Me: Nell, can I have a word?
Nell: I’m resting in the broken chair.
Me: I know, but I wanted to hear about yesterday’s meeting.
Nell: Well, the first shock was Count Bingo’s size.
Me: Was he dreadfully portly?
Nell: Good grief. Have you ever seen a portly flamingo? They are all feathers and spindly legs. No, he was extremely tall.
Me: Gosh. And Malcolm is so small.
Nell: Malcolm is a lesser flamingo. I confess I wasn’t expecting Count Bingo to have a French accent either, or that he would be wearing a monocle.
Me: I suppose that is a little unusual.
Nell: Anyway, Poppy presented her case, explaining that Malcolm’s heart wasn’t in fighting but he had a passion for cooking and she was willing to take him on as a trainee sous chef.
Me: Where was Malcolm?
Nell: Hiding behind John the Doberman in a bullet proof sequinned vest made by The Cat.
Me: What did Count Bingo say?
Nell: He was not best pleased until Harriet offered him a macaron and David started singing “Non, je ne regrette rien.”
Me: I didn’t know he could sing in French.
Nell: Yes. David has a vast repertoire. When he moved on to “Joe, le taxi” and Gladys began her contemporary dance the Count was completely mesmerised.
Me: I bet he was.
Nell: Gladys was wearing pink feathers which was a clever idea.
Nell: And then something strange happened.
Me: Surely not.
Nell: Count Bingo joined in, whirling Gladys across the floor.
Nell: And then he stopped. Put his monacle back in his eye, bowed and left.
Me: So is Malcolm free?
Nell: A young flamingo brought a letter this morning confirming Malcolm’s release and requesting the pleasure of our company at the Flamingo ball.
Me: I didn’t know there was a Flamingo ball.
Nell: Of course there is. It happens every year in Torquay at the Imperial Hotel. Do keep up.