going for modelling jobs with a scar across your face? One so deep that no plastic surgeon is going to have enough cement to fill in the gap...

SHY: (helpfully, almost jovial)

I don't actually think they use cement... (lowering his voice and turning to face Sandy - so that Susan cannot hear) I really don't think you should talk to Susy like this... She's quite volatile...

SANDY: (through gritted teeth)

Shhh now... This is my little sister - and I'm twice as volatile as she is...

SHY: (exasperated)

Oh, good grief... Well, if it's okay with you then I might just ask young Rich here to untie Mr Smallshirt... Will that be agreeable to everyone?

SUSAN: (sounding threatening)

Don't you dare...

SANDY: (bellows)

UNTIE HIM! LADIES! OUT! THERE'S A POETRY SHOW GOING ON IN HERE...

THERE IS AN UNHAPPY MUTTERING FROM THE OTHER MODELS - BUT THEY DO AS THEY ARE TOLD - AND VERY SOON THE ONLY PEOPLE LEFT IN THE  BASEMENT ARE SANDRA, SUSAN, JOHN AND RICH - ALL OTHER MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SCARED AWAY...

SHY: (upset)

Oh dear... Now look what you've done...

SANDY: (apologetic, but still cross about her sister's behaviour)

Don't worry about it... None of this is your fault... We'll give you another night free to hold your show - will that be acceptable?

SHY: (slightly disorientated)

I think so... Yes... John, what do you say? Are you doing all right?

JOHN: (sounding quite chipper considering)

I'm doing fine... I guess whatever's fine with you is fine with me as far as doing the show another night... Will I get tied up again?

SHY: (uncertain how to reply)

Err... Only if you ask nicely...

JOHN: (shaking his head, but grinning)

Ha! Everyone's a comedian... Well, I don't know about you - but I could do with a drink... Shall we go upstairs? Will you still serve us, Sandy?

SANDY: (cheering up slightly)

Of course, love - drinks are on the house...

SUSAN: (grumpily)

I'm not happy about this...

SANDY: (bluntly)

I didn't expect you to be...

SHY: (whispers to her)

I will still help you, you know... I just think there are better ways that we could be doing this...

SUSAN: (not sounding convinced)

Maybe...

SUSAN STOMPS GRUMPILY UP THE STAIRS AFTER JOHN AND RICH, WHILST SANDY PAUSES ON THE STAIRS AND WATCHES SHY AS HE POTTERS ABOUT AIMLESSLY...

SHY: (muttering, lost in his own thoughts)

I suppose I should put these chairs away - it's been quite a night... I'm disappointed... I was all prepared to be poetic and now...

SANDY: (lowering her tone, calmer, supportive)

Leave the chairs - come and be poetic upstairs and get a drink inside you... By the way... I know you wanted to ask... We have met, but I bet you can't remember where though... I know about Toppie and I know about Tolstoy and I know that you're asking for trouble getting involved... I really wouldn't if I were you...

SHY: (confused/bewildered)

You what? What are you saying? Is that a threat?

SANDY: (urgently)

No... Just a piece of advice... I'm on your side...

SANDY BEGINS TO HEAD UP THE STAIRS - SHY LOOKS SHOCKED...

SHY: (alarmed)

You can't just tell me that and then give me no answers... Where is Toppie for one thing?

SANDY: (keen to reassure him)

I've no idea... I've nothing more to say on the matter - but I'm definitely a friend... Jay the Hauntcub sent me...

SHY: (he ends up even more mystified)

JAY THE HAUNTCUB DID WHAT!?!

SANDY: (losing patience, turning away)

That's all I'm saying... It'll all make sense eventually... Come on now...

SHY IS SPEECHLESS - HE WATCHES SANDY GO AND THEN SHRUGS - HEADING ON UP THE STAIRS AFTER HER... MEANWHILE, OUT OF THE STREETS AROUND COVENT GARDEN THE SUPERMODELS ARE HEADING HOME MINUS THEIR LEADER - THEY ARE A RATHER DEJECTED LOOKING BUNCH... ONE OF THEM PAUSES ON A STREET CORNER - LOOKING BACK AT "THE POETRY CAFE" AND WONDERING WHETHER THEY SHOULD GO BACK... THE FIGURE REMOVES HER CANDYFLOSS STYLE HAT AND HER WIG COMES LOOSE TOO AND WE SEE THIS ISN'T A TRUE SUPERMODEL AT ALL - BUT TOPPIE SMELLIE... HE SIGHS - PUTS THE HAT BACK ON - THROWS THE WIG TO A PASSING DOG AND THEN HURRIES ON HIS WAY... HE IS WATCHED BY THE SMALL FURRY MAN WITH WHISKERS WHO SHY SAW EARLIER - HE IS STILL ON THE STILTS... THIS IS TOLSTOY - HE IS ABOUT TO FOLLOW TOPPIE WHEN THE DOG SEES HIM AND BEGINS TO COME IN HIS DIRECTION... TOLSTOY QUICKLY ABANDONS THE STILTS AND HURRIES OFF DOWN AN ALLEYWAY - THE DOG PURSUES, YAPPING EXCITEDLY... TOPPIE IS LOST IN THE CROWD... WHERE EXACTLY IS HE GOING NOW?!

TO BE CONTINUED...


This post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.