And No Passes!


"I'll have to hurry you." Doyle frowned piercingly over the rims of his tinted glasses and Bodie squirmed uncomfortably in the black leather seat.

They were, of course, playing Mastermind. Doyle was not in the Chair, but he was wearing his little hat named Inquisitor -- scrawled on the fabric with a purple felt-tip, he had spelled it phonetically.

"I'm tired of this game, Doyle," Bodie said abruptly. "Tired and sick. You always win. I never get to ask the questions."

"That's only because you can't do an Icelandic accent," Doyle was quick to point out. "Okay, we'll give up. I've something to discuss with you anyway. It's about Cowley's Half-Dressed Appreciation---"

"Shuddup!" Bodie howled, leaping up, hands pressed to his ears. "Shuddup, shuddup, shuddup!" He could be so unoriginal.

"I've started," Doyle said between clenched teeth, "so I'll finish. Look, you know I'm Treasurer."

"Trust you. Never one to resist the lure of the peso, are you, Doyle?"

"Have you met the ruddy Chairman? An' you're the Secretary, and the point is, there isn't any lure of the peso as you so crudely mispronounce it, because we've only got one member."

"One's enough, innit?" said Bodie in surprise.

"Not for Cowley. He weeps constantly. Night and day, he weeps, sifting through all the blown-up posters of himself he had done with the special nipple-tint that no one wants."

"Who is this lone member anyway?"

Doyle consulted the Roll of Membership. "Someone called Walsh."

"Means nothing to me."

"What we need is incentive. To draw in new members."

"We could give away little plastic figures," Bodie suggested. "Like cereal."

"Nah. Look, Bodie, these people whose subscriptions we're tryin' to solicit, all they're interested in is pure male beauty, animal lust, the power of the naked masculine form---"

"Not naked. Half-dressed."

"That's my idea. We'll propose a special New Member Folio. Kind of advertising gimmick, prominently featuring more photos of the alluring male form, half- dressed."

"I don't think Cowley would," said Bodie doubtfully. "He's a bit off posing ever since his waist developed another big, white, spare tyre to go on top of the other one."

Doyle winced at the image. "Not Cowley, leaden-lobes. Us."

"But they'll know it's not him," said Bodie with powerful intelligence. "They wouldn't join a Cowley appreciation society if they wanted pictures of us, would they?"

Doyle unveiled his master stroke, with a flourish. "They won't know -- not if we photograph the other half."

"Whaddya mean?"

"Cowley half-dressed. So far, the big publicity shot is Cowley half-dressed from waist to knee. But we," Doyle declared, "We'll be half dressed --- from neck to navel. Cut our heads off the shot. Shirts to the waist. The rest as nature intended. How will they know that's not Cowley? Especially if we stand side by side."

"That's brilliant, Doyle."

"I'll ring the Chairman now."

She approved the plan.

-- THE END --

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