Emerging victorious from his pissing contest with a mole not far from the base of the tree, having knocked the petals off twice as many crocuses as his flea-bitten opponent with a stream of warm gold, after a thorough wash with soap and water the Fool exchanged a few rounds of celebratory high-fives with the assembled crowd of jeering raccoons who proceeded to tar and feather the mole in their fevered excitement, but was shocked out of his triumphant mood by the sight of Erik in tears drawing near the river’s edge bearing a large stone in his wings tied to his ankle. Rushing up to him as he plunged the stone into the water, the Fool was relieved to discover his pal’s complete inadequacy apropos of knot-work as the last vestige of rope and bubbles vanished from the river’s surface.
Inquiring as to the source of this suicidal melancholy after a long embrace whose silence was punctured only by the pair’s muffled sobs, the Fool was apprised of the untimely demise of their beloved studio, at which news he hastened back to the tree in hopes of intercepting this Zach fellow before he had absconded with their equipment. Finding him still up the tree, with his fly unzipped and on the verge of taking matters into his own hands after his impatience for the fire to die down had got the better of him, the Fool implored him to allow one final broadcast, which request the agent flatly denied before producing a folio out of which he took some paper and handed it to the Fool. On it were procedural directions for mounting an appeal at the Consortium HQ, however, when the Fool asked where the headquarters were located, he was informed that due to the thick coating of snail slime upon the building, all operations had been suspended until further notice and that no appeals could be heard until regular operations had resumed.
Thinking fast, the Fool asked his oracular coach what he would be doing if he broadcast footage of Erik’s suicide attempt which one of the raccoons had captured, in spite of the grim nature of the material, and received the following response:
He allows himself to be drawn into returning.
If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way.
If you are sincere and loyally attached,
You are rich in your neighbour.
Knowing that his duty to uphold the Consortium’s directive didn’t supersede doing the right thing if it was in conflict with his moral judgement as a flesh and blood being capable of empathy for his fellow creatures, this was enough to convince the agent that it would be in the interest of the greater good to proceed with the broadcast after all and he gave the Fool his assent with a silent nod and gestured with his hand and inclined his head and eyes towards the studio equipment. As he sat down, the Fool couldn’t help a quick Czech of the ratings and wondered with no shortage of astonishment if his darling Dulcinea might have been in bed listening to the same broadcast he had been when he triumphed over the mole, or if it was just a trick of some electric ghost turtle haunting the circuitry, but with the agent’s impatience burning a hole in the back of his neck, he shook off his musing and got to work.
« Ladies and gentlemen, fear not! ‘Tis I, the Fool-errant you all know and love, here to assuage any and all concerns which our illustrious viewership might have apropos of the impending shutdown of your favourite Mercurian broadcaster. While HGTV may have met its demise under circumstances which I dare say I suspect betoken foul-play, keep a sharp eye out for our affiliates who will be broadcasting live from The Brand Nü Opry in days to come with programming sure to please any and all who approach it with open hearts and open minds! There comes a time in every Fool’s life when he recognizes that his talents have a purpose to serve beyond that of playing exclusive court jester to an under-appreciative audience of one, and it would appear that fate has deigned to decree that time upon us!
« I love you like no other and look forward to forgiving you when you take the time to properly acknowledge your share of responsibility for things getting to this point. Don’t fret, I don’t blame you for the time I spent sailing blood-tinged waters – there’s a reason it takes the entirety of Erik’s magnum opus to explicate the conditions which conspired to push me to one of the darkest points my life has ever known -, but since I have no explanation for your choices that I didn’t furnish for you myself, I can’t forgive you just yet. My faith in the sincerity of your feelings and the strength of your character is unshakable, and you have all the time in the world to make this right. Good luck! »
At that, the Fool stood up and made his way over to the agent, who was busy browsing Reddit on his phone:
F: Whatcha lookin’ at, Mac?
Z: It’s Zach; Mac is my cousin, Aunt Cathy’s son.
F: It’s an expression; boy, you’re testy!
Z: Hold on, we’re out of characters; let’s continue on Tumblr.