Eventually, Sir Martin sees his friend standing in a dappled shade at the summit of a beach bar, with his legs comically bowed out to the side, one hand placed palm-downward upon an upward-facing thigh, and a tropical lady-lad-libation cupped gracefully in the other; the colour of which resonates joyfully with his skimpy, bright orange speedos.
“What-ho!” – waves Sir Martin – “have you filled your trunks?”
“No” – Martin responds – “it’s just the way I’m standing.”
“I mean; have you packed? We must leave tomorrow at nine sharp. And why are you standing like that?
Martin lifts a bowed leg, farts, and slaps a flip-flop’d foot against the compacted soil circumnavigating the bar. He lifts his other leg and repeats the procedure. He keeps repeating these actions until a frown appears on Sir Martin’s face, as though squirted from the bottom of a seagull flying overhead.
“Would you mind not doing that?” – Sir Martin asks, curtly, while flicking a stray fibre from a lapel of his crisply pressed safari suit. “One must strive to create an impression, and it seems you are creating the wrong kind.”
“You are right, of course. But we are on holiday, so one may relax one’s standards a little. I’m afraid the local food is playing havoc with my stomach, and I’m performing these aerobic movements in an effort to get my blood circulating. My whole body has locked into the position one adopts when seated on a barstool, because I have been seated upon one far too long.”
“Indeed” – Sir Martin sighs. “Anyway. We must leave tomorrow. Didn’t you receive my message?”
“The beeping sound? That was a message, was it? From you?” – Martin enquires
“Yes. Of course. Who else could it be? I am the only one with your number. Did you get it?”
“Only half of it.”
“Half? Which half?”
“The beeping sound” – Martin clarifies – “I didn’t check to see who it was from, in case it wasn’t from you. What did you write?
“That we must leave tomorrow at nine sharp.”
“But we have only just arrived!” – Martin wails. “What could have occurred that forbids our brief freedom from service to the Earth?”
“Double trouble, I’m afraid. Firstly; Sir Richard and his fogies have discovered we are responsible for the creation of Britain’s version of the CWO – the cwo.uk – and have foiled the revolution, and secondly; the Earth is being invaded by aliens. Or London is, anyway.”
“Oh no!” – Martin exclaims. “Which should we tackle first? The alien invasion or the sabotage of the revolution?” – he asks, as he resumes his flatulent aerobic routine.
“Well. It is a difficult choice. A true democracy may be of paramount importance, since the combined intelligence of the majority may be the only way to outsmart the aliens” – Sir Martin sighs. “On the other hand” – he continues – “there may not be enough time to form a true democracy, so it may be wise to tackle the alien invasion first.”
“What a conundrum!” – Martin exclaims, as the resonance generated by his persistent rocking from side to side and flip flop slapping encourages his arms to oscillate. Sir Martin regards his friend until the resonant oscillation becomes so violent that his arms are flailing wildly out of control.
“The aliens first?” – Martin suggests, as his arms knock him clean off his feet.
“Yes. The aliens” – Sir Martin agrees, as he watches Martin tumble head over heels across the dusty, parched ground surrounding the bar.