So I was walking down the road – nothing fancy, just one foot in front of the other – when I encountered Dave ambling slowly toward me, looking the worse for wear.
“Where’s your hat, Dave?” I asked him (Dave had favoured hats ever since he had discovered his hair was going AWOL – his current one was a black fedora – he figured it made him look like The Shadow).
“Gawd knows,” he croaked, “I had it on when I went out last night. But someone at The Cricketers was having a birthday party – and I sort of got swept along. I ended up at some posh house… and the rest is a blur.”
“Okay,” I said, deciding he needed help, “Let’s retrace your steps. Did you go uphill, when you left the pub?”
“Yes,” he said, brightening slowly.
“All right. Now, you said the house was ‘posh’ – could it have been on Fonnereau Road?” (In our town, that was where all the big knobs hung out).
“Yeah, but that’s a long road. Hang on, it’s starting to come back now… There was ivy over the front door… and they had a gold toilet!”
“What?” I exclaimed.
“Yeah. It looked like it was gold-plated or something.”
“Well there you are,” I said. “All you have to do is go up Fonnereau Road, look for a house with ivy over the door, ask them if they have a gold-plated loo – and held a birthday party last night – and if so, do they have your hat. Simple.”
He looked glum, so I added, “I’ll tell you what, I’m going that way myself,” (I wasn’t, but I’d never seen a gold-plated khazi before and my curiosity was now piqued). “I’ll help you look.”
“Okay,” he said and off we went.
As we walked along the row of grand, Gothic-Victorian houses, Dave suddenly stopped. “Hey, that’s IT,” he cried. Sure enough, the front door had a swath of ivy running over the top. “I don’t know…” he began.
“Oh, come on,” I said, “It’s a sunny day – your head is already beginning to peel.”
We strode up the front path and I knocked gently on the front door. After a while, the door slowly opened to reveal an attractive but equally hung-over young woman.
“Excuse me,” said Dave, hesitantly, “But you wouldn’t happen to have a gold toilet, would you?”
Just then, a man’s voice shouted from deep within the house, “Who is it, Portia?”
The woman turned and shouted back, “I think it’s the man who pooped in your tuba.”
(My name’s Morpheus – don’t forget to tip your waitress!)