Puffin Heist

It’s a two show day. We are on the office Christmas party circuit right now. They really know how to drink on this island. I’m sitting writing from Scrooge’s chair in between shows. It’s cold. But before long this room will be full of extremely merry people and Jack and I will be stretching the bounds of our energy to keep them from being sick onto each other.

Scrooge picks on an alcoholic in every show. I try to make sure everybody in the audience knows their name by the end of proceedings. It’s usually pretty easy to find someone, and in Jersey it’s even easier.

Last night it was Vicky. She was an easy pick. She had the day off the next day and it was her stated intention to get aa drunk as possible. Jack and I went home quickly after work last night. Vicky and her party stayed in the space getting more and more incomprehensible until the bar manager called time on them because one of them almost knocked over all the clean glasses on the way to the loo.

This morning, just before the matinee Jack suddenly noticed that our little joke puffin had been taken out of its belljar and replaced with a wine cooler. It’s not show crucial by any means. We like to have something ridiculous that Scrooge secretly loves. A few years ago it was a creepy stuffed partridge. This year it’s Oscar the Puffin. Anybody who grew up on his island and is similar to me in age will remember how the local ITV kids presenters had a toy puffin called Oscar. You could write and ask it to wink for you. Scrooge has it in a belljar. We can reference it in the show and then reincorporate and it makes another nice little moment. But it also calls attention to it. It brings it into the game.

Somebody drunkstole Oscar the Puffin last night. It was probably Vicky.

Jack and I became criminal investigators. “The belljar is fragile and unwieldy. The puffin was replaced with a wine cooler. The culprit is likely to have had accomplices in order to help with the switch. Also it stands to reason that the wine cooler was from the same table as the culprit, implying that the guilty party was drinking white wine or rosé – something requiring a cooler. They would have waited until most people were gone before attempting such a bold maneuver…” It was probably Vicky.

We were slightly spun out before the show as it felt like a safety thing and we started worrying about the security of our other props going forward. Was it malice, or just drunkenness? We worried for a short while. We sent an email. It was probably Vicky.

By the time the show was over, we had a deluge of emails from audience members. “We saw a certain merry group doing selfies with the puffin.” “We saw Goody Proctor doing witchcraft with the puffin.” “The puffin thieves were sitting in the chairs located exactly to the left as you come in.” “We know the name of the company the puffin thieves work for.” We knew everything about the puffin’s last few hours. This small island. You can’t even get drunk and kidnap a toy puffin without everybody dobbing you in. It was probably Vicky.

The puffin was guiltily returned to the car park during the matinee, with a foot broken off. Probably by Vicky. We found it in time for this evening’s show. Nothing lost but one show worth of gags and a bit of superglue. More flesh for the Scrooge’s puffin thing. We even contacted ITV Jersey and discovered that the original Oscar the Puffin still exists and is in the kitchen there.

It’s not gonna make us glue him to the set like they had to do in Punchdrunk.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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