“Johnny Chess!” the stranger excitedly declared. The wet, bedraggled forty-something miserably looked up from his little cooking fire:
“Who are you?”
“Who am I?” the skinny newcomer grinned. “I’m only your mum and dad’s oldest friend!” He paused, thoughtfully: “And your first wife’s, come to think of it…and I might be your godfather; can’t really remember. Anyway, your last album was brilliant!”
“It went to number one,” said Johnny, unenthusiastically. “In Japan. What are you doing here?”
“What are you doing here?” the man asked.
“Living in the jungle, eating grubs.”
“Why are you doing that?” wondered the man, horrified. “Were you in a plane crash or something? Looks like I got here just in time!”
“No,” sighed Johnny. “It’s like… my agent said it could really boost my career, lead to a comeback, you know? Look what it did for Tony Blackburn!”
“Ah,” said the stranger, quietly. “I see. Reality TV.” He sounded as if he were discussing slavery or drug trafficking. “I was going to ask you to travel with me,” he added, sadly.
“Sorry,” shrugged Johnny, “I’m under contract. Now get out of here before Ant and Dec see you.”
“Don’t worry,” said the man, “I’m going.”
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