Tintagel, Cornwall. The Dark Ages: King Arthur and most of the rest of the Knights of the Round Table are in Newquay for Sir Percival’s stag night. It promises to be one hell of a bash. Only Sir Lancelot, Guinevere and Sir Galahad remain in the castle that is Camelot. Galahad, not a boozer at the best of times, has suffered from insomnia of late and simply couldn’t face attending Percival’s celebrations. And so it is that while the ‘cat’s away the mice do play.’ You see for some little time now Lancelot and Gwen have been conducting a clandestine love affair. Usually it has been an escape to the railway sidings; the deepest corners of the forest and the caves at the back of Poundland yet this day, in a fortress that for all intents and purposes is empty, the lovers consider it safe to stay home. No preying eyes and all that. Yes, today it is upon the Round Table itself where the congruence of desire expresses itself.
Unaware of all this is Sir Galahad once again denied access to dreamland. He rises from his bed chamber and pops downstairs to the kitchen, a peck of goat’s milk in his favourite pewter mug the object of his particular desire. As he brings the nocturnal thirst quencher to his lips he is suddenly taken aback by an extremely loud crashing sound emanating from the Great Hall. Plainly something is amiss. Galahad decides to investigate.
For their part, and at the very peak; the very fulfilment of carnal desire and having been going hammer and tong at it for the past hour or so a very naked Gwen and Lancelot both in a state of some considerable shock extract themselves from the tangle of their union. What has happened is that in the heat of passion the pair have managed to break in half the legendary Round Table. It is ruined beyond any repair.
We join the scene as Galahad makes his entry – an entry that causes the lovely Gwen to scurry around the place in an attempt to recover her clothes which lay strewn all about and therefore recapture at least a vestige of modesty. It is with extreme embarrassment, not just about being ‘found out’ but also being caught thus that she is consumed by a cold shudder from her head to the tips of her toes as Galahad wolf whistles her and bellows;
Galahad: “Blimey, I didn’t know you had a dragon tattooed on your bum luv. Nice one! See you kept your socks on Lancelot you old romantic you.”
Lancelot: “You haven’t seen me trousers lying about anywhere have you?”
Galahad: “No mate. What a bloody mess – look at The Round Table it’s buggered beyond belief. Sacrilege I tell you. Christ, it was made out of mahogany especially imported from the Amazonian Rain forests before the embargo on such timber came into to force. You Sir are in shit street. I mean I’ll keep me big gob shut about you shagging his missus but as for the table, well mate you’re going to have to put your hands up for that one I can tell you. Art will go mental over this you know that.”
Lancelot: “Crikey, I hadn’t taken it all in. I need a plan me old mucker. Any ideas?”
Galahad: “Bolloxed if I have if the truth be told. Down to you old son.”
Guinevere returns from the shadows of the darkest corner of the Great Hall, her decorum and her decency restored.
Gwen: “First of all you can keep your witticisms to yourself and your eyes off my bum Galahad. Secondly, given the plight we now find ourselves in we have but one simple choice. A hasty and less than ideal one yet we must, simply must purchase a new Round Table before King Arthur returns.”
Galahad: “And where ‘dragon girl’ do you propose to make this acquisition at this late stage in the day – all the shops will be shut.”
Gwen: “Make one more mention of my bum and I’ll swing for you.”
Galahad: “Yes please.”
Lancelot: “Shut it Galahad we’ve got some serious thinking to do.”
Gwen: “IKEA sell tables. Let’s get one from them.”
Lancelot: “The closest IKEA is in bloody Bristol. That’s a full three day ride up the A38 then the M5 just to get there let alone getting it back here.”
Galahad: “True. That’s out of the question, Art’s back here early PM tomorrow he said, and he’ll have a zonking hangover so his mood wouldn’t have been that good at the best of times – now this.”
Gwen: “Wuzzocks! Have neither of you heard of the internet. We shop online; pay a little extra and they guarantee next day delivery.”
Lancelot: “Right let’s go for it.”
Galahad: “It was you two ‘going for it that’s got you both in this mess. I’m off to bed.”
With that Galahad leaves hoping for 40 winks. Gwen nips off to get her iPad. Together Lancelot and Gwen review the online catalogue and order the only ‘round’ table IKEA sell. Early the next morning a sign written horse and cart turn up and deliver a giant flat packed table. Gwen and Lancelot have difficulty getting into the package – that is until Lancelot grabs hold of Excalibur from the wall and prizes it apart.
Gwen: “Do you think he’ll notice it’s smaller than the old one and has a smoky reinforced glass top?”
Lancelot: “Haven’t got a clue luv. It’s these instructions that have left me somewhat bolloxed. I can’t make head or tail of them.”
After an hour or so of struggling the new Round Table is complete. Lancelot, sweating his cods off and with hands proudly on hips notes it is extravagantly smaller than the original.
Lancelot: “Bloody hell Gwen didn’t you check the measurements before you ordered. He’s bound to notice. It’s more bull’s-eye than dartboard. From the gallery it looks like a bloody foot stool.”
Gwen: “Not really they were all in metric and you know I can’t get me head around that. What we going to do? We need a magician to sort this out.”
In unison they bawl: “MERLIN!”
Somewhere deep in the forest, an owl sat serenely upon his shoulder an old wizard with a crooked walking stick awakens.