As anyone familiar with this blog will be aware, I sometimes share here things I’ve written in response to an exercise at one of the two writers’ groups I’m in. This little piece was written at Slaithwaite Writers in response to a fairly random selection of words, two of which were “ridiculous” and “smile”.
“What the ….” It took her a few seconds to realise that it was me inside the giant frog costume.
“What on earth are you playing at, Paul? This is ridiculous!”
“Is that such a bad thing? I mean, yesterday you were mocking me for wearing my grey suit. I seem to remember you saying – and I quote – ‘why do you have to wear the same drab clothes every day, you dull little man. Why can’t you wear something less boring once in a while?’ So I did. I thought you’d be pleased.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake! I don’t know what kind of game this is, but I don’t like it. What is all this about?”
I composed myself for a few moments then tried to speak in as measured and thoughtful a manner as is possible for a person dressed as an unfeasibly large amphibian.
“What it’s about, I suppose, is an attempt to coax a smile from that stony face of yours. Clearly this is not going to be an easy task, but I am not a man who gives up easily. If the frog doesn’t do it for you, what else should I try? They have a nice chicken costume at the shop, but I thought that would just be silly.”
She uttered a peculiar noise that actually would have sounded quite appropriate coming from the frog.
“This is so typical of you, Paul. Instead of dealing with the issues between us, you just retreat into pathetic, infantile stunts, like a little boy.”
“I tried to talk to you about those ‘issues’ a couple of days ago, don’t you remember? And within five minutes you were shouting and throwing things at me.”
“That’s because you are completely impossible, Paul. Nothing you say or do makes sense. So why did you get it into your head that the solution to our problems was to be even more impossible. I mean – look at you! How could you possibly think this was going to help?”
I made no reply. It seemed the least worst option. But she was having none of it.
“Well, what have you got to say for yourself?”
I thought for a moment.
“Ribbit,” I said.
At this, she screamed and punched me on my green froggy nose. A little speaker in the head of the costume began to play “The Frog Chorus”.
She stood there, red faced, quaking with rage. And then, little by little, she began to laugh.