Thursday, January 13, 2005

Thirteen; Zugar-Zipperat's Newest Celebrity Couple

The announcement was made.

I was staying.

We got full media coverage, the leprechaun press - or should I say the Zugar-Zipperat press, as nobody had either confirmed or denied the people of Zugar-Zipperat were in fact leprechauns – were extremely eager to feature my story in their respective publications.

Zain had a couple of his people make phone calls to various news and entertainment outlets. He instructed them to make the calls as though they were leaking information.

The first call came through almost straight away.

Apparently I was big news. An alien, as they called me, hadn't crossed over for two decades.

Zain took the call, and while he spoke I pondered the probability of a society developing the telephone before firearms. When I had been arrested the soldiers had been armed with halberds, I was almost certain firepower was developed before long distance communication devices on earth, but had no way of being sure as I had spent most of my school history lessons trying to steel a peek at Mrs Lewisham's long legs as she scribbled on the blackboard. It occurred to me that a nation of practical jokers would find the telephone extremely useful, but then surely gunpowder was good for pranks too.

I didn't have long to ponder the matter as within seconds Zain held the phone out to me, "They'd like to talk to you."

"Okay," I shrugged and took the phone expecting the reporter to ask me questions about life on earth. "Hello," I said into the receiver.

"Jimmy, Jimmy Sparrow?" a high pitched female voice asked.


"Hi, this is Zoot magazine, I'd like to ask you a few questions on behalf of our readers, if I may."

"Certainly," I replied.

"Where did you and Bocco first meet?"

I paused for a second not entirely sure if I had heard correctly.


"Erm, in a cell," I answered.

"And was it love at first sight?"

A little bemused but understanding the need to play along I answered, "Yeah, sure."

"What first attracted you to Bocco?" the female reporter continued.

I looked at Zain for help, but he couldn't hear the questions and so was of no use, "His blue coat."

"Is there a Mrs Sparrow back on, er, where ever it is you came from?"

"Who is this?" I asked.

Zain snatched the phone from me and quickly said, "I'm sorry but Mr Sparrow is very busy today, and I'm afraid we've already taken up too much of his time, good day," he place the phone back on the cradle.

"What the..." I didn't get to finish my question as Zain interrupted, "News is entertainment these days, reporters are always looking for the emotional angle. It isn't enough just to report the news, they have to make their readers feel for the people they are writing about."

"Okay," I said.

The calls kept coming all that afternoon, I did phone interview after phone interview. Every reporter I spoke to was only interested in Bocco and I, not a single one of them asked me a question about where I was from, or how I expected to adapt to life in Zugar-Zipperat.

After about a hundred calls boredom was really starting to get to me and so I made a reference to one of the reporters about Bocco's big blue balls. Zain snatched the phone from me and refused to take any more calls.


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