I have little time for pleasantries to begin this article, so let's get right down to brass tacks. The other day I was flipping idly through a TV listings magazine when I came across the following advertisement, which worried me. I reproduce it with the logos and small print and stuff sheared off so as not to be advertising stuff for free on this site.

... and even more sun!

The first thing you will no doubt notice on this advert is the Woman In Bikini Briefs, whom I have labelled A (the woman, not the briefs). At first glance she would seem to be merely lying on her front and enjoying the rays of the warm tropical sun (sun not pictured) soaking into her already well-tanned skin. But take a closer look. If she was in fact sunbathing, would she not be lying on a towel? Would she be lying in a position that seems to say 'sprawling'? Would she not have her belongings close to hand? Yes! And unless she was a mineral-based life-form who enjoyed eating sand then the position of her face cannot be very comfortable either!

Next we see in the background, a Windsurfing Bloke (labelled B). It is fogged by distance, but it is still fairly clear that the sail is pointed away from the sprawling woman. Is this a passer-by enjoying his sporting holiday? Or does this look more like a GETAWAY from a CRIME MOST FOUL?

The next item I have labelled is the Enormous Black Banana (C). Judging by the fogging it is more or less the same distance from the woman as the Windsurfing Bloke. Is it perhaps a cohort of Windsurfing Bloke? A partner in crime aiding his escape from the scene of his CRIME MOST FOUL? I think not! See, it points towards Windsurfing Bloke and they are still quite far apart. I say the banana is pursuing the man! No doubt an agent of the shadow at the top of the page (D), which can be nothing more nor less than the face of God.

This is more than an advert. This is a dramatic tale of spurned love, God, and windsurfing. I feel myself inspired to write this tale, in the style of none other than the immortal bard.

A Tragedy in One Act


ALFALFA: A woman in bikini briefs, fond of sunbathing.
HENRY: A scoundrel, fond of windsurfing.
GOD: The Alpha and the Omega, friend of despoiled women.
JAKE: An enormous black banana, God's emissary.


(A deserted beach. Enter ALFALFA stage left)

ALFALFA: Ah, what wondrous bounty of light our creator doth bestow upon us this day. Were I carved of ice I would be naught but steam in ten seconds flat. Were I soft fruit I would have little shelf life in this most humid of mornings. It is fortuitous, then, that I am neither of these things! Nay! I am but woman, bikini-brief clad, and today shalt I develop a tan such as no other. Truly 'tis a fine day to be woman and without urgency.

(Enter HENRY stage right)

HENRY: Hail and well met, good mother.

ALFALFA: Hail yourself, O stranger. It is peculiar that you would name me mother, for no babe hath passed betwixt mine thighs.

HENRY: I stand corrected. Is it not a fine day indeed on this deserted beach?

ALFALFA: Aye, 'tis that indeed. I was just commenting on that very point.

HENRY: Tell me, maiden, to whom did thou comment thus?

ALFALFA: Why, no-one but myself and the fine morning air, good windsurfer. On reflection perhaps 'twas a rather strange thing to do.

HENRY: Indeed, good lady. 'Twas my uncle Bernice who spake that he who natter to hisself may always have audience, but will be singled out as loony and shunned by all who see. But pray tell me, maiden, dost thou not fear that thy description of me be inaccurate?

ALFALFA: I fear not, sir. I did harken unto thee as a good windsurfer, as I see thou art carrying thine windsurfing apparatus behind you 'pon a piece of string.

HENRY: You risk perhaps the possibility that I was merely carrying this windsurfing material for another, good maiden, but this is not the case. However thy description of myself still lacks for truth - I am good in no sense of the word, dear lady. My windsurfing doth leave much to be desired, and I am a notorious vagabond and scoundrel about these parts. See!


ALFALFA: I was a fool ... to trust thee, foul windsurfer.

HENRY: Aye, now thy harken is accurate, maiden. Thou was indeed fool most grievous to relax thy guard in the presence of such a scoundrel as myself. Now I have robbed thee of both thy life, everything thou possess, and thy chances of getting a tan as unto no other. I fear in fact you will soon be as pale as the Edinburgh skies.

ALFALFA: A curse upon thee, O knotty-pated surfer of the wind! Thou swollen bag of droppings that has ended me.

(ALFALFA dies)

HENRY: This was indeed a fine day for a fiend such as myself. But hark, I see a gentleman approaches, and his eyes are filled with tears. I must evade his capture. To me, windsurfing apparatus! To the waves with us!

(Exeunt HENRY. Enter GOD stage right)

GOD: What fresh devilry is this? A fine and unclothed lady lies dead upon the unspoiled sands of my kingdom? What scoundrel stirs trouble in my midsts? Ah! 'Tis that noted vagabond Henry the Windsurfer, taking to his heels 'pon that accursed device of his! Call upon the powers of the heavens will I, to generate an envoy that will not rest 'til the head of that despoiler of maidens lies bleeding at her saintly feet. Jake! Where art thou, Jake! I call thee!

(Enter JAKE from on high)

JAKE: Blurb blurble blurb.

GOD: Speak not, friend Jake. Mastery of language is not a talent that extends well to bananas of such otherwise worthy stature, as neither lips nor tongue have thee. Thy existence is but for one purpose, friend Jake. Bring about the destruction of that demon Henry, now fleeing the scene of his evil as only a windsurfer can, 'cross the briny waves. Tear his body 'twixt water and sand, and for his maggot-ridden soul, hellfire and damnation awaits! Away, good Jake! To your task!

JAKE: Blurb.

HENRY: What demon awakes me from my watery reverie? Great tumultuous umbrellas of lard! 'Tis none other than Jake, representative of overlarge soft fruit and envoy of our Lord! O, how fortunes change! Now 'tis most foul day, to have displeased the mighty so much that he sees fit to set his banana on me! O woe! How I regret ending the life of the fair Alfalfa!

JAKE: Blurb?

HENRY: What say thou, angel of fruit? Redeemed am I, for my heartfelt regret? Great joys tenfold are upon me! From this day forth shalt I reject my principles of thievery and murder, become scoundrel no more! Embrace me, friend banana! I love thee!

GOD: Restrain thyself, Jake! Ack! 'Zounds, 'tis too late! Thy enthusiasm to return the love of the reborn Henry has brought about his downfall! Yea, he hath been knocked from his windsurfing apparatus and as I speak the waves do close upon his handsome head. Be ashamed, clumsy Jake.

JAKE: Blurby blurb.

GOD: Thou art forgiven, good Jake, for I see the loss of thy one true love is punishment enough for thy misdeeds. Come, let us return home to enjoy fruit salad and cream.

JAKE: Blurb.

[Exeunt all, curtain falls]

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