I am hungry for hot food, so I pull up at the drive through at a KFC in a lovely place called Beenleigh. To pass the time in the queue I turn the music on.
“What do you want?” I asked the drop bear I had captured in my back seat.
“Popcorn chicken thanks,” the drop bear said. “And Mountain Dew. Who would go to KFC and not get Mountain Dew?”
We don’t eat until we’re sitting under a bridge by the river. I drag the drop bear out of the car, but I refused to let him out of the net. He struggled for a bit but I said he wouldn’t get any more chicken unless it behaved.
“So what do we call you?” I asked.
Drop bears are heavily into music. They listen to what they can. This is why Garrett speaks excellent English. Drop bears mostly attack hikers who have radios, stereos, and Ipods.
In drop bear tradition (apparently) it is customary to be named after Australian musicians. When I learnt this we broke out singing Blue Sky Mine (Midnight Oil). Garrett even pulled out a harmonica from somewhere and he wasn’t too shabby at it.
“Who’s gonna save me!” we sang, just before Garrett howled, crying.
I felt sorry for him and I let him out of the net. “Sucker!” he yelled, and waddled away as fast as he could, a small packet of popcorn chicken in his paw. “I’m not leaving my girlfriend, Minogue.”
I shouted promises to Garrett to get him back. I promised him more KFC, a trip to Movie World, and then a holiday to Bali.
“I’m king of the monkeys, you know,” I said.
“Good for you,” Garrett said. He wouldn’t come back, so I shot him with another tranquiliser.
Anyway, so now I’m on a plane back to Bali. It was a challenge thinking of a brilliant way to smuggle a drop bear out of the country. But I’ve worked it out.
Garrett is in a cage somewhere down in storage, unconscious, dressed in a dog onesie. I smile as a hot waitress serves me a ginger beer. I am thinking of the monkeys’ reactions when I return with a drop bear.