Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Cautionary Tale

"Plink, you have to see this. I've found the most amazing thing!" Melchett appeared in the doorway, hopping from foot to foot with excitement.

Plink sighed and folded up her Sunday newspaper. "If it's a new shade of green goo, I'm really not impressed," she said, reluctant to move herself off of the very comfortable beanbag.
"No! No. Well... no, actually..." Melchie paused to ponder. "Okay. Nothing green. Nope. Come on, it's brilliant! You like coffee, don't you? Well, there's coffee!"
Raising her eyebrows skeptically but curious nonetheless, Plink followed Melchett into the lab.

In the middle of the room, an iron-bound chest sat on a podium. Plink eyed it suspiciously.
"Didn't those Playmobil hazmat guys have that in their boat last week? From the chemical spill that the Giant Squid caused in sector 17g?" She backed off a little, you never could be sure what was going on when the Giant Squid was involved..
Melchett tried and failed to look innocent.
Plink folded her arms, giving Melchie her 'this'll end like the time you wanted to keep the swamp monster' look.
"But it does amazing things," Melchett whined. "Caffineated things!"
There was the pursing of the lips and the tapping of the feets in response.
Melchie glared. "Fine. Let me demonstrate! You'll be amazed!"
"I'm sure I will," thought Plink. "But I really don't think I'm going to like it."

With an air of extreme importance, Melchett leant forwards and tapped a complicated tattoo on the closed lid of the chest.
"Are you ready?" she asked, reaching around for the lid. "As if by magic, I have made... COFFEE!" The lid of the chest was flung back dramatically, and there was a... cheeping.

"Hah. Right. Funny sort of coffee."
Plink reached out and gently took one of the chicks, examining it carefully.
Melchie shoo'd out the other chick onto the floor. "I swear it made coffee earlier. Really, really good coffee."

Plink peered into the box, noting the absence of anything except chicken droppings. "Hmm."
"I must have tapped it the wrong way," said Melchett, closing the lid again. Eyes closed in concentration, she carefully knocked another rhythm out on the top of the box.
"BEHOLD! COFFEE!" Melchett cried, wrenching open the lid to reveal...

"Ah, splendid. More chickens." Plink nudged the chick pecking around the ground gently with the side of her foot. "But I note a lack of latte. Melchie, it really would be easier just to put the kettle on."
"Oh... hang on... blast it, must've got stuck on chickens... Plink, take those out and close the lid. You know, it made coffee earlier..." Melchie muttered grumpily to herself before slamming down the lid and rapping randomly on the box.

Half an hour later, Melchett peered at the box's latest creation.

"You know," she said, "I'm starting to think that the knocking isn't the thing that controls the contents. Perhaps it's something like the ambient temperature... or the phase of the moon?"
Plink sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Or maybe," said Plink over the chorus of cheeping, "it's something to do with the time of the year?"
"Er... what?" asked Melchett

"Happy Easter, Melchett," said Plink. "Let's hope this lot lay chocolate eggs."

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