The Innkeeper of the Murgatroyd Falls Cafe and Coprolite Museum paused and looked up as someone collided with the front door.
"It sticks!" he yelled "It bleedin' sticks. You have to do short, sharp repetitious bangs on it"
The stranger entered, the front of his hat flattened into a pirate hat shape. "I'm not Keith Moon" he said.
"That's interesting" said the innkeeper "neither am I"
"I shouldn't have to memorise click tracks just to come in"
"It's the waterfall" said the innkeeper "bleedin' 'umidity keeps the wood all warped."
"Perhaps" opined the stranger "you could invest in aluminium frames and door jambs" he paused as his mind flitted to the ironic juxtaposition of the words jamb and jam " And then people wouldn't rupture their wrists just coming in".
"I have never had this conversation before" said the innkeeper "perhaps you could tell me more about aluminium whilst I pour you a pint of Jimkin Bearhugger's Olde Watchamakallit"
"Indeed" said the stranger "the history of aluminium is as long and exciting as that of the salted pineapple trade" He stopped at the sight of the massive eye rolls he was getting from the innkeeper.
"But enough of the warp and weft of history" he said "Is it true that this evening, the Quarter finals of the Voltinism of Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis and World Cup Finals Interpretive Dance Competition are here this evening?"
"Yuss" said the innkeeper "they do say as how the crew from the Olde Entymologist has it wrapped up this year on account of their " The sending off of Plácido Reynaldo Galindo Pando versuses Romania in 1930"
"A sad business and Pláco never properly recovered from it" said the stranger. The innkeeper nodded while wondering how becoming the Peruvian Minister of the Interior, looting the place and retiring to Florida was "never properly recovering from it"
The innkeeper reached up to pull the draught handle for the pint of Olde Watchamakallit, only to have his hand seized by the stranger "Hold there good fellow" said that person "ist there perhaps some Riddled Christmas Ale on the premises?"
"Ist?" thought the innkeeper but said "we has a bottle or two for discerning patrons” and he tapped the side of his nose.
Two hours later the stranger sat in a corner of the cafe near the Coprolite display and looked at the Christmas Ale bottle. It seemed the usual 750 ml size and yet he had been steadily drinking from it and the level had not moved and he felt no ill effects from drinking it. He had had an interesting and, he had to admit, erotically charged tussle with the table that the bottle stood on when it had tried to make a run for the door but he felt no hint of drunkenness. Well, no lasting drunkenness, at the end of each glassful he was roaring, 'I've always loved youse all, " drunk but the next sip took him straight to sobriety. An interesting brew whose label boasted that it was now free from eels.
But the evening was drawing in and the teams for the event began to arrive, carefully unloading their equipment, handing their entry forms to the innkeeper and greeting the opposing teams in an edged but sportsman-like manner.
Then with 2 minutes to go the door opened, crashed shut, opened half-way, jammed and finally swung violently against the wall with a crash.
"This door is a bleedin' danger to shipping" announced a woman for whom the word statuesque was a mere signpost on the way to a full description.
"Miss van Holsterin" said the innkeeper "how charming to see you.'
"Wotcher, Arthur" said Evangeline van Holsterin, head barmaid of the Olde Entomologist "Oi!" she yelled out through the door "get a move on you lot!"
The rest of the troupe filed in; Smut Clyde carrying a duck costume, tigris with an enormous gold coloured whistle, Swearing Bob carrying a wooden mallet, wearing a Uruguayan football shirt and offering the hammer to people "if they *****ing well wanted it". Then at the end of the procession, Greenish Hugh and Spacetime Eddie dressed in motley and twittering to each other like sparrows on mescaline. They climbed the staircase and with various gestures towards the other teams were gone.
The competition began and the stranger sat in the corner with his Christmas Ale in front of him and watched the various represenations of Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis and was impressed by the redness factor of their tail sections but found all of interpretive dances to be lacklustre and frankly, derivative. He swore that if he had to sit through another Zinedine Zidane headbutting incident he would go quite mad.
Finally it was time for the Olde Entomlogist entry which began with an earsplitting feedback hum and then Greenish Hugh appearing alternately wringing his hands and flapping them. Then he went off and the show started.
The Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis section of the show was a trifle confused because of the red flashing lights that the players wore on their trousers. The frequency of the flashes and their retina scorching intensity seemed to set off reactions in some of the audience who were lying on the floor, catatonic by the end of the performance. However the second section comprising the sending off incident roused them as it was presented as part of the long history of colonial exploitation of South America. The stranger briefly wondered if Moctezuma, as portrayed by Swearing Bob, had actually told Cortés to "Sling it or get a ****ing jade axe where it would do him no ****ing good" Eventually brave revolutionary Pláco was sent off and with a short speech to FIFA about "I knows where the ****ing bodies are ****ing buried, too ****ing right" he was gone. The stranger was impressed by his explanation of the enormous golden whistle as " it's a ****ing metaphor **** for brains"
The judges were unanimous in giving the winning prize to the Olde Entomologist team by 3.75 points to 2.78 points over The Puzzled Wombat team. The head judge said that he could remember very little of the first half of the OE performance but the Golden Whistle metaphor had sold him. Evangeline van Holsterin accepted the winners cheque and graciously held it up to the light to ascertain its veracity.
Some time later the stranger noticed tigris and Smut Clyde sitting at the bar and made his way over to them. Glancing back he noticed the bottle of Christmas Ale had resealed itself. He got to the bar and heard tigris say "...if it says Chocolate Hob Nobs on the tin, people don't expect it have honeyed locusts in it"
"Mighty fine acting" said the stranger in his best cowboy voice.
The two turned to look at him "Hello AK" they said
"What?" he said and took off his Stetson "how did you know"
"The neon sign saying 'This is Another Kiwi' on your bottle of Christmas Ale was the first clue" said Smut.
"Also" said tigris "the shouting during the soccer match dance"
"The referee was a blithering idiot" explained Another Kiwi "bleedin' Romanians were offside all night. I expect that you are both surprised and maybe even a little angry to see me, what with thinking I had drowned in this waterfall".
tigris and Smut looked puzzled. "No" said Smut "you went up North to see you Aunty Grizelda. Has she recovered?"
"No" said Another Kiwi "the specialists say that, as a newt, she just needs water and rocks and such. Difficult to have morning teas like that unless your friends are amphibians. But did you not find my broken body in the falls?"
"Throgmorton bought in a wicker thing, that had your name on a note saying that I ATE'NT DEAD but we thought it was one of his jokes"
"He sold me the tailor’s dummy thing".
"Next time" said Smut "I'd get legs too".
"Why, and I may regret asking this, did you go to the trouble?" asked tigris
"Because terrorism" explained Another Kiwi "New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has warned us" he pulled a newspaper clipping out of his jacket "To beware of the evil terrorists lurking , lurking ready to rain carnage* on us. I wanted to throw the terrorists off the trail".
"It was odds on that you would regret asking" said Smut to tigris.
Evangeline van Holsterin appeared before them and said that it was time to go.
"It is good to be back" said Another Kiwi "I have some Muddy Bay Toheroa Stout for you to try, Smut" he said.
"Oooh" said Smut "the one with extra vitamins for health?"
"You are both loonies" Evangeline vouchsafed.
* Prime MinisterKey has in really truly time warned New Zilders of the possibility of carnage raining upon us. Fainting couch sales have tripled.