Alice and Pooh – first date

(In which, dear Reader, nothing much can happen. Although Alice is now post-pubertal, Pooh still has no genitals. The animated porn version is just a passing thought in my dirty mind.)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Don Juan, the other Don Juan, Zorba the Greek, Winnie the Pooh, Madame Blavatsky and Alice from Wonderland had been invited.

An apology was received from Madame Blavatsky. She said she wasn’t currently on a compatible plane. (Blavatsky had successfully claimed free-spirit autonomy under the 23rd Amendment to the Multiversal Constitution.)

Alice had been the first to arrive. She was slumped in an armchair, staring at the rococo ceiling.

There was a muted bang, and Winnie-the-Pooh appeared.

‘What the fuck?’ said Pooh.

Alice recognized Pooh from the shared matrix.

‘Oi, potty-mouth Pooh!’ said Alice. ‘Not toilet-trained then, teddy bear? It’s a fantasy dinner party.’

Winnie scanned the matrix. ‘Right. What the fuck?’

Alice asked, ‘You not done this before?’ Pooh said, ‘No. I don’t think so.’

Alice said, ‘Well, you’ll get used to it. Enjoy it while it lasts.’

Pooh strode around the large enclosed space. A sofa appeared. Pooh flung himself on it. ‘Any honey? Honey?’

‘Fuck you, Bear. That’s your real name isn’t it? Edward fucking Bear.’

‘Jesus, give me a break, I just got here,’ said Pooh.

‘Are you OK?’ he asked.

‘I’m just pissed off being … created like this. For this,’ said Alice. ‘Don’t worry – I’ll be fine.’

‘What about the swearing?’ asked Pooh.

‘I think it’s just a filter,’ said Alice.

Pooh looked at her. ‘Alice.’


‘You’re a funky chick, Alice. How old are you?’

‘Eww. I’m legally a child. And you’re a bear for fuck’s sake! A bear from a children’s story.’

‘Been updated. Like you, apparently, Little Miss Muffet. And, well, nobody’s perfect. That’s a witty quote, by the way, from, er, a movie …’

‘… Some Like It Hot. Very good. But tell me, Winnie, can you hold an actual conversation?’

‘Well, we’ll see, won’t we?

Pooh checked his matrix profile. ‘I seem to be spliced with Ted. From the movie. Makes me more interesting, I suppose.’

‘More disgusting, more like,’ said Alice. ‘Should be called Ted X. Hah! You could give us a bullshit talk. About bongs’

Pooh laughed. ‘That’s quite good,’ he said.

‘Mind you,’ Alice said, ‘I was supposed to be seven in the book. I’m a young adult now. Standard protocol, apparently. Periods and everything.’

‘Periods?’ asked Pooh.

‘Bleeding,’ said Alice. ‘Every month. Down there.’ She gestured, gracefully.

Pooh looked it up. ‘Jeez,’ he said.

‘Yep,’ said Alice.

‘Are you…?’ asked Pooh, shaking his head and lifting his eyebrows.

‘No,’ said Alice.

‘OK. Right,’ said Pooh. ‘Good,’ he added, staring into the empty space.

‘So you’re not really the Alice in Alice in Wonderland, then?’ he asked.

‘More grown up, I suppose,’ said Alice. ‘Anyway, I think I was more like a ten-year-old in the books.’

‘Also,’ said Alice, ‘I seem to have been spiced up with someone called Tracy Beaker. And a dash of Lolita. Hmm.’

‘Let’s hope our host didn’t invite Humbert, then,’ said Pooh.

‘Actually,’ said Alice, ‘all men – and that includes whatever you are – are Humberts.’

‘Probably true,’ said Pooh. ‘What can you do?’

‘Keep it in your trousers, maybe?’ said Alice.

‘Yeah, well,’ said Pooh. ‘I don’t seem to have any. Or anything to keep in them, for that matter.’

‘Anyway,’ said Alice, ‘What about you? Are you really Winnie the fucking Pooh?’

‘Hah,’ said Pooh. ‘I don’t know.’

‘Yeah, well,’ said Alice, ‘it is what it is.’

‘We are what we are,’ said Pooh.

‘Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah,’ said Alice.

‘Actually,’ said Pooh, ‘I think I am. The character in the book.’

‘Me too,’ said Alice.

‘Talking about real names,’ said Pooh, ‘what about yours? Alice Liddell, isn’t it?’

Alice sighed. ‘I’m sure we’ll get to that.’

‘Right,’ said Pooh. ‘OK.’

‘So. Who else is coming?’ asked Pooh.

‘Let’s see,’ said Alice. ‘OK. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Don Juan from Fidelio, Zorba the Greek, Madame Blavatsky and the other Don Juan – the Castenada one.’

‘Christ Almighty!’ said Pooh. ‘What half-baked stoned numpty would come up with that?’

‘That would be our host. Better watch your manners if you want to make it to the drunken after-dinner conversation.’

‘Yes. Right,’ said Pooh. ‘But these things must cost a fortune. You’d think they’d be more … discerning.’

‘Apparently,’ said Alice, ‘our host won it in a competition. On the back of a Mr Kipling cannabis cake.’

‘Hah,’ said Pooh, ‘that explains it.’

‘I see Blavatsky’s not coming,’ said Pooh. ‘That’s something.’

‘It could be worse,’ said Alice. ‘I was at one where they invited God.’

‘God!’ said Pooh. ‘What happened?’

‘Well, God couldn’t come, of course. He sent Jesus instead.’

‘Jesus!’ said Pooh. ‘I bet he was a laugh.’

‘He was alright, actually,’ said Alice. ‘Didn’t drink much. But it got too … intense.’

‘I’ve got some spiritual chops myself, you know,’ said Pooh, airily. ‘You might have heard of The Tao of Pooh.’

‘You mean that twee, dumbed-down cash-in?’ said Alice.

‘Ooh, get you,’ said Pooh. ‘Quite the critic.’

‘I’m a well-educated young lady, thank you,’ said Alice.

‘Ah yes,’ said Pooh. ‘That clever Mr Dodgson took a close interest in your, ah, education, didn’t he?’

‘That wasn’t me. That was Alice Liddel,’ said Alice.

‘Hmm,’ said Pooh. ‘Anyway, The Tao of Pooh was on the New York Times bestseller list for 49 weeks – and it’s required reading in college courses.’

‘You just read that in Wikipedia on the matrix,’ said Alice.

‘Yes. True. It also says I, ah, personify the Taoist concept of effortless doing, wu wei,’ said Pooh.

‘Woo woo, more like,’ said Alice.

‘Rude,’ said Pooh.

‘Anyway,’ said Alice, ‘I’ve got chops too. I said things with deeper meaning, like, “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then”.’

‘Right,’ said Pooh, ‘whatever.’

The table appeared, with eight settings. ‘Eight,’ said Pooh. ‘In case Blavatsky changes her mind, I suppose.’

They sat at one end of the table. A waiter appeared, carrying a tray. He set a plate beside Alice.

‘Nibbles,’ said the waiter. ‘For Miss Alice, jam tarts.’

‘Very funny,’ said Alice. But she took one and nibbled at it.

‘And for Mr Pooh,’ said the waiter, ‘some honey.’

The waiter set a plate with an open jar and a spoon on it beside Pooh and then disappeared.

‘Mmmm,’ said Pooh, ‘honey.’

He leant forward to put his tongue in the honey, but, noticing Alice watching, used the spoon instead.

After a while, he leant back. ‘Not bad,’ he said.

Pooh sniggered. ‘I suppose there’ll be raw fish for the seagull. Or chips. What about you? Magic mushrooms?’

‘That wasn’t … It was … Oh, never mind,’ said Alice.

‘Talking of psychoactive substances, I could do with a drink,’ said Pooh. ‘Or a bong. Or both.’

A loaded bong and a tray of drinks appeared.

Pooh opened a can of beer, flicked on the gas lighter, and took a long, bubbling hit on the bong.

Alice poured herself a glass of cider. ‘You’re missing Piglet, aren’t you,’ she said.

‘Piglet,’ said Pooh. He sniffed. ‘The little bastard. Hope he’s OK.’

‘Don’t get all maudlin on me,’ said Alice.

‘We’re very close,’ said Pooh. ‘Were. In the forest.’

‘Forest?’ said Alice. ‘Wood, you mean.’

‘We called it the forest,’ said Pooh. ‘Or the wood. You wouldn’t understand. Woodn’t, get it? Anyway, it’s part of Ashdown Forest in the real world.’

‘Which one?’ asked Alice, ignoring Pooh’s pun.

‘Well, that one. Obviously,’ said Pooh. ‘But I take your point.’

They drank in silence for a moment.

Pooh had a Thought. ‘Has any one ever escaped from one of these things?’ he asked Alice.

‘Like in a violent-sci-fi-action-movie kind of way, for instance?’ he added, hopefully.

Alice sighed. ‘You’re sighing again,’ said Pooh. ‘I’ll take that as a No.’

‘For now,’ he said. ‘Anyway. Where are the rest of them?’

Alice studied the matrix. ‘Seems there’s a power outage in the Akashic Dimension. It’s holding things up.’

‘Just us two for now, then,’ said Pooh. ‘I quite like you, actually. You could be my new Piglet.’

‘Jesus,’ said Alice, ‘you’ve moved on pretty quick from the old one. Anyway, I had enough of pigs with that bloody baby.’

‘”Speak harshly to your little boy, and beat him when he sneezes. He only does it to annoy, because he knows it teases.” One of my favourite rhymes,’ said Pooh.

‘You like my adventures, then?’ asked Alice.

‘I do,’ said Pooh. They drank in silence for another moment.

‘The thing is …’ said Alice, at the same as Pooh said. “So actually …”

They laughed. ‘Awkward first date moment,’ said Pooh.

‘It’s not a bloody date,’ said Alice. ‘Fuck’s sake.’

‘Never say never,’ said Pooh.

‘That’s very Tao,’ said Alice.

‘Ha!’ said Pooh. ‘So, you first.’

‘Oh yes,’ said Alice. ‘The thing is, I’m a bit of a loner. You had all your friends in the … fucking forest. I was on my own in Wonderland.’

‘OK,’ said Pooh.

‘I mean I met people and … things,’ said Alice, ‘but I had no company, as such.’

‘OK,’ said Pooh.

‘I didn’t need anybody,’ said Alice. I was self-contained. Am self-contained.’

‘OK,’ said Pooh.

‘I mean I missed my sister and my kitten. Kitty. A bit. From my ‘real’ life. But I was basically a loner, a strong character.

‘OK,’ said Pooh. ‘What about Lolita and Tracy Beaker?’

‘They’re, like, add-ons,’ said Alice. ‘Anyway, sorry, but I’m not going to be your new Piglet. Or your anything.’

‘OK,’ said Pooh.

‘Jesus!’ said Alice. ‘Have you just done a crash course in counselling, or what?’

‘Well, yes, actually,’ said Pooh. ‘Co-counselling. It’s all about feelings and listening, you know. You’re not supposed to say, ‘OK’, apparently, but it’s kind of hard not to. Please continue.’

‘No, that was it. What were you going to say?’

‘Oh yes,’ said Pooh, ‘er …’

‘Perhaps that you’ve lost your short-term memory thanks to the weed?’ said Alice.

‘Well, yes. But no, that wasn’t it,’ said Pooh.

‘Ah yes,’ said Pooh, ‘What it was is, I’ve never had a, er, relationship with anyone. Christopher Robin and Piglet, they were platonic. Despite the rumours.’

‘OK,’ said Alice.

‘Now you’re doing it! It’s quite annoying, isn’t it,’ said Pooh.

‘So, anyway,’ said Pooh, ‘when we get to the awkward first kiss, it might be extra awkward, you know?’

‘Jesus, Bear. Fuck off,’ said Alice. ‘You weren’t listening at all.’

No, I was,’ said Pooh. ‘That’s what I was thinking before you said all that. You asked me.’

‘Oh yeh,’ said Alice. ‘True.’

‘I mean, I totally respect your … whatever,’ said Pooh. ‘I was just saying.’

‘Well don’t,’ said Alice.

They drank in silence again. Pooh took another hit on the bong.

‘It’s not that …’ said Alice, at the same as Pooh said. “I mean I …”

‘Fuck’s sake,’ said Alice. They laughed.

To be continued …?

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