They sat, on the only two chairs on the stage, squinting at the bright studio lights, wondering what, in the name of Jumping Jemima's Jamboree, they were doing there. The applause and cheering and whooping and chanting of Go Nicky! Go Nicky! died down, and Nicky Nuffington, the compere, turned to them and said:
'So tell me¦ "Larry, is it?'
'Yes,' said Larry; 'Larry Lampshade.'
'So tell me¦ Larry Lampshade' ' there were giggles from the audience and Nicky indulged in a cheeky little sideways glance at the camera ' 'what exactly is this¦' ' back to the camera, with a very serious look indeed ' '¦Cult of the Purple Tambourine? '
'It's a cult,' said Larry.
'Dedicated to the Purple Tambourine,' said Mick.
'But what,' said Nicky, 'exactly,' he continued, 'is the Purple Tambourine?'
'It's a tambourine,' said Mick.
'And it's purple,' said Larry.
Nicky fiddled with his microphone in a way that seemed to indicate he was switching it off. He then closed in on Larry and Mick and whispered, loudly:
'Are you taking the piss?'
'Well¦' said Larry.
'It's like¦' said Mick.
'Fuck this,' said Nicky and engaged in further microphone fiddlage. He then turned to the camera and said, 'It seems we have been taken for mugs and these two gentlemen have never done anything interesting in their lives, least of all declared their allegiance to the Cult of the so-called Purple Tambourine. Join me after the break, where I'll be talking to a mother of three who claims she has never eaten a pink marshmallow in her life.'
'Ahh well,' said Mick, as the commercial break music started; 'at least we got our two minutes of fame.'
'Mmm,' said Larry doubtfully.
And that was that.
[ fin ]