Episode 19: What Went Down

So, that was fun. It was bloody wonderful to be back, you know. We missed you guys.

Cocktails were drunk, raps were rapped, songs were sung, and people shouted MEATSPACE a whole bunch.

In the midst of all that were some absolutely stellar readings: Nikesh Shukla with the aforementioned and brilliant MEATSPACE (buy it, seriously, just clickety click), Lucy Ribchester with her truly wonderful debut, THE HOURGLASS FACTORY (treat yourself, we insist) and Chris Killen with the utterly charming IN REAL LIFE (click it, for reals).

And then in between all that, there was a little thing called the Story Challenge. We asked the audience for a theme. They suggested several. Meatspace featured, as did meat in space (thing is, folks, that’s been done). And then there was ‘Mario Balotelli has tea with the Queen‘.

Oh hello. That sounds like a go-er.

So in the interval, we toddled off in our teams and wrote something about just that.

And here those somethings are. (Hold on tight. Things are about to get weird.)

Team Ellard (Ellard, Ribchester, Shukla)

‘So you’re not the real Mario Balotelli?’ said the Meat Queen, in her squelchy wellies. She stepped through a puddle of meaty blood toward Mario Balotelli.

‘And this isn’t really tea,’ said a Mario Balotelli.

‘This is my finest tripe, young serf!’ bellowed the Meat Queen, in a Scottish accent.

‘I thought there’d be tea,’ said a Mario Balotelli, losing his patience.

‘Well, I thought you’d be Mario Balotelli.’

‘Who is Mario Balotelli?’ said a Mario Balotelli.

‘Well, he’s a -‘

‘No! I am Mario Balotelli, and I have come here through the meat locker, here into Meatspace, to vanquish you, Meat Queen!’

‘You dare to challenge my meat crown!’ She clutched her meat crown, which was made of intercostal sinew, binding together like a dozen ribs.’

‘I brought you a present,’ said this Mario Balotelli.

He, that Mario Balotelli, thrust before him a big, veiny, repulsively luxurious beef tomato. Ashamed, the Meat Queen abdicated.


Team Cloke (Cloke, Killen)

Who is Mario Bartelleli? thought the Queen. What is he all about? What do I need to ask him? And why is he having tea with me?

Lol crazy easy. Is it for real??? sad face sad face sad face lol. This was all Twitter had to offer. On Wikipedia, she accidentally clicked on the song ‘Mario Balotelli’ by Ruff Squad.

Okay, thought the Queen, he sounds interesting, obviously into the arts. Perhaps a poet.

The door to the royal chamber opened. ‘Ma’am,’ said her advisor. ‘Mario Baro-erm-telelli is here.’

Outside the royal chamber, Mario Balotelli wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. ‘Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970,’ he read again, and then he closed Wikipedia and slid his phone into his pocket.

They sound interesting, he thought.


To be honest, we were so unsettled by the Meat Queen and her sinewy headwear that we almost missed the vote. But there was a vote, and for once it actually was a close one. So close, in fact, that we decided to call it a draw. What a lovely, friendly way to kick off our 2015 season.

It won’t last.

So join us next time! That next time is Tuesday 10th March, and we have very exciting line-up news coming your way on the morrow.


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