Chapter 3Mature

Citizen Plingo neither replied nor decreased the speed of his hopping. Quadrups were used to having people out on the street trying to sell them vacuum cleaners and timeshares and so on. They took no notice when no notice could be taken. Plingo hoped this was such a time.

“Citizen,” continued Reden, “just a moment of your now please. It really won’t take a moment more!”

Citizen Plingo neither replied nor decreased the speed of his hopping. Reden stepped into Plingo’s way.

Plingo made evasive maneouvers. Reden stepped into Plingo’s way again. Plingo tried to veer around him once more.

This continued for several frustrating moments, at least for Plingo. Resigned to defeat, he eventually gave up his veering and uprooted himself. This is what Quadrups call the act of flipping themselves back upright again. This is so their springy head is at the top, which is where etiquette dictates it should be when one Quadrup talks to another Quadrup.

“Thank you for stopping”, said Reden.

“I didn’t really feel that I- - -” replied Plingo before he was interrupted for the second time.

“I’m here today to tell you about a tremendous opportunity for exotic travel!” Reden beamed.

“Oh, you are selling something?”

“Great opportunity sells itself, I find.”

“Uh-huh.” Plingo began shifting his weight from one foot to the other, his eyes darting over the top of Reden’s shoulder, as if something very interesting were occurring there that required his immediate attention.

There was a pause as Reden tried to deduce from Plingo where he should begin his sales pitch. He looked at his face, which was blooming a look of some hostility and decided he’d better stop deducing and just get started.

“You are aware”, he began, “that we here on Quadrup have a population problem?”

“Damn right. You just try and get a parking space outside of my favourite bed.”

So great is the population of Quadrup that they had long given up having houses and instead live all together outside, in giant, stacked, communal beds. Every street contains these beds and immense duvets. Quadrups when tired, found a little space, snuggled in and rested. This was made easier by the fact that there was no night in Quadrup so it didn’t get cold at all, which was conducive to en masse outside sleeping. Although they still used light duvets, because as you will probably know, duvets are soft and fantastic. Every inhabited planet in every inhabited galaxy, while remarkable different in so many ways, is united in the fact that they have all invented the duvet. Such is the greatness of duvets.

“You love the planet of Quadrup, I presume?”

The End

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