Newcastle train station turns into a metallic-themed eighties bar turns into a local JD Wetherspoon turns into a dodgy pub. A game of “Drink While You Think” has the locals standing around the animals' table, enthralled.
Edgar sips his drink. “Arnold Schwarzenegger. Have we had him?”
“Nope,” says Peter. S.”
Harry takes a sip. He thinks the name out as he's saying it. “Ssssimon Cowell.”
The team goes quiet.
Jacob drinks. “Courtney Cox. Back to you.”
“Why back to me?” asks Harry.
“Two Cs. If it's the same two letters, you switch directions.”
“Fuck...” Harry gazes into his glass. He'll be smashed in no time. He takes another sip. “Cristina Aguilera.”
“Random,” says Jacob. “Edgar?”
Jacob spits his drink over the table. “Who?!”
“Y'know. The hook guy.”
“The terrorist?” asks Harry. “Can we have terrorists?”
“Alright, let him have it," says Peter. He points to the aardvark. “Drink while you think, Aaron.”
The Aardvark's ears twitch as he chugs. “Harold Bishop.”
“Fictional people?” asks Peter. “They allowed?”
“Yes, as long as it's not some obscure weird shit,” says Jacob, aiming his banter at the bookworm Hippo. “Your go, by the way. Make it someone we'd know.”
Peter sips his pint. “Buh, buh, Bram Stoker?”
“Nope,” says Jacob. “Never heard of him. Try again.”
“He wrote Dracula, for fuck's sake,” says Peter. “It's just this little known vampire story... they made a few films out of it.”
“I can vouch,” says Terence, pecking at peanuts in a desperate attempt to sober up. “It's me, isn't it. Shit. Erm... Serena Williams.”
“William,” starts Vincent the rainbow lorikeet, then takes another sip. “Shatner.”
Jack has been staring out of the window, not engaging with the group.
Vincent glances to him, then to Jacob. “Are we, er...” He points a radiant wing on to Edgar, the next man in line. Disturbing Jack can be more than it's worth.
Edgar nods, taking a breath.
“Sharon Stone,” blurts Jack. He hasn't even taken or sip, or even looked up, from his drink in the last fifteen minutes.
“Ha!” Shouts Jacob. “Vince, you're back in the hotseat pal!”
The locals love it. They branch off back to their own tables, playing the game themselves. The animals are spawning enjoyment.
But the animals want to see more. They spend their lives indoors. They still have immense wanderlust. The local girls have large breasts. Newcastle is fascinating. The animals leave. The locals cheer them.
They emerge, blurry-eyed, into the street. Terence tries to soak in the cold air, letting the breeze ruffle his feathers. He wants to sober up. The alcohol is making him nervous.
And right when he's weak and on edge, that's when he hears her stilettos.
He turns. He cranes his neck. She's beautiful. She's got long, dark hair and a handful of flyers. Her PVC nurses outfit exposes the top of her fishnet stockings. Her matching hat shows her affinity to the Red Cross.
“Are you coming to Diamonds for a lap dance, boys?” She dishes the flyers out to the animals, bending down so they can reach.
Terence loves the bounce of her Geordie Accent. He feels his mental guard slipping. He wants to check this place out. He's started to look at humans differently. There's something else he likes about her, but he can't figure out what it is.
But this isn't what the trip is about either, is it? He thinks. Aren't we supposed to be seeing the city?
A flashback: Fluffy seeing them off. Most of all- enjoy yourselves.
“Let's try Reflex bar again,” says Edgar to Jacob. “Come on.”
“Just one drink,” says Jacob, thumbing to the nurse. That's all it takes.
They follow the woman down a narrow but very clean alley to a large window, backlit by purple florescent tubes. Above it, DIAMONDS shines in torturous electric blue.
Terence wishes he was an alpha male. He'd have got some culture into this rabble. I want us to cross Tyne Bridge. Cheer at St. James' Park, football fans or not. There's an 11th-century castle around here somewhere.
But fucking hell, he thinks, taking in the fishnets. This woman is amazing.