Narrator: Reg Smeeton, floccose red wig like a kipper nailed to his bonce, nodded with ill-feigned interest; but the butterfly flexions of his face muscles argued the mental tumult within - urging fervid facts chattering in Stockhausen tongues.
Smeeton: Drawing from my vast, though admittedly unresolved catalogue of general know-it-all, facts of interest etcetera, corroborated, corroboree: a sacred or warlike assembly of aboriginals, may I.. remind you of the exploits of one William Barker of Manchester? In the 1890s, Billy cleared a canal thirty-five feet wide, making a running jump, jack-knifing into a second to land, perfectly dry, on the other side.
Seth: I could clear a snooker table, full-length mind, from a standing jump before 'operation. I could've made a mint, had I been a bit more shrewd.
Smeeton: Did you know that the elephant shrew never closes its eyes?
Narrator: Through the intestinal smoke of Seth's pipe, Smeeton's sweat-spangled face, eyes straining with mad intensity behind glasses the shape of Ford Cortinas, shuddered with the ungovernable maelstrom of information, inessential, infantry and endless, that constituted the grotesque furniture of his mind. Filing cabinets unlocked; thesauri fell agape; data danced in strict formation, quick, quick, quick-quick quick... puzzles fitted - it all added up: niggling, self-edited, tumbling with clicking impatience, cross-reference and erupting gathered beserk-fierce, heedless and torrential, howling for outlet from his springboard lips.Prodnose: You want me to ask about the quiz don't you?
Myself: Quizzes this week mate. Quizzes.
Prodnose (monotone): How did it go?
Myself: We won at the Antelope on Monday, and we won at the William Morris on Wednesday; £50 and £30 bar tab prizes respectively. We were winning at the interval in Tuesday's Wimbledon Bookfest Literary Quiz, but then ....
Myself: Do I have to spell it out in a non-pictographic consonantal alphabet, or abjad? We came third.
Prodnose: That's not too bad; bronze medal position.
Myself: (morosely): "There are forces at work in this country about which we have no knowledge. Do you understand?"
Prodnose: The Queen to Paul Burrows?
Myself (brightening): Correct! So now there's everything to play for as we go into the next round .....