Body Talk

Entering the props room, Ben switched on the light.
‘Wow, this place is awesome’, said his colleague Bill.
‘Haven’t you been down here before?’
‘Nope. What are we fetching?’
‘These!’ Ben pointed to a trolley piled high with naked mannequin parts, arms, legs heads, bottoms and hands.
‘Spoooookeeey!’, breathed Bill.
Ben picked up a head. ‘I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on!’ he said in a squeaky voice. From the other end of the trolley Bill was inspecting a torso.
‘Erm…I think I had too much last night. I’m feeling legless’, he quipped, holding up the body part.
Grasping a female torso, Ben grinned, ‘I’d give an arm and a leg for one of these!’
Ben picked up a foot and attached it by the fitted screw to one of the unattached legs.
‘Let’s leg it outta here’, he drawled, but Bill was right behind him, giggling helplessly, ‘I was gonna say, let’s foot it out of here!’, he said holding up a single foot.
Ben returned to the trolley and hunted around. Finally finding what he was searching for, he held up a female pair of legs and pelvis, snorting through his giggles,
‘It appears we are missing a member!’

By now the two of them were almost crying with laughter, competing with each other for the best joke.
Back in the office upstairs, the assistant props manager watched the screen from the security camera and grinned.
‘Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men’, he mused. ‘They aren’t going to live this down. Watch this’. He pulled a microphone close to his mouth, and coughed, just audibly.

Bill turned to Ben.
‘Is there anyone else down here? I thought I just heard someone cough’.
‘Shouldn’t be. I had to unlock the door to get in’, Ben said.
There was another cough and the sound of someone clearing their throat.
Both boys stood stock still, staring at each other.
‘I said it was spooky’ Bill said.
Suddenly there was a rustle somewhere behind the trolley. Bill and Ben jumped violently.
The assistant props manager chuckled to himself, turned off the mic and looked at his companions. ‘They’re spooked easily! Pity they haven’t got flowerpots to jump into!’ Right, here we go…the piece de resistance…’
As Bill and Ben stared at each other, and then the trolley, and then back at each other, the silence seemed very loud. Then out of the depths, there was a whirring sound, followed by a rustling. Suddenly one of the dummies moved and then fell over into the trolley. As it clattered, disturbing other mannequins in it’s path, a deep, throaty voice said…
‘Need a hand boys?’

As if hit by lightening, both boys bolted. Out of the door, they sprinted up the stairs to the safety of the corridor. Their progress was followed by the trio in the office, who were falling about laughing. They watched on another camera situated at the end of the corridor.
‘How did you get the rustling movement’, one of them asked the perpetrator?
‘I have a remote robot teddy bear near the trolley which I knew would make a noise if it rubbed against the sides of that cupboard, so all I had to do was activate it and then use the mic. The mannequin falling over was a bonus!’
Outside in the corridor, two very pale men lit cigarettes and then stared at the props room door as if waiting for whatever it was to come and get them. Although they wouldn’t admit it, neither of them felt brave enough to be the first to return to the room to fetch the mannequins.
As they stood, fidgeting and drawing deep drags on their cigarettes they heard another sound issue from the props room. Then a voice very clear and very loud, said;
‘Hey, give us a hand. I haven’t a leg to stand on. Oh…what’s a body to do! My poor head is reeling and my arms gone limp!’

That was the last anybody saw of Bill and Ben, but the tape was a favourite at theatrical parties!


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