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“They didn’t get it,” said Toadfish Rebecchi.

“They did,” insisted William Shakespeare.

“They didn’t,” repeated Toadie, leaning against the hotel reception desk. “You misread your audience. Those guys in that lift would not have got that reference.”

“It was a fucking Terminator joke,” screamed Shakespeare. “Everyone’s seen Terminator.”

Toadie rolled his eyes, weighed up the situation and opted to continue the debate, knowing that the bard probably wouldn’t let it lie anyway. “They haven’t,” he said. “You think everyone’s seen The Terminator because all of your friends have seen The Terminator, but that’s just your mates. Those are the circles you move in.”

“Bullshit,” spat Shakespeare.

“I’m serious. Those guys in that lift? They were businessmen. They were lap dancing club type people.”

“So what?”

“Well lap dancing club type people aren’t Terminator type people.”

“That’s just bollocks,” said Shakespeare. “There’s overlap. Lap dancing people and Terminator people aren’t entirely separate. You can like both.”

“I think it’s pretty unlikely,” said Toadie, giving off a slightly smug air.

“Fuck you,” said Shakespeare and pushed him firmly. As Toadie was already leaning, he couldn’t get his legs in place to halt his momentum and he sprawled on the floor. Shakespeare giggled slightly.

Toadie picked himself and shouted “arsehole.” The embarrassment of falling had incensed him and the playwright’s reaction had compounded this. He aimed a punch at Shakespeare’s wispy beard.

Shakespeare tried to dodge it, but took a glancing blow on the jaw. As he turned back again, he thrust both hands into Toadie’s chest and started shoving him across the room backwards.

After a couple of metres, the backpedalling Toadie came up against the rear side of a sofa and the pair toppled over it. They fell down into a gap between the sofa itself and a coffee table positioned just in front of it where they started to pepper each other’s torsos with abbreviated punches delivered from close range.

“Pigfucker,” cried Toadie.

“Dick,” replied Shakespeare.

Toadie, on his back, tried to strangle the bard, but couldn’t get a good grip through the sheer linen collar. Shakespeare took advantage of this, getting a more full-blooded punch through the burly soap character’s defences and into his face.

Toadie cried out in pain and then immediately felt a forearm press down on his throat. Struggling for air, he looked up into the eyes of the man who was hurting him and was surprised to see that they were rapidly moistening.

Shakespeare panted and seemed to be fighting back an emotion that wasn’t aggression. His lip wobbled a bit. He eased the pressure on Toadie’s throat and after a couple of false starts, said: “I dreamt that you touched me in my private places.”

With that, he stood up and ran out of the hotel lobby.

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Posted by Alex On August - 30 - 2011

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A man who has no interest in writing about Toadfish Rebecchi, largely because his surname is annoying to spell.