Two weeks ago I was unexpectedly visited by olilolo’s own Stu and Doyle at my house.
“To what do I owe the pleasure,” I asked the pair, as I reached for my broom, “at midnight on a Tuesday?”
I swept the shards of broken glass into a neat little pile beneath my bedroom window, while the guests untied their harnesses and caught their breath.
Two abseiling ropes were hanging in through my broken window, where they had entered moments earlier with a crash and an airhorn. A look of pure exhilaration was etched into Stuey’s face. Doyle took both of the harnesses and calmly tossed them into my laundry pile.
“We need to talk.”
I gulped. The last time anyone from olilolo had needed to talk I lost a week of my life, and a lawnmower.
“About that favour you owe us,” added Stu, lowering his voice and his trousers. He exited the room.
Doyle approached me with a reassuring gesture. “Don’t worry about Stu, he just drank fifteen bottles of ginger beer. Now, we’re here to discuss that agreement we made, during our last visit…”
He winked at me. I’m sure he thought he’d explained everything just splendidly, but I still had some questions. From the hallway came a loud ‘thunk!‘ and a low grumble, of which I could make out the words: “… the fuck is the toilet… this crappy house…”
“I’m sure our agreement was watertight,” I said, turning my attention back to Doyle, “but do you want to run it by me one more time? Just so we’re definitely
on the same page.”
The sound of a man falling was followed by several loud cries in the stairwell.
“If you do for us a tiny big favour,” shrugged Doyle, “we’ll give back your lawn mower.”
“Ah,” I said. “So it was more of a ransom than an agreement?”
“Yes, exactly – we’re in agreement!”
I sighed. “What would you like me to do?”
Doyle chuckled. “Walk and talk, David, walk and talk.”
He led me down the hallway toward the stairwell, striding confidently with his shoulders back, apparently quite happy with his new found control of the situation.
“Here, let me get this,” I offered, reaching for the light switch.
“Nah, we’re good,” he boasted. “What’s good enough for Stuey is good enough for – hup!“
He slipped on the top stair and crashed down to the bottom floor amid a series of painful groans.
“That may be so,” I replied, stepping down carefully in the dark, “But I wouldn’t drink fifteen bottles of… what was it? Ginger beer? Just because Stu did.”
“Make that sixteen!” slurred a voice from the kitchen. Stuey pawed at the walls until a light finally came on. “Man, I’m so wasted…”
Doyle lay at the base of the stairs in a sorry pile, one arm spread wildly to the side.
“So am I…” he groaned, moving slightly from side to side in an ill-fated attempt to wriggle onto his belly.
“You’re not wasted,” I said, extending my hand to help him. “You’ve just fallen on your back.”
Doyle swung his free hand at mine, muttering “low five”, and missed by about ten inches.
“Well,” he continued, “every time someone has called me ‘wasted’, I was on the ground. So I’m pretty sure I know a thing or two about it.”
Stu nodded in agreement.
“You know I don’t own any ginger beer,” I said, pointing at his glass.
He took another sip. “Then what am I drinking?”
“I had some lemonade in the fridge,” I sighed. “Did you end up finding the toilet?”
“Sure. I found something.”
I shook my head and took a seat. This was going to take a while.
“So we need you to write an article for olilolo,” Stu said, taking a seat beside me. Doyle grunted his agreement from the floor.
“You see, our traffic is a little bit on the low side,” explained Stu, “and we haven’t been updating quite as much.”
“Well, low by our standards,” said Doyle.
“And the world’s,” I added. “So, do you have any ideas for me to write about?”
Stu looked at me for several seconds. A confused frown grew slowly across his face. “If we had the ideas, don’t you think we’d be writing about them ourselves?”
“I can’t say I do, but let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. Can I write about technology?”
Stu thought for a moment. “That’s… not really our thing. We’re usually more about comedy… comedy involving genitals.”
“How about politics?”
“No, see, that doesn’t satisfy the genital quota.”
“Well, I’m out of ideas,” I shrugged. “Guess you’ll have to find someone else, hey?”
Doyle groaned loudly for half a minute as he heaved himself up onto his feet. “No you don’t! Don’t give up on us that easily!”
“Oh, I… probably will,” I said.
Doyle dusted himself off and grabbed a sandwich from my fridge. “Look!” he exclaimed in a muffled voice, as he bit into the bread. “There’s a reason we came to you in the first place.”
“Well, not first,” chimed in Stu. “We did ask Mikey and Pete first, but they weren’t dumb enough to get roped into this olilolo business.”
“Exactly!” cried Doyle, gesturing toward Stu and then turning back to me: “You can be the smart one! Get involved with this olilolo business!”
I took a second to process this information.
“Well you make an interesting case, and it feels like you were trying to gain momentum with that argument for a second, so how about this: I’ll write an article, but I get to write about whatever I want. And you have to publish it no matter what.”
Doyle continued to eat thoughtfully on the stolen sandwich, while Stu looked at his feet silently. A few moments passed.
“Stu, are… you awake?” I asked. He jolted as if electrocuted and leapt to his feet, clutching his heart.
“Good god! Sorry, David,” he breathed heavily, “I have this thing where I fall asleep sometimes.”
“Oh, I’ve heard of that. What is it, necrolepsy? No, necrophilia.”
“Well, that too.”
“How about you?” I said, turning to Doyle. “Do we have a deal?”
Doyle shook his head and pointed to his sandwich. “Sorry Dave, I didn’t hear you. I have this thing where I can’t chew and listen at the same time.”
“Okay,” I replied. “I’ve never heard of that one.”
“Yeah, neither have I,” shrugged Doyle. “My doctor told me what it was called, but I was eating at the time.”
He took another bite.
“This is going to be difficult,” I muttered. “Stu, can I write this article or not? You have to publish whatever I write.”
He began to snore. I swore.
“This sandwich tastes funny,” commented Doyle. I tried to work out if he had finished his bite.
“Can you hear me?” I asked. He continued to chew. “How about now?”
He looked up.
“Okay, here’s how it is,” I said. “First of all, I’m pretty sure Stu urinated in the fridge and forgot straight away. His glass of lemonade looked a lot more like ginger beer than I’m comfortable with.”
Doyle went in for another bite.
“No, you idiot!” I cried. “He probably pissed on that too. That’s my point.”
I don’t think Doyle really understood what was happening, but he placed the sandwich down on the coffee table reluctantly.
“Secondly,” I continued, “is he aware that ginger beer isn’t even alcoholic?”
“Oh, it’s just the… what’s it called? Placenta effect?”
“No, that’s a band. God, I can’t believe we were going to ask you to write an article!” he laughed. “You don’t know anything about pop culture!”
“You already did ask me,” I reminded him, “and I think I would like to write that article after all.”
Stuey groaned suddenly, waking and rising from his seat.
“Typical!” he growled, turning on me. “We finally start running a successful website, and look who wants in on the bandwagon!”
He picked up the sandwich from the coffee table and bit into it furiously.
“Okay,” I said, “If you don’t want me to write an article, that’s fine.”
“Finally we’re on the same page,” spat Doyle, shaking his head in disapproval.
“But can I please have my lawn mower back?”
Stu and Doyle looked at one another. They seemed to be communicating silently. Finally they turned their gaze toward me. Stu ate the last of my sandwich with a frown, and Doyle raised his nose and declared: “Not on my watch.”
And with that, they turned and exited from my house.