Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Go-Between

Cheesegrater to Gherkin: How do you feel about spaghetti? Over.
Gherkin to Cheesegrater: I like it with tuna, or black pepper, a knob of butter and a sprinkle of cheese. Al dente, plain and simple. Now you're talking! Over.
Walkie-talkie to Cheesegrater and Gherkin: Have you guys finished? I'm bored of transmitting this conversation...
Cheesegrater and Gherkin: Spoilsport!
Gherkin to Walkie-talkie: Yeah mate, some of us have a hot date! Is someone a little jealous?
(Gherkin croons) Will you be lonesome tonight...
Cheesegrater laughs.
Gherkin to Cheesegrater: See you at eight. Over and out.
Every day between the hours of 6am and 8pm the Walkie-talkie acts as a go-between; helps the Cheesegrater and Gherkin arrange their rendezvous, their dinner dates, for they were forbidden by the State to have contact, unless it was outside those set times. What would happen if they did had never been tried as each was scared of losing their privileged position in the London skyline, despite all three being agreed that it was a stupid work regulation.
The Gherkin could easily see the Cheesegrater, whereas the Walkie-talkie who had to play piggy-in-the-middle, wasn't even in the middle, he was the furtherest away, and what's more he couldn't stand all the smutty, fluffy dialogue that the pair often exchanged. He was however extremely grateful that he didn't have to be their voice and ears after Big Ben struck eight.
The Walkie-talkie occasionally wondered what it would be like to have a regular dinner date, but the one he'd had with the Eye had been a disaster. He'd been fifteen minutes early, she'd run forty five minutes late, and when she finally did show up she talked non-stop at him. Her verbal diarrhoea had been exhausting. But the problem right from the start was that she was an owl and he was a lark. As blind dates went, it was not a success. A second date was not on the cards, and it had slightly marred their professional relationship.
The Eye would now only send coded messages through him unlike her usual witty remarks, preferring instead to find another way to spread her malicious gossip. She failed to realise she'd hurt his pride, and yes structures do share that mortal feeling, as he remained silent on the subject and chose to abandon any regard for her he might have previously felt.
No, the Walkie-talkie would never again contemplate coupling with any London landmark, not even the Shard who was said to be asexual, which would have taken off the pressure. Playing matchmaker and 'agony uncle' was quite enough; he could do without romantic complications.
Okay, so not every day was hunky-dory, but on those rare occasions he would claim a bad line, a weak signal, or garble messages. It was one of his rights to do so, he felt. Technology was allowed a quota of malfunction days, like paid holiday, and so he felt entitled to use it without giving notice. Why not put a spanner in the works? And besides he really rather enjoyed messing up plans for the Cheesegrater and Gherkin, who were the most tiresome pair he'd ever had the misfortune to be the go-between for.
Gherkin to Cheesegrater: How would you like your burger tonight? Rare, medium or well-done? On a plain or sesame seed bun? Over.
Gherkin: Cheesegrater, do you read me? Come in Cheesegrater...Where are you?!
Ha, ha, the Walkie-talkie thought, that's another dinner date foiled.

Picture Credit: Peter Francis