‘Move over Piglet. You’re taking up the whole bed.’
‘No I’m not. It’s you, you’re too fat. I don’t take up any room at all.’
‘You do. You’re a waste of space.’
Piglet wriggled up on top of the pillow, occupying less than a quarter of it. He clutched one of the bars on the metal bed head so he wouldn’t roll off. It was uncomfortable to say the least.
‘Is that better?’
‘S’pose so’ grumbled Pooh, ‘but my tummy’s rumbling. We need some food. We need some cash. Where is Christopher Robin anyway?’
‘I don’t think he’s back from his ski-ing holiday yet.’
‘Well he jolly well should be. He’s in charge of our welfare and somebody needs to do some shopping round here.’
‘We’d better get up then, if we want some breakfast.’
They got off Christopher Robin’s bed, dropped onto the floor and went down to the kitchen. Pooh was tall enough to open the door of the fridge. He stuck his head in it.
‘It’s still empty, Piglet,’ he complained, but Piglet wasn’t there. Piglet had scrambled up one of the chairs onto the wooden kitchen table.
‘Hey look at this, Pooh’, he called excitedly. On the table was an open netbook computer and it was switched on. The screen glowed blue and a colourful soft-edged symbol shimmered gently in the centre of it, inviting them in.
‘Have you ever done on-line shopping, Pooh?’
‘Yes. I always sit with Christopher Robin and he sits on Mr. C.R. Senior’s lap, when he’s doing it. Christopher Robin helps him choose things.’
‘Let’s order some food,’ Piglet was standing knee-high to the screen jiggling his little arms excitedly. Pooh sat down and started prodding the keyboard.
‘My paws are too fat, Piglet. You’ll have to do it.’
‘What do I do?’
‘I’ll call out the letters and you hit the keys.’ They set to work. Piglet tapped away with the tips of his trotters. A few seconds later they were on the grocery page of Mr. C.R. Senior’s shopping account. They selected their delivery slot and then arrived at the colourful and tempting virtual grocery store. Piglet waved a trotter over the key pad.
‘What shall we order, Pooh?’
‘No we can’t. We’ll be here all night.’
‘Okay. Start with honey...that one. Get two of those and we’d better have a few spares as well. We need bread to put it on and...some of those honey biscuits...honey waffles and the honey ice-cream...and-’ Piglet interrupted,
‘I’d like some apples.’ He went tap, tap, tap on the keys, bristling with concentration. Eventually he said, ‘we’ve got quite a long list now, Pooh.’
‘Alright, finish the order. Click on that green arrow.’
Piglet clicked and the screen changed.
‘Finish and pay!’ he read excitedly. ‘Oh, pay! We can’t pay. How do we pay?’ He was immediately crestfallen.
‘Don’t worry, I know the numbers.’
‘The ones they use to pay with - from the little plastic card. I’ll call them out. Listen carefully and tap them in.’ When they’d done it, Pooh said,
‘Click on ‘confirm order’.’
‘Oooooooh!’ the little pig exclaimed. He was SO hungry. They held their breath while the machine did its thing. An official and important-looking message came up on the screen. It said,
‘This is a message from your bank.
Your payment is refused.
You’ve maxed out your credit card, moron. You do not have permission to borrow any more money. The only thing that interests us about you is the interest on your debt. Ha! Ha!
In fact, while we’ve got your attention, could we ask you to flog off a couple of family heirlooms and send us a few bob too? We’ve got bonuses to pay.
Excuse us now, but our dinner’s ready.’
Pooh slammed down the lid of the machine in disgust.
‘What does it mean, Pooh?’ Piglet was stricken.
‘It means Christopher Robin and his ilk have been hiding the true facts from us, Piglet, my diminutive, pathetic side-kick. We're broker than we thought and if we are ever going to eat again, we'll jolly well have to DO something.’