Greg and Chris sat in the studio, relaxing after a long day in the office. “What you up to tonight?” Greg asked, leaning back in his chair and scratching his nose.
“Ah y’know. Just… watching time pass by…” chris said elusively, also leaning back and swinging his chair gently back and forth, “you?”
“Ah yeah, y’know…dinner” Greg smiled.
They sat in silence for a while before someone’s phone chimed. Both jumped instinctively towards their own device.
It was Gregs.
“Hello? Yes? Yes. Yes. Ok. I’ll be there” he hung up “sorry mate, gotta dash”
“No worries. I, uh, I think it’s time for me to go too”
*later, near Gregs house*
“PASTA LA VISTA, GRAVY!” a masked figure, who had a similar build to that of Greg james, yelled at a large masked man. He threw a plate of pasta at his face before jumping on him and tying his hands behind his back with stings of (reinforced) spaghetti.
“Ah. I can’t believe you’ve done this!” Shouted the figure writhing on the ground
“NO! You will never silence THE MIGHTY DOCTOR TABLESON!”
“That. Is an awful name”
“NO IT ISN’T!”
“What do you even do? I mean, apart from running around town knocking over tables?”
“THAT. IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO!”
“You knock over tables…”
“I CAUSE CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION-”
“- you knock over tables”
“-TERROR AND FEAR-”
“By knocking down tables”
“-FEAR IS… IS… PEOPLE… chaos… I… I…”
“… knock over tables”
“Knock over tables”
“Yes. And it’s very silly”
“It is quite silly yes- NO!”
They sat in silence for a moment.
Then, out of the darkness and the silence, Dr Mctableson began to speak,
“How would you feel..” he asked melodiously, “if someone knocked over your table?”
“Mildly annoyed” The hero responded with a shrug
“How would you feel” McTableson tried again, “if someone knocked over your table AND YOUR DINNER WAS ON IT?!”
The hero fell to his knees, arms raised to the skies and let out an almighty scream of terror, as rain began to fall dramatically “NOOOOOOOOOO!!”
“Yes, I know your weakness. I know who you are! DINER MAN!”
The hero stopped screaming abruptly before throwing himself down so he was face to face with his captive,
“No. No no no no no no. My name is not DINER MAN! That’s an AWFUL name for a hero” he huffed, before drawing himself up to his full, and rather impressive height, “I am,” he paused for dramatic effect before booming “DINNER MAN!” He raised his chin to look more magnificent, and wished he had remembered to bring his portable speaker so he could blast his “theme tune”.
Dr McTableson was caught in a trance like state as he gazed at the magnificence of the hero before him. But his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of police sirens, but in the moment that he looked to see where they were, Dinner man had vanished, leaving nothing but the faint smell of paprika and tomato purée.
*meanwhile near Chris’ house*
“YOUR TIME HAS COME!” Yelled, yet another, masked hero, this one seemed to have a similar build to that of Chris Smith with the news (how incredibly odd).
“YOU WILL NEVER STOP ME, FOR I AM THE MAGNIFICENT, AMAZING, UNBEATABLE, UNSTOPPABLE-”
“Ok enough with the adjectives get to the good bits”
The time gremlin was a short man wearing a dark green suit and a, quite frankly rubbish face mask.
“Yes well, it appears that your time has come”
“You’ve already used that pun”
“Yes well… I don’t believe in… second chances.” He stammered, “erm… You’re going down”!” He shouted. The hero launched himself at the gremlin and managed to wrestle him to the ground, seeing as he had the height advantage and lack of a silly mask. He bound the gremlins hands with, what appeared to be a chain of cogs and springs.
“You’ll never get away with this!”
The hero stood up. His face was hidden in shadows making him look handsome and mysterious.
“Of course I’ll get away with this, for you see,” he gestured around “I just have”.
He looked towards the clock and as he did so, the hands began to move twice as fast as they should have.
“NO!” Screeched the man in chains, “NO YOU’RE RUINING IT STOP IT!”
“No I shall not! You cannot mess with time, Gremlin”
“CHAOS! THATS WHAT I WANTED! CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION! AND, AND A LATER BEDTIME!”
“well it looks like it’s past your bedtime” the hero said smartly. He stood up straight and looked into the middle distance, doing his best to look strong and heroic.
“It seems like my work here is done”
“How would you feel if I told you,” the criminal on the ground spat, “that all the clocks in the city were changed”
“Mildly annoyed to be honest”
“What if I told you,” the gremlin tried again, “that all the clocks in the city had changed TO THE WRONG TIME-”
The hero gasped dramatically,
“-BY EXACTLY 2 AND A HALF MINUTES”
The hero fell to his knees and began to scream as he reached to the sky and the heavens opened to bring a dramatic fall of rain.
“NOOOOOO!! WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?! YOU… YOU.. MONSTER!” screamed the hero in disgust and anger.
“I prefer the term “Time Gremlin” actually. And it was hypothetical”
The hero stopped and brought his face very close to his captive, “never talk about things like that. Not even in a hypothetical sense”
The gremlin- the time gremlin smiled smugly, “ah. I’m sorry” but he wasn’t, “but now I know who you are… Agent Time!”
The hero looked annoyed as he stood up. He turned his nose up at the little gremlin before rumbling in a heroic voice, “YES! I AM AGENT TIME! AND I WILL HAVE ORDER! NO ONE WILL BE LATE BECAUSE OF AN INACCURATE PUBLIC CLOCK WHILE I SERVE THIS CITY”
“You need a shorter tag line” the time gremlin muttered
Just then, the sound of sirens began to increase in volume, and as the gremlin attempted to look around to see where they were, Agent Time disappeared leaving only a faint ticking noise in his wake.
Both heroes sped away from their heroic acts, leaving the police to take care of their “little” friends. Little did the heroes know of course, that any second they would crash into each other on a street corner.
LITTLE DID THE TWO HEROES KNOW-
The two heroes suddenly bumped into each other at a lamppost at the end of a street.
“Oh, er, sorry. I was just-” began Agent Time,
“Yes, um, I was just going-” started Dinner Man,
“Well” they said together.
There was an awkward pause as Agent Time and Dinner Man did that awkward dance from side to side. You know the one, when you bump into someone and you try to get past by moving to the side. But you both move the same way doing a bizarre “mirroring each other” dance.
Eventually they managed to sort themselves out and pass each other.
“Well, nice meeting you I suppose… nice cape” said dinner man, eyeing up Agent Times blue cape,
“Thanks” said Agent Time, “nice eye mask. Thingy” he added as he studied the strangers face.
Actually, they both started to look at each other. In hindsight, they both decided that they should have focused more on disguising their accents than their appearance, but we’re in the present, not the future, so they hadn’t thought of that yet.
“You sound an awful lot like Greg James off the radio you know” noted Agent Time.
“yes. And you sound a lot like Chris Smith With The News. But he’s not cool enough to be a super hero”
“OI!” Said Agent Time sounding wounded, “er, I mean, I think Chris smith is very cool”
“Oh” Dinner Man said, “sorry, I…”
Someone’s phone began to ring. This time, no one moved.
“Uh… you gonna get that?” Agent Time asked hesitantly
“Thought it was yours mate,”
“Nah that’s not my ring tone. That’s my mate Gregs…” Agent Time paused as he realised that this man, this hero, this STRANGER was not a stranger at all.
“Greg?” He quizzed
“NO! I AM DINNER MAN!” Yelled dinner man defensively
“AND I AM AGENT TIME!” Agent Time countered.
They stared at each other for a few moments before walking on their way, eyeing each other carefully until they were out of sight.
The next day, Greg and Chris sat in the studio recording their award winning podcast.
“Imagine being a superhero though” Greg said playfully, “i would love the ability to make dinner for any number of people at any time of the day. That’d be cool”
Chris laughed, “I would change every public clock to the correct time. It really REALLY annoys me when clocks in public places are at the wrong time” he frowned as he thought of a clock showing the wrong time.
Greg smirked “that sounds a bit odd”
Chris, suddenly defensive, “oi! You could be late for everything if it wasn’t for people like me- I mean, Agent Time- I mean if public clocks were wrong” he sounded flustered.
Greg and chris stared at each other for a moment, looking at each other carefully as though trying to read the others minds- which they couldn’t, because that wasn’t their superpower. Something wasn’t right here. They didn’t usually have secrets…
After the podcast was done Greg cornered chris and asked very directly, “Are you a super hero?” He had a very serious look in his eyes as he said it. And he used his serious voice and so chris felt compelled to answer honestly,
“no” he lied fighting his compulsion, “are you a superhero?” Greg also felt that he should tell his friend the truth,
“no” said Greg, lying to his mate “I’m not. It would be cool though”
“Yeah,” chris said, “being able to help people, even in a small way”
“Exactly! Like helping the listeners. It would be amazing”
For you see, dear reader, Greg and chris did not yet know that they did not need super powers to help us, their listeners. Their laughter, banter, jokes and just their presence was enough to help their listeners through tough times, through a bad day or a bad week. They did not yet know that their voices coming from the radio were enough to help people. A true super power.
“Well, anyway, best get on then. Lots to do eh,” Greg said awkwardly. He didn’t like lying to chris. They were best friends, they shouldn’t have secrets! He resolved to find a way to tell him. But what if he was mad that he’d lied? What if he didn’t believe him?
So many questions, all of them big.
“Er, ok. Are you.. are you gonna go then?”
Greg realised that as these questions had been racing through his head he had not moved and had been stood staring at chris for well over half a minute.
“Oh right. Yeah oh course yeah. I was just… you look tired mate” Greg had indeed noticed how tired Chris looked. Almost like he had been up half the night running around the city.
“Yeah not been getting much sleep really” chris shrugged, “busy, y’know… you don’t look so good yourself mate,” he added, noticing the dark circles under Gregs eyes,
“Yeah… busy too I suppose… anyway. Cheers mate. See you later”
And so both Greg and Chris went their separate ways once again. Off to perform their heroic duties as Dinner Man and Agent Time, in secret, not seeking praise- just a cool catchphrase…
**Later that week**
“YOUR TIME HAS COME DINNER MAN!”
“Not today, time gobblin”
“GREMLIN! I’M A GREMLIN!”
“Yeah whatever. Point is,” Dinner Man said because changing his voice to sound more projected and powerful, “its time for you… to, pause for dramatic effect… EAT MY DUST!” He finished triumphantly
“What?” Said the gobbl- gremlin, looking confused.
“Eat my… eat my dust. Because I’m Dinner Man. Eating. Dust. No?” Dinner mans face fell, “What about..”
“HOW ABOUT “ITS DINNER TIME”?!” Boomed a mighty voice from behind him.
It was Agent Time!
“Agent time?” Asked Dinner Man and The Time Gremlin together because they don’t have a handy narrator telling them who’s who and what’s what
“Yes! I am THE TEMPEST! THE GREAT Agent Time! And your time” he pointed to the gremlin “is UP!”
And with that he launched himself at the gremlin, tying him up with chains and metal.
“What were you up to this time? Trying to change the clocks again? Make everyone late?!”
“No!” Scoffed the time gremlin, fighting in vain against his restraints “I wanted to change time so it was always JUST before dinner time but never ACTUALLY dinner time!”
Dinner man gasped so hard and so dramatically he almost fell over
“I wanted kids everywhere to be constantly told that their dinner was “Almost ready” when it really wasn’t!” The gremlin smiled maliciously (that means in a very mean and evil way). Dinner man was so shocked and angry about this that he kicked the gremlin in the foot. Unfortunately gremlins are very thick skinned so it takes a lot to hurt them, so Dinner mans kick actually felt more like a small poke. Like a baby feeling your face. More like a tickle than anything else, but we digress.
“I would’ve got away with it too!” The time gremlin grunted “if it wasn’t for you medalling… you… if it wasn’t for you!” He spat.
Dinner man and Agent Time looked at eachother. Dinner man raised an eyebrow and Agent Time nodded, together they picked up the gremlin and threw him into a nearby skip, just as the police sirens started up nearby.
As they fled the scene side by side, both were thinking the same thoughts, the first being “oh no! He totally knows who I am now!” And secondly “I TOTALLY know who he is now”
Neither one voiced his thoughts, until,
“I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!” They both cried suddenly, at the same time
“GREG!” Yelled agent time,
“CHRIS!” Yelled dinner man,
“WHAT?! NO!” They yelled together,
“Don’t lie to me mate,” Agent Time- I mean,Chris said calmly, “its strikingly obvious. And, and I think it’s really cool”
“Really?” Dinner man- Greg asked, “I mean, I think you’re cool too chris, I mean Agent Time”
“I prefer “The Tempest” but some kid from Northern Ireland started calling me Agent Time and it sorta stuck” chris shrugged
Greg raised his eyebrows and smiled, “well then, Agent Time,” he cocked his head and offered Chris the crook of his arm, “your place or mine?” With a cheeky wink.
Chris laughed and linked onto Gregs arm, “your place is closer, I’ve to be home by 10 though, otherwise my wife will kill me”
Greg nodded in pretend understanding “yeah fair enough….”
And they set off towards Gregs place walking in time with each other as Greg hummed the “Jurassic park” theme tune.
As they arrived at Gregs place the rain was beginning to pour down.
“Right,” Greg sighed, “keys…” as he patted down his costume he realised he had made a fatal design error.
Where did he put his keys? “Oh… well this is a bit of a carbonara isn’t it?” Greg muttered. Chris raised an eyebrow.
“What?” Greg asked.
“Carbonara… really?” Chris retorted
“What’s wrong with that?”
“And? People love carbonara!”
Chris shook his head smiling “it’s supposed to be pickle!”
Greg scoffed “but they aren’t very nice are they? Carbonara is a food of champions! Plus I’m Dinner Man! No one in their right mind would have a pickle for dinner!”
Chris shook his head giggling “ok fair enough then…. no keys?” He asked
Greg shook his head sadly “must’ve left them in that phone box where I changed…”
Chris slapped a hand to his mouth “YOU CHANGED IN A PHONEBOX?”
Greg looked offended “what’s wrong with that? All the greats have done it!”
“PHONE BOXES HAVE GLASS WINDOWS YOU GAZELLE!!”
Greg laughed out loud- that kind of laugh that you can’t help but start to giggle along with- one of those contagious laughs that start of quiet but build into a huge, rumbling belly laugh- you know what I mean!
“I used a special box you banana!” Greg hooted.
Now both men stood at a door giggling in the rain… in super hero costumes.
This couldn’t get anymore weird, could it?
Just then a llama ran past, followed by an alpaca.
Apparently it could.
Greg found an open window and squeezed through to open the door for chris, then they spent a few hours talking about their super powers and how they fought bad guys, or “aubergines” as Greg called them.
Over dinner- provided by Greg – Dinner Man, of course- They discussed their costume choices and their catchphrases and tried their best to come up with more time related puns for Chris to use. It was very difficult.
On a completely unrelated note, if you happen to have any good time related puns please tweet us @chloem86 or @weejudiee.
Now where were we?
Yes, Greg and chris told eachother all about their powers, their hidden indentities and the foes that they had battled.
“They all seem to have one thing in common though,” chris pondered as he finished his carbonara, “they all have a niche… they’re all changing time or attacking Dinner… well not attacking Dinner but you know what I mean” he finished
Greg considered this, “you know what, you’re right. But what does that mean?” He wondered aloud.
What it meant, dear reader, was that there was a bigger hand at play here, these small scale baddies weren’t working alone, someone else was sending them in to do the dirty work.
“There’s Someone bigger working here, using these small scale baddies to do the dirty work,” chris answered “but they’re doing a horrendous job.” He noted
There was silence for a few moments as they watched a particularly funny cat video on a TV show about people’s home videoed funny moments. Greg laughed out loud while chris cringed slightly, praying silently that the cat had survived its fall from the tree.
“So how do we find out who the main bad guy is?” Greg asked
“I… I don’t know” chris said “but I can only assume that they’ll come crawling out of the woodwork when they realise how badly their minions are doing”
Greg smiled as his mind jumped immediately to the little yellow creatures in blue dungarees.
Chris looked as his watch “OH NO!” He cried, “ITS TEN MINUTES TO TEN! I’LL NEVER MAKE IT HOME IN TIME!” He put his head in his hands, “my wife is going to kill me”
Greg stared at him in disbelief, “aren’t you Agent time?”
“NO!” Chris said, louder than he had intended.
“Sorry,” Greg tried again, “aren’t you The Tempest?”
Chris looked calmer as he answered “why yes, yes I am” he looked proud and then troubled, “why what’s that got to do with anything?”
“Well didn’t you say you could, like, control time or whatever?”
Chris looked slightly offended, “no. No. No no. I can correct the time of public clocks so that they are accurate”
Greg looked surprised, taken aback, disgusted, surprised again and then tried his best to find a neutral expression before saying something incredibly encouraging and supportive to his friend,
There was a slightly awkward pause before Greg continued, “but couldn’t you just, y’know, put the time back a few minutes-”
“And make the time INCORRECT?!” Chris sounded appalled
“Well I mean-”
“THAT WOULD BE AN ABUSE OF MY POWERS!” Chris almost-shouted, “I could never, NEVER do that” he said more quietly and seriously.
“Ok ok sorry” Greg said trying to defuse the situation, “come on let’s go now and I’ll explain and say it was my fault, ok?”
“Ok” chris agreed
“And I’m sorry that I, y’know, suggested that you warp time and stuff”
“It’s ok,” chris said firmly, secretly wiping a tear from his eye.
—- END OF PART ONE——