by Jim Lawrence
Penny awoke swathed in black satin sheets, rubbed her eyes and yawned cavernously. She had been having a strange dream.
In the dream she was in the kitchen peeling potatoes, her favourite food, which she always ate with a can of Special Brew.
As she picked up a small spud with shiny brown skin she heard a squeaky voice. 'Please don't kill me,' it said. Penny was shocked.
'I'm only little and I've lost my mummy and daddy.' Astonishingly it was the little spud! It looked at her with pleading eyes which shed tears.
Then Penny found herself in a big garden, the little spud next to her on a little go-kart that sputtered along on bright red wheels.
'This is where mummy and daddy were when I last saw them,' said the little spud. 'Can you help me find them?' Penny was kind hearted
so she agreed to help. She found a telescope within the folds of the voluminous velvet gown she wore and put it up to her good eye.
In the middle distance she could see a Mr Potato Head that looked like Tom Stoppard. 'Is that your daddy, little spud?' Little spud looked
through the telescope. 'No, daddy looks like Samuel Beckett, not one of his lesser acolytes.' Penny looked again and saw a curvy Maris Piper
wearing a Carmen Miranda fruit hat, dancing to silent music. 'Is that your mummy, little spud?' Little spud looked again through the
telescope. 'No, that's Aunt Brenda, who was hypnotised by Derren Brown and has been unable to stop dancing since that day.'
Penny asked little spud if Aunt Brenda could help them. 'She's barking mad, sadly, but we could give it a go.' Then the dream scene changed.
Penny and little spud were in the turret of a Soviet era T-1 tank. Its gun was painted dayglo orange for some reason. Aunt Brenda
was at the controls. 'I was under Zhukov at the Battle of Stalingrad,' she cackled maniacally, throwing her head back. 'He was hung like a
koala bear but had lovely manners.' The tank rumbled into life, rust shaking down on them like a shower of red fallout.
Suddenly they were in Trafalgar Square. Penny looked out of the turret. One of the Landseer lions winked at her. 'The Potato People are here.'
Aunt Brenda led the way. 'Follow me, biyatches!' she yelled, giggling like an ether-drunk Edwardian dentist. She opened a secret door
at the base of Nelson's Column and they all slid down a deliciously phallic fireman's pole to a sandpit. 'Hello,' said Brian Wilson.
He was smiling trippily and combing his shaggy beard with a shark's tooth. 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could find The Potato People?' he sang.
Little spud jumped up and down with an excitement that bordered on unseemliness. Penny waved a conductor's baton as Brian trilled.
To the tune of Surfin' USA he sang directions to the land of The Potato People. It was underneath a lapdancing club in Vilnius. Penny
wondered how on earth they would be able to get there. The pedicabs were on strike. 'No worries,' Aunt Brenda said. 'I have a magic
Oyster card.' She pulled it from her cleavage and waved it 3 times widdershins, shouting IZZY WIZZY LET'S GET BUSY! The sandpit exploded.
Penny found herself in the Ball's Pond Road with a mobile phone in her hand. Aunt Brenda had gone but little spud was still with her.
The phone played the 1812 Overture. Penny answered. A stentorian voice, a cross between Peggy Mount and Brian Blessed, boomed in her
good ear. I KNOW WHERE THE POTATO PEOPLE LIVE. IF YOU GIVE ME A BAG OF JELLYBABIES I WILL TELL YOU WHERE THEY ARE! HONEST!
Little spud jumped up and down again. 'Mummy, daddy, mummy, daddy,' he wibbled, dribbling potato juice down his chin. A helicopter made of
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter cartons landed nearby. A woman with two heads, one blonde, one redhead, waved them over from the cockpit.
Penny and little spud ran to the helicopter. 'Get in, we can take you to Jellybaby Mountain,' the blonde yelled. The redhead was checking
the helicopter's instrumentation. They flew straight up, and Penny was enthralled by the aerial view of London, which soon gave way to
luxuriant rainforests dotted with car parks and nine Tesco Expresses. Soon a great wobbly mountain, all glistening reds and yellows and greens
and blackcurranty dark blues loomed into view. It was Jellybaby Mountain, of course. Tiny figures with shovels teemed on its sweet slopes.
The helicopter landed squishily, its runners sinking into the multicoloured jelly beneath. The 2-headed lady kissed Penny passionately on
the lips while little spud blushed to see such modern behaviour. 'Good luck,' the redhead whispered. 'God speed,' breathed the blonde.
Brian Wilson reappeared, but this time he was a life-size jellybaby. 'I recommend the yellow ones,' he told Penny. 'They are the sweetest.'
Penny's phone rang again, this time with Tiger Feet by Mud, her favourite song of all time. The voice boomed again, with a note of annoyance.
I HATE THE YELLOW ONES! I WANT THE GREEN ONES! IF YOU BRING YELLOW ONES I WILL RUN AWAY & YOU WILL NEVER FIND THE POTATO PEOPLE. 'Okay, okay,
Stop panicking already. Sheesh, I'll bring green ones.' Penny threw the phone at jellybaby Brian Wilson. It bounced off his head and killed
poor little spud. Tragedy! Penny had grown to like little spud during the course of this dream (it's still a dream, remember?) and felt sad.
She hiked up her voluminous velvet gown and removed a frilly garter from her good leg and put it around the corpse of little spud. 'Goodbye
my dear little spud. Sorry for killing you and all.' Brian Wilson looked on judgementally. 'Bad Penny,' he said mockingly. So Penny
shot the sarcastic jellybaby pop genius and woke up. 'What a bizarre dream,' she thought as she continued to rub her eyes. 'I don't even
like jellybabies.' She wrapped the black satin sheet around her lithe naked body and slinked with the grace of a predatory cat into
the kitchen. 'Thank goodness there are no potatoes in here,' she said to herself. 'Otherwise this story would have a very predictable ending.'
All rights reserved.
This is a story I improvised on Twitter in real time in October 2011. I asked followers for a title, the first one to be the title for the story. This first effort took about an hour, and was great fun. I would recommend anyone using Twitter to give it a go. The title is courtesy of Penny Goring (@triplecherry)