|"Do we have to go to this ... what is it ... exhibition?" Harry wrestled with his bow tie. "And why do I need to wear the penguin suit?"|
"It's a big deal being invited. It means we're part of the local elite." Jen slithered into a tight fitting gold lurex gown. "Zip me up will you?"
"And who is this Itchy Nugget guy anyway?"
"It's Ichio Nagata. He's a big name artist from London. They're auctioning his latest work for charity." She strung the pearls around her scrawny neck.
"Don't expect me to bid on some rubbish." Harry took a twenty out of his wallet, just enough for the taxis. Then he put it in a drawer. "There will be grub at this do, yea?"
"I'm sure there'll be canapes to go with the champagne."
"What, little bits of toast with some muck on 'em?" Harry went to the kitchen and came back with a carrier.
"Just a few snacks to keep me going."
"You are not taking that."
Harry went back to his wallet and took out another twenty. "Kebab on the way home then."
When the taxi pulled up outside the gallery, it was shining bright. Inside were a couple of dozen well dressed people, clutching champagne, and gathering in small cliques. The chatter was in muted tones. Words like 'amazing', 'genius', 'post-post-modern', were being bantered around.
In the centre of the room stood a covered easel. "Is that it?" Harry asked rather loudly. He grabbed a glass and threw the champagne back in one gulp. He turned up his nose at the proffered canapes.
Jen nudged him in the ribs. "Will you behave?"
A guy with a pony tail appeared. "Ahem ... let me introduce the artist ... Ichio Nagata, ladies and gentlemen."
A round of applause welcomed a Japanese guy in a loin cloth. He bowed to the audience, then sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the artwork.
The cloth was removed. It was a white canvas with a tiny red dot in the bottom left corner. Harry let out a guffaw. "And how much d'you think you'll get for that loud o' rubbish?"
"Can we start the bidding at one hundred thousand?"
"Not bloody likely." Harry grabbed Jen by her thin wrist and dragged her out of the gallery. "Kebab, now."